The Way of Kings Read Along: Week Five

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WAIT WHAT?  I have this up on time?  Seriously?  Snow days are quite fun like that, and I feel rather accomplished. 😀

This week we’re delving into chapters 28 through 32, with me finally exclaiming phrases at my kindle in anticipation for the crazy.  I definitely got through this segment faster than the others, if for the growing excitement I’m feeling as this novel is progressing.  I apologize for not listing the hosts in the past few segments, but this time I’ll let you know where to go: Tethyan Books!

Anyway.  SPOILERS RESIDE IN THE DEEP, DARK DEPTHS BELOW.  LIKE KAIJU.  THEY MIGHT EAT YOUR GODDAMN FACE. 

1.Dalinar made a very dramatic decision at the beginning of this section.  Do you think it was the right one? What do you think will happen to him, Adolin and (and the not-united Alethi) if he follows through?

I think for the sake of his family as well as to give him time to figure out the full picture of what is truly going on, abdicating was probably the best decision.  The longer he stays in power, the more his current problems would escalate as far as I see it.  Adolin may need a lot of guidance to cool his hot head as he goes on, especially with Sadeas’s current actions being the most suspicious we’ve seen to date.  Unfortunately, the country looks to be farther and farther away from Dalinar’s goal of unification and convincing Adolin to follow that path seems rather difficult at the least…

2.We’ve gotten to see a little more of Shinovar with Rysn the apprentice merchant.  In terms of plants and animals, it seems to be pretty much like our world.  How do you think it happened that there’s such an ‘ordinary’ place, or what do you think might have happened to turn the rest of the world so unusual?  Given this and the chapter on Szeth, do you have any more ideas on what the meaning of his “Truthless” title might be?

What seems to have happened is that due to the mountains breaking up the highstorms, Shinovar did not have the same evolutionary pressures as the rest of Roshar to survive the catastrophic winds.  While it isn’t possible for soil to stay in one place in most of the continent, Shinovar is a rare exception.  Therefore, it makes sense that it is a country less foreign to us in its ecology.  I have a lot of fun watching the other character’s reactions to what they find as a strange anomaly when we as readers feel comfortable with the place, haha.

I wonder if, in order to become “Truthless”, if you must commit a seriously blasphemous act or your genealogy/particular powers determine such a fate?  Perhaps they wanted to put a strange sort of safeguard on the power Szeth has?  Though that doesn’t make sense with how easily people can utilize his strengths…

3.  Shallan and Jasnah’s story has returned!  Based on Jasnah’s words to Dalinar, and the clues Shallan is picking up, what do you think Jasnah’s project is about?  What do you think she hopes to accomplish? 

Jasnah’s project….  She’s investigating the circumstances of Gavilar’s death in more detail, it seems, with particular focus on the far past that may indicate some relation to Dalinar’s visions.  There’s so much build up to the eventual crazy that will happen!  I’m rather excited!

4. Concerning Shallan, it’s starting to seem that her drawing ability is a supernatural gift. Do you have any theories on the bizarre figures Shallan accidentally drew behind the king?

Perhaps these figures tie into the visions Dalinar has been having and the events that are yet to come.  It seems quite the omen and does not seem to spell good things for the Kharbranthian monarchy.  I do not have a good feeling about them.  AT ALL.  *shivers*

5. Back to the bridge crews, now that we’ve seen a bit more into Gaz’s perspective, does he seem any more sympathetic?  Why do you think he owes Lamaril money?

I feel for him, having to hide sympathies.  It’s nice to see that he’s definitely more of a gray character than at first glance, though that does not make me excuse his behavior in the least.  I’m not entirely sure as to why he owes Lamaril money… he could have been in a dicey situation that Lamaril bailed him out of, but at a high cost.  Or, perhaps, he had greater sympathies for bridgemen in the past and paid dearly for them.  *shrugs*

6. Kaladin has won over his bridge crew, and enacted a brilliant plan to protect them—which utterly ruined the military strategy. Do you think his plan was a good one, or should he have seen the chaos coming? What do you think will happen to him next?  Also, what do you think he’ll do if he figures out the real reason why bridgemen aren’t allowed shields?

Kaladin was entirely too focused on the bridgemen’s fate, who, when dying in smaller numbers, helps out the army rather than hurts them.  I don’t think he could have completely foreseen the scope of his actions, but a wider outlook may have saved him from a lot of future hurt.  I’m rather scared for Kaladin, but at the same time I wonder if it will draw attention from Dalinar and his plans on testing a single bridge to use, since the Bridge Four crew is inventive and resourceful and would be the perfect candidates for such a thing.  I highly doubt Sadeas will want them around after this particular venture, anyway.

Once Kaladin realizes the reason for the lack of shields, I’m certain his mistrust of lighteyes will only grow until it perhaps is almost irreversible.  Only someone very special could break that cycle of hatred, I think — Dalinar being very different from the rest of the Alethi, he may be the one to do that.  But who knows?

Other things:

Szeth’s new masters.  Oh god.  OH GOD.  IT BEGINS.  WE’RE IN FOR IT NOW GUYS.  *begins building bomb shelter*

See you next week for more and more excitement. ❤

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The Way of Kings Read Along: Week Four

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Hello, again~ I know I’ve only been posting for this read along, but hopefully with some good time management I can be posting more often soon.  We’ll see – I really can’t stress myself too much or I’ll go insane, haha.  Anyway, this week propelled the book even more so as we begin to finally get some answers and yet are given more questions to consider.  It always seems to be that way though, doesn’t it?  Regardless-  SPOILERS FOR CHAPTERS 20 THROUGH 27 RESIDE BELOW, LIKE KRAKENS IN THE SEA.

1.  We seem to be getting more and more proof that there is some ”luck” or magic at play when it comes to Kaladin’s safety, survival and his skills – especially during those battle scenes.  Even when performing that Kata in the Chasm, there was something  incredible about his movements according to the rest of the crew. Initially the blade seemed to be the source of his skills (to me at least), what do you think might be fueling his powers?  Do you think they’re getting stronger?

I believe I mentioned in a comment section that I think Kaladin is drawing upon Stormlight without quite realizing it, a more untrained version of what Szeth has going on.  I may be way off the mark, but the series being called The Stormlight Archive makes me think my thoughts could be very much possible.  I don’t know if his powers are necessarily getting stronger, but perhaps more noticeable by others?  Or he could be exhibiting them more since he found a sense of himself again.  I’m not quite sure.

2. We were introduced to Navani, King Gavilar’s widow and the current King Elhokar’s mother.  What was your initial impression of her?  There seems to be some complicated history between her and Dalinar, do you think she might end up being an ally or an eventual hindrance?

I’m on the fence as to whether Navini scares me or if she’s just a bad ass woman who doesn’t take shit from anyone.  Most importantly, she knows how to use her assets to toy around with others and get what she wants.  This would make her quite a dangerous player if she wished to cause trouble.  I have some inclination that she’s trying to get power herself and may be one of the more important players in all of this to watch.  Overall, her appearance makes me nervous, as does that appointed meeting with Dalinar.  Oh, and the fact that she criticizes her son, THE KING, at the table!  She is certainly crossing lines she should not be crossing… if anything, from what the current atmosphere is like, she’ll end up causing some sort of trouble.  That term femme fatale comes to mind…..

3. What did you make of Sadeas’ maneuver against Dalinar to gain the King’s favor by being named the High Prince of Information?  How do you reconcile his actions with the advice Dalinar received ”to trust” Sadeas?

Sadeas, Sadeas, Sadeas… Tricky son of a bitch, that one.  I keep not wanting to be wary of him because of how obvious him being a villain would be, you know?  I keep wanting to know more of his backstory than we do and figure out what makes him tick.  Being named High Prince of Information makes him like the head of the new secret police, and I don’t like it one bit.  Though, perhaps he has a grander plan in all this that isn’t as obvious.  I really want to trust the advice given to Dalinar, but we’ll see, I suppose.

4. Were you surprised when Rock admitted to Kaladin that he was seemingly born being able to see the Spren and therefore could see Syl following Kaladin around? That led to a pivotal point for Kaladin, gaining Rock’s favor and then Teft’s.  What were your thoughts on that whole scene? Can you speculate as to why some people are able to see the spren when others cannot?

I wasn’t entirely surprised?  I mean, the existence of races that can more readily see the spren isn’t something that seems unheard of.  Perhaps some races are more sensitive to such creatures than others.  I was just happy Kaladin finally has allies.  Rock as a character is absolutely hilarious too, with that whole deal about using chull dung in Sadeas’s food.  Funniest reason to become a bridgeman ever.

5.  We got to see Adolin confront his father Dalinar because of his visions and lay all his cards on the table. Clearly Adolin thinks his father is losing it and his words seemed to shake Dalina’s own convictions as well.  Do you think this will have a lasting effect on Dalinar’s belief in his visions? Not to mention his acting on them?  Moreover, do you think Adolin will ever be convinced that there is more to Dalinar’s visions any time soon?

I don’t think Adolin will be convinced until some calamity happens where Dalinar can say “I told you so”.  Poor Dalinar, however… He keeps trying to do the right thing but is so torn, which doesn’t help things at all.  His disgust during the battle with the Parshendi, for example, worries me a bit.  The only way to ever convince any of his fellow highprinces or the people close to him is to work at things slowly and not try to cause massive change instantly, which to an extent he’s doing.  The whole confrontation with Adolin, due to how high profile it has become, will be hindersome at best and devastating at worst.  I don’t blame him for questioning the things he’s seen after that.

6.  As if in further indication of Dalinar and Kaladin’s collision course towards one another, Dalinar has agreed to train a bridge crew – without putting them directly into assault or harm’s way (of course, love these two!!) do you think their joined efforts might be enough to change the way the other High Princes  go about things during battle?  Especially Sadeas?

I feel that this collision course can only do good things in the end, especially in Kaladin’s case.  I’m hoping his skills in leading others and perhaps in battle can be realized by better people, elevating his status to a place where he could actually do something.  Kaladin on Dalinar’s side could only be beneficial, it’s just a matter of time to see when he gets noticed and what ultimately comes out of it.  Only with evidence will the highprinces change their ways.  Let’s see if we get it.

Other things:

Kaladin is slowly revealing what actually happened to make him a slave.  From what I can gather, Brightlord Amaram probably did not like the fact he defeated a shardbearer and likely secured Kaladin’s winnings for himself, citing an arbitrary reason that would send the poor man down into the cracks of society.  Selfish bastard.  Ugh.

I managed to get this up only a day late this time!  Perhaps next week I will be caught up and posting on Wednesdays!  Or not.  I do have two exams next week.  GAH.

The Way of Kings Read Along: Week Three

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…I broke my promise.  I know.  I’m so sorry.  I realized the massive amount of schoolwork I had this week was… a bit insane.  And had to finish it before finishing the reading.  I am more than caught up now, though, so here we go~  SPOILERS FOR CHAPTERS 14 TO 19 ARE BELOW, GUYS. 

1.  After the Chasmfiend attack there were a number of altercations.  Two of these that particularly drew my interest were: the little scene where Wit ridiculed Sadeas – which seems to be a dangerous thing to do given that this could result in a dual or assassination – any ideas about why Wit seems to enjoy provoking Sadeas so much and: during the discussion with the King, Dalinar and Adolin – it seemed that the King became fleetingly suspicious – and later in the story the same look of suspicion crossed his features again during conversation with Dalinar.  What do you think is going on in the King’s head in relation to Dalinar?

I’m pretty sure the whole exchange of dialogue between Wit and Sadeas is due to how absolutely easy and fun it is to make fun of the guy.  If I was in Wit’s position, I would mercilessly make fun of Sadeas too, knowing he is too concerned with his status to worry about an assassination attempt coming back to him.  As for Elhokar’s suspicions… someone is likely pushing such thoughts to him; I doubt it’s his own conclusion.  I don’t believe that someone is Sadeas after the response Dalinar received from the voice in his vision, but it could perhaps be one of the other highprinces or someone else of influence.  I will definitely be watching this situation closely.

2. We seemed to get a little more insight about why the bridgemen are not given shields of protection – what did you think of the reasoning behind this and what do you make of Sadeas – is he trustworthy or not?

Though I do not completely agree with Sadeas’s reasoning, I do understand that he wants to protect his soldiers from as much harm as possible.  Many people wouldn’t care about the deaths of murderers, deserters, and slaves, and obviously he is in that particular camp.  But as Dalinar would say, it’s both wasteful and very much against the Codes, even if they aren’t followed anymore.  Perhaps Alethkar would benefit from a return to them.  As for Sadeas being trustworthy… I’m still on the fence.  He hasn’t committed any acts that would make me feel as though he would betray the king.  It almost would be too obvious.

3.  Elhokar has suspicions about attempts on his life – is he paranoid or not and, if not, who do you suspect might be responsible?

There is definitely some sort of paranoia going on here.  There’s obviously some influence due to how Elhokar’s father was killed, but perhaps there are individuals spreading rumors to specifically reach him or something of the sort to make him more suspicious of the people around him (see question one).

4.  Kaladin is a very intriguing character, what did you make of the latest bridge scene where he put himself at the front of the bridge and then his actions following that?  Did you think it revealed anything more about him?

I think it managed to highlight even more the behavior he exhibited back when he was a squad leader, going to the point where he almost self-sacrificing to help other people.  Really, it both shows his bravery and how much he really cares.  Kaladin is growing quickly into my favorite character of the book, especially because I relate to the fallacies he has.  *hugs at Kaladin*

5.  During Elhokar and Dalinar’s later discussion the king said that Dalinar was becoming more like Gavilar near to his end ‘When he began to act … erratically”  It seems like Dalinar is becoming more like his brother.  Do you think this is significant??

I think it is significant in the sense that it might be foretelling a tragic end to Dalinar’s life if he isn’t careful.  Additionally, he is going to be seen as more and more mad by the people around him, which is quite unfortunate due to the fact that his visions, if the objective realized, will undoubtedly save many lives.  WHY DOES NO ONE EVER LISTEN WHEN THEY HAVE THE CHANCE, GODDAMNIT?!

6.  We finally witness one of Dalinar’s visions.  Do you think there is any significance about the visions always taking place during a storm and what were your feelings about this particular vision?

I loved seeing the basics of how the Knights Radiant operated.  Makes me really want to learn more about them — I’ll need to be patient, I suppose.  The visions make sense taking place during the highstorms, as the seems to be some sort of otherwordly atmosphere coming through during then.  The Essence were quite frightening creatures, and I’m wondering because the setting was during the Desolation Era if we’ll be seeing such monstrosities again soon.  Thus the need to unite against a common enemy….

No extras this time around, as I got behind and then got farther ahead and don’t want to put spoilers for anything farther ahead in here.  I’ll give you some this coming week though~  Thank you for being patient with me!

The Way of Kings Read Along: Week Two

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Apologies for being late on the second week!  I finished Chapters 7-13 a couple days ago, but the semester started back up on Wednesday and I found out that my apartment’s internet has decided to go absolutely bonkers.  Haven’t been able to get anything up until today.  Gah.  Anyway!  Onward with the read along~  Spoilers for Chapters 7-13 reside below.

1. Shallan’s determination pays off, but Jasnah Kholin seems to change her mind a bit suddenly, and when Shallan isn’t expecting her to. She mentions knowing of Shallan’s family… Do you think perhaps she knows more than she admits? Or is she really just a bit more soft-hearted than she lets on?

I have a feeling that it’s a mix of both.  I doubt Jasnah realizes Shallan’s true plot, but she probably knows more details about the going-ons of the family than we think.  Perhaps not that Shallan’s father is dead, but maybe she knows about how he used his fabrial or other such secrets.  I believe though that she has to seem, on the surface, tougher to be able to stand the criticism she no doubt gets from being an atheist, which I can respect.  Otherwise she may have been torn down long ago by the opinions of others.

2. Yalb comes to the bargaining rescue as Shallan tries to buy books… Do you think there’s going to be a bigger part in events for him to play?

I really hope so!  Yalb is quite the interesting and resourceful character and I would really like to see his character explored in more detail.  I’m sure he has quite a history; with all those tricks up his sleeves I think there is more behind him than just a simple sailor.  I don’t think he will end up being antagonistic at least.  …I hope.

3. Part One ends with a ray of hope for Kaladin, as he rediscovers a sense of purpose… What did you think of the scene in the Honour Chasm, and then with Gaz afterward?

I think the whole scene in the Honor Chasm just made me love Syl more.  Without Syl, Kaladin would be a mangled mess at the bottom of the chasm and of no use to anyone.  There seems to be some hope that Bridge 4 can become less deadly and, most importantly, united to stand against the dangers they face.  And the whole thing with Gaz afterward… I still don’t trust the guy whatsoever, but boy did it feel nice to see him get back some of what he’s given.

4. We catch up with Szeth for an interlude, and things are very different for him… What do you make of his choice to enslave himself – if it is in fact a choice…?

His status as Truthless goes back well before the assassination, so I can only suppose if it was a choice he is punishing himself for actions he performed in the past.  Possibly much worse than killing the king.  I wonder the extent of the crimes he has committed?  With that sort of power, he certainly has the capability of creating mass chaos.

5. We also meet Dalinar Kholin, Jasnah’s father, and get something of a hint that he’s important where the Radiants are concerned… What do you think Dalinar’s ‘fits’ might mean?

There seems to be some sort of impending calamity that Dalinar’s visions are hinting at.  Perhaps uniting the kingdom will help either stave off this “Everstorm” or at least minimize the damage that happens.  Either way, it seems that no one really wants to listen to him.  No one ever listens to the person who can help it seems…  Then again, it is a bit hard to believe a person who is essentially having hallucinations.  I’m sure there will be a lot of regret later on.

Other fun stuff:

I worry about Elhokar’s behavior.  Such recklessness is going to get him killed if Dalinar or others aren’t around to save him.  And if he dies… things will become quite chaotic, to say the least.

AND I KNEW IT.  THEY BROKE THE DAMN ECONOMY WITH THOSE FABRIALS!  Obviously it’s quite frowned upon if they had to hide this fact, though…

I promise to get the third post up on time!  Thank you for reading, and see you next week~