Thursday, May 15, 2014

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson Read Along: Week 7

You can head over to Over The Effing Rainbow to see what everyone else thinks.

This week we read up to the end of Chapter 65.

1. So there are people with Radiant powers appearing the world over... What do you think of Lift and her "awesomeness"? And what about "Darkness"? Do you think Lift's part in the story will tie into the main plot at some point?

As I read this section I found myself falling in love with Lift. Her personality shone through, what with the dialogue and her thoughts about the other thieves, the guards and how to steal as many dinners as possible. Her turn of phrase had me sniggering away to myself, especially the play between her and her awesome spren, Wyndle. I particularly liked the snarky conversation about her being ‘pure of heart’! :D

I LOVED Lift’s awesomeness, the way she exploited it and her spren. I remember seeing a chart of the various Orders of Radiants and thinking how useless control of friction and growth would be . . . I stand corrected, Mr Sanderson: they are actually epic talents. I spend most of my time reading this series aware that it is awesomeness in a dust jacket, and then I am surprised as the level of awesome increases yet again. Where will this all end??

I think we have met Darkness before. Back in Interlude 2, we came across a surgebinder working as a cobbler and giving his shoes to street children. He was killed by someone who appeared to be hunting surgebinders, so I immediately connected the two events. This guy is seriously creepy, with his dead eyes and stormlight-sucking pet. He appears to be some sort of surgebinder himself, because he moves with unnatural speed. His obsession with the law seems to border on madness, which makes him even more dangerous. I suspect that we will see him again.

I sincerely hope that Lift and Wyndle become important characters because they are so much fun. I also want to know if Lift’s ability to convert food into Stormlight was her boon from the Nightwatcher.

2. Szeth seems to finally be taking control of himself... Will this be good or bad for Kaladin, do you think? Not to mention those who've been controlling him until now...

I think that Szeth may try to complete his mission to kill Dalinar, which would place Kal in danger although I expect them to be so evenly balanced that they fight to a stalemate. However, if Szeth ever decides to get angry at Taravangian, the person ordering all these murders, I imagine that he could be impossible to stop. At that time I can see him becoming a very powerful ally for the good guys, including Kal.

3. Eshonai is getting more and more dangerous in her new form. Do you think she'll succeed with her plans? What about the dissenters who have escaped? Where do you think they'll end up going - assuming they survive the next storm?

I think that she is personifying the very thing that the Parshendi were trying to avoid when they rejected the forms given by their gods. However, in some ways, I find her sister more objectionable, because I suspect that she had some idea of how the stormform would change Eshonai’s personality.

I was very relieved that the dissenters managed to escape, but I fear that their future is somewhat bleak at the moment. If Eshonai chooses to let them leave they might be able to take refuge with the Alethi, but a few thousand stormforms heading in their direction will probably unstoppable.

4. Wit returns to pay Kaladin another visit, leaving him with an important thought... What did you make of the story? And now Wit has visited Kaladin and Shallan both. Do you think he sees some connection between them? If so, any thoughts as to what sort?

I continue to believe that Wit is a very ancient being with highly unusual powers. He seems to have some form of precognition that allows him to see who will be the important people in world events and then intervene when they need encouragement or advice. It is almost as if he is forbidden to directly intervene in events, but can influence certain key individuals.

5. Shallan's continuing to develop her skills, but refuses to listen to Pattern's advice about remembering what she already learned. It seems she's almost afraid to, not that I blame her... Do you think she'll change her mind on her own?

As with Kal’s story in The Way of Kings, I assume that we will finally learn the whole ugly truth about Shallan’s past. I am a little confused about her father lives so long before the inevitable happens, as he seems like an excellent candidate for a poisoned cup of wine. The revelation that Kal killed her brother also makes me wonder how she got a Shardblade: I had assumed that she picked up his after watching his death (or something similar).

I am quite sure that she will lead us through the whole sordid affair and finally reintegrate that aspect of her personality. It may not be a pleasant process, but I agree with Pattern that it needs to happen.

6. Kaladin's reaching a dangerous position regarding the King... Do you think he'll really go through with some plan to kill Elhokar?

I am totally in agreement with Syl here: Kal is really starting to worry me. I hope that Elhokar will release him a few days so that he does not do something stupid like breaking out of the prison. I also suspect that Szeth may be back soon, so that might ‘encourage’ the stupid king to want Kal to protect his sorry carcass again.

7. Lastly, what do you make of the snippets of the letter that start off each chapter? Who could be writing it, and who is it addressing?

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that I think that they are Wit writing to Odium. That is what they seem to be to me, and I will stick to my crazy idea until proved wrong! :D

1 comment:

  1. Good point about Darkness - he very well might have been the one who came to kill the cobbler. If it wasn't him, there appears to be some organized group that is on this mission instead of 1 man and his toadies.

    That would be interesting if Wit have precognitive powers of some sort. And I agree, he doesn't directly affect his surroundings - hence all the stories and riddles.


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