Words of Radiance Read Along Part X

SandersonWordsOfRadianceBannerWelcome everyone! We’ve returned with the final installment of the Words of Radiance Read Along.  It has been an awesome run. Many, many thanks to all the cohosts – Lisa, Liesel, Lynn, and Sue – You all rock! Thanks to TB for playing along. More thanks to Carl for creating our read along banner and thanks to Grace for encouraging me to connect with Carl. It’s been great to hang with this community of dedicated readers for such an epic book.

Sue at Coffees, Cookies, and Chili Peppers is the host this week. Make sure to swing by her place.

This week we cover Chapter 82 to the end. Spoilers abound below!

1. Phew! Kal proves to be the honorable hero that we wanted him to be and decides to save Elhokar. Did you agree with his reasoning? Do you think the king can actually improve, or will Lopen’s mother need to beat him with a spoon?

I agree that Kal can’t limit his heroic acts to the benefit of just those he likes. After all, he doesn’t like too many people, and is skeptical of all the rest. So, yes, he has to be honorable and heroic to all, even if they happen to be a sniveling, pampered idiot who has caused (through ignorance or dismissiveness) grief and consternation.

If the royal family will allow Lopen’s mother to continue to take charge of Elhokar, then yes, I think there is a chance for improvement. But I am guessing that Lopen’s family will be removed of this burden and Elhokar will go back to much the same, barring some huge reality jarring experience.

2. Dalinar has bonded with a very grumpy Stormfather: I have to admit that I did NOT see that coming! Were you more surprised to find that the Stormfather is a spren or that he would agree to bond with Dalinar?

During the last two sections as we saw what Syl and Pattern could and would do, I started to wonder about this voice that Dalinar was communicating with. We’ve seen these other massive spren, tho they didn’t communicate with anyone in the scenes. So I had this glimmering that the voice was not what I originally thought it was.

And then, BAM!, it’s revealed! So freaking awesome! Dalinar gets stuck with the clinically depressed spren that has already tried to kill him with the storm. Haha! Dalinar is always looking for a challenge, and now he has a huge one. His spren refuses to become blade or shield. So Dalinar will need protecting in a physical battle. It’s like tying both the man’s hands behind his back, removing half his teeth, giving him a wandering lazy eye, and telling him to go save the world!

And I so look forward to seeing how Sanderson pulls all that off.

3. Shallan is now a fully recognized Radiant and has saved pretty much everyone we care about. Then we discover that she killed her mother, but that her father took the blame. Were you surprised by this revelation? Does it make you more sympathetic to her father or not?

Many chapters back, we had a Shallan flashback where she again told her brothers that dad didn’t kill mom. Of course, they discounted her statement since she couldn’t remember and hadn’t talked about the incident. So, since then, I have wondered if she accidentally killed her mother while in training with a Shardblade.

Sort of right. But her mom seemed convinced that Shallan needed to die because of what she is. I have to wonder if she had the same idea as Death – that the Radiants-to-be need to be killed before they hit their potential in order to prevent the Desolation?

Anyhoo, her dad took the blame. was it an act of kindness? And act of self-preservation? Who would believe that his daughter was a Radiant-in-waiting? No, even if he told the authorities or even his own sons, would they believe him without Shallan giving a demo? No, they wouldn’t. And from the flashbacks we know that she was not in any condition for years afterward to give such a demo. I am still on the fence about Shallan’s dad. Even if he took the blame in order to shield Shallan, that moment of kindness doesn’t negate his acts of violence, cruelty, and murder that followed later.

4. Eshonai has fallen into a chasm and the Parshendi seem to have been defeated on the Shattered Plains. What do you think of their chances for the future? Will the Parshmen rise as an army of Voidbringers because of the Everstorm?

First, I expect that Eshonai is still alive. If Kaladin and Shallan can survive a fall like that, then I give the Storm Form Parshendi 50% chance of surviving such a fall – and Eshonai a greater chance because the story doesn’t seem good about killing off characters.

Second, yes, I think the Everstorm will ‘infect’ most if not all Parshmen and even rogue Parshendi with the red spren, turning them into Voidbringers.

Last, I am really hoping (and half expecting) that one of our scholarly characters will figure out how to remove the red spren without killing the host, thereby allowing some Parshendi/Parshmen to live on as individuals. Of course, it may take a book or two for someone to figure this out, which will leave plenty of time for the storm and the Voidbringers to bring the societies around the world to their knees.

5. There were plenty of revelations about plots and plans. Do you have a clearer picture of how it all fits together and who is doing what? Do you think that Moash will survive far into the series?

Taravangian will have to be dealt with, sooner or later. What a mess he has wrought! And him on his super brainy days, lacking all compassion, is super scary.

Amaram now has the mad Radiant (I assume he is a Radiant…or Herald?). He treats him with reverence. I wonder if he will treat his ‘friend’ Dalinar with such reverence when he learns of Dalinar’s new position. I am sure Amaram has cronies who are of the same mind set and they want this mad Shardbearer for some reason.

Moash headed off with what’s his name who talked him into helping him assassinate the king. He talks of doing good deeds, etc. and Moash seems hooked on that. I hope Moash finds his way separate of these folks. He seems honestly regretful over having harmed Kaladin, damn near killing him. I am still pulling for him because that regret means something.

6. Yay! Syl has returned, and now Kal is a full Radiant. Please discuss the epicness of his transformation and subsequent fight with Szeth.

Wow! Because Jasnah died early in the book (and I honestly believed she was dead), I was truly worried about Kaladin during both the confrontation with Moash and the fight later with Szeth. It was so completely awesome when Syl became one with Kaladin and they saved the king, and then flew off to save everyone else. It was huge. I was very pleased with how that scene played out.

The fight with Szeth was also very good. Though I think it is obvious by now that Szeth is for some reason rather gullible. I was hoping that Kaladin would see this and try to either talk Szeth down or take him prisoner – tho it would be tricky to take and hold a Shardblade bearer prisoner. Alas, Kaladin killed Szeth. And because we had the death of a main character earlier in the book (Jasnah), I truly believed Szeth was dead and I was a little sad and a little relieved. He was an interesting character and a worthy opponent.

7. The strange man in black is revealed to be the Herald of Justice. Any comments upon him, his nasty talking sword and his decision to resurrect Szeth?

What is this shit? Holy hell, you can bring people back from a Shardblade cut to the spine? Really? I want to see that real time. In this scene, we had to rely on the word of the Herald of Justice. He did happen to be in the most convenient of places in order to resurrect Szeth at just the right time. Once again, I think someone might be lying to Szeth and he is gullible enough to believe it. Perhaps he needs to believe this Herald, to give himself purpose in life.

And then we have the freaky black sword that talks to Szeth. The sword seems enthusiastic about bringing some justice to the world – but I have to wonder who decides what is justice?

8. Argh! Jasnah is back from the dead! Discuss, with many exclamation marks!!!!

OK. I will reserve total judgement on this until after the next book. I never really like it when a character is irrevocably, undeniably dead, and then they miraculously come back later. Once an author brings that character back, I never really trust the storyline again, I disengage to some extent, and don’t enjoy the story as much thereafter. But this is Sanderson I am criticizing here. He is a damn good writer and if anyone can realistically pull off bringing a character back from the dead, it is him.

From Jasnah’s travel-stained appearance and Wit’s comments, I am expecting some great story of her trickery (faking death is hard folks!) and of where she was and what she was doing all this time. She seems to have lost track of time a bit as Wit has to tell her that the Everstorm had already hit, etc.

9. Finally, this book ended with lots of questions. Will killing Sadeas alter Adolin? Why is he called THE Lopen? Why are the other Oathgates locked?

I expect the cover up and secret of killing Sadeas will be the real thing that undermines Adolin. If he had come forward right away, there would have been a punishment (but considering Sadeas’s past actions and his current threats to Adolin and his family, I don’t think Adolin would have been killed or imprisoned for life or kicked out of the Alethi army & society forever and ever).

Perhaps Lopen is a title among his people and Kaladin and others are too ignorant to know this? However, I would think Sigzil would know something, being the World Singer that he is. So perhaps The Lopen is head of his clan? Anyway, I am expecting some sort of head hancho kind of deal.

I expect the Oathgates were locked during the last Desolation to help protect the last mountain sanctuary that Shallan and crew currently find themselves in. But protect themselves from what? Voidbringers? Something worse? Perhaps they were betrayed and had to lock themselves off from one of their own? Anyway, I expect they will figure out how to unlock them long before they figure out the reason of why they were locked.

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

Other Tidbits:

I had not guessed at all where Kaladin hid Elhokar while he flew on the storm winds to go save Dalinar and crew. It was simply brilliant that he hid the king with Lopen’s family.

I love that Shallan and Adolin are still an item. She was great in refusing to let her Radiant status make things awkward for them.

When Adolin was fighting the Parshendi, he felt no Thrill. In fact, he felt disgust at himself while he slaughtered the singing Parshendi. But when he met Eshonai in battle, he was good to go. I wonder if he will give up his Shards any time soon?

Lopen and his arm nub. Good for him! If anyone is stubborn enough to grow back his arm, it is him.

My Fellow Shardblades:

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

6 thoughts on “Words of Radiance Read Along Part X”

  1. Good point about the “Herald of Justice” maybe lying to Szeth. He definitely doesn’t seem a trustworthy character, but it didn’t occur to me that he might have been lying about how/why he resurrected (if in fact he did) Szeth. I was glad to see Jasnah again, and I picked up on her time loss as well. I wonder if the entire next book will be about how to open the Oathgates, and whatever is behind them will be revealed at the end or something. 😀

  2. No.3 should be really good! How long do we have to wait though? Too long. I want it now.
    So many surprises in these last chapters. I never guessed about the Stormfather but now, on reflection Sanderson did give hints – hindsight is a lovely thing.
    Lynn 😀

    1. I can imagine how re-reading this series once it is all said and done will be awesome because of all the details that one can only appreciate after they know the conclusion.

  3. Like you and Lynn, I was surprised about the Stormfather and then I had that Ah, I should have known feeling. It was all there, but I didn’t connect all the breadcrumbs.

    And I was relieved that Kal saved the king. I don’t really like the king, but killing him didn’t seem like the right thing to do. And talk about major regret. That would be a burden to live with.

    Come on Book Three!

    1. I really like how Sanderson sprinkled this book with all the reasons Kal shouldn’t kill the king and Kal had to pull them all together there in the end and make the decision that would let him sleep at night.

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