Anyway, this week's questions are brought by Suey of It's All About Books. Like every week, you can also check the main read along page for other blog links.
In addition to the supplied questions, I've thrown up a few of my own at the end, musing aloud. There are also some supplemental links for any that are interested in such things.
It seems like every main character had a little wrap up chapter in this section, with each section ending on a bit of a cliff hanger. What do you think? Do you appreciate these cliff hangers or do they make you crazy? Did you predict some of them, or have no idea they were coming? Did one of them stand out as most surprising?
There were enough conclusions to leave me satisfied, and enough cliffhangers to leave me eager. Cliffhangers don't bother me, and even less so when I think on how productive and meticulous Sanderson is.
I loved Dalinar's ending to his visions. He learned that God had been killed, for crying out loud! What does this mean to the religious people? And as for the Voidbringers being parshmen and Parshendi... holy cow. I knew there was something about the parshmen, but I couldn't quite figure out what. The King's horrible acts were also surprising, though his motivation uninspired. I did love how it was his notes we'd been reading. Out of everything, I'm surprised Dalinar is still alive, though there was no doubt that he was on a collision course with Szeth.Did the book leave you with an overall satisfied feeling, or are you left with too many unanswered questions? If so, what are some of the questions bothering you the most?
I guess I kind of answered this above. What are the implications of God being dead? Does that mean that Jasnah's atheism is correct, but also incorrect, too? And what's the deal with Shadesmar? (See my thoughts on this at the bottom.) I'm also wondering why Syl dislikes the Shardblades and how the blades differ from the Dawnshards/Honorblades. And where the heck is Gaz?
After I finished the book, I immediately re-read the Prelude, and everything made more sense this time around.What did you think of the book ending with a Wit chapter? Did you understand what he was trying to say? What does this chapter mean in relation to the rest of the series?
As I've mentioned before, the Hoid phenomenon is of particular fascination. Thus, I was on edge throughout the entire chapter. He basically seemed to be speaking in prophecy, telling the men to be ready for the Everstorm (or whatever it's called). I did find his speech slightly confusing, though, and I'm not sure I fully understand his logical conclusion. I'm sure he'll show up in latter books.If someone asked you what this book is about... how would you answer them? In just two or three sentences!
The Way of Kings is a Brandon Sanderson novel. If you read a lot of fantasy, then you know who Sanderson is. If not, then you need to get your hands on everything this man's written. Then I would punch the person in the face for their ignorance...
The Way of Kings is an epic tale that's unlike any epic fantasy you've ever read. Magic is returning to the world, but with it comes terrible dangers that threaten the very existence of everyone in Roshar. If you want a story with realistic characters in an unforgettable setting, then this book is for you.And finally (even though I suspect I know everyone’s answer) will you be reading the rest of this series? Will you be there the day it comes out? Or just whenever? Will you be recommending this to others?
Absolutely. I'll probably pre-order the Kindle edition and dive in as soon as I can. Then I'll likely pick up the beautiful hardcovers (when they're cheaper) throw them on the shelf just for completionist's sake.
-----Brandon Sanderson has just uploaded the images from the books onto his website. Looking at these images makes me wonder the significance of the maps, as well as the grids of glyphpairs. There's no doubt Sanderson has painstakingly crafted a purposeful geography for Roshar, so I've been thinking about them. What do you all make of the maps/grids?
I'm guessing Shadesmar is the mirror opposite of Roshar. This makes sense considering symmetry is such an important part (and holy attribute) of Vorinism. If Roshar exists, then there must be an opposite realm, too, so maybe Shadesmar is un-Roshar? I'm particularly interested in the names on the Shadesmar map. The Seas of "Regret, Souls, and Lost Lights." (Notice that the physical location of these Seas directly correlate to the landmasses of Roshar. So where there's land in Roshar, there's water in Shadesmar, and we keep the balance.)
I'm equally intrigued about the Nexuses of Truth, Transition, and Imagination. A nexus is "A connection or series of connections linking two or more things." Considering what happened with Shallan, she told a Truth and then boom, she was in Shadesmar. Maybe these three nexuses are the ways into Shadesmar and the ways to Soulcasting.
As for the grids, they must represent the magic system somehow. Certain glyphpairs stand for certain powers, such as Lashing. We don't know which ones are what. What I'm wondering is how the two grids (assuming there are two distinct grids) are related.Keeping symmetry in mind, I find the existence of a safehand being covered oddly disturbing. If every woman must keep her safehand covered (look at the illustration of the woman surrounding the maps), then no woman dresses symmetrically. Does this strike you as peculiar?
I think I may be reading too much into this one, but it still seems odd. I mean, for the most part, I assume nearly everybody dresses symmetrically (including us!), and throwing on one glove just throws the whole thing out of balance. It probably doesn't mean anything, but it's just odd considering the Alethi culture.Brandon did a Q&A session on Goodreads back last year after the book was released. Reading through the questions generate some avenues of discussion. Some of my favorites:
- Does the scene where Shallan is counting heartbeats mean what I think it means?
- "It means what you think it means."
- What happened to Gaz? After some character development he just vanishes in chapter 59 without further explanation. Will he be back on the next books?
- "I'm planning for you to find out what happened to Gaz. There are sufficient clues that you can guess."
- Will there be flashbacks for a different character in this next book?
- "Yes. Each book will explore a different character in flashbacks, though Kaladin will also end up getting another book with flashbacks of his sometime down the line."
Final thoughts. If you've not read the Mistborn series, then I think you are missing out here. There are events of such magnitude that happen between the books that I cannot help but see their relation to one another. Any of you read the Mistborn trilogy? If not, I think you should before then next installment comes out for the Stormlight Archive. Sanderson's not worldbuilding, he's universebuilding...