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: I am the host this week. Make sure to leave your link in the comments.
This week we cover Chapter66 through the end of Chapter 74. Spoilers abound below!
1) What did you think of Adolin voluntarily being locked up while Kaladin was locked up? Then Adolin’s little reveal of trust later while marching on the plateaus. Do these two have a chance at friendship?
I was very surprised that Adolin was locked up too, especially since it was his idea. First, it was his idea (surprising!). Second, his father and Elhokar allowed (so shocking and embarrassing for the family!). Third, Dalinar didn’t need him lose to help come up with and put in motion some other plan since the plan to duel Sadeas fell apart.
And yet, I had this warm fuzzy hearing about it, and the banter between the two – Adolin had to bathe with cold water folks! He made sacrifices!
Later, on the plateau march, Adolin questions Kaladin again, hinting at his fighting abilities. Kal refuses to give him anything. And Adolin admits that he knows there is something different to Kal, but that he has decided to trust Kal, whatever he is.
Ah! The bromance! Yes, there is a distinct possibility that Kal and Adolin can become friends. If some messy love triangle doesn’t come into play (see last question).
2) Kaladin turns down the Shards, instead giving them to Moash. How do you see this affecting his friendship with Moash in the future?
Oooo! So messy! I expect that eventually Moash will part ways with Kaladin and things could go violent and messy. I hope not, but with the Shards Moash could give Kaladin a run for his money, even with his Stormlight abilities.
Also, I fear that the Shards and the Thrill influence a person, pushing them towards ego, glory, and violence. So even if Moash and Kaladin stay tight buddies and remain part of Elhokar’s next attempted assassination, there could still be a parting of ways later as Moash drifts closer to Alethi nobility and further from the bridgemen.
3) Amaram tries to discredit and embarrass Dalinar by releasing modified versions of his visions. Do you think Dalinar handled it well? Do you think a religious sect will arise from this? And what did you make of Dalinar’s conversation with Wit?
First, this wasn’t exactly the first time folks had heard of Dalinar’s visions. After all, rumors had been well circulated for months now that Dalinar suffered from some sort of recurring weakness each highstorm. And in Book 1, some of his men and him were trapped in a barracks during a storm and so one of his sessions was witnessed by a few of his men. I think Amaram failed to acknowledge these facts, and hence, he was expecting shock to drive a bigger wedge between Dalinar and the people.
In light of all that, Dalinar handled it quite well! I applaud his courage, standing up tall and telling everyone the truth as he knows it and then working the crowd for hours instead of hiding himself away.
And, yes, once some of Dalinar’s visions start proving true, I think some sort of religious sect will either be founded, or an already existing one (Envisagers, anyone?) will claim him as one of their prophets, or heralds.
That conversation with Wit was SOOOOOOOO intense! Wit says he will try to help, but also tells Dalinar that he (Dalinar) should not become comfortable with him (Wit). Wit will let Dalinar’s world burn to ashes if it serves his greater purpose. Wow! So up to this point, I have believed Wit to be a positive force, if a little disorganized or chaotic about it. This was partially due to his interactions with Kaladin and Shallan, but also partially due to his appearances in other Sanderson Cosmere books. Now, I think Wit might be playing for higher stakes and is willing to sacrifice whole worlds in order to save the Cosmere…..and Dalinar’s world is on that list.
4) Kaladin starts noticing some issues with his Stormlight abilities. Then Syl points out that he made promises to both Dalinar and Moash that conflict with each other. How do you see this resolving? Will Syl be OK?
What a mess! I am sure that Syl wanted to stamp her little foot at Kaladin, if not out right kick his ass. Syl is Honor spren. If Kaladin can’t do his best to uphold all his promises, if some of his promises have questionable reasons behind them, then what does your Honor spren do? Apparently revert back to Wind spren and cease existing to save your human from a 200 foot fall.
Well, that is my worst fear concerning Syl – that her existence came to an end in order to save Kaladin. I hope this is not the case as it could affect Kaladin’s character arc severely. Also, I am a bit attached to Syl and wouldn’t want her part in this tale to be over.
5) We got to see Shallan on a field trip: moss, bugs, chasm fiend, etc. What do you think of how she handled herself both on the plateau march and later in the chasms?
Well, I loved her enthusiasm for all the native life – including the moss and the bugs. In some ways, this was so like me on a hike. When hiking, I don’t get much distance covered, per se, but rather spend time flitting about from one squirrel to some fungi to flower to growling cattle to bugs. So I really resonated with Shallan’s enthusiasm, her sturdy boots, giving up the palanquin.
Once the bridge collapsed, Shallan did quite well in the chasm. I felt she kept up with Kaladin both in keeping motivated and the physically running part…oh, and that part of saving Kaladin so he could kill the chasmfiend.
6) We learn some very interesting bits about Teft’s childhood. What do you think of the punishment meted out to the Envisagers? Too harsh? Correct? Do you think some of the Envisagers survived?
As far as Teft knew, no innocents were ever harmed in what the Envisagers did, testing themselves to the point of death. But the cult members had kids. Teft was definitely scared enough to go to some outside authority for help. So, at the very least, one child was being psychologically scarred by the activities of the Envisagers. I would assume there were other young kids in the cult. Still, killing all the adults in the cult probably was an extreme. I can see where Teft gets some of his hang ups.
If none of the original Envisagers survived, I expect there are more like Teft – children of the Envisagers. I expect this cult to rise again, and in one of the previous questions, I pondered if they might seek out Dalinar and his visions.
7) Shallan and Kaladin learn several things about each other during their time in the chasms. What was the most interesting to you? How do you see their relationship evolving after this?
While we have known since Book 1 that Shallan felt responsible for her father’s death, I had figured that it was either a training accident or something done in hot blood while she defended herself or others. That cold, calculating Shallan was rather frightening and made me think of Jasnah – in Book 1, she on purposely lured some pesky robbers and murderers into an ally and killed them. Yet, I agree with Shallan and why she did it.
For Kaladin, there are two things that stuck out. Shallan’s appraisal of him – always angry, brooding, etc. We spend so much time in his head that we know him to be a good guy who cares deeply for his men. Yet, seen from the outside, I can see how he could appear to be a very enigmatic character. The second thing is that Kaladin now realizes that he is the one who actually killed Shallan’s brother, while Shallan believes the murderer to be Amaram.
Now, about their relationship. I have this big ugly fear that we are headed for a love triangle – Adolin, Shallan, Kaladin. I really, really don’t want some messy love triangle dropping this storyline down into some juvenile squabble over first loves. So, I am really hoping that the bromance continues between Adolin and Kaladin; that Shallan and Adolin happily continue their courtship; and finally, that Shallan and Kaladin become close, but platonic, friends and allies.
If I can’t have that last, then I want a three way romance, with lots of description. 😉
I can see how Kaladin’s refusal of the Shards was a bit embarrassing for Adolin, and yet Adolin went with it and it doesn’t seem to have broken this budding friendship.
I have images of Moash strutting around like a peacock in his new Shards, kneeling before Kaladin, kissing his blade, flexing his armored muscles, etc.
I can only wonder how Adolin feels to have lost some of his men, Shallan, and his new friend Kaladin all in one collapsed bridge. Do you think they caught Sadeas’s troll who threw the switch?
My Fellow Moss:
Making My Mark
Books Without Any Pictures
Stainless Steel Droppings