A few months back, Brandon Sanderson posted on his blog that if you work in a bookstore or library, you could send him an email, and he “might” send you an advance reading copy of his to-be released book The Way of Kings.
Since I do, in fact, work at a library, I sent him a carefully crafted email, full of flattery and mentions of his various works so he would know I am a Serious Brandon Sanderson Reader and Not To Be Given False Hopes. I waited, not hearing anything back, and just when I was resigning myself to the fact that I wasn’t going to get a copy, I went in to work and there was a large padded envelope in my mailbox. I tore it open – and oh joy! – there was my ARC, with a note saying it was “compliments of Brandon Sanderson”.
This is a honking HUGE book, people, even in the ARC paperback; one thousand pages, with maps and fabulous illustrations. Despite its size, I carried it around me, hauled it back and forth from work, because I could not bear to be parted from it once I had started reading. It’s just that good, folks, it’s definitely going to make my list of the Best Books I’ve Read in 2010, and unless I read something truly incredible between now and January 1st, it’s going to be in position number one.
Beside the fact that I lugged this monster around me for weeks, one way I can tell how much I loved it is by the way it’s changed my metal slang. Books do that to me. Ever since I read the Wheel of Time books (which, btw, are so much better now that Brandon Sanderson is writing them!) my private name for my dreaming worlds is Tel’aran’rhiod. I call the vitamin C powder I take laumspur, stealing the name for the healing draft from a different fantasy series. And a few days ago at work, I caught myself mentally calling a nasty customer a cremling as he walked away. Yes, The Way of Kings is officially hot-linked to my brain.
Here’s the review of it I wrote for Goodreads and Amazon:
Brandon Sanderson fills me with awe. He’s so prolific, so inventive, so exactly what I want to read. I was lucky enough to receive an advance reading copy of The Way of Kings, and from the very beginning I was completely enthralled by this new world he’s created. It’s gritty, realistic, thought-provoking, completely unique, and fascinating. I enjoyed reading every single character’s viewpoint, and that’s a rare thing; usually in books of this length, there are the necessary but somewhat boring chapters woven cleverly in with the exciting ones to keep you reading. This wasn’t at all the case with The Way of Kings; every character was one I was eager to spend more time with. Also rare, Sanderson managed to completely stun with a twist near the very end – one of those perfect twists that are so logical and fit so perfectly into the story that you wonder why you never saw it coming. I love that kind of storytelling, and if you can’t tell, I loved this book. It’s going to the very top of my “Best Books of 2010” list.
This is a must-read, folks.