By: Luna Lupine

I was so glad to return home from my hospital stay. I have a few more rabies shots that I need to get, just in case. I often think about the poor wolf I rescued. It bit me on the hand during the ordeal, but the wound is healing quite nicely. Odd, it was much larger than normal and its eyes seemed to glow�

Well, in any case, I have a column to write before it gets much later.

I had a lot of extra time to read during my long hospital stay, so my first review covers a book I very much enjoyed. The novel in question is The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. It is the first of a 10 volume series, entitled The Stormlight Archive.

If you enjoy fantasy worlds and intriguing characters, I believe you�ll enjoy this book.

It takes place in a world called Roshar where, due to cycles of violent weather, it has become almost barren. The flora and fauna have adapted to the atmosphere by changing their physical properties. Those who live on this planet are constantly bombarded with what is called �high storms,� which wreak havoc on anyone or anything left out in the open.

Unexplained phenomenon, such as �spren� is introduced. Sanderson never really comes out and tells you what exactly they are but I found the idea of �spren� fascinating. For me, I saw them as the author�s attempt to portray physical manifestations of emotions such as fear, pain and joy, etc.

It sure is getting dark fast. Looks like we�ll have a full moon tonight. That�s funny� my skin is suddenly feeling kind of hot� Oh, well� I have to get this column finished. I�m sure I�ll be fine.

While the novel has a full cast, I felt the bulk of the book focused on three main characters � Kaladin, Shallan and Dalinar. Each individual has a story to tell and, together, they are interwoven throughout the book.

Kaladin, a man of honor, wants only to protect those he cares about. A former physician in training, he spends much of the book as a slave of war. He suffers greatly but remains strong and determined despite bouts of self doubt in a nearly hopeless situation.

Shallan, a young girl of unfortunate circumstances, is trying to keep her family from the brink of financial ruin. To do this, she becomes an apprentice of a noted scholar in order to steal a �Soulcaster,� a magical artifact of immense value. Much more than a scholar, her teacher is someone that Shallan grows to admire, making the heist more difficult than originally anticipated. In addition to this, the thief is hiding some very interesting secrets.

Dalinar, a man of the Codes, is reading an ancient book called The Way of Kings . It may be partly responsible for his random visions. Bearer of both a �Shardplate� and a �Shardblade,� powerful weapons of war, he is the king�s uncle and a high prince � one of ten who battle against the mysterious Parshendi (a race of unknown origin). He is trying to keep the city of Alethkar from falling into desolation.

Of the three, my favorite character was Kaladin, who began with the desire to be a doctor, but ended up as a �slave� in the war between the Alethkari and the Parshendi. Despite his extreme mistreatment, he keeps pushing forward in order to try and keep those around him alive. An unusual �spren� named Syl, becomes his constant companion. For some reason she is becoming sentient and has no clue why. She is unique from all the other �spren� who behave differently from her.

The moon is becoming brighter. My throat is dry. I think I�ll take a break and get a glass of water. I�m so thirsty�

Okay, back to the review. Earlier I mentioned a magic item called a �Soulcaster.� This artifact allows its owner to transform matter from one thing into another. For instance, it could change worthless material into something valuable. Apparently, Shallan�s father owned one, using it to create his family�s fortune, but it broke around the time he died. That�s why she needs to steal one that works.

One of the creatures I found fascinating was called a �chasm fiend.� Both big and deadly, it is a difficult beast to defeat, but for those who can, a valuable �gemheart,� waits inside its� body. These are greatly desired by each of the ten princes and they fight ferociously to obtain them. Obviously, those with �Shardplate� and �Shardblade� have a greater chance to retrieve the gemheart because it gives them the tactical advantage during the battle.

Is it my imagination or does that moonlight seem extra bright? It makes me want to howl. Wow, I guess that�s kind of weird. Speaking of weird, why is hair growing all over my body? These claws on the end of my fingers make it difficult to type.

There�s so much more to this book that I didn�t even cover. It�s a great read and I didn�t want it to end. I really enjoyed the character of Kaladin. He just never gives up. I can�t wait for the next book in the series.

Well that�s all until next issue. The full moon is calling my name. I�m going out for a nighttime stroll. Maybe I�ll grab a bite to eat while I�m out�

About the Author

Luna Lupine is a member of PETA and also a park ranger in the Transylvanian Forest Reserve. A night owl, she loves long walks in the forest. Recently she was accidentally bitten by a stray wolf while rescuing it from a trap.
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