Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Way of Kings Read-Along, Week 7



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?

She was pretty interesting, and I'm sure she'll prove a stumbling block for Kaladin and his men. She's obviously out to "show" them by giving them this terrible work, but like most people in this army, Lady MacBeth is underestimating Kaladin. Now that he's over the suicidal depression, he's seeing the sunny side of everything and will probably use everything she throws at him to his advantage. You can't keep a guy like that down. :D

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. :(

Wow. What a mean bitter dude he was! Yes, he lot his son, but his son was kind of a pompous bully. I could name lots of things I'd like to happen to Roshone for taking his anger out on sweet, innocent Tien, but Sanderson's already given us the answer to this one via the monsters he's created for this world. Roshone should be spitted and fed to a pissed-off chasmfiend. Just sayin.'

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?

Mostly, I want to know more. So far we've only seen bits and pieces, and we need more information before we can draw any real conclusions. It was interesting to note that the two different kinds of Parshmen Gavilar encountered didn't seem to see themselves as related. Maybe they aren't at all, but everyone has always assumed so because they look so similar? 

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?

Yeah that was downright trippy. The visual of her cowering on the bed while these invisible creatures reached out for her gave me the willies. I don't know where she went. I can't decide if it was an entirely different plain of existence, or just somewhere Shallan has never been before--like the Shattered Plains, perhaps? I don't know that I think she spoke to the soul of the goblet. I think it's more likely that it was to one of the creatures she keeps seeing. I thought it was interesting that they asked her what she was. Was that question referring to the fact that she could see them, or to the soulcasting she did right afterward? Hard to say, but really want to learn more.

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?

The dream did seem similar to Dalinar's, but it's hard to say for sure, and if it's related, how? Here's the thing: it seems to me that both Kaladin and Shallan have special abilities that are rare, and perhaps haven't been seen in centuries. It's just that neither of them fully realize it yet. So these weird creatures approach Shallan and ask what she is, and Kaladin is having similar visions to what both Gavilar and Dalinar had. It's all got to be related somehow. My big question is whether Kaladin and Shallan have the same ability, and if not, how their two abilities relate to one another. No idea why Syl was so uppity about it, but that makes it even more interesting.

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?

That chapter was seriously intense! All his guys just got slaughtered! Given what we've seen of Kaladin so far, I wasn't surprised that he determined to do something, went for it, saw an opportunity, took it, and came out on top. In fact, I wonder if the reason Sanderson didn't show us this at the beginning and made us wait until half way through the book was so we could get to know Kaladin first. 

While reading it, I wondered if Amaram would try to take the shardblade for himself, and throw Kaladin into slavery to shut him up about it, but that's not what happened. Maybe Kaladin will change his mind, and by then someone else will have claimed it? Or maybe he'll become too much of a legend for not taking it, and his superiors will feel threatened and decide to get rid of him? Guess we'll find out. 

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?

Yes and no. I guessed something was wrong the moment he sat down and pushed the jam on them, but I would have guessed it was the jam, not the bread, that was the culprit. I really wanted to like Kasbal, but... The only way I can see for Shallan and Jasnah to reconcile would be for Shallan to tell Jasnah about her strange visions of the creatures. I think that would catch Jasnah's attention enough for her to want to keep Shallan around. And maybe actually tell her something real about soulcasting! At first I thought maybe Shallan was manifesting the ability to soulcast, but I keep going back to the creatures asking her what she is. So weird!

Extras:

Where is Dalinar? We haven't heard from him in SO long. I want to hear from him again!

Kaladin ran into Andolin. Interesting scene. I wonder what will come of it. I wonder if the next time Andolin lays on Kaladin, if he will remember him and connect him to a message that never reached its destination.

So Jasnah really didn't realize the soulcaster was missing until Shallan handed it back to her? I want to say that my respect for Jasnah has gone seriously down, but it still feels like there's more to it that we don't know. If I were Shallan, I'd want to grab Jasnah by the scruff of the neck and shake some answers out of her!

But...I won't. And Shallan probably won't, either. *sigh*


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4 comments :

  1. My estimation of Jasnah dropped, too, when I found out she didn't have any clue about what was going on. I hope there's more that we don't know!

    I'm starting to get a bit worried about what's up with Dalinar, he's been gone from the pages for so long.

    On the shardblade, I wonder if it's possible to take a shardblade from someone living who has claimed it. Amaram was seriously injured, so he couldn't have possibly beat Kaladin to claiming the sword. I wonder if, one Kaladin rejects it, Amaram will then try to claim it as his.

    That's a good point about Jasnah and Shallan's visions. She might not get to be a ward anymore, but that probably would make Jasnah want to keep her around.

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  2. 2. Totally mean and bitter - and, wasn't it his son's idea to actually go hunting in the first place! Something about it being so boring??
    3. I can't help thinking with the Parshendi that the Alethi are under estimating them. It feels like a grand plan of misdirection.
    4. I sort of wish that Shallan would get over her fear of the symbol heads and try and find out what they want - I mean they've not harmed her so far right?
    5. I think that Gavilar, Dalinar, Kaladin and Shallan seem to have some special ability - or more to the point they seem to be linked to something that seems to be trying to relay messages to them. I don't really understand it though to be honest.
    7. Totally agree.
    Lynn :D

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  3. Good point about the Parshendi and Parshmen mot really seeing themselves as related, even though all the Alethi seem to think they are related some how. Interesting, but I don't yet know what it means.

    I too like that Sanderson didn't show us at the beginning the fight between Kaladin and the Shardbearer. I think if I had that scene early on, then I would have certain expectations about Kaladin. But doing it this way, I don't see him as the 'big hero' until later in the book. I have to get to know him first.

    Haha! That would be such an awkward meeting! Adolin paid Kaladin a pretty penny to run that message. Kaladin didn't and I wonder what kind of trouble that caused Adolin. At the least, it was a social faux pas.

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  4. 1. I suppose it makes sense for her to try to avoid other crews rebelling against the Status Quo, so she needs to 'deal' with him. However, that doesn't mean I have to like her! :D

    2. Being chasm fiend chow is too good for him in my opinion.

    3. I'm not sure the Parshmen even react if you smash them in the face with a brick, and the Parshendi probably see their slave-cousins as the ultimate embarrassment, but I do wonder what the connection is between them, if it exists at all.

    4. The altered appearance of the sun mad eke automatically think that it was an alternative universe or parallel dimension, but it could have been a real location. I think the voice was most likely to be one of the figures, but who knows in this weird and wonderful world? I certainly thought that they were confused by her ability to see / draw them and were more inquisitive than threatening.

    5. There does seem to be massive overtones of "These Are The Chosen Ones!!", doesn't there? :D

    6. I think that this chapter had so much more impact now than it would have had at the beginning. In fact, I think it would shave been difficult to accept Kal's massive luck before we had got to know him and learn about his past.

    7. I was just surprised that I was right in deciding not to trust him: I am wrong so often! :D

    I feel as if the whole sphere-realm and Soulcasting discovery will be the way for these two to reconcile. At least, I hope so, because I feel like they should stay together for some time to come.

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