The Way of Kings Read-along Notes & Thoughts - Prelude & Prologue

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
The Way of Kings is huge. It's an epic fantasy told on truly epic proportions; my hardback copy weighs in at over 1200 pages and this is the first in a series of ten. I find the idea of reviewing such a book behemoth to be truly daunting - I've read this tome before and there is a lot of story and ground to cover. I don't think it's a feasible endeavor to even try, so I'll be posting my notes, thoughts, responses to the chapters covered each week in this readalong on GoodReads. There will probably by very little insight or analysis in the first few until I get a solid grip on who's who, what's what and why. 

  • the maps are detailed, if dark, and I will use them extensively as the novel progresses and shows more of Roshar
  • brutal in tone and depiction - right off the reader knows that this is going to be a darker fantasy 
---> not in the exact vein of George R. R. Martin's "grittiness" (namely sex, rape, murder, betrayal) but that war, strife, and abandonment will be prominent themes 

Important Names/Details: 
  • Kalak
  • Jezrien
  • Talenel (person?)
  • Desolations (place?)
  • Ishar (person?)
  • the Oathpact
  • Radiants



4,500 years later than the events of the prelude - as Anila pointed out - the scale upon which this story is told is simply immense and daunting at times.

Man, you do not mess with Szeth-son-son-Vallano, shiiiit. Brandon Sanderson certainly doesn't waste time introducing his new magic system, does he?

"The most important words a man can say." Huh, cryptic much, Gavilar?!

The Parshendi are not to be trusted or underestimated.


  • Parshendi - "men with skin of black marbled with red"
  • fight scenes stand out with imagery - very cinematic
  • Alethi - "lighteyes" and "darkeyes" as distinguishing marks between castes/classes
  • Ten Heralds - Jezerezeh, Ishi, Kelek, Talenelat - all similar to names in prologue- perhaps bastardized in the 4,500 years that followed?
  • 'Vorin' worship - a religion with the Ten Heralds

Things of A Magical Nature:

  • orange flamespren
  • violet fearspren
  • "Basic Lashing" - 1/3 kinds, can bind people or objects to different surfaces or in different directions using the power of Stormlight and 
  • "Full Lashing" - 2/3 kind - bound objects together, holding them fast until Stormlight runs out
  • Shardbearer armor - made of Shardplate, with a matching Shardblade

Notable Names:

  • Dalinar Kholin - the king's brother
  • Jasnah - the king's daughter
  • Elhokar - the king's son/heir
  • Gavilar - the king
  • Thaidakar
  • Restares
  • Sadeas


"Wine was the great assassin of both tradition and propriety, and now the Alethi elite danced with abandon." p.22

"Here, in Alethkar, men spoke often of the legends -- of mankind's hardfought victory over the Voidbringers. But when weapons created to fight nightmares were turned against common soldiers, the lives of men became cheap things indeed." p. 28 

Oh man, limiting myself to just two chapters a week of this is going to be hard. Self-control is not my forte when it comes to book, and quite honestly, I forgot how just how good this gets, and just how fast.

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