Wow is this book EPIC!! And it is only book one of a purposed 10 book series. The paperback version that I read is 1253 pages, I read some long books before but this could be the biggest. The story is big, is as the world. This book had one of the coolest beginning action scenes I have ever read, it reminded me of the antigravity fight in the movie Inception mixed with the Matrix. The soul cutting swords the shardblades are awesome. The world building is great as it slowly starts to expand, by the end of the book you feel as if you’ve just read a fraction. The magic is like nothing I’ve read, A violent storm sweeps the land every couple of weeks and infuse jewels, the currency is based on the magic potential, also the jewels once infused can be a light source. The history and philosophy in this book are very compelling. The ending promises a lot and lets you look at some events differently. I loved this very long book, and gave it a rare 5 out of 5 stars.
The Plot (Non spoiler): The Novel begins with a murder of a king Gavilar. His murderer is a conflicted assassin that stops to write the kings last words, about a book of honor called the Way of Kings. After the Kings death his Kingdom is torn apart into 12 sections they have a common enemy in the Parshendi, but the battlefield is filled with creatures who possess a heart of emerald. the value of the heart leads to mistrust and clouded judgement. These four character’s are the books main focus. I love the book tag for the main characters: One of them may redeem us. One of them will destroy us.
Dalinar the king’s brother has dedicated the last six years to living by codes and honor of the Way of Kings. He was once the most brutal warrior has spent most of his days babysitting the king’s son, and new king Elhokar. Dalinar has recently started having visions of the past every time a storm hits. He’s a strong leader but who values honor above all things and is far to trusting of others. The visions are making him think he is going mad, and other’s are starting to chip away at his legacy. His son Adolin, is the top duelist, and wants to fight war, and spends most of his time defending his father’s honor, but he’s starting to lose faith in his father and the codes.
Kaladin is the books main focus. We at first see him as a young man leading his army into war though a new recruits eyes, then we cut to a year later and he is marked a slave and heading in a caravan waiting to get sold. He is followed by a wind spren named Syl ( which is kind of a sprit, there’s pain spren, water spren, death spren, fire spren and all kinds) . Sprens are not suposed to be able to speak but something is making her have a voice and a personality, only Kaladin can see here but she can be seen by other’s if she wants. He is sold as a bridge man to the crew of bridge four. His job is to be the first into battle running carrying a wooden bridge to set up so the army can cross the Plateau into battle against the Parshendi. Bridge four is known as the bridge of death, where on a good day only half the bridge crew dies, and if you are injured you’re to be left on the battlefield. Kaladin has a knack for staying alive and is promoted to bridge leader vowing to change the ways and save as many as he can. Kaladin has flashbacks to when he was a surgeon’s assistant to his father and all the values and lessons he learned. The mystery of Kaladin is what lead him to be a slave and what lead him to be a soldier and not a surgeon?
Shallan is wants to be a ward to the king’s sister Jasnah, she’s a soulcaster, that uses an amulet to create spells. Shallan hides that the only reason she wants to be a ward is to steal the amulet, her father had one a made riches with it. He has passed and his amulet has stopped working and dangerous debt collectors are threatening her family. Can Shallan steal and replace the amulet without the powerful soulcaster finding out?
Szeth the Shin assassin who murdered the king is not what he seems and is controlled by anyone that holds the oathstone. Who holds his oathstone, who is to gain from this war?
This plot description only scratches the surface of what is in this book, all these characters continue to evolve to some very surprising results.
What I liked: The words under the chapters make sense at the end. It’s a pretty cool trick, I thought all the words were just of old, they are, but when you find out the context and what is happening is quite amazing. Wit is by far my favorite side character, he adds levity and comedy to the plot, I looked forward to every chapter his name appears. Gaz was my second favorite, I do hate that he kind of disappeared, I really hope he wasn’t killed off because with what happened at the end his and Kaladin’s relationship could get interesting. The action is written really well, especially the Szeth scenes and man will your mouth drop at that first action scene. The philosophy is really interesting and makes sense in the context. I was not expecting so many twist but man are they great and are explained really well and made sense in the plot. There was only one fake death instance having read a lot of fantasy sometimes you see way too much, and I like that only one was used. Kaladin’s whole story is a work of art how he gets from here to there, and his arc his so well put together.
What I disliked: I felt like the Plateaus where never explained well and I had a hard time picturing them, the books cover help but the size and scale I still have a problem picturing. The final battle did well on explaining the size and scale of the tower plateau. The horrible drawing of final battle on the plateaus confused me further I did like that it was assigned to a character, but it didn’t help at all. The length it could have been shorter.
I would recommend this to people who like high fantasy, the story is not action packed, when there is action it is good and often bloody, but I did see some other’s complaint for lack of action in their reviews. I would definitely recommend it to friends. I really liked this novel it held my interest, there’s was only a few times when I had to push myself, it was more the length than it being boring. I will say it might be a little time until I read the next two books because of the length. I give this book a solid 5 out of 5 stars. I have read the Mistborn trilogy and I will say, that I barely liked Mistborn: Final Empire more than this. But those who know me know that book as one of my absolute favorites.