Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Words of Radiance Read-Along, Week 4

Sorry this is late this week! I'm hoping to get back to my normal blogging schedule next week *crosses fingers* and the I'll be more on top of things again. 

Welcome to week 4 of our Words of Radiance Read-Along. This week we read chapters 28-39. 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. Sadeas and Amaram are reunited on the battlefield in chapter 29. Clearly the two are perfectly well aware of each other’s characters – why do you think Amaram has made an appearance at this point in the story? Any thoughts on how he will affect the politics. Clearly Kaladin has good reason to hate him – but everybody else thinks he’s wonderful!

We get more of an idea of where Amaram's head is at in a later chapter, but I think it's interesting to see him in this capacity. The fact that he and Sadeas have "an understanding" says a lot about his character and goes a ways to prove that he is definitely capable of betraying Kaladin and his men. I think he's someone to be wary of. He's not entirely honorable, as Dalinar is, and he definitely has an agenda, even if we don't know what it is yet. I think he'd do what he did to Kaladin again if it served his purposes. (Grrhhh!)

2. Tyn – a rather short-lived character to say the least. Who do you think she was working for and what is their interest in finding the hidden city on the plains? Looking at the reveal regarding Tyn how did Shallan manage to call a Shardblade to her? I was also curious during this chapter about Shallan’s absent minded drawing – she thought a character she’s sketched looked like Yalb – what did you make of this, fanciful?

It seems to me that Tyn served three purposes. 1) To teach Shallan and build her confidence 2) To make her wary of the danger and politics she's headed into and 3) to connect Shallan to people who might give her more information about what Jasnah was studying.

I don't know how Shallan summoned the Shardblade, but that was awesome! (Totally wish I could do that!) With the male Shardbearers, we've heard a lot about how they have to bond with the blade in order to be able to summon it or make it disappear when they drop it. Either that's not true of Shallan, or somehow she bonded with one either in the past or without realizing it. It will be interesting to learn more about this.

As for her drawings, I don't think they're fanciful. I think she either draws power from them, or infuses them with power, making them become true. This is a really fascinating aspect of the story. Human beings can make lies become truth by molding themselves to fit what they're lying about, and that's what Shallan is doing. She draws pictures that aren't true when she draws them, but eventually they seem to come true. Can't wait to hear more about this! :D

3. Kaladin’s dream and in particular the stormfather – what is the implication about humans and the spren, the betrayal, more to the point why the stormfather thinks Kaladin will murder Syl? Why did he warn Kaladin whilst at the same time calling him a little traitor??

Yeah, hard to say. I wish we would get a more straight-forward explanation, but I doubt we will. We know that Syl rebelled by bonding with Kaladin, so perhaps the consequence of that will be her eventual death. We know the spren are break-offs of something bigger. I think that and the betrayal of the Radiants are all connected. We just don't see all the pieces yet.

When he calls Kaladin little traitor, I think this refers to something more general. The stormfather is probably referring to the entire human race as traitors, so Kaladin is a little traitor because he's young and just one person? As to why he warned him, this being seems benevolent, but somewhat impotent. He also said he'd help Kaladin if he could, but he couldn't. He's probably doing everything he can to help, but his hands are tied for some reason.

4. Finally Szeth makes an appearance and we find out who is actually on his hit list. Why? Why Dalinar and not the King? The other deaths all seem to be Kings and Highprinces. What did you make of Szeth’s confrontation with Kaladin – not only the fight but their conversation?

As Shallan observes, Dalinar is much more of a show-runner than Elokhar is. That could be why. The scene between Szeth and Kaladin was fascinating! He seemed to recognize Kaladin for what he was, but is shocked by it. He also talked about people not believing him, calling him Truthless. It seems to me that he tried to convince some person or group that people like Kaladin and Shallan existed, or would exist, but no one believed him. They scorned and cursed him. Maybe even he began to believe it, and is both shocked and shamed at what he's done given that obviously someone with Kaladin's powers does exist. I almost wonder if Szeth will eventually become an ally--perhaps even a teacher?--to Kaladin. Not sure how Kaladin will square that with Szeth's assassination attempts, but...

5. Eshonai – finally succeeds in getting a message to Dalinar with a meeting set up. How do you think that’s going to play out now she’s released the captive spren – what do you think actually happened during that sequence??

I have no idea what happened, but I've got a bad feeling about it. Given that Eshonai said it felt wrong, and was screaming in terror under the confident exterior, I think this is a disaster waiting to happen. When and if she meets with Dalinar, I think there's a good chance she could succeed at killing Dalinar and sowing further seeds of war where Szeth failed. I guess we'll find out, but this whole situation doesn't bode well.

6. Finally Shallan reaches the plains- what was your reaction to her first meeting with Dalinar and her second meeting with Kaladin? She’s chosen to stay with Brightlord Sebarial – what are your first instincts about Sebarial??

I thought the exchange with Kaladin was hilarious. (Of course they would hate each other at first.) I also thought it was hysterical that she thinks Andolin is pretty and keeps getting distracted by his smile. So, Shallan isn't all detached scholar after all. LOL.

Sebarial seems like just enough of a doofas that Shallan can easily manipulate him. (She already has.) I think she should be wary of him--maybe not get caught in a dark alley with him--but if she plays her cards right, he might also end up being a valuable ally. Shallan is smart. Just so dang intelligent. I think she's got a better handle on the situation than even she realizes.

What other bloggers thought:


  1. Tyn - I was shocked - she really was a very brief interlude wasn't she!
    The Shardblade/Shallan issue I'm puzzled about because I thought that you had to almost bond with the blade? Perhaps she bonded with it but it's part of the memory she's blocked out. I wonder now - and I think this may have been suggested by Susan, whether Shallan was practicing her own skills and they went horribly wrong - hence her mother's death? So maybe the blade was hers all along. It's a good suggestion and definitely not one I can take credit for but it seems possible doesn't it?
    Yeah, the 'little traitor' - it almost seems like calling somebody 'a little liar' - almost like the stormfather thinks Kaladin won't be able to stop or help something from happening?
    The Kaladin/Shallan meeting was hilarious - each trying to out do the other with insults.
    Excellent reading this week.
    Lynn :D

    1. Interesting theory about Shallan practicing her skills and maybe it leading to her mother's death. I guess we won't know for sure until we get the rest of that back story. (Grhhhh!) :D I thought the reading was excellent this week too. :D

  2. Since Shallan has a Spren, maybe she doesn't have to do all the things the other Shardbearers have to do? I wouldn't be surprised if the Spren was integral in Shallan's Shard abilities.

    If the Spren are pieces of some greater God, or Gods, then perhaps Kaladin and others are 'traitors' simply for having attracted the Spren? So much to ponder on this one.

    Quite frankly, I think it would be awesome if Szeth took this encounter as some kind o turning point, maybe even gave up his allegiance to his Oathstone and instead, gave his allegiance to Kaladin or even Dalinar. Of course, if Szeth turns good, or even nuetral, then we need some other big, baddie to walk on stage.....

    Enter the Red Lightning Eshonai!

    While Shallan is smart, and a quick study, she is also somewhat innocent. When some fo the lords were asking her to come by their tent to chat about her homeland, it went over her head that they were asking for her favors....personal favors. It was actually pretty funny when Sebarial called them on it.

    1. Ooh that'd be cool if Szeth became an ally and Eshonai, the big baddie. I could get behind that. I agree. The whole scene when Shallan spoke to Dalinar in front of everyone and got Sebarial involved was both hilarious and fascinating. I loved to watch all the political jockeying. In a way, Shallan's innocence may just be what helps her succeed. She's too innocent to realize what people really want or how dangerous it might be for her. Because of that, she puts her mind on her aims and somehow ends up achieving it. Gotta love that!