Lord have mercy what an amazing read this part was. It took everything in my power to stop at the beginning of Part Five and not look ahead. Of course, I'll probably finish the book tonight, but that's okay...
One thing that I have thinking about during the course of this book is what Brandon Sanderson is trying to say about religion. Jasnah is an atheist. Shallan believes, but is still trying to find herself. Dalinar believes strongly in the ‘Old Ways’. What do you think of this idea?
Religion is a common theme in all of Sanderson's fantasy novels, and it seems like I remember hearing Brandon mention something about how this is an important topic to him in an interview of old. For tWoK, I'm digging the religious tones. I love how vague everything is. The arguments between Jasnah and Shallan were both sound and logical, leaving the Almighty's existence up in the air. But there is so much more than Vorinism in Roshar, and it seems that these other "religions" have some credence to them, too. Our minds are inclined to thinking in absolutes and exclusions--there's either one thing or another, but not both--but this doesn't seem the case in Roshar. And that makes for some excellent plot elements.The relationship between siblings is an important part of this book. Adolin has always been at the forefront of Dalinar’s two sons, but Renarin is important, too. What did you think of the two brothers? Going back a generation, what do think of Dalinar and our glimpses of his brother? Then there is Kaladin who joins the war to protect his brother and fails. And Jasnah whose brother is King. Or Shallan who puts herself in a dangerous situation to help her brothers out following her fathers’ death. What do you think of these relationships? Did any stick out for you?
Renarin and Adolin are the two that stick out the most. Both are young and malleable, and I'm intrigued at where they will end up. Somehow I don't see Renarin staying a sickly, weak lad throughout the whole series. (In honesty, for some reason I was expecting him to play a trump card after Dalinar's return and somehow be working with Sadeas, and I'm glad that didn't turn out.) I do love the brothers theme this book has, though, because I have a younger brother, and our relationship is strong, but it could definitely be stronger. So I enjoy reading the emotions and whatnot felt by these characters relating to their siblings.Kaladin has been included in every section. Why do you think this was? Did you wish to have a break from him, or did you enjoy knowing he would be explored with every section?
I'm assuming it's because Kaladin is the central hero of the series(?), but it could just be that he had more ground he needed to cover in tWoK and won't be as prevalent in subsequent novels. Even so, his parts were definitely the most exciting, and I'm glad he's been in every section.One of my favourite characters in the book is Syl. What do you think of her and her development throughout the course of this book?
Agreed. Syl's development has been fascinating. The fact that she knows so much stuff and yet cannot remember makes for good storytelling. And there's no doubt that the spren are heavily involved in the magics and whatnot of Roshar. It'll be cool to learn more about these quasi-visible creatures and how they fit into the big picture.And, the big question, what do you think is going to happen in the last section? Any predictions?
This was why I stopped reading before the final section. I enjoy postulating. Looking back on the last two week's discussion, I assumed Dalinar would die. Now I'm no longer certain of this. Possibly some point down the road he will, but I was honestly expecting it here in the opening volume. (I'm glad I'm wrong... so far.) Even so, knowing that Szeth has a hit list of high names, Dalinar could very well be a target on that list, and I wouldn't be too shocked if he dies in the last part, especially since we know Szeth is in the final part.
I'm hoping Shallan continues her stay with Jasnah, but who knows what'll happen there. And as for Kaladin and his men, I don't think they'll be staying with Dalinar's troops for too long. (Well, maybe some bridgemen will, but surely Kaladin will go off for some sort of adventure.)I can't wait to finish the last forty pages or so and see what kind of cliffhanger Sanderson's gonna leave us with.