Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, readalong week 5
Today is week 5 of our readalong of Way of Kings and I have to chuck out there that I love this book (and found it difficult not to just read on this week) – but I’ve held firm! This week’s host and provider of questions is Tethyan Books. The schedule is here and it’s still not too late to join if you want to get in on the blogging fun. Beware of spoilers below (as Dab of Darkness likes to say) they’re having a party below!
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?
To an extent I’m not surprised by his decision, only because if everyone keeps telling you there’s something wrong or different about you then eventually you may start to believe it. Also, his endeavours to get the other High Princes all failed and on top of that he’s starting to compare himself to Gavilar. I wonder if he stays whether his house will fall into shame – or at least I think he believes that. Also, if he stays might he eventually have the same realisation as Gavilar and end up falling foul of an assassination. Speaking of which I wonder who is on Szeth’s list? I think he’s coming to the conclusion that the battles and glory they seek is wrong and using the shardblades for this reason is wrong. It was very interesting to read the thoughts he was having inbetween pounding rocks. He could almost have been describing Kaladin – ‘never fight other men except when forced to in war, let your actions defend you not your words, expect honour from those you meet, and give them the chance to live up to it. Whether it’s the right decision or not I don’t really know although I suspect his visions of a peaceful life at the homestead with his slippers and pipe will be far from the reality.
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?
No, I’m confounded by this. I suppose if you take our own natural world you could choose a place with a blazing hot desert or thick ice and glaciers and then almost anything in between the two. Things evolve and adapt to their climate after all. Still, for a moment there I was scratching my head – it was like one minute I was walking through Middle Earth and the next I was walking through Middlesbrough (well not quite, but,). Quite bizarre. As to the ‘Truthless’ title I’ve been scratching my head over that. It does seem like Szeth is being punished, and he also seems incredibly talented, but then, the scratching of the head continues (quite furiously) and… nothing further comes to mind!
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 think she’s trying to find out more about the motive behind Gavilar’s assassination and more about what he seemed to have discovered. Without this knowledge they’re all just warring against each other with no real meaning to it. I think that somebody has to try and find out more about the Parshendi and what they feared enough from Gavilar to have him killed.
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?
That was a bit freaky wasn’t it. I have no idea what the figures were. Except they seemed to be standing almost like bodyguards – a bit like guardian angels. I really don’t know. Perhaps she should try that same tactic when she’s drawing others, for example, Jasnah, to see what it reveals in her picture – maybe it somehow pertains to the character and their own behaviour – so, Sadeas, for example – could have a huge rat with big sharp teeth stood behind him – skulking in the shadows LOL.
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?
No, I still don’t like Gaz, even with his perspective. He was torn between just wanting Kaladin dead and wanting his spheres! As to Lamaril – he said it was blackmail so I assume Gaz was caught somewhere he shouldn’t have been or was doing something he shouldn’t. Unless that was just a slip up – perhaps Gaz has to pay Lamaril money in a sort of protection deal??
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?
What a disaster! I’m not surprised he didn’t see what would happen – he was so intent on his own crew he was no longer looking at the bigger military picture. When you think back to the beginning when we were first introduced he also worked similarly, in an almost lonesome way to protect his men. Of course, he immediately realised what was happening and what he’d done. It’s not going to be pretty for him after that – obviously a lot of men died and the battle was lost so there’s going to be one hell of a grumpy Sadeas wanting retribution – he doesn’t care a fig for the bridgemen in the first place and now this has happened, well, eek. I presume he’s going to realise why they’re not allowed shields after this – sitting ducks and all. On the flip side maybe this will turn things around, after all, there aren’t many bridgemen left after this affair so perhaps there’ll have to be a rethink!
That’s it for this week.