Luke Burrage's Reviews > The Way of Kings

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
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May 06, 12

bookshelves: recommended-by-sfbrp-listeners, paper-book
Read from April 20 to May 06, 2012, read count: 1

Full review on my podcast, SFBRP episode 159.
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Reading Progress

04/28/2012 page 177
18.0%
04/29/2012 page 212
17.0% 2 comments
04/29/2012 page 293
23.0% "Stop doing back story! That should be out of the way in the first quarter of the book! Just get on with...

Oh wait, I've still not reached the second quarter of the book yet. Daaaaaamn." 1 comment
05/01/2012 page 694
55.0% "I'm really enjoying this. I read a lot on a travel day with three flights over 12 hours. I've another travel day on Saturday so I'll probably get back to it then."
05/01/2012 page 694
55.0% "I'm really enjoying this. I read a lot on a travel day with three flights over 12 hours. I've another travel day on Saturday so I'll probably get back to it then."
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Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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message 1: by Tamahome (new) - added it

Tamahome That is quite a journey.


Luke Burrage Holy fuck, this novel is a brick and a half.


message 3: by Tamahome (new) - added it

Tamahome And it's the first of a ten novel series.


Luke Burrage Holy fuck, this novel is a brick and a half.


message 5: by Peter (new)

Peter You should be used to these massive books by now. You read the telephone books peter Hamilton writes :-)


message 6: by Tamahome (new) - added it

Tamahome I stalled about 33% of the way through. I only liked the soldier guy. What's the fascination with royalty in fantasy?


Luke Burrage I'm actually quite enjoying it so far, though I've not been reading much due to editing and writing novels of my own on this trip.

The soldier guy is cool so far. I'm not so interested in the artist woman. Is it just their stories? It seems an overly massive novel for just two points of view.

I didn't know it was the first book in a series though. Thankfully I trust Sanderson to write a self-contained first novel in a series. At least I Think I do.


message 8: by Tamahome (new) - added it

Tamahome I can't believe he ate the whole thing.


Luke Burrage It's really good, but you have to go into it with the right mindset.

I might do a fan-edit, and chop out all the Shallan parts, leaving just the stuff that happens at the battle field. Then read the Shallan bit as a novella. I think it would be better that way.


message 10: by SF_Fangirl (new)

SF_Fangirl Wow! I'm not even going to listen to the podcast.
Fantasy is not my thing (particularly epic fantasy) so I sure don't need to listen to someone (even Luke) talk about some book I will never read for over an hour and half.


message 11: by Jon (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jon Parkinson I listened to your marathon podcast review of The Way of Kings. It could have benefited greatly from a counterpoint. Your statement that "all of the women wear dresses and all of the men wear swords" in Sanderson's books is pretty easily debunked. The main character in Mistborn (Vin) is more at home with a knife than a dress. The female lead in Elantris introduces fencing to the women in court, disguised as a form of exercise. The gender roles depicted in The Way of Kings seem to cage men into their roles at least as much as the women, if not more. I don't see how you can call the author sexist using this as evidence. It's a depiction of a fictional society. Most societies for most of human history have had strongly differentiated male/female roles. It would be less realistic to depict anything but this.

Your discussion of swearing, while overly long, was spot on. There is some world-builing swearing ("Kalek's breath" off the top of my head) but very little of it. Definitely a missed opportunity by Sanderson. "Storm" reminded me of "Smurf", the all-purpose exclamation of the Smurfs.

Re. your point about the book rating being skewed high by people who like really long epic fantasy. Aren't all book ratings affected the same way? I've never read a horror or a romance. If I did, I'd probably give it a much lower rating than the average.

With all of that said, the podcast was pretty good and I'll be tuning in again.


message 12: by Luke (new) - rated it 4 stars

Luke Burrage Jon wrote: "I listened to your marathon podcast review of The Way of Kings. It could have benefited greatly from a counterpoint. Your statement that "all of the women wear dresses and all of the..."

My view of the sexism is slightly more subtle than you suggest. I can't remember exactly what I said, but my point is that Sanderson's depictions of his various secondary worlds always includes the same distinct roles for men and women, and there seems to be no awareness by the author that it might be possible for those roles to be fulfilled by the opposite gender. It feels like a very "different but equal" approach, but the differences always leaves the women in subservient roles.

The swearing was indeed terrible.

I think my point about fantasy series was more about how the people who reach the end of a series are the ones who like it, and haven't given up half way through. It's the same with a single very long book. The people who look at a massive tome like Way of Kings, and think "That's going to be worth reading!" are probably already epic fantasy fans. Casual non-fantasy-fan readers aren't going to start with Way of Kings as an introduction to the the genre, of even to Sanderson as an author.

Have you read the second in the series? I'm looking for someone to tell me if I can read it but skip over the Shallan parts (which I really didn't enjoy in the first one) and the rest of the story still make sense. I don't think I could put up with her interrupting the rest of the story again. If so, I'll read the second book as soon as possible.


message 13: by Jon (last edited Mar 14, 2014 10:00PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jon Parkinson Each book focuses on one main character. The second book focuses on Shallan's story and backstory. If you didn't like her in the first, this one may be difficult for you. However, if what really bothered you about her was how detached she was from the main action of the book, you'll be relieved to know she does meet up with the other main characters.

I enjoyed it, though less than the first. There were enough solid payoffs to make it worthwhile.


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