Welcome everyone! We’ve returned with another installment of the Words of Radiance Read Along. Want to join us? Everyone is welcome. Just check out the schedule post over HERE. Another slight change to the schedule: Lynn from Lynn’s Book Blog is our host this week. Make sure to swing by her place to see links to all the participants.
This week we cover 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.
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
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Books Without Any Pictures
Making My Mark
Stainless Steel Droppings