The Way of Kings Read Along: Week Six

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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?

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The Way of Kings Read Along: Week Four

wayofkingsral

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.