Anya from Starships and Dragonwings and Nrlymrtl from Dab of Darkness are hosting a read-along starting in January for Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings. Please check out THIS POST for more details on how to participate, the schedule of chapters covered and how to learn more about a giveaway that Tor is hosting.
Happy Wednesday! Here we are, at another week of The Way of Kings Read-Along (or in my case, Re-Read-Along). This week we are looking at Chapters 20 to Chapter 27, the questions kindly put together by Lunar Rainbows. As always, SPOILERS ahead! 🙂
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?
Like the first time I read this novel (or at least the impression that remained from that read), I’m honestly not entirely sure what to make of Kaladin’s abilities and what could possibly be fuelling is abilities. This time around though, I have a feeling that Kaladin is probably connected to the Radiants/early historical events in a similar way that Dalinar is. I can’t think of an exact moment when this thought occurred to me but given that Kaladin and Dalinar’s stories seem similar/important in some way, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kaladin’s abilities have something to do with the past and the Radiants.
On the flip side, I am curious as to what circumstances Kaladin faced the high prince for a Shardblade–it’s been such a tease trying to find out more about that incident! =P
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?
I think that at this stage of reading this novel, I’m sort of treating all of the “political” characters in Elhokar’s court with a dose of wariness, lol. They’re all involved in politics one way or the other, which makes them a little crafty (save for Dalinar), but in the case of Navani she can be a powerful ally provided their interests are similar. I don’t remember much about her character (good thing?) but I reckon she can be a hindrance if she doesn’t see eye to eye with whatever path Dalinar has ahead of him. Based from their first scene though it feels as though she may have a soft spot for him so it’s possible she may end up as an ally of sorts 😉
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?
I remember feeling rather disgusted at Sadeas becoming the High Prince of Information and it feels like my initial irritation hasn’t changed with a re-read =P For all of his talk about being a loyal servant to the king and to the kingdom, I get the sense that he would not hesitate to use his newfound position to outsmart Dalinar and reduce his influence in court at a moment’s notice. The vision seems to call for a tall order in asking Dalinar to trust Sadeas but on the flip side if Dalinar can find some way, some concept or issue that can garner Sadeas’ concern enough, then maybe there’s a chance for the vision to still work out.
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?
Rock is a very interesting character and it’s interesting that one with such an ability to see spren was introduced now. I’m not sure what to make of it at the moment: it could just be a random thing that some people can see spren and others can’t. Or maybe it’s an indication that these characters will be important in the future? 😉
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 think that Adolin will always have some lasting effect on Dalinar when it comes to the visions. Ever since we’ve been introduced to the characters Adolin has been on the side of practicality when it came to Dalinar and his dealings with the king, Sadeas and the court, to look out for their family and their position and to essentially protect themselves from the politicking and scheming of the other families. The confrontation I think will definitely isolate Dalinar further than he already is (if that makes any sense); it’s hard enough that he’s the only one experiencing these visions but not to truly know that his own son thinks he’s losing it will definitely leave a mark–even Adolin was aware of it as he walked away at the end of the scene. With the way things are moving, I don’t think Adolin will be convinced any time soon, though it would be nice. I feel bad for Dalinar, he seems to be quite alone in his own convictions almost all the time (despite of the fact that yeah, he does look a little strange when you compare him to everyone else in Elhokar’s court)…
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 (of course, love these two!!) 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?
Firstly, I realised that Dalinar and Kaladin’s respective stories right now run sort of in parallel to each other: both of them are in positions where everyone else around them pretty much things they are nuts for the decisions they make and the things they are trying to implement. They’re slowly but surely making some headway (Kaladin moreso than Dalinar) but I don’t know, I feel as though they still have a long way to go. So part of me wants to believe that their respective efforts will be enough to convince the others to go along with their plans and for the other High Princes to shift tactics but part of me is rather sceptical about this. The High Princes at this point have convinced me that they’re all stubborn and thick-headed =P
Extra bits: I thought the scene between Dalinar and High Prince Roion in the Gallery of Maps was interesting. Yes, it sucked because it really emphasised how isolated Dalinar is from the machinations of the court, but on the other hand it really reinforced how these princes think, how fractured their union really is.
And those are my thoughts for this week on The Way of Kings. What did you think of these chapters?