Words of Radiance Read Along Part V

SandersonWordsOfRadianceBannerWelcome 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. Another slight change to the schedule: Sue from Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers is our host this week. Make sure to swing by her place to see links to all the participants.

This week we cover Chapter40 through the end of Chapter 48. Spoilers abound below!

1. Sebarial and Palona seem to be quite good fun. Do you accept them at face value, or are they playing a much deeper political game? Are you concerned that Jasnah’s intelligence on them seems to have been wrong?

Based on what I have seen so far, Sebarial is more of a merchant or town mayor than the typical war-mongering high prince. He’s built a town, an economy, commerce. And he seems quite proud of it. Palona seems to be quite the effecient house mistress, keeping everything in order, including Sebarial.

If these two are up to something more than attaining and keeping a comfortable lifestyle, then I would say they are looking for some sort of political reform to give more people equal rights. But that’s just a guess.

And now that Shallan is in their midst, I would not be surprised if they get dragged into something more!

As for Jasnah’s intelligence – Shallan said it was based on infrequent visits to the Shattered Plains. And Sebarial definitely shows one face to the High Princes, the face Jasnah’s notes described.

2. When Kal finally works out how to alter gravity, he sees a shadowy world with a distant sun. Is this Shadesmar, or do you think that there is yet another parallel world in this universe?

I think it is Shadesmar. So far, there has just been the one parallel world and I don’t think we have had hints of yet another world. And we don’t know much about Shadesmar, not even how big it is.

I did get a kick out of Kaladin training and the peanut gallery egging him on. Plus, Syl begging him to show the world what he really is, to stop hiding. For a brief moment, I thought he just might do it. And then he fell to the ground.

3. Renarin has demanded to be trained with the other Bridgecrews. Am I the only one to find him unbearably cute? Do you think that Kal can eventually train him to be partially competent with his Shards?

I was quite surprised by this. True, we haven’t seen much of Renarin other than him being timid. What surprised me was his lack of prejudice for the Dark Eyes. His brother, and even his father to some extent, believe that there is a hierarchy of people and the Dark Eyes are definitely below the Light Eyes. They can treat them with respect, but they have a place in society, period. Renarin either has set this aside or never really had the prejudice.

I think Kal can train him to be a soldier, think like a soldier, automatically fall into fighting stances, etc. But I still think it will be Zahel who teaches Renarin how to fight in Shards.

I can’t wait to see what Adolin and Dalinar make of this!

4. Shallan has learnt how to use her Surgebinding to adopt disguises. What did you think of her meeting with the Ghostbloods? Do you think that she can fool them successfully long enough to discover anything? Any ideas on why they want to remove Amaram?

Shallan has a pair of big brass ones, that’s for sure. She risked much going to meet the Ghostbloods. I expect we will see the Light Eyes again as Shallan has pretty free reign to move among the nobility. I am not sure about the woman in the mask who followed her when she left. Is she Parshendi? Or is there some other magic at work here?

Shallan is still so very new to this game and I worry that she will over play her hand and be discovered by the Ghostbloods to be a threat. They seem extremely tight lipped. So while she may not learn anything directly from them, she may learn quite a bit while running errands for them.

The main speaker (Merser?) said that Amaram was not to be harmed by Tyn and her associates, that he was marked for another. I wonder if Sadeas has his fingers in this as well? At any rate, I expect Shallan will find it quite interesting to go snooping through Amaram’s closets and underwear draw (whitey tidies? red hot thong?).

5. Ok, so I was wrong: sorry, Elhokar, for assuming that you had made another rubbish attempt at a fake assassination. Were you surprised that Moash was involved in such an organized conspiracy? Do you agree with the ‘patriots’ and what do you think Kal should do about them?

We had a hint 1 or 2 weeks ago that Moash was in the right place at the right time to have attempted this latest folly. But I didn’t expect him to be in league with others. He just isn’t the trusting kind. But this group of patriots seems to have won him over, even more completely than Kaladin.

So far, I haven’t seen the patriots try to remove or set aside Elhokar in other ways – like having him declared incompetent or simply getting him sent home and allowing Dalinar to reign as regent. So I am not on board with the assassination attempts. I think Syl is right about the difference between vengeance and killing to protect. Moash wants Elhokar dead as payback for his grandparents dying. Kaladin wants Amaram dead for killing his friends, betraying him, and enslaving him. If Kaladin thinks Moash’s actions lack honor, I think he will have to reassess his own desires concerning Amaram.

I expect that Kaladin will decide to deal with the patriots in his own way instead of snitching on them, due to his loyalty to Moash. However, Moash could easily break this by being an idiot.

6. We are seeing much more of Shallan’s family life. Can someone explain why nobody has killed her father yet? Also, is anyone concerned about the girl that Nan Balat has his eye on: will he become a wife-beater himself?

I think Shallans’ memories clearly show us a family that grew up dominated and terrorized by their patriarch. On one hand, yes, I want someone to kill the old bastard off now. On the other hand I totally get why the family hasn’t done this yet. I believe that part of it is the fear of the unknown – this is the only life they have known so far, and what would it turn into with the patriarch? And I think another big part of it is that they each fear to become the asshole, even if it is to kill the main asshole off.

In Book 1, Nan Balat has a fiance who does the span reader communication for Shallan’s brothers. I can’t remember her name. But there was no hint in Book 1 that Balat was a wife beater. So, perhaps having the love of at least one person (fiance) helps Balat refrain from vivisecting too many animals? The dude still creeps me out, but perhaps he would be so much worse without Shallan and a female life partner in his life.

7. Any guesses about the identity of the messenger who speaks to Shallan at the fair? Also, what do you make from the sections of the Words of Radiance that are included at the beginning of the chapters?

I thought perhaps it was Hoid/Wit, but he didn’t through any riddles or quips at her. Perhaps it is another Worldsinger, trained by Hoid?

I think those sections are hints to help prepare us for things to come. Obviously, I haven’t figured them out yet. But I do love how Sanderson builds these things in as they make the book excellent for rereads.

Tofu actually believes he is hiding behind this book.
Tofu actually believes he is hiding behind this book.

Other Tidbits:

Shallan easily left and returned to the Sebarial palace without be noted, once in disguise. Did she go out a window? I know it’s a war camp, but still, wouldn’t Palona have a guard or two posted at the entrance to the home?

Kaladin decided to trust Chen and gave him a spear. Chen seemed really touched. But now that I know a little more about the Parshendi, I wonder if Chen is one of their spies. I could see how that could be bad or perhaps good.

Haha! I loved how Shallan got onto the practice field for sketching the Shards. And her comments to both Adolin and Kaladin were very funny! And Adolin’s reaction was hilarious!

It was fun to watch Shallan interacting with the crowds as a simple Dark Eyes. She waited for a group to move out of her way, and eventually realized she has to move. She bought some candied fruit with way too much money. Hopefully she will learn quickly.

Shallan risked much to save her brother, though the heavies did let Shallan keep her necklace. I hope this brother doesn’t turn around and get himself killed.

My Fellow Ghostbloods:

Musings on Fantasia

Lynn’s Book Blog

Over the Effing Rainbow

Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers

Making My Mark

Books Without Any Pictures

Stainless Steel Droppings

4 thoughts on “Words of Radiance Read Along Part V”

  1. Ah, Tofu is a cutie. What a good “hiding” spot. My Att loves to hide in plain site as well.

    You make a good point about Wit or that it wasn’t Wit. There weren’t any riddles, but that was who I assumed it was. I wonder if/when we’ll find out. Hopefully not

    I’d forgotten that Balat had a fiancee in the first book. Her father is such an ass and I kinda hope he gets killed soon since I’m tired of him. Not nice of me I know.

    Renarin, maybe he can relate to the dark eyes since no one respects him. Then again, it would be just as possible that he’d be prejudiced so he could seem more powerful than others. However, he’s a reader. I firmly believe readers are more open minded. Adolin isn’t going to like this one bit.

    1. i like your point about Renarin being a reader, or at least a studier since Alethi men in general don’t read accept for a few glyphs – too womanly an art. Renarin has probably studied other cultures where dark eyes are equal or even in charge. So, yeah, he most definitely has a more open mind.

  2. I’d also forgotten about Balat’s fiance. He doesn’t seem terribly nice but then i don’t suppose he’s had the nicest childhood. Hopefully, like you say, having someone who loves him might help some?
    I was also thinking about Wit being the person who spoke the Shallan – although to be honest I think I was just grasping at straws and came up with that because he’s the only real person who has been out of the picture. I need to go back and reread the comments – I don’t think I actually paid enough attention to what was actually said!
    Lynn 😀

    1. We didn’t see much of Balat’s fiance in Book 1, but I don’t recall Shallan being concerned for her safety. So I like to think that she is a positive force in Balat’s life and keeping him somewhat healthy.

Comments are always appreciated, so don't be shy!