The Way of Kings (Part Two) – by Brandon Sanderson
Travelling means more time for reading, right?! I’ve been testing the theory, so while exploring the sights of London and Amsterdam, I was catching up on my Brandon Sanderson, with The Way of Kings, Part Two. Here’s what I thought:
Welcome back to Roshar. The landscape remains as unforgiving as the people holding Kaladin and his bridgemen; who are still defying their intended purposes by refusing to die. It’s clearer than ever to Kaladin that there’s almost no way to avoid this fate. Unless, perhaps, he changes the rules of engagement.
Dalinar, a brightlord and (formerly) one of the most respected leaders of the Alethkar nobility, remains unsure whether he is mad, or if the visions he has during highstorms are somehow real. These visions tell him he must do the impossible, and unite the Alethkar forces as one. But until he ascertains whether these are real warnings or merely delusions, Dalinar knows it is dangerous for him to remain in charge of his House. Other nobles have noticed his ailment, and sense that there may be blood in the water.
In Part Two of The Way of Kings, we see the payoff from Part One’s
lengthy set up.
I wasn’t sure about having one book split up, just for page count concerns, not for artistic purposes. Indeed, Part One is a little light on the action, because the pinnacle is left for the last chapters. But what I really enjoyed about this structure, upon reflection, was that in Part One we got to meet and know the characters. Had The Way of Kings been cut down to become one volume rather than the two, it’s certain that there would have been less time to understand the context of each character and their place in this hostile world of Roshar.
And what a payoff! The battles are bigger, the stakes higher, and the mysteries richer and more complex than any I’ve experienced from Sanderson before. I’m thrilled to see Sanderson’s writing becoming more sophisticated, and his language evolving, as he creates more worlds. Kaladin’s trajectory, in particular, is something truly magical – in both the literary and literal sense. I’m sure you’re sick of hearing me praise Brandon Sanderson – you get that I’m a huge fan, yes?! So let me just say, if you like any of the fantasy authors I rave about here, you’ll adore this clever, ambitious, and eminently readable new series. And you’ll be just as WILD with impatience for the second volume as I am!
Help me, dear reader! To ease my fretful waiting, do you have any other amazing fantasy series I’ve missed??