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.

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…

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!

Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, readalong week 7

Welcome to week 7 of the Way of Kings readalong, this week being hosted by the fabulous Sue at Coffee, Cookies and Chilli Peppers who has come up with some excellent questions.  I must admit that this week’s instalment had some great revealing moments!  I actually could have just continued and read to the end and I did read an extra chapter (by mistake – don’t judge me!).

Anyway, okay, I admit it, you might be a little late to join the readalong at this point but, that being said, you’re still very welcome, we don’t beat latecomers with a big stick, no sirree!  If you can’t face up to the catch up but still want to read this – and remember No.2 is due out very soon with a great giveaway already announced (details here) – then I really do encourage you to read this book – it’s fantastic.  Really, I kid you not.

Enough chit chat!  Q&A (with plenty of spoilers contained within):

1. What did you think of the replacement for the delightful Lamaril, or rather, what did you make of his wife, who seems to do all his work? She assumes that chasm duty is the worst punishment that she can throw at the bridge crew, so were you surprised that Kaladin saw an opportunity in it so quickly?

What a storming bitch!  Actually, all the duties sound a little bit rank and I would be hard pressed to choose between this and latrine duty. Although, chasm duty does involve robbing dead and decaying bodies – which is really rather awful!  Both, duties just have so many levels of badness.  It doesn’t surprise me that Kaladin would think of a plan like this – he’s already made a number of escape attempts anyway.  I suppose the biggest surprise is that this is so large scale.

2. Please use this opportunity to list all the imaginative ways that you would like Roshone to suffer for forcing poor little Tien into the army. 😦

That was so horrible and unjust.  I couldn’t help thinking, no matter how wrong, that it would have been so much better if Kaladin’s father had just let him die!  Well, I think Kaladin should take him captive and then – TO THE PAIN:

Kaladin: To the pain means the first thing you will lose will be your feet below the ankles.  Then your hands at the wrists.  Next your nose.
Roshone: And then my tongue I suppose.
Kaladin: I wasn’t finished.  The next thing you will lose will be your left eye followed by your right.
Roshone: And then my ears, I understand, let’s get on with it.
Kaladin: Wrong! Your ears you keep, and I’ll tell you why, so that every shriek of every child at seeing your hideousness    will be yours to cherish.  Every babe that weeps at your approach, every woman who cries out, “Dear God! What is that thing,” will echo in your perfect ears.  That is what to the pain means.  It means I leave you in anguish, wallowing in freakish    misery forever.
(I’ve changed the names in the above quote - in case you haven’t guessed which book it's from!)

Or maybe Rock could go and cook him some inventive food using plenty of spices and faecal matter!

Maybe Jasnah could turn him into a gigantic gemstone!


3. Finally, somebody is asking questions about the inconstancy of the Parshendi artifacts and how Gavilar changed in the months leading up to his death. What do you make of the accounts that Shallan is reading? Also, what do you think about Shen, the Parshman added to the bridge crew?

To be honest I still don’t really understand what’s going on with the Parshendi.  They clearly showed themselves willingly to Gavilar – either they let him know too much about their culture, etc, than they ever intended and then thought it was too dangerous to let him live, or, they deliberately planned it all from the very beginning – why they would want to bring a war down upon themselves I really don’t know – the only thing I can think of is misdirection.  Keep everyone busy over on the chasm fields while planning and putting into effect some fiendish plot elsewhere.  So little is known about them and I seriously hope we’re going to find out more – can’t help thinking that Kaladins plans to escape through the chasms might bring us some more information about them – perhaps he’s going to discover their mysterious city.   Shen is going to be interesting to watch.  I’m not quite sure why all the Parshmen are so submissive and subservient – it’s almost like the difference between a wild horse and a tamed pony.  They seem to be very similar in some aspects but then so different in others.  It will be interesting to see what happens if Shen has to go on a bridge carrying mission.

4. Shallan has some seriously bizarre visions or hallucinations. Do you have any new ideas about the nature of the symbol-headed figures: are they good or evil? What about the alternative world and the beads: could that really have been the soul or essence of the goblet that she spoke to before it changed into blood?

Somehow, I don’t think the symbol headed figures are evil.  Even though Shallan was scared of them and they seemed to be following her I just wanted her to stop and try and find out if there was a message.  Now, I know that’s very easy for me to come across so blaze when I’m sat in the comfort of my living room but, they’re clearly around her all the time and they haven’t harmed her so far – maybe they can’t harm her.  I think they’re trying to give her a message in the same way that Kaladin and Dalinar seem to be receiving messages and visions.  It feels like the three of them have been chosen for something.  The voice she heard was strange – didn’t Dalinar (or was it Kaladin) hear exactly the same thing or have I just imagined that?  Maybe the symbol headed figures appear like that because it’s impossible to catch their true face for some reason – like, if an image is moving too fast for example?  Interesting point about the goblet and whether or not it has a soul – I’m trying to remember now, I’m sure that in Sanderson’s The Emperor’s Soul there was a similar principle used there??

5. Does Kaladin’s dream / vision seem similar to those that Dalinar has been having? He is called the ‘Child of Tanavast, Child of Honor’ and there is mention of an entity called Odium, who appears to be rather bad. Do you have any speculation about these two beings, how they fit into the world that we have seen so far and why the name Odium makes Syl hiss and fly off?

I got a different feel from Kaladin’s vision.  Dalinar’s clearest vision took him back into the past where he actually became an active party in the scene,  Kaladin’s almost felt as though he was being carried on the storm to look at future visions or see little glimpses.  I don’t really know why it felt like that to me and it’s probably totally wrong but at the time I just had a feeling that he was being carried into actual scenes that were taking part in the here and now or near future.  Child of Honor clearly seems to run along the lines of Kaladin becoming a hero doesn’t it!  Odium – the name sounds a little ominous doesn’t it?  Presumably some sort of entity who brings evil (not terribly perceptive of me!)

6. We have learnt some more about the events following Cenn’s chapter way back at the beginning of the book. Were you surprised that Kaladin defeated a Shardbearer almost singlehandedly? This still does not explain why he is a slave, but does it bring us closer to guessing?

I think I may have read on a chapter too far to be honest – mistakenly – so I won’t guess at this.  I wasn’t surprised that Kaladin defeated a Shardbearer because he’d already claimed to have done so and there was no reason to doubt him.  Little Kaladin crush developing perhaps? 

7. I think I made it quite clear last week that I did not trust Kabsal, so I am now feeling rather smug. However, I did not guess at the poison in the bread: did it surprise you as well? Can you see any way that Shallan can reconcile with Jasnah now that the theft has been revealed?

I really didn’t suspect Kabsal at all!  I literally just thought he was sweet on Shallan.  I was gobsmacked by the whole thing.  I’m not sure that Jasnah could trust Shallan again.  I wish that she’d given her at least a chance to explain and maybe to tell her some of the other odd things that had been happening – because I think they would be enlightening to Jasnah – but, I would probably have reacted in a similar way as Jasnah.  I never liked Shallan’s scheme.  In fact it put me off her as a character to be honest.  I’ve got over that a little bit now and I did feel sorry for her at the end of this section but I still think she behaved very badly to seek to work for someone, earn their trust and then take their most valued possession.  I still think that Shallan has a bigger part to play however – at least her gift seems to make me feel that way.

This week’s chapters were really gripping.  I highlighted a couple of points that I found curious:

During the weeping, this about Kaladin ‘He actually missed the high storms, with their rage and vitality.  These days were dreary, and he found it difficult to get anything productive done.  As if the lack of storms left him without strength’ – yet more fuel to the fire about Kaladin taking some form of power or energy from the storms, almost sounds like not only do they charge the spheres but they also give him energy – also Dalinar always had his visions during the storms.

‘During Kaladin’s vision ‘A man stood over two corpses.  His pale head shaved, his clothing white.  He looked up from his victims and almost seemed to see Kaladin’ – I think it was this sentence that made me think that Kaladin was looking at either current or future events in his vision rather than in his past – I don’t know why but I wondered if the vision was showing us Szeth who has started to kill the victims on his list – bit of a HUGE leap of imagination but….

  1. Dab of Darkness
  2. Tethyan Books
  3. Lunar Rainbows
  4. Musings on Fantasia
  5. Over the Effing Rainbow
  6. There Were Books Involved
  7. Coffee, Cookies and Chili Peppers
  8. The Caffeinated Life
  9. On Starships and Dragonwings
  10. Doing Dewey Decimal
  11. Book Vulture
  12. Novel Reflection

Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, readalong week 5

Banner courtesy of Anya at On Starships And Dragonwings!Banner courtesy of Anya at On Starships And Dragonwings!

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.

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