The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson

The Way of Kings

Author: Brandon Sanderson

  • Publication Date: 2010-08-31
  • Category: Epic
4.5 Score: 4.5
(From 6,806 Ratings)


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings, Book One of the Stormlight Archive begins an incredible new saga of epic proportion.

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar's niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan's motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Speak again the ancient oaths:

Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.

The Knights Radiant must stand again.

Other Tor books by Brandon Sanderson

The Cosmere

The Stormlight Archive

The Way of Kings
Words of Radiance
Edgedancer (Novella)

The Mistborn trilogy

Mistborn: The Final Empire
The Well of Ascension
The Hero of Ages

Mistborn: The Wax and Wayne series
Alloy of Law
Shadows of Self
Bands of Mourning

Arcanum Unbounded

Other Cosmere novels

The Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series
Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians
The Scrivener's Bones
The Knights of Crystallia
The Shattered Lens
The Dark Talent

The Rithmatist series
The Rithmatist

Other books by Brandon Sanderson

The Reckoners


At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.


  • Absolutely epic

    By caterina rs
    Brandon has a way with words that is truly unlike any other. This is by far the most EPIC story I have ever read, through and through. The beginning is slow, but it is so beyond worth it and pertinent to the story. You grow with the characters and the passion in Brandon’s writing is so evident. I truly felt like I was there with the characters. You feel their bravery, passion, courage, hatred, sadness, as if you were them and the bond that forms between the characters and the reader is unlike any other. This is an incredible series and is beyond worth reading. Thank you, Brandon. Life before death.
  • Epic!

    By eorlong
    Second time I’m reading this series! Simply epic!
  • The Final Crisis is Worth the Long Slog

    By ferret_bard
    This review was first published on Kurt's Frontier. Synopsis: Roshar is a world in flux. The king has been assassinated. The kingdom of Alethkar is now at war but does not fight for victory. The high lords divide the kingdom, and paranoia drives the new king. High Prince Dalinar Kholin sees visions of the ancient past, warning him to unite the kingdom. Yet his thirst for war has waned. Kaladin trained a surgeon, became a soldier, and is now a slave running bridges after being betrayed by someone he trusted. Shallan is a scholar, sent to gain someone’s trust to steal a powerful artifact. Szeth, the assassin who started it all, is a killer who feels each murder he commits. Yet something powerful and dangerous looms on the horizon. The great desolation is coming. Review: Brandon Sanderson is a master world builder. The details of his land are rich and creative. I found the characters interesting as he wove interconnecting plots. However, the story itself is quite dense. I use the term dense to say that it is very difficult to move through. I’ve read long books before. This one was like wading through deep snow. Hard to move through and exhausting. Not a page turn that I can’t put down, nor was I anxious to get back to it. The book 1252 pages long. The author could have broken it into two or three books that would have been much easier to get through. The book’s action scenes are quite good, however. His vivid descriptions don’t disappoint, and the final crisis is worth the long slog.
  • ⭐️Amazing book⭐️

    By Tory Brennan
    The world building, magic system, and characters are all incredible. I’ve highly enjoyed this series so far. It builds up to a dramatic ending. Worth the read. Though it is a bit hard to read, it’s worth finishing it. The next books are also amazing 🤩 .
  • Loved it!

    By Oodd B Narr
    Best book I’ve read in a very long time. Get the chills just thinking about it.
  • Most compelling read in fantasy genre

    By Tittygrabber
    I was hooked the whole time and could not put it down. What a roller coaster of emotions. Sanderson and his ability to create characters is amazing!
  • Amazing world

    By RevManFullThrottle
    The characters and world Brian creates are, in a word, astounding. You get to know each like a long lost old friend. You feel their pains and joys along with them. You quickly come to care for their world as you would your own, which is is thanks to Brian for creating it and sharing it with us. I have spent so many hours feeling the storms roll over me, the thrill of flight, and the hope of a better tomorrow that this world offers us, and greatly look forward to the time in the future I will spend in his world and among his characters. Thank you for this world to be added to the others I live in among my mind Brian.
  • Great series

    By KeedaTheReader
    Highly recommend this series. Great character building if you love to get so attached that you will cry or at least I did.
  • A Book You Will Not Soon Forget

    By JohnMurz
    I loved this book, one of the best epic fantasies I’ve read in a long time. This was the first time I read a Brandon Sanderson story, and I’m hooked on him. The Way of Kings, Book One of the Stormlight Archive, is an immense, epic adventure that takes place in a world that is both believable and like no other. Sanderson has crafted a fantasy with characters, places, creatures, religion, culture, and geography, all explained in elaborate detail, but never in a way that interferes with the action and the progress of the story. He gives you just enough information a little at a time to allow you to understand events taking place without overburdening you with detailed descriptions all at once. (Okay, maybe at the very beginning you won’t understand everything, but you will as the story continues.) The way he develops characters as the story progresses is excellent. The male and female characters are powerful, complex, and realistic, each with their unique traits. Mostly, you will want to read more. I was never bored or lost interest during the LONG reading time to complete this book. This is a must-read. If all his books in the series are this good, it will rank among the top fantasies of all time.
  • Took several false starts; but worth it

    By _bridge_four_
    After reading Brandon’s Mistborn series through two eras I decided to dig into this series. Coming from Mistborn I was not prepared from the much slower pacing and the seemingly incessant stream of bad luck that befalls Kaladin after a very action hero treatment of the protagonists of Mistborn. Shifting to Dalinar/Adolin after becoming so invested in Kaladin and Shallan was a shock, as well. However, as only Branson can, he brought all the seemingly disparate storylines together in a most satisfying way, giving us payoff after payoff as we approach the end. I don’t fault if people don’t enjoy it the first time. It definitely took me multiple tries, but after you conquer the structure of the first book, the next two books roll by in too short a time.