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The Way of Kings Audiobook

The Way of Kings: The Stormlight Archive

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Publisher's Summary

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, but the Voidbringers followed. The Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, the 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, a young spearman is forced into the army of a Shardbearer, led to war against an enemy he doesn't understand and doesn't really want to fight.

©2010 Dragonsteel Entertainment LLC (P)2011 Orion Publishing Group Limited

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.8 (363 )
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4.7 (341 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jeremy Balmain, Australia 24/04/2015
    Jeremy Balmain, Australia 24/04/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Long - 45 hours and the first of 10 books!"

    Epic certainly sums up this work. After almost reaching the end of this 45 hour book, I did some quick searching on the net and found Brandon Sanderson is planning this is a 10 book series! If you're after a fast-paced story, this probably isn't for you. If you loved the Wheel of Time series you'll probably love it. (Personally, I gave up after about 7 books....).

    The character development in this story is excellent as you'd expect and I certainly enjoyed the book. However, given its length and lack of excitement in many places I'm not sure I'll be back for book Two onward.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chris n 19/05/2015
    chris n 19/05/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Love this narrating duo!"

    slow beginning, lots of world building but the payoff is huge, great 1st book and it really launched the next book, which is an absolute must read/listen too! the Sanderson/Kramer/Reading combo is dynamite.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ricky 16/05/2015
    Ricky 16/05/2015 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Mostly entertaining with peaks of excitement"

    A large, complex, thought out and original world with traits that make it unique in the genre, compared to other titles I've read. I disagree that this work is non-stop excitement, but would agree that its nearly always entertaining. Being such a voluminous piece of work I found that things took a long time to build up and develop and while it was usually interesting, I occasionally found it tedious in some sections, although only briefly.

    Towards the end of the novel was when the pace certainly picked up. There was a few hours worth that I found to be considerably more exciting than prior sections. Sanderson also reveals some answers to questions that had been lingering, making more sense of some plot lines and sections of story I had been thinking were random world-building unrelated to the story line.

    Halfway through my listen I was thinking that I probably wouldn't bother with the second book. Having now finished book 1, seeing some loose ends tied and experiencing the peaks of excitement, I'm now definitely keen to see what happens next.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine 05/04/2015
    Catherine 05/04/2015
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    "Strongly recommended"

    Love it, amazing detail that you can get tryly truly sunk into. Characters have amazing depth and dimension to them which really keeps you hooked. You can get lost in the world as you listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mark 20/03/2015
    mark 20/03/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing"

    Loved this book. Best i have read in this genre. Narators suited the spirit of the read perfectly. Alao loved the extra 3x longer value. Look fwd to next in series.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 01/03/2015
    John 01/03/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great listen"

    loved it, long but very detailed well and truly worth the listen. Great story and love the characters

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristopher 11/12/2014
    Kristopher 11/12/2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "LOVED IT!!!"

    I loved this sooooo much, characters are well developed, are all different enough to add to an exciting read and despite it's very long read/listen, it's worth every second. Brandon Sanderson has quickly become one of my faves.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samuel Brisbane, Australia 11/06/2014
    Samuel Brisbane, Australia 11/06/2014 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Amazing Book by a great author!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes!!!! I would definitely recommend this book and it's predecessor. Why? Do they want to remain my friend? :) This book is a fantastic read. It's got all the old staples: an inspirational story full of tragedy, corruption, vice, compassion, honor, and love; mysterious and magical back-story full of powerful and interesting tales; and, an amazing development and intertwining of plot-lines that leads towards a powerful climax and a satisfying conclusion.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Way of Kings?

    The scene of the two main protagonists trapped in a canyon, both trying to hide their abilities from each other, while saving each-other from a deadly monster.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    When the High-Lord that betrayed the King's uncle is exiled from the camp.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I found the most touching moment to be when the bridge men, fearing their captain's demise, found that he was safe and whole.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a must-read for any fantasy/mystery/drama fan. Brandon Sanderson, in the vein of Miyamoto Musashi has truly mastered Authorship of fictional novels. The Stormlight Archive is truly a masterpiece in my opinion. Amazing work. Thank you!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Antonio 05/12/2016
    Antonio 05/12/2016 Member Since 2016
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    1
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    "Great Fantasy Epic"

    Really great story. Can't wait to listen to the rest of the series. Out of the two I did prefer Michaels narration, it felt a bit weird when the two of them Pronounced certain names completely differently. Aside from that I couldn't stop listening. Would definitely recommend!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aaron 24/10/2016
    aaron 24/10/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
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    "amazing!"

    if you like fantasy in the slightest, stop reading this and buy the damn book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Carmen
    Cairns
    10/12/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Epic"

    This book consumed my life for 3 weeks. Not a second of it was wasted.

    All of the characters are interesting and real. Even the bit players stuck with me - Ishic the Fisherman in particular. I really hope that Sanderson will expand on some of those in the next books - I'm optimistic, from all reports he'll have plenty of pages to fill :). I keep trying to imagine what will happen when all of the characters eventually meet (for instance, I'm certain that Rock will fall head-over-heels for Shalan).

    The glimpses you get of the 'magic' systems are intriguing, and I kept catching myself trying to put the pieces of it together when I really should have been doing other things (sleeping, for instance).

    The environment is unique, the plants and animals are a mixture of the familiar and strange and hint at events that must have happened in the world's past ... and even as I write this, I'm putting more pieces together :) I think I may have to listen to it for a 5th time.

    I would recommend listening to the whole book at least twice. Listening over it again with hindsight/foreknowledge of where the story is going lets you see events in a very different way, and the simple length means that even the most careful listener will miss some gems. I'm considering buying the hardcopy as well.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Cape Town, South Africa
    22/06/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"

    I have listened to over 100 Audiobooks, and this is the first time I really felt the need to write a review. I picked up a Brandon Sanderson book about two years ago, and was immediately impressed by his writing style. Too many fantasy writers forget how important it is that their worlds should also have rules and limits and plausible (if fantastic) magic. Every brilliant writer is an artist on his own, and should not be compared to another. Brandon Sanderson completed the Wheel of Time series, and I hope that he wouldn’t therefor mind being compared to Robert Jordan. An amazing story and a satisfying end, although I feel the itch of the addicted for the next book. The brilliant narration by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading (the narrators for the Wheel of Time) takes you right into the world and leave you hungry for more. I give this book my highest recommendation and my only wish is that I can have a selective memory loss so that I can enjoy this one again.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Lisa
    woodford, Australia
    6/07/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stick with it"
    If you could sum up The Way of Kings in three words, what would they be?

    Epic, brilliant, extensive


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Getting towards the end, I found every opportunity to listen.


    Any additional comments?

    Being such an epic this title begins by developing some backgrounds and history pertinent to the the overall story. In doing so the story takes a bit of time to form but when it does there is no disputing that this is an outstanding epic journey into a completely original culture and world. Initially I felt that Brandon Sanderson was, in a way, showing off his ability to create such a different society but after giving the title time to develop my opinion was utterly changed. Please stick with this book, you will be glad you did....

    Double N

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Noel
    Mount Gambier, Australia
    21/09/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "WOW!!"

    This was very new to me. I thought I was going to be bogged down with slow periods in a long drawn out novel. I was very wrong. Splendid.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Sumit G.
    6/10/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant!"

    Wow! Brilliant! One doesn't realise Brendan Sanderson's genius until you reach the end and can encompass the entire book. To write 40 hours of material with focus and and keeping the dialogues sharp and inventive is a unique talent.

    This book had a great variety of characters. Some "critic" reviews on other sites have complained about characters lacking depth. But, I found all the characters were well rounded and had a variety of facets to their personality.

    I would highly recommend listening to this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Matthew
    West Midlands, United Kingdom
    18/07/11
    Overall
    "Epic"

    I've been looking for a good epic fantasy world since I've finished Sword of Truth and got as far as you can with Wheel of Time, and if this book is anything to go buy The Stormlight Archive is going to be an amazing Epic fantasy series.

    It might just be because this book has the same narrators as the Wheel of Time but the writing style is very similar to Robert Jordan, this might be why he was asked to finish off the WoT series after Jordan's death.

    The writing is great, the narration is great and the action scenes flow nicely enabling me to really visualise the story in my mind.

    Love it, five stars isn't enough.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • am
    walton on thames, UK
    30/01/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "couldn't turn off"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    top story, characters and writing and really subtlety performed


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Way of Kings?

    the attack on the tower plateau


    Which character – as performed by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading – was your favorite?

    Syl


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    absolutely


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Joseph
    Camberwell, Australia
    12/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Where is the next BOOK!!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Way of Kings to be better than the print version?

    I have both audio and printed version of this book. I would listen to the audio and go back and re-read the printed version. I often found that while listening, my mind wondered and missed some small details. I enjoyed in re-reading the printed version to "catch up" or find the missing plot. Further, I use both printed and audio books to help me in my reading/diction and accent. It is a great way of learning English.


    What other book might you compare The Way of Kings to and why?

    The Wheel of Times - an epic fantasy novel, where this book is shaping up to be. Just hope the series don't take several decades to complete!!


    What does Michael Kramer and Kate Reading bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Accents, the emotions in the voice bring the characters alive.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Eva
    Uppsala, Sweden
    28/04/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Masterpiece!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Way of Kings to be better than the print version?

    No, the audiobook and the print edition have different qualities.


    What does Michael Kramer and Kate Reading bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The book is a very good bok in itself. With a nice plot, good characters that are not black and white, but flawed as well, and set in an interesting world. Add the that two very skilled narrators that bring the story to life, and you have a masterpiece.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Livingstone
    6/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Something for later."
    Would you listen to The Way of Kings again? Why?

    Now I understand why I had not read Brandon Sanderson. Had to save something special for later. This is later and this book is special for me. Phenomenal, amazing, fantastical world of Roshar. Splendid characters, complex characters, intricate theme. Doesn't easily give away its secrets. This is a fantasy story that grips you with a full gamut of emotions. Can't wait to pick up the next book in the Stormlight Archive series. Amazing.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rock - exudes inner strength, has so much control and is clear minded. Liked how his sentences end/begin with "...this thing..."Heck, the whole - Bridge Four Crew - is amazing. The struggle is real. Kaladin & Syl + Dalinar - bound by honor and it is not a gimmick either.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Bridge Four collectively decide to go back and help Dalinar and his army. I don't know the whole book is one huge favourite scene for me. Yes, including those with characters I didn't fancy.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Loyalty is fickle, but not when it is earned!!!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Mr. A. N. Howes
    Dronfield UK
    26/01/12
    Overall
    "Astounding"

    Yet another corker from Brandon Sanderson. This enormous audiobook kept me gripped from start to finish, and I am eagerly awaiting the sequel.

    An aside: The sheer size of this epic audiobook (45.5 hours) does make me wonder why the publishers of the Game of Thrones audiobooks cannot release them in one purchase per book such as this, when Brandon Sanderson's epic is fully 15 hours longer...

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Philip
    Winchester, United Kingdom
    8/06/11
    Overall
    "Philip from Winchester"

    I won't spend time on a summarry as the publisher has that well covered. I have 105 Epic Fantasy titles in my audio library and I generally listen when out with the dogs or home alone, as it is a fairly anti-social activity. This is the first book I have listened to where I have found myself sneaking away to create 'listening space'. My interest didn't flag from beginning to end. The narration by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading is as expert as you would expect, the characters are engaging and both the world and the plot which Brandon has created are riveting. A real five star listen!

    94 of 100 people found this review helpful
  • Robyn
    SWINDON, United Kingdom
    25/08/11
    Overall
    "Outstanding"

    One of the best reads (or listens) I have ever had! Easily a five star rating - indeed it's making me question my other 5 star awards, as this is far superior to those. It's label of "epic fantasy" is more than justified. It's a unique story, in a unique landscape. Not so fantastical as to be ridiculous, but really well thought through, and everything gels together to make a world that is almost tangible. The plot is anything but predictable, nor are the characters. Many happy hours walking listening to this - and many "sneak away to keep listening" moments too!

    A really good listen (and the narrators are good - I think the dislike of Ms Reading must be a personal thing for some listeners - apart from pronouncing one of the characters names in a completely different way to the other narrator, I thought she was fine.). Highly recommended. I read with dismay that book 2 is only scheduled to be out in 2012 - gutted at the long wait!

    And a final thought.... it's a 7 part download of between 5& 7 hours each - pence per hour of listening, you'd be hard pressed to find better value thant this!

    36 of 38 people found this review helpful
  • Mir
    London, UK
    1/02/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent story, well worth a listen"

    Very engaging, well paced story that trots along keeping you listening for more. This being my second book of Sanderson's but my first fantasy read, I am now, without doubt hooked. Sanderson creates very inventive "magic" worlds with very engaging characters that allow you to explore that world. Micheal Kramer is great but Kate Reading is absolutely abysmal; at her worse she sounds like a really awful droning computer generated voice that has almost no expressive inflection, has terrible timing and no natural rhythm. She sounds incredibly robotic and truly annoying. I really do hope that she is not included in the next book in the series . That said it's still worth suffering through her chapters as Micheal Kramer reads the majority of the book and the story is definitely very worthwhile despite this. So, be warned but not put off spending a credit on this listen (plus it's very decent value for money)

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Philip
    Bournemouth, United Kingdom
    27/12/11
    Overall
    "Slow Burning Magnificance"

    It would have been easy to dismiss this audio book after three or four hour due to the assault on my memory with the bewildering number of characters and an alien world introduced in a short amount of time, but persevere and it does not disappoint. The main characters grow depth as their history builds with recollections from the past enhancing this. The seemingly separate strand converge brilliantly leading to a satisfying finale. I appreciate the use of two narrators for the male and female roles, but if there is one slight criticism it is that they were not prepped on the pronunciation of the main characters names, this doing it differently in some cases.

    26 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • Simon
    Waterlooville, UK
    8/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Patient Giant of the Fantasy Genre"

    Brandon Sanderson has achieved something marvelous here. From the very opening scenes it is crystal clear that you are reading an author who has developed a fantasy world of incredible depth and detail. In these early action scenes he demonstrates a refreshingly ingenious form of combat magic, depth of character and hints at the world beyond. As the book unfolds the sheer scale of his imagination is revealed as the history, geography, flora, fauna, religion and mythology of his creation is revealed. This is done gradually without huge long paragraphs of description to bog things down.

    The characters too are thoroughly detailed and explored through conversation, flashbacks to previous times and even their dreams. There are no one-dimensional heroes or villains here, nothing in that sense is spoon fed as the characters have a constant struggle to find their right path. When reading this book time and again you will imagine you know where something is heading and be pulled up short. Sanderson is a very patient author and doesn’t take the easy plot route often.

    Of course with a book of this length the narration is important, forty-six hours of monotone would make this hard going and the idea of splitting the narration is a very sound one. Michael Kramer is excellent, he rumbles through the book adding real gravitas and atmosphere to Sanderson’s often grim world and its inhabitants. Kate Reading is eloquent and very precise but clearly not everyone’s cup of tea. I’m afraid she’s not mine, her intonation is too often lacking the correct inflection making her sound like an automaton at times. She does read much less of the book than her counterpart but I still think the audio sample should have included some of her reading to help prospective purchasers make an informed decision.

    All told this is a book that demands respect, it does take an investment from you to get through it but the rewards are incredibly rich. I was hooked in from the brilliant opening scenes which included some very innovative ideas. Sanderson is a genuine giant in the fantasy genre and those wanting depth, detail and new ideas coupled with a gripping story will definitely want to head this way. The last few hours of the story are as good as anything I have read.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    Potten End, United Kingdom
    28/06/11
    Overall
    "Recommended"

    Not having the time the read this book (or perhaps the strength to lift it) I chose to listen to it.

    I confess that I got 2-3 hours in an realised my mind had wondered so much that I had no idea what was going on. That is not good. However, on a second attempt I got up to speed and really enjoyed it. At first I was a little miffed that the readers are American. I generally don't like that. Reading isn't my preferred reader by any means. Kramer and Reading read all the Wheel of Time books on audio and I wasn't that attracted to her then - I have only listened to the first one. Her intonation is quite annoying at times. Perhaps not to the north american ear but it is to mine. I get through 3-4 audio books a month so I've listened to a few now.

    Otherwise, it's a great book and worthy of the David Gemmell Legend Award for fantasy. It's high fantasy with a broad sweep and a different feel with Shardblades, light-eyes, great use of the stormlight in allowing wielders of it to 'lash' themselves to walls and ceilings such that 'up' becomes 'down' and so on. Great world building and vision with some truly memorable characters. High fantasy at its best.

    If it wasn't for Reading, I would have given it a 5.

    24 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Jane
    7/01/12
    Overall
    "BRILLIANT!!"

    I have just finished listening to this book and can't wait for the next instalment!! Elegantly written, exceptionally well narrated by two of my favourites, building slowly to an exciting conclusion. It plummets you into despair then lifts you to great heights, unpredictable and thrilling. The characters are believable even the ones with fantastic gravity defying abilities, this is pure fantasy at it's best and I loved it. I have enjoyed Mr Sanderson's other books but this one is out on it's own, my all time favourite.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Xander
    21/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One great voice-actor, one robot"
    What did you like best about The Way of Kings? What did you like least?

    It's a Brandon Sanderson epic, just the kind of book I like. Michael Kramer's voice acting is fantastic and throws you into the world. Unfortunately, it ground to a halt when Kate Reading took over.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Michael Kramer and Kate Reading ’s performances?

    Michael Kramer, absolutely. His work is fantastic. Kate Reading lacked any emotion, feeling, or engagement with the role. I have had to stop listening to the book and cannot continue. Unfortunately, this is one series I'll have to read rather than listen to.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. D. S. Day
    UK
    16/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Almost Perfect but only one narrator please"
    Where does The Way of Kings rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is on a par with the other high quality books in this genre. The story is slow to develop and the multiple strands take a bit of time to develop but once they start pulling together its all worthwhile.


    Any additional comments?

    Only let down by the is the disjointed narration. The pronunciation of the same name by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading's is inconsistent in particular the name Thaddeus. Whilst this could normally be overlooked there is one particular chapter in this book where the name is said so frequently that it became a major annoyance. I've listened to these two many times and have always felt that I'd rather have one or other not both reading to me.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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