Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Way of Kings Read-Along, Week 2

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Welcome to week 2 for our Way of Kings Read-Along by Brandon Sanderson! Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow is hosting this week. We read chapters 7-13 this week. Remember that everything in this section as well as everything that came before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk!


1. Shallan's determination pays off, but Jasnah Kholin seems to change her mind a bit suddenly, and when Shallan isn't expecting her to. She mentions knowing of Shallan's family... Do you think perhaps she knows more than she admits? Or is she really just a bit more soft-hearted than she lets on?

Maybe a little bit of both? Anyone's heart can be appealed to with enough the right kind of persistence,  in my opinion. But it would be interesting to learn if there was something we are not yet privy to that pushed Jasnah to change her mind so suddenly.

2. Yalb comes to the bargaining rescue as Shallan tries to buy books... Do you think there's going to be a bigger part in events for him to play?

I hope so! I love Yalb so far. Big fan of his. He goes around claiming to be a simple sailor, but he's definitely got more street smarts than most people. I loved the way he manipulated the book sellers to keep them from ripping Shallan off. So great! :D

3. Part One ends with a ray of hope for Kaladin, as he rediscovers a sense of purpose... What did you think of the scene in the Honour Chasm, and then with Gaz afterward?

Really loved it. Before, when he was just apathetic and kind of depressed, my heart went out to him--I certainly wouldn't want to be part of the Bridge Four crew--but it also makes the narrative feel really depressing and stagnant. Kaladin's sense of purpose infects the entire mood of the story and makes you feel rejuvenated to read it. Plus, Kaladin is one of our main characters. I already really like the guy, so of course we don't want to see him commit suicide. :D

4. We catch up with Szeth for an interlude, and things are very different for him... What do you make of his choice to enslave himself - if it is in fact a choice...?

I'm not sure. I was very surprised to see him so. I think it IS a choice, but one he feels compelled to make in order to save his honor or his soul or something. That suggests that maybe he did something he's trying to atone for. I think it's interesting that this fate--a form of enslavement--has befallen both him and Kaladin, both of whom were so confident and forward-moving in their lives the first time we saw them. It's still unclear how all these narratives will be linked, but I'm interested to learn more.

5. We also meet Dalinar Kholin, Jasnah's father, and get something of a hint that he's important where the Radiants are concerned... What do you think Dalinar's 'fits' might mean?

I think it has something to do with what happened when his brother, Gavilar, died. The fact that Dalinar's brother had a message for him, that Szeth wrote it in blood. Maybe some kind of magic kicked in and now it's affecting Dalinar in the appointed time because he'll be needed, as his vision says, to "unite them." The message for from Gavilar said Dalinar had to find the most important words a man can say. Maybe "unite them" are those words in some way?

Extras:

Loved the chasmfiend scene! Such a cool battle, even if the king was being kind of frustrating. Awesome battle, awesome monster. I loved the image of Dalinar holding up the weight of the monster to save the king, and fighting with his sons. Just really loved that scene.

I also totally loved that there's a "Wit" or fool. I'm sort of a Shakespearean geek, especially about the "Fool" that often plays a role in that type of literature. I'm excited to find out what role this Wit will play. Will he be evil? Will he tell the king "the truth" as is often the station of the Fool. Just totally geeking out about the fact that Sanderson has included this aspect and excited to see where he goes with it. :D

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4 comments :

  1. I hope we see more Yalb, too! That's an interesting idea, about Dalinar. I guess they did say it has only started recently, so maybe Gavilar's death had something to do with it. Maybe the Parshendi started the magic with the king's assassination? The assassination doesn't really make much sense yet, since the Parshendi broke an hours-old brand-new alliance with it. Maybe these visions have to do with their goal.

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  2. I'm really loving Yalb too - I love how quick-witted and sweet he is! And I think you're 100% right on your feelings about Kaladin - my heart went out for him too when he was at his worst but something had to give otherwise what would have been the point of having his narrative in there?! I'm very excited to see what's in store for him next!! Great answers :)

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  3. 1. I get the impression that we could fill several books with the "something we are not yet privy to" from just this small portion of the tome! :D

    2. He reminds me a little of a young Thom Merillin from the Wheel of Time series but with less impressive mustaches.

    3. I loved the way that we were taken right to the very edge and then pulled back, and yet it didn't feel flippant or contrived. Instead it was heart-wrenching, and I was so relieved when Syl brought him around.

    4. The possibility that he is trying to atone for something makes a lot of sense - but it must have been something truly awful.

    5. The king's death might have altered the course of history towards something like the Desolation that we saw in the Prelude: uniting against that sounds like a pretty sound piece of advice.

    I was really surprised when the Wit arrived because he had this dramatic entrance that didn't seem quite right somehow. I hope he tells the king what an idiot he was for join ton this hunting jaunt in the first place!

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  4. I think Sanderson had to show us how low Kaladin had fallen, not just in circumstance, but internally. He did a really good job with that and I love how Syl brings him to life again, and his reaction to Gaz. Ha!

    Yes, the Wit! Sanderson fans probably already know this: All of Sanderson's works take place in the same universe. And if you have read his other works, you have probably noted this one side character that appears in each of his major works. I am not sure, but I think for the Stormlight Archives, it is the Wit. You can check out the basics (not spoilery) about the Cosmere and Hoid: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandon_Sanderson#The_Cosmere

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