Welcome everyone! We’ve returned with another installment of the Words of Radiance Read Along. Want to join us? Everyone is welcome. Just check out the schedule post over HERE. Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings and I swapped weeks, so we’ll see him hosting next week.
This week, I am our host, so make sure to leave your link in the comments.
This week we cover Chapter16 through the end of Chapter 28. Spoilers abound below!
1) We have a new character on the scene: Zahel, a swordmaster. What do you think of his interest in Kaladin?
Zahel might very well turn out to be a favorite character. I like how he handles Renarin, giving him simple training at first and praising his efforts. I like how he handles Adolin, telling him he is a dumbass for tossing a non-Shardbearer around the training yard.
And I really like how he sees the potential in Kaladin. Prior to Zahel entering the story, I thought Kaladin would be forced to reveal his powers fighting Szeth or the Parshendi. Now I think it might happen while sparring Zahel, or Zahel will guess. Or Kaladin will get in a pissing contest with Adolin and he will start to glow Stormlight.
2) We learned a bit more about Shallan’s past. What do you think her brother Heralan was doing all those years ago, coming and going as he did, and where did his Shardblade come from?
There is so much we don’t know about Shallan and her family. Perhaps Heralan was the one who started working with the secret order (brotherhood? I forget what they are are called) and that is where he got the Shardblade. And then perhaps he had to go run errands for them. Maybe later on, his efforts with this brotherhood go the family the fabrial. Anyway, that is my best guess.
3) What do you think of Shallan’s recent actions with the caravans? How about her growing friendship with Tyn? And her first interaction with Kaladin?
Shallan is turning into a badass character and I like it! I love how she convinced the deserters to be heroes once again, how she took Tvlak’s slaves in ‘payment’ for his life. She is really learning how to be assertive and to use confidence to mask her fears. Oh, and to use her powers to glamor herself up so others are awed by her.
Her friendship with tyn is built on some major assumptions (by Tyn) and a few lies, or at least hidden truths (by Shallan). So I am not sure it will last long. Tyn seems to be able to roll with the punches, but once she realizes that Shallan is exactly who she said she is, I am not sure Tyn will stick around for long.
Haha! The meeting between Shallan and Kaladin was one of my favorites for this week. Boots!
4) Kaladin took Syl’s advice and confided in Dalinar concerning Amaram. What do you think Dalinar will do with this information?
Yikes! I so want to believe Dalinar will do the right thing. But if he has to way the right thing for Kaladin versus the right thing for the kingdom, I am pretty sure the kingdom will come out on top. I am a little surprised that Kaladin decided to confide in Dalinar so soon after his chat with Syl. I expected more hand-wringing over it. After all, Kaladin has HUGE trust issues.
I am not sure how Dalinar can investigate this matter without tipping off Amaram that he is looking into it. So, either way, he has to confront Amaram – either up front or after the investigation begins. Could get ugly, and at a time when Dalinar needs all the support he can get. Yeah, Kaladin’s concerns may be pushed to back burner.
5) There has been yet another attempt on the King’s life. Do you think this is another faked attempt (as Ehlokar did with the saddle girth in Book 1)? If not, who do you think is the most likely culprit?
My first inclination was to to think that Elhokar faked this assassination attempt in order to test his current group of body guards. I haven’t completely dismissed this suspicion. In fact, I think I need Dalinar to kick the king around a bit before I do let go of this suspicion.
But then I thought that it would be a little obvious, right? Wouldn’t that be one of the first things Dalinar would consider? And yet, it didn’t come up. Hmm…..
It appears to be someone who had access to the balcony after the highstorm and who also had a Shardblade. Unless Moash has been hiding a Shardblade in his trousers, I doubt it is him. Perhaps one of the king’s guards who train with the king’s Shardblades?
6) Gaz has returned to the story, after having mysteriously dropped out in Book 1. What do you think he isn’t telling Shallan? How do you think the men of Bridge 4 will react upon seeing him again?
Wow! I had wondered where Gaz had gotten off to, but I didn’t expect this. Desertion takes some balls and I was pretty sure Gaz’s had been removed long ago.
Shallan questioned Gaz about his debts and suspected gambling at the root. Gaz said he rather be turned over to the authorities and kind of walked off. It seems that whatever the cause of his debts, he doesn’t want to tell Shallan about it. Could Gaz be protecting someone? Or is that a little too noble for him. Maybe it is an old family debt and he is embarrassed by it, or a brother’s gambling debts, etc. At any rate, I really look forward to learning more about Gaz.
I am not sure how Bridge 4 will react. Before Gaz disappeared, he and Kaladin kind of had a truce going. So maybe Gaz can earn their respect. It seems most of the men know what it is like to make the bad decision, to feel ashamed, and they have come out the other side, becoming worthy men. So hopefully, they can see that potential in Gaz.
7) Eshonai and Adolin had a brief chat on the Shattered Plains. What will come of it? How will the Parshendi ever get a messenger to Dalinar?
Yet another unexpected turn, at least for me. Right now, only Adolin knows of Eshonai’s request. If he passes it on to Dalinar, I expect that Dalinar will leap on it. But will Adolin pass it on? People already have doubts about Dalinar. If Dalinar starts accepting Parshendi messengers into his camp, what will the other Highprinces do? I can see Adolin having heartburn over this one and keeping it close to his chest while he mulls it over.
I can see the Parshendi using their Dull Form spies to get a meeting time and location (probably somewhere on the Shattered Plains) to Dalinar. Of course, Adolin would counsel that it could be a trap.
Gaz was a source of amusement this week with Shallan’s quip about his breath, and then later Gaz’s quip about tongues!
I didn’t realize how attached I was to Bluth until he exited the story. 🙁
Those pesky numbers showed up again after the latest Highstorm. I am starting to suspect the red lightning spren we hear about in small bits.
Gaz was the first to take Shallan up on her offer and run off to help the caravaners. Gaz! Of all people!
My Fellow Horneaters:
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Stainless Steel Droppings