Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Words of Radiance Read-Along, Week 1

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1. We basically get the same prologue from the first book except from Jasnah's POV. She tells Gangnah that her father's assassin walked on the wall, and it's ignored. We also see the Parshman leaders immediately take credit for the assassin. What did you make of it all? Insights? Impressions? How will this affect the story going forward?

I thought this was terribly interesting. At the start of the first book, the prologue was a bit hard for me to get into. But now, being familiar with the world, the characters, and the events, it was really cool to get it from a different POV. It's interesting that Jasnah reported seeing the assassin's powers, but no one really paid attention. In a way, because of her research and abilities, Jasnah was the best one to see something like this. No one else would have had a frame of reference for it.

For the parshmen leaders to suddenly come forward and claim responsibility for the assassination was a bit suspect to me. It's almost like they really wanted everyone to believe what they said, true or not. They were just a little over-eager. Hmm...

2. Andolin and Shallan are unofficially engaged. How do you see this relationship panning out?

You know, it's kind of hard to say. Officially, I think Kaladin and Shallan are destined for one another, but I'm not sure she and Andolin wouldn't get along. She's less shallow than most of the women he dates, I would think, as she definitely isn't after him for his High Prince status. Yet, she's very caught up in her work and I can see Andolin wanting a wife that will dote on him more and be more devoted than Shallan probably will be. 

And then there's the fact that Andolin wasn't exactly supportive of his father's visions at first. Shallan not only has visions, but powers. She's a Radiant. I don't know how well Andolin is going to handle that little tidbit.

3. Kaladin wants to keep his Radiant powers a secret for as long as possible. How successful do you think he'll be? How long will he remain hidden? Do you think he'll succeed in training the thousand?

Probably not long, given that he tends to absorb and then give off Stormlight without thinking about or realizing it. I think he may possibly be in the closet for this entire book, but I can see him being outed at the end or something.

I think if anyone can train a thousand men in record time and save the country, it's Kaladin. I don't envy him the stress of his task, but I'm sure he's good for it. :D

4. Jasnah thinks Shallan's spren is a Cryptic, as opposed to an Honorspren which is what Syl is. What do you think is the significance of this? What does it mean for Shallan? For Kaladin?

I thought this was really fascinating. It sounds to me like the Cryptic Spren and the Honorspren are sort of contrasts to one another. Yet another reason we need to get these two kids (Kaladin and Shallan) together. Chances are they'll have to find some way to work together, using their different talents, to save the world.

5. How will Kaladin accomplish all of the tasks Dalinar has laid on him? Do you think Dalinar's plan with the duels will work to stave off civil war and help unite the high princes?

I'm sure Kaladin's men will help him in the training, along with Syl. And now that Jasnah and Shallan are headed toward the Shattered Plains, maybe they'll be helpful too.

I actually thought Dalinar's dueling plan was really original. If he can distract everyone, basically using sports, he might be able to get a handle on what's happening in the real war and yank the rug out from under Sadeas before he knows what's coming. On the flip side, though, Sadeas is not so dumb. Of anyone, I think he'll recognize Dalinar's tactics for what they are and try to sideline them. May the best warlord (obviously Dalinar) win! 

6. After the incident with the ship, do you think Jasnah is truly dead? Predictions?

I can see it either way--depending on what Jasnah's role in the story is, perhaps it would up the drama to have Shallan exploring on her own, without a mentor--but I kind of doubt it. There was no body where she'd fallen for Shallan to trip on. And it seems to me that Jasnah can probably trick people into seeing something untrue to protect herself.

7. What are your first thoughts/impressions of Pattern? How do you see his and Shallan's relationship developing?

He's definitely different from Syl. His voice so far is kind of jarring, but I like that he speaks. I like that he's sort of growing and getting used to the human world as Shallan is learning Shadesmar and learning to communicate with him. I also like that he can raise the fabric of things when he moves. That's a cool image. And given how helpful he was during the whole sinking-ship incident, he would definitely be a convenient friend to have in a tight spot. :D

What did everyone else think of this section?

15 comments :

  1. Hi, just posted. Will be checking out your answers shortly!
    Lynn :D
    http://lynnsbooks.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/words-of-radiance-by-brandon-sanderson-readalong-week-1/

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  2. Great answers!
    1. - That's exactly how I felt.
    2. - The funny thing is that I never considered Shallan and Kaladin for a moment! (Maybe because I have a Kaladin crush!) Good idea though - particularly about the different spren.
    3. - Yes - agree. Kaladin can defo do this.
    4. - I was sort of curious about how different people attract different spren - I wonder if that's to do with the person's personality??
    5. - I was a bit surprised at first with the whole duelling plan. But, I kind of hope that it works out - certainly the highprinces will pay attention if they're losing their blades!
    6. - I definitely thought something was wrong with that scene - it doesn't feel right. I think Jasnah is just hidden somehow.
    7. - I'm finding Pattern intriguing. Will wait to see how he develops (is he an he??)
    Lynn :D

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    1. Interesting idea about certain personalities attracting different spren. I was thinking that Pattern was a he, but maybe we don't really know. Thanks for stopping by! Heading over to your post. :D

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  3. It's hard for me to judge if the Parshendi leaders were over eager or not. We know so little about their culture.

    If Kaladin via Teft gets the thousand trained and armed, then if things fall apart, they can at least make a break for it and take along a few dunce high lords (like Adolin or Dalinar) for their own protections.

    Oh yes, Shallan and Kaladin would be quite a meeting of minds.

    I am concerned Dalinar's dueling plan will backfire. Either way, it will be entertaining.

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    1. Agreed--on all counts! I'm excited to see how the dueling works out, whether for good or not! Thanks for dropping by! :D

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  4. Ooops! Here's my link: http://dabofdarkness.com/2014/04/02/words-of-radiance-read-along-part-i/

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  5. I haven't read the book but the world building is very detailed.

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    1. Yeah, it definitely is! That's what makes the story so epic.

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  6. I think the biggest difference between Syl and Pattern is that for Syl we have more of a frame of reference. She looks and thinks more like a human, even if she's mysterious in her own ways. Pattern, on the other hand, is completely alien. He's both creepy and endearing.

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  7. I'm a bit late posting for the first week, but I finally put it up today: http://tbmarkinson.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/words-of-radiance-by-brandon-sanderson-readalong-week-1/

    I have to agree, I always saw Shallan and Kaladin hooking up and good point about their spren. I hadn't thought of that bit, but now that you pointed it out, I'll pay closer attention.

    I don't envy Kaladin's stress either. Gosh, I feel for the poor man. I would never sleep if I had to do all this.

    I agree, so far Pattern is a helpful buddy to have. I wish I had someone to talk me through a crisis.

    I'm curious about his development.

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    1. Right? I totally want my own spren! Syl or Pattern would do. :D Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Better late than never! :(

    Here's my link: http://coffeecookiesandchilipeppers.blogspot.com/2014/04/words-of-radiance-by-brandon-sanderson.html

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  9. 1. There are so many things about these characters that make me want to scream "How can you totally ignore X, Y or Z?" and this is yet another one. Of course, Jasnah would be far too emotional to give a sensible account of what she had seen, because she is always fainting and being melodramatic and hysterical . . . NOT!!

    I agree about the Parshmen - it made me think that they actually weren't responsible but had some reason to want to appear so, which makes no sense at all! Argghhhh!!!

    2. I agree that I can see Adolin being somewhat under enthusiastic about Shallan. But, who knows, maybe he will fall in love at first sight because she is so unusual.

    3. I seriously doubt that he will survive this book without making a major spectacle of himself, again. I do think that the other men in Bridge Four will play a pivotal role in the training because he will need to delegate in order to have some time to sleep.

    4. Mr Sanderson is terrible: he gives you a big dollop of lovely information and then adds in some new questions to keep you thinking! :D

    5. The idea of the duels strikes me as being rather like an alpha male using brute force to keep control of a pack of wolves. Considering that these guys seem to work mostly through power plays, it might just work.

    6. Will she return as Jasnah the White? All bets are off when it comes to Mr Sanderson, so I will simply wait and see! :D

    7. I got the impression that he is struggling to learn how to speak. Perhaps we didn't see Syl in that phase because she spent so much time hanging around Kal and those around him before she started to interact with him verbally.

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    1. It occurs to me that if Andolin and Kaladin end up fighting over Shallan, it will serve to ramp up the tension between them, seeing as how Andolin is already not overly fond of Kaladin. :D Good point about Pattern talking vs. how Syl learned. :D

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