The Way of Kings Read Along: Week Seven

wayofkingsral

I can’t believe there’s only 30% of this book left to read!  These last seven hundred pages have been amazing and I’m excited to see how this book will end in a couple weeks~  I’m so glad I decided to participate, haha.  Anyway, this week we’re discussing chapters 43 through 50, with Coffee, Cookies and Chili Peppers hosting!  MAJOR SPOILERS ARE IN THE CHASMS BELOW, BEWARE.

1. What did you think of the replacement for the delightful Lamaril, or rather, what did you make of his wife, who seems to do all his work? She assumes that chasm duty is the worst punishment that she can throw at the bridge crew, so were you surprised that Kaladin saw an opportunity in it so quickly?

Everyone’s got it out for Bridge Four, I swear.  I mean, I suppose they don’t want the other bridgemen to follow their example, as broken bridgemen seem to be what Sadeas prefers.  They’re arrow fodder, barely even human in these people’s eyes.  I’m glad Kaladin didn’t let despair overcome him again with the new assignment, and though this opportunity is essentially their last hope, he is dedicated to this (likely) futile plan.  I can only hope things go well in the end, but with his track record thus far, I’m afraid we’ll see disaster.  But, we have three hundred pages left and the rest of the series, so maybe they will prevail? :O

2. Please use this opportunity to list all the imaginative ways that you would like Roshone to suffer for forcing poor little Tien into the army. 😦

That man needs to fall into a chasm in the Shattered Plains (or pushed, perhaps?), somehow survive the fall, and then get dismembered one limb at a time by a chasmfiend.  And then subsequently eaten.  Or he could be soulcast into fire.  I could also go with him being dragged behind a chull for as many miles as it takes until he is barely alive, then leave him for whatever equivalent of buzzards Roshar has.  If the “buzzards” don’t get him, the highstorms will.  *laughs maniacally*

3. Finally, somebody is asking questions about the inconstancy of the Parshendi artifacts and how Gavilar changed in the months leading up to his death. What do you make of the accounts that Shallan is reading? Also, what do you think about Shen, the Parshman added to the bridge crew?

The Parshendi have to be getting their Shardblades and plates from SOMEWHERE.  Whether it’s from ruins they’ve stumbled upon or if some figure is gifting them, I don’t know.  But it seems to be the root of most of the problems.  As for our Parshman, he’s definitely got more to him than meets the eye.  As do the rest of the Parshmen, I would think.  I wonder when they came to be used as slaves by everyone else?  And if they have a hivemind type thing like the Parshendi?  If they do… I would be afraid of what happens if they all decide to rebel at once.

4. Shallan has some seriously bizarre visions or hallucinations. Do you have any new ideas about the nature of the symbol-headed figures: are they good or evil? What about the alternative world and the beads: could that really have been the soul or essence of the goblet that she spoke to before it changed into blood?

At first I thought they were malevolent beings… Now I’m not so sure.  They definitely have something to do with Shallan figuring out how to Soulcast, but the connection with the king and a supposed future demise also bothers me.  Or maybe I’m reading too much into things?  The alternate world with the beads made me think almost of the atoms binding the goblet together, or seeing the goblet at a more molecular level.  At least, this seems like an interesting way to think about it.

5. Does Kaladin’s dream / vision seem similar to those that Dalinar has been having? He is called the ‘Child of Tanavast, Child of Honor’ and there is mention of an entity called Odium, who appears to be rather bad. Do you have any speculation about these two beings, how they fit into the world that we have seen so far and why the name Odium makes Syl hiss and fly off?

It is definitely of a similar source, for sure, but they obviously have different roles to play and therefore receive different messages.  I don’t really know what they are, to be honest.  Odium sounds like the embodiment of evil from the information we have so far, but perhaps that is too broad of an assessment.  Whatever they are, they definitely have a connection to the impending calamity that Roshar will likely face in the near future.

6. We have learnt some more about the events following Cenn’s chapter way back at the beginning of the book. Were you surprised that Kaladin defeated a Shardbearer almost singlehandedly? This still does not explain why he is a slave, but does it bring us closer to guessing?

Kaladin is the best, I swear.  I’m not entirely surprised he managed to do it himself, but I WAS surprised that he relinquished his rightful prize to another.  I mean, from the past info I thought it was stolen directly from him… But now I can only assume it could have been taken from the man he gave it to.  We are definitely closer to the heart of the truth in this matter.  Amaram was NOT prepared for that at all.  Which begs the question… Why WAS there a Shardbearer in that battle in the first place?  *ponders*

7. I think I made it quite clear last week that I did not trust Kabsal, so I am now feeling rather smug. However, I did not guess at the poison in the bread: did it surprise you as well? Can you see any way that Shallan can reconcile with Jasnah now that the theft has been revealed?

Oh, Kabsal.  Oh, oh Kabsal… The poison was completely unexpected, especially with the antidote in the jam.  Though, Kabsal was acting rather suspicious and I had already thought he had ulterior motives, I just didn’t believe he would actually go to such lengths.  At this point, I don’t know if Shallan can reconcile at all with Jasnah, though I think Jasnah has a lot more up her sleeve than I think.  She had to have known before.  She had to…

So we’ve got a big spooky force that makes our lovely spren hiss, ehh?  Sounds like signs of big things going down. 😀  See you next week, guys~

Advertisements

The Way of Kings Read Along: Week Six

wayofkingsral

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?

The Way of Kings Read Along: Week Five

wayofkingsral

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. ❤

The Way of Kings Read Along: Week Two

wayofkingsral

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~