Rating| 5 Stars
Okay, so let me take a deep breath.
Brandon Sanderson has, without fail, blown me away. I'm writing this review only a half hour after finishing the book and I'm just at a loss for words. I don't know what do with my life now that I've finished this massive tome. Or, actually, I know what to do with my life- and that's start the sequel.
Way of Kings is immense and I don't even know how to begin describing it. Basically, it follows several very important people and how they interact with this war. That's not quite right, but it'll give you a general idea. These characters are Kaladin, Dalinar, Adolin, Shallan, and Szeth (among a few others who get a chapter here or there). Each has a very important role to play in the fate of their world.
I liked all the characters, actually. I think Kaladin, Adolin, and Shallan are my favorites. I just love Kaladin (it's really hard not to, he's such a fantastic character and reminds me slightly of Kelsier) and Adolin for no particular reasons. Shallan, though, is a whole other story. I really connect with her. Many of the things she does and feels are things that I understand innately- for one, she has social anxiety. And she's better with her mind than with her body. And she's awkward around boys. Yet, she's still portrayed as a rather strong character. As for Szeth, I don't feel like there was enough of him in this book for me to determine whether I like him or not. I feel pity for him, sure, but I don't know if I like him. And Dalinar... well, let's say I have a mixed relationship with him. Sometimes I absolutely love him. Other times he bores me to death. I have it on good faith he gets much more interesting in the next book. With the way this one ended, I sure hope so.
The world itself is very unique. There are many different races and groups of people, all with their own distinct belief systems. Only a few are really explored, but per Sanderson, every single one is unique and wonderful. I also liked how this world was rather advanced. It has many interesting technologies I've never seen in fantasy stories before (a spanreel for one...) and I liked the originality. The fact that it was a rather advanced civilization was very cool.
The plot itself moves a bit slowly during some parts, but all is forgiven when everything ties up in such a crazy amazing way at the end. There's a lot to wade through before the characters even start interacting with each other, but it's all worth it. Don't skip over anything! Plus, the art and maps within the book are stunning.
Really, really pick this one up. I know it's a whopper (coming in at over a thousand pages and all that jazz) but it's worth it. Especially if you're a fan of Mistborn or Game of Thrones (it's much less violent than that). Add it to your shelves on goodreads here.