Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, readalong week 9

537a7-wordsofradgroupread250We’re now on to week 9 of our readalong and the action and tension is so immense it really has been difficult to put the book down after the allocated chapters.  This week’s chapters are, just, frankly, really excting!  So usual obligatory sentence about bewaring of spoilers below – catoutofthebag spren are flitting about like nobobdy’s business.

So this week, Liesel over at Musings on Fantasia is our host and without further ado lets get to the Q&A.  If you’ve read the book and want to jump in with your thoughts you’re absolutely more than welcome:

1. What did you think of Dalinar’s tactics, proving Kaladin correct by catching Amaram in a lie? What will happen, do you think, when they attempt to “try” him?  To be honest this is exactly when I expected Dalinar to do.  I thought he would play a tactical game with Amaram in order to catch him in a lie and this plan worked perfectly.  Not sure how well a trial is going to go – I have a feeling that there is something here that Amaram isn’t quite revealing, it could be that he’s neither good nor bad – some sort of neutral force.  It’s going to be curious to say the least.  As Dalinar said himself, you can’t exactly imprison a man who has a shardblade!

2. Navani offers her services to Shallan with her mission to find the Oathgate. What do you think Navani’s intentions are? Will she help or hinder Shallan’s mission? This was a really interesting turn around.  I thought it felt genuine and I was pleased that Navani admitted she’d been avoiding Shallan because of her own feelings of grief.  At the end of the day Navani will be interested and intrigued to know what’s going on, plus as Dalinar’s partner she has an added interest in finding this hidden kingdom that Shallan is seeking.

3. Moash’s group is still planning to assassinate Elhokar. Do you think Kaladin will allow him to go through with it? I actually don’t think so.  Kaladin is definitely conflicted by this himself – perhaps that’s why Syl left.  If Kaladin really believes that killing Elhokar is the best course of action then that changes things slightly.  However, I still think Kaladin will really struggle to come to terms with that particular course of action and this is why it’s not honourable.  If it felt like the right course of action he wouldn’t have any qualms about it would he?  There simply has to be another way!  Perhaps Elhokar is cut out to be a King but being useless doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be poisoned, thrown off a balcony or have your throat slit in the night – does it?  Am I just too soft?

4.The king approached Kal and asked Kal to teach him to be a hero? Do you see Kaladin attempting this? Does this change your opinion of the king? How? What a very strange development indeed!  I don’t think Kaladin is going to have chance to attempt any such thing and besides which it’s not really something that can be taught is it.  Perhaps Elhokar will simply be faced with a difficult challenges and make the right move.  That could change things for him.  It must be awful feeling so useless (even though he does kind of deserve to feel like that).  Perhaps he will step up to the plate now – maybe he’ll simply step down as King – can’t see it somehow though.  I don’t know if it does change my opinion of him really.  I don’t particularly dislike him and I don’t think he deserves assassination however he is pretty bloody useless!

5. Dalinar tells Shallan to find the Oathgate, and that he might need to use the pathway as a retreat for the army. (No pressure or anything, though.) Do you think Shallan will find it? Do you think Dalinar will need to make use of it. Where do you think it will lead?

I think that the Oathgate will be found although exactly how I’m really not sure.  I wonder if some from of words has to be spoken by a Radiant in order for this to happen – a bit like the gate to the Mines of Moria – wouldn’t open until somebody spoke the answer to the riddle.  I hope they can make use of it – it seems like it might be their only chance although I could just be getting caught up with all the nervous excitement!

6. The battle action is very high where we left off. What do you think will happen when the Parshendi song ends? Will the high storm show up in full force and destroy the Alethi army? Will Dalinar’s troops manage to interrupt the song? Other predictions?

Oh my God!  I really don’t know what to think next so my prediction will be that Dalinar’s army try to stop the Parshendi finishing the song, the fighting is starting to go very badly for the Alethi army, men dropping like flies as the storm begins to rage and all looks lost, Shallan finds the oathgate but doesn’t know how to open it! Simultaneously Kaladin prevents an assassination attempt on the King, Syl returns  and Kaladin, powers restored, manages to fly to the assistance of the army.  Unexpectedly, Jasnah, who was never really dead but faked her own death so that she could continue her search for the Oathgate unhindered has actually worked everything out and is one step ahead of Shallan – she’s managed to open the gate!  There.  How’s that for a prediction.  Fanciful? yes, Possible? yes – this is fantasy after all!  Oh, and I forgot – Szeth also turns up for his last ditch assassination attempt so we could possibly have four Radiants to face the voidbringers???  Unite them!

And, I’ve just had a really horrible thought – perhaps Mr Sanderson isn’t planning a triangle – perhaps one of our heros is going to die!!!!!  Noooooooo.

Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson readalong week 9

Okay, the penultimate readalong week.  Let’s face it – if you haven’t joined in yet then you probably want to savour this book all to yourself – and it is worth savouring so please give it a shot.  This week’s readalong is hosted by Musings on Fantasia so please call on over to check out everyone else’s replies.  Straight to business and don’t forget to stop reading now as spoilers lurk beneath.

1. Andolin has a change of heart, not only about his father, but about how he views the war. How do you think this will affect the story going forward?

I think Adolin is feeling slightly guilty.  Truth be told he was thinking a little ill of Dalinar and now it seems that proof will be forthcoming that Dalinar is not going crazy after all.  On top of that Dalinar has more than displayed that he isn’t a coward.  However, we also got to see that Andolin is very skilled at the art of fighting so perhaps he may have an opportunity to help Dalinar at some point or pick up the reins if Dalinar is not around?

2. Elhokar reveals that he sees figures with symbol heads, which sound suspiciously like the ones Shallan keeps drawing. What do you make of this?

It’s very strange, they do sound similar.  Shallan only sees the figures when she’s not concentrating during her drawing – it’s unusual that Elhokar also sees them just in a totally natural way.  I was trying to think what they’ve got in common but not really been able to come up with anything – other than they’re both scared about their futures.  It’s very odd.  I’m not coming up with too much here!  *rummages around in dark corners of brain*.

3. What do you make of Dalivar’s most recent vision? Was the king he talked to really Nohadon, author of The Way of Kings? If so, what do you think the timeline is? What happened before and after what Dalinar saw? Were the strange, rock-like corpses really Voidbringers?

Dalinar is taking so much more from his visions than at first.  He’s observing everything around him and has also figured out that he needs to try and participate to find out more information.  Frankly, I really think that it was Nohadon in the vision, at least it seemed to be fairly clear to me.  I’m not sure about the timeline but clearly Nohadon hasn’t yet written his book – although the suggestion to do so has now been sown.  Interesting that Dalinar, who is reading and upholding the word of the book quite fastidiously is now travelling back in time to suggest it’s written in the first place!  A real chicken and egg situation right there.  If Dalinar hadn’t had the vision would the book have ever been produced?

4. Dalivar and Navani finally share a passionate kiss, and then start conducting a covert romance. What are your impressions of the relationship? Has your opinion of Navani changed at all?

Listening back over some of the history I think I was perhaps too hasty about Navani.  I assumed she’d married Gavilar for position even though she maybe was more attracted to Dalivar.  As it turns out Dalivar practically handed her to Gavilar on a plate with trimmings and sauce!  Lots of misunderstandings between these characters it seems.

5. Kaladin’s decoy plan works almost miraculously well. How do you see this affecting the story going forward, and in what way? Address the issue both for Kaladin and his men, and for the war at large.

I have a bad feeling about this!  All along I have this horrible feeling that the Parshendi are just playing with the Alethi and it’s all some sort of distraction.  Now that Kaladin has offended them so severely I think they may take a different stance.  They may wrongly assume that this is a battle tactic and not just Kaladin’s brainwave in which case they will be more determined to win and will up their game.

6. So Moash wants to kill someone out of vengeance. Any guesses who or why?

I can’t begin to guess to be honest.  No doubt I’ve missed something crucial along with way or not picked up a strand that Sanderson has thrown out.  I must say that I’m prepared to give Moash the benefit of the doubt and think the best of him seeing as how he pledged to protect Kaladin!

7. Why do you think Sadeas abandoned Dalivar as he did? Was this done intentionally? Was it planned in advance? What are your thoughts?

My first thoughts were a big ‘WHAT, followed by plenty of expletives!  However, having had time to reflect I don’t think Sadeas would do this deliberately.  The two of them seemed to be forming plans together and getting along well.  (There is of course the possibility that Sadeas was trying to lull Dalinar into a false sense of security.  I’m hopefull that Sadeas had observed the other Parshendi army and is trying a different tactic.  Perhaps he’s moving his men to another plain so that they can then reassemble to attack elsewhere!  I hope so anyway.  OMG – perhaps the Parshendi are now trying to kill Dalivar – perhaps he’s reached a similar point to his brother and they think they need to eliminate him.  Also, at the start of this – wasn’t there some speculation about Sadeas being involved with the assassination on Gavilar – perhaps Sadeas is betraying him after all and has agreed with the Parshendi to leave him vulnerable.  Way to have two completely conflicting opinions hey!  I completely hadn’t thought about the latter until literally this minute as I was typing and then the little gremlin popped into my brain!

Basically, I now need to go and finish this book – quick sharp in a hurry!!!  Otherwise I may burst with anticipation…