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Way of Kings Read-Along {Week 5}

Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson Read-along

Way of Kings Read-Along 5!

Time is flying! I can’t believe we’re already 500 pages in, pretty much half way done :D. I was so excited for more interludes with some of our old favorites this week, though of course a certain meeting I had been hoping for hasn’t happened yet, gah! This week is hosted by Allie of Tethyan Books! As usual, there will be spoilers if you haven’t through to chapter 32!

1.Dalinar made a very dramatic decision at the beginning of this section.  Do you think it was the right one? What do you think will happen to him, Adolin and (and the not-united Alethi) if he follows through?

Nooooooooo, Dalinar have faith! Though maybe this will give him a chance to get out of the spotlight and really delve into what his visions mean >.>. Or go and act on them how he needs to? I’m worried that Adolin won’t be able to fill his father’s shoes all that well since he is much more war-hungry it sounds like. Dalinar kind of has to follow through at this point though, right? Or maybe he’ll have a vision that convinces him otherwise :D.

2.We’ve gotten to see a little more of Shinovar with Rysn the apprentice merchant.  In terms of plants and animals, it seems to be pretty much like our world.  How do you think it happened that there’s such an ‘ordinary’ place, or what do you think might have happened to turn the rest of the world so unusual?  Given this and the chapter on Szeth, do you have any more ideas on what the meaning of his “Truthless” title might be?

Omg I love how much evolution has been used in the plant-life of this world! It makes complete sense that a violent enough weather pattern would lead to plants evolving to protect themselves during those violent periods, whereas places that are sheltered from those kinds of storm wouldn’t have that pressure on plants to evolve extra protection. I haven’t quite figured out what Szeth did to earn his banishment, but it must be pretty bad! The label Truthless seems to imply that he was dishonest, but that seems kind of a small crime for his extreme punishment….

3.  Shallan and Jasnah’s story has returned!  Based on Jasnah’s words to Dalinar, and the clues Shallan is picking up, what do you think Jasnah’s project is about?  What do you think she hopes to accomplish?

Woot! I am horrible at codes and hinting, so I have no idea what Jasnah was talking about, haha. I suppose she is trying to figure out what really happened with the Radiants and what might be coming in the future. I suspect there will be a great conversation between her and Dalinar when they can speak freely :D.

4. Concerning Shallan, it’s starting to seem that her drawing ability is a supernatural gift. Do you have any theories on the bizarre figures Shallan accidentally drew behind the king?

Gah creepy! I’m suspecting that she has some slight psychic powers that got expressed through her drawing. She thought the heads looked like glyphs right? So it sounds like they were representing abstract concepts instead of people exactly, but I’m suspecting it has something to do with some nobles trying to go against the “dull” king (I quite like him though, especially since Jasnah approves of him).

5. Back to the bridge crews, now that we’ve seen a bit more into Gaz’s perspective, does he seem any more sympathetic?  Why do you think he owes Lamaril money?

I really like that we started to get a bit of Gaz’s perspective. Every character has these hidden layers and I definitely am feeling bad for Gaz and the fear he has from his missing eye. I can understand why he is so unhappy given that he realizes the horrible things he is allowing to happen. I also get his position though, since there really isn’t much he can do without risking his own life. I’m hoping that some more interesting development happens with Gaz :D.

6. Kaladin has won over his bridge crew, and enacted a brilliant plan to protect them—which utterly ruined the military strategy. Do you think his plan was a good one, or should he have seen the chaos coming? What do you think will happen to him next?  Also, what do you think he’ll do if he figures out the real reason why bridgemen aren’t allowed shields?

Gah, this scene was heart-breaking! I totally didn’t think of that either, so I feel for Kaladin. I think he kind of suspects the real reason for the bridgemen’s exposure, even if he hasn’t admitted it to himself. I worry that finding it out for real will push him back into his depression though :(. I’m so worried about what he is going to do next now, since things seem to once again be quite bleak. Wouldn’t it be a great time to be recruited to someone else’s army >.> *nudges book* Haha.

So I kind of wanted to see Shallan’s portrait of the king, but I also am glad that we didn’t since it might have given me nightmares >.>. Also I freaking LOVED the spren researcher :D. I really hope we get to see more of him in the future since his people sound so cool on top of the fact that he is doing exactly what I would do in that world, haha. Alespren! *dies*

Anya from On Starships and DragonwingsRemember to go to Allie’s blog to link up your thoughts and I would love to discuss this week’s chapters with you :D.


© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. I don’t want Dalinar to step down either, but if he did it might give him the space he needs to team up with Jasnah and or Navani and unite everyone. And I definitely look forward to Jasnah and Dalinar having a private conversation to compare notes, him talking about his visions, Jasnah comparing those visions to known bits of history or lore. If only Dalinar could read and write…sigh…. If he steps down, I hope he takes the time to learn, even if he has to do it in secret.

    That would be such a useful skill as a researcher to be able to tattoo your body with notes. I loved all the humor in that section. While inebriated, he tattooed an unlikely part of his body…and then needed mirrors and assistance to give it a read….haha!

    • Exactly, I feel like Dalinar is kind of stuck right now and needs a change to really make progress on what we know is important. Oo that would be a cool subplot of Dalinar learning to read secretly *crosses fingers*

  2. 1. Unfortunately, I see this decision as inevitable: Dalinar is just to strange to stay in his position as the ear of the House. However, I think that Adolin will step up to the responsibility admirably, so I am not as worried about that as you. I am not sure how this will allow Dalinar to unite the Houses, but he’s had no success in his current position, so it certainly can’t make things worse.

    2. The trader says that the Shin prize honesty over all else, so perhaps his ‘sin’ was seen as completely unacceptable in their culture. This is one of the things that I love about Mr Sanderson’s work: he makes cultures different form ours and does not cheat and give them value systems that we recognize.

    3. I am sure that she is trying to work out what caused the Parshendi to kill her father and provoke the war. I am somewhat confused by the general lack of interest in this rather vital question.

    4. The glyph heads are certainly unique, but this is Brandon Sanderson, so I can’t rule out anything! :D

    5. I wonder if Gaz will redeem himself at some point. Even if he doesn’t, I appreciate the added complexity that this gives to the world.

    6. I agree: Kal is headed for deep depression after this incident, what with the guilt and everything. Poor Kal :(

    Yep: the spren collector was so delightfully eccentric and interesting . . . can we get a whole book on him, please? :D

    • 1. That’s a good point. Once we get back to them, I’m curious what will happen! We haven’t seen anything going on with them for so many chapters now, ahah

      2. So agreed! I don’t understand how he manages to come up with all these awesome places and peoples, but wow, so much fun to read and has completely spoiled me for other fantasy.

      Yes, I would read a whole book for the spren collector, especially if it was illustrated :D

  3. You’re right, Shallan DID say her mysterious figures had glyphs to them – I hope she ends up translating the glyphs cause that might be a MAJOR clue right there :O Like you, I’m really worried about Kaladin atm – and Dalinar too for that matter. I have SO much love for those two and they seem to have nothing but bad luck D: Oh and YES that Spren researcher was an awesome addition! I’d love to discover and know about ALL the spren!! hehe
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    • Oo, that’s a great idea! I’m kind of confused on the glyphs/writing thing since it sounds like the glyphs are separate from their normal writing?

  4. 2. Well, I believe the reason for this “abnormal place” i simply because that part of the world hasn’t been as affected by the Highstorms to have changed so drastically! I believe that if either Shinovar or Alethkar is the abnormal one, it would be Alethkar, altough it seems to have been lost in mind. I also believe the term “Truthless” either refers to the fact he has some sort of Shardblade, or because he can manipulate Stormlight (not gonna say he’s a Surgebinder, since both me and many else believe he might have gotten his abilities from the “Shardblade)
    3. and 4. *Sigh*… This is whaat happens when a book is so good you go past the read-along, cause we’re told both of these later.
    5. Nope, just because he’s paranoid does not give him the right to torture other people for his own personal gain.
    6. Again, I’ve read the book so I know the second and third question, but I CAN answer the first one! I believe that from his perspective, it was a good plan. His sole goal was to help/save the bridgemen/Bridge 4, and he was able to do that. On the other hand, he should have realized that running first would get the other bridgecrews to try the same. (Also, I can’t really say what he should’ve done instead, cuz this IS a story fabricated by a brilliant author, remember that)

    • Haha, thank you for making sure not to post spoilers, I’m really excited to finish the book now (well,more than I already was ;-) ).

  5. Diogo João dos Santos Cruz says:

    1. Although I think it’s the wrong choice I also think that it could work out. Give a new face to the family, to stop the rumors about Dalinars weakness, he could also guide Adolin through the beginning.

    2. With the highstorms, the chances of dying are so high, that the Darwinism in several times amped up, compared to our world, so while all over Roshar things evolved to survive the highstorms, and later on to survive the predators, that resulted from previous evolution.
    Since the storms don’t affect Shinovar, the ecosystem evolved like ours, resulting “normal” creatures.
    3. I too think that she’s trying to discover more about the Radiants! And with Dalinar visions, it could make for some good scenes between them!
    4.I think it’s some kind of Spren!
    5. No idea, why he owes money, maybe gambling, he seems like a guy who’d gamble.
    6. Kaladin is so afraid to loose bridgemen, that he lost sight of the bigger picture, and if he learns about the reason why they can’t have shields I just bet he’s going to go all depressed again…

    • 1. I just hope that Adolin will follow his advice if they do decide to do it D: He seems a bit headstrong ;-)
      2. So agreed, I love that evolution is involved in this fantasy world-building :D I think the weird seasons probably factored in as well since it sounds like they are also unpredictable

  6. I have read the Way of Kings twice, but I’ll play along here and say what I actually thought the first time around:
    1. Stupid, stupid! I though he just should have waited a bit and then, if he actually did something crazy, then proceeded. Adolin would not be bad if it so happened that he ended up in Dalinar’s shoes, but he lacks experience and his love life is bad, so that he won’t be able to get a good match for himself.
    2. The Truthless thing I guess relates to something he had done in Shinovar I guess, rather than about something else. What could that be, I don’t know, but I guess it revolvs around their religion.
    3. I certainly didn’t get what Jasnah was driving at with her research.
    4. I didn’t think too much on it at the time.
    5. I pitied him from the start and I don’t know why he owes the money to Lamaril, debts maybe?
    6. I certainly didn’t see anything wrong with it, but it does show that ,in general, his plan was a failure.

  7. 1. That would be interesting if Dalinar has a new vision, and the voice is like, “What the heck do you think you’re doing!? Why would you do a thing like that!?” :D
    4. When you pointed out that their heads were glyphs, it made me think of the superstitious glyph wards that we’ve heard of people using. I wonder if there is more magic in them than some people think, and they have something to do with these figures! Also, assuming these kinds of figures make a more appearances, I hope we eventually get to see them in Shallan’s drawings, even if they are creepy :).
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  8. I feel bad for Dalinar – I don’t think he’s going to be allowed to just leave like this though – I hope it doesn’t go even worse for him. It could look like he’s running away whilst Sadeas is in the middle of an investigation!
    The Truthless thing – Lisa had an interesting idea about that. Was Szeth’s land called ‘Truth’ and the fact that he’s banished means he’s truthless – i quite like that.
    The creepy things in the picture – no idea about that at all. I’ve gone through a number of cunning guesses (ahem), they’re guardian angels, they’re ghosts, they’re manipulating him because he’s a bit dim witted – maybe they’re giving him visions. Clearly I have no idea.
    You’re a lot nicer to Gaz than I am – I still don’t like him – gosh I’m so harsh and now I feel bad! Oh well, I’m prepared, and even hopeful, to be proved wrong and that he’ll turn out to be a good guy.
    I felt so sorry for Kaladin in that battle. I mean, he was just trying to keep his team alive wasn’t he. He wasn’t trying to scupper the whole battle!
    Lynn :D

    • Oh crap, I didn’t think about that part D: Sanderson is probably going to torture us for a while yet with Dalinar *sigh*

      I really like that idea for Truthless :D

      I think I just have a soft spot for mean/broken characters, haha. I’ve been in an anti-hero kick recently so I kind of want Gaz to be important >.>

  9. Ok so don’t shoot me but I still haven’t read this book. You know why? Because its an epic and well I didn’t want to wait to read the next one and feel like i forgot so much that I had to reread the first again before the next. Which is usually what I feel I must do when there are several years gaps between releases. Though I do have an awesome signed copy that I drove to San Francisco to meet him. I stalk him. I saw him twice last year! At BEA and at WorldCon (I got to HOLD one of his HUGO awards!!! *wipes the spittle of glee from her mouth*
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    • Haha, FINE, you pass for now ;-). I’m only now reading it, so I really can’t judge ;-). I’m super jealous, I only got to meet him in signing line last year, but he was soooooo nice! Omg *steals Hugo momentarily then gives it back*

  10. Great answers for this week! I would have loved to have seen Shallan’s portrait of the king too, it was quite a creepy moment! I can’t remember if they follow up on it but I hope they do, it looks to be important.

    Dalinar! :( At this point he’s hands down my favourite character in the book so it sucks to see him so down…

    • I just want to hug Dalinar and tell him that he’s right and not crazy and he’s totally going to help save the world or something >.>

  11. You know, I was thinking that if Jasnah’s project has anything to do with the war or the Parshendi, her and Dalinar may end up working together. Can’t wait to see where this goes. For Gaz, while the perspective definitely made him more human, I still didn’t end up with a whole lot of sympathy for him. He’s still trying to get rid of Kaladin and all, you know? But I do think the darkness where his eye once was is terribly interesting. Can’t wait to see where that goes! Interesting theory about the figures Shallan saw being nobles trying to undermine the king. I didn’t think of that. In fact, the king (while I really like him too) seems kind of inconsequential. I was thinking that whoever the figures were must be observing either Shallan or Jasnah, but I could be wrong. It would be interesting if I was and this king ends up being uber important. :D So many questions!

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    • Right? I really want Jasnah to get her butt home so that they can discuss things and realize that there is something big going on! Or maybe after Dalinar retires he can go visit her! :D

      Oo that’s a good idea about the figures observing Jasnah/Shallan! I hadn’t thought of that :D

  12. Susan Gourley says:

    I have so many books I want to read but you’re making me want to go back and reread this and quick before the next one comes out in March. I still remember what happened to my favorite characters but I’ve forgotten some of the details you mention.

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