Monday, September 6, 2010

Last Day of Break

I rewarded myself for finishing a rough round of edits by taking most the weekend off from any writing work.  I've spent the last hour putting things back in place on my desk, making little stacks of to do chores and planning my next week's goals.
Like any writer, a reward break means reading.  Normally in a four day weekend I might have read three or four books but this time I only read one.  I didn't get started until Friday night but once I started I couldn't start.  The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson is difficult to pick up, physically. How much does a 1000+ page hardback book weigh?  Three pounds on Amazon.  If you can, I strongly advise reading it on your e-book reader.  On the flip side, it's nearly impossible to put down for those of us who love an epic fantasy and incredible world building.
Sanderson has the knack of dribbling hints and clues to the mysteries of his world but never quite giving it away.  Each time something is revealed the reader had one of those 'aha' moments.  One of my sons and my daughter were bugging me about finishing the book so they could start.  I told them I was on page 650 and still wasn't sure who the good guys and bad guys were.  But each chapter became more tense for me as a reader not only because of the intricate plot but because of Sanderson's characters.  No person in his books are sterling heroes or dark demons.  Their flawed and filled with self-doubts.  They love and hate, not always for the right reasons or the greater good.  Their situations are impossible, often physically and emotionally.  As a reader I couldn't help but worry as the storyline tortured the characters with hope and then slapped them with despair and pain.  And as someone who has read all of Sanderson's books, I knew no one was safe.  No one was too heroic or central to the story that they must survive.  No one person would save the world and pick up the crown of victor.  And like all great fantasy stories, the history of the created world is slowly revealed and clues given to past events influencing the present. 
So after reading one thousand pages, the last one hundred the chocolate sprinkles on the ice cream, I can't wait for the next book.  So how long will it take Mr. Sanderson to write the next one? Too long for this fan.
Have any of you read a book written recently of such a size?  Is fantasy the only genre who gets away with such a thing and leaves its readers screaming for more?

1 comment:

  1. I think my last really long book was one of the Harry Potter books and that was a while ago. This was a great recommendation though. I've been reading more fantasy lately.