Way of Kings Readalong – Week 6 (chapters 33-42)

WayOfKingsReadAlong

It’s week 6 of the epic Way of Kings read-along, hosted by Nrlymrtl from Dab of Darkness and Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings! Every week has covered a different section of this massive (no really, it’s massive) book, and this week we’ve finally officially passed the halfway point!

This week was also my turn to come up with questions for the latest section, chapters 33-42. Which was just in the nick of time, because I have been a failure at participating so far… :( But this week I’ve gotten my butt in gear, and I’m so excited to discuss this section!

Additionally, at the end of this post is a massive Way of Kings/Words of Radiance giveaway! 10 copies of The Way of Kings and 10 copies of Words of Radiance for US/Canada residents, plus 2 copies of each book for international readers (via TBD). Check it out!!

But as usual, if you haven’t read through chapter 42 of Way of Kings, huge spoilers below

So, on to the questions!

1. Both Kabsal and Jasnah have spoken to Shallan about stealing the Soulcaster, and both have done so in a pretty lighthearted manner, considering how serious it would actually be to steal it. Do you think Kabsal was telling the truth when he brushed off Shallan’s questions about his plan to steal the Soulcaster? Is he still interested in stealing it? Does he have other, deeper motives??

This whole situation seems really suspect to me. As much as I adore Shallan and Kabsal (I love their banter and general adorableness!!), I’m starting to think that both Jasnah’s and Kabsal’s “let’s make light of this” attitude might be concealing something deeper. I have no idea what Kabsal’s motives might be, but I’m just dreading SOMETHING happening. Okay, admittedly, my fears have more to do with splitting up the adorableness of him and Shallan, but still. I’m worried that there’s something pretty important going on just beneath the surface and it’s bugging me that I have no idea what it is. D: Whether or not Kabsal is still interested in stealing the Soulcaster or not… Gah, I just don’t know! I’m nervous!

2. By the end of the section, Shallan has found out that she’ll be able to return home in one week, but she’s torn between wanting to continue her studies, and being able to take the stolen Soulcaster home. So far it looks like her theft hasn’t been detected, but do you think she’ll be found out before that time? Do you think she should leave, or might decide on her own to stay? Could something else happen to make her stay?

After all the “philosophizing” in this section, I’m seriously starting to wonder whether Shallan will just decide herself to stay. But I’m still not sure if she would ever do that, realistically, since her family is pretty much screwed if she doesn’t go home with the Soulcaster. I also think it might be possible that Shallan would tell Jasnah the truth about everything (if Jasnah hasn’t already figured some of it out herself). I have no idea what Jasnah would do if Shallan told her, I just think maybe it’s a possibility…? Regardless, she’s in a really bad position and I do not envy her upcoming decisions. No matter what happens, or what she chooses to do, it’s going to be very tough.

3. How much do you think Jasnah actually knows about the theft of her Soulcaster? Is it even remotely possible that Jasnah is still in the dark about it? If she knows, did she in fact dupe Shallan with a fake, as Shallan theorizes? Or did Jasnah let her steal it? Why??

My theory is that Jasnah knows everything. Shallan originally saw Jasnah using the Soulcaster to do pretty mundane things, like burning unwanted notes, and turning wine into a paperweight, so if Jasnah used the Soulcaster for such silly things, is it really, really, possible that Jasnah hasn’t tried to use it since Shallan stole it, and noticed something? I think not. And I really think that Jasnah probably knew it was stolen right away, either immediately after, or maybe she even knew Shallan was going to steal it before. I just don’t think there’s any realistic way Jasnah could still be in the dark about it, and remain calm and collected, especially since we now know what a HUGE deal it is for Shallan to have stolen it (thanks to Kabsal’s explanation earlier in this section).

4. During the Highstorm, Kaladin experiences a lull during which the wind and rain stop, he feels no more pain, and he sees an enormous “face of blackness, yet faintly traced in the dark”. The face is described as, “Inhuman. Smiling.” Was Kaladin just hallucinating? If not, do you think this being had something to do with recharging the sphere? With Kaladin somehow feeling better before the storm kicked up again? Or could this being be malevolent? Thoughts/theories??

Okay, so… The sphere is recharged by Stormlight, right? But the being is made of darkness… like a void…? Maybe it has something to do with the Voidbringers?? I don’t know, I could be way off and forgetting something important about Voidbringers… =S But it just struck me that, an inhuman face smiling at Kaladin as he’s getting beat up by the storm? Maybe that being isn’t exactly nice… Other than that, I have no theories. It was creepy. Definitely not a hallucination. But I’m stumped.

5. Before Kaladin is forced to endure the Highstorm, he tells his men to come out after the storm is over; he says he’ll open his eyes and look back at them, and they’ll know that he survived. Kaladin obviously survives, and everyone in Bridge Four is really glad about that. But we haven’t yet seen a reaction from anyone other than Kal’s men. Do you think Kaladin’s survival could have a wider impact than just giving his own group of bridgemen hope?

I’m drawing parallels here between Kaladin’s proclamation, and Kelsier from Mistborn. I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it, but Kelsier is a pretty similar character to Kaladin – he brings a group of people together and gives them hope when there’s very little hope to be found; and he also made a proclamation very similar to Kaladin’s, about surviving to give people hope. For Kelsier, that proclamation ended up becoming a huge deal, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Kaladin’s own words have a much, much larger impact than just his group of bridgemen, or even just the army in general. Not sure what it is yet, but I’m pretty sure it will happen.

I also think it’s interesting that the world of Mistborn and the world in The Way of Kings exist within the same universe, with these seemingly parallel leaders on their respective worlds. I’m not any sort of expert on Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere… but I know there are links (umm… a certain character, specifically) between Scadrial (the planet where Mistborn takes place) and Roshar in Way of Kings. I’m not one to go researching the little minute details of this super-intense worldbuilding, as I like to see it all play out in the books, but… I just find it interesting. *shrugs*

6. We learn quite a bit about Teft in this section… kind of. But pretty much everything we learn just leads to more questions. What do you think about these “Envisagers” Teft mentions? How much do you think Teft knows about Kaladin’s ability to use Stormlight? It seemed like Teft became wary of Kaladin after he recovered – why? Do you think he’ll tell Kaladin about what he knows?

I have no idea, that’s why I included this question!! ;) No seriously, my head is just full of question marks about Teft. I’m obviously super glad that Teft knew to give Kaladin the spheres to help him heal. I think it’s pretty obvious that the Envisagers have something to do with the Knights Radiant… and that Teft was surprised, but also expecting, someone like Kaladin (with his ability to use the spheres) to show up, just not “on his watch” so to speak… I’m really excited to learn more of what he knows. Though I’m not sure that he’ll tell Kaladin right away… maybe ever? Gah I just don’t know! I hope we get more glimpses from Teft’s POV, that’s all. Super intriguing stuff going on.

 

Other than my discussion questions above, I also made a few notes in this section… These are really vague theories/brainstorms that just didn’t make it into my questions above, but that I’m really curious about.

Dawnsingers, Stormlight, and Shallan…
  • Is there a relationship between the Dawnsingers, and sound waves/vibrations shaping the earth/the sand on the plate, like Kabsal demonstrated?
  • Is there any kind of relationship between Stormlight and actual light? What we see when we look at something is its reflected light. So Shallan blinks in order to preserve an image in her mind (the light…?)… and then she releases the image (the light?) back onto the paper when she draws… I don’t even know, this was a really random thought and probably not even close, but whatever, lol.
  • Shallan has another episode of drawing something she didn’t mean to – this time a whole scene, of a man lying on the floor in a pool of blood, in a room she apparently didn’t recognize. !!!! I have no idea what’s going on here. It’s making me nervous.
  • Shallan hears a mysterious voice in her room – or in her head? – saying “What are you?” I don’t even have any clue what this is but wow.
  • Could Shallan’s drawings and hearing voices somehow be something similar to what Dalinar experiences in his own visions during Highstorms? They’re obviously not dependent on there being a Highstorm happening, but it seems almost possibly like the same thing…??
These chapters also bring up a LOT of morality-based issues:
  • Jasnah going looking for the men who had been attacking people, and killing them in “self-defense”
  • Shallan finally stealing the Soulcaster, and dealing with whether that was right or wrong, since she stole it out of anger.
  • Kaladin’s father stealing those spheres, though he probably would’ve been given them in the first place anyway.
  • Kaladin in the aftermath of Roshone and Rillir’s ill-fated whitespine hunt. Kaladin questions whether it would have been okay to let Roshone die. He doesn’t really come to a conclusion about that specifically, but he does conclude that he would be capable of killing, if it meant removing a person who “needed to be removed”.
  • Bridgemen and the reason they’re not given any weapons or protection. (This is leftover from previously, but Kaladin finally realizes the reason, and my heart hurts so much!!! Gah, the end of present-day Kaladin’s last chapter in this section?? Heartbreaking!)

Though many of the end-results would be the same, these situations all have to do with intent — and more specifically, I think, with doing the honorable thing. I just thought that was interesting that this section was so full of things like that.

This Week’s Discussion Posts:

Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings
Lianne @ Caffeinated Life
Liesel @ Musings on Fantasia
Nrlymrtl @ Dab of Darkness
Sue @ Coffee, Cookies and Chili Peppers
Allie @ Tethyan Books
Lisa @ Over the Effing Rainbow
Bookvulture @ Bookvulture’s Perch
Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows
Shannon @ Novel Reflection

Link up your Week 6 discussion posts in the comments, or just answer this week’s questions below! I’m so excited to talk about all of this stuff with everyone. I adore Shallan and Kaladin and really enjoyed this section. :D

And be sure to stop by On Starships & Dragonwings for Anya’s questions next Wednesday, which will cover chapters 43-50. I’m dying to find out what happens next!

 


In celebration of our read-along for The Way of Kings and the upcoming release of Words of Radiance, Tor has sponsored an AWESOME giveaway of 10 copies of Way of Kings AND Words of Radiance! This portion of the giveaway is US and Canada only, but our lovely read-along hosts didn’t want our international friends left out, so they are chipping in 2 copies of each for an international giveaway!

US/Canada Giveaway

So to start, we have the US/Canada only giveaway sponsored by Tor for 10 copies of each book. There will be 20 winners!

Rules: No PO boxes as per Tor’s policy. The winners have 48 hours to respond, so make sure your email in Rafflecopter is one you check often! The hosts cannot be responsible for anything lost in the mail, etc.

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International Giveaway

This giveaway is open internationally, and is for two copies of The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance for four winners. As long as The Book Depository ships to you, you can enter, though if you’re in the US/Canada, please refrain from this giveaway since you have a lot of books in the previous one that you could win! (Winners have 48 hours to respond. We are not responsible for books lost in the mail.)

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18 thoughts on “Way of Kings Readalong – Week 6 (chapters 33-42)

  1. I’m really excited at all of these hints of Shallan having a hidden power since it means she’s going to be a major character in the series right?? It’s seeming more and more likely that she can see into the future or past through her drawings, but now with the voices I’m getting creeped out but just the right amount so I’m actually just excited, haha! Thanks so much for hosting this week :D

    • Yes!! Shallan had BETTER be sticking around for the rest of the series, we love Shallan! I’m so confused about her ability though, I just want to know what’s causing it, or at least what the meanings of her drawings are!! Too creepy to be left unanswered!!

  2. Great questions for this week Nikki! Now that I think of it, yeah, Kaladin and Kelsier do share some similarities (and maybe even with the prince character in Elantris; forgot his name, it’s been ages since I’ve read that book). I guess it’s a trope that Brandon Sanderson enjoys writing about :) I’ve heard about the Cosmere but have yet to read up on it, lol. It’s interesting how he’s able to think of how they all connect though…

    Re-reading it this time around, I’m finally realising and beginning to appreciate how much philosophy/morality is raised in this novel. I guess I was so focused on trying to understand what’s going on and where the characters were going the first time around that i didn’t quite appreciate the morality angle as an important theme.

    Also, I’m curious about the Dawnsingers, I remember raising a brow about them as I was reading this segment. We needs more information! xD

    • I remember hardly anything about Elantris, how awful is that?! D: Now I want to reread it to see if there are similarities, lol. I agree that it seems to be a popular character-type for Sanderson to write, but also feel like maybe it has some greater purpose within the Cosmere. I feel like there are really interesting things going on in this universe and I want to know its secrets!!! haha

      I usually find a lot of morality/philosophy in my books to be burdensome and often preachy, but I seriously love how Sanderson deals with all the issues he’s raised so far.

      We need SO much more info about the Dawnsingers! I’m so curious!! Gah. lol

  3. 1. I had the same thought about Kasbal and Jasnah. Wouldn’t it be interesting if they were working together? The question is, why on earth? 2. I agree it seems Shallan wants to stay. And honestly, I think maybe she could do more for her family where she is, especially considering she can’t get the device to work for her. My one worry is that these scary men that keep asking for her father’s soulcaster back might kill her family if she doesn’t get home soon. 4. Yeah the storm thing was weird. It occurs to me that if this being is the thing that recharges the spheres during the highstorms, and Kaladin can absorb the energy of the spheres, maybe the being recognized some ability in Kaladin, and that’s why he spared him. 5. This is the first Sanderson novel I’ve read, so I know next to nothing about his Cosmere. Really liking it so far. And I really love these random things Shallan keeps drawing. That’s one of the most intriguing story lines to me. I wish she would have more curiosity about them and quite brushing them off as her own weirdness. Can’t wait to see where that goes! :D

    • Ooh, I like this —>> ” maybe the being recognized some ability in Kaladin, and that’s why he spared him.” But it makes me even more curious about this being, though! What does it know??

      I totally agree about Shallan and her drawings though, she has been avoiding dealing with them, and it’s killing me! If I were drawing crazy stuff I’d want to know why… =/

  4. That was an interesting point, that pretty much all of the stories now involve moral dilemmas. From the last section (since we’ve had no Dalinar update this week), you could also add Dalinar’s decision to abdicate for the good of his family vs. continuing to lead for the potential good of the world, if his visions are true.

    I am kind of wondering if Shallan is supposed to be getting these drawing ‘visions’ or if she is somehow accidentally eavesdropping, in some supernatural way. That could explain the “What are you?” question, and why the information she’s picking up is not nearly as straightforward as the visions of Dalinar.

    My answers are here: http://tethyanbooks.blogspot.fr/2014/02/read-along-way-of-kings-by-brandon.html

    • Yep!! I totally overlooked that point, since there was no Dalinar in this section, but you’re absolutely right.

      I love the accidental-eavesdropping theory!

  5. Pingback: The Way Of Kings Read Along – Week Six | Over The Effing Rainbow

  6. So your answer to question five makes me want to read Mistborn RIGHT NOW. Gaaaah. The series is waiting patiently on my shelf, too… Sanderson’s worldbuilding is one of the wonders of the world, I think sometimes. It makes me quite happy.

    • Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh man, don’t even get me started on Mistborn. Seriously, this is dangerous territory. It’s my favorite series of all time (will that be eclipsed by the Stormlight Archive??? We shall see…), and it’s absolutely amazing, and you absolutely have to read it ASAP because omg the feels. It’s like a high fantasy Ocean’s Eleven with killer worldbuilding and characters to die for. I just can’t even.

      Please excuse my fangirlishness, but I just can’t help it with that series. It’s amazing. <333

  7. Hi! Sorry I’m late to the party, work kicked me in the butt again this week. My pst actually only went up like 5 minutes ago. Here’s my link: http://www.lunar-rainbows.com/2014/02/way-of-kings-ral-week-6.html

    haha reading your thoughts was a little like reading into my brain would probably be! I have SO many questions too and it’s kind of making me crazy. I want all the answers!! hehe Anyways, I do wish Shallan would decide to stay altogether – or at least confess to Jasnah what she’s done. I understand her desire to help her family but I have such a bad feeling about her brother Nan Balat that I can’t bring myself to genuinly wish for him to get any kind of help. I know, it probably makes me a bad person but I can’t help it! Like you, I worry about both Shallan and Kabsal’s hidden motives. They’re so adorable right now, I don’t want it to end but at the same time I think it can’t help bu end :(

    Like you, my theory is also that Jasnah knows EVERYTHING and might have always known. Gah! I can’t believe I didn’t see the parallels you drew between Kaladin and Kelsier before though!! GREAT observation ^^ now that you mention, I definitely see it and love it even more ♥ My feels hurt all over for Kaladin since he connected everything up about the bridge crew though. Sigh. Teft makes me wonder a lot too! As a character, he’s likeable but hasn’t been fully revealed to us yet. I worry what he’ll do with his knowledge but i hope he’ll do the right thing.

    Thanks for hosting!! :)

    • “I have such a bad feeling about her brother Nan Balat that I can’t bring myself to genuinly wish for him to get any kind of help.” <<— You are not alone, I have a bad feeling about him too. Shallan and Kabsal are just too cute together, but I’m just so sure something is going to go horribly wrong, and just… gahhhhh. I’m not looking forward to that when it happens. D: “My feels hurt all over for Kaladin since he connected everything up about the bridge crew though.” <<— SO TRUE. My heart hurts so much for him, omg.

  8. 1. I don’t trust Kabsal at all: he is trying way too hard to latch onto Shallan and his ‘joking’ suggestion that he is trying to steal the fabrial was far too casual.

    2. As things stand at the moment, it makes little difference if Shallan goes home or not: if she can’t get the fabrial to work then it is useless.

    3. I disagree: I don’t think Jasnah has noticed a thing because her fabrial is also a dud – she can cast at a distance, so I don’t think she is a normal soul caster, but is more like Szeth and Kal.

    5. Interesting: I can see certain Kelsier characteristics in Kal, but he seems significantly different in his motivations at least. However, I do see similarities in the action of godlike beings – I wonder if Stormlight is actually part of one of the gods as we saw with Ruin in Mistborn.

    6. I hope that Teft can give Kal some idea of his abilities and how to use them. It seems that the Envisagers are a cult who have made it their lives’ work to stand watch for the return of the Radiants. However, I am not sure how much practical knowledge Teft can pass along.

    I assumed that the man lying in the pool of blood was Shallan’s father: we know that she has tried to block that image from her mind for some reason.

  9. Ah, Kabsal and Shallan. Yeah, they are goofy, awkward, and cute together. Shallan has had a pretty sheltered life, stuck on her family’s estate. Probably the only men she knew were relatives or servants. So Kabsal’s attentions are something new for her.

    I agree that Kaladin wasn’t hallucinating during the highstorm. But what the heck is that being? Does that being ride every highstorm? Or did it just happen to be with this one? Big, powerful spren? I really don’t know but I sure do have fun trying to piece it together.

    I hadn’t thought of Kaladin = Kelsier but now that you mention it, I can definitely see some similarities. very interesting. Actually, other aspects (some of the sentient beasties) make me think of sentient beasties from other Sanderson books. Makes me want to reread the Mistborn books.

    Kabsal’s demonstration plates were interesting. But so was Jasnah’s response – concerning him having just the standard cities. Jasnah obviously sees it as taken a few coincidences (vibration patterns & city layouts) and drawing a big conclusion with verification. Shoddy science, Kabsal.

    I thought Shallan’s drawing of a man laying in a pool of blood was a memory of her father. But I could be wrong. I am listening to the audio and don’t always get all the details.

    Definitely a section for contemplation on morality. In fact, i was a little surprised that your questions didn’t ask about any of these morality scenes. Humans are so good as lying to themselves or tricking themselves into seeing what they want to see – Like Liren is absolutely sure that the old Hearth Stone ruler would have wanted him to have those spheres. Really? Truly? How often are we that sure of another human’s intentions and are right?

    With Rillir’s death, I think Liren messed up. Not by moving to save Roshone, but by verbalizing to Roshone why Liren was moving on. He should have knocked both of them unconscious before leaving Rillir’s side and moving to Roshone. Roshone would have still grieved greatly, may still have been an ass, but he may have spread his ire around the entire town and not just focused on Liren and his famiily.

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