The Way of Kings Read Along Part IV

Stout as a bookstand.
Stout as a bookstand.

This week, Lunar Rainbows is our host, so make sure to swing by her place.

Here is the SCHEDULE in case you want to jump in and join us. Anyone is welcome.

Chapters 20-27 are covered. Spoilers are having a party below!

1.  We seem to be getting more and more proof that there is some ”luck” or magic at play when it comes to Kaladin’s safety,  survival and his skills – especially during those battle scenes.  Even when performing that Kata in the Chasm, there was something  incredible about his movements according to the rest of the crew. Initially the blade seemed to be the source of his skills (to me at least) , what do you think might be fueling his powers?  Do you think they’re getting stronger?

Since this is a reread for me, I remember the answer to this question. So, let me just go on about how awesome Kaladin is and I am looking forward to more of his awesomeness as we move forward in the book. Last week, a few people touched on the drained spheres as a potential source for Kaladin’s abilities. So, keep that in mind.

2. We were introduced to Navani, King Gavilar’s widow and the current King Elhokar’s mother.  What was your initial impression of her?  There seems to be some complicated history between her and Dalinar,  do you think she might end up being an ally or an eventual hindrance?

She’s seems to be a respected and formidable woman. However, there were some references to her openly toying with Gavilar and Dalinar before eventually deciding which brother she wanted in marriage. I don’t really like that aspect of her. And I have the sense that she is toying with him again, even if only slightly. Dalinar is the kind of guy who would feel awkward looking at a dead third cousin’s wife askance, let a lone his brother’s wife. I think she knows this.

I totally forget her subplot. So I am going to say that unless Dalinar is furthering her or her son’s power within the kingdom, then she will be a hindrance. She does seem to enjoy her power. With cream and strawberries on top.

3. What did you make of Sadeas’ maneuver against Dalinar to gain the King’s favor by being named the High Prince of Information?  How do you reconcile his actions with the advice Dalinar received ”to trust” Sadeas?

Well, Dalinar put his trust in his vision and approached Sadeas about uniting, and then the King about naming a High Prince of War, but it was deemed too soon and inappropriate at this time. And then the King names Sadeas High Prince of Info. I think this was underhanded by Sadeas, who proposed the idea, but also by the King because it undercuts not only one of his High Princes but also his uncle (all in one person).

I worry that it would be too easy to lay false tracks pointing to Dalinar or his household as the reason for the strap being cut. Because of the King’s announcement, the entirety of the war camps know that Dalinar and his camp are being questioned. It would be so, so easy to frame him for something and Sadeas is such an egotrip he would be easy to lead.

4. Where you surprised when Rock admitted to Kaladin that he was seemingly born being able to see the Spren and therefore could see Syl following Kaladin around? That led to a pivotal point for Kaladin, gaining Rock’s favor and then Teft’s.  What were your thoughts on that whole scene? Can you speculate as to why some people are able to see the spren when others can not?

Well, we need to meet some other Horn Eaters so that we can see if some or all Horn Eaters can see Spren so easily. But Syl seems to like him and he treats her with reverence, so I think this is a good thing. Perhaps if you treat something with reverence, even just politeness, you are more likely to see it? It seems that nearly everyone else treats Spren dismissively. Even Kaladin did before Syl kept messing with him.

I thought it was a lot of fun watching Syl lead Rock around to the weeds….and the occasional dung pile. Such simple jokes, but so well placed in the narrative that I laughed out loud.

5.  We got to see Adolin confront his father Dalinar because of his visions and lay all his cards on the table. Clearly Adolin thinks his father is losing it and his words seemed to shake Dalinar’s own convictions as well.  Do you think this will have a lasting effect on Dalinar’s belief in his visions? Not to mention his acting on them?  Moreover, do you think Adolin will ever be convinced that there is more to Dalinar’s visions any time soon?

I know, I should remember how this plays out. But I don’t. I think there will be further strife between Dalinar and his sons, and some of it will be over his visions and his ‘obsession’ with the old ways. But also, he promised Renarin the next set of Shardplate, but then he also promised the very next one to that other High Prince. If that falls out like that, I think Renarin will be hurt and Dalinar’s word to his sons might not mean as much. Also, Adolin had to assist Dalinar in the middle of the gemheart battle, and Adolin might chalk this up to the heat of the battle and slipping, or he might question it.

And once Dalinar starts to see his own family falling apart, I think he will question the visions, his obsession in the old ways, and finally, his sanity. Dalinar, I am afraid, is in for a rough time of it.

6.  As if in further indication of Dalinar and Kaladin’s collision course towards one another, Dalinar has agreed to train a bridge crew – without putting them directly into assault or harm’s way. Do you think their joined efforts might be enough to change the way the the other High Princes  go about things during battle?  Especially Sadeas?

I do remember a little bit about this and I will say that it is going to be messy. Yep, very messy. Nothing can be simple and easy, like having the two most honorable people join forces, solve all the riddles, and put the bad guys out of their misery, or at least send them home without rewards.

Other Tidbits:

I thought it was fascinating that there was male and female food, and never shall the twain meet. Though this is so for some Asian foods, right? Educate me folks. Still, fascinating.

I worry that this latest rub between Dalinar and Sadeas will be too much for Dalinar’s sons and that one or both of them will do something stupid. Anyone else worried?

I get a kick out of Syl walking around the apothecary’s head, his counter, on Kaladin’s shoulder.

Kaladin, Rock, & Teft telling stories by sap. Ah, male bonding. So cute.

My Fellow Chull:

Musings on Fantasia

Coffee, Cookies and Chilli Peppers

Book Vulture

Novel Reflections

Lynn’s Book Blog

Tethyan Books

On Starships and Dragonwings

Over the Effing Rainbow

The Caffeinated Life

Doing Dewey

14 thoughts on “The Way of Kings Read Along Part IV”

  1. Here are my answers for the week!

    3. I agree it was an underhanded move by Sadeas, but I’m not sure the king really thought through the implications. He doesn’t really seem like he’s very bright, so far.
    5. I thought Dalinar said he would give the second plate set to his ally (thus still saving the first for Renarin). Did he change that, and I’m forgetting?

    It sounded like all the female food had lots of sugar added–I’m pretty sure I would be trying to pass as a man in their world, for this and many other reasons!

    1. Now I need to relisten to that section about the plate, but I think Dalinar first promised plate to Renarin, then later while trying to convince Rolon to team with him, he promised Rolon the first set of plate and any subsequent plate for his own (Dalinar’s) family.

      I too would want the spicy male food over the sugary female food.

  2. Oooh, I forgot about the promise to Renarin. Also about the drained spheres around Kaladin. Hmm…

    Otherwise, I loved this week’s readthrough. I usually leave my reading of chapters until the weekend but at this stage I’m not sure I can! 😀

    1. I’m loving this book even more on my second read through. There are so many details that I am picking up now that I missed before. And yes, I too am having trouble sticking to just the section-of-the-week.

  3. So, the drained spheres have something to do with it, huh? Interesting. Navani definitely came off as manipulative. Messing with two brothers the way it was referenced definitely doesn’t earn her my respect, nor does her trying to manipulate Dalinar. You make a good point about how maybe Rock’s people can see spren because they revere them. If that’s the case, I hope we do meat more horneaters. I like them a lot. I liked the male bonding, as well. And I always love to see Syl walking around in the air, even if it’s just around Kaladin. It’s just such a great visual! 😀

    My WoK Post

    1. Syl is so much fun. She can do all these acrobatics, snooping, even a little spying, listening in, walking around people’s heads. And even if they do see her, they probably won’t think anything of it because she is just a spren.

  4. I think the bit about the drained spheres is what got me thinking that Kaladin’s powers might be growing. We met him fully equipped with a shard and everything but I mean he seems to be summoning powers outside of danger and/or battles (like performing that kata!)

    I had a feeling Dalinar & Kaladin’s meeting wouldn’t be all roses – I mean, clearly things are getting ready to hit the fan…possibly with another desolation…not to mention that this is the first book in a planned HUGE series. BUT I can’t help thinking that those two will be EPIC together no matter the circumstance hehe

    I agree with you about Navani: something about the way she seems to have toyed with Dalinar and his brother irks me o.O but I’m hoping she may have some insight about what her late husband went through with the visions!! Oh and I’m definitely up for meeting some more Horn Eaters, cause they sound fascinating 😀

    1. We haven’t seen Kaladin equipped with a shard, and I forget if we ever do in this book. We saw Szeth at the beginning of the book with a shard, and that was freaking awesome.

      I need more info about Navani before I totally make up my mind. After all, she is Jasnah’s mother and Jasnah is pretty awesome.

  5. Not sure what to make of Navani. She certainly seems capable of playing with people. I wonder if she preferred Dalinar to his brother but didn’t marry him because he wasn’t going to be King. If so, then she puts her ambitions first? It will be interesting to see what she’s planning. Part of me thinks she might be setting her cap at Dalinar now they’re both no longer committed but I don’t think it’s going to be that simple.
    Yeah, male and female food – so strange. And the other customs such as it being impolite for Navani to approach Dalinar whilst he’s eating. I don’t like the sound of the female food to be honest!
    Lynn 😀

    1. From riding around in Dalinar’s head, i had the impression that Navani was free to choose either one. So why toy with the Dalinar if what she wants is power and is set on Gavilar? Either she truly had some interest in Dalinar, or she merely liked the power trip of playing two men. I need more info about her.

  6. Lucky that you remember about Kaladin; I don’t remember much (save for how crappy working in the bridge crews is) so I guess I’m in for a surprise (again!) 🙂

    I like that the story is beginning to introduce more female characters in prominent positions (especially as Shallan’s chapters were not in this section of the novel) but at the same time yeah, Navani’s definitely someone to watch out for, she could turn at a moment’s notice. Or maybe I’m just uber protective of Dalinar, lol.

    The customs regarding food is very interesting, another indication of how different their world and their society is!

    1. I feel protective of Dalinar too. I want to tell Navani to leave him be unless she is genuinely interested in a life-long commitment to him. Because that is the kind of man he is. He won’t be a weekend lover, or a summer fling. He’s not a toy either, just someone to make blush at dinner.

  7. Sorry I am so horribly late: sometimes my life is just far too complicated! :D 

    1. Yep: Kal = awesome sauce!

    2. I agree that I find the idea of toying with two brothers like that rather irritating. However, she may have matured considerably since then and truly regret picking the worn gone. Somehow I can’t see Dalinar taking romance very lightly, so I hope that she doesn’t play with his affections again.

    3. That Sadeas is a sneaky sneak and I don’t trust him at all. As for the king: he is a bit of an idiot in my opinion.

    4. I like the way that we are watching Syl become more complex. Learning about lying is an important developmental stage, so it was good to see her getting some fun from it, and Rock was just adorably understanding.

    5. I fear that Dalinar’s life will be destroyed before he is taken seriously, but I hope that his sons will stand by him through it all.

    6. it would be nice is everything worked out cleanly . . . but then it wouldn’t be a Brandon Sanderson novel! 😀

    1. You’re right that Navani may have matured quite a bit since she toyed with the brothers. She has been married, had children, and become a widow since then. So i hope you are right and that Dalinar’s lingering affections are not misplaced.

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