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

Words of Radiance Read Along Part IX

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: Liesel at Musings on Fantasia is the host this week. Make sure to swing by her place.

This week we cover Chapter 75 through the end of Chapter 81. Spoilers abound below!

1. What did you think of Dalinar’s tactics, proving Kaladin correct by catching Amaram in a lie? What will happen, do you think, when they attempt to “try” him?

Since we have been riding around in Kaladin’s head for so long, I was impatient for Dalinar to see the truth about Amaram. And I wanted to hear from Amaram himself why he did it. In Book 1, we had a few hints that Amaram did feel justified in doing what he did to Kal.

But I think it was wise of Dalinar to handle it this way. He did look into it right after Kal shared his Amaram betrayal tale to him. And he dug 17 people who backed Amaram’s version. So I expected Dalinar to stop digging there. But he didn’t! And you know why? Because Dalinar is a badass when it comes to honor and he could tell something was off about Amaram. Between Kaladin being adamant (and an honorable young man) and Amaram giving some lame excuse to not enter the dueling ring to help Dalinar’s sons, I think Dalinar needed to test his honesty.

If they ever get the chance to put Amaram on trial, the verdict will depend on whether or not there has been a successful dissolvement or at least lightening up over the caste system (light eyes/dark eyes). If the Light-Eyes-On-Top caste is still strong, then Amaram may get a slap on the wrist verbally, perhaps even in writing. And then things will go back to normal for him. If the Dark Eyes are seen as equals, or closer to it, at the time of the trial, then he may lose all his properties and titles.

Or Kaladin may be allowed to duel him one on one after all and we will have another awesome fight scene!

2. Navani offers her services to Shallan with her mission to find the Oathgate. What do you think Navani’s intentions are? Will she help or hinder Shallan’s mission?

I think Navani has fully adopted Shallan and plans to give her all the assistance she can. I don’t expect any deception on her part, even ‘for the greater good’ deception as seems to be a theme in this series.

3. Moash’s group is still planning to assassinate Elhokar. Do you think Kaladin will allow him to go through with it?

No, I don’t think Kaladin will simply allow Moash and crew to assassinate the king. He had an epiphany towards the end of this section – sometimes good men have to die to obtain a greater good; and then how Tien tried to become a soldier, sucked at it, so was used as a disposable distraction in order to save ‘worthy’ men. Those two thoughts combined in Kaladin’s head and he realized that the King has been trying to be a good ruler, sucks at it, and so people want him dead. It’s not enough of a reason to off a person.

So, I expect Kaladin to go all heroic, save the king, maybe even save Moash (from himself), get Syl back, and go windrunning out to the Parshendi battle and save Dalinar.  :)

4.The king approached Kal and asked Kal to teach him to be a hero. Do you see Kaladin attempting this? Does this change your opinion of the king? How?

I don’t really see Kaladin attempting to teach the king to be a hero. After all, I don’t really see it as a teachable skill. One can encourage another to do the right, or honorable thing, to follow their heart. But you can’t really teach that sort of thing. You can only demonstrate it and hope others follow the example. And with Dalinar, Adolin, Renarin, Jasnah, even Gavilar & Navani having already set examples for Elhokar….well, Kaladin being one more example isn’t going to be the kick in the ass the kingling needs.

And yes, Elhokar seeking Kaladin out for ‘advice’ does change my opinion a bit. We’ve seen bits and pieces of Elhokar where it looks like he might be trying, but without riding around in his head, we couldn’t be sure. Now, I clearly see that he wants to be something more than he is and that desire alone makes me think a teensy bit better about him.

Of course, I am one of those people that believes actions speak way louder than words. So he needs to sober up, prepare defenses, kick Amaram’s and Sadeas’s asses, or gird his loins and go join his uncle on the plateaus. Or even abdicate and return to Kholinar proper and gets things back in shape there. really, he could take any action, even moderately, and it would be better than what he is doing now.

5. Dalinar tells Shallan to find the Oathgate, and that he might need to use the pathway as a retreat for the army. (No pressure or anything, though.) Do you think Shallan will find it? Do you think Dalinar will need to make use of it. Where do you think it will lead?

I think Shallan will find it. And then I think we will have a very panicked couple of moments while she tries very hard to activate it. Eventually, she will have some sort of breakthrough in her abilities and be able to do so. And yes, if it is opened, it will be used. Now, will it be used by something trapped on the other side that wants access to this world? Or will Dalinar and entourage escape through it to safety on the other side? I can’t wait to find out!

As to where it will lead to…well, I have two guesses: 1) Some other location on this world, perhaps in the greener lands, like Shinovar; or 2) Shadesmar.

6. The battle action is very high where we left off. What do you think will happen when the Parshendi song ends? Will the high storm show up in full force and destroy the Alethi army? Will Dalinar’s troops manage to interrupt the song? Other predictions?

Wow! So much going on here! First, we saw Eshonai chatting with her sister, right? And there was something about the storming blowing from the other direction. So far, we have seen the storms come from the Shattered Plains and move outward, petering out before they get to the greenlands, like Shinovar. So, does that mean they can bring up the storm from say, the Alethi lands, and have it run towards the Shattered Plains? I’m still a bit muddled on that one.

While the storm may not destroy the Alethi army, it could severely damage the war camps, especially since they are not expecting a High Storm. I hope Sadeas’s camp gets wrecked the worst. :)

While I don’t expect the Alethi armies to be annihilated, I expect heavy losses. I really hope that all our main characters make it through to the next book, but since we lost Jasnah, I worry.

Navani has something big planned with those fabrials. But they are powered by spheres. And we heard that many of the armies’ spheres have run down since there haven’t been any Highstorms to charge them. So, I expect the Parshendi storm will power the spheres, which will allow the fabrials to work, which will help beat the Parshendi.

And, again, we don’t know what the Oathgate will bring once opened. Will some ancient Knights Radiants pop out and destroy the red lightning spren, thereby saving both Alethi and Parshendi? Will some greater evil that was some how imprisoned or held at bay leap out and try to destroy both armies? Or will the remaining Alethi simply jump through and find themselves swimming in Shadesmar?

I really don’t know, but I do think that the Oathgate will play an integral role in our main characters making it to safety, one way or the other.

Tofu actually believes he is hiding behind this book.

Tofu actually believes he is hiding behind this book.

Other Tidbits:

I wonder how Dalinar got the Shardblade away from the crazy man for days at a time. And since Amaram found it, where is it now? Can the crazy man, who I assume is the rightful owner of it, summon it back to him?

It must be very hard for Kaladin to have to stay at camp with all the elderly, handicapped, or ill. Even women runners, scholars, etc. got to go on this expedition. And to be left bored, injured, alone during the weeping.

I really, really wonder what Zahel meant by choosing the action that lets him sleep at night and how he wishes he had done that very thing.

Those interludes were fascinating! Looks like Kholinar is not being ruled well by the Queen, wife to Elhokar. I had held out hope that we would have a competent ruler left behind to keep the home fires burning.

Then there was that big interlude with Taravangian. I had hopes that Szeth would either retrieve his oathstone and start living for himself, or kill Taravangian and leave his oathstone in the bloody dust. Sigh…..

Shallan took a big leap of trust in telling (and showing) Dalinar a little of what she can do. Hooray for her! I wish Kaladin had been as brave.

Lupin cracks me up. He was helping Kaladin limp around and offered to get a palanquin for him. Kaladin said no, they are for women (in a somewhat disparaging tone, I might add). And Lupin jokingly chided him saying he knows many fine women, even has some for relatives. So funny!

Shen was amazingly brave, surrendering to Dalinar. And the Bridge 4 Crew! I love them for standing by Shen.

Gaz actually dug up a copy of the book The Way of Kings for Shallan. I think Gaz continues to win me over.

My Fellow Red Spren:

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

Words of Radiance Read Along Part VIII

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: 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. ;)

Tofu actually believes he is hiding behind this book.

Tofu actually believes he is hiding behind this book.

Other Tidbits:

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:

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

Words of Radiance Read Along Part VII

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: Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow is our host this week. Make sure to swing by her place to see links to all the participants.

This week we cover Chapter58 through the end of Chapter 65. Spoilers abound below!

So there are people with Radiant powers appearing the world over… What do you think of Lift and her “awesomeness”? And what about “Darkness”? Do you think Lift’s part in the story will tie into the main plot at some point?

My man and I were talking about this just the other day. We have a few characters now that are only seen in the Interludes that I hope we will see more of later in the series, like Rsyn, the merchants apprentice, and that tattooed fellow who was studying Spren in Book 1. So, yeah, I hope we see them join the main story line. After all, this is suppose to be a 9 or 10 book series, with each book being 1000+ pages.

I loved Lift’s spren Wendell (spelling?). He seemed so exasperated with her, and yet when under pressure, they worked together and accomplished something big – bringing Gauk (spelling?) back to life. And wow! Lift can transform food directly into Stormlight. How freaking convenient is that? Is it just her and her order of Radiants or can any of the Radiants learn this skill?

And Darkness seems to have rules, which is a very good thing for Lift. He follows the laws of whatever land he is in. Yet he is driven by an absolute certainty that Lift and all others like her must die in order to prevent some big calamity – another Desolation? The Desolation to end all Desolations? This makes him super scary.

Szeth seems to finally be taking control of himself… Will this be good or bad for Kaladin, do you think? Not to mention those who’ve been controlling him until now…

I am really hoping that this turns into a good thing. But I can see Szeth going all vengeful. He has a long list of people to pay back. There are those who said he was lying about the Radiants returning and turned him into Truthless and a slave. Then there are all those who used him to slaughter others. And finally, there is himself for putting control in other people’s hands. Yeah, he could go all evil vengeful.

But I am hoping that he will see that vengeance doesn’t work, not with what is coming. Just as I hope Kaladin eventually sees this too. Dork. And I can see Shallan struggling a little with it, with the death of her good brother.

Maybe all the Radiants-to-be have to face this challenge of good for the individual versus the greater good.

Eshonai is getting more and more dangerous in her new form. Do you think she’ll succeed with her plans? What about the dissenters who have escaped? Where do you think they’ll end up going – assuming they survive the next storm?

I expect Eshonai will convert the remaining Parshendi to Storm Form. But I don’t think she will succeed in destroying the Alethi armies. At least, not all of them. The Alethi are in for a HUGE surprise when they next meet the Parshendi in battle and they are going to suffer and bleed for it. But I think they will not be wiped off the face of existence.

I am hoping that the Parshendi dissenters will unite with the Alethi, perhaps seek out Adolin and Dalinar, or even Kaladin (if they have heard from Shen that Kaladin is a good man). This would be huge for the Alethi. It would give them so much info on the Parshendi and perhaps eventually these two peoples could put up a united front against Odium.

Wit returns to pay Kaladin another visit, leaving him with an important thought… What did you make of the story? And now Wit has visited Kaladin and Shallan both. Do you think he sees some connection between them? If so, any thoughts as to what sort?

I found that story very interesting, as Kaladin told half of it. The man starts off running before the storm, for his own reasons, his own personal battle, his own glory. At the end, he can run no more, but his will (or spirit) now has a new purpose: to hold the storm at bay, to protect those he can from the storm. Does it matter that he died? No, it doesn’t. I wonder what Kaladin will make of it.

I did notice that this time, Wit did not gift Kaladin his musical instrument, being as Kaladin lost Wit’s flute from the last storytelling (from book 1).

Of course Wit sees the potential in both of them. That is why he makes himself a pest to both of them. I wouldn’t be surprised if we eventually see Wit with Lift and Szeth. We have already seen him with the Madman. Perhaps he is spending more time on Shallan and Kaladin right now because he knows they are at crucial points.

Shallan’s continuing to develop her skills, but refuses to listen to Pattern’s advice about remembering what she already learned. It seems she’s almost afraid to, not that I blame her… Do you think she’ll change her mind on her own?

I got the impression that Shallan and Pattern bonded in Shallan’s youth and that as she developed her skills, something bad happened. I still think this has to do with the death of her mother, and perhaps later, the death of her father.

I think Shallan will be pushed at some point by circumstances to perform whatever skill she developed in the past. And either she will collapse into silent jelly over the shock of the returned memories, or she will push through it and learn to master whatever skill that is.

Kaladin’s reaching a dangerous position regarding the King… Do you think he’ll really go through with some plan to kill Elhokar?

I think Kaladin will be left in his prison cell while the King and others go out to face the Parshendi and the King may be captured or killed there. If Adolin, Renarin, or Dalinar is hurt, captured, or killed in the same fight, then Kaladin will feel like he failed in his duty and will regret being so focused on vengeance. Idiot.

Or, if he is let out to go on the plains to the Parshendi battle, Kaladin may plan to ensure the King and Amaram have ‘accidents’ on the battlefield. Then if Dalinar and family get injured, etc. Kaladin will feel like an ass and hopefully this will snap him out of his vengeance mode.

Lastly, what do you make of the snippets of the letter that start off each chapter? Who could be writing it, and who is it addressing?

I think these snippets are either to Wit or from Wit to another who knows quite a bit about him. I hope we get more info on this because it is fascinating!

Tofu actually believes he is hiding behind this book.

Tofu actually believes he is hiding behind this book.

Other Tidbits:

I loved Lift’s spunky attitude through that entire section. Too funny!

I know there is a piece of Eshonai that finds all this highly disagreeable, but if that good Eshonai can’t win out, then I hope evil Eshonai and her sister get into a fight and this breaks the evil Parshendi into groups.

Also, do you think that little bit of good Eshonai put that particular guard on the dissenters knowing he would do the right thing and flee with them?

I found it very interesting that Syl doesn’t like the Cryptics. Can there be things that Syl still needs to learn about? Like how to play nice with other Spren?

Oooo! Shallan snuck in to meet the Madman. She copied his words. Do you think Pattern will see something in them that Shallan doesn’t? And she is perhaps making friends with the masked lady. I hope that turns into something good.

Dalinar isn’t such an ass as I thought he might be – concerning Amaram. He looked into it. 17 accounts by light eyes and dark eyes. That makes it hard to put weight behind Kaladin’s words.

And Kaladin deserved the dressing down he got from Dalinar. He has all this time to think, and he is focused on vengeance and not on how the consequences of his own actions have damaged those around him.

My Fellow Edge Dancers:

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

Words of Radiance Read Along Part VI

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: 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…..

Tofu actually believes he is hiding behind this book.

Tofu actually believes he is hiding behind this book.

Other Tidbits:

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?

My Fellow Duelists:

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

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

Words of Radiance Read Along Part IV

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: 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 Chapter29 through the end of Chapter 39. Spoilers abound below!

1. Sadeas and Amaram are reunited on the battlefield in chapter 29.  Clearly the two are perfectly well aware of each other’s characters – why do you think Amaram has made an appearance at this point in the story?  Any thoughts on how he will affect the politics.  Clearly Kaladin has good reason to hate him – but everybody else thinks he’s wonderful!

Wow! So the deep and blunt conversation these two had – were they childhood friends? Are they lovers? Secret brothers in some secret society? I have lots of questions about their relationship. Later in this section, Amaram tells Adolin that he is the bridge between Sadeas and Dalinar, that he believes in the unification of the kingdom, but also that unscrupulous things must be done to maintain it. We already know that Amaram can do harsh and unfair things for the ‘greater good’. I can just see Dalinar getting burned again. I want Amaram to break Dalinar’s heart, get that over with, so Kaladin can come in swinging and relieve this idiot of his Shardblade.

Yet, I fear that Adolin will end up in a position where he has to duel Amaram, a man he thinks of as a friend. Could be messy.

2. Tyn – a rather short-lived character to say the least.  Who do you think she was working for and what is their interest in finding the hidden city on the plains?  Looking at the reveal regarding Tyn how did Shallan manage to call a Shardblade to her? I was also curious during this chapter about Shallan’s absent minded drawing – she thought a character she’s sketched looked like Yalb – what did you make of this, fanciful?

I was not expecting the death of Tyn at all. This was such an intense scene. Just after a highstorm, crem still dripping down as they hunker down in Tyn’s room with the spanreader. Each sentence coming through and Shallan putting it together before Tyn as she learned about Tyn’s involvement in orchestrating Jasnah’s death. I remember saying out loud, ‘Fuck, now Shallan has to kill Tyn’. Though I expected Shallan would walk off, think about things, perhaps continue to be Tyn’s friend as she gathered more info, and then kill her. But no, Tyn got the description of Jasnah’s ward and hell broke loose.

When Shallan went to call the Shardblade, she knows she doesn’t need 10 heartbeats to summon the Blade, yet she takes the time and does it that way anyway. I wonder what that tells us? Is Szeth a 10 heartbeat kind of guy or not? Do the 10 heartbeats give the Shadesmar place (I assume that is where the Blade resides when not in this plane) something?

Shallan’s drawings certainly are taking on another aspect. She is drawing people how they could be, including herself. So, her drawing of Yalb – is that just her wishing that he and the rest of the crew didn’t perish? Or is he still alive and this drawing let’s Shallan know that on some level? I hope he made it as I miss his eyebrows.

3.  Kaladin’s dream and in particular the stormfather – what is the implication about humans and the spren, the betrayal, more to the point why the stormfather thinks Kaladin will murder Syl?  Why did he warn Kaladin whilst at the same time calling him a little traitor??

So many great questions on this scene! But I don’t think we will have all the answers for some time to come.

I do think that the Stormfather believes that whatever Kaladin will be forced into doing (by his nature and circumstance) may end up killing Syl and perhaps himself. This may be the same thing Pattern is concerned about with him and Shallan.

I don’t know why the Stormfather called Kaladin a traitor. Such a term denotes a knowing action that leaves allies in the dust, bleeding and dying. I think if you look up ‘traitor’ in this context you will see a picture of Sadeas. :) But in this instance, I think the Stormfather must be referring to ancient deeds that Kaladin has no knowledge of. This might also indicate reincarnation as a possibility for the Heralds and Radiants.

As to why the Stormfather warned Kaladin – well it seems, the being likes underdogs.

4.  Finally Szeth makes an appearance and we find out who is actually on his hit list.  Why?  Why Dalinar and not the King?  The other deaths all seem to be Kings and Highprinces.  What did you make of Szeth’s confrontation with Kaladin – not only the fight but their conversation?

First, why Dalinar? Well, one of two answers spring to mind. It is obvious that Dalinar is really the one calling the shots in the Kholin family as Elhokar is a whiny idiot. So taking him out would definitely cause the Kholin-lead kingdom to fall apart. Or they somehow know that Dalinar is following the same path as his brother and they want him dead for the same reason they killed Gavilar.

I think Kaladin’s abilities shook Szeth’s world believes to their core. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had to go off and kick rocks in frustration as he worked this out. Now if only Kaladin had access to someone who knows something of Shin customs, myths, and believes? Hmmm… Oh, yeah, he has Sigzil, the Worldsinger.

I found it very interesting that Syl had some definite opinions on Szeth. He has no spren to guide him and none would work with him. Does this mean that Szeth was despicable long before and therefore couldn’t attract a spren? Or is he lost on this horrendous path because he doesn’t have a spren guiding him?

5.  Eshonai – finally succeeds in getting a message to Dalinar with a meeting set up.  How do you think that’s going to play out now she’s released the captive spren – what do you think actually happened during that sequence??

I was pretty surprised that Eshonai got a messenger to the Kholins so easily. I expected all sorts of logistical problems and and potential misunderstandings. Really, I thought we would have a whole chapter devoted to this. But, hey, it was just an aside in 2-3 sentences.

That captive spren turned into red lightning. Eshonai at the last minute wanted to call off the transformation, but too late, already unleashed the beast! Even later, when she returns to her people, that little sane voice deep inside is screaming for her to stop. It sounds like the red lightning Eshonai is calling for true war, a slaughter. i expect many more Parshendi will attempt to make this transformation. And then, I think we will finally see why the Voidbringers are so very terrible.

6.  Finally Shallan reaches the plains- what was your reaction to her first meeting with Dalinar and her second meeting with Kaladin?   She’s chosen to stay with Brightlord Sebarial – what are your first instincts about Sebarial??

Haha! Shallan’s second meeting with Kaladin was awesome! I loved their verbal sparring and I hope for more. And, yes, I also hope Shallan replaces his boots. I am also looking forward to Shallan standing up for Gaz to Kaladin. I really want to see his face when she does that!

Her meeting with Dalinar could have gone worse. She didn’t get everything she was hoping for, but she’s in a much better state now than when we left the caravan. The engagement stands (positive). Shallan is hired as a lesser scholar (not all she wanted). Dalinar wants his son to marry someone who brings something to the table – if only he knew how much Shallan brings to the table! And it seems that Shallan and Adolin share a mutual attraction at this point.

Her move to use Sebarial as a protector is probably a good one. As Tyn said, Adolin needs to see Shallan as somewhat unattainable, in order to maintain the mystique. Also, Sebarial seems to be quite entertaining! I think I am going to enjoy him quite a bit as a character. I don’t think he will make advances on Shallan and I think he is more intelligent than one might guess by him rude and crude remarks. I am guessing that Shallan will draw him a picture of what he could be, and then he will become it.

Tofu actually believes he is hiding behind this book.

Tofu actually believes he is hiding behind this book.

Other Tidbits:

Sadeas’s wife is the little political player too. And I think she has dry skin, which is why she enjoys having her back scratched so much!

Pattern rocks! He went and summoned aid for Shallan by mimicking her voice and screaming for help. The little dude is awesome!

The men were certainly surprised to see Shallan holding a Shardblade! I wish I could have seen their faces.

Remember the madman who has a Shardblade? He was traveling with Wit. Well, in his babblings he talks about a the Radiants, and how there is a Leadership Radiant. I think that is Shallan.

Dalinar and Kaladin really need to chat frankly about the visions they have. They could really be an incredible team if only they trusted each other a bit more.

The fight scene between Szeth and Kaladin was great! And while I was listening to this scene, the thunder rolled and boomed outside. It was mighty excellent!

Kaladin is going to train with Zahel! Hooray! Well, at least once Zahel the Grumpy has had enough sleep and Zahel the Swordmaster awakens.

My Fellow Surgebinders:

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

Words of Radiance Read Along Part III

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. 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.

Tofu actually believes he is hiding behind this book.

Tofu actually believes he is hiding behind this book.

Other Tidbits:

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:

Musings on Fantasia

Lynn’s Book Blog

Over the Effing Rainbow

Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers

Books Without Any Pictures

Making My Mark

Stainless Steel Droppings

Words of Radiance Read Along Part II

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.

This week, Lisa is our host, so make sure to swing by her place (Over The Effing Rainbow) to see her answers and links to everyone’s posts.

This week we cover Chapter 9 through the end of Chapter 15. Spoilers abound below!

1) We learn a bit more about Syl and her connection to Kaladin, and that there are more spren out there, “trying…to reclaim what was lost”. Yet Syl was forbidden to come, and chose to do it anyway. What do you make of this new information?

It sounds like Syl risked an awful lot in coming – not only in the disapproval of whoever/whatever forbade her to come, but also in possibly loosing herself for good and being trapped as a simple Wind Spren for eternity. One of the things that I found particularly interesting was that Syl mentioned that she was one a Wind Spren and Kaladin contradicts her, saying that she is Honor Spren. I think that Kal (and most humans) believe that Spren are one kind and one kind only – they can’t switch from one kind to another. But based on what Syl said, I now wonder.

2) Chapter 10 is brief, but creepy! It looks like Shallan was responsible for her mother’s death, among others, when she was young. What are your thoughts on this scene?

On the surface, Shallan seems like such a simple, even happy, person. She does take everything in stride, perhaps is a bit gullible. Then we get a scene like this. Shallan is really into repressing heavy shit, ain’t she?

I know this is just my impression on the matter, but I think perhaps Shallan’s father had been pushing or training Shallan from a young age to manifest and use her Shardblade. I have to wonder how much of this scene was Shallan doing something wrong, versus her trainer forcing too much on her too soon. I expect we will get more of this story sooner or later and that it will not be simple. We already know that Shallan’s father was a control freak, one of her brothers died in some accident (am I remembering that right?), and at least one of her brothers is a sadist.

3) Highlord Amaram is back, and still has Kaladin’s Shardblade. He also seems to be close friends with Dalinar. Do you think Kaladin will tell Dalinar what really happened between him and Amaram? If so, what do you think might happen?

Well, this is awkward! I expect all sorts of angst for Kaladin and plenty of entertainment for me. If Dalinar puts Amaram in close proximity to Kaladin for some reason, or even orders Kaladin to temporarily take orders from Amaram, I think the shit may very well hit the fan (as opposed to being cooked up for High Lord Sadeas by Rock). I don’t think Kaladin trusts Dalinar enough to tell him the full truth of the matter just yet. However, Amaram may confess it in a moment of surprise or fear (like if Kaladin is holding a blade to his neck).

In Book 1, Amaram seemed sorrowful at the ‘need’ to kill all of Kaladin’s men and brand him as a slave, while taking the Shardblade for his own. He spoke of some greater need. I think Kaladin needs to hear what that greater need is. So if there is some type of confrontation, I expect Amaram will have to explain this. Beyond that, I am not sure. I wouldn’t be sad if Kaladin killed Amaram, but once Kaladin hears the reason, he may not take his life.

4) We get an Interlude, and more, with one of the Parshendi – the Shardbearer who fought Dalinar, a woman named Eshonai. We finally get a real look at the Parshendi and learn a bit about what they’re doing on the Shattered Plains. What are your thoughts on this?

Wow! I loved learning about the Parshendi. Of course, it creates a kind of sweet anxiety too for me as the reader. Now I know things about the Parshendi that would be very helpful to Dalinar (who wants to try to understand them a bit) but of course, i can’t tell him.

I found the whole thing about the different Forms very interesting. In fact, it made me think a little of the Spren and what Syl said about once being a Wind Spren. Eshonai’s observations on humans and that they are always in Mate Form, and how it may cloud their thinking, was funny. It seems they lost some knowledge a long time ago and are rediscovering some forms (like Nimble Form). Perhaps after the last Desolation, all known Parshendi were enslaved and became what is known as Parshmen. And perhaps some Parshmen broke away from humans several generations back and the Parshendi were birthed anew as they rediscovered a few forms.

The Storm Form sounds dangerous. Perhaps we will finally see why Jasnah thought the Parshmen were once called Voidbringers? Could be very exciting, and deadly. This could be the thing that brings Kaladin’s secrets out in the open.

It appears that they don’t have a Scholar Form or Artist Form, and yet, really, really want these forms. I am not sure why. And it seems they need to attract the right kind of Spren because one of them can transform into that desired Form. It’s all very interesting.

5) We also learn that Eshonai wants to speak with Dalinar and sue for peace. Do you think that’s likely to happen?

I think Dalinar’s vision voice (Unite them!) wants the humans and the Parshendi united to face some greater foe. Of course, Dalinar hasn’t come around to my way of thinking yet. And it looks like Eshonai just wants peace or a truce anyway, just to let her people live. She’s not looking for an alliance. What we need is a bigger, uglier, vastly more dangerous foe in order to get these two peoples talking to each other and allying. Will that happen this book? I am guessing no. Will there be a chance or two for some words to be exchanged? I hope so. I want to see Dalinar and perhaps Shallan or Kaladin wondering about the Parshendi.

6) Adolin’s first duel doesn’t exactly go as anyone expected… What did you make of how it was won? Do you think it will force people to take Adolin, and by extension Dalinar, more seriously?

I’m not too sure what came over Adolin, but I was glad to see him treat this bout like a one-on-one war. After all, they are in a war. If that fight had happened on the field, it would have been quick and brutal (just as Adolin performed it). I think Adolin might have grown up another notch. Perhaps he can show the other nobles that fighting is not a game, but is a brutal action taken for some higher purpose? Or perhaps I am asking too much of the talented peacock…….

It will take a while for folks to take the Kholins seriously. Until recently, Dalinar and Jasnah were the serious ones – and Jasnah was off on her research and Dalinar has these visions that allow people to write him off. Adolin is best known for his ability to strut like a peacock, Renarin is seen as a physical weakling, Navani is something of a flirt, and Elhokar is nitwit. With Adolin finally showing a serious side, we shall see.

Oh! And he gave Renarin the won Shardblade! That was nice, though I am not sure what Renarin will do with it.

Tofu actually believes he is hiding behind this book.

Tofu actually believes he is hiding behind this book.

Other Tidbits:

Shallan manages to rescue herself (with the help of the sea beastie) and some of Jasnah’s belongings. Of course, she’s stuck with slave traders for now. I wonder where this precarious adventure will take her…..

Rysin was quite daring in her trading efforts. Unfortunately, it might have cost her the ability to walk. And was that the tattooed guy, hanging upside down, who was studying all sorts of Spren (what was the inebriation spren he categorized?) in Book 1?

Haha! Sigzil does have a bit of humor – making Rock hang from the stuck rocks just for fun. And that sparring scene between Kaladin and the guys was great, especially when Rock attacked him with a tree!

Shallan lost nearly all her drawings, except for the one of Jasnah that was safely stored in Jasnah’s trunk. I still wonder if there is something more to Shallan’s drawings. Could she possibly capture a piece of a person and imbue the paper with that? Is there any hope that even a small piece of Jasnah is left on this plane of existence to help guide Shallan?

My Fellow Storm Forms:

Musings on Fantasia

Lynn’s Book Blog

Over the Effing Rainbow

Books Without Any Pictures

Making My Mark

Stainless Steel Droppings

Coffee, Cookies, and Chili Peppers

Words of Radiance Read Along Part I

SandersonWordsOfRadianceBannerWelcome everyone! I am so excited to be diving into this book, and such a great group of folks to be sharing the experience with. Want to join us? Everyone is welcome. Just check out the schedule post over HERE.

This week, Liesel is our host, so make sure to swing by her place (Musings on Fantasia) to see her answers and links to everyone’s posts.

This week we cover the Prologue through the end of Chapter 8. Spoilers abound below!

1. We basically get the same prologue from the first book except from Jasnah’s POV. She tells Gangnah that her father’s assassin walked on the wall, and it’s ignored. We also see the Parshendi leaders immediately take credit for the assassin. What did you make of it all? Insights? Impressions? How will this affect the story going forward?

I think it would be easy to dismiss a report of the assassin walking on walls, as Jasnah just lost her father, and so many others during the fight. Plus, it’s been how many thousands of years since anyone has seen a Surgebinder and what they can do. Well, anyone who doesn’t know about Szeth. Well, perhaps the Shin and the Parshendi both have Surgebinders on a regular frequency, but we don’t know that. That’s totally my suspicion.

And the Parshendi taking credit for the assassination right up front like that. Wow! All last book I was thinking that they were framed or used somehow. But with this new info, that may not be the case at all. I wish we knew more of their culture!

If the Parshendi wanted Gavilar dead, and Dalinar is becoming more and more like him, with similar goals, that means I need to be concerned for Dalinar. Perhaps the Parshendi will try to off him.

2. Adolin and Shallan are unofficially engaged. How do you see this relationship panning out?

Snort!!!! OK, got that out of my system. I think someone for the read along of Book 1 wondered what it would be like to have Shallan and Adolin in the same room. I can’t wait to see Shallan unleash her sharp, and amusing, tongue on the poor man. And Adolin could teach Shallan about Shardblades. I expect initial amusement and maybe exasperation followed by some touching mishap that brings them together.

And Shallan was so very practical about it too! She was relieved to be engaged to such a powerful family, and the cousin of Jasnah. I have no clue how Shallan will get to Navani and/or Adolin now, but she’s a resourceful young lady. Good thing Navani was all for the engagement, with Jasnah gone.

3. Kaladin wants to keep his Radiant powers a secret for as long as possible. How successful do you think he’ll be? How long will he remain hidden? Do you think he’ll succeed in training the thousand?

I think Kaladin’s ability to keep his secrets depends on how soon his powers are needed. Since his men are willing to keep his secret, he can train in secret. After all, no one is going around looking for people with Radiant powers….well, no one other than Jasnah. Well, there might be some evil doers doing the same. Oh, and the Parshendi know he has Radiant powers. And once Szeth makes it to the scene to follow through on his assassination (that we learned about near the end of Book 1), he’ll surely recognize Kaladin’s powers. Shit, this list is getting longer and longer.

OK. So let’s say no one recognizes his powers and tells the Lighteyes, because really, the people in power are the ones he really has to watch out for. Then he can keep his secrets for quite some time.

But I expect some thing will happen that forces Kal to use his powers, potentially in some showy way. Like Szeth showing up.

4. Jasnah thinks Shallan’s spren is a Cryptic, as opposed to an Honorspren which is what Syl is. What do you think is the significance of this? What does it mean for Shallan? For Kaladin?

Based on just these two spren, it seems the spren are well suited to their companions. And they appear to have a learning stage. I remember from Book 1 that Syl started off very much like a simple Windspren and over time became more and more communicative and eventually morphed into that full fledged Honorspren. Shallan’s Cryptic (Pattern) appears to be going through the same learning curve. I can only imagine what Pattern will become. Very exciting!

5. How will Kaladin accomplish all of the tasks Dalinar has laid on him? Do you think Dalinar’s plan with the duels will work to stave off civil war and help unite the high princes?

Kaladin is going to have to delegate more work. And I think he is going to have to eventually bring more men into his inner circle. He’s already delegated Teft to doing the basic training for the 1000. Rock and Sigzil have the task of supplying and cooking and training cooks for Kal’s little army. Still, he needs more trustworthy men to accomplish it all. I expect he will be hardest on himself and wear himself out and the others will chastise him for it by stealing all his clothes one day, so that he is forced to stay in bed and rest.

Personally, I am really looking forward to seeing Adolin duel. I know, it’s the little barbarian in me. Still, it is what the culture understands and Adolin can earn much honor for his house in these duels while capturing Shards and teaching the other high lords lessons. Will it help unite the high princes? I am not sure. It could unite them against Dalinar and his family. After all, if Dalinar & family hold the bulk of the Shards within 6 weeks, then the other lords may be quite disgruntled and even feel threatened.

And that voice in Dalinar’s visions that keeps telling him to unite them may not be talking about the High Princes. It may be encouraging him to unite the humans with the Parshendi. Until some greater foe rears its ugly head, that is unlikely to even occur to Dalinar.

6. After the incident with the ship, do you think Jasnah is truly dead? Predictions?

Such a tough question. I actually had to listen to this section twice. Jasnah’s death broke my heart. I have to say that I am pretty sure she is dead, at least her body. Perhaps there is some slight chance that her spirit will be able to chat with Shallan in Shadesmar. I really got attached to Jasnah in Book 1 because she made me think (remember that incident in the alley with the cutpurses?).

I wonder what happened to her spren, Ivory. Will Shallan find Ivory again?

With Jasnah’s death, and Shallan lost at sea (at least until she reaches shore, because I assume we can’t lose two main characters to early in Book 2), I don’t think anyone will notice until the ship is reported missing at their next scheduled port. Eventually word will reach Navani & family. Perhaps they will contact Shallan’s family.

I did sniffle a little at the thought of all their books being lost to sea.

7. What are your first thoughts/impressions of Pattern? How do you see his and Shallan’s relationship developing?

Haha! It was fun to watch Shallan and Jasnah watch Pattern explore his new world and Shallan finding him a bit imbecilic. I mean, Shallan, and even Jasnah, must seem like children (or imbeciles) when they go to Shadesmar, knowing so little.

If Shallan continues to spend time with Pattern and nurture his inquisitive nature, I expect he will continue to grow as Syl did with Kaladin. Also, I think Pattern will teach Shallan about Shadesmar.

Does anyone else want a crawling, talking cryptic tattoo? I know I do!

Tofu actually believes he is hiding behind this book.

Tofu actually believes he is hiding behind this book.

Other Tidbits:

Jasnah was meeting with a lady assassin shortly before Szeth struck. She ordered that Elhokar’s wife be watched. I really, really want to learn why, and what the assassin learned. Since Jasnah is now out of the picture, what will happen to her little spy networks?

Shallan and her immense sea creature. I have to say, that is totally me. More than once, I have asked my man to pull off the road 9or done so myself if I am solo) so I could play with some critter. Snakes are a big one around here. Once it was tarantulas migrating to water and mating. Buffulo in a national park….what else, Oh! A moose! My one and only moose! Once we came upon a full grown mountain lion at night on the way home. Did not leave the car for that as that would have been immensely stupid. That cat was in no hurry to get off the road and stared us and the car down.

That was pretty touching about the Bridge 4 tatts and the badges.

Haha! Kaladin thinks Elhokar is a whiny little snit too!

Only 62 days to get things right. I wonder if this book will cover those full 62 days, or if those days will be stretched over multiple books. I can’t see Szeth waiting 62 days to make his attempt on Dalinar. I wonder who wrote the glyphs?

Dalinar’s latest vision was so full of clues and I have no idea where they all go! Spren with red eyes, being hunted? Used as spies? giant rock like beast rising from the riverbed – is it a spren?

I love that Kaladin keeps calling Dalinar ‘sir’ and that he takes the time to explain why to Dalinar. And Dalinar accepts it! It’s great to have these two teamed up.

Is anyone else listening to the audiobook? Why did they change the accent for Yalb and those of his race? They now all sound French, and they definitely did not in Book 1.

My Fellow Cryptics:

Musings on Fantasia

Lynn’s Book Blog

Over the Effing Rainbow

 Books Without Any Pictures

Making My Mark

Stainless Steel Droppings

Coffee, Cookies, and Chili Peppers