Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, readalong week 8

537a7-wordsofradgroupread250Storms – this week’s chapters were .. pfft.  I can’t even!  I literally wanted to cry!!!! And, then I had to stop reading which was so difficult to do.

Anyway, this is week 8 of the readalong.  Let’s just be realistic, if you’ve not joined in by now you’re probably not going to!  But, you should still pick this book up because it’s storming brilliant!  This week Susan from Dab of Darkness is hosting.  Feel free to jump on in and make comments if you’ve already read WoR and if you haven’t then beware of spoilers below – because there’s probably an abundance of the little suckers!  Jabberspren – they’re getting into everything:

1) What did you think of Adolin voluntarily being locked up while Kaladin was locked up? Then Adolin’s little reveal of trust later while marching on the plateaus. Do these two have a chance at friendship? 

Yes!!  Well, providing Kaladin makes it back in one piece.  Although, the fact that Kaladin and Shallan seem to be developing their own friendship could be a deterrent. Are we really going to have a love triangle!  I really want Kaladin and Adolin to be friends to be honest but I think that the way Kaladin is now viewing Shallan could be a major problem – and let’s be honest, he did come over all jealous like when Shallan mentioned Adolin.

2) Kaladin turns down the Shards, instead giving them to Moash. How do you see this affecting his friendship with Moash in the future? 

I have a bad feeling about this.  Moash seems to be changing in my view – perhaps I’m just imaging things but he’s already started to distance himself and although he’s got this whole ‘setting up his own affairs’ type of excuse I don’t know that I’m really buying it.  Just because he’s got a shardblade doesn’t mean he has to act so very differently does it.  Plus, there was something about the way he questioned Kaladin that didn’t feel quite right.  Not to mention suggesting that Kaladin be the one to get Elhokar in the right spot for an assassination.  I don’t like it.

3) Amaram tries to discredit and embarrass Dalinar by releasing modified versions of his visions. Do you think Dalinar handled it well? Do you think a religious sect will arise from this? And what did you make of Dalinar’s conversation with Wit? 

I thought Dalinar handled it really well to be honest.  When it all came out I just felt so naffed off with what Dalinar has to put up with – my shoulders slumped at that point to be honest but Dalinar just climbs up on the table, gives his speech and then goes round talking with everyone and smoothing things over (yes, he was exhausted by it but he really turned the situation around)  He’s such a strong character.  It does seem likely that something will come about after this disclosure of Dalinar’s visions.  The conversation with Wit was very interesting and I suppose builds on what some of us have been saying that Wit is trying to help in his own way and lead people on but he clearly said himself that he will behave in a way that is right for himself.  I was intrigued about what he was saying about being ripped to shreds.

4) Kaladin starts noticing some issues with his Stormlight abilities. Then Syl points out that he made promises to both Dalinar and Moash that conflict with each other. How do you see this resolving? Will Syl be OK?

I think that the double promises have started a heap of trouble for Kaladin.  You can’t be making promises that conflict in that way – he’s supposed to be a man of honour after all and Syl is a honorspren so even though she might not be particularly involved on either side of things she is all about a certain way of behaving.  I think that Kaladin has weakened the link – I don’t think it’s totally gone though.  Basically, earlier on in the story, we had this whole sort of description about spren and the fact that humans are what really create them by believing in them.  I suppose that in doing something less honorable the whole trust/belief system is put at risk in terms of Syl – I think that’s what the stormfather meant when he said Kaladin will kill her – if he acts dishonourably then she can’t exist any more?  And Kaladin is starting to doubt that he can always do the right thing – in which case where does that really leave Syl (he needs to clap his hands very quickly and say over and over ‘I do believe in honour’ I do believe in honour!).  I don’t mind admitting that I will be totally devastated if anything happens to Syl.  Plus it makes me wonder about Kaladin – will he always need Syl with him in order to keep his abilities?    In terms of how things will be resolved with Moash I’m not really sure.  Maybe he will do something himself whilst Kaladin is not around and get himself into some sort of trouble?

5) We got to see Shallan on a field trip: moss, bugs, chasm fiend, etc. What do you think of how she handled herself both on the plateau march and later in the chasms? 

I loved watching Shallan through these chapters.  She’s so curious and frankly as a reader her curiosity is very helpful – without it we wouldn’t find out half the things we do – in fact it’s a really clever way of avoiding info dumps.  In the chasms as well – always the scholar first.  Very impressive with her map drawing and really, she’s actually the hero of the situation isn’t she!  It was so good when she was making the apparitions appear to distract the chasmfiend.  So do we think that Kaladin and Shallan will go and retrieve the gem from the chasmfiend.

6) We learn some very interesting bits about Teft’s childhood. What do you think of the punishment meted out to the Envisagers? Too harsh? Correct? Do you think some of the Envisagers survived? 

It really was a crazy punishment wasn’t it!  Like ‘oh, you want to kill yourselves, well we’re not going to let you!  Hell no, in fact we’re going to kill you instead!’  What!!  Not sure at this point what to make of this part of the story and couldn’t really guess if any of the envisagers survived – just clueless at the moment on this one.

7) Shallan and Kaladin learn several things about each other during their time in the chasms. What was the most interesting to you? How do you see their relationship evolving after this? 

I thought this chapter was very revealing from start to finish.  Kaladin has learnt just how deep his prejudices really are and also that they’re not always right.  He’s tarring everyone with the same brush which is very unfair.  I like that he at least can see that Adolin is a good character and also that he’s changed his view of Shallan.  It’s interesting as well that he’s now realised what she really is and yet she doesn’t seem to have pieced this together about him yet.  It was great that they were sharing their stories although they’re both still not comfortable enough to share the full truth.  I just so wish that they could have both found out the real truth about each other’s abilities.  Then the scene with the face in the storm – I just wanted to cry!  But, I don’t believe Syl is really dead.  Maybe I’m just being naive but I really think she’s still alive.  I think Kaladin needs to do the right thing – he also needs to say these words (not sure what they are but maybe this is Syl’s way of pushing him to really discovering who he is?)

So good this week – I really must go and read on before I burst something!

And, thanks again to Susan for taking over the questions for this week. 🙂

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Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, readalong week 8

This week’s instalment was fantastic – I realise that it’s getting boring me constantly harping on about how brilliant it is – but, it does keep getting better!  Anyway, as previously, if you’re thinking of reading this, and there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be of course, then read no further as spoilers are running amok!  This week our lovely host is Caffeinatedlife so stop over and check out the other participants:

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? 😉

I thought the vision was very interesting.  Strange how they all came together as one to abandon their swords and shards.  Reading later chapters where Dalinar is in battle with the Parshendi I couldn’t help wonder if they had become similarly sickened by all the death?  But, to be honest I’m not 100% sure what’s going on with the visions yet.  I think it will be very interesting to see if Jasnah can solve this puzzle.  Dalinar and Navani – you just can’t help thinking that she must always have had a soft spot for Dalinar?

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 was a really good chapter.  I loved when Sadeas made his announcement at the feast and I can’t say how pleased I am that I was so wrong about Sadeas and his motives.  I really did think he’d taken on this role just to try and incriminate Dalinar and  I had this horrible vision of Dalinar being taken and thrown captive in some dark infested prison awaiting a trial and execution!  As to whether their alliance will last – I think it may well do.  I’ve decided that I need to trust Sadeas.  Maybe fighting together will inspire them somehow and more importantly maybe it will make the other high princes think about joining together?  I definitely think that there is something odd going on with the Parshendi – it’s as though they’re playing with the Alethi.  How can they keep having so many people to send out to battle – even when they lose.  And, also, the way they behave about their dead – something a little bit different with them I think and I don’t think the Alethi know enough about their foe.

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?

Well, as we’ve all said already, Sanderson is excellent at writing these particular scenes.  I wouldn’t say it’s the part of the book that I’d normally be drawn to or find particularly holds my attention – not usually at least!  But these scenes are quite mesmerising.  They draw you in until you’re almost sat on the edge of your seat gripped with tension about what might or might not actually happen.  Fighting with Blades and Plates seems a little like being the Iron Man.  It’s unusual because although it gives the wearer/bearer the strength it’s the blade and the plates that are using the magic.  Whereas with Kaladin he seems to be using the magic directly.  Interesting difference.

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 quite revealing I thought.  I’m not sure what Syl is exactly but they seem to have developed a sort of symbiotic relationship.    In terms of Kaladin, he clearly seems to have more ‘magical’ ability than, say, Dalinar, he’s obviously absorbing the power and he leaks the light in the same way that the damaged shardplate does.  Also, he seems to be developing similar talents to Szeth in terms of binding.  He also survived the storm.  As to what else he can do – well, perhaps like in Dalinar’s vision, he will be able to shoot into the air and travel very quickly from place to place?

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 just think that Kaladin and the others (all of his other previous losses included) are in the sort of situation where losses are expected.  I don’t think Kaladin is the reason why people are dying – in fact, in terms of the bridgecrews doesn’t No.4 now have less casualties than the others?  I think he just expects too much from himself – which isn’t a bad thing but difficult to achieve.  Perhaps the radiants became overwhelmed with despair – in a similar way to Kaladin seems to sometimes.

  • 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)?
  • He reminds me very much of The Fool from the Assassin’s Apprentice – and what I mean by that is he seems to have a strange sense of predicting things and knowing what people are thinking.  He turned up in the plains at just precisely the right moment to calm Kaladin down and tell his little story.  He feels like a character who knows what the bigger picture is and tries to move around positioning things for a better outcome.  I can’t help liking him to be honest and would gladly read more of his story.

Given where we’re now up to in the story I can’t help feelings that we’re going to be left with some kind of huge reveal that leaves us absolutely gagging to read No.2 – fortunately that’s pretty good timing as it happens!