Monday, July 26, 2010

Manifest: A Mystyx Novel by Artist Arthur - Review

Manifest: A Mystyx Novel
Artist Arthur
Kimani TRU/Harlequin Romance
248 pgs./ARC

Krystal Bentley is trying to decide if she wants to join Jake and Sasha, two students with tattoos just like hers, and learn more about her powers as well as help Ricky, a ghost who appears to Krystal, "cross over".

The trio learn a little about their gifts from Pop Pop, Jake's semi-senile grandfather.  Pop Pop gives them vague details but drops a diary as he leaves Jake's room.  The diary, which belongs to Pop Pop's mother, details the developing powers of William, Pop Pop's brother.

As Krystal, Jake, and Sasha try to help Ricky they also battle with the usual drama: cliques, first boyfriends, and family problems. 

I thought Manifest was a little slow in, well, manifesting a story.  The plot moved forward but was bogged down by the author's repetition of the problem.  I would have liked to learn more about the background of the symbol they all have and what it could mean for the trio.  The characters were pretty flat although it appears that two of the following books, Mystify and Mayhem, will give us more information on Sasha and Jake.  Krystal was starting to develop towards the end as she learned the true reason her mother moved the family back to Connecticut.  I'm still not sure who Franklin is and why he chose Krystal to ask out but maybe that's something that will be expanded on in following books, too.

Manifest, being the first in a series, leaves us with some questions: How did the three really acquire their powers and how can they develop them further?  Since this is not the first generation of Mystyx where are the people who manifested before these three?  Shouldn't we be curious about the new girl? 

About the Author
Artist Arthur has been writing for over nine years but this is her first young adult novel.  She and her husband have three children and reside in Maryland.

A Few Questions
Is Artist your real name? Also, how did you guys find the model for the cover?
*Yes, Artist is my real, legal name.
I have nothing to do with the design of the cover beyond giving a character and sometimes a scene description. The publisher takes care of all of that. I just happen to agree wholeheartedly with their choice. (From me!)

Is the character of Krystal based on yourself or someone that you know? I'd like to know where you got the inspiration for such a headstrong, but young character.
*Krystal is a combination of myself and my daughter. We are extremely moody and stubborn, but once you get to know us you can’t help but love us. Ok, that might be exaggerating, but yeah, I drew a lot of my own experiences and feelings as a teenager and then on some moods I’ve seen my daughter in to create Krystal. (

My question is really for Krystal Bentley rather than Artist: Of all the spirits that have come to you, who evoked in you the most emotion? What emotion? Why?
*Carolyn Jamison, she was the lady in room 319, right beside my grandfather who was in 320. Carolyn said I reminded her of her granddaughter that she hadn’t seen in years because she couldn’t find her. I didn’t know where her granddaughter was either, but Carolyn said it was okay, visiting with me was like being given another granddaughter. That’s the sweetest thing anybody has ever said to me. (

Other than an author, what profession would you love to have, and why?
*I think I’d like to be a teacher if I didn’t have a fear of getting up in front of people. I’d like to know that I’ve taught someone something, that I’ve given knowledge they didn’t have before. To me, that’s a lasting impact. (

How do you write out your stories? Plan them? Let the characters decide? Or only when you have an "aha!" moment then you put it down?
*I’m a planner. I get the idea then I run with it. My outlines are usually about five pages long and that’s just on the characters, not actually the story. I know, overkill right? LOL (

Manifest Book Trailer

ARC provided by Online Publicist.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Sunday Salon - NO Summer Slide Update

How am I doing on the  Book-A-Day Invitation put out by Donalyn Miller? I call mine the NO Summer Slide challenge. The goal is to average a book a day for your summer vacation. Mine started June 5th and ends August 9th. So I need to average 65 by that time.  I'd read 21 by June 26th.

June 27 - July 18

Middle Grade Reads
Ubiquitous by Joyce Sidman (N) -  this nonfiction tome focuses on the many that we rarely notice.  Ubiquitous is defined as being everywhere at once, widespread, ever present.  Each item is presented in a two-page spread with a poem on one side and information on the other.  Very well done

The Dork Diaries by Rachel Russell (E) - took a few pages to get into but once we started reading it aloud, the cuteness and the funny came out.  Do not hawk this one as a female Diary of a Wimpy Kid because it's nothing like that. It's an eighth grade girl trying to be popular.

The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry (N) - a folk tale about a princess who has to get married.  She decides it's time to escape and goes to school in the village.  Lots of word games in this one.  Reads more for an elementary crowd.  Would work great as a read-aloud.

The 13th Reality by James Dashner - I loved Maze Runner and decided to check out some earlier work of Dashner's. Some youngsters get a letter asking them to figure out some clues in order to save lives.  They are warned of the dangers that will start as soon as their decision is made.  Atticus decides to join up and his dad helps him along the way. The clues were fun but there was a lot of nothing in the middle. I mostly enjoyed this one but found myself abandoning it with only about 100 pgs left.

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (E) - all 6th graders read and study this one.  A variety of people are given an opportunity to live in a new condo that's across from the empty Westing estate.  There is a lot of mystery surrounding the disappearance of Westing and as soon as everyone is settled, they are invited, for a sum, to join in.  Hilarity and mystery solving ensues.  Lots of fun trying to solve mystery and figure out who's who.

My 100 Adventures by Polly Horvath - Jane, her mom, and sister and brothers live on the beach where they are year rounders.  Jane wishes for 100 adventures this summer.  She is then pulled into the minister's search for confirmation that she's a healer, delivers bibles via air balloon, she babysits some very wild children, and find out more about her mom than she wanted to know.  Give this to someone who likes reads that are different and thought-provoking.

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott (E) - twins, Josh and Sophie, get caught up in a battle between good and evil; not fully understanding which side is which. They not only discover the existence of magic but find out they are "twins of legend".  As the Alchemyst, Nick Flamel, the bookstore owner, drags them to have their powers awakened, they are chased by The Dark Elders servants.  Lots of mythology, action, adventure and history in this one.  Sidenote: I can see where Rick Riordan is going in his new series, The Kane Chronicles, but this one, at least this first volume, does a much tighter job of getting the information out without bogging down the story.

The Boneshaker by Kate Milford (N) - Natalie is trying to learn how to ride this new bike her dad built, the boneshaker, and she's having a hard time.  Meanwhile, a traveling show comes to town and she just feels in her guts that something is wrong.  Dr. Limberleg and the four Paracelsus are here to cure the town of whatever ails it. But Natalie gets suspicious and decides to investigate.  As she gets closer to uncovering the mystery, her mother gets sicker and the feeling of something evil in the air gets stronger.  Natalie becomes the only person that can save her mother and with her, the town.  This one requires a different mindset to read.  It's middle grades but it's not a fast read. You have to think and try to figure out how things fit together, kinda like the automata that exists throughout the book.  Sidenote: although this has elements of steampunk, do NOT get it mixed up with The Boneshaker by Cherie Priest.  Two very different books for two decidedly different audiences.

Nice and Mean by Jessica Leader - I'll be reviewing this one later this week. Will come back and post a link.

Young Adult Reads
Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Fransisco X. Stork (P) - review.

Eternal Smile by Gene Yang - once again Gene Yang takes three stories in one volume, these, however, are not tied together.  This one is NOT as cohesive or entertaining as American Born Chinese and actually, is a little darker. It deals with single parent families, the root of evil, and learning to stand up for yourself.

Mercury by Hope Larson (P) - review forthcoming. Will come back to post a link.

The Last Battle by CS Lewis (A) - nice wrap-up to the series, although a little more violent than the others.  Will make for a great action movie.

Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan - follow-up to The Demon's Lexicon.  We get more into how Nic became a part of Alan's family and what ties them together.  We get a glimpse into their father's thought process and Nic desperately wants to be the brother Alan needs.  Meanwhile, Jamie gets caught up into somehting that Mae can't understand but she knows it's dangerous and she wants to get him out. She calls on Nic and Alan and the battle ensues.  Good but very second book in trilogy like.

Angel Experiment by James Patterson (A) - students love this series and I remember reading this many years ago and thought I would see if it's worth getting in audio.  It was like listening to a movie complete with sound effects.  The story was much better than I remember: some mutant kids with wings are living alone after having escaped the crazy house, I mean the lab where they were created.  They lived with their "guardian" but he disappeared.  Suddenly, some mutant kids with muzzles and wolf forms are trying to capture at least one of them.  Turns out the crazy people knew where they were all along and was just waiting until the right time to bring them back home, via chips embedded in their skin.  The winged mutants not captured, led by Max, charge into to rescue Angel and run away again. They are foiled over and over but they not only don't give up, they find out some info on their birth parents! Now they are going to track them down. I can see students loving this audio.  Thanks to SYNC YA Listening for this free download!

Boys Lie by Belisa Vranich and Holly Eagleson - review.

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian - Natalie Sterling is a senior and plan on getting into the best colleges.  She's overly prepared and she's made sure her best friend, Autumn, can go to college too.  She's kept Autumn's head on straight: no boys, no parties,  This way, she will always have a friend.  But, things are starting to unravel, there's a boy Natalie likes but he's not her type and she doesn't have time.  How will she keep the Autumn, and now Freshman Spencer, on track if she's not on track herself. She needs to remind the women that they are more than just objects and they don't need boys or parties or fun.

100 % Gleek: The Unauthorized Biography of Glee by Evie Parker - review.

Efrain's Secret by Sofia Quintero (P) - review later. Will come back and post a link.

After Ever After (P, N) - review later.  Will post link.

Adult Reads
The Way of Kings: The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson - this tall, thick book is a little over 1,000 pages.  I've read it and am in the process of re-reading it.  I've posted some info on it:
Up to Chapter 6
Chapter 7 - 14
Chapter 15 - End of Part 2
Part 3
Will review in August.  I'm counting this as 3 so far - 2 for the whole book and then 1 for being 1/2 done with re-read.

Notes: N = Newbery contender, P = Printz contender, A = audio, E = E-Read

That's 23 books which bring my grand total to 44 so far.  I still need to read 21 before I go back to work.  Can I do it?  How is your challenge going?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Thoughts on the Way (of Kings) - Part 3 - Dying

The Way of Kings : The Stormlight Archive (ARC)
Brandon Sanderson
Tor Fantasy
August 2010

Part 3: Dying
Chap 29 - Chap 51 and Interludes 7-9
Pages 455 - 721

The Story
Shallan is trying to figure out a way to steal from Jasnah because she knows here family is depending on her.  She's become engrossed in becoming a scholar and has even made a friend of Kabsal, the ardent.  She is becoming increasingly disturbed because "figures" keep appearing in the background of all of her drawings, ones that she isn't drawing.  She thinks it's the stress of keeping her secret that causing her breakdown.  She then 'soulcasts' without knowing that she's doing it and ends up in the hospital.  She tells Jasnah part of her secret and is now waiting for her fate.  I'm trying to guess her other secret - something to do with holding out her hand and waiting for 10 heartbeats.  Isn't that how you call your Shardblade?

We learn a little more about why Jasnah might be in Kharbranth instead of home, she seems to be investigating her father's death in regards to his meeting the Parshendi on a hunt.  At the time of his death, it seemed the Alethi were actually making a treaty with the Parshendi and not at war with them.  She can't seem to figure out what changed so that they would want to assassinate him.

Kaladin's choice to become a soldier becomes clear.  His goal, then as it is now, is to save someone.  Kaladin is trying to figure out how to keep Bridge Four safe, not knowing that doing so means others have to die.  His action leads to such a serious defeat that he is left in the highstorm to die.  We also find out why Kaladin hates the lighteyes so much.  He was betrayed in battle and then branded so no one would believe his story.

In the Interludes we meet a aqueen who likes to destroy art as well as two ardents.  One of the ardents like to cook while the other is studying the spren. This is our second spren studier.  We are finding out things that might help us understand Syl, the spren that follows and talks to Kaladin.  We also learn more about Szeth. He doesn't want to do the killings but believes he ahs no choice as a Truthless. He had to kill some Highprinces but they weren't any of the ten in  Alethkar. Szeth is also called, Szeth-son-Neturo (his father) and Szeth-son-son-Vallano. 
The World Building
 Brandon Sanderson must have books and books of notes to keep all the details straight. This world is so complete.  I'm fascinated and drawn back into it with every free moment.  I'm not even telling you
Spren - the light that takes a variety of shapes and colors.  Kaladin's mother believes they signify change.
  • rainspren - light blue
  • starspren - rare
  • nightspren
  • 10 Silver Kingdoms - Alethela, Valhav, Shin Kak Nish (note symmetry of names)
  • Marabethia
  • Babartharnam - ruled by Monavakah
  • Rianal
  • Dalilak - large coastal city 
  • Yulay
  • King Hanavanar - rules Jah Kaved
  • Herdazian - blue-crystalline nails
  • Highmarshal Amaram - signed up soldiers for army
  • Hashal and Matal - Matal is new lighteyes in charge of Bridge crews in Highprince Sadeas' army
  • Klade - King Gavilar's Parshendi "friend"
  • Stormwarden Matain - was on expedition with King Gavilar when the first encountered the Parshendi
  • Kabsal - ardent that seeks to convert Jasnah Kohlin and woo Shallan Davar
  • makam - wood to make bridges
  • Thaylen bread - brown and fluffy
  • Devotaries - Purity, Insight, Sincerity
  • Books - Shadows Remembered, Western Voyages, Dialogue, Palates of Personality, 14th Book of Seld, Among the Darkeyed, Tales by Hearthlight, King Gavilar Kholin: A Biography, Book of Endless Pages, The Last Desolation
  • Dawnshards, Dawnsingers
  • Stormwarden - studied and predicted highstorms
  • Aharietiam - Last Desolation
  • Era of Solitude - current time period
  • Chachel - 3rd day of week
  • Ketek - form of poetry
  • Kammar - attack only with hands
  • Philosophy's Shallan studied - Starkness, Purpose, Ideals, Aspiration

    What I'm Thinking
    Finally understand how many of the characters became who they are, especially Kaladin.  I love how there are so many books mentioned since Jasnah and Shallan are scholars.  The library, the Palaneum, sounds like a beautiful place.  I want to learn more about Soulcasting.  I wonder if a Desolation is coming soon since it's stressed that you can almost pinpoint it's arrival.

    What's Next
    Part 4: Storm's Illumination

    Thursday, July 15, 2010

    100 % Gleek: The Unofficial Guide to Glee! by Evie Parker - Review

    100% Gleek: The Unofficial Guide to Glee!
    Bantan Books/Random House
    July 2010 UK
    August 2010 US

    100 % Gleek is a digital yearbook of the first season of Glee.  There are profiles on each of the major players that include what happened to them throughout the first season and a real life glimpse that includes how they got started. 

    There are 2-page spreads on each episode.  These pages include the music that was sung and who performed it, a synopsis of the episode, and highlights.

    Scattered throughout the episode guides are little fun bits: Principal Figgins' Dos and Don'ts of Keeping Control - "Do try to keep Sue Sylvester away from other faculty members, as it never ends well.", a romance connection guide, a Look-Alikes page - Sue Sylvester and Ellen Degeneres, and other fun looks back. 

    I had a great time perusing this and wanted to go and watch Season 1 over again with this handy guide in hand.  I liked having the list of songs with the original artists as well as who sang it and where they were when they sang the song.  I was hooked on the show from the beginning and it's interesting to see how it's tried to get better.  The highlights of each episode also reminded me of things I'd forgotten about, like Ms. Pillsbury singing All By Myself in her car. 

    Recommended for older teens.  Put this out on the tables for students to flip through.  Or I recommend that "students should be hobbled!" - Sue Sylvester

    Thanks to Random House Children's Books UK for sending this one!

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    Books and Aimlessness: Underboss by Peter Maas - Blog Shoutout

    Check out the Amazing Dancer's reviews:

    Books and Aimlessness: Underboss by Peter Maas: "Underboss by Peter Mass is the true story of Sammy Gravano's life in the mafia. It starts out with a young version of Sammy, whose dyslexia ..."

    Next up: Party by Tom Leveen

    Look for a review and a giveaway! 
    Go become a follower now so you can be the first to sign up!

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    Boys Lie by Belisa Vranich and Holly Eagleson - Blog Tour

    Boys Lie: How Not To Get Played
    Belisa Vranich and Holly Eagleson
    HCI Teens
    July 2010

    Boys Lie: How Not To Get Played has the goal of opening the eyes of sexually active teens or teens who are deciding whether to be sexually active.  It uses frank, "teen"-friendly language to answer questions young women may have.

    The book is arranged into chapters labeled Lies.  Each "lie" then has it's alternative phrasing listed under the heading "Other Ways He Might Say It".  This is followed by "The Truth" which seeks to debunk the myth.  Next the authors give young women some ways to combat the lies under "What to Say to His Lies".  My favorite section in each chapter is "What to Do if You've Already Bought The Lie" which lets girls know that it's ok to change your mind.  We all do.  More information may change our decisions.  That's normal.  The final section in each chapter is a Q&A.

    First off, I would have to say that I believe in abstinence but the authors make it clear that "We don't promote an abstinence-only agenda" (14). They also don't mince words and want to give young women as much information as they possibly can.  That said, I still think this is a valuable book.  One that I wish I had when I was younger.

    In the introduction, the authors point out the importance of knowing what your child is reading, watching, texting, or doing online. (19) They note how this will help you know where your child is coming from.  They aren't saying spy on children, they are saying know your child, talk to your child, and try to foster an atmosphere that encourages openness and safety.

    Vranich and Eagleson "talk" to young women about what constitutes "sex", making sure the guy wears a condom, and protecting your mind as well as your body.  They even tackle dating abuses.  Vranich and Eagleson tell young women not to "think they have to do certain things" (45) and that "if you cannot talk to him about STIs, you cannot have sex him." (136)

    Lie #10: I could be with someone hotter than you, strives to inform teens about the dangers of this "looks" crazy society we live in.  That guys can try to control young women by criticising the way they look but saying how much they don't care. They walk teens through different areas of the body and what's considered "normal" which they say is however you look.

    Another lie focuses on "sexting" which we know has become even more prevalent with the availability of smart phones and social media.  "That one shot of you can be fatal to your future. That goes for your reputation now, your relationships in the future, and even your career 20 years from now."  I can tell you there's a picture of me on the internet from 1988 when I worked as a Summer Tour Guide in college.  That's over 20 years ago, people.  And just because it's not on the internet now, doesn't mean it won't one day.  The authors cite a variety of examples of things like that happening.

    All in all, despite my misgivings on the age this book might be intended for, I can see how it is useful information, even just to help young women practice what they want to say before they find themselves in any of these situations.  A definite purchase if you work with young women.

    Do you have a teen in your life you think might need this book?  Do you just want to arm yourself with information and dole it out as necessary?  Here's your chance!

    The publisher is willing to give away a copy of this book!  

    Just complete the form at the end of the post and you will be entered.  The drawing is open to US/Canada only until Sunday, July 18, 2010, 11:59 pm.

    About the Authors
    Belisa Vranich, Psy.D., is a renowned clinical psychologist, author, and public speaker who specializes in women's health issues. She is a regular guest on CNN, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox, and Inside Edition. She has been interviewed as an expert in hundreds of publications, including Cosmopolitan, Men's Health, AARP, and The New York Post. Dr. Vranich has a decade of experience in developing educational campaigns, presenting, and lecturing nationwide.

    Holly Eagleson is the former features editor for Cosmopolitan and Seventeen, who writes regularly for Seventeen, Glamour, CosmoGirl, Everyday With Rachael Ray, and AOL. She also authored Mirror, Mirror: Discover Your Inner Beauty, a guide for girls 14-17 funded by the Dove Self-Esteem Fund for Girl Scouts of America.

    TLC Tour Dates for Boys Lie
    Tuesday, July 13th: Book Junkie
    Wednesday, July 14th: I Swim for Oceans
    Monday, July 19th: Suko’s Notebook
    Tuesday, July 20th: Simply Stacie
    Thursday, July 22nd: There’s A Book
    Monday, July 26th: Write for a Reader
    Wednesday, July 28th: Lovely Undergrad
    Monday, August 2nd: La Femme Readers

    Thanks to TLC Tours and HCI Books for this ARC.

    Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Sunday Salon - Monthly Update - June 2010

    I'm trying to keep up with my fake reading challenges and it's going well so far.  Maybe one day I will actually join!  I've also included a 1/2 year reading update.  What are your reading challenges? (yes, i mean that the way you think!)

    Fake Challenge Updates
    Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien

    One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
    Countdown by Deborah Wiles
    Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
    The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn
    Alvin Ho by Lenore Look
    Benjamin Pratt and The Keepers of the School by Andrew Clements
    The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan
    Dork Diaries by Rachel Russell
    Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry
    The13th Reality by James Dashner
    The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood

    The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz
    Very Far Away From Anywhere Else by Ursula LeGuin
    The Green Witch by Alice Hoffman
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
    Paper Daughter by Jeannette Ingold
    The Horse and His Boy by CS Lewis
    Emma by Jane Austen
    Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
    Genesis by Bernard Beckett
    Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco Stork
    Eternal Smile by Gene Yang
    Mercury by Hope Larson

    One Crazy Summer
    Out of My Mind
    Prince of Mist
    Paper Daughter
    The Dreamer
    Last Summer of the Death Warriors
    Eternal Smile

    Out of My Mind
    One Crazy Summer

    The Prince of Mist
    Alvin Ho

    Eternal Smile
    Dork Diaries

    Note: These lists do not encompass all reading just YA/MG.

    Total Books Read: 27
    Best Book of June: Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork

    Midyear Totals
    Read: 114
    Reviewed: 41
    Abandoned: 2

    Goals for July - December
    I know my reading will pick up as the Mock Printz book club and Mock Newbery book clubs pick up.  I will continue to review my Printz reads here but my Newbery reviews will go to St. Joseph County Public Library Mock Newbery blog, which I'm co-hosting.  I also have some blog tours scheduled.

    My goal will be to post 3 reviews a week as well as the Sunday Salon and some huge book on Saturdays.

    Did you make any blog goals?  How did you do?  
    Will you be changing them for the rest of the year?  

    Link to your goals in the comments and I promise to check them out!

    Saturday, July 10, 2010

    Thoughs on the Way (of Kings) - Chap 15 - 28 + Interludes

    The Way of Kings : The Stormlight Archive
    Brandon Sanderson
    Tor Fantasy
    August 2010

    Note: I'm reading the ARC not the finished book.  I'm also switching things up a little and will do this by parts.  Can't believe I skipped the table of contents!

    Chapter 15 - Chapter 28 
    Pages 221 - 451 (End of Part 2 + The Interludes)

    The Story
    We get to learn some of the Codes that Dalinar likes to follow.  He started following them as a way to honor his slain brother, King Gavilar but now he not only believes in them, but makes his entire war camp follow them. There are ten war camps, each headed by a Lighteyes Highprince.  Dalinar's is the most rigid but he also seems to care the about his people.  We still haven't figured out what Gavilar meant by his last words but we know they came from the book The Way of Kings, which was a book on getting the most out of life written by a past king named Nohadon.   We get to follow Dalinar on one of his visions. Are these prophecies of the future?  More and more, Dalinar feels like he's losing his grip on reality and that he is missing something important that will help to end the war and save Alethkar.

    Kaladin in still looking back on his childhood and we understand why he's torn between the soldier's life and that of a surgeon's.  He is guided by his father's words, "you can't put a price on a person's life" but he is also haunted by them.  He feels responsible for the men of Bridge Four but he has no real authority over them and most of them mock him.  He believes that he has survived all the pain and loss for something... he just doesn't know what.  When he looks back, he's trying to understand the choices his parents made and how that affects his choices.  

    We are also learning about Highprince Sadeas.  He's not a main character but he is major.  Dalinar and he both feel responsible for Gavilar's death and so have sworn to protect King Elhokar, Gavilar's son.  But they also seem at war with each other.  Kaladin's bridge crew is in Sadeas' war camp.

    In the Interludes, we are introduced to the first person to have Szeth-son-son-Vallano's oathstone.  Szeth was sold to him but since he was Truthless, no one cared.  We also meet someone who is a sort of Spren Librarian.  He's studying and cataloguing them.  Last, but not least, we see Szeth himself.  He breathes in Stormlight and it gives him power along with his Shardblade.  He's a Surgebinder and he can "lash" items and himself.  He can walk on walls and ceilings.  He can also use the lashing to move incredibly heavy objects.  These Surgebinding abilities are what help him do these assassinations.  Which he appears to NOT want to do.  But since he's Truthless, he has to.

    The World Building
    Someone really needs to create some sort of encyclopedia for this place.  There is so much going on in this book that the notes (very limited as they are) I keep are not nearly enough.  
    • Spren
      • angerspren - bright red
      • musicspren
      • groundspren - pulls things down
      • corruptionspren
      • captivityspren? - being studied
      • drinking spren? - being studied
    • Places
      • Irial - Kasitor, Rall Elorim
      • Shinovar - Valley of Truth, grass does not retract and they have soil not stone
      • Hearthstone - village where Kaladin lived
      • Urithiru -where the Radiants used to live?
    • People
      • Rock, Teft, - two bridge members who support Kaladin
      • Syl - not really a person, she's a windspren that guides Kaladin
      • Navani - Elhokar's mother, she was courted by both Gavilar and Dalinar
    • Vocabulary
      • Some of the Callings - soldier, farmer, dueler
      • Glory - attribute of almighty you can choose
      • Weeping - appears to be a rainy season
      • Books - The Way of Kings, The Arguments, Alethi Code of War
      • Span reed - used to send messages far away, like a telegraph
      • Masculine arts - commerce, war, commanding
      • Feminine arts - music, engineering, writing, reading
      • Mathana - older sister, formal
      • Nyishim - third moon, green
      • Some Heralds - Jezerezah, Nalan, Ishi (symmetry in names in important!) (there were 10 - 5 male and 5 female) Some of these are in the Preludes but the names are slightly different...
      • glyphpairs
      • Veristitalian - Jasnah Kohlin is one, they study history and find the actual facts
      • dahn - citizenship levels in the ruling class
      • skymark - sapphire sphere - worth 25 clearmarks (diamonds)
      • Time periods? - Heraldic Epochs, 
      • Wars? - The Everstorm, True Desolation, Night of Sorrows, Heirocracy, Recreance
      • wine colors - orange, blue, violet - levels of intoxication
      • Midnight Essence - strange, snakelike beasts that were in Dalinar's vision
      • Shardblades and Shardplates are from the Lost Radiants
    10 Highprinces
    Roion - has great archers
    Sadeas - fast bridges
    Dalinar - great infantry

    What I'm Thinking
    How did the Shardbearers learn how to summon a blade?  How did they discover Soulcasting?  Why is it holy in some places but used lightly in others?  How did Szeth become Truthless and what does that mean?  Did Brandon Sanderson actually write the book, The Way of Kings, that Dalinar is learning from? Did he write a history?  So much to learn! This books gets better and better and better.

    What's Next
    Part 3: Dying and Interludes

    Thoughts on the Way - up to Chap 6
    Thoughts on the Way - Chap 7 - Chap 14


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