Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Way of Kings RAL Week 7

Welcome to week 7 of our Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings read-along!  I'm certainly excited to be having my post up on the right day this week but I'm even more excited about the freaking plot twists that went down this week!  Wow, my mind is reeling and more than even I just want to stop living my real life and dedicate all my time to reading ALL of this book!

*Week 7 - Chapters 43 - 50*
Caution: Major Spoilers Ahead!

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?

I was quite content with Lamaril to be honest because even though he seemed vile and underhanded this new replacement lord and his wife seem to truly have it out for Bridge Crew 4 - like their current state of affairs wasn't bad enough.  However, being assigned to permanent chasm duty seems to have had a hidden silver lining...thus far. So we'll see how things go.  I'm glad that Kaladin didn't fall into complete despair again because of it though - and that he was able to find a glimmer of hope and cling to it.

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. :(

I think we were all scared to reach the point where we found out what happened to poor Tien :*(  and I can not believe how horribly bitter and petty Roshone continued to be. He surpassed his own previous self in cruelty.  My heart is completely ripped apart for Kaladin and Tien's poor parents too, who lost not one but both their sons to a tyrant.  Ugh what a horrible tragedy!

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?

 I'm very curious as to why Gavilar became so intrigued by the Parshendi; and so quickly at that!  I want to know more about his sudden changes in personality near the end of his life.  The inconsistencies that really bother me are the seemingly unexplained one between the Parshendi proper and the Parshmen. It seems to me that they are of the same race, but they could have been separated thousands of years ago and thus evolved in very different ways.  At the core though, the Parshendi seem much more evolved than the rest of the world here seems to think they are.  Shen is still too much of a mystery to me so I won't attempt at a guess.  I do think that Kaladin's choice to be fair to him is a step in the right direction for him though - I hope he can eventually widen his scope and extend the same curtsey to certain light eyes *ahem*

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?

 Oh man, that was trippy wasn't it?!  I'm still not convinced that Shallan actually Soulcast.  It seems to me like what she did was the mirror opposite of what Kaladin can do.  Where Kaladin takes energy from the spheres into himself, Shallan seemed to suck the energy our of something to transfer it to another being...on that I'm not sure is a benevolent being.  Like, at all o_O  It was like she was able to feed something dormant.  Whatever she actually did and whatever is speaking to her, I'm sure it's not good.  The whole thing worries me terribly, because I like Shallan - things certainly are looking bleak for her at the moment.

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?

Kaladin seems to sense the hidden power and magic that lays in the Storms...and just like with Dalinar they have some strange effect on him.  A being spoke to him again during the storm and I still think it could be the Stormfather himself.  Just like I thought it was when Dalinar had his visions!  Both of these men seem to be getting vague but important messages (or warnings) of things to come.  I think this Odium being might be just what Shallan inadvertently fed power to. After all, in Kaladin's vision where he was a storm, he saw some strange power very close to a cowering girl in her room - seemingly right when Shallan was in her room having her own vision.  I hope that Syl will elaborate on it further at some point but who knows; she did seem beyond terrified just at the mention of it.

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?

 Well, this section certainly cleared things up for me since when we got a glimspe of it at the begining, I though Kaladin was already fighting with a mind must have drawn the assumption since he was naturally so skilled at combat >.<  Anyways, YES I was blown-away once again by Kaladin's battle skills.  He aversion to claiming to Shardblade reminded me of Dalinar's own disgust with using his own Shardblade the last time he did so.  I think we'll be getting the true explanation for Kaladin's turn from soldier to slave in the next chapter though. *Urge to read on...almost...unbearable.* *twitch*

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 had my doubts about Kabsal, but I never expected something so drastic and desperate from him.  Even he seemed confused by how insistent he became for Shallan to try the jam so I feel like I need more information about that whole scene.  I certainly hope Jasnah continues to investigate him further.  I was also surprised by how things took a turn for Shallan and Jasnah.  I honestly can't think of any way for Shallan to make amends at this point. Unless her hidden powers come to light and Jasnah has some knowledge about it all.

*Extra Bits*

* Is anyone else beyond fascinated about the lost city of Urithiru?!  It seems like the place could hold a lot of answers to the questions Jasnah, Kaladin and Dalinar have been asking.  Alls I know is that I *need* to know more. A.S.A.P.

* It struck me as odd that the Parshendi were the ones to teach the Alethi to hunt Chasmfiends for their gemhearts.  I don't know why, but there seems to be hidden meaning to that fact...

* I know I sound like a broken record but Kaladin's flashbacks to his youth enthrall me completely.  He was already so impressive, even as a youth. He noticed everything that went on with his family.  How his father began spending the spheres, and his tactics behind the scenes to undermine Roshone. This time around though, I was especially amazed by Hesina herself.  What an amazing woman, mother and character.  I can see how both Kaladin's parents shaped him into the hero he will undoubtedly become.


  1. I hope Kaladin's parents are okay, so that we get to see Hesina again. She was such a great character, for what little time we got to see her!

    Your comment about the Parshendi/chasmfiends is making me wonder if the hunting of chasmfiends wasn't a deliberate way to lead the Alethi off the good path-- the temptations of riches and all.

  2. This week's chapters were pretty awesome - Sanderson wowing us yet again with his amazing ability to describe a battle scene and make it come to life on the page!
    "He surpassed his own previous self in cruelty" - I love that statement!
    I think Susan also mentioned the possibility of Evolution being the reason for the difference it is fairly fascinating though. Perhaps the Parshendi had access to magic and that's helped them develop differently? Perhaps being in the chasms - which is where all these creatures with the gems come from isn't it? And they do seem to have almost telepathic abilities? I dunno I'm just coming up with all sorts of randomness!
    The symbol heads are just weird. I was initially a bit creeped out but then I kind of thought, they've obviously been around her for a while and she hasn't come to any harm. I think they would probably try and give her a message if she could only get over her fear.
    Kaladin's vision was very unusual and quite different from Dalinar's - it was like he was being whisked around and shown things - not quite sure what it all adds up to but I'm sure it's going somewhere!
    I was also so shocked with Jasnah! What the hell - never trust a man bearing bread and jam - apparently!
    Lynn :D

  3. With both Tien and Kaladin gone, what did Hesina and Lirin do? Spend the spheres? Toss them in a pit? Leave Hearthstone? I hope we get more info on them.

    Good point about Kaladin. If he can treat Shen, a 'mere' Parshman, with respect, certainly he can also consider doing so for certain light eyes.

    Interesting thought on Odium and Shallan. I need to reread that section to see what images Kaladin glimpsed in the storm. I picked up on him seeing Szeth, and I think my brain got stuck on that image even as the story continued.

    Urithiru - a city lost in myth. Yes, I definitely want to know more!

  4. There are so many questions about the Parshendi and Parshmen, and yet nobody seems to have any curiosity, which I find very strange indeed.

    Shallan certainly used the Stormlight stored in an infused sphere, which is very similar to what we have seen Szeth, Kal and Jasnah doing. Perhaps different people do different things with the energy?

    I didn't pick up on Shallan being part of Kal's vision, although I spotted Szeth. Also, I didn't get the impression of evil that I expect from an entity called Odium when she was in the sphere-realm, but it is an interesting idea and I'll keep my eyes open as I read on.

    I am pretty sure that Kabsal is an agent sent by a conspiracy similar to the one controlling Szeth: he certainly seemed to be acting on orders from someone else.


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