The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson

I picked this book on the suggestion I saw on Twitter of @mikeyk (one of the co-founders of Instagram, and coincidentally an alum of Stanford HCI like me), and really liked it.

It’s pretty straight-up high fantasy, but much better written and way more inventive than most. It’s a thousand page book, the first in what’s intended to be a ten volume series, so it’s gonna take a while to get all the way to the end — the second book isn’t expected to be out until later in 2012.

Even so, I really recommend it. There’s something really disorienting, but awesome, about the opening book in a new universe — so much you don’t know yet, so many interactions that have nuance and backstory that you only really start to understand as you go through — lots of stuff just doesn’t make any sense except out of the corner of your eye on the first reading. It’s a confused feeling, but fun at the same time.

If you like this type of book (and if you don’t know exactly what I mean when I say that, trust me, you don’t like this type of book), I highly recommend it.

One comment

  1. For anyone considering reading this book: go to a bookstore and browse through the illustrations in a hardcover copy. (It must be a hardcover: the paperback is rubbish in comparison. Electronic probably fares slightly better, but I doubt they’re comparable either.) They make the hardcover price a true bargain. This would be a completely different, and worse, book without those illustrations.

    On their merits I’ve always preferred paperbacks to hardcovers. For the rare book I buy first in hardcover, I buy the paperback later for the nicer form factor. (I haven’t jumped on the Kindle bandwagon yet — not sure for me the positives outweigh the negatives, at least not at the current price points.) I am not going to get The Way of Kings in paperback. That’s how much better the hardcover is, and that’s how much worse the paperback is.