Tor.com has made available the prelude, prologue, and first three chapters of Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings as a free online read. The novel is currently available from Amazon.com as a pre-order.
This is the beginning of a grand ol' epic from Sanderson. It's a world fifteen years in the making, the scope of which I was unable to determine. Having just come off completing Jordan's Wheel of Time series, you have to wonder if Sanderson intends to make this as deep of an epic with as many titles. You can read some comments by the author on this new series.
Here's a bit about The Way of Kings taken from the blurb:
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.
If you're looking to make a multi-year, multi-book investment, this sounds like a good one.
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