And you thought Wheel of Time was long: A review of Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings

I just finished reading a 1000 page prologue.

That was my first thought when I completed The Way of Kings last night. It took a long time for me to get into the book and to start liking it, but by the end I was not only hooked, I was deeply invested. The best fantasy fiction is not just entertaining, it is also enlightening, and Sanderson’s first novel in The Stormlight Archive is a perfect treatise on deontology. I don’t use that word lightly, but after finishing the novel last night, I went back through each character’s story and reflected on their internal and external struggles, their decisions, and how each character was balanced against one another. Sanderson does not employ the heavy-handed philosophizing and sermonizing that has come to define Terry Goodkind, but still manages to guide the reader in engaging the complex subjects of duty, honor, loyalty, sacrifice, and utilitarianism.

Continue reading