The Way of Kings

Just finished reading The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson. It was very good. Sanderson is pushing into the realm where he’s starting to possibly compete with Tolkien. He certainly handles religion better than any fiction author I’m aware of.

The beautiful thing is that he goes there, when so many writers, infected by the practical atheism of the day, are writing stories about a magical world where people have no religion, and religion never occurs to them. Sanderson takes religion seriously, and he doesn’t lay all his cards down either. While it does come out that there are some “right” answers, in the mean time the opposing views get their say, and some times the argument that wins is clearly not the author’s own. That said, there’s still just a hint of a Mormon squint to it. So, like with Orson Scott Card, somewhere you’re going to find out that “God” is a little more mortal than you expected, and that holiness comes to those people who just work hard enough at it. (My standard caveat: if you’re afraid of that awful Mormon cult, don’t be. They aren’t a cult, they’re heretics, on a level with people who think Jesus was a great teacher. Mormonism is Pelagius, plus science fiction)

In the mean time, his characters and world building are believable, and they have good reasons for some pretty decent philosophical and theological debates. There were a couple of different places where he got my heart rate up.

The book is a little thick: At 1000 pages plus, it took me a little over a week to read.

Now I’m going to switch back to non-fiction, and see if I can plow through 200 pages in a month. I’ll probably quit the book, as usual.

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