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

11 thoughts on “Words of Radiance Read Along Part I”

  1. What a great start to the book. I left it till last night and read it all in one big chunk!
    I think it would be great for Andolin and Shallan to get together – I really think they’d be good for each other.
    I like your thinking about the spren. They definitely have to go through a learning process. I was thinking that maybe the person attracts the type of spren that best suits their character? It’s also interesting about Pattern – he seems to need to travel through something – can he travel on air? Not sure if I missed something there or not?
    I’m so hoping that Jasnah is still alive. It just seemed such a brief scene – I thought that more would have been made of it somehow. Ohhhhh, I hope I’m right – otherwise I’ve been very blaise and unfeeling about the whole thing *shamefaced*.
    Lynn 😀

    1. I think you are right about Pattern. He seems to need some sort of surface to move on. Perhaps he will get faster with time and will be able to scuttle wickedly fast, which would make him more useful. And I wonder how many others will be able to see him?

      I don’t want Jasnah to be dead….but the blood, and the thunk of steel through body to shipboard….so, yeah, I am thinking she is dead.

  2. 1 – Yeah, I’m worried about possible assassination attempts on Dalinar, too.
    2 – I agree. I think Shallan’s wit will totally leave him in the dust! 😀
    3 – I think you’re right that something will force Kaladin to use his powers and then everyone will know who/what he is.
    4 – Good point. Maybe these higher-level spren always shape themselves to who they latch onto. I hadn’t thought of it that way.
    5 – That’s true! They might still be able to talk in Shadesmar! Good point. And I felt the same way about the books!
    6 – I’m really loving Pattern so far.
    Don’t know about the audiobook thing. I’m reading it on my kindle. 😀

    1. Since it looks like we lost Jasnah, I would take it hard if we lost Dalinar in the same book.

      I am glad I am not the only one who was worried about the books. There are people being slaughtered on the ship, and I worry about the books. Bibliofetishist.

  3. I loved the Bridge Four tattoos. It was such a neat way of turning their pasts into something empowering.

    One of the things that Mike brought up about Kaladin’s powers is that since he’s a darkeyes, nobody will expect him to be a Radiant. The people who know about him are all of a low enough social strata that even if someone did get ideas and blab about it, they wouldn’t likely be able to get anyone’s attention or to be believed.

    The whole ship scene I was like “OMG NOOOOO… THE BOOK CANNOT SINK!” And then it started to sink in (sorry, bad pun) that Jasnah was dead.

    1. Good point about no one expecting, or even thinking it is possible, for a darkeyes to be (or become) a Radiant. Who would listen to a drunk bridgeman going on about a darkeyes using stormlight to stick rocks to the side of the building, or such.

      Yeah, I was really sad to see Jasnah killed. I was almost as sad to see the trunk full of books sink. Sigh…..

  4. I’m also worried about Dalinar, He seems to be heading down the same path and well, I don’t want to say it out loud, or write it. How funny, I had to listen to the bit when Jasnah died twice two. My first thought was, “No way, I must have heard that wrong.” Sadly, I didn’t. I’m hoping she’s still alive, but given the excerpt form Navani, but hopes aren’t all that high.

    And the loss of the books–heartbreaking.

    1. Yes, the excerpt from Navani is what clenched it for me. I truly think Jasnah has passed on. Shallan is now going to have to step up and carry the torch. She now knows more than anyone else (that we know of).

  5. 1. I just find it hard to believe that people would dismiss Jasnah, of all people, when she reports seeing something like that. But people will often believe what they want to, so you may be right. I still think that the Parshendi were being manipulated in some way about the assassination. Nothing about it feels right and their rush to accept responsibility seems totally wrong.

    2. Yes, I also expect Adolin to be less than enthusiastic, but it might just work.

    3. Yep: Szeth + Kal = major displays of very obvious super powers to all in the area, so that should do it.

    5. Yep, delegation is the way to go in this situation. Bridge Four came around fairly quickly, so I hope we will see something similar with the rest of the Bridgemen.

    I think the Highprinces only really respond to overt displays of power, so the dueling might work. Plus getting to see them bashed about will be fun! 😀

    6. Snap – I was also thinking “Save the books!” and “Damn, now we won’t know why she wanted Shallan to read the Words of Radiance!”

    I am secretly hoping that the giant sea creature will save Shallan, but that might be pushing things a little too far.

    Elhokar needs a good slap – I am truly surprised that Navani hasn’t done it yet.

    I was amazed that Dalinar thinks that HE wrote the message!

    1. You are probably right about the high princes needing a good pummeling…..and perhaps Adolin will be able to deliver several such pummelings. But at what point do the high princes band together to tell the Kholins to go get stuffed?

      I still don’t know what to think of the Parshendi and the assassination of Gavilar. We know so little of them. I can see some sneaky sneak using them as a smoke screen, having assumed they will be as simple as the Parshmen seem to be.

Comments are always appreciated, so don't be shy!