Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Way of Kings Read Along

Happy 2014 everyone!  A new year means new things right?  That's why I'm participating in my very first read-along :D  When the lovely Anya over at On Starships & Dragonwings asked me to join in for a The Way of Kings Read Along, I had to think about it...for about half a second!  As two serious Sanderson fangirls, we talked about how this was a perfect chance to finally conquer this beast - especially with book # 2 Words of Radiance coming out March of this year!  So a HUGE thank you goes out to both our co-hosts Anya & Susan of Dab of Darkness for putting all of this together & inviting me along!

*Week 1 - Prelude to Chapter 6*
Caution: Spoilers Ahead!

1) Is this your first Brandon Sanderson experience? Any expectations going into this read along?

This will be my fourth Sanderson book - I've already read Mistborn #1 & #2 as well as Steelheart.  I've been wanting to read The Way of Kings since I first heard about Sanderson though, and I've owned a copy of it for almost a year now!  My expectations are pretty high for this one since I'm already familiar with how epic Sanderson's adult high-fantasy is.  I'm expecting brilliant and seamless world-building, complex and memorable characters and intense plot lines!

2) In the Prelude to the Stormlight Archive, we see that Talenel (Taln) died and his sword is unaccounted for. Jerzien and company have decided it is best for 1 to suffer instead of 10. What do you make of this scene?  

I thought it was quite haunting and chilling, I shudder to think what Talanel suffered because of that decision...and what repercussions it will have in the current day of the story.  I loved how that chapter had truly mythical proportions to it and I can imagine that chapter holding particular weight as our current day story progresses. 

3) What did you think of Szeth's fighting abilities and the fight scenes? Any thoughts on the crystalline sphere and King Gavilar Kholin's last words?

Sanderson's fight scenes are legendary for me and Szeth's certainly didn't disappoint.  The abilities were a bit reminiscent of the Mistborn abilities, while still being wholly unique!  I loved how he could mess with gravity; it really blew my mind!  I'm especially curious about the crystalline sphere - I wonder if it might be used somewhat similarly to  Stormlight.  King Gavilar Kholin's last words are a mystery to me.  I hope his brother will get the message and I already want to know what the word will be!

4) Each chapter proper starts with a few words from a dying person, their station, and status in life. Any thoughts on what these portend?

I feel like each person's station and status must have some significance or pattern to it that isn't clear yet.  Their last words seem to relate to what they are seeing or feeling as they are dying and some seem to be alluding to seeing something else reminiscent to an after-life as they pass.  I'm curious to see if we'll learn more in that respect.

5) Kaladin went from warrior to slave in a matter of the first 2 chapters. Care to speculate on the details of how his life changed so drastically? 

That bit actually surprised me quite a bit!  Kaladin instantly came off as some sort of legendary hero that would have lead many wars into victory so I wasn't expecting his glory to be so short lived.  It sounds like it all went down after him killing the light eyes soldier and for whatever reason that lead to him being sold off as a slave.  He must have been betrayed by someone he thought he could trust...his revenge seems to be the only thing keeping him going now. 

6) Sylphrena (Syl) the Windspren seems attached to Kaladin. Are you enjoying her character? Do you like the Spren in general in the worldbuilding so far? 

The Windspren are truly fascinating to me (and the all the other kinds of  'spren' for that matter), I can't wait to learn more about Sylphrena and others like her.  I like how she seems to want to help Kaladin.  At the very least, she's keeping him company!  I do think there are a lot more to them than the people seem to have been lead to believe.  They certainly give the story a truly other-worldly quality and I think they add a whole other dimension to the world building.  Stuff likes that really gets the imagination stirring. And I love it :D

7) Shallan Davar has finally caught up to Brightness Jasnah Kholin and her soulcaster. Jasnah and the jeweled fabril can change stone to smoke; what else do you think it can do? 

All of those jewels and stormlights and whatnot are freaking brilliant so far.  I can't imagine how I'll love them when I understand them even better as the series progresses.  I wonder if Jasnah's jeweled fabril is one of those who can change ANY substance into ANY other one...the possibilities are truly endless when you think about it!  I'm pretty sure Sanderson has some brilliant uses for it in store for us.

Feel free to leave any comments, thoughts or feedback guys, I'd love to read them and discuss this story further!


  1. I feel so bad for Kaladin! I really thought we were starting on the meat of the story already and that he would be in a very different position for the rest of the book. Sanderson tricks me again ;-)

    Also, I really want there to be a video game set in this world, I just want to go around collecting spren >.>

  2. The Mistborn books are amazing <3

    The drastic change in Kaladin's circumstances between his first chapter and his second was very startling. And yeah, for me everything storm-related (the weather of this world, the stormlights, etc.) is just really fascinating, it really makes the story unique. Happy reading!

    My post for this week :)

  3. It seems like we're all going into this with very high expectations - I don't think we'll be disappointed though which is good.
    I felt really sorry for Taln at the start - he's going to have to suffer for the others and I can understand their reasoning but it doesn't make it any easier for him I suppose. Time will tell how that will play out.
    I suppose the fight scenes were a bit reminiscent of Mistborn (or at least they definitely put me in mind of it) but in a good way. His fight scenes are some of the best I've read in fantasy to be honest.
    Again with the snippets at the start of each chapter - Mistborn had something similar which read as a story - I wonder, if, like you say, people are given a snippet of something in their final moments to pass on and that's why it's so important that somebody records their final remarks?
    Lynn :D

  4. I was thinking that the death-words might be important because of what they show of the afterlife. I wonder what their age/status has to do with things, though.

    I was also guessing that killing the light-eyes soldier had something to do with Kaladin's change in circumstances. I hope we get to see what happened in more detail soon!

  5. I too want to know if each dying person's station and status will be important, or if it is merely their final foreboding words? And knowing Sanderson's other works, we may not find out this book.

    I love the Spren too. Syl herself seems to be becoming more solid the more the interacts with Kaladin, like knowing her own name and choosing to hang with Kalaldin instead of chasing after the storm with the other windspren.

  6. 3. I wondered if the sphere was dark because it holds anti-stormlight or something similar.

    5. Yep, someone is going to have a very bad day once Kaladin catches up to them.

    6. I can only assume that he has some sort of affinity for windscreen in particular, because even Syl is surprised that she is so drawn to him.

    7. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that Shallan can be trusted with anything that powerful.


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