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 and the schedule of chapters covered.
In conjunction with our read-along, we are also hosting a super awesome giveaway for a chance to win a copy of either The Way of Kings or the follow-up, Words of Radiance, out in April! The giveaway contest is courtesy of Tor.com; please click on the link for details on how to enter.
Happy Wednesday! Here we are at Week 8 of the read-along. This week we are covering Chapters 51 to 57, the following questions put together by yours truly 🙂 It’s a big week so here we go…SPOILERS ahead as always 🙂
01. What do you think of Dalinar’s latest vision concerning the Radiants? Can you make sense of them? Do you think Jasnah will prove or disprove Dalinar’s visions? And what did you think of Dalinar and Navani’s almost moment? 😉
His latest vision was really interesting because up until now it’s always been in reference to the last Desolation but now the figures in his vision are talking about the “Night of Sorrows”, references to the True Desolation ahead. So which is it? Are his visions something different altogether or did the Radiants see ahead and knew what was coming? Or both? I love that things are coming together here and thought to get Jasnah to double check on some of the references made in his visions (finally? Though the suggestion gave Renarin a moment to shine ;))
As for Dalinar and Navani…lol, can I just say poor Dalinar, trying to keep it all together? He’s at a point where he thinks he’s going mad, everyone’s turned against him, his political standing is shaky at best and now Navani’s presence is threatening whatever remains of his notions of what is proper. But go Navani for the initiative, lol. We’ll have to see what happens there (another storyline that I do remember from my first read through) 😉
02. Dalinar proposes a military alliance with Sadeas. Given what we’ve read of their relationship and of Sadeas’ character, did Dalinar make the right move? How long do you think this alliance will last? Has Dalinar finally gotten Sadeas on his side by using Sadeas’ interests (gemhearts, the Shardblade, etc.) as incentive or does Dalinar have something else up his sleeve?
This development between Dalinar and Sadeas was one of the things I remembered the most from my first time reading this novel. It seemed like a last ditch effort to try and start some kind of alliance, of uniting them as his visions have constantly mentioned. As slippery as Sadeas is, there is a benefit to them allying militarily; both as close to to the king and having them work together could muster some hope about winning the war…It’s a gamble but let’s see how it turned out.
03. This is the first time we’ve read in detail what it’s like to be a Shardbearer fighting with Shardblades in battle through Dalinar. What did you think of it?
Firstly, how cool/badass was Dalinar in his Shardplates/with his Shardblades? It sounds like the person in Shardplates and with a Shardblade is essentially a tank, a ninja-tank. His experience in the armour is somewhat vaguely reminiscent of Kaladin in his glowing form, perhaps another indication of the connection these characters have to whatever was going on with the Knights Radiants before…I also find it interesting how he’s contemplating about the Parshendi as he fights–an indication of just how good he is a fighter? But what did you guys think of the Thrill? Is it just the fighter within him, the adrenaline of the battle, or is it connected to the Shardplates as well? It felt like one or the other, but it was nonetheless interesting especially given Dalinar’s ability on the battlefield.
04. We get a big reveal about what’s happening with Kaladin this week regarding the Stormlight as well as a revelation regarding Syl’s nature. What did you think of it? Given what we know now, what else do you think he is capable of?
It was nice that we finally found out what Syl and Kaladin’s connection was (more or less). I mean, there’s still the question of why Kaladin in particular, but for now this works. At the same time we also learn a lot about Syl and how it’s through her connection with Kaladin that she’s acting less spren-light, as though she’s remembering and learning more and becoming more self-aware. It’s interesting how the change is mutual, how connected they are in this. I’m not sure how extensive his abilities are or whether he’ll develop new abilities; maybe over time as he becomes more accustomed to what he can do, maybe it’ll expand, who knows?
05. Kaladin initially blames his curse as the reason why people around him keep dying. Is there some truth to his claims, that this binding ability has some correlation with the casualty count around him, or is Kaladin simply grieving over recent losses? If the former, do you think this might have any connection to what the Radiants are and whatever happened to them?
I’m honestly not entirely sure why I thought up this question, lol. I thought it was interesting that Kaladin would make that kind of connection after finding out more about what’s happening to him. I guess you can interpret this as him redirecting his grief and his anger towards something out of the ordinary and this seemed as good an explanation as any. The guilt he feels is so great, it’s a wonder he’s able to get up in the morning sometimes. But there’s so much we don’t know about the spren and the Radiants and everything from before that who knows? Maybe there’s some weird balancing act involved with using such abilities/involving the Stormlight. I’m leaning towards the latter really (it’s clear by now that there’s a lot of stigma surrounding the Radiants and their betrayal against humanity so it’s no wonder everyone wants to be disassociated from them, including Kaladin (and I think Dalinar or someone close to him mentioned it too?)), but it’s interesting to think of the former.
06. Wit/Hoid is turning out to be more than just the life of the party and a thorn on the sides of the other highprinces. As we’ve seen, he’s not very playful with Dalinar and is quite sober, even ominous, with Kaladin. What did you think of his conversations with Dalinar and with Kaladin? What do you think he’s up to? How does he factor in with everything else that’s going on at the moment (or what’s to come)?
Wit’s presence and role in this week’s chapters was really interesting. I had liked him because he knew exactly how to tick Sadeas off but he also didn’t rib Dalinar the way he bothered other high princes. But now it looks like there’s more to Wit/Hoid than it seems, and in the chapters this week he’s making some moves towards…something. Whose side he’s on remains unclear (though Syl had a distrustful reaction towards him afterwards) but it definitely opens up a new angle to the overarching story. I remember being surprised the first time reading this book because Wit was one of the last people I thought would have anything to do or would know anything about what’s going on in the larger scheme of things…Is he a ultimately a friend or a foe? A mediator or one of those kinds of “transition” people? I guess we’ll have to wait and see 😉
Some other thoughts of interest this week:
- Lopen and all of his cousins–lol 😀
- Szeth’s small interlude was very interesting. Why his current master is making him kill all of these seemingly prominent individuals is beyond me but Szeth is back to his ninja-ruthless-assassin-killing-machine mode, complete with the tears. He needs more chapters, there’s just so much we don’t know about him or understand re: why he cries when he kills and everything about who he is.
And those are my thoughts about this week’s chapters in The Way of Kings! What did you think of this week’s events? Just as an aside, I’ll be rather late posting up my thoughts for Week 10 when they come; things are getting a bit busy on my end for the next week so alas, will do my best to catch up. 🙂
Also, for anyone who’s interested I’m also celebrating my blogoversary this month (seven years!) with a giveaway so feel free to pop on by 🙂