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. Another slight change to the schedule: Lynn from Lynn’s Book Blog is our host this week. Make sure to swing by her place to see links to all the participants.
This week we cover Chapter49 through the end of Chapter 57. Spoilers abound below!
1. Shallan and Adolin meet up for a nice glass of wine and a pleasant chat!! What did you make of Shallan’s winning conversational tactics and what do you think will eventually come of this ‘relationship’? Navani doesn’t seem to be warming to Shallan – do you think this will cause problems between Shallan and Adolin? Also, Shallan seemed to be almost drawn to the storm and mentioned being able to see something in it? Any guesses as to why and what?
Shallan made me laugh so hard! OK, those questions are totally me. I know, nice restaurant, wine, budding romance, etc. And yes, I would dive into the nitty gritty. And it really seemed to work with Adolin. Shallan showed that she cares about more than the glory of the battle. And she also showed that she doesn’t shy away from the dirty realities of battle.
At first, I didn’t really like the idea of Adolin and Shallan together. Quite frankly, I didn’t think Adolin would be able to keep up with Shallan and, possibly, he wouldn’t treat her right – marriage of convenience, etc. But now I see that they seem to compliment each other rather well. Adolin has stopped trying to be charming and is just being himself. Shallan still has a ton of secrets and I don’t know if she will ever share all of them, but she is opening up to him. I think there may just be hope for these two.
I think Adolin is correct about Navani – she needs time to grieve. However, I think we already know that Navani’s hesitance in dealing with Jasnah’s death causes issues. the beginning of the chapters from the previous part were words from what Navani’s journal. She commented at least once on how she regretted that she was distracted by the news of Jasnah otherwise she might have seen what was to come. Pretty freaking ominous!
I wish Shallan had taken an image of the storm to draw later. I think she is drawn like Kaladin and Dalinar are affected. They are all potential Radiants in the making. Or so I guess. And yes, there is something, or several somethings, that live in the storm. Not sure yet if it is just elementals or evil red spren.
2. So much intrigue. Shallan found out about her brother (or at least the evidence points that way) – and what an awful way to find out such a thing! She found out a bit more about the Ghostbloods and she also uncovered some of Amaram’s secrets – what do you make of it all and what are the bigger connections here?
As heartbreaking as it was for Shallan to have confirmation that her brother was dead, I think it will be even harder for her once she realizes that Kaladin did the actual killing. After all, she has gotten to know him a bit, owes him a bit of gratitude (boots, saving Adolin, etc.).
It appears that Amaram is a Stormwarden in secret and for some reason, that is taboo. I probably missed the detail of why that is taboo. Perhaps that was explained when Shallan was encouraging her brother to play with calculations and predicting the weather. Anyhoo, Amaram doesn’t want folks in general to know and that makes it interesting. He also has lots of maps and a glyph script talking about intentionally bringing back the Voidbringers.
And then we have the Ghostbloods. They kept watch on Amaram’s place, trying to observe Tyn at work. Did anyone else feel like maybe Shallan as Vale was set up? I mean, someone high up is tied in with the Ghostbloods. Initially, I thought perhaps it was Sadeas because he is an ass. Now I wonder if Amaram is the guy and set Vale and Tyn to attempting to spy on himself as a test of their skills. As Shallan noted in her last meeting with the Ghostbloods, Mercer (spelling?) speaks and acts like a high lord but has lots of scars and old broken bones. Is Shallan the only one at that meeting in disguise? I am wondering…..
3. What did you make of Dalinar giving Amaram an elite role in his latest scheme to bring back the Radiants? Do you think it’s a test of some sort or has he simply ignored Kaladin’s story? Kaladin does seem to be becoming a little bit obsessed by Amaram and Syl seems to be struggling with him at the moment. Do you see a difference in their relationship as Kaladin develops his abilities?
I think Dalinar ha a lot on his plate and also a time limit. So, he set aside Kaladin’s story for now, perhaps telling himself that whatever Amaram did he did it for a good reason, and made Amaram the first Radiant in order to pull the other high lords into it. Of course Kaladin is obsessed with Amaram. That issue, that horrible event, has no closure for Kaladin. His friends are still dead and not honored. His slave brands refuse to heal so everyone who looks closely can see that part of his past. And Amaram walks around a free and honored lord. Syl and the men want Kaladin to declare his abilities to the world, his Radiant abilities. But if he did that, he might very well have to serve under or with Amaram in the Radiant Brotherhood of Love and Honor Squad. That would suck. So, I can see why Kaladin NEEDS closure on this.
I love how Syl tries to keep him on the good, focused on protecting instead of tearing down. She has her hands full. Yet, he experienced pure joy for the first time in years, and finally accepted his abilities as a gift and not a burden. That changed everything for him….except for his need to punish Amaram.
Quite frankly, I think if Kaladin merely let Amaram know he was around, Amaram would have tried to do something stupid and would have provided enough rope to hang himself. too bad Kaladin couldn’t take this route.
4. Shallan and Kaladin seem to be rapidly developing their own abilities with Kaladin finally finding his feet in rather spectacular fashion. Shallan seems to have the most extraordinary abilities – she’s almost perfectly set up to become a spy! What did you make of her latest encounter and ‘near thing’ with the Ghostbloods? Do you think she’ll meet them again?? Can you guess at what other talents she might pull out of the hat?
The Ghostbloods are deadly and smart. Not a good combination for Shallan to deal with. I am guessing they know that they didn’t manage to kill Vale/Shallan in the coach. They took the time to kill the driver and the Parshmen and set a fire on the inside of the carriage. So, yeah, I think they will be keeping an eye out for her in the future. If she runs into them later, I expect it will be as Shallan and she will have to play it cool as she tries to gather more info about them.
Shallan and Pattern talked a bit about being able to mimic voices as she mimics other people’s looks. So that would be a useful talent for her to learn. Also, I think she might be able to learn to cast an image, of herself or another, somewhere else. Like if she got cornered in a dark alley, she could throw an image of someone else at the mouth of the alley (like a patrol guard) yelling for the assailant to halt, etc. That would be a useful skill.
5. Wit – it appears he did meet Shallan after all – and, is it just me or is anybody developing a little bit of a Wit crush? Why do you think he’s reappeared? He’s always giving out cryptic messages and disappearing again mysteriously but I’m in a quandary as to know what his meaning really is most of the time! What is his role in all of this? Does he really have a side as such?
Haha! Oh yes. I expect entertaining Wit would be a lovely way to pass an evening.
Wit reappears to keep an eye on things or to push them in a certain direction. Perhaps he wanted to check on both Kaladin and Shallan – two people he had given (cryptic) guidance to in the past. Shallan’s reaction to seeing him was quite touching.
I believe Wit is looking out for the greater good of the Cosmere. He knows way more than anyone else about the bigger picture because he travels among all these worlds connected by the Cosmere. But that also separates him too. Who could he explain it all to? And would it matter if he did? Can he save all the worlds or just a few? I think Wit is trying to figure out some of this stuff too. But overall, I think he is a positive force, if annoying and cryptic at times.
6. Finally, can we just discuss that duel? I think that was one of the most exciting things I’ve read so far. I literally gasped out loud at one point. What did you make of it all – the scheming, the conspiring, the fight itself, Kaladin’s heroics – and, finally and importantly, the conclusion?
That was a game changer!
We all know Adolin is arrogant, and here it bit him in the ass and nearly injured his brother. Still, he fought hard and well. I was impressed.
And then Pattern joined in, distracting Renarin’s opponent. And then Kaladin! That was freaking incredible. He definitely got the Shardbearers to respect the spear. And that was a neat trick with the lashing, even though he ended up breaking bones. Good thing he had stormlight to heal himself. When he took that helm from the defeated Shardbearer and used it as an odd gauntlet, that was awesome! That is when I creamed my panties. And still, it looked like they would lose. Nailbiting!
Haha! But then Adolin uses the last of his stormlight to lock he opponent in a wrestling grip while Kaladin finished his remaining opponent. Awesomesauce on the epicness!
Then that jerk said Adolin lacked honor for using a wrestler’s grip! Fucking hypocrite! Four on one? And forcing Adolin to stay in the fight by threatening his brother? Oh yeah, there is a special circle of Hell for that asshole.
And the conclusion? Well, The lead opponent ran off screaming and I don’t understand why. Perhaps Syl used a special power to scream inside his head? Though the guy did say he was suppose to be dead. I am not sure if he meant Kaladin should be dead from the overhead sword cut, or if he saw someone else for a moment and lost him mind over it.
And then the kingly boon was handed out to Adolin. He wants to fight Sadeas right there and now? Idiot! He is exhausted, burned through. While Sadeas is fresh. And then Kaladin demands the same (to fight Amaram) for his boon (though he wasn’t granted one by the king). Adolin groaned immediately after Kaladin made the demand, so I think Kaladin is going to be detained by the king’s guards. Sigh…..
Shallan has such a steep learning curve, I know, but it is too bad she let slip her drawing abilities with the Ghostbloods. That could get her killed later.
Also, I like the trick she did with the boulder, also she does need eye holes and also some sort of real cover to protect her from the elements.
Dalinar seems convinced that he is the one leaving the cryptic count down messages. And I wonder where Renarin was during each of these episodes? Could Renarin have been doing this, in a trance? Perhaps that would explain a bit why the boy has been distracted lately.
Shen left! He told Kaladin he was good man, said he learned a lot, and gave his real name and then left!
When Adolin told Wit to date women his own age, Wit said there was really only 1 lady on the Plains his age and that they didn’t get along. Was he referring to Navani? Or was he referring to someone else, like maybe a Parshendi lady?
Oh and that whole Parshendi meeting didn’t go as Dalinar hoped! Quite frankly, I was pretty worried we were going to see the Parshendi attack Adolin (disguised as Dalinar) and perhaps lose another main character.
Do you think Shallan will get to breed Chasm Fiends? See any problems with this? And why was Syl so concerned for the Chull in the menagerie? From the way she talked, it seems that Chulls and Chasm Fiends have lives of their own with places to go and people to see.
I know Adolin was high from adrenalin and exhilaration once the fight was done, but he kind of took credit for defeating all 4 opponents and didn’t give thanks to Kaladin, or even Renarin. I hope Adolin notes this later and makes an effort to correct his oversight.
Why was Renarin crying? Did he realize somehow that his presence was a hindrance to his brother?
I think Syl took note of Pattern on the dueling field and went over to investigate. Will she know Pattern? Will she connect Pattern to Shallan? Will she tell Kaladin?
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