The Way of Kings Read Along: Week Six


I’m slightly late this week, I know — catching up after snow days has been rough on the classwork front.  I liked this section a lot, though I feel like I’m saying that every time, haha!  The Way of Kings has made me a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson and I’m pretty sure as soon as Words of Radiance releases I’m diving right in.  I mean, I’ve got it preordered and by the time it releases the read along should be finished~! ❤

Anyway, this week we’re discussing chapters 33 through 42, and There Were Books Involved is kindly hosting this week.  OBLIGATORY MAJOR SPOILER WARNING FOR MID-BOOK CONTENT. 

1. Both Kabsal and Jasnah have spoken to Shallan about stealing the Soulcaster, and both have done so in a pretty lighthearted manner, considering how serious it would actually be to steal it. Do you think Kabsal was telling the truth when he brushed off Shallan’s questions about his plan to steal the Soulcaster? Is he still interested in stealing it? Does he have other, deeper motives??

Oh, I want to like Kabsal so much and think he just likes Shallan for how she is.  But the cynic in me keeps saying that there are ulterior motives.  I wonder if Kabsal somehow knows that Shallan switched the Soulcasters?  Maybe that’s a bit far-fetched, but maybe he’ll use that fact to his advantage.  Though, like he said, if he DID steal it, there would be hell to pay and perhaps even war, so… Maybe for once I can be optimistic~

2. By the end of the section, Shallan has found out that she’ll be able to return home in one week, but she’s torn between wanting to continue her studies, and being able to take the stolen Soulcaster home. So far it looks like her theft hasn’t been detected, but do you think she’ll be found out before that time? Do you think she should leave, or might decide on her own to stay? Could something else happen to make her stay? 

I seem to have a feeling that Jasnah already knows and is waiting to see what Shallan ultimately decides to do before calling her out on the theft.  Really, I WANT Shallan to stay and feel that she probably will end up doing so in the end, but an alternative will have to be figured out in order to keep the family going.  Perhaps it may be considered selfish of her, but I think going through with the plan will become more trouble than it’s worth and Shallan deserves some freedom after living confined for her entire life beforehand.  I suppose I just like seeing scholarship win, hehe.

3. How much do you think Jasnah actually knows about the theft of her Soulcaster? Is it even remotely possible that Jasnah is still in the dark about it? If she knows, did she in fact dupe Shallan with a fake, as Shallan theorizes? Or did Jasnah let her steal it? Why??

Like I said in the previous question, I think Jasnah already knows and is maybe even testing Shallan to see how her actions pan out.  I don’t think the discussions on philosophy were a coincidence, and it could even be an additional lesson on that front.  If, in fact, she does know, it is also quite possible Jasnah realizes Shallan’s family situation and maybe will even find it in her heart to give some form of assistance if Shallan chooses to stay in Kharbranth.  Or maybe my prior optimism is growing too much and I’m being too hopeful, I dunno.

4. During the Highstorm, Kaladin experiences a lull during which the wind and rain stop, he feels no more pain, and he sees an enormous “face of blackness, yet faintly traced in the dark”. The face is described as, “Inhuman. Smiling.” Was Kaladin just hallucinating? If not, do you think this being had something to do with recharging the sphere? With Kaladin somehow feeling better before the storm kicked up again? Or could this being be malevolent? Thoughts/theories??

I wonder if this is the Stormfather figure that keeps getting mentioned now and then.  I mean, I don’t think Kaladin was necessarily hallucinating…. And it would make sense that the sphere was recharged due to the energy it would take to manifest such a being or at least some aspect of this theoretical “Stormfather” that we don’t know the details about.  Since Kaladin survived the highstorm’s judgment, I don’t think the being is malevolent, but nor do I think it’s good either.  Indifferent is probably the best answer to that — I mean, humans are likely puny in comparison, so why should it have a necessarily good or evil disposition when it comes to humanity?  I’m curious to see if it shows up again and if so, what we’ll learn about the nature of the highstorms from that.  *sits patiently*

5. Before Kaladin is forced to endure the Highstorm, he tells his men to come out after the storm is over; he says he’ll open his eyes and look back at them, and they’ll know that he survived. Kaladin obviously survives, and everyone in Bridge Four is really glad about that. But we haven’t yet seen a reaction from anyone other than Kal’s men. Do you think Kaladin’s survival could have a wider impact than just giving his own group of bridgemen hope?

Perhaps once word spreads, it may both give other bridgemen hope as well as scare the everliving shit out of the rest of Sadeas’s army, if not the entire army.  I mean, he survived a highstorm and that’s unheard of.  Therefore he’s a source to be reckoned with and it might make the lighteyed soldiers and even perhaps the highprinces feel threatened.  Kaladin should be watching his back after this, for certain.  Who knows if someone would want to take him out because of his survival?

6. We learn quite a bit about Teft in this section… kind of. But pretty much everything we learn just leads to more questions. What do you think about these “Envisagers” Teft mentions? How much do you think Teft knows about Kaladin’s ability to use Stormlight? It seemed like Teft became wary of Kaladin after he recovered – why? Do you think he’ll tell Kaladin about what he knows?

Kaladin can use Stormlight.  Szeth can use Stormlight.  Perhaps they are both of this same class of people that Teft mentions?  I mean, if he’s familiar with this happening, then it must not be quite as uncommon as we are lead to believe, but perhaps the Envisagers, rather than keeping the peace or being inherently good, have caused quite a lot of problems in Teft’s life.  He knows more than he lets on, that’s for certain… And I’m kind of afraid as to what the information will entail, if he does decide to tell Kaladin.  The threads of complication are being woven ever tighter…

That being said, I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough.

Other things:

Jasnah’s philosophy lesson!  Putting down victim blaming!  She is one of my favorites, I swear — perhaps because I relate to her and to some extent Shallan more than anyone else in the novel.

Gaaaah, I’m already itching to be reading the next section even though I have so much schoolwork I should be focusing on.  But booooooks.  BOOOOOOOKS.  I like reading something other than textbooks every once and a while, you know?