This week, Lynn’s Book Blog is our host, so make sure to swing by her place.
Here is the SCHEDULE in case you want to jump in and join us. Anyone is welcome.
Chapters 14-19 are covered. Spoilers are having a party below!
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?
The Wit likes to challenge those who needs challenging. I think Sadeas is at the top of that list. I also have this theory about Wit. If you have read other Sanderson works, then you know that they all occur within the same universe, or Cosmere. There is also a character, Hoid, that shows up in these different works – here’s a non-spoilery link to a little info on this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandon_Sanderson#The_Cosmere
So, I think the Wit is Hoid and therefore, the potential danger of pushing Sadeas to any other idiot to the point of a dual isn’t as serious.
The King is going to be suspicious of anyone who repeatedly tells him he is overly suspicious and paranoid. And Dalinar and Adolin, while dutifully looking into any and all possible assassination attempts, haven’t found anything solid.
Which leads me to wonder if anyone is making half-ass attempts just to screw with the King’s mind, and therefore make him doubtful or suspicious of those closest to him. This could lead to Dalinar and his sons falling out of the King’s favor, making room for someone else to rise in favor.
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?
OK, there is my quick, easy assessment. Sadeas could have the men stage shields and armor at various point among the shattered plains. The bridgemen could then carry the bridges most of the way without armor and shields and then quickly don them before the final few runs. There are ways around this, if speed is of the essence.
Hence, Sadeas is an ass for not caring enough about his men. And yes, the bridgemen are still his men even if half of them are slaves. By not valuing a sizeable chunk of his forces, he will undermine himself sooner or later. Why should those men care about him, the success of campaigns, and hence, the success of the King, if none of those lords and rulers care even about their most basic needs?
I thin Sadeas can be trusted to do good to those he sees as equals or above himself. So, basically the King and maybe a few of the High Princes, maybe the King’s mother (is she still alive?) and his wife (does he have one?). So, top royalty. I think Dalinar did a great job of explaining to Adolin why he and Sadeas have this love-hate relationship going on.
3. Elhokar has suspicions about attempts on his life – is he paranoid or not and, if not, who do you suspect might be responsible?
Tough question. Well, I already speculated a little above in question 1 that perhaps someone is making half-assed attempts just to discredit Dalinar and sons to make room for someone else to rise in favor and have more access to the King.
Now, is someone trying to kill him for real? Of course! He is the top most royalty of a newly formed nation. Is there a single ruler ever on any world who hasn’t had to face assassination attempts? Nope. Every ruler needs a Pope-mobile.
As to who? Well, I want to say, whoever is to gain. But I don’t think we know enough yet about all the players. Dalinar and his sons, who would be the first to benefit, are stolidly loyal to Elhokar. Sadeas is an ass, and the narrative keeps pointing us to him, but that seems too obvious for Sanderson. I think we need more info before we can really point a finger at any one faction or person.
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?
The dude has a pair of brass balls! Not just for taking point on the bridge, but for also going back out into the fracas to haul the wounded back to a safe rock outcropping. I wish he could use those balls as shields, but he seems to have some sort of luck or personal shield. Arrows hit all around him, but not him. At this point in the story, that could be one hell of a fluke. But if it happens on the next run, and the next….well, then it is something more.
I also have to point out that there may be something about Kaladin and fully charged spheres running down quicker. Is he like a battery sucker, stealing the charge from infused spheres merely through proximity? Or is Gaz passing off run down spheres to him as part of his pay, hoping Kaladin will leave them out in a storm for charging and perhaps Gaz will get a chance to steal them?
In any case, Kaladin is special – just for taking point and then pulling his wounded men to safety.
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??
Yes, I think it is important. First, Dalinar sees the current ‘war efforts’ as little more than rich men’s games. And he’s right. He wants more, something glorious and honorable and that truly makes a difference for the kingdom. He studies books that speak of times where there was something truly worth fighting, and fighting for. We saw a mini battle with a fully awake chasm fiend, and that was heart-pounding! But most of the time, these High Princes are breaking open a chrysalis of a slumbering chasm fiend and then merely butchering it. That’s not a battle, or even a hunt.
Then Dalinar has these visions (see the next question), but they seem to be about times when there was true evil to fight, not gem hearts to win.
Which then leads me to speculate about the Parshendi. Did they have Gavilar assassinated because he was close to figuring out one of their secrets? Why do the Parshendi fight for the gemhearts? If Dalinar gets close to figuring out whatever Gavilar did, will the Parshendi be interested in having him assassinated?
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?
Well, there seems to be an obvious link. First, it is repeatable – happens every Highstorm, and it doesn’t seem to happen any other time. So, is the storm allowing him to relive past lives? Live random lives? Is it significant who he saves, or doesn’t, in each vision? Or is it the memories of the mysterious voice who always chats with him? So many questions.
For this particular vision, he retained his own warrior skills and was able to use them in a body of a man who was not trained to be a fighter. So this makes me think he is not reliving his own past lives. Next, I loved that there was a female Shardbearer, which feeds back into my comment about Shallan last week. Next, the Shardbearers had no issues chatting with Heb and his little family; they didn’t look down on the ‘common folk’.
And what the hell were those things! Man, I won’t be walking around in the dark for a week unless I am armed with a fire poker!
Did anyone else enjoy how the Wit treated Renarin? ‘Nothing Ridiculous’! Ha!
I love Dalinar’s forthright behavior, especially when talking with his sons. He use to be a party animal, and was flat out drunk when his brother was killed. I think that really bothers him. But instead of becoming a full-time drunk, or taking a walk into an Honor Chasm, he uses that guilt to be a better man.
I love the little flashbacks we get about young Kal’s life. His first crush. His first stick fight. His brother Tien. All great stuff that fills in some gaps about the Kaladin of Bridgecrew 4.
Nearly all of the chasm fiends are slaughtered while in their chrysalises, making it easy to butcher out the gemhearts. Does anyone else wonder what the chasm fiends would metamorphose into if left alone in their chrysalises?
I think the culture of Alethcar has gotten a little silly from where it once was. For instance, we know that Szeth reads and writes. Perhaps he picked up these skills in secret, but since he didn’t have any hesitancy about leaving Gavilar’s last words in writing, I don’t think so. I think he comes from a place and time where it was common for men to read and write. Next, Dalinar’s latest vision shows a female Shardbearer. She probably doesn’t have to worry about covering her Safe Hand. The current culture of Alethcar seems more fragile and full of frippery than the past, at least based on the glimpses we’ve been given. Anyone else feel this way?
My Fellow Chasmfiends!