I know I haven't done a book review in ages, even though I've almost completed my 50-books-for-the-year goal, so I've read plenty! I promise I will do a full disclosure of the books read in the year and what my faves ones were when I get there, but I did want to review (somewhat) The Way of Kings.
When Robert Jordan died, Sanderson was hand-picked to finish The Wheel of Time series. Since learning that, I have since read almost everything, save his short stories, that Sanderson has in print. (I read the first Alcatraz book, but did not like it, and therefore would not read the rest of the series.) And, I really came to love and enjoy Sanderson's style.
I came to respect him even more after he put out the first of the last three books in The Wheel of Time series. It was probably ONE of the best books in that series (of 15 books). That, to me, was a lot. It was also saying a lot that in that book, he wrote one of THE best battle scenes I have ever read. And that's saying a lot, because I don't read battle scenes. I skim them, at the best, and move on. They bore me, frankly. But this one, from the get-go, had me entranced. It was so awesome!!
So, needless to say I was expecting a LOT out of Sanderson's first foray into his epic Fantasy saga. I heard a lot of hype from other authors and the like who received advanced copies to read and review. And then ... I began on the heavy, thousand-page tome.
And, as much as I wanted to love it, I personally will have to give it an average rating, on MY scale. I'll be honest, a book like this, of this genre, with as much as I was anticipating it, I should have breezed through it within the week, perhaps two (as I did have to take some time to work on my Halloween costume). But it took me several weeks. Mostly because I would force myself to read a chapter a night, and then put it away.
I had a hard time getting into it, and normally would have put it down after a few hundred pages, but I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. And finally, finally, around the halfway mark, I actually started getting interested. I actually finished the last half in a week.
Don't get me wrong, overall I liked it, once I made it through the first half. There just seemed to me, to be a LOT of world building and a LOT of character development, without going anywhere. And that's probably because this is not your typical "reluctant hero saves world with entourage" sort of story. Frankly, not until the end do you start to see a glimpse of a real plot. Most of the book is spent in a lot of storytelling, with a lot of battles (which, maybe, right then, should tell you something *LOL*).
A lot of people have loved this book, and I think that, maybe once it's all said and done, this will be one of the epic fantasy series that make it along with the greats, like The Lord of the Rings and The Wheel of time. We'll see. For me, though, I think I will wait until the entire series is out before picking it up to read the rest. If I'm going to make the investment on this specific one, then I want to have the story ready to finish.
But, I still love Sanderson and know he has lots more to give us in the future. And that, is that! ^_^