Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Words of Radiance, Final Week!


Welcome to week 10 of our Words of Radiance Read-Along. It's our final week and that makes me sad. Chances are the next book won't be out for at least a year! :( This week we read chapters 82-END. Remember that everything in this section as well as everything that's come before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk! 


1. Phew! Kal proves to be the honorable hero that we wanted him to be and decides to save Elhokar. Did you agree with his reasoning? Do you think the king can actually improve, or will Lopen’s mother need to beat him with a spoon?

I would have been cool with whatever reasoning helped Kaladin reach the right decision. That said, his reasoning was definitely, um, reasonable. It actually showed a lot of insight into himself and his own motivations. He was able to step outside himself and really analyze what his brother's death did to him and how it is still affecting him in the present. 

As for Elhokar, I really think he can improve. The mere fact that he wants to shows promise. If he makes a real effort, with men like Kaladin and Dalinar to help him, I don't think he can help but succeed. Of course, I hope Lopen's mother beats him anyway. Just for the comic relief. :D

2. Dalinar has bonded with a very grumpy Stormfather: I have to admit that I did NOT see that coming! Were you more surprised to find that the Stormfather is a spren or that he would agree to bond with Dalinar?

This entire thing was surprising to me. That the Stormfather not only spoke directly to Dalinar again but revealed a lot about his nature. That he is not actually a god, but what he calls a shadow of one. And now Dalinar is bonded to him. I can't help but wonder if this will give Dalinar more control/knowledge about what is happening, or just more stress.

3. Shallan is now a fully recognized Radiant and has saved pretty much everyone we care about. Then we discover that she killed her mother, but that her father took the blame. Were you surprised by this revelation? Does it make you more sympathetic to her father or not?

Yes, I was a bit surprised by this. I guess we should have seen it coming, given that we knew there would be a big reveal and it was so ground into the narrative that her father killed her mother. But still, I didn't see it coming. It does make me have a bit more sympathy for her father. He still seemed like a terrible guy, but maybe this contributed to his madness and mental descension. It's one of those things: I'd like to go back and re-read all the scenes with her father now, just to see if there are double meanings in their conversations.

4. Eshonai has fallen into a chasm and the Parshendi seem to have been defeated on the Shattered Plains. What do you think of their chances for the future? Will the Parshmen rise as an army of Voidbringers because of the Everstorm?

I doubt we've seen the last of the Parshendi. They've suffered a temporary defeat, but if the Everstorm can, in fact, turn the Parshmen into Voidbringers, I imagine it could also rejuvenate the Parshendi in some way. Besides, with all that body armor, what are the chances that all of them died? It might protect them, even from a fall of that magnitude.

5. There were plenty of revelations about plots and plans. Do you have a clearer picture of how it all fits together and who is doing what? Do you think that Moash will survive far into the series?

A greater understanding, yes, but also tons more questions. Especially about the shards, Odin, etc. I don't know what Moash's fate is. The fact that he realizes he was played gives me hope for him. I really think if he went to Kaladin and admitted he was wrong, and re-dedicated himself to Bridge Four and Kal's cause, Kaladin at least would forgive him. I don't know that that alone would save Moash, given that he tried to kill Elhokar, but it would be a start. For now, he headed off with the other assassins, so obviously his role in the story isn't done yet.

6. Yay! Syl has returned, and now Kal is a full Radiant. Please discuss the epicness of his transformation and subsequent fight with Szeth.

Yeah, that was cool! What have I been saying? That he was going to have to find some way to join the fight. All the epicness couldn't happen on the Shattered Plains while he was hanging out with himself back at the war camps. Of course, I didn't expect him to fly the entire way! 

I love that the Shardblades are really spren! That's why Shallan has one, and that's how Syl was able to come back. Just as several of us discussed, she came back when Kaladin went back to being true to his oaths and spoke the right words. 

And yes, the fight between him and Szeth was beyond epic. We haven't seen anything of this magnitude since the prologue of book 1 when Szeth killed Gavilar.

I'm a bit confused, I will admit, about the difference between them and the "dangerous" sword Kal took from Szeth after killing him. But I suppose that's the point. Sanderson has left us with all kinds of questions (see #9). Now, going into the next installment, Kal will have this potentially dangerous sword to deal with along with all the other complications in his life. And you know anyone who opposes Dalinar, the Knights Radiant, the Alethi in general, etc. will want to get their hands on that sword.

7. The strange man in black is revealed to be the Herald of Justice. Any comments upon him, his nasty talking sword and his decision to resurrect Szeth?

Weird that he's a Herald. His motives are still heavily cloaked. I have to admit, I'm glad Szeth is back. I was bummed that I was so wrong about he and Kal maybe finding a way to work together some day. Don't get me wrong, I thought Szeth's end was epic and fitting, but I really wanted he and Kal to become allies somehow. I did a creepy little fangirl dance when Szeth was reborn. (Could this rebirth be an extremely oblique nod to a Wheel of Time idea, Mr. Sanderson?)

8. Argh! Jasnah is back from the dead! Discuss, with many exclamation marks!!!!

A whaw-hoo! Another point I was right on. Sorry! Not trying to toot my own horn, but so glad I was right about this! Jasnah just didn't seem like the dying type, and I can't wait for her to reunite with Shallan, Navani, Dalinar, Andolin. You know, the whole bunch.

I do wonder where she's been and how she traveled. She didn't know about anything that's happened and almost acted like she'd lost time.

Also, a few weeks ago, someone--can't remember who--posed a guess that Jasnah might be the woman Wit was referring to as the only one who might be his equal. I didn't think she could be who he meant, but after reading this section, I wholly concede the point. I do think Wit might be crushing on her. But the question is why, what draws him to her? And how do the two know each other so well? They were practically on a first-name basis, even if Jasnah did seem mildly annoyed with him, rather than affectionate. Bah, so many questions!!!

9. Finally, this book ended with lots of questions. Will killing Sadeas alter Adolin? Why is he called THE Lopen? Why are the other Oathgates locked?

Andolin killed Sadeas! Andolin. Killed. SADEAS! Not that I'm sad he did; I was totally egging him on, but I was surprised it happened so quickly, so easily. And that he had the presence of mind to hide his involvement. I'm not sure if that means we should worry about his mental stability or not. I kind of think not, but I wonder if he will tell anyone. Shallan? His father? His brother? 

The whole "THE Lopen" thing totally confused me. I read it over and over, trying to figure out if it was a typo or if it was significant. I have no idea what the deal with that is.

The locking of the Oathgates was definitely intriguing, though. I can't wait to learn more about this and what it means.

Also, I wanted SO much more detail about Renarin's stuff. We saw so much of it from the outside and then it was explained so quickly that I felt kind of gypped. I do love that we have four different factions already represented. I can't wait to learn more of about each of the factions and what other factions might emerge. Could Jasnah, Navani, and Andolin all be Knights Radiant as well? It seems the other men of Bridge Four might develop some abilities, so perhaps most of our main characters will as well. 

Damn you, Sanderson! (Just kidding. Totally love you, but why do you have to do this to us!) Anyone know when book 3 comes out?


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2 comments :

  1. I like your point about Dalinar being bonded to grumpy Stormfather - it might only give him more stress and not any insight. Poor dude.

    While I too enjoyed that fight between Szeth and Kal, I was a bt sad to see Szeth dead. And then he was reborn and I did a little tiny happy dance (even tho I don't usually like people coming back from the dead without a very, very good explanation) - Szeth is such an interesting character and I think he has knowledge that Kal and crew will need later in the story line.

    Wow! OK, I had not thought about Wit crushing on Jasnah. And I thought Wit referred to someone as old as himself in that earlier dialogue? Could that be Jasnah? And Jasnah's familiarity might just be years of suffering him at court..... But, she is brilliant and could be a very good match for Wit.

    I am hoping we get to ride around in Renarin's head part of Book 3 because the boy has tons of answers locked in his head - which means we (from the outside) have tons of questions for him.

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    1. Yeah, it'd be great to ride around in Renarin's head. We need some more insight into the dude. :D Thanks Susan! :D

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