Besides 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.