Way of Kings Read-a-long – Part 1

January 1, 2014 Uncategorized 14

I just started listening to The Way of Kings audiobook when I discovered this great Read-a-long, hosted by Anya at On Starships and Dragon Wings and  Nrlymrtl at Dab of Darkness – plus a number of other great bloggers. I’m really enjoying the book so far and can’t wait to read more!

1) Is this your first Brandon Sanderson experience? Any expectations going into this read along? 

This is my first Sanderson book. I’ve heard great things about all of his books, especially the world building, and so far I think it’s as good as I hoped and dreamed.

2) In the Prelude to the Stormlight Archive, we see that Talenel (Taln) died and his sword is unaccounted for. Jerzien and company have decided it is best for 1 to suffer instead of 10. What do you make of this scene?

I’m really curious to see when/if Jerzien and company show back up. In fact, I’m contemplating the idea that Kaladin might be a reincarnation. Either way, this scene really hooked me in with its hints at a massive good vs evil battle playing out in the background of the future events that are the focus of the book.

3) What did you think of Szeth’s fighting abilities and the fight scenes? Any thoughts on the crystalline sphere and King Gavilar Kholin’s last words?

Wow, does Brandon Sanderson do epic. The fighting abilities were very unique and very well explained. I liked that Szeth could only use magic in specific ways, since anything else would have made him over-powered. No predictions on the sphere yet.

4) Each chapter proper starts with a few words from a dying person, their station, and status in life. Any thoughts on what these portend?

I’m curious if shard blades collect the words of the dying or contain souls or some such. I’m listening to an audiobook and I really want to go back and see if there’s any pattern, but so far that’s been too much trouble.

5) Kaladin went from warrior to slave in a matter of the first 2 chapters. Care to speculate on the details of how his life changed so drastically?

No, I’m not sure which hints I’ve gotten are from chapters past chapter 6. I hope Sanderson stops keeping us in suspense soon though.

6) Sylphrena (Syl) the Windspren seems attached to Kaladin. Are you enjoying her character? Do you like the Spren in general in the world building so far?

She’s awesome! She’s so much fun. I loved where she was surprised to have a nickname. I like that she’s so attached to Kaladin because it gives the impression that he’s someone special with an interesting future and that’s helpful when he’s getting through some rough patches. I adore the world building so far. I think Sanderson is incredibly creative. The Chull are a great example of this. Until they were described, I assumed the animals pulling the carts were like ox or yaks, so when they suddenly have claws and turn out to be giant crabs… that’s cool!

7) Shallan Davar has finally caught up to Brightness Jasnah Kholin and her soulcaster. Jasnah and the jeweled fabril can change stone to smoke; what else do you think it can do?

Actually, until I read Nrlymrtl’s post, I kind of thought they could turn any substance into any other substance. The fact that they can only turn stone into other things makes that a more reasonable power. I’m not sure what the limitations on its power might be, but I would be surprised if it turns out that it can be used to create living creatures.

14 Responses to “Way of Kings Read-a-long – Part 1”

  1. Lynn

    Kaladin certainly does seem to have unusual abilities and draw the attention of other magical beings like Syl. It’s very puzzling how he became a prisoner – although, I think realistically he should have died in that battle which seems to be what happened to the rest of his team.
    Syl is a great character and so easy to like. The spren are very interesting.
    Lynn 😀

    • DoingDewey

      Syl is awesome! I’m also a bit puzzled about how everyone else died but he ended up a prisoner. I hope Sanderson doesn’t keep us in suspense for too long, but I suspect it will take most of the book for the rest of that story to play out, since we’ve gone all the way back to Kaladin’s childhood.

  2. Allie

    I read it as turning any substance into any other substance, too, so I must have missed the bit where it said hers only worked for stone. I hope we get more info on the rules about this part of the magic system soon!

    • DoingDewey

      I hope so too! So far, I’m very impressed by the world building. It seems like the story is going to play out on an epic scale and the author already knows how everything is going to come together. I also am hoping for a fascinating and internally consistent magic system, so I’m excited for more information about everything from the spren to the shardblades to the soulcasters. This seems like it’s going to be a very fun read 🙂

  3. nrlymrtl

    I too think that Kaladin and perhaps other main characters are reincarnations of the Radiants. It shall be interesting to see how this near-mythical history (at least to Kaladin’s time) relates to the current characters.

    I too love all the flora and fauna in this book. Everything has evolved to weather the storms, and hence the people have had to adapt, not just the storms, but also to gaining sustenance from the available flora and fauna.

    • DoingDewey

      Oh, I really hadn’t thought about how the storms might have influenced life in this world. It does make sense though that you might have more of the things we think of as sea life in a world that’s wetter though. How interesting!

      I can’t wait to see where everything comes together. I’m sure when all of the different storylines we’re reading about come together, it’s going to be completely epic 🙂

  4. Sue CCCP

    1. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

    2. Before we got inside his head I had assumed that Kaladin was one of the immortals, but he certainly doesn’t seem to be aware of it if he is.

    3. This seems to be very typical for Mr Sanderson: he obviously loves to create rules and systems for his magic that add a sense of reality to them.

    4. Oh, soul-sucking swords would be awesome, but Mr Sanderson did something similar to that already in Warbreaker, so I doubt that we would see that trope used here.

    6. His world building always makes me want to see his books filmed, although I am not sure how successfully that could be done.

    • DoingDewey

      I really am already very excited to read everything else Sanderson has written. I love when a book is internally consistent in terms of how magic and other aspects of the world work. Sanderson seems to think his ideas through completely and does a great job making everything make sense. It’s also so creative. I would love to see this book filmed too, although it might be a bit long for that to be done well. It would be very cool to see some of the interesting flora and fauna brought to life though, and the fight scenes.

  5. Briana

    There’s a Way of Kings read-along? I wish I’d known! I would have planned to join it! Recently I read Elantris and Steelheart and loved them, so I’m looking forward to reading more of Sanderson’s work. I actually tried to buy Way of Kings this week, but the Barnes & Noble I was at didn’t have it in stock, so I bought Mistborn instead.

    I scanned a few of your answers here, but I don’t want to run across major spoilers. Are you thinking of doing a review when you’re finished? I’d love to see what you think!

    • DoingDewey

      I think I probably will still do a review when I’m done. For the most part, I don’t think what I’d put in a review overlaps much with the discussion questions. If you’re looking for more fantasy read-a-longs. it seems like Dab of Darkness hosts quite a lot of really good ones 🙂

  6. Anya

    Yey, I’m so glad that the timing worked for you to join us 😀 How are you liking the narration on the audiobook?

    • DoingDewey

      I’m glad the timing worked out too 🙂 I love the narration! The female narrator is pretty good and the male narrator is awesome. He just has the perfect voice for an epic fantasy novel! And they both do a wide variety of voices, with different accents and for people of different ages and genders, very well.

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