Here’s the next installment in my, “Books Off the Shelf” series. These are some short book reviews on books quite literally off my book shelves—books I’ve read or listened to. There is a world of books out there. More than anyone could get to in a lifetime. As my favorite mug states so succinctly, “So Many Books, So Little Time”. I will attempt to give you an idea on some books you might enjoy or not enjoy quite as much without ruining it with too many spoilers.
I’m also giving the books a one to ten rating with ten being amazingly the best (or one of the best) books I have ever read and you need to go home sick to buy and read this book without delay and a one being please don’t bother even looking at the cover of this drivel.
The Way of Kings
by Brandon Sanderson
Rating 10 out of 10
It has been centuries since the fall of the Knights Radiant, but their mystical swords and armor remain, transforming ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for them. Wars are fought for them and won by them.
One such war rages on the Shattered Plains where Kaladin, son of a surgeon, has been reduced to slavery, and Dalinar, commander of the armies, is plagued by dreams of ancient times, doubting his own sanity.
Across the ocean, Shallan, a naïve but brave and brilliant young woman, plans a daring theft to save her impoverished noble house from ruin.
OK, if you haven’t read this you need to order it. I mean now. You can come back to read the rest of the review in a minute, but you need this book in your hands ASAP!
Now that your book is ordered or downloading, let’s get back to the review.
The Way of Kings is the first in the Stormlight Archive series with book 2 Words of Radiance also out and ready for delighted reading. Kaladin is a brilliant young man who has found himself wrongfully bound in slavery. Coming from a fascinating past that toes the line between surgeon and soldier, we get to tag along, living out the agony of injustice while longing for redemptive grace. Kaladin’s struggle is so moving, one can’t help but cheer (usually only internally) for even the tiniest success.
Meanwhile, we get to witness as Shallan battles to save her family, risking everything in a game of intrigue. She does this while wrestling with a past that she has locked away in her subconscious and a gift that may be more powerful than she ever knew.
Dalinar, high prince, brother to a murdered king, and stalwart of a nephew struggling with his crown, is having dreams that are more like visions. His reputation and very sanity on the line, Dalinar fights to hold a shattering nation together.
Sanderson’s mastery of world and magic system building are modeled fantastically in The Way of Kings. Revealing truths at a pace just fast enough to keep you guessing while forcing you to turn page after page, this is a must read—a must must must read. The world is vibrant, so real you should be able buy a ticket to visit. The characters are so authentic you make new friends and enemies at every turn.
Go pick up a copy and bump it to the front of your reading queue. You have to read this. Really you have to read all of Sanderson, but start with The Way of Kings!
As always, if you have suggestions of books to review, please let me know. If it is Science Fiction or especially Fantasy, there is a good chance it is on my shelf or should be.
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Ryan J. Doughan