The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, Week 1
Welcome to week 1 of the Way of Kings readalong this week being hosted by Dab of Darkness. A readalong that is going to be pretty awesome by the way so you might want to take a peek at the schedule here and throw yourself into this event! It’s not too late. Week 1 covers the Prelude through the end of Chapter 6. If you haven’t read the book you should probably stop reading now for fear of spoilers – unless of course you’re a bit of a glutton for spoilers in which case dive right on in:
1) Is this your first Brandon Sanderson experience? Any expectations going into this read along?
No, I’ve read The Mistborn books (also a readalong which was very enjoyable) and also The Emperor’s Soul which was actually on my best of 2013 list – so based on those you could say I’ve got fairly high expectations. I have faith in Sanderson though, I fully expect that my expectations will be met, or probably exceeded! Also, I know that Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings read this some time ago and loved it and he doesn’t steer me wrong with books!
2) In the Prelude to the Stormlight Archive, we see that Talenel (Taln) died and his sword is unaccounted for. Jerzien and company have decided it is best for 1 to suffer instead of 10. What do you make of this scene?
My first impression was wtf – they’re just leaving Taln in a pretty horrible situation right there. Doesn’t feel very honorable – and also I was a bit puzzled about why they were breaking the pact – but I’m sure all of this will be revealed eventually, they seem to be holding their own? Can’t help thinking that Taln has been greatly wronged – won’t he seek some sort of revenge? Maybe he’ll just turn the other cheek but then again.. maybe not.
3) What did you think of Szeth’s fighting abilities and the fight scenes? Any thoughts on the crystalline sphere and King Gavilar Kholin’s last words?
Sanderson can certainly write a gripping fight scene. He just manages to make the scene come alive for me personally. I can find some fight scenes a little tedious or more to the point difficult to envision but never the scenes he writes. I haven’t got a clue about the sphere to be honest or the last words from King Kholin – I don’t imagine that Sanderson just put that scene in on a whim so something must come from it. In terms of Szeth’s fighting abilities – he was a bit of an unstoppable force wasn’t he – not to mention that sword did give him a massive advantage. Couldn’t help feeling sorry for the King – and at least he didn’t try to run and hide – I thought that was a good twist that he stayed behind to fight.
4) Each chapter proper starts with a few words from a dying person, their station, and status in life. Any thoughts on what these portend?
Mistborn had similar chapter starters and they turned out to be another story in themselves. Not sure if that’s happening here or not but I certainly feel like I need to pay proper attention to them. I wonder whether they relate to some sort of reincarnation type of situation – just wondering why the need to show the status??
5) Kaladin went from warrior to slave in a matter of the first 2 chapters. Care to speculate on the details of how his life changed so drastically?
One minute in the midst of battle then next in a caged truck. For one moment there I thought I’d accidentally flipped ahead on my Kindle by accident. I had to sort of flip back and have a little look just to reassure myself to be honest. I find this development really intriguing (or perplexing) – he’s a great soldier, his men respect him, he tries to help them, he wants to be promoted to fight in a bigger war – why would he be accused of deserting – I mean, obviously, he didn’t desert, that much is evident and equally clearly he’s a strong asset in battle. Part of me thinks perhaps he went missing in action and his men all died? But then that’s clearly not the case – he’s been set up for some reason. Whoever set him up better make damned sure he’s looking over his shoulder though – Kaladin doesn’t seem like the kind of foe that you want to betray and leave alive.
6) Sylphrena (Syl) the Windspren seems attached to Kaladin. Are you enjoying her character? Do you like the Spren in general in the worldbuilding so far?
I love the Spren. Mischievous, curious little sprites that they are – they sort of remind me of Tinkerbell (although they’re not little fairies). I think Syl is a really good addition. The fact that she’s so curious about Kaladin makes me believe that there is something out of the ordinary about him. Time will tell I suppose.
7) Shallan Davar has finally caught up to Brightness Jasnah Kholin and her soulcaster. Jasnah and the jeweled fabril can change stone to smoke; what else do you think it can do?
I wondered whether Jasnah could change her appearance maybe. I read ahead – only by one chapter (so this next thought could be spoilery – although I’m usually quite wrong with my speculation), where Shallan was waiting for Jasnah- the scene with the adept – I couldn’t help thinking it was maybe another challenge?? The way the adept wasn’t bothered about all the respect that Shallan was giving him, also he was fascinated with the picture. And remembering that Jasnah didn’t believe in religion I couldn’t help wondering if it was really her?? But I’ve probably just put two and two together and come out with 4.7!
Great start. Just what I would expect from this author, he doesn’t beat about the bushes or go round the houses just gets straight into things. There’s no major info dumps but there is still plenty of detail to reflect upon. Loving it so far.