Brandon Sanderson, author of The Way of KingsBesides the information I posted a couple of months ago, word on Brandon Sanderson’s upcoming novel, The Way of Kings has been quiet. Not any more. Thanks to the Tor 2010 Summer Catalog, we have a rather detailed (and extremely pompous) synopsis of the first volume in The Stormlight Archive:

The Way of Kings introduces the three protagonists who will be our windows on the strange and wondrous world of Roshar and the drama about to unfold there:

• Dalinar, the assassinated king’s brother and uncle of the new one, is an old soldier who is weary of fighting. He is plagued by dreams of ancient times and legendary wars, visions that may force him into a new role he could never have imagined.

• Merin, a highborn young man who has been brought low, indeed to the most miserable level of military slavery, and like Ben Hur must suffer and struggle to survive and rise again.

• Shallan, a naïve but brave and brilliant young woman who will do anything to save her impoverished noble house from ruin.

These are people we will come to know deeply and take to our hearts. But just as important to The Way of Kings is a fourth key ‘character,’ the unique world of Roshar itself, a richly imagined setting as real as science fiction’s Dune, as unforgettable as epic fantasy’s Middle Earth. Through all the volumes of The Stormlight Archive, Brandon Sanderson will make Roshar a realm we are eager to visit.


Comparing the novel to Dune and The Lord of the Rings is certainly stretching the bounds of believability, despite Sanderson’s abilities. Frankly, it’ll likely take a good 30-50 years to see if The Stormlight Archives can even touch that upper echelon of Speculative Fiction novels, but publishing companies like Tor like to throw around hyperbole’s like they’re going out of style. Still, it sounds interesting, probably moreso on first impression than any of Sanderson’s previously published novels, so I’m certainly excited about it, just not excited enough to scrawl ‘Shallan Lives!’ graffiti all over my school campus.

  • Shawn November 28, 2009 at 11:08 am

    It will also feature a Michael Whelan cover. Can’t wait to see that!

  • locusmortis November 28, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Aye a Michael Whelan cover would be good, lets hope its not a “bloke in a cloak” cover eh?

  • aidan November 28, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Ahh, so that’s the Whelan cover that Irene Gallo was hinting at on twitter. Absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on it!

  • Peter Ahlstrom November 28, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Marketing copy has to be taken with a healthy serving of salt. (Appropriate, since Brandon is a notorious salteater.) I wouldn’t pay much attention to the part after the character descriptions. ;)

  • aidan November 28, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    Sure, it’s marketing copy, it’s still all delightfully absurd and fun to joke around about!


  • Tyson November 29, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Sanderson did a reading from the prologue of The Way of Kings during a signing for Warbreaker this past June. What I heard sounded great. The passage was an action sequence, but it showed us the magic system involved (or one of them anyway). I have high hopes for this series.

  • Rob B November 30, 2009 at 6:53 am


    Do you have a link to the catalogue?


  • aidan November 30, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Thanks, Jussi.

  • Mbalage March 17, 2010 at 10:14 am

    The words of the editor (compeling the novel to Dune and LotR) are just advertisement.

    But Brandon knows this, and posted some nice thoughts about this topic:
    “My editor, bless his heart, compared THE WAY OF KINGS to DUNE and LORD OF THE RINGS in the catalogue copy that he wrote. He’s a wonderful man, but I cringe when any new book is compared to masterworks like those. DUNE and LotR have proven themselves over decades, passing the test of time. They had monumental influences on their respective genres.

    No new novel has the right to claim such a comparison out of the gate. If you go into KINGS expecting the next LORD OF THE RINGS or DUNE, you will be disappointed. I am not Tolkien or Herbert. I am what I am—a largely unproven writer still in the early days of his career.”

    You can find the whole text here:

  • Mbalage March 17, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Typing error. I ment: COMPARING the novel to Dune and LotR

  • Neutral Fire March 17, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Despite being considerably in anticipation for this book, I’ve seen very little actual content from it. Whether I do or don’t want this is up for debate. On the one hand, I don’t want to know too much about it, but on the other I want to ravenously devour everything I can.

    This is actually the first piece of concrete data I’ve seen when it comes to names of things. Hahaha.