The Way of Kings Read Along Part I

Stout as a bookstand.
Stout as a bookstand.

Welcome everyone! This is quite the big turnout for a read along and I am ever so glad folks came out of the woodwork for this one. You can check out the schedule HERE if you want to jump in and join us. We’re taking this large book at ~100 pages per week. Also, make sure to swing by my coconspirator’s realm – Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings to check out details on a giveaway sponsored by Tor Publishers.

Bloggers playing along, leave your link in the comments so we can all jump around and visit each other.

Now, on to the fun stuff! This week we covered The Prelude through the end of Chapter 6. Spoilers for this section reside below!

1) Is this your first Brandon Sanderson experience? Any expectations going into this read along?

No, actually. I have read his Mistborn trilogy, Legion, and Warbreaker. A few years ago, the very first Sanderson book I read was this one. And now is the perfect time for a reread before Book 2 in this series comes out in March. I expect, since I am taking it slower this time, I will remember more of it.

2) In the Prelude to the Stormlight Archive, we see that Talenel (Taln) died and his sword is unaccounted for. Jerzien and company have decided it is best for 1 to suffer instead of 10. What do you make of this scene?

I think these are the 10 Radiants we hear referred to throughout the book, usually in a legendary, mystical, or religious sense. I also want to say from this scene, that these Radiants are reborn when they are needed. So which of our characters may indeed be reborn Radiants?

3) What did you think of Szeth’s fighting abilities and the fight scenes? Any thoughts on the crystalline sphere and King Gavilar Kholin’s last words?

When I first read this book, I found the rules that governed Szeth’s fighting abilities a little confusing. But a similar mechanism is used in the Mistborn trilogy (linked more to metals). So reading it the second time for this read along, it was much easier to picture. Oh, and his opponents are fucked. That is all.

As to Gavilar Kholin’s last words, I don’t remember what they mean…but since Book 2 is titled Words of Radiance, I want to say we may find out in Book 2. As to the sphere, I am sure it will cause some mystery, grief, and consternation.

4) Each chapter proper starts with a few words from a dying person, their station, and status in life. Any thoughts on what these portend?

It seems that someone is recording them for perhaps a scholarly purpose. And each seems to describe some impending, cataclysmic doom. I don’t recall if we get any real answer to these entries this book. But by now I know enough of Sanderson’s works to know that nothing is frivolous; it all means something. Given the dark nature of these phrases, I expect that at some point in this series our heroes will have to face something huge.

5) Kaladin went from warrior to slave in a matter of the first 2 chapters. Care to speculate on the details of how his life changed so drastically?

I am guessing that Kaladin managed to piss off someone of importance in his quest for glory and his desire to get himself and his men transferred to the Shattered Plains. Still, slavery seems pretty harsh for some battlefield slight. I don’t recall the particulars as to how Kaladin ended up this way, but I do know we eventually get the whole story through flashbacks. He seems pretty disillusioned with Light Eyes and their honorable word. Someone screwed him over thoroughly.

6) Sylphrena (Syl) the Windspren seems attached to Kaladin. Are you enjoying her character? Do you like the Spren in general in the worldbuilding so far?

There seems to be two kinds of Spren. Windspren and Stormspren seem to have some free will and can move about as they like, even affecting their surroundings (such as playing little jokes on people). Then there are the fear spren, the pain spren, etc. These seem to be attracted by certain emotions, but not causal. The Spren in general do add another element to Kaladin’s world. If you are afraid or angry or sad or in pain, but want to hide it, how do you hide it from the Spren? Which also means, how do you hide it from the world because everyone else can see the spren gathering around you, feeding (?) on your fear/anger/pain.

Syl is great. I remember her from my first reading and I really like how she starts out like any other Spren. But then, little by little, her character grows. Kaladin seems a little mystified with her. After all, she does chat with him, which other spren don’t do.

7) Shallan Davar has finally caught up to Brightness Jasnah Kholin and her soulcaster. Jasnah and the jeweled fabril can change stone to smoke; what else do you think it can do?

Shallan talked of most soulcasters could only do smaller things, like changing stone into food. Her father had a secret one and seemed able to create minerals worthy of mining. So, the fabril can be used to transform one kind of rock into another. Supposedly, Jasnah is the strongest soulcaster living. can stone be made into anything with a hearbeat? Into flame? I really don’t recall the limitations on this one. I am going to say that flame may be possible, but not things with a hearbeat.

Other Tidbits:

Safe hand? Like for washing? Putting on makeup? Eating?

Bridge 4 crew! Perhaps someone could have given Kaladin the slightest warning.

Did I read that right? The storms make seasons near impossible. One can only hope for a few weeks of this weather or that. Makes for crazy plants, and even crazier animals that feed on the plants. Diving air eels!

Yarb Yalb. Go on, Say it out loud. Yarb Yalb. I am going to name a future cat or dog Yarb just so I have an excuse to shout it out loud. Yarb Yalb! Stop piddling on the rug!

My fellow Shard Bearers:

Over the Effing Rainbow

Coffee, Cookies, and Chilipeppers

Caffeinated Life

On Starships & Dragonwings

Novel Reflection

Lunar Rainbows

Doing Dewey

Lynn’s Book Blog

Musings on Fantasia

Bookvulture’s Perch

Tethyan Books