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Way of Kings Read-Along {Week 1}

Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson Read-along

Week 1!

Woot, first of all, Happy New Year all :D. What better way to start off the new year than starting an awesome book?? I’m a huge Sanderson fan and so have been meaning to read The Way of Kings since it came out. I was just so intimidated by that 1000+ page length D: Therefore when Nrlymrtl invited me to co-host a read-along I was thrilled! Nrlymrtl of Dab of Darkness is starting us off this week. As per usual, there will be spoilers in all of these posts if you haven’t read up to the section for the week. This week, we read through chapter 6!

1) Is this your first Brandon Sanderson experience? Any expectations going into this read along?

Nope, I’ve read nearly everything else he has written :D. Therefore, my expectations are pretty high ;-). He is my favorite author, I love his magic systems, characters, and plot twists, so I’m expecting all of those. I’m really excited since this is the first major adult high fantasy trilogy he has written that he will hopefully be completing soon since Mistborn, so I’m hoping for a similar experience to Mistborn ;-).

2) In the Prelude to the Stormlight Archive, we see that Talenel (Taln) died and his sword is unaccounted for. Jerzien and company have decided it is best for 1 to suffer instead of 10. What do you make of this scene?

There is so much awesome in this scene. So it sounds like these guys are ten immortals that regularly fight some horrible demons, die on occasion, and have to report back to a hellish other realm between battles, which they signed up for, but now have decided they are tired of it. Additionally, it sounds like as long as one of them sticks around, the demons will be held off? Some of that wasn’t entirely clear, so I’m hoping we get to find out more about what all was going on and where the immortals have since gone!

3) What did you think of Szeth’s fighting abilities and the fight scenes? Any thoughts on the crystalline sphere and King Gavilar Kholin’s last words?

Love this new magic system! It’s so cool to think about all the new fighting styles that would be possible by changing the pull of gravity :D. I’m so curious to find out who else has these powers and what Szeth has been up to since that prologue. I’m sensing an epic quest in the works!

4) Each chapter proper starts with a few words from a dying person, their station, and status in life. Any thoughts on what these portend?

I’m thinking that the final words of a dying person are considered sacred in some way. Some of the words are typical but some sound quite ominous. I’m guessing that some group of religious people collects and saves these words just in case it turns out that they were telling the future or something.

5) Kaladin went from warrior to slave in a matter of the first 2 chapters. Care to speculate on the details of how his life changed so drastically?

So it sounds like his attempt at killing that guy in the battle didn’t go well and he ended up captured and enslaved. I’m unclear on which guy he was trying to clear and why he hated him so much, but I guess it makes sense in battles for some people to be captured.

6) Sylphrena (Syl) the Windspren seems attached to Kaladin. Are you enjoying her character? Do you like the Spren in general in the world-building so far?

Omg I love Syl :D. It’s so fascinating that she seems to be much more intelligent than the normal spren to the point that even she is a bit confused about what is going on with her. I’m also really interested in all the spren. It sounds like they are creatures made of magic that are made/pulled into our realm under certain circumstances. The only thing I’m not liking is the description of each of them when they show up, does it feel repetitive to anyone else?

7) Shallan Davar has finally caught up to Brightness Jasnah Kholin and her soulcaster. Jasnah and the jeweled fabril can change stone to smoke; what else do you think it can do?

Shallan seemed to think that Jasnah could turn any material into anything else right? I’m assuming this is only inanimate material, but if not that could get spooky! I’m hoping that Shallan succeeds in convincing Jasnah, though I was mostly just pro-learning before, but thieving is fun too ;-).

I’m so in love with the maps and illustrations :D. I hope we get to see more of Shallan’s sketches since that was just so much fun.

Feel free to leave links to your thoughts in the comments and be sure to go to Dab of Darkness to link up so we can find everyone ;-).

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings -Anya

© 2014 – 2013, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. Oh, by the way – would it be cool if I borrowed that awesome Way of Kings banner thingy you’ve got up there? I love that. :D
    Lisa (@EffingRainbow) recently posted…Blood Rites, by Jim ButcherMy Profile

  2. 1. At least he writes relatively quickly, unlike some authors who are very frustrating!

    2. Mr Sanderson seems to have a real passion for exploring Theology and how religions develop, so I expect that we will get more details about these ‘gods’ at some point. I loved how this Prelude made it quite clear that we were plunging into an Epic series of world-rocking proportions.

    3. As with the Mistborn magic system, the basic premise is so simple, but amazingly effective . . . and unbelievably cool as well! :D

    6. I thought that it was interesting that you found the spren descriptions a little repetitive. I thought that it was just the characters’ way of noticing how severe something was – like Cenn noticing the fearspren before the battle – it was as if they were focussing on them because of the heightened awareness of the situation.

    I loved the sketches of the skyeels – they appeal to my inner biologist!

  3. Great question about who else has powers like Szeth? Hmm…. that could make for some very interesting fight scene.

    I hadn’t really noticed any repetitiveness with the Spren descriptions. But I am listening to the audio, so some things come and go before I register them.
    My man and initially borrowed and then bought the audiobook. But we found we needed the hardback for the illustrations and maps, and we were not disappointed at all. Skyeels!

    • Right?? I could see Szeth getting messed up too if he hasn’t fought others of his skill before. I can’t imagine listening to the audiobook and missing out on the illustrations D:

  4. I’m also loving the illustrations. It’s been a while since I’ve seen an adult book with pictures :). If Shallan’s artistic ability is just an excuse to include cool sketches, I’m completely okay with that! I wasn’t entirely clear on the significance of what was going on with the prelude too, so I hope that is cleared up soon.
    Allie recently posted…Read-Along: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, Part 1My Profile

    • Woot pictures! So agreed about Shallan’s sketches, though I hope that her talent is discovered soon and appreciated :D

  5. Now that I’m reading your thoughts on No.4 it makes me wonder if that was the significance of the King’s thoughts when he died and asked for his words to be told to his brother – maybe it is a tradition and your last thoughts have to be kept sacred??
    I was really surprised that Kaladin was prisoner – it sort of seemed that he wouldn’t survive that particular battle scene. i had to do a double take there for a moment.
    I think the inclusion of the illustrations is a really good idea that I’m enjoying quite a lot and don’t recall Sanderson using in this way before?? (But then it’s not like I’ve read everything so he could have done so)
    I’ve added my link below:
    Lynn :D

    • Oo that’s a good point! I’m thinking that it’s going to turn out that there is a huge scheme or something that he needed to let his brother know something about, since things like this are always important in Sanderson’s books ;-). I don’t remember many illustrations in any previous books, though there are always maps and the nice chapter headers :D

  6. Interesting to see your first thoughts on Way of Kings. Like you, I was a

    fan of Sanderson since before WoK, but its been awhile since I’ve read this book. Re-reading it with you, though. So much awesome in this book. Glad you’re liking it so far!

  7. I have only read one Sanderson book, Steelheart and I need more. I think I will add this to my list :)
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Caffeinated 2013 Top Ten Favorite “Adult Fiction” ReadsMy Profile

    • Yes, do it! Also check out The Emperor’s Soul, it’s a novella but it’s up to his usual awesome fantasy level so it’s a nice quick intro to his fantasy writing ;-)

  8. This is so awesome so far! I’m loving the world-building and I adore Syl. I didn’t realize that you hadn’t read this before either. I hope it lives up to your expectations :)
    DoingDewey recently posted…Way of Kings Read-a-long – Part 1My Profile

    • Hehe, I know, I feel like a horrible fantasy/Sanderson fan that I haven’t read it yet, but we’ll fix that :D

  9. This is my first Sanderson read, and I’m already enjoying it – so much so that I’m mildly ashamed of the fact that I waited so long…

    Syl! Isn’t she wonderful? I love the weirdo little fey-type characters, so she’s all kinds of awesome to me already. I want more of her. :D
    Lisa (@EffingRainbow) recently posted…The Way Of Kings Readalong – Week 1My Profile

  10. Great answers! I really loved re-reading the prelude this time around, it really draws the reader into the world and the stakes involved. I can’t wait learn more about what’s going on there as the novel and the series progresses :) Syl is great, I like that she sort of lightens the dreariness surrounding Kaladin in his life at that moment. Hope you enjoy this title! :)

    A bit embarrassing but I almost forgot to put my post together for this week *blushes*

    • Hehe, that is so true, Kaladin’s storyline would be really depressing to read without Syl!

      No worries, I have to have a reminder otherwise I would forget ;-)

  11. I have super high expectations for this as well, but unlike you this is the first Sanderson book I’m reading. I had a hard time getting into the very beginning, but I soon caught up. Actually, I’m not sure I answered all the questions right. I wasn’t thinking of the right scene. Oh well. I’ll probably go back and re-read the beginning several times as we get farther into the book. I like doing that so I get a better feel for what was happening there. I also really like Syl. I’m really loving that storyline!

    Here’s my post
    Liesel Hill recently posted…2013 in Review + The Way of King Read-Along, Week 1My Profile

  12. Syl is AWESOME!! All of those different ‘sprens’ are really but we haven’t gotten a closer look at them all! I love how people though the ‘sprens’ were simple minded and Syl went and proved them wrong! I’m super curious as to what she’s going to do next…will she help Kaladin? Argh! I want to know now XD
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…The Way of Kings Read AlongMy Profile

    • Hehe, so agreed! I’m also really curious as to how Syl has suddenly gained a new awareness and intelligence! Suspicious ;-)

  13. Hope you enjoy this, I loved the book! I’m also a great fan of Sanderson and I’m very sure you won’t be disappointed :)

    Happy reading!

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