Book Review: The Way of Kings

Hello dear readers, I have technically reviewed this book before on my blog, but I did the entire series in one review.

Now that the fourth book in the series; Rhythm of War (order through the link), is coming out in the fall, I knew I had to give each book the proper review it deserved.

Because of that, it’s time to review the first book in the series, The Way of Kings. I hope you enjoy because this book series is in my top three of all time.

Title: The Way of Kings
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Rating: ★★★★.5☆
Buy: The Way of Kings
Pre-order: Rhythm of War

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?


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Sanderson Magic System

It’s no surprise that Brandon Sanderson is my favourite author. I love the way he can craft such beautiful worlds based off of a simple thing like a magic system.

I would say that The Way of King’s is the best of his magic systems. Not only does it affect how some of the heroes fight, which magic systems are almost always used for, but it also affects the important details of the world; money, light sources, societal class, and scientific advancement.

I love a well developed magic system when all it does is allow characters to fight, but when it literally runs the way the world works, it becomes so much more interesting.

What’s the most beautiful about this magic system is that it is simple. Yes it can be built upon and developed the more we learn about the story, but the core principles of it are as simple as 1 + 1.


A Fraction of the World

I love exploring new worlds in books. It’s one of the reasons I love reading so much.

A lot, if not all, stories have a sliver of our world in them. That might be an inspiration of a name, a location, or even an event.

There’s plenty of that in The Way of Kings, and that’s why I love it. There’s class issues, slavery, issues related to the death and punishment, women’s place in the world, and plenty more.

The fact that a story can deal with issues like that while telling an epic tale amazes me.

What’s even more wonderful is that we are only discovering a fraction of the world. We get MAYBE a tenth of the entire story, and so much is left as a mystery to us.


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Mental Health is Important

Maybe I read a very narrow scope of books that don’t talk about mental health issues (other than books specifically about it).

It’s not an issue that is common in the books I read, but The Way of Kings touched it in a nice subtle way. It doesn’t outright state that one of the main characters has any mental health issues, but you see it in the way he interacts with the world and how his mind sees everything he does.

I don’t think there’s a perfect way to tell those stories, because it is a different experience for everyone. What is important is getting the idea out there, so that other people know that it is normal, even if it isn’t the same experience that they have.


Final Thoughts

The only thing I didn’t like about The Way of Kings was that I had a bit of a hard time following along at first. It had moments later on where I literally jumped out of my seat when I was reading, but it took me a while to understand the story.

Because of that, it took me a while to really commit myself to reading it, but when I did I was hooked.


What did you think of The Way of Kings?? If you love epic fantasy it needs to be on your TBR radar. The series just continues to get better. Make sure to follow me on social media for more book reviews!
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10 Reasons I Love High Fantasy Books

Hello dear readers, welcome back to another Top Ten Tuesday put on by the Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is 10 Reasons I Love [Insert Topic]. Right away I knew what I wanted to talk about; High Fantasy. It is by far my favourite genre, and there are definitely more than 10 reasons why I love it.

If you have any reasons why you love High Fantasy Books, please add them to the list. I always like reading other peoples’ reasons for loving fantasy.
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Travel to Impossible Worlds

With high fantasy, we aren’t limited to our world, or some near identical variant of it. We go to Middle Earth, Westeros, or wherever the words take us. We get to escape the reality that is our lives because there is so little in common with our lives and the lives of those trying to destroy their enemies using magic.


The Stakes are High

High Fantasy gives us impossible odds. We aren’t trying to take down a gang member, escape this monster, or fall in love with the girl next door. With High Fantasy the goal is often to destroy a near god like figure. Something that powerful can only be defeated with great sacrifice and risk, and we go along for the ride.


Magic Systems

What is High Fantasy without world destroying magic? It’s part of the experience. We often get to explore the magic system alongside one of our main characters. What makes the magic system even more amazing is that they are so unique. Each high fantasy series has an aspect to it that makes it different from the rest and stand out.


Worldbuilding

This is my favourite aspect of High Fantasy. It’s like taking a history lesson of the book series. We get events that happened years before the books take place, we get character backstories, we get future books explaining the entire world.

The possibilities are near endless, and when an author does a good job at creating a world, magical things can happen.


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Spans over Several Books

When I read a book, there are too many times when I want more. I want to follow the characters more, I want to watch them grow. That’s only possible to do (properly) over several books. I want to dedicate days and weeks to one series. I want to immerse myself in the world over and over, not just over one book.

25 of the Best Fantasy Books You Should Read Next - James T Kelly ...

We Learn Who the Characters Are

High Fantasy often brings readers a lot of different character. They all have different backstories, different experiences and different goals. When we get to step into their mind and explore their thoughts and fears. It helps me connect to the characters and put myself into the story.


The Stories stick with you

When you follow a story or a character for several books, you can’t help but keep it with you. It becomes a part of who you are and what stories you like. It influences the way you feel about other books and how you connect with them.


“Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.” ― Albert Camus

A quote that becomes more and more true the more High Fantasy I read. With High Fantasy, we get to explore fantasy worlds that have no similarities with our own world. Despite that, we can explore human issues in a different light. We can explore and learn about things from the perspective of the victims and the accusers and hopefully come to a better understanding of the issue in our own lives.

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Recommend a high fantasy book

I want the happy ending

It’s not guaranteed, but more often than not, we get the heroes defeating the villain. It often comes with losses and hardship along the way, but the after books and books of struggling, the moment the heroes finally succeed feels amazing. It makes the struggle more than worth it.


Possibility for awesome memorabilia

I think the memorabilia world is bombarded with only a few fantasy series, mainly Game of Thrones and Harry Potter, and it sucks because there are so many opportunities for amazing TV shows, t shirts, and dozens of other things.


If you have any reasons why you love High Fantasy Books, please add them to the list. I always like reading other peoples’ reasons for loving fantasy.
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Book Review: Lord of Chaos

So since I started A Crown of Swords this morning, I thought it would be a good idea to review the book right before it, The Lord of Chaos.

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Author: Robert Jordan

So this is my first time reading through the Wheel of Time series, and as you probably know by now, I am in love with it. Like I said in past reviews, I bought all 14 books before I had even finished the first one.

Lord of Chaos is by far my favourite of the first six books though, and probably by quite a bit.

Lord of Chaos doesn’t necessarily have my favourite moments for each character (though Mat is just the coolest 24/7), but all of the character’s stories put together as a whole provided the best overall story.

The one problem I found with Lord of Chaos is it comes at the point in the series where people are becoming ‘bored’. There aren’t many series out there with more than a few books, because it’s just the way things work. Turning a world and a story into three books is going to be much easier than into 14 books, but I still think Robert Jordan has done a pretty good job of it.

Over the first five books, the style of Jordan’s enemies are on the verge of being repetitive, but in Lord of Chaos, Jordan moves away from his regular plots/characters and changes up the style of bad guy, which is sort of just a less good, good guy.

Rand has fully come into his role of being the main character, but Perrin (he’s back from his honeymoon), Mat, Nynaeve, Egwene, and Elayne are back in action and bad ass as always.

My favourite part of Lord of Chaos was that it set up A Crown of Swords, and yes that probably sounds dumb because all books set up the next one if it’s a series.

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What I mean by that is this book didn’t solve all of it’s issues. There are still a few story lines that weren’t resolved by the end of the book.

For the other four books before this one, Jordan has each of them contribute to the overall story line of the series, but each book has its own story line that is wrapped up. In Lord of Chaos it isn’t completely wrapped up, which came at a good time in the series in my opinion.

It’s an important thing for writers, more so those with long series, to know how to keep readers interested. That’s why people often shoot for a book series that is somewhere from two and four books long, because each book introduces more risk of losing readers.

If you’re writing a book there’s a big risk of becoming too in tune with your writing style, and you end up writing a bland story that is repetitive and makes people lose interest in your story.

I’m not a master of books, or literacy, or reading or anything like that, but I think Jordan did a good job knowing the status of his story at this point and changing it enough to keep people interested.

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I did a little bit of digging as I was writing this post, and it seems like Lord of Chaos isn’t one of the most popular books in the series, but it is generally ranked higher than all of the books coming before it, and usually lands about the mid way ranking in terms of popularity.

I think the reason is because Jordan switched it up and changed his formula enough to get people interested again.

What is your favourite book in the Wheel of Time series? Let me know in the comments, or give me your ranking of all of the books in the series!

Channel Update

Alright so I originally started this blog as a school assignment but I really started to like it and spent some free time during the term figuring out whether or not I should take the blog full time, and how I would be able to do that.

Well good news is I figured out how I can do both of those. I’ve got new ideas for the blog and plan on updating it every day, but I’m not guarenteeing anything with school going on.

So here is the updated schedule of what the posts will look like:

Monday: Book Review

Tuesday: Type it Out Tuesdays (post different writing prompts for people     interested in writing themselves)

Wednesday: Book related news (books being adapted to movies/tv shows, new books coming out, etc.)

Thursday: Thursday Thoughts (different thoughts I have on book related things ex. My Top 10s, Book related life stories, seasonal book topics, writing challenges etc.)

Friday: Quote of the Day (from the book I reviewed that week)

Saturday/Sunday: Taking a break to relax

I also have some channel updates coming out too. I want to update the books I’ve read/want to read  and throw in alphabetical shortcuts so it’s easier to find the author.

I’m also gonna make a Facebook group book club so theres an easier platform for more people to chat about a book. The book club will be one book a month to start instead of every week.

I’m also going to update some pictures and minor pages on the blog itself.

I hope everyone is as excited as I am for this update.

Book Review: Wheel of Time Books 1-3

Hello ladies and gentlemen, no book review today… Sorry. Instead I’m gonna talk about a problem I’ve had my whole life that really causes me some grief.

There’s no good way to talk about it, so I’m just gonna put it out there.

I CAN’T HELP BUYING BOOKS!

Every time I walk into a book store I buy at least one book. I don’t even need them! I have 50+ books all stacked in the corner of my room just collecting dust.

I buy books faster than I can read them.

I’m pretty sure I’ve bought the same book two or three times before too.

I was joking about the book review though, its coming now. 

I stumbled across the Wheel of Time series when I found myself in a bookstore one day.

I had never even heard of it, I just stumbled across them by accident while looking in the Fantasy section.

I was amazed when I saw there were 14 books in the series.

I didn’t read a single thing about them, I don’t even think I read the titles of all the books. I grabbed the box set for books 1 to 3, paid for it and went home.

It just so happens that I am covering books 1 to 3 in this review, but I won’t necessarily be covering each box set as a whole.

I’m reviewing the first three books because I consider them as a different “storyline” than the ones afterwards.

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The first three books are called:

  • The Eye of the World
  • The Great Hunt
  • The Dragon Reborn

Rand_dragonRand

Books 1 to 3 are more about the “hero” of the books (Rand) before he becomes the full fledged hero. All of the books after that are more focused on Rand when he has adopted the role of the hero, so I will cover them accordingly.

I’m only on book 6, but so far they mainly focus on 5 people coming from a small village in the middle of nowhere.

They go from being basically nobody in the grand scheme of the world to becoming some of the most important people alive at the time.

I’m in love with the series so far, and the first three books are great.

If you’re even decently well read, you’ll be able to see where Robert Jordan got a lot of his inspiration from, but honestly I’m okay with having parallels from these books to other works of fiction.

What’s really interesting about the first three books is the change that the 5 main characters go through when their worlds are torn apart.

Wot-_egwene Egwene, one of the main characters.

All five of them have different wants, needs, and personalities, and Robert Jordan does a terrific job at keeping the characters consistent while telling the story.

Mat_cauthon_son_of_battles_by_reddera-d993o0f Mat

Personally, I really like the characters Perrin and Mat. They are two of the main characters in the books. The other three are awesome in their own ways  but not my favourites.

Another interesting aspect of the books are the women in general.

UnknownNynaeve, one of the main characters.

Robert Jordan writes most of his women in a way that show how strong, independent, and capable (often more so than the men) they are and it’s an enjoyable read because of it.

Most books have capable women who can keep up with the men, but honestly in the first three books it’s the men who are keeping up with the women.

The main character is Rand, but despite him being the focus of the books, his viewpoint still has to compete with other viewpoints that are being told, and honestly, during the first three books Rand’s viewpoint is the least interesting. (In my opinion)

Perrin Perrin

Hope you guys enjoyed the book review. Honestly I could write a book about everything I want to talk about so I’m keeping it “short”.

I want to hear what you guys are reading at the moment. I love hearing what others are reading because it’s a chance to talk about books that we have read or may be interested in.

Next week I’m gonna take a look at a book thats about a serial killer and a ferris wheel. Hope you can guess what it is.