Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, readalong week 10


Okay, this is the final week and chapters for Words of Radiance.  I confess that I feel sad that it’s all over and even more sad when I think of the insufferable wait we now all have before we find out what’s going on!  As in previous weeks, feel free to jump in with any comments if you’ve already read this and, of course, if you haven’t then beware of spoilers below – dishonourable spren are lurking with malicious intent.  This week, Sue, over at Coffee Cookies and Chilli Peppers is our lovely host so stop on by and check out the other comments and links.

1. Phew! Kal proves to be the honorable hero that we wanted him to be and decides to save Elhokar. Did you agree with his reasoning? Do you think the king can actually improve, or will Lopen’s mother need to beat him with a spoon?  I think there could be potential spoon beatings, however, I think Kaladin did the right thing – you can’t assassinate someone for being useless after all!  I think Elhokar needs to grow up a little is all.  He clearly wasn’t ready to be king and didn’t want to take over what he thought of as his father’s role.

 2. Dalinar has bonded with a very grumpy Stormfather: I have to admit that I did NOT see that coming! Were you more surprised to find that the Stormfather is a spren or that he would agree to bond with Dalinar?  That was the biggest surprise for me.  I truly didn’t see that coming at all .  I suppose now, with the beauty of reflection, there were hints, not least of all in the name.  Still, I just didn’t see it.  Is Adolin going to be the odd one out then??  I think he could start to feel resentment which would be a shame because I like him and hope he doesn’t turn a bit more evil.

3. Shallan is now a fully recognized Radiant and has saved pretty much everyone we care about. Then we discover that she killed her mother, but that her father took the blame. Were you surprised by this revelation? Does it make you more sympathetic to her father or not? I actually toyed with thoughts that Shallan had killed her mother.  Something didn’t sit right about the way she would stand up for him when her older brother was becoming more aggressive towards him.  I can’t say it makes me have any sympathy for her father to be frank.  I’m sure he had ulterior motives for taking the blame.  He probably wanted to ensure that Shallan would have a good marriage that would assist the family.

4. Eshonai has fallen into a chasm and the Parshendi seem to have been defeated on the Shattered Plains. What do you think of their chances for the future? Will the Parshmen rise as an army of Voidbringers because of the Everstorm? It seems so – I suppose there has to still be some threat as the storms are still raging and it appears that the storm transforms the Parshmen?

5. There were plenty of revelations about plots and plans. Do you have a clearer picture of how it all fits together and who is doing what? Do you think that Moash will survive far into the series?  I think Moash still has a part to play somehow.  I must confess I was disappointed with him!  I need a little bit more time to think about all the plots and plans.  Not quite got my head around the ending yet but it will be interesting to read everyone’s thoughts.  Perhaps it will help me untwist a few things.  Need to go and analyse in a bit more depth.

6. Yay! Syl has returned, and now Kal is a full Radiant. Please discuss the epicness of his transformation and subsequent fight with Szeth.  That was the other big surprise.  I didn’t realise that the sprite became the blade.  It was awesome.  The whole scene.  I mean, we knew, didn’t we?  that Kal would come good and that Syl would not be gone for good but even so, there was air punching!  The fight scene with Szeth was Sanderson’s usual unbelievable style and quality and just brilliant to read.  All that fighting in the clouds and darting here and there!

7. The strange man in black is revealed to be the Herald of Justice. Any comments upon him, his nasty talking sword and his decision to resurrect Szeth?  I’m just going to say – I got a bad feeling about this!  Don’t know why.  Can’t justify myself and he’s called the Herald of Justice so I’m hoping he’s going to be a force of good.  We’ll see.

8. Argh! Jasnah is back from the dead! Discuss, with many exclamation marks!!!!  Yep, I danced a jig!  Did you read my predictions last week!  I knew that she wasn’t out of the story.  I was trying to justify in my head why I thought so but all I could come up with was that the scene where she died was too quick – almost brushed over. The other thing I did wonder is if she maybe has talents similar to Shallan – in other words she was able to replicate herself somehow so it wasn’t her body that we saw being murdered?  She would still have had to survive the shipwreck, etc, but it could be a possibility?  So happy though.

9. Finally, this book ended with lots of questions. Will killing Sadeas alter Adolin? Why is he called THE Lopen? Why are the other Oathgates locked? So many questions that I now seem to have – more than answers for sure!  I just don’t know how we’re going to stand the wait!!!  And Adolin.  I’m gobsmacked.  No.  Really.  I am.   Did you see that coming?  I don’t like Sadeas but I’m not sure of what to make of that scene.  Something felt almost a little bit off about Adolin.  I hope he’s not going to become all resentful of the others abilties or jealouse – or worse!

And so, the end!  It’s been an amazing readalong – I’m so happy to have read this in company because I think I would have missed so many details reading it alone.  It’s a mega epic book and it deserves good company and plenty of debate.  It’s been brilliant.  😀


Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, readalong week 10

Okay, this is the final week for our readalong and I have to say it’s all been very enjoyable.  This week’s host is On Starships and Dragonwings so stop on over and check out the links.

Without further ado lets get to the final Q&A and as usual be careful of  ‘spoilers’ lurking with intent below:

1. Syl’s true nature as an honorspren has been revealed! She once again asks the interesting question: are spren attracted to their element or do they create that element? What do you think? Do you think there are more honorspren or is Syl unique?

I think the nature of Syl is just perfect for her!  I think that the spren are attracted to their element, mainly because I think Kaladin was always that way inclined long before he went into battle.  Also, if the spren were responsible for creating their element then why would they ever stop?  If you’re a fire spren then you’d just create fires all over, and the same with the others such as wind, pain, etc.  Plus, during battle for example, the rotspren appear after an injury is sustained.  Oh, I don’t know, it is a chicken and egg question to be sure.

2. The Parshendi had a whole host of reactions to Kaladin’s power, mostly including fear and awe, though they also seemed to recognize him or his power. Why do you think that is? How do you think the Parshendi hiring Szeth plays into it?

I thought their reactions were very interesting.  They didn’t just become overwhelmed, they adapted, removing their gems to try and prevent Kaladin from draining the energy.  It does make you wonder if they’ve seen the like of Kaladin before and the obvious example would be Szeth, although why they would want to kill Gavilar is still very vague for me – I can only assume that it’s linked to him wanting to learn more of them, and perhaps wanting to unite the Alethi.  I suppose alternatively they could have been framed all along…

3. Dalinar makes some pretty intense decisions towards the end of this book, including trading his Shardblade to free the bridgemen and completely changing how he wants to deal with the highprinces. Do you think these were good decisions?

Well, giving away the blade was a shock I must admit, but, it will certainly make Kaladin and his bridgemen respect him more.  It almost feels a little bit like a reflection of what happened with the original blades as well.  Perhaps Kaladin realises that the blades, to a certain extent cause conflict between people.  I was still surprised by it but also at the same time really pleased that he would give something, so treasured by others, away to save all the bridgemen – it gave me goosebumps!  I think he will have a struggle to deal with the highprinces because let’s not forget that Sadeas is also included in that number and he certainly won’t take kindly to Dalinar being given this post – or at least I don’t imagine he will.  I thought his reasons for abandoning Dalinar were flimsy to say the least.  Whether Dalinar’s decisions are good remains to be seen and he’s made mistakes in the past but I think that some of the uncertainty he was experiencing previously has now gone and been replaced by a certain level of conviction.

4. A lot of mysteries surrounding Jasnah are finally revealed! Do you think that she is right and that most Soulcasters do work? Why do you think Shallan and Jasnah both happen to have this soulcasting power? What is Shadesmar really?

I’m a little mystified to be honest.  The reveals about Jasnah I never suspected at all and were a complete surprise – and I love that Sanderson can pull that off!  In terms of Shallan and Jasnah, again, I’m a bit at a loss!  I was trying to think of similarities between the two – they’ve both lost their fathers for example – but surely Jasnah already had this power when her father was alive??  They both seem to be gifted in terms of intellect or art – perhaps that has something to do with it – just basically – I’m clueless!  Shadesmar seems to be like an alternate plain – it seems to link to the magic somehow.

5. Szeth is once again on a mission, but this time we really don’t want him to succeed! What do you think is going to happen with him and Dalinar in the next book? Do you think Szeth and Kaladin will recognize each other’s power?

I think that Kaladin and Szeth will meet – it seems that way doesn’t it?  Kaladin is now Dalinar’s honour guard (which is just so appropriate) and Szeth has been set the task of assassinating Dalinar.  I must say that I really dislike Szeth now – I had a strangely ambivalent feeling about him for most of the book and was puzzled about how he ending up in his position – but, when he was contemplating murdering his most recent master but decided against it because of his ‘honour’ – I just couldn’t help thinking that he has the wrong idea about honour.  He’s killing so many people at the whim of somebody else – and, frankly, he could have killed his master and be done with it and save everyone else – now he’s about to go after a very honourable man indeed – perhaps that will stop him in his tracks.  I do think Szeth and Kaladin will recognise each other’s power.  Whether that will be a light bulb moment remains to be seen.  I just hope Kaladin becomes a bit more experienced in exactly what he can and can’t do with his newfound abilities.  On a separate note, if Szeth is so honourable then why doesn’t he have his own spren like Kaladin?

6. We finally have a better idea where the Parshmen and Parshendi came from! What do you think the real history is there? How did people possibly enslave the Voidbringers and why are the Parshendi now changing?

Well, we’ve been discussing this whole thing of misdirection and also about potential enemies hiding in plain sight!  The thing is though, I’m puzzled by the Parshmen/Parshendi.  The Parshendi seemed to act with a certain sort of honour during battle.  They’re co-ordinated and clearly not stupid.  They’re respectful of their dead.  The Parshmen feel, in comparison, like they’re hypnotised somehow.  Perhaps it’s the fact that the Parshendi have gems?  Or, maybe they’re not the voidbringers – maybe they have similar myths and superstitions about the Alethi?  So many questions that I’m unable to even come near to answering!!!

7. The last chapter with the Almighty was pretty crazy. What do you think about this vision? What do you think this means for Dalinar’s future and the world’s (universe’s??) future? What is Odium really?

Well, I wouldn’t want to step out of character at this stage and have a sensible answer.  The vision was interesting – it was almost like a recording being played on a loop.  In terms of everyone’s future – maybe everyone will now have to unite in order to stop whatever catastrophe is now facing them.  It could be that the visions were meant to unite the Parshendi and the Alethi?

Extras: so surprised reading the scene with Dalinar and Elhokar – and, did a little air punch.  It felt like Dalinar, in spite of the fact that he is brave, etc, etc, finally came to his senses (and, well, developed a set of you know whats).  Elhokar needed a good shake up and he got it.  Plus, second airpunch that Dalinar finally came clean about his relationship with Nalinar.  Finally, no more Mr Pushover.

I can’t wait to read the next one…

This readalong has been immense.  I’ve enjoyed it enormously and it’s really made me ponder the story in a very satisfying way as oppose to racing to the end and then forgetting more than I ever remembered!  So, much thanks to everyone.