Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Way of Kings Read-Along, Week 9



Welcome to week 9 of our Way of Kings Read-Along. This week we read chapters 58-65. 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. 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?

In terms of what will happen in the war or the story's plot, it's hard to say. I definitely think this will lead to Andolin becoming more like his father--less partying and hanging out with the pretty girls as he starts to see the bleak reality of what's around him. He'll probably become more sober and practical like Dalinar is. I'm hoping he'll be more of an ally for Dalinar than he hitherto has been.

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?

Ooh this was interesting! Revealed in such a casual way, it' made me gasp. As creepy as I found them when Shallan drew them, it makes sense that they would make Elhokar paranoid. It seems, then, that some of his paranoia--about being watched, even if whether they want to kill him is still anyone's guess --was correct, or at least based on something real. It does make me wonder about Elhokar's state of mind, though. As his mother often points out, he's not the shrewdest king. In fact, he doesn't think much of telling his entire court things he probably should not. So why haven't we heard of him actually seeing these things before? When/where does he see them?

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?

I really have no idea on any of these. It's gonna go one way or the other: either it was Nohadon or it wasn't. Either the creatures were Voidbringers or they weren't. That was all Dalinar's impression, though, and I don't think we have any reason to doubt his instincts. If it's all true, then something must happen after what Dalinar saw to make Nohadon regain his faith in humanity enough to write the book. I kind of wanted Dalinar to give him the idea, and Nohadon accept it.Then it would have been a circular time-loop thing. But, doesn't look like Sanderson is going that way with it. That's okay. It's still intriguing. 

He also said it unmistakably was happening in his home city. We've talked before about the shape and placement of the different cities. I think this fits in somehow. The fact that the visions happen in a familiar place, rather than a far away land, is important.

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?

This made me like and trust her more. She seems sincere and I can't help but root for the romance. If, on the other hand, she turns out to be a...bad word I can't type because my 3-year old niece is watching me type this, then we'll hate her more for messing with Dalinar's emotions. I sincerely hope, for his sake, that she's not.

She's obviously very knowledgeable, though, and I like her for that reason as well. Like Jasnah, she knows a lot about the history of things and is very scholarly. I re-read most of her sections just because she was imparting so much information. She had some interesting remarks about her daughter seeking something and Navani sometimes being afraid of her. Do we know who her daughter is? Have we met her? I couldn't call her to mind. Anyone?

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 think, even if they don't want to admit it, his higher-ups--Sadeas and his officers--are starting to see the value in what Kaladin is doing. He's helping them in the war effort. Notice how he hasn't been reprimanded again since surviving the high storm. Now, do I expect this to continue? Not really. Especially given what Sadeas does to Dalinar at the end of this section, and given that the visions keep hinting that a Desolation worse than what's ever been seen is on it's way, I only expect things to get worse from here on out. Probably Kaladin and his men will battle disaster, if not death, and the war is more than likely going to degrade society further, rather than raising it.  We're heading into the final section, so I'm guessing we're in for an epic finale!

6. So Moash wants to kill someone out of vengeance. Any guesses who or why?

We've gotten some backgrounds on the various Bridgement, and it took Moash longer than most of the others to trust Kaladin and get on board with his goals and methods. I'd love to hear more about Moash's past. He says he wants revenge, so it must be someone who did him wrong or did wrong or harm to someone he cared about. In a way, if there's something in his past that would inspire vengeance in him, it might go a long way to explain his bitterness prior to Kaladin winning him over. 

7. Why do you think Sadeas abandoned Dalivar as he did? Was this done intentionally? Was it planned in advance? What are your thoughts?

I seriously doubt it was anything but intentional. It was his idea to head out in the first place. He maneuvered Dalinar into the sieged position and then left him there. At best that makes him a coward. At worst, it makes him a seriously douchy betrayer.

Hmm...maybe Kaladin will come to Dalinar's rescue? That'd be cool. 

One of my thoughts early on in this section was that Sadeas was very cocky. Yes, he's being helpful and cooperative with Dalinar, now, but he's still unbelievably arrogant. I don't know how Dalinar stands him. Then, given what happened at the end, I kind of went ah-hah! He is a jerk! Then I thought back to when Sadeas asked Dalinar for a copy of The Way of Kings. Either he was mocking Dalinar, and equally trying to gain his trust, or, maybe he's beginning to see some value or threat in what Dalinar has been saying. Maybe he's trying to acquire knowledge for himself--for some aim we don't understand yet--and get rid of Dalinar at the same time. 

Extras:

We saw more of the Thrill vs. the sickness Dalinar feels when fighting. It's been suggested that this might be magical, rather than just mental. It occurred to me in this section that the two sensations tend to balance one another. The more thrilling the Thrill, the more sickening the sensation afterward. That definitely smacks of some kind of magic. Just sayin'. 

Felt bad for Shen in this section, too. Obviously in his mind Kaladin has crossed a line. I'm not sure Shen will ever forgive him for it. Given how homicidal the Parshendi became on the battlefield when they saw what Kaladin had done, I hope Shen doesn't try to assassinate Kaladin or anything . :/



6 comments :

  1. Great questions for this week! I thought the Thrill was also very interesting. And lol, yeah, Sadeas, he is a jerk; I'd be curious to see later on if Brandon Sanderson pulls out some backstory on him or a POV to see if there's any way to sympathize with the character but right now I'm like "Nope", haha.

    My thoughts on this week's chapters: http://www.caffeinatedlife.net/blog/2014/02/26/the-way-of-kings-read-along-week-9/

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  2. The shard plates and blades do seem to be almost like a drug. Overwhelming the wearer/bearer from one edge of the spectrum to the other. I sincerely hope Shen doesnt' try to assassinate Kaladin but at the moment I can't imagine that he's very happy!
    I thought that Jasnah was Navani's daughter - of course I'm a bit of a maniac so you probably need a more reliable source!
    My link:
    http://lynnsbooks.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/way-of-kings-by-brandon-sanderson-readalong-week-9/

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  3. Now that you mention it, Elhokar can't be in the best state of mind, and not only because of the paranoia. If he's seeing mysterious creatures with symbols for heads, and his first thought is "These are clearly assassins!" and not "What are these things?"... then I don't think he's really up to analyzing what he's seeing. Also, Jasnah is Navani's daughter and Elhokar's sister, I believe.

    That would be a pretty cool twist if Kaladin led his 'troops' and rescued Dalinar! And poor Shen :(. I hope we learn more about what's going on in his head, and that he doesn't try to kill Kaladin.

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  4. YES -> I found the symbol heads creepy as well! They gave me a sense of foreboding and the fact that Elhokar revealed that he sees them too worries me even more. You're right, it definitely explains his paranoia though...

    Your sentiments about Dalinar and Navani pretty much summed up exactly how I'm feeling as well! Well said :) Oh and I also agree that Sadeas' plot was 100% intentional. Grrrr, I was fuming when it all when down. I couldn't believe it and I was annoyed with myself for having been fooled right along with Dalinar lol

    Thanks for hosting this week ♥

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  5. Here's my link:

    http://coffeecookiesandchilipeppers.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-way-of-kings-by-brandon-sanderson_27.html

    ReplyDelete
  6. And a link from me:

    http://bookvulture.livejournal.com/3019.html

    ReplyDelete