I'm in search of a fantasy novel that I read before 2020. It was the first book in a series.

It was told through the POV of several characters.

One of the main characters had a hard life growing up and eventually joined the army. One night, as punishment, they tied him up outside during a storm (involving rocks or crystals in the extreme wind) and instead of dying, he survived and it appears that he can absorb the crystal energy.

This same character had to carry a large ladder with a team and lay it over a chasm in order to attack the enemy. There was a large amount of the book dedicated to the ladder and attack strategy.

A couple times in the novel, the army had to attack a large, possibly insect-like monster that lived in the chasm.

Several characters had knight armour and swords that weighed nothing and were very powerful.

  • In roughly which year did you read this and when do you think it might've been published? Also, do you recall anything about the cover? Commented May 12 at 21:33
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    It was before 2020 and I can't recall cover
    – Tristan
    Commented May 12 at 22:10
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    The Stormlight Archive might be my favorite book series of all time, so I knew this right away from the title. Bridge four!
    – Ajedi32
    Commented May 13 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


It was The Way of Kings (2010) by Brandon Sanderson, the first book in the The Stormlight Archive series.

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.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar's niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan's motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

Thank you everyone for your help.

  • 4
    Glad you found it. We'd be grateful if you'd mark your answer as accepted by clicking on the grey check mark on the left side of the answer. It's this site's way of formally indicating that a query has been solved to the querent's satisfaction. However, as this is a self-answer, you'll need to wait until 48 hours after the question was first posted before the site will let you do that. Commented May 12 at 22:23
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    Although, you can click on it earlier without penalty, and it will tell you how long you have left to go before you can complete it.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented May 13 at 13:56
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    Don't know who you're quoting there, but they got one fact wrong: There is no "across the ocean." Roshar has only one continent. Kaladin's enslavement and his early adventures take place near the center of its Eastern half, while Shallan's meeting with Jasnah, and the beginning of her adventures take place in a city somewhere on the Southern coast of the Western half. Commented May 14 at 20:10

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