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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