This is the kind of high fantasy I love best: epic scope, fantastic world-building, interesting characters. My favorite Sanderson for sure. Just as in Mistborn, the first book of the Stormlight Archive shines when it comes to the development of a magic system. The use of Stormlight is just as interesting as Mistborn’s Allomancy.
The three main characters of the story couldn’t be any more diverse: we have Kaladin, dark-eyed soldier and slave, Dalinar Kholin, highprince and uncle of the king of Alethkar, and the one female main protagonist, Shallan, who apprentices as ward to Jasnah, sister of the king of Alethkar and renowned heretic scholar. The world is set up in an interesting fashion. Women are the learned ones, the scholars, the ones who can read and write, as opposed to men who mostly seem to focus on warfare and trade, assisted by the women. The eye color seems to determine the leaders, and lighteyes are supposed to be men full of honor. Only it isn’t so, as especially Kaladin who really appears to be the hero of the story has to find out. We learn a lot of his personal history through flashbacks as his story progresses.
I know that all of Sanderson’s stories share one universe, the Cosmere, and it’s mentioned in the story, but I can’t grasp the bigger picture yet. All I know is that The Way of Kings is a huge book and still only scratched at the surface of all the things I want to know. Who were the Heralds? What caused the fall of the Radiants? What are spren? What’s the real story behind the Parshendi? What is Szeth’s backstory? I want moooooore.
Waiting for book 2 to actually be written will suck. I hate starting new series that get you hooked and then you wait forever, and fear it will never be finished. Yup, I am looking at you, Melanie Rawn.