Monday, August 8, 2011

The Way of Kings Readalong: Part One Questions

This past week we began The Way of Kings (by Brandon Sanderson) read along. Check it out here if you want to still join up! The book (a mere 1200 or so pages) is divided into five parts, and each week we are to read a part. Also each week we'll be answering questions about that section of reading. I will try to make spoilers a minimum, but my guess is as we go along and get deeper into the book, there will be more and more spoilers.

First all, let me explain for those who are wondering what I'm even talking about... The Way of Kings is the first book of yet another huge epic fantasy series called The Stormlight Archive. Having heard Brandon Sanderson speak many times, I know that this book was written quite awhile ago and has been percolating and in his head for years and years, but was published just last year. I'm not sure myself what it's going to be all about yet (remember the no synopsis thing?) but I just read Kailana's first part post and her summing up of this book is AWESOME!  So now I don't even want to attempt it!

This week's questions come from Deanna from Polishing Mud Balls. Here's what she's asking:

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?

Well, having become a bit familiar with Brandon Sanderson's books, I was pretty confident that I would like it, and yes, so far that is true. It's very quick and easy reading, fun and fast paced.

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.

As I said, it feels pretty fast paced to me. I enjoy the prose and description. Having just finished a Robert Jordan book, I know I'll be comparing these two authors, especially in light of the fact that Sanderson is finishing up Jordan's books. So, the description reminded me a lot of Jordan's stuff, but didn't go so over the top and long. I had to laugh at the detail given to what people are wearing and such! But my guess is Sanderson was writing this stuff long before he was doing the Robert Jordan stuff. Anyway, it's interesting. But bottom line, I really enjoy the writing.

3. What was your favorite part of this first section?

Hmmm.... all the scenes about running with the bridges is especially graphic and crazy and scary. I felt like I was there. I can tell you that the army stuff/war talk/political talk will be my least favorite bits.

4. Which character(s) do you find most interesting and why?

I'm awfully drawn to Kal for sure. He seems like he's going to be a fun guy to get to know. He's in a bad bad place right now, so I hope he hangs in there! No jumping off cliffs or anything please! :) It will be interesting to see if we get some background on him soon. 

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.

I'm really liking it so far! Good thing considering how much of it there is! But I'm less worried about it now that I've got a got start. The story is easy to follow, even though a lot of culture and strangeness is being introduced. I'm liking that he isn't explaining that stuff necessarily, but letting the story explain it as it goes a long. Know what I mean? It may be confusing at first, but then suddenly it makes sense. I'm definitely interested and can't wait to get into it again.  (When I finished this first part, I made myself put it down to concentrate on my other book, but it was hard to do that! And so I'm anxious to get the flow going again! That tells you a lot right there!)

I look forward to the crazy fun journey this book and read along promise to be! Here's to epic fantasy! I must be on a kick these days.


  1. Hi! I agree with you that he's doing a great job of introducing a lot of new concepts in an easy manner.

    Oh poor Kal. He is going through so much!

    I'm glad you are enjoying the book so far. This is my first book by him and so far I'm liking his writing.

  2. I am so keeping my thoughts to myself. I had a good laugh over the synopsis Kailana wrote. Not at her writing just at my prejudice against Sanderson.

  3. Jenny, why keep your thoughts to yourself? Where is the fun in that? :)

    I agree that the pacing is quick thus far, although personally whenever I read a book over 500 pages I feel that it is slow going for me until I get past the halfway point. That has nothing to do with the writing, just the visual reminder of how many thick the unread portion of the book still is. :)

    I thought both the battle scene with Cenn and the bridge moving scene were ones that made you feel like you were "right there" and they really propelled the story forward, or at the very least propelled my reading forward.

  4. I found the whole modesty safehand thing to be hilarious.

  5. I don't really get the safehand.

  6. Ann: It's gonna be great!

    TBM: This will be my ummmmm.... sixth book of his that I've read? I think. This one will be an interesting one to start with! Glad you are liking it.

    Jenny Jenny Jenny! He's GREAT! :)

    Carl: Yeah, I was worried, but I think my fears are all gone now, thank goodness.

    Books and TBM: YES! How weird it that? Maybe we'll find out more soon what that's all about?

  7. Well, the synopsis is off the back of the book... so, not my writing... I just wrote brief answers to the questions. :)

  8. I don't sum up books very well. I thought that maybe every week I should sum up what has happened in the story but the thought of doing that exhausts me because well...I am not good at it. So...I am not going to do it. Ahhh...a sigh of relief when I made that decision. :)

    I am like you in that I am thinking about Jordan's writing style in comparaison to Sanderson's. But, it is not like I am thinking about it all the time. It is a thought that is there.

    " I can tell you that the army stuff/war talk/political talk will be my least favorite bits."
    I am liking this stuff. It really depends on the writing for me if I like this kind of stuff and I am finding with Sanderson that I like his writing well which carries over to these parts of the story.

    I am so liking the different culutres. Very interesting.

    "I look forward to the crazy fun journey this book and read along promise to be!"
    Me too!

    By the way - I find the whole safehand thing to be intriguing.

  9. I'm so relieved that this is a page-turner! I was worried about the time I have to devote to such a long book, but I think I can do it--nevermind that I'm almost a week behind...
    I am finding that I prefer Sanderson's writing to Jordan's (just based on the couple of Jordan's that I've read). He does spend time on the clothing, but not too much.
    As far as Kaladin, why couldn't he just be content to be a surgeon? But I guess then we wouldn't have such an exciting story. I hope things start looking up for him.

  10. I found myself comparing Sanderson's writing to Jordan's here and there. The biggest similarity I came across was the clothes, as others have mentioned. They both spend a fair amount of time describing what everyone's wearing. I love clothing descriptions, and I still found it a little bit overboard!

    Right now, I think the safehands are a lot like showing your ankles in Victorian society; nobody's actually going to die if you do it, but there's enough cultural weight behind it that you'll shock someone. It'll be interesting to see what that cultural reason is, and if there's an historic precedent that makes it something more than a hinderance for the women who subscribe to it.

  11. Memory - I think Sanderson does a MUCH better job with the clothes than Jordan. I think Jordan gets carried away with those descriptions.

    I like the safehands and agree with you that it is probably similar to showing ones ankles back when that was thought to be a bit risque. The cultural aspects are interesting, and look forward to learning more.



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