The Way of Kings Read Along Part X

Stout as a bookstand.

Stout as a bookstand.

This week, On Starships and Dragonwings is our host, so make sure to swing by her place. Let me take a moment to thank everyone who participated. You’ve all been great and the turn out of co-hosts was far more than Anya and I were expecting when we put our heads together to plan this. Also, a super big thank you to Anya for working with Tor Publishing to pull together an epic giveaway, which added extra fun to this adventure.

There is a tentative plan to do a read along of Book 2, Words of Radiance (which just came out yesterday) but will post more details once I know them.

And just an FYI – my internet has been up and down the past week, which is frustrating when you have drafted up a big post and then can’t save it for 2-4 hours…..and then it becomes lost in the aether. Same with leaving lengthy replies to read alongs on other peoples’ blogs. I haven’t forgotten folks, and look forward visiting everyone and seeing what your thoughts are on this book. Thanks for your patience!

Without further adieu, The End!

Chapters 66-END are covered. Spoilers are having a party below!

1. Syl’s true nature as an honorspren has been revealed! She once again asks the interesting question: are spren attracted to their element or do they create that element? What do you think? Do you think there are more honorspren or is Syl unique?

I think the spren are attracted to the element and once they start dancing with it, sort to speak, then they enhance that element. Also, I think if a spren is taken notice of by a human, defined by a human in any way, this becomes a part of the spren, even if only temporarily.

And I believe we heard of other honorspren earlier in the book….I can’t recall if it was Jasnah’s research or Dalinar’s narrative where he is thinking of the book, The Way of Kings.

2. The Parshendi had a whole host of reactions to Kaladin’s power, mostly including fear and awe, though they also seemed to recognize him or his power. Why do you think that is? How do you think the Parshendi hiring Szeth plays into it?

The end of this book left me with lots and lots of questions – of the good variety. Definitely looking forward to Book 2. But the Parshendi reactions to Kaladin are some of the biggest questions for me. They seem to recognize what he is and have some idea of his abilities. They fear him, they hold him in awe, they are practical and take the gemstones out of their beards.

And yet I still have this question – did they hire Szeth or do they simply know what a Surgebinder is because they have them among their own kind? Even Szeth’s narrative never definitely gave who hired him, and definitely not why.  So, still tons of questions around that one.

3. Dalinar makes some pretty intense decisions towards the end of this book, including trading his Shardblade to free the bridgemen and completely changing how he wants to deal with the highprinces. Do you think these were good decisions?

There are two scenes with Dalinar that make him stand out for me in the book – 1) Where he trades his Shardblade for the bridgemen; 2) Where he gifts Kaladin a cloak in his colors, basically making Kaladin just one step removed from Family. Incredible! May Navani be worthy of this man.

Oh, and I thoroughly enjoyed the part where Dalinar kicks the King around his royal rooms after he finds out that Elhokar cut his own girth strap. That was very, very satisfying.

So, now Dalinar has Navani’s backing (and he openly accepts and acknowledges their relationship), he has straightened out the bullshit with the King (assassins everywhere!), and he has a new, certain to be incredibly loyal bridgecrew army. Oh yeah, Dalinar is going to kick some major ass in Book 2 if he doesn’t get himself killed…..like by Szeth.

4. A lot of mysteries surrounding Jasnah are finally revealed! Do you think that she is right and that most Soulcasters do work? Why do you think Shallan and Jasnah both happen to have this soulcasting power? What is Shadesmar really?

Wow, another set of questions that I hope we get answers to in Book 2. I think that Soulcasters may allow people with lesser abilities to tap into the ability. Or perhaps whoever creates the soulcaster can imbue it with some minor abilities. While Jasnah and Shallan obviously have great abilities in Soulcasting – and I don’t know why, but would guess perhaps they are a pair of lost Knights Radiants?

Now for Shadesmar – perhaps this is the place spren come from, like the Symbolheads. I also read some of the links provided by others on Hoid (Wit in this book) and there was a little snippet about Shadesmar (TINY SPOILER ALERT) being the realm that Hoid uses to travel between the various Sanderson worlds (END TINY SPOILER). I expect we will get more info on this Shadesmar in Book 2, especially in how it relates to this world.

5. Szeth is once again on a mission, but this time we really don’t want him to succeed! What do you think is going to happen with him and Dalinar in the next book? Do you think Szeth and Kaladin will recognize each other’s power?

What I hope is that Kaladin and/or Dalinar will be able to subdue Szeth and talk with him and eventually get him to walk over to their side. They may have to locate Szeth’s Oathstone to do this. And since the current Oathstone holder is in Karbranth, Shallan and/or Jasnah may very well put their hands on it. Without Szeth there to protect the King of Karbranth, how would the king keep Jasnah or Shallan from rummaging through his stuff until they found the stone?

What I fear is that Szeth will succeed in killing Dalinar and will be forever hunted by Kaladin for this deed.

6. We finally have a better idea where the Parshmen and Parshendi came from! What do you think the real history is there? How did people possibly enslave the Voidbringers and why are the Parshendi now changing?

Ah, yes! I have been wanting to discuss this the entire book. First, are we sure that Jasnah is right? Are the Parshendi the Voidbringers? All the descriptions we have seem to make the Voidbringers into big whirling dark shadowy beings of death – chaotic and perhaps malevolent. The Parshmen haven’t struck me as particularly Voidbringer-ish. The Parshendi definitely have warrior skills, but are they chaotic? No, they seem pretty organized. Are they malevolent? I am not sure. As we understand so little of their culture, it is hard to say.

But like all people, the Parshendi could have various cultures, religions, city-states just like the humans. I wonder if the Parshendi see the human Surgebinders as their form of Voidbringers? Are the Parshmen the equivalent of the peace-loving Shin? So much to learn about them!

And if Jasnah is even close to right, then a good chunk of humanity has chosen to surround themselves with descendents or distant relatives of the ancient Voidbringers. This could be very, very bad for society as Jasnah and crew know it.

As to why the Parshendi are now changing, I am not sure. Perhaps they didn’t hire Szeth – perhaps it was a ruse by humans as Gavilar’s family assumed, by the Parshendi reaction, that is was them. Perhaps the Parshendi recognized Szeth and his abilities and to them he is a Voidbringer. So they have reacted with in a way that makes sense to them.

7. The last chapter with the Almighty was pretty crazy. What do you think about this vision? What do you think this means for Dalinar’s future and the world’s (universe’s??) future? What is Odium really?

First, I would really like Syl to tell Kaladin whatever she knows about Odium. And I think it was Sue from Coffee, Cookies, and Chili Peppers that put forth the idea that this world has Honor and Odium paired. Is Syl THE Honor? Or is she just in service to Honor? We’ve seen how Syl with small words and actions has kept Kaladin going, has helped him make really difficult choices. Could Odium being doing similar things in the opposite direction with key people – like the King of Karbranth? Like with Sadeas? Or are people so selfish and cruel on their own that Odium just has to sit back and wait?

I think Dalinar has already started to make the hard and right choices. He gave up his Shardblade (Syl was very pleased by this, saying it makes him a better man, which now makes me suspicious of all Shardblades), he is openly courting Navani (which was very hard to do as he felt it might be perceived as inappropriate), he kicked King Elhokar around for his stupidity (my personal favorite of his decisions), and he has given bridgemen places of honor in his personal guard. I think the final vision will reinforce all these decisions and push Dalinar to get to the bottom things – like all those ‘whys’ surrounding the Parshendi.

Other Tidbits:

A full-sized Syl! We knew that spren could get big, but I didn’t know a little spren could become a big spren. And she needed Kaladin to say the words! Such a long sequence of intense scenes.

Navani! I am so glad she turned out to be on Dalinar’s side and it was amazing her putting together that ‘Justice’ symbol (rune thingy?) on the ground and burning it to send it heavenward. Nicely done. Intense.

So this large, capable Parshendi fighter spoke to Dalinar – saying something like ‘It is you!’. I forget exactly, but what do you think the Parshendi meant? Do you think they wanted Dalinar alive? Or did they see he was related to Gavilar and want him dead?

The King of Karbranth and his sick ward! I don’t mind him taking the verbal samples from people who are beyond medical help, nor even him and his folks assisting the hopeless cases into an easy death….but they are going beyond that!!!! So, I wouldn’t mind seeing the king end up giving his last verbal sample.

My Fellow Honorspren:

Musings on Fantasia

There Were Books Involved

Caffeinated Life

On Starships & Dragonwings

Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers

Tethyan Books

Over the Effing Rainbow

Book Vulture

Lunar Rainbows

Novel Reflection

Doing Dewey

Lynn’s Book Blog

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6 thoughts on “The Way of Kings Read Along Part X

  1. Glad you are all enjoying this book. Hopefully it will work out to merge this planned Words of Radiance read along with the one I have planned so that we can all experience the next adventure together.

  2. lynnsbooks says:

    It was a great ending in so many ways – with yet so many unanswered questions (but, luckily book 2 is now out!)
    I was a bit stunned about the suggestion of the Parshendi being Voidbringers. It just doesn’t feel right somehow. If they are – how come they’re not causing mass destruction on the chasms already. I don’t know, I was expecting something fairly devastating in terms of the voidbringers and the Parshendi don’t feel quite like that. As usual though, I will wait and no doubt be proved wrong!
    Lynn

    http://lynnsbooks.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/way-of-kings-by-brandon-sanderson-readalong-week-10/

  3. tethyanbooks says:

    I was surprised by how much change happened in just these last few chapters! I loved Dalinar’s developments, too, and hold out a tiny bit of hope that Kaladin will turn Szeth to the light side. And yeah, I don’t think there’s any excusing what Taravangian has done, even if he thinks he’s acting in the best interests of the world. I don’t think we’re meant to, either, since a big theme in the story has been that the ends don’t justify the means.

    My answers: http://tethyanbooks.blogspot.fr/2014/03/read-along-way-of-kings-by-brandon.html

  4. Liesel Hill says:

    Yeah that was super-cool when Syl got all big. (Weird thing to say.) I definitely wonder what it all means, and can’t wait to see what happens in next book with the attempt on Dalinar’s life and all the new elements introduced at the end! :D

  5. Miss Mimz says:

    Ooooh a Words of Radiance read-along sounds like just what The Doctor ordered – hopefully I can get my hands on a copy before this (possibly) launches haha

    Thanks SO much for putting this together with Anya and having us all along. It was my very first read-along and I adored chatting Sanderson’s brilliance with all of you ♥

    I’m currently thinking that Jasna is right about the Voidbringers/Parshendi and to me the fact that they recognized Kaladin’s powers as a Radiant seals the deal: old enemies remembering each other for days long since past… I do wonder if maybe Odium is somehow controlling them, making them awaken, turning them into Voidbringers somehow?!

    I think Dalinar made all the right decisions at the end there too! I loved how he kicked his King around, it felt so good to read through that LOL XD and him giving up his sword was so bloody brilliant – especially with Kaladin to witness it all. Kaladin kind of had no choice but to trust Dalinar after that LOL

    I *seriously* hope that Kaladin can stop Szeth. He must NOT kill Dalinar, that simply can not happen D:

    I wonder if the King of Karbranth is being ‘guided’ by Odium?! Hmmmm… gah, I wish ALL the books were out now and we could know everything XD

    Here’s my link: http://www.lunar-rainbows.com/2014/03/way-of-kings-ral-conclusion.html

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