Last week I mentioned that I had joined another group read. Today is the first discussion on Book One of The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. This event is hosted by Polishing Mud Balls. If you would like to follow all of the discussions please visit this page.
Please note that my discussion below does include some spoilers.
1. Before I started reading The Way of Kings, I did have some thoughts on how I would like this story; did you? If you did, how is The Way of Kings actually comparing to those thoughts?
When I heard of this group read on Carl’s blog I hadn’t heard of the novel. However, I enjoyed reading Dune with a group so I decided to join this one. Saying this, I didn’t have any preconceived thoughts about this novel. I guess you can say I was a blank slate.
2. What do you think of the pace of this story? so far. And what do you think of the prose? Do you think the prose is too descriptive? Not descriptive enough? Give me your thoughts on the writing thus far.
So far I am enjoying the novel, but there are times when I feel that the author is spending a lot of time building up a storyline that can sustain 9 more installments. I’m wondering if this novel will be all setup for the following books and that nothing major will happen in this work. I know that this novel is not a standalone novel but it would still be nice to have some type of denouement for this novel. Obviously not everything can be resolved or there wouldn’t be a need for other novels in the series.
3. What was your favorite part of this first section?
I really enjoyed the scene when Shallan is in the bookstore to buy the books to impress Jasnah. At first she has to deal with the bookseller who is suggesting a romantic novel. Shallan of course wants history and philosophy books to round out her education. The bookseller believes she is too ambitious. However, Shallan puts him in his place. Then when she is ready to purchase the books the price seems too high. That is when Yalb bursts in and pretends that he is from a different bookstore and that they accept her price. I found the whole scene very entertaining. And it shows how bright Shallan is but how she has so much to learn. And I love Yalb’s line, “Anyway, conning men like him is almost as much fun as cheating guards.”
4. Which character(s) do you find most interesting and why?
I’m not sure if I have a favorite character yet. Several of them intrigue me. There is Shallan and Kaladin of course. But there is still so much to learn about both of them. The author hints about a lot of turmoil in Kaladin’s life and that he has lived through so much loss, but we don’t know all the details yet. And we know that Shallan’s family is in trouble since their father is dead and the children are worried about losing their power, but we still don’t know the whole situation. I do like how the book is following both of their storylines. The one that intrigues me the most is Szeth. What has he done and witnessed to choose being a slave in order to avoid his true destiny. Was it just the murder of the king in the beginning that made him run or is there more? And I like Syl. I was sad when she left, but then she reappeared at the end of part one. I would like to learn more about her.
5. All right, what I really want to know is… what do you think of this book overall? so far. Are you finding the story easy to follow? Are you fascinated, interested? Is the book holding your attention? Are you Bored? Indifferent? Please share your overall thoughts.
Overall I am really enjoying the book. There seems to be so much going on. Kaladin is asserting his power on Bridge Four. Shallan is trying to steal from Jasnah. Szeth is in hiding. I do think that this book is pretty easy to follow. The author has a way of explaining things but I don’t feel overwhelmed with detail. I’m curious to see what happens in the next part. And I’m curious to see how the others in the group are enjoying the work so far.