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. :D
We’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.
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. :)
This week is No.6 of the Words of Radiance readalong. If you’re not joining us for this yet you’re still not too late to join in with all the goodness and discussions – and actually, I will just add that this book is epic and awesome all rolled into one – so you really MUST pick it up. Or, if you’ve already read or are reading then please feel free to just dive in here with your observations. Everyone is most welcome. The schedule is here. Let’s get straight to it – and beware, the usual alert about spoilers applies of course – catoutofthebagspren are lurking from hereonin:
1. Shallan and Adolin meet up for a nice glass of wine and a pleasant chat!! What did you make of Shallan’s winning conversational tactics and what do you think will eventually come of this ‘relationship’. Narvani doesn’t seem to be warming to Shallan – do you think this will cause problems between Shallan and Adolin? Also, Shallan seemed to be almost drawn to the storm and mentioned being able to see something in it? Any guesses as to why and what?
A bit like Adolin, I couldn’t believe it when she first blurted her ‘pooh’ question! Very funny. I don’t think Adolin knows what to make of her and finds her refreshingly different and amusing. She does of course help with a bit of flattery along the way but the two do seem to be getting on very well. I suppose Narvani could cause problems for the two if she decided to block any such marriage. I think at the moment that Narvani, as well as grieving of course, seems to perhaps think Shallan is partly responsible or could have done more to help Jasnah, I think this is hindering her having any liking for her – perhaps she thinks Shallan is just an opportunist. After all, nobody had seen her before she arrived so really she could be conning them – obviously, we know she isn’t but they don’t? I’m not really sure what Shallan thought she saw in the storm but I think it’s the same thing that Kaladin saw when he was punished and left out during one such occasion and I think it’s the same thing that seemed to be watching from the balcony during another storm. It’s spooky!
2. So much intrigue. Shallan found out about her brother (or at least the evidence points that way) – and what an awful way to find out such a thing! She found out a bit more about the Ghostbloods and she also uncovered some of Amaram’s secrets – what do you make of it all and what are the bigger connections here?
Mmm, well, firstly, Amaram’s most recent revelation concerning his shardblade was very interesting. Does he have two shardblades now then? Why was he fighting Shallan’s brother – was this an assassination attempt for the Ghostbloods who still seem to be interested in Amaram or was he trying to find out information for the Ghostbloods like Shallan is now doing. I was toying with the idea of the Ghostbloods having some sort of connection to Sadeas (or his wife) but that wouldn’t make sense would it if they’re spying on Amaram? Unless Sadeas believes Amaram his not telling him everything and is only using him until his usefulness runs out? I seem to be coming up with more questions than answers.
3. What did you make of Dalinar giving Amaram an elite role in his latest scheme to bring back the Radiants. Do you think it’s a test of some sort or has he simply ignored Kaladin’s tale? Kaladin does seem to be becoming a little bit obsessed by Amaram and Syl seems to be struggling with him at the moment. Do you see a difference in their relationship now that Kaladin has developed his abilities?
I must admit that I was a little put out when I read that particular section. I was really puzzled why Dalinar would do this after all that Kaladin has done but then I figured he has known Amaram for a long time and, like everyone else, has no real reason to doubt him. Okay, he obviously thinks highly of Kaladin but even now they don’t really know each other. I still can’t understand why he would give Amaram this position though and the other thing I struggle a bit with is wondering why they all trust Amaram so readily when he’s actually part of Sadeas’s camp? Big clue No.1 or what!
4. Shallan and Kaladin seem to be rapidly developing their own abilities with Kaladin finally finding his feet in rather spectacular fashion. Shallan seems to have the most extraordinary abilities – she’s almost perfectly set up to become a spy! What did you make of her latest encounter and ‘near thing’ with the Ghostbloods. Do you think she’ll meet them again?? Can you guess at what other talents she might pull out of the hat?
Shallan is definitely useful to have around. Not only is she really gutsy but she also manages to think on her feet – even if she’s actually just put her foot in it! I loved the way she improvised when she broke into Amaram’s place and the second meeting with the Ghostbloods was so exciting and tense. Not to mention – that whole boulder disguise – didn’t see that coming. She’s taking quite a number of risks and also showing her own naivety along the way but she’s learning a lot of lessons. She seems to be mastering the art of disguise – perhaps she’ll learn chameleon like abilities – a little in the way that Pattern does? It was brilliant watching Kaladin learn as well and finally seem to accept what he can actually do – for a moment there he seemed genuinely happy which doesn’t seem to happen very often any more. And it was like he was flying there for a moment – like the Radiants.
5. Wit – it appears he did meet Shallan after all – and, is it just me or is anybody developing a little bit of a Wit crush? Why do you think he’s reappeared. He’s always giving out cryptic messages and disappearing again mysteriously but I’m in a quandary as to know what his meaning really is most of the time! What is his role in all of this. Does he really have a side as such?
I really like Wit. I do sometimes wish that he’d simply tell people what he wants to say instead of being so mysterious – although I probably wouldn’t like him as much if he wasn’t so intriguing. Basically I’m a bit clueless about him. I don’t really think he has a side – more that he’s just interested in keeping things ticking over. He’s like an Ent ‘I’m on nobody’s side because nobody is on my side!’ I really put this question in so that everyone else could give wonderful and illuminating answers and basically clue me in.
6. Finally, can we just discuss that duel. I think that was one of the most exciting things I’ve read so far. I literally gasped out loud at one point. What did you make of it all – the scheming, the conspiring, the fight itself, Kaladin’s heroics – and, finally, and importantly, the conclusion!
I could hug Brandon Sanderson. I don’t know how he does it but he’s a master at writing these sort of scenes. I can just picture it and it flows so well. It’s exciting and compelling. It doesn’t read like a running commentary and you just become totally sucked into the story. I loved it. Aw – the duplicity and two facedness of all of them though- they’re so bad – even the judge and Adolin’s bestie!! Hopefully Dalinar will maybe start to trust Kaladin a little bit more now? And, how awful to be in such a hopeless position as Dalinar, stood on the outskirts watching both his sons face that challenge! I suppose they all showed a little bit of naivety didn’t they. They thought they’d managed to pull a fast one and get one step ahead of Sadeas but there was Sadeas – already two steps ahead! And the the ending!! I won’t say any more because I’ve read on but!!!
Wow, that last chapter was awesomely epic.
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