The Way of Kings: The Stormlight Archive
by Brandon Sanderson
Gollancz Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780575097346
Date: 30 December 2010 List Price £16.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK /
It's become clear to me of late that Brandon Sanderson is nothing less than the perfect writing machine.
He produces panoramic, epic fantasy of a consistently excellent standard, delighting legions of readers - whether they have come to his work via his Robert Jordan connection or happened upon his own superb Mistborn novels, or stand-alones Elantris and Warbreaker or even by his YA Alcatraz books.
For the trade, be it his publisher (Tor in the US, Gollancz here in the UK and others around the world) or folks who sell his books, his superhuman productivity has allowed his work to be become highly visible with multiple books in print and thus the Brandon brand is building and building and building.
Having only just seen publication of his second Wheel of Time novel (the thirteen and penultimate in Jordan's series) Sanderson own thousand page doorstop fantasy - already a New York Times bestseller in the US - is now released here in Britain. The Way of Kings begins a new (and I suspect, defining) epic fantasy series, The Stormlight Archive. This is the start of something big.
"According to mythology mankind used to live in The Tranquiline Halls. Heaven. But then the Voidbringers assaulted and captured heaven, casting out God and men. Men took root on Roshar, the world of storms. And the Voidbringers followed...
They came against man ten thousand times. To help them cope, the Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, known as Shardblades. Led by ten angelic Heralds and ten orders of knights known as Radiants, mankind finally won. Or so the legends say. Today, the only remnants of those supposed battles are the Shardblades, the possession of which makes a man nearly invincible on the battlefield. The entire world is at war with itself - and has been for centuries since the Radiants turned against mankind. Kings strive to win more Shardblades, each secretly wishing to be the one who will finally unite all of mankind under a single throne. On a world scoured down to the rock by terrifying hurricanes that blow through every few day a young spearman forced into the army of a Shardbearer, led to war against an enemy he doesn't understand and doesn't really want to fight. What happened deep in mankind's past? Why did the Radiants turn against mankind, and what happened to the magic they used to wield?"