This week, There Were Books Involved 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 33-42 are covered. Spoilers are having a party below!
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??
I definitely remember what happens with Kabsal from my first reading. I think Kabsal tries to be truthful with Shallan, like she tries to be truthful to him. But they both have things they can’t speak about. I think Kabsal can’t truly steal the Soulcaster. If he did, and it was guessed he did, him and his votary would feel the entire might of Jasnah bearing down on them – which means the entire might of Alethcar.
Perhaps converting Jasnah to a votary, any votary, would be enough. Perhaps he is just there to gather intel to feed back to his votary. Perhaps it is something more sinister. While we do get a good solid answer on this question later in the book, we never learn Kabsal’s motivations. So I like to guess on those (but not in this section of the reading as that would be spoilery).
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?
Well, again, I remember what happens with Shallan on this point. But I do remember wondering all sorts of things with my first read. This book is so excellent, and one of the ways I know that is because I spent lots of time thinking about the characters during boring work meetings. Let’s say she makes it back home with the Soulcaster. Will she learn how to use it? If she learns how to use it, will her brothers use her? And what about those men who came to visit her brother and are demanding the Soulcaster back? Will they take it? If they do, Shallan will not longer be of significant use to her brothers. Which means they would probably marry her off for political gain.
On the other hand, if she stays with Jasnah, she would either need to confess her theft or switch it back. Staying would probably create some consternation for her remaining family. Again, marriage to a strong, wealthy political ally (maybe partially due to Jasnah’s influence) might solve the problem. Or clever Shallan might come up with some other way to finance her family, at least temporarily.
Or perhaps something completely unexpected will decide the matter. ;)
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??
I’m starting to sound like a broken record. I totally know the answer.
Jasnah is very smart, but also highly focused on her studies. Other than their academic conversations, has Jasnah shown any interest in Shallan’s personal life or history since taking her on as a ward? No. So, has she noticed that her Soulcaster has been swapped? Hmm….Well, if she knows, why would she let Shallan hang on to it? Is it a test? If it’s a fake, is it to see if Shallan will confess her theft? If it’s the real one, is it a test to see if Shallan is clever enough to figure out how to use it?
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??
Well, I don’t think Kaladin was hallucinating, but I also don’t recommend that he step out into a high storm to try to see the being again. I think the highstorm recharged the sphere. I don’t know if the entire highstorm is part of this being, or because of this being, or if this being gets swept up into the storm like Kaladin was, like Dalinar gets caught up in them. I do have the impression that this being is bigger, perhaps even more elemental, than us mere mortals (including Kaladin and Dalinar). Still, lots of questions about it.
And is it malevolent? Well, if it was malicious, I would think it would have ripped Kaladin off the roof to be smashed and torn to bits in the storm. But it didn’t. It wasn’t particularly gentle either, but this could be due to it’s elemental nature (if I am right about that).
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?
I am not sure Sadeas will acknowledge Kaladin’s continued existence. And if he doesn’t acknowledge it, then it would probably be unwise for anyone else to do so. Still, there are the other bridgecrews that can probably give Kaladin a nod and not get whipped for it. Maybe some of the common soldiers. He could inadvertently start a revolution!
Or not. I think it would be too simple to start a revolution this early in the what is to be a lengthy series.
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?
Teft’s an interesting character. There is so much we have to guess about his past based on his few remarks we catch. He has mentioned that Kaladin shouldn’t depend on him, he’ll just let him down. Sounds Like Teft was charged with some important task, or secret, or item and somehow couldn’t keep to that charge. And now we hear just a little bit about the Envisagers and Stormlight and we see how the spheres seem to give up their Stormlight to Kaladin. There is definitely plenty for Teft to explain, but will he? And how much does he know? Is what he ‘knows’ just rumor and children’s tales? Or does he know something from some ancient text, like The Way of Kings?
Yep, Teft is definitely a great one to contemplate.
What did you think of Jasnah’s philosophical lesson in the alley? Tough lesson. Did you agree with Shallan’s conclusion?
Syl got to stay with Kaladin in the highstorm. I just love her loyalty.
My Fellow Rockbuds: