The Way of Kings (#1)

Next: Words of Radiance

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Speak again the ancient oaths:

Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.

The Knights Radiant must stand again.


“Sanderson is a master […] Fans and lovers of epic fantasy will find the ending satisfying, yet will eagerly await the next volume.”

Library Journal

“Sanderson is […] absolutely amazing at worldbuilding. The level of detail is just astonishing […] Kaladin and Shallan’s stories are compelling and readable.”

RT Book Reviews

“A classic story of intrigue, magic and war, with a large cast of characters and multiple settings lovingly detailed in a way only possible in volumes of this size […] There’s wit, magic and erudition […] Readers will plunge into it.”


“Brandon Sanderson is modern epic fantasy’s Grand Master, comparable only to Tolkien in scope and richness of story, and I for one hope has a long, long career.”

Grasping for the Wind

“A good mix of military action, political machinations, faith-based intrigue, and personal drama keep the pages turning. This is a great choice for fans of Robert Jordan and Terry Brooks.”


“Epic in every sense. Sanderson has built a world that leaps to life, a cast of varied characters, and a vast history […] while Sanderson cuts from the familiar cloth of fantasy, his narrative impetus and meticulous world-building bode well for future volumes.”

The Guardian (UK)

“Sanderson reveals a world with incredible depth on the brink of a major paradigm shift […] For a novel that tops out over 1000 pages, Sanderson’s tale does not falter in its narrative pull nor does his ability to evoke tension waver […] I can’t say that it felt like a long tale. It felt epic and powerful […] I give this book my highest recommendation and think THE WAY OF KINGS will be one of those landmark novels of Epic Fantasy against which future novels will always be measured.”


“An epic fantasy world of his own that promises to captivate genre fans.”

SciFi Now (UK)

“THE WAY OF KINGS is a promising and compelling start to this new series, and it looks to be a long and exciting journey.”

“The pages fly by as the reader gets engrossed […] epic in all regards – size, scope and story. With this epic, it’s time to get in on the ground floor.”

Lincoln Journal Star

“This great big book pulled me in early on the strength of the world building, but the nicely drawn characters drew me in further for enjoyment, and anticipation of the next volume.”

San Diego Union Tribune

“A very accomplished Book 1, superior to any book in the Wheel of Time series. And as usual, Sanderson’s meticulous world-building includes not only an ecology, but a carefully thought-out magical system that has echoes in the culture and society at large.”

Contra Costa Times

“A rousing start to Sanderson’s grand new epic fantasy […] Those enjoying his completion of [the] Wheel of Time can now look forward to another engrossing epic.”

Book Loons

“The characters and the society are beautifully drawn. The pace is breathless and although the book is long, everything has relevance. As the winner of the 2011 Gemmell Award for best fantasy novel, it well deserves the accolade.”


“Recommended for readers looking for the next big fantasy saga.”

SF Site

“Even the most grizzled fantasy readers will find Roshar a backdrop beyond compare. Culturally diverse and structurally sound, from the radiance of the City of Bells with its skyeels and songlings to the weather-cracked barrens of the Shattered Plains, the roots of this terrific world are dug deep, and as Sanderson goes about systematically exposing them, so too does he shed light on the complex systems underpinning the magic one imagines Roshar would not turn without.”

Strange Horizons

“It’s his best book to date and the start of something very promising. The world is wonderfully creative with a deep history and uncertain future, the characters draw you in and make you care, and it all combines into something very special.”

Neth Space

“A world of gargantuan proportions, fresh with brilliantly realised cultures and people, effortlessly depicting magic and extensive history […] I am very impressed.”

Galaxy Books

“For those that like their books gigantic and epic, this is your book.”

SF Signal

“Highly recommended.” (Bill)

“An excellent start to a promising series that's sure to dominate sales charts and bookstore shelves for many years to come.” (Stefan)

“A piece of art.”

Fantasy Faction

“One of the best of 2010. 9.9 out of 10.”

Fantasy Book Review

“The first volume of what will become the decade’s foremost fantasy series. Highly recommended […] Readers will be thrilled with this first book and anxiously await the next.”

Curled Up with a Good Book

“Looking to be one of the best epic fantasy series out there.”

Best Fantasy Books

“Sanderson reveals himself a master at his craft as he carefully reveals the layers of his world, his characters, and their flaws and triumphs. For those that are fans of fantasy, THE WAY OF KINGS is a must read.”

Fine Print

“Brandon Sanderson is a master of many aspects of the fantasy genre: epic world-building, coherent systems of magic and unforgettable character development. All those are in peak form in his masterwork, THE WAY OF KINGS…”

Paste Magazine (Josh Jackson)

“An amazing and fresh work of imagination, and a significant accomplishment in the grand tradition of fantasy literature. The sheer scope of the tale, the completeness of your vision of Roshar, is a wonder.”

Michael Whelan

“Sanderson stands out because he tells great stories, and The Way of Kings is a great story.”

The Observer

Awards & Accolades


#7 New York Times Bestseller List


#25 debut New York Times Mass Market Bestseller List


#9 Locus Magazine Hardcover Bestseller


Winner David Gemmell Legend Award: 2010 “Best Fantasy Novel”


Winner Whitney Award: 2010 “Best Novel and Best Speculative Fiction”


Fantastical Imaginations: “Best of 2010”


Fantasy Faction: “Best of 2010”


Goodreads: “Best of 2010”


Ranting Dragon: “Best of 2010”


SFF World: “Best of 2010”


Geffen Award Nominee: “Best Translated Fantasy Novel”