The Way of Kings Prime
The Way of Kings Prime was written in 2002 and is basically an alternate version of The Way of Kings, which was published by Tor Books in 2010. The Way of Kings Prime is very different from the published book. Think of it as set in a different universe with a completely different plot. If you haven’t read the 2010 canonical version, please read that one first.
Brandon Sanderson – This book is both one of my greatest accomplishments and one of my greatest failures. I started it during a difficult time in my life. I’d graduated with my undergraduate degree in English in 2000, but had been summarily rejected from every graduate program to which I’d applied. (The book Elantris was my writing sample for those submissions.) The publishing industry didn’t want my books either; I’d been racking up a nice stack of rejections saying my books were too long.
On top of it all, I’d just finished writing what I consider two of the weakest books of my career. (Though later on the ideas from these unpublished books evolved into Mistborn.) And this was when I decided to begin the most ambitious story I’d ever attempted.
I’ve talked a lot about that time in my life; you might have heard the story before. I started The Way of Kings because I needed something for me. Something to prove to myself that I still loved writing. After spending several years chasing the market by trying to write like popular writers who were selling at the time, I asked myself, “What would I most want to read? What would I be writing if I didn’t care what the publishing industry thought?”
The book you are now reading is the result. I was told my books were too long; this is even longer than any book I’d heretofore created. Publishers told me to focus less on magic and more on creating gritty Earth-like settings, like what was selling at the time. I went off in a completely different direction, into a land of knights in magical power armor, ancient magics, and an ecology that was far, far removed from anything you’d find on Earth.