Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Brandon Sanderson Makes My Favorite Authors List: WOT, Mistborn, & Way of Kings

So I am one of those people who loves to read (or listen to) her favorite books over and over again. I've read Harry Potter, the Twilight series, the Hunger Games series, and the Wheel of Time series so many times I couldn't even count them all up! What I'm getting at is that I'm always a little hesitant to try a new author because I see it as a big commitment, but today I've decided that Brandon Sanderson has joined my list of favorite authors with J.K. Rowling, Stephanie Meyer, Robert Jordan, and Suzanne Collins.

I was first introduced to Sanderson when he was chosen by Robert Jordan's wife Harriet to finish the incredible Wheel of Time series that her husband has worked on for so many years. I think the entire population of WOT fans were a little skeptical of Mr. Sanderson because we'd been through 11 books (none of them short mind you) and 1 prequel with our beloved Robert Jordan, and who did this guy think he was coming in to fill his shoes?!?! However all of our fears were put to rest when we got a copy of Book 12, The Gathering Storm. Sanderson did an amazing job of staying true to the characters and story that we had all fallen in love with.
Check out more about the Wheel of Time series here.

Now that I was impressed with his work I went searching for more. I decided to start with his Mistborn series.I loved it! it's a great story about a young girl who learns to overcome her circumstances and fears to become the hero her world needs.
Check out more about the Mistborn series here.

Recently I got a tip from my sister's brother-in-law that Sanderson's Way of Kings book should be my next read. I finished it yesterday and I'm already itching like crazy for the sequel that hasn't been written yet. I really loved it.

Brandon Sanderson wrote this introduction to the story:
"Widely acclaimed for his work completing Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time saga, Brandon Sanderson now begins a grand cycle of his own, one every bit as ambitious and immersive.

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 are 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, 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 overpowering 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 the eminent scholar and notorious heretic Jasnah Kholin, Dalinar's niece. 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 more than ten years of planning, writing, and worldbuilding, 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."

There was only one problem I had with the book. Sanderson jumps from each character's view point from the beginning. While I do like to get the insight that comes from how each character sees events, but it makes it confusing to keep track of everyone. However after a few chapters you get the hang of it and get totally sucked in. And by the way, Kaladin is my favorite character, I found myself wishing for each chapter to be about him.

The Way of Kings is complex and thoughtful. It made me laugh and cry and my stomach clench into knots with worry. It is well worth the time to read it over and over again.

Now I am eagerly trying to decide which Sanderson book to dive into next! If you want to look into that too check out his website here. Happy reading!

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