The Way of Kings is written by the fantabulous Brandon Sanderson (who also wrote the amazing Mistborn Trilogy) and came highly recommended by both Cakes and Rets. How could I not read it?
It's book one of the four part Stormlight Archive, of which the second book should be released later this year.
The first thing I should note about this book is that it's quite long, almost XBAWKS-HUGE long. I felt like the first half dragged on a bit, but when it picks up it really picked up and it made it all worth while.
I have no idea how Sanderson comes up with all this shit but he paints the picture of a familiar yet completely different universe filled with different creatures, abilities, social hierarchy, oddities and even plant life so vividly it's hard not to soak it all in and feel right at home.
WTF R U DOIN?
The story is primarily portrayed through the perspective of three very different yet connected characters. They begin quite separated but as the giant web of the world, hierarchies, alliances and religion forms it all starts to make sense and is fantastic.
Kaladin is branded a deserter and marked as a slave, struggling to survive under each new master. Dalinar is a lighteyes highprice, commander of an army on the Shattered Plains. Shallan is a young lady with a dark secret who becomes ward to a scholar, researching history and religion with a powerful Soulcaster as a mentor.
We also have intermissions in the story, seen through the eyes of other characters. These give more depth to the world through actions of the past, or another character far away that will no doubt tie in to the bigger picture later on.
The end of the book was simply amazing, so many puzzle pieces fit into place so well that was reminiscent of the mind blowing Mistborn reveals. All the characters stepping up gave me goosebumps and/or made me get all watery eyed.
I can't wait to read the next one!