‘The Way of Kings’ Read-Along (Week 5)

Posted 29 January, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 6 Comments

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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 28 to Chapter 32 (including the interludes), the questions kindly put together by Allie @ Tethyan Books. As always, SPOILERS ahead! 🙂

Oh, and before I continue, be sure to drop over at Anya from Starships and Dragonwings tomorrow, January 30th, as she will be posting up details for the super awesome book giveaway contest that we are featuring courtesy of Tor.com and fellow read-along hosts 🙂

1. Dalinar made a very dramatic decision at the beginning of this section. Do you think it was the right one? What do you think will happen to him, Adolin and (and the not-united Alethi) if he follows through?
I felt really bad for Dalinar in this sequence. I feel like his decision was made more out of giving up, his frustration over his visions, his condition and the lack of unity amongst the Alethi coming to a head. I have a vague recollection of what happens to him after he made this decision but suffice to say at this moment it might not be the best decision. You need someone of his perspective in the king’s court to moderate Sadeas and the other sceptical and conniving brightprinces out; Adolin has his strengths but he’s also young and his approach is more akin to the other princes in court.

2. We’ve gotten to see a little more of Shinovar with Rysn the apprentice merchant. In terms of plants and animals, it seems to be pretty much like our world. How do you think it happened that there’s such an ‘ordinary’ place, or what do you think might have happened to turn the rest of the world so unusual? Given this and the chapter on Szeth, do you have any more ideas on what the meaning of his “Truthless” title might be?
Hmm, could the last appearance of the Knights Radiants and the last Desolation have something to do with the way the world turned out? Or have the highstorms always been a feature of a chunk of this world?

As for Szeth, could the term “Truthless” have something to do with the malleability of his, err, current occupation (for lack of a better term)? The way he can be changed from master to master and serve that individual regardless of whatever they ask him to do, good or bad? His ability to kill? And yet his chapter shows that he is a man of faith so I wonder if being Truthless points to a faith of a different sort. Gah, I wish he had more chapters, he’s such a mystery!

3. Shallan and Jasnah’s story has returned! Based on Jasnah’s words to Dalinar, and the clues Shallan is picking up, what do you think Jasnah’s project is about? What do you think she hopes to accomplish?
I had to think here a little because it’s been so long between the time of Dalinar and Jasnah’s conversation and her latest chapter! Anyway, I think she’s also looking into the history with the Knights Radiant and what had happened then, perhaps tying in to what Galivar was doing at the time of his death and also tying in to whatever Dalinar is currently experiencing and undergoing. I think Jasnah might know something about what Galivar was getting at back then, and whatever that was is what she now hopes to accomplish or reveal…

4. Concerning Shallan, it’s starting to seem that her drawing ability is a supernatural gift. Do you have any theories on the bizarre figures Shallan accidentally drew behind the king?
At first I thought it was some kind of spren that Shallan saw but re-reading the passage again, it seems a little more than that. Ghosts of the past? Some manifestation of the Knights Radiant or the Voidbringers or whatever else in between? Something new we haven’t seen? It was a creepy moment, I hope they pop up again later on just so that we could learn more about them (again, however creepy it was =P)

5. Back to the bridge crews, now that we’ve seen a bit more into Gaz’s perspective, does he seem any more sympathetic? Why do you think he owes Lamaril money?
Hmm, to be honest I still haven’t warmed to his character, probably because I identify him as mainly an obstacle to what Kaladin is trying to achieve (despite of his own private, conflicted feelings). But then again, Gaz doesn’t like being in the position he is in so…I don’t know. I can’t think of anything concrete about why he owes Lamaril money; everything he does always seems rather sketch to begin with so I had naturally assumed that he was hiding something or had to acquire something and needed a favour from Lamaril to achieve it.

6. Kaladin has won over his bridge crew, and enacted a brilliant plan to protect them—which utterly ruined the military strategy. Do you think his plan was a good one, or should he have seen the chaos coming? What do you think will happen to him next? Also, what do you think he’ll do if he figures out the real reason why bridgemen aren’t allowed shields?
Kaladin’s strategy was smart, he couldn’t possibly have thought of all of the consequences that resulted in his plan. He was only thinking of his men, and why not? They started off as quite an indifferent lot and now they’re working together and striving towards something. I wonder if Kaladin will figure out the reason why they’re not allowed to carry shields; the battles always seem so chaotic and busy that I wonder if there’s ever a moment to notice how things are really panning out…

As for what’s going to happen to him next, well…

And those are my thoughts for this week on The Way of Kings. I really need to keep a notebook by me when I’m reading because so many details escape me that I ought to include in these posts! Next time, we’ll see…Anyway, what did you think of these chapters?

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6 Responses to “‘The Way of Kings’ Read-Along (Week 5)”

  1. Great theory about Szeth. People are coming up with such great ones I wouldn’t have thought of! Can’t wait to read more. Yeah, the figures Shallan saw were definitely creepy. One of the most intriguing scenes in this section, in my opinion. I thought they seemed a bit too sinister to be a manifestation of the Knights Radiant, but perhaps the Void Bringers. Guess we’ll find out. 😀

  2. I just can’t work out what the crack is with Szeth. It’s a mystery and I’m so curious I could burst.
    The figures in Shallan’s drawing were incredibly creepy weren’t they – imagine those following you around everywhere and not even knowing. Did they seem threatening? I didn’t really think so but it just freaked me out a little bit them being there.
    Lynn 😀

  3. Also, I can’t help wondering about Dalinar’s decision – will Sadeas think he has something to hide and is running away?
    Lynn 😀

  4. I think Adolin would do better than Dalinar is at court, since, as you said, he thinks mostly like the other highprinces, but I don’t think he would make any headway in Dalinar’s dream of unity, so his courtly success probably wouldn’t matter. I think Kaladin might figure out the deal with no-shields, now that he’s been forced to think of the military strategy as a whole (after the last battle). I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

  5. Yes, i too would like to know if the Highstorms existed before the last Desolation or are a lingering product of it. That would give an idea of how messed up the last Desolation was.

    Ah, Szeth. Such a mystery. You are right that he obviously has an internal sense of right and wrong. But he feels bound to this Oathstone. I wonder what happens if he goes against his master’s commands? Other than some inner argument that would occur in Szeth’s head, would there be any physical effects?

    What if the figures Shallan saw were really big, defined, intelligent spren that can pick and choose who they show themselves to…except in the case of Shallan. Still, the spren we have met have been rather elemental, and most often playful. There didn’t seem to be anything playful or elemental about these guys.

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