Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, readalong week 2
This week is the second installment of our Way of Kings readalong being hosted this week by the lovely Lisa at overtheeffingrainbow. (Schedule here) This week’s chapters cover 7 thru 13. If you’ve not signed up it’s not too late – it’s a nice steady pace, only about 100 pages per week, so still plenty of time to catch up plus the new book, Words of Radiance, is due out very soon (beginning of March ish) and so this dovetails nicely into that release. Come on, don’t be shy!
Anyway, if you don’t like spoilers then best to go away about now. Spoilers there be from here on in and I won’t be responsible for ruining the story for you!!
1. Shallan’s determination pays off, but Jasnah Kholin seems to change her mind a bit suddenly, and when Shallan isn’t expecting her to. She mentions knowing of Shallan’s family… Do you think perhaps she knows more than she admits? Or is she really just a bit more soft-hearted than she lets on?
I’ve not made my mind up about Shallan yet. I wouldn’t say that she’s all soft and fluffy for sure but maybe she’s not as big a toughie as she likes to think. I’m not sure that she knows more about Shallan’s family necessarily – that remark came across a little off the cuff as though she simply remembered something about them? For me, it felt a little as though she was just too busy to even reject Shallan again, kind of reminded me of a parent/child scenario where on the 50th attempt at asking for a party and sleepover the parent just goes ‘whatever’ – there could also be an element that she really needs some help? It sounds as though she has a bit of a mega task.
2. Yalb comes to the bargaining rescue as Shallan tries to buy books… Do you think there’s going to be a bigger part in events for him to play?
I can’t see him playing more of a part if Shallan is successful with Jasnah – surely he’ll go back to his ship. But, there’s a small part of me that wonders why Sanderson would make more of his character in the first place if he didn’t intend on using him more. And, that’s the thing, I really did like Yalb. So, why not just write somebody very non-descript who helps Shallan but without making readers become attached. It could of course be simply that Sanderson is very thorough with all his characters. But, again, I did like Yalb and would definitely welcome a reappearance.
3. Part One ends with a ray of hope for Kaladin, as he rediscovers a sense of purpose… What did you think of the scene in the Honour Chasm, and then with Gaz afterward?
Well, it’s probably too early to make these rash announcements but I find myself liking Kaladin very much – I think he’s undoubtedly my favourite character so far so when he went on his little hike to the Chasms I had a momentary flash of wtf! I went into a mini trauma, just for a second mind, then I realised that surely Sanderson wouldn’t allow Kaladin to just step off and die – would he?? I hadn’t figured Syl being his saviour though (which was a relief – and btw, was anybody else gutted when she said she was leaving him? I was like ‘noooooooo’) anyway, I had all sort of harebrained schemes rushing around my head – like he’d step off the edge and only fall twenty feet onto a ledge, then find a cave that leads into the mountains, etc, etc. Or maybe he’d land in something unexpectedly soft – no further explanations will be forthcoming on that front. Maybe he’ll tumble down the side and end up caught on a root and then rescued by a giant flying animal of some sort that wants to take him home to feed the family. But I wasn’t expecting Syl to come back so soon and it was a bloody big relief. the scene with Gaz was excellent and well deserved – in fact I don’t know how he restrained himself to be frank. Bout time somebody give him a shake up.
4. We catch up with Szeth for an interlude, and things are very different for him… What do you make of his choice to enslave himself – if it is in fact a choice…?
Well, firstly my disclaimer ‘I’m an idiot and probably read that bit too fast’ – but, I thought he was sort of already a slave when he was sent to kill King Kholin?? But, I have no idea what this little piece of stone is that when somebody holds means they can command him. Not to mention why he feels compelled to tell them the truth – I mean, I don’t want to come across as a big fibber but surely if he’s just kept his mouth shut!! Clearly he’s much more honorable than me. It almost sounds like he has some kind of punishment inflicted on him – the reason I thought that was the fact that he’s also forbidden to take his life. This way he has to take his punishment with no escape. Did I mention that I’m the world’s worst guesser?
5. We also meet Dalinar Kholin, Jasnah’s father, and get something of a hint that he’s important where the Radiants are concerned… What do you think Dalinar’s ‘fits’ might mean?
I’m not even going to attempt one of my stupid guesses on this one, I’ve used them all up for this week already. He genuinely seems to be having messages sent to him – whether he’s interpreting them correctly remains to be seen but clearly after the hunting scene it’s clear that he isn’t a coward so something is driving him.
What’s going on with Syl and her strange development – is she really what she thinks she is?