Thu
Jun 20 2013 12:00pm

The Way of Kings Reread: Chapters 16 and 17

Welcome back to the Tor.com reread for The Way of Kings. Last week we stepped further into Dalinar’s shadow with a healthy dose of Alethi politics. This week a flashback chapter reveals the origin of Kaladin’s predilection for the quarterstaff and the start of all his troubles with those with lighteyes. And in our second chapter this week, Kaladin gains a bit of respect from some Bridge Four men after a very long day. This is the rise of the Kaladin we’ve been waiting for. It won’t be an easy journey for him from here on out, but it will be much more fulfilling and dare I say inspiring.

Chapter 16: Cocoons

Setting: Hearthstone, approximately 7 1/2 years before current events

Point of View: Kaladin

What Happens: Kaladin is out and about in Hearthstone with Laral. He tells her that his father intends to send him to become a surgeon in Kharbranth. Laral is surprised, as she assumed he was going to become a soldier so he could win a Shardplate or blade and thus become a lighteyes. Tien appears, and the group decides to go lurg hunting. Kaladin and Laral continue to talk:

“It sounds like your father is forcing you to do what he wants, not what you want,” Laral said.

“That’s the way everyone does it,” Kal said, scratching his head. “The other boys don’t mind becoming farmers because their fathers were farmers, and Ral just became the new town carpenter. He didn’t mind that it was what his father did. Why should I mind being a surgeon?”

Tien and Kaladin track down a lurg cocoon and dissolve it in water, forcing the creature out of hibernation. The lurg searches about for insects before spinning a new cocoon, but is teased out again by Tien. Kaladin tells Tien to stop bothering the creature; he catches it on a rock, gives it to Tien to play with later, and then sends Tien in search of another lurg.

Laral goes down the hill to where a group of boys have gathered. Kaladin follows and listens to Jost’s tale of how his father won a Shardblade during battle but was cheated out of it by another soldier. Kaladin unitentionally insults Jost and they have a staff fight over the validity of the story. At first Jost is handily dominating the fight, but Kaladin gets in three powerful blows. Jost is shocked but gets his wits back quickly enough to defeat Kaladin. Kaladin felt a thrill in handling the staff and even in his defeated state he pleads with Jost to teach him how to wield the quarterstaff. Jost rebuffs him saying:

“Can’t. Your fah would kill me. Get those surgeon hands of yours all covered with calluses? Wouldn’t be right.” He turned away. “You go be what you are, Kal. I’ll be what I am.”

Deflated, Kaladin returns home with Tien and learns that Brightlord Wistiow, the patriarch of Hearthstone’s only lighteyes family, is dead; Lirin, Kaladin’s father, couldn’t save him. Lirin tells Kaladin that Wistiow’s last wish was for him to go to Kharbranth to become a surgeon, and that Wistiow left a number of spheres to finance Kal’s education. Kaladin is dismayed that he no longer has a choice, but seems resigned to his fate. He realizes he cares nothing for “Glory [and] honor” of a soldier, yet “that one moment holding the quarterstaff sang to him. A single moment of clarity in an otherwise confusing world.”

Quote of the Chapter:

The hillside here had broken during a highstorm several months back. Shattered, as if it had been hit by the fist of some enormous creature.

Does that description sound familiar to anyone else? Perhaps the Shattered Plains that was broken by a god? I have to think Sanderson chose these words very deliberately to connect highstorms with the destruction found at the Shattered Plains.

Commentary:

The chapter title of course refers to more than just the lurg coming out of its cocoon; the young Kaladin also peeks out from his self-made cocoon when he goes toe-to-toe with Jost.

Nearly all of what happens to Kaladin in his life had its origins in this flashback. First Kaladin gets a brief taste of the Thrill that the Alethi warriors are so well known for as he faced off against Jost with the quarterstaff, but he also mentions a surge of energy. This is also the moment where Laral loses interest in Kaladin, apparently because she wishes to marry a true lighteyes rather than some smart darkeyes boy in the second nahn, although the death of her father may also play some role. Kal seemed to dodge a bullet with that one on his arranged marriage, but it certainly would have been an easier existence for him, if a bit more boring, had he ended up with Laral.

Then there is Syl; the two share a deep connection, but he is often at a loss for how to speak with her. It makes me wonder what he’ll do when he meets a woman who is eligible to him. Shallan, anyone? I know plenty out there think Shallan belongs with one of Dalinar’s son, but Kaladin needs someone to love, too, and as of The Way of Kings that’s not necessarily Syl even though I’m sure their bond will grow deeper. I also think the duality of this world will have to play out more for Kaladin as I don’t think Syl is enough. A weird, but oddly fitting couple could be Jasnah and Kaladin. I could definitely see Jasnah being fascinated by Kaladin and his abilities when they finally meet, which could spark something more. Jasnah seems to have little care about status, but instead values honor and respect, which Kal has in spades.

The last few of pages of the chapter really set Kaladin up for a sad life. Kaladin’s surgeon father, Lirin, is unable to save the most important man in Hearthstone. Many in the town were already wary of Kaladin’s father, but this was the moment where he truly lost them. Not only that, but the lies begin here about the spheres that were supposedly left for Kaladin’s education and will eventually lead to nothing but heartache for the family.

Quite a few places get mentioned including the infamous Origin of Storms, but it was Rall Elorim referred to as the City of Shadows and Kurth called the City of Lightning that really caught my interest. These are places in the far north and west of Roshar, but other than these names we learn nothing at all. With names like that, however, I can’t help but think Sanderson is going to have to show them off at some point.

The Origin of Storms is one of those things that fascinated me from the first time I heard the name, but there are precious few details. Now we see that the Origin is far out to sea and that no one has ever sailed to it and returned alive to tell the tale. We could see a sailing trip there one day (maybe with Yalb, one can dream), or maybe the Origin will somehow come to the Rosharans in a more massive way than the Highstorms. One thought that came to mind is what if the Origin isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If anything the Highstorms spread Stormlight around the world which enables Soulcasting and empowers Shardplate. These storms have also changed the world making the people tougher and the creatures evolve to be tougher themselves. Could this be Cultivation at work winnowing off the parts that won’t be able to faceoff against the Voidbringers?

One interesting new aspect of the Highstorms is the crem, a kind of sediment left behind in the waters. But what the heck is crem exactly and wouldn’t you like to see a chemical analysis of some sort? Is it the remains of a shattered god or something more blasé like soil that’s been so charged/changed by Stormlight in the Highstorms it has become dangerous? Or is just some nasty sediment that isn’t anything special? It seems like some creatures would also digest some crem when they drink the water as they often do this right after a Highstorm and don’t wait for it to settle to the bottom.

Next we see Kaladin become a true leader by example.

 

Chapter 17: A Bloody, Red Sunset

Setting: The Shattered Plains

Point of View: Kaladin

What Happens: Kaladin and Syl head to an apothecary so Kaladin can purchase antiseptic and bandages for his fellow bridgemen. After some haggling, he pulls out his four marks only to learn that three of them have lost their glow. Worried that Kaladin is trying to pass off fake spheres, the apothecary examines them closely and discovers they’ve merely lost their infusion of Stormlight. Kaladin asks to keep the one glowing sphere.

Kaladin arrives back in the camp and moments later a horn sounds, signaling a bridge run. Kaladin and his fellow bridgemen line up, though many are unprepared. Kaladin notes that there is a standard rotation that all the bridgemen follow: those in front have prime position for the first part of the journey as they can see where they are going, but as they reach their intended plateau they move to the rear to escape the brutal onslaught from Parshendi arrows, sending the newest members to the front. Those in the back are still in jeopardy, but less so than those within easy sight of the Parshendi.

The crew begins their run from plateau to plateau, going over the permanent bridges near the Alethi war camps, but they soon run out and land their bridge between plateaus to let the army pass. Unlike most bridgemen, Kaladin stands to the side while the rest of the crew falls down. He tries to jest with some of the soldiers, but receives little in response. Near the end of the procession, Highprince Sadeas passes by as Kaladin seethes with anger over all the lives Sadeas has thrown away with the bridgemen.

After passing over many plateaus, Bridge Four finally arrives at the plateau across from the one they’ve been working towards, but the Parshendi have already arrived and are preparing to face the arriving Alethi army.

Instead of taking his position at the rear of the bridge, Kaladin takes Rock’s spot in the middle of the five spots in front—known as the deathline. As the Parshendi loose their first volley, Kaladin shouts out Tien’s name and feels “a surge of sudden strength, unanticipated and unexplained.” The first volley takes down the other four men in the deathline, but Kaladin survives, allowing Bridge Four enough time to reach the chasm and land their bridge along with the 14 other remaining bridges. Kaladin is grazed by an arrow as he runs around to push the bridge into final position with the rest of the team. Immediately after the bridge is in place, the cavalry charges across to engage the Parshendi.

Kaladin’s wound is not serious, but he collapses while trying to drag one of the injured bridgmen to safety. Rock comes to his aid and Kaladin tries to go back out on the field to search for the rest of his men; Rock stops him and goes to look for the men along with Teft. Kaladin treats the injured and sets the other bridgemen to various tasks. Gadol, one of the injured, dies saying:

“They break the land itself!” he hissed, eyes wild. “They want it, but in their rage they will destroy it. Like the jealous man burns his rich things rather than let them be taken by his enemies! They come!”

Rock returns carrying another severely injured bridgeman and Kaladin sets to work bandaging and cauterizing his wounds. Traditionally, bridgmen who are too injured to move back to camp are left behind, but Kaladin proposes tying his injured men to the bridge, thus carrying them along. The bridgemen say that Gaz won’t allow it, so Kaladin seeks him out tell him his plan. Gaz makes it clear that he is under strict orders from his superior Brightlord Lamaril. Kaladin threatens Gaz, and then attempts to bribe him with his last sphere, but Gaz comments that it isn’t a enough for the risk:

“And a dun sphere at that.”

Kaladin frowned. He was sure it had still glowed before the bridge run. “That’s your fault. You gave it to me.”

“Those spheres were newly infused last night,” Gaz said. “They came straight from Brightlord Sadeas’s treasurer. What did you do with them?”

Kaladin leaves Gaz standing there as he walks back to his crew. Syl worries that Gaz will send men after Kaladin for threatening him. Kaladin, however, believes that if there was one thing he could count on in regards to men, “it’s their greed.”

Quote of the Chapter:

“People are discord,” Syl said.

“What does that mean?”

“You all act differently and think differently. Nothing else is like that—animals act alike, and all spren are, in a sense, virtually the same individual. There’s harmony in that. But not in you—it seems that no two of you can agree on anything. All the world does as it is supposed to, except for humans. Maybe that’s why you so often want to kill each other.”

“But not all windspren act alike,” Kaladin said... “You’re proof of that.”

“I know,” she said softly. “Maybe now you can see why it bothers me so.”

All spren are virtually the same individual according to Syl. Could spren be the remains of a shattered god? The idea is tantalizing—especially with Syl being a honorspren—and the story alludes to the god representing Honor being broken in the war with Odium/the Voidbringers. The other types of spren could perhaps be Honor’s other facets.

So between this and the last chapter, my theory is that the spren are what’s left of Honor and the Origin of Storms is a very angry Cultivation. I’m more than willing to say I could be wrong about spren, but the more I think about the Origin the more the theory seems to fit. That leaves us with Odium, who doesn’t seem to have a physical representation thus far—though one could argue the chasmfiends and Parshendi are his embodiment(s).

Commentary:

This is the first chapter where a death quote appears in the text as something other than an epigraph. Is this phenomenon normal for the people of Roshar? Listening to people dying while babbling on about the coming Apocalypse? Man, that would be a rough world to grow up in. If so, I would have thought Kaladin would have encountered it at some point working with his surgeon father. So it seems likely that these clues have only been coming in for the last few years, maybe since around the time of Gavilar’s assassination or perhaps even more recently.

Syl seems oddly obsessed with age at the start of the chapter and doesn’t seem to be able to let go of how old the apothecary is. I find this curious because age shouldn’t matter to a spren, as they are seemingly immortal.

This was a very rough day for Kaladin. Keep in mind this chapter follows directly after the events of chapter 14, where Kaladin had his lengthy workout and burned through three spheres of Stormlight. But it all seemed worth it. Kaladin starts to get some men he can almost rely on and who will follow his orders.

Kaladin is also starting to think about the spheres he has been siphoning unknowingly. Too bad he doesn’t know the right questions to ask of Syl. I can imagine her telling him everything about how to use Stormlight if he merely brought up to her that spheres seem to go dun around him inexplicably. But Kaladin is so distracted by saving lives and trying to win over Bridge Four, he isn’t left with time to ponder much of anything else.

 

Next week we’ll be back with Dalinar as he tries to understand what his dreams mean.


Michael Pye (aka The Mad Hatter) runs The Mad Hatter’s Bookshelf & Book Review where he shares his views on genre books. He can also be found nattering on Twitter or in search of the perfect piece of bacon. He is currently working on an anthology project and is hoping to find a good publishing home for it soon.

84 comments
Leeland Woodard
1. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
Hey everyone--over the past week or so, I’ve been playing catch-up with all of you. I’ve been saving my comments and theories to post in an active thread, so I hope you don’t mind the theory-dump that I’ve accumulated over the course of the last week-ish. That being said, let’s dive into this:

Regarding Stone Shamanism:
I’m extremely intrigued by the relationship between Szeth (and possibly all Shinovarians) and stone, combined with the fact that thunderclasts seemed to grow out of stone. The fact that it’s blasphemy to walk across or to cut stone could mean one of two polar-opposite things: 1) Stone shamanism has roots in Odium, who created the thunderclasts (this is supposing that thunderclasts are a creation of Odium), and they’re forbidden from mistreating stone because that’s how thunderclasts are made, or 2) Stone shamanism has roots in Honor or Cultivation (more likely Cultivation, given the descriptions of Shinovar’s environment), and the belief that walking on stone is blasphemy is a corrupted form of fearing the source of the thunderclasts. I personally find this one more likely.

Regarding Shallan’s shardblade / Shallan murdering her father:
Let’s keep in mind that the language that Shallan uses when describing her “most horrific act” was that she is a murderer, and that she killed her father. Not just that she killed him, but that she is a murderer. The words “murderer” and “killer” have different meanings of which I am sure Brandon Sanderson is well aware. Killing is causing death. Murdering is the unlawful, premeditated action of killing. If Shallan actually murdered her father, it was on purpose, and it was not a crime of passion. It is entirely possible that it was justified by his abusive relationship, but I stand by saying that it was premeditated.

Cryptics:
Jasnah is the only one that says that these Cryptics are spren, and that could easily just be a cultural thing (some weird creature that I’m not sure what it does or is and appears kind of magically? must be a spren!). I don’t like that we’re calling them spren when we have no idea what they actually are, and they don’t seem to act like spren. The fact that Brandon doesn’t call them spren himself indicates to me that this is, if not important, than an actual existing distinction.
Also, note that Shadesmar is accessible from all worlds--it’s how worldhoppers are capable of travelling from world to world, and spren do not appear to be a universal thing.

On splintering and spren:
It is possible for a shard to splinter itself without its holder dying (for instance, in warbreaker, the Returned are all splinters of Endowment, but Endowment isn’t dead--he’s willingly splintering himself to create Returned).
We know (or at least can assume with a reasonable degree of surety) that honorspren existed prior to Honor being splintered--that leads me to believe that Honor splintered himself periodically to make honorspren, likely to create new Knights Radiant. After Honor is killed and splintered by Odium, we see spren all over the place. This doesn’t mean to me that all spren are splinters of Honor--think about what the spren actually do. They’re around when things are blooming with life, or with pain, or with fire. A lot of the spren interactions we’ve seen fall more fully under the boundary of Cultivation than Honor.
Here’s what I’m proposing: Honor is killed and splintered.. Honorspren already existed, as splinters that he had created during his life. When Honor is splintered, his non-honorspren splinters become...something. maybe they become spren, maybe they don’t, maybe they become half-spren (meaning that the other half comes from some other source--maybe Cultivation). Regardless, I think that Cultivation sees that Odium is too powerful for her to go against directly, so she splinters herself to create more spren to help Roshar adapt to the new, harsh environment, while also creating a refuge for herself in Shinovar. I don’t know specifically to what purpose yet, but I really think that a lot of the spren we see are splinters of Cultivation rather than splinters of Honor. Or at the least, they’re some combination of the two. I believe that Brandon said at one point that Honor and Cultivation were romantically involved, so there’s that.
Anyhow, this also might explain spren like rotspren--perhaps these are splinters that odium created to harm the world, although we’re really diving into the undefined deep here.

Concerning Chasmfiends:
I think that there’s a decent chance that Chasmfiends are actually a stage in the Parshendi lifecycle. Think about it: the Parshendi are very particular about their dead. They want them to be left alone. They get very upset when you pick them up and move them around, and especially when you cut their armor off and use it to charge still-living Parshendi. In addition, Kaladin notes that, while the bridgemen didn’t mess with the Parshendi dead when they’re cleaning the chasms, they didn’t seem to stay there forever. He assumes that the Parshendi are coming and cleaning up their dead.
Anyhow, I think that there’s some kind of process by which the Parshendi dead become Chasmfiends. This would be a reason that they don’t want you messing with their bodies--you’re cutting off the source of a new Chasmfiend and therefore of a new gemheart. could also explain how they’re the Gods of the Parshendi. I’m imagining Parshendi somehow re-awakening after death and trying to make their way to the Parshendi camps as new, tiny Chasmfiends. When their time comes, they pupate, and the Parshendi retrieve the gemheart from them--or, perhaps they finish the pupation cycle and somehow reproduce to create new Parshendi. I’m up in the air about the specifics, but I think it stands to some reason that the Parshendi become Chasmfiends.
Also, this is a possible reason that they keep concentrating their fire on bridgemen. not only does it create a tactical advantage, but, perhaps they think in their minds “the more bridgemen we kill, the more gemhearts we’ll have later from their side”. Although that might not be quite the case.
Leeland Woodard
2. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
And, from this week's readings:
There was speculation in an earlier thread that maybe the rocks that Tien gave Kaladin were somehow infused with stormlight--I think that may be the case. All of the rocks that Kaladin is given by TIen seem to have white flecks in them, which may be miniscule diamonds, retaining just enough stormlight to change Kaladin’s mood. Twice in chapter 16 Kaladin feels happier after holding and looking at one of Tien’s stones.

Also, Michael’s statement that the storms power shardplate and soulcasting made me wonder whether or not stormlight is the original way that shardplate / soulcasting were powered. Or, if it is, whether it somehow changed with the death of Honor. Maybe when Honor was alive, the stormlight came from him directly (Stormfather, anyone?) and was therefore much more powerful. After his death, the stormlight starts coming in waves from the Origin of Storms, and is somehow weaker or different, which causes the shardplate not to glow. Just a thought.
PL1
3. PL1
The death quotes are a relatively new thing, as we learn in one of the final chapters (Ch 71) where Taravangian shows Szeth the true work of his hospitals.
Ross Newberry
4. rossnewberry
I hadn't noticed that Syl was overly interested in the apothecary's age on my first read, and I don't have the books with me. Could he be one of the incognito Heralds? That would make his age great enough to get Syl excited...
Carl Engle-Laird
5. CarlEngle-Laird
@4, I think the other people we speculate might be heralds haven't been particularly old, but I suppose it's possible. I read this scene as Syl exercising her new and troubling understanding of aging and death.
Leeland Woodard
6. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
@4,5:
Supposing that the man we saw in the prologue, asking Szeth "Do you see me?" is a herald, they likely have normal ages.

I think Syl's obsession with the Apothecary's age is likely just what it is. No hidden meaning.
William Carter
7. wcarter
I seriously hope Kaladin doesn't end up with Shallan. It's too cliche.
In fact why do lead characters always have to end up in romantic relationships heteronormative or otherwise at all?

In any case, regardless of what type of spren Syl is, she still has a penchant for pranks. I doubt that anyone who showed romantic interest in Kaladin would escape her plots.
Jennifer B
8. JennB
I like the idea that Cultivation is the driving force behind the storms. It makes sense because the storms are what drive the physical adaptation on Roshar which I think would be in line with Cultivation's intent. Going one step further, I would speculate that Odium's stronghold is in Shinover. Shinover is the place where Cultivation's influence is seen the least because the flora and fauna have not changed since the beginnings. We just don't know enough about Shinover yet.
PL1
9. AndrewB
Do all Rosharans have the Thrill? Or is the Thrill unique to the Alethi?

wcarter @7 re Kaladin in a romantic relationship. I could not agree more.

Thanks for reading my musings,
AndrewB
PL1
10. Adoe
@ #7. Pretty sure any relationship in a Sanderson work will be heteronormative atleast for main characters. Its a reflection of Sanderson's strong faith in the Mormon Church and its stance on same sex attraction.
Karen Morrell
11. karenm83
Mormons prefer to be called LDS since their church is Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints. As I've come to understand it the word 'mormons' is still strongly associated with plural marriages. That's what I've picked up in my 8 years of living in Utah anyways
William Carter
12. wcarter
@10 Adoe

Classic relationships are definintely most likely. However, Sanderson has gone on record before stating that characters in his books do not have to have his viewpoints and ethics, and he doesn't even think they always should.

In any case, I'm not for or against any specific type of romantic pairing in book series--straight, gay, etc. I just get tired of characters always ending up in them.

I myself am single by choice, and while the entertainment industry obviously thinks otherwise, a lot of people are.

I don't mind reading about romantic relationships from time to time, but I also don't think they are always necessary to tell a story. There are many types of relationships afterall.
Alice Arneson
13. Wetlandernw
“We do not know why some speak when others do not,” Taravangian said. “But the dying see something. It began seven years ago, about the time when King Gavilar was investigating the Shattered Plains for the first time.”
When Kaladin was working with his father, he didn’t see all that many actual deaths. Since not everyone who dies does one of these “death rattles,” it’s not too out-of-line to think that Kaladin simply never observed any prior to this one. Or if he did, one or two others from many years ago might not connect in his mind to this particular one.

smintitule @1 – Welcome aboard!

FWIW, they’re just called the Shinovar, or more commonly, the Shin, rather than Shinovarians. Save your fingers for more interesting things. :) All the Shin follow Stone Shamanism, not just Sezth, but we don’t know very much about it. Your theories are certainly as valid as any others, given the limits of what we already know. I, too, think the second is more likely than the first.

Re: Shallan, I’m not sure it’s fair to draw the conclusion that, because she thinks of it as murder, she is necessarily correct in the legal sense you imply. It’s pretty human to think that because it wasn’t entirely accidental, it was Murder, even if it was completely impulsive – or even self-defense, or defense of her brother. If she knew at the instant she struck that it might kill him, she could readily think of it as murder, even if she’d never considered doing such a thing before that moment.

wcarter @7 – I’m with you on this. I don’t honestly see Kaladin as needing a love interest; he’s got enough to do with restarting the Kinghts Radiant (or at least the Windrunners), defending Dalinar, etc.; it doesn't seem a necessary path for his character at this stage. (If Shallan ends up in a romance, I hope it’s Renarin; although I think she’d be awfully good for Adolin in a way, I think she’s a better match for Renarin.)

Adoe @10 – You can bet that whatever romantic relationships show up, they will be the ones Brandon sees as necessary to the plot, and he will make them whatever they need to be. As will all the characters’ gender attractions.
Flint Timmins
14. Giovanotto
When I first read this book I didn't enjoy the flashback chapters. I thought they interrupted the pace and didn't add much plotwise. In my rereads, however, I really liked getting these glimpses in Kaladin's past. I think Lirin is fascinating, and got a kick out of Jost's dad getting his Shards taken away from him. What I like most about this flashback is Kaladin's soulsearching questions about who he is and who he will become. In such an alien and fantastic world as Roshar, Kaladin's humanity really stands out to me.
Adam S.
15. MDNY
BS doesn't always have romantic relationships for everyone in his books, but he usually does for most major characters, and as wetlander says they usually help drive the plot. However, it seems like almost all the main characters in Stormlight will eventually have some sort of romantic involvement, because their eligibility/relationships have been brought up so much. With all of his history, clearly Adolin is gonna end up with SOMEONE, and I highly doubt it will be Danlan whatshername in the end. Dalinar and Navani are already a couple. As for Kaladin, he may end up with Shallan, though Adolin is more likely IMHO. But I just don't see Jasnah and him together, not least because she is 15 years older. If Jasnah ends up with anyone, my money would be on Szeth, her father's killer.
It's curious that Kaladin felt so natural holding a weapon for the first time, and he was clearly a surprisingly competent fighter even before Syl started bonding him. It seems at odds with his ability and soon-to-be standing as a Radiant that he would have a natural ability to harm. This reflects the paradox that Kaladin struggles with, over whether you can save by killing. I also find his father interesting, with his seemingly endless noble acts and bearing, yet he stole from a dead man to try to help his family. Most of the characters in the story are not wholly good or wholly bad (not even Szeth, who has killed so many, Taravingian who seems so kindly yet is killing hundreds, or Dalinar, who began the book drunk at a party as his brother was killed). Nearly everyone has some human weaknesses, yet has some good within them too.
Sean Dowell
16. qbe_64
Gotta say I didn't love the flashback chapters. Especially the ones focusing on his life in Heartstone. I suppose they serve their purpose to round out the character, but I tend to skim them upon re-reading.
James Briggs
17. traveler
HI all, I dont know who was talking about the Aleti codes print, butit lookes like different ways to defeate a blade to be
In the 1st it looks like a shaman catching a blade
In the 2nd it lookes like the blade passed throug someone floting in the air
IN the third it lookes like someone being pulled off balanceby a pull or push
in the 4th i dont know but i wonder if these aremoves made by different uses of power. I think that brandon intended this and directed the artist to show martial skills.
1-2 smintitule wow Ilike the way you think
I like the idea of creation strenghting all of Roshar in preperation for the desolation to come
I dont think that Shallon premeditated the murder but that she was in a position to strike when her father crossed the line and reacted to the situation. She still killed him and got away with it because she was neve concidered a threat by anyone. once he was dead out comes the shardblade that no one knew he had. This is one of the answers that im looking forwardto in the WOR.
Creation makeing crem to strenghten the plants and animals to servivethe high storms?
Cryptics, I think that they are spren waiting for some type fo comand. sufficiant stormlight someone with the willand skill to convince them so change what they were befor, to change the essence of what they areat the moment. the symbols would change depending on what they are at the moment like a goblet or blood ect.
Who Shallon gets involved with is a tossup.It could be kaladin because she has a quick wit like his mother. But it could be Ranarin due to similar intalect. But not Adolin becaus navani has allready shown who she likes and has already started pushing things in that direction. Jasanah and Kaladin now that would be unecpected but fun to watch, both honorable and wise for their years and both string willed.SPARKS
James Briggs
18. traveler
15@MDNY What if it was his natural talent to protect, he allways was taught to be protective with others and to save lives. And he isnt mature enough to unded stand every thing but this showes that he is going in the right direction.
13@Wetlander I forgot that jasanah was that much older than Kaladin.
PL1
19. Superben
@10: sanderson brought two homosexual characters into the wheel of time series, so he is definitely not opposed to it.

@15: I agree that kaladin's character doesn't need to be in a relationship any time soon. I hope he and shallan don't hook up. On the other hand, it's a long series. I'm sure he won't be staying single throughout.

Speaking of which... Who else is excited for kaladin to run into laral again?
William Carter
20. wcarter
@15 MDNY

You make an excellent point about Kaladin's Thrill and the quarterstaff. I'm not opposed to someone defending his or her own life or that of another human being with violence if necessary. And the ugly fact of life is: sometimes it is necessary (particularly in the case of SWAT or other law enforement).

But to feel "joy" at the thought of violence is something else entirely. I can't help but feel scared at the idea that Our Heros enjoy killing people.

That's not a character trait one usually finds in a well-adjusted individual.
Leeland Woodard
21. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
@15 MDNY and @20 wcarter,

I never got the impression that he felt like violence in and of itself was fun. In fact, the words that are used to describe the feeling in this chapter are "excitement" and "wonderful". Which I suppose could mean joy, but I never took it that way. Even if it were joy, I think that it's less the joy of violence, and more the joy of doing a thing well.
Anneke van Staden
22. QueenofDreams
I'm pretty sure I read in a Q&A that Brandon has no objection to writing homosexual characters, his only concern would be writing them properly, as he is not homosexual himself. It was sort of implied that one of the men on Bridge Four is homosexual, but I can't remember which one. I think this Q&A was on 17th Shard, but I read this months ago so I'm not 100% sure. I'm not sure this is such a helpful post as it's so vague, but hey ho...
William Carter
23. wcarter
@21 smintitule
With Kaladin it may very well be the pride of doing a thing well, but Dalinar and most of the other lighteyes equate the "Thrill" with battle (i.e. killing) and feel a lesser Thrill related to contests.

And depending on how things develop, Kaladin may come to those same conclusions. That's what I don't want to see happen. Not becase I don't think it couldn't work narratively, but because I actually care about these characters.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying competition, and Fight or Flight is a normal human response, but what worries some of us is the possibility that these people are somehow being manipulated by Odium or something else into equating the idea of killing into something exciting or fun.

Soliders who enjoy killing their enemies may be good at their jobs (though that's not a given). But even if they are, they can't reintergrate into a normal society when the war is over. We call these people sociopaths.

Likewise, based on what we know about the Alethi society, they would find it difficult at best to function in true peacetime if the High princes don't change their cutthroat attitudes.
PL1
24. Confutus
The Herald Icons for these chapters are Vev-Tanat and Tanat-Vev.
Tanat usually appears when Kaladin is doing something soldierly, and Vev when he is doing something with healing. There seems to be is more of a healing emphasis in chapter 16 and more of the soldierly emphasis in chapter 17.

On my first read through, I thought the flash-back chapter was a bit slow going. Kaladin was still going through a hard time as a bridgeman, and while I could identify with his struggles and like to see his progress. I wasn't all that much interested in his back story. It should be different with Words of Radiance.

I never much liked Laral. I thought from the beginning that she was manipulative, not to mention a bit snobbish. Kaladin is better off without her, but she may just show up again.

I'm not sure that Syl would have been able to give Kaladin much help about the Stormlight at this point. Her awareness was still developing, and later on when he was trying to figure out how to use it consciously, she wasn't much help at first.

All these observations about dun spheres don't mean much on a first read through...it's only in hindsight that we can see that they meant Kaladin had been unconsciously using Stormlight for some time. It makes me wonder what other colorful details have been planted that have some hidden significance.
PL1
25. Blue Print
I guess this as good of a place as any to submit my "off the wall" theory.

The key to this whole book (and perhaps the entire series) IMO is why did the Parshendi kill Gavilar? We assume that they are the bad guys aligned with Odium, while the Alethi belong to Honor. Yet the text seems to illustrate the exact opposite. It is the Alethi who feel the thrill, betray each other, covet shardblades (Syl's feelings about them is a telling point), ignore the codes, etc. Meanwhile the Parshendi fight with honor, never peruse the Alethi after battle when they could decimate them, etc.

Something is wrong with this picture. Are the Parshendi the "small cliff" which the Alethi needed to be thrown off of to bring back the Radiants in preparation to fight the everstorm? It certainly seems plausible. In other words, are we rooting for the wrong side?
PL1
26. Zen
It seems to me, that the Parshendi were terrified that the Codes were being revived and that is why they attacked. Now, why are they terrified of the Codes? Do they understand at some level that if those Codes are followed properly, that Odium and the Parshendi will be destroyed? Or at least all that follow Odium will be destroyed?

What I wonder, when Dalinar is commanded to unify them, what or who is he supposed to unify? The Highprinces, or something else entirely?
Alice Arneson
27. Wetlandernw
Zen @26 - Ooooooohhhh. I never thought of that. If the Alethi revived the Codes as a way of life, they'd be a formidable (and unified) enemy when the Desolation came. If they could be distracted by war and internal conflict, they would be (like in the Nohadon vision) ill-prepared to fight when it mattered. That makes way more sense (to me) than any other theory I've seen.
PL1
28. Superben
@26: "What or who is he supposed to unify? The highprinces, or something else entirely?"

I agree with what you're getting at. I think It can't be the Highprinces, they came about way after Nohadon. So what is he supposed to unite? Maybe the new radiants as they start to show up, maybe all the nations in the world?

Any other theories out there?
PL1
29. wingracer
I've always thought there was much more to the Parshendi than the easy "bad guy" explanation. One thing that I always focus on are Dalinar's visions. They keep saying to "unite them" but never say who to unite. What if they mean unite the Alethi and the Parshendi? Perhaps that is why Gavilar was killed, a faction of the Parshendi want the the Voidbringers to win and know that an alliance could threaten that.

As for romantic entanglements, Kaladin and Shallan seems a bad match to me but who knows, things could change. Jasnah and Kaladin sounded like an even worse match at first but the more I think about it, the more I could see it developing. Kaladin hates lighteyes but Dalinar's extreme virtue seems to have gained him at least a grudging respect from Kaladin but as for women, who better than a heretic? And Jasnah isn't going to be at all interested in the typical Alethi prince type. She needs someone strong, extremely self secure and confident but not too arrogant. Sounds like Kaladin to me.
PL1
30. Zen
Jasnah needs someone who can match her intellectually. She will not be impressed by lightweights of any kind and she is perfectly willing to call out any BS she sees.

As far as Shallan goes, she would do much better with Renarin. He is the more studious brother. He may not be a scholar, but he will be in a much better position to understand her than either Kaladin or Adolin.

What I am anxious to see, is Shallan's reaction when (if?) she draws Kaladin and sees Syl.
PL1
31. Blue Print
@26 That makes sense.

But... (humor me please). Why is the Asassin dressed in white? Wouln't warning someone that they will be attacked be the honorable thing to do? Other than the betrayal itself (a big concession I agree), can anyone name one thing the Parshendi have done that is dishonorable?

This, by the way is just like BS. In the Final Empire, it is the Empiorer who is holding back Ruin. In the Well I'd Assension, Val does the heroic thing and frees Ruin. The idea that the Parshendi aren't the bad guys isn't so far fetched when the author is Brandon.
PL1
32. Zen
My sense is, that while the Parshendi are nominally for Odium, we are going to see a great character arc for (I forget the name of the Parshendi shardbearer) where she follows Honor while several prominent humans follow Odium.

But I would not call making a treaty, just so you can get close and murder the king, to be honorable.

As far as Vin goes, she didn't really realize she was releasing Ruin when she was a the Well of Ascension. But it is true, she did release him.
Leeland Woodard
33. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
@28 and others

I always took Dalinar's "unite them" vision to mean that the whole world must be united against the midnight essence and the thunderclasts. The whole world including the Parshendi.
Phil Anthrop
34. Isomere
The switch Vev-Tanat and Tanat-Vev between these two chapters, combined with the cocoon imagery seems to reinforce the idea of Transformation for Kaladin. This really was a turning point, his first taste of the Thrill and the moment where he steps away from healing and toward his life as a soldier.
PL1
35. Zizoz
@32: I don't think the purpose of the treaty was so the Parshendi could get close to Gavilar. After all, they didn't kill him themselves. Instead, they sent Szeth, which they could have done without the treaty.

Of course, I have no idea why they did make the treaty, only to break it, though.
Jennifer B
36. JennB
For those curious about the Parshendi, there is a sample chapter from Words of Radiance that may give insight into some of your questions. Of course it is 100% spoilers for the next book and can't be discussed in this thread.

http://www.17thshard.com/news/brandon-news/brandon-reads-a-scene-from-stormlight-2-r112
Anneke van Staden
37. QueenofDreams
Wow JennB, thanks for that link! It really sheds some light on the Parshendi. I think, based mostly on Kaladin's views on them, that the Parshendi are not actually bad in themselves. They do have an honour to them I think. I have no idea about why they killed Gavilar though.
PL1
38. Binnut
@30 Given Shallans habit of drawing everything she can I think that the darkeyed Captain with command of a Bataillon and also Dalinars head guard will be drawn early. He is in away a novelty.
I am looking forward to it as well.
James Briggs
39. traveler
23@wcarter I think that there is a big difference between what Kaladin feels when fighting and the thrill. I think that i agree that the first time he picked up the quarter staff that it was the thrill but i think that this was changed by Tien's death on the battle field. Reread PGS. 920- 926. This is where realy started to activly try toprotect the people around himself, at that time he started to change into the man that we will soon see. I will protect those who cannot protect them selves. Its not the thrill any more for Kaladin.
Good catch though I missed the posabilaty that he felt the thrill that first time

25@Blueprint I know that this was what was giving Kaladin issues at the end of the book. He told Dalinar that he had found more honor in the parshendi than in his own people.I still wonder what acts will turn the parshmen against Alethcar, and if only the will the worlds unite into one force or will they still fight amid themelves and the only unified force will be theKR.

26-27-28 I agree in part but Wetlander talked about Nohadonand his vision where 9 out of 10 people were killed, Nohadon said somthin about the people gifted with the neahl bond and surgebinders felling like they had devine providance and how the shoud act better but dont allways.human nature takes each person differently. This leads me to think that Dalinar will unite the Radiants and as much of Alithcar as he can.

38@Binnut That would be way to cool,I would like to see a picture of Syl in one of Shallons drawings. It makes me wonder if Rock and Shallon will find Radiants together.

Last thing,I don't know if it is the thrill that Kaladin is feeling but Kaladin has allways ben at his best when he is protecting others.Seeing anyon in trouble kick starts something inside ot him that makes him feel mor than the thrill. I think every time DalanaRS PLATE BEGINS TO GLOW THAT HE IS EXPERENCING THE SAME THING. Althoug he does'nt know that yet. Sorry missed the caps lock.
PL1
40. Bael
Hi all,

With regard to the spren, I've had a theory that the different sources of the spren (i.e. Honor or Cultivation) might be hinted at or revealed by how they come into being. Some spring into existence in the air or are related to the air (glory spren, honor spren, wind spren) while others wriggle up from the ground. I thought I ran across a hint that BS gave that the origin might be able to be discerned in some fashion with info we currently have. Rot spren, while deadly for living beings, are actually helpful in agriculture as decay breaks down organic matter and makes it useful for fertilizer. Death spren are of a different sort as they are black with red eyes (if we can trust Kal's fever vision as accurate), reminding me of the beasts in one of Dalinar's visions.

I agree with the theory that Shinovar is a haven for Cultivation as so much growing happens there and that there is some sort of difference between it and the rest of the continent re: highstorms. That means I'm also fond of the theory that the highstorms are somehow related to Honor.

Further, it might be that Odium created certain forms of spren to match the current magical system of this world without needing to be splintered to do so.

There is a note over at the coppermind wiki relating to a book signing and of BS reading from WOR in which the creation of a thunderclast is attributed to the activity of a spren. Not sure what kind of spren, but it seems logical to me that this action must be attributable to a spren associated with Odium as thunderclasts have killed Heralds before (see prologue of WOK).

Just some Friday musings!

Bael
PL1
41. Bael
@39 I agree with briggs2: Dalinar's armor begins to glow when he is saving others. I see it as reflective of the type of activity he is engaged in at that moment that causes the glow to emerge. Further, it seems to me that the glow leaves the armor when the Radiants break their vows and abandon humanity.


O how I long for the next book and to read a POV from Taln and get some hints as to what he knows!

Bael
T C
42. Freelancer
What Kaladin experiences during his first handling of a weapon is twofold, and one part may be related to the Alethi Thrill, though I believe that the relationship is from a different source than might at first seem likely. Dalinar and Adolin discuss the Thrill, and the sense seems to suggest that only Shardbearers feel it as they do.

Before proceeding, I agree that the rocks Tien finds for Kaladin when they are younger are those with a small infusion of Stormlight. Though, isn't it odd that Kaladin feels nothing special about the rocks, in spite of being the one capable of employing their power?

So, Kaladin gets his hand on a quarterstaff, and is immediately pumped up by what he can do. Again, two parts. I suggest that this was his first infusion of Stormlight. A very tiny amount, from a rock holding very little, but enough to enhance his sensations. And this is the source of the Shardbearer's Thrill as well, a sort of feedback sensation from employing the Shard, whether Plate or Blade; of putting Stormlight to use indirectly whether they are capable of infusing Stormlight or not. As a Surgebinder, Kaladin gets this sensation directly from the Stormlight; Shardbearers who have no Surges only sense the residual, though it still delivers a punch.

Kaladin also feels the raw power of doing a thing which comes absolutely natural to him. For some, the behaviors of war are an artform; as a spearman, Kaladin is Michelangelo (without the penicillin pizza).
Leeland Woodard
43. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
@ 42 - Freelancer, I like that theory so much, I'm putting it in the little section of my brain reserved for things I hope are canon in WoK.

Stormlight being responsible for the thrill would answer the question once and for all as to whether the thrill is a good thing or a bad thing. If it comes from stormlight, then it almost definitely comes from Honor.
James Briggs
44. traveler
42@Freelancer WOW great assesment I think that that is what Kaladin was feeling at the momentof the 2nd attack.I wonder if the Radiants will be able to draw on their enviroment to at times.


43@sminitule Im still not sure that the thrill is caused by stormlight but it is great ot think about Honor or cultivation involved.

A lot of these wariers like Seth remind me of the Samuri at times , just looking at the print at the begining of this part of the reread struck like that.
Roger Powell
45. forkroot
JennB@36
Of course it is 100% spoilers for the next book and can't be discussed in this thread.
Unlike Mistborn or Warbreaker spoilers which are rife on this reread :-)

While I am fortunate enough to have read all of BWS "Cosmere" works, not everyone has. I'm curious what the consensus here is about spoilers. Should we just post a spoiler warning for all of Sanderson's works at the top of each reread installment?

Pssst.... Blue Print@31, we use "BWS" as a shorthand for Sanderson so that Zen@30 can use "BS" for what most people expect it means.
Alice Arneson
46. Wetlandernw
forkroot @45 - While it's not enforced, I think the general consensus has been that we should at least flag spoilers for his other books, and we should not discuss anything at all that has to do with WOR advance info - white it out, at a minimum, or provide a link (like JennB @36) so no one has to see it. I think it would be best if we could manage to either be extremely general or white out things relating to the other books... but that's really hard to do when the extraneous cosmere information heavily impacts what we're talking about. I think we just have to do the best we can and all try to be generous about it.
William Carter
47. wcarter
@smintitule

I'm trying to not go ahead of this reread so I can't quite remember but doesn't Dalinar start to get nausea a couple of times later on when he starts to feel the thrill then looks at the carnage?

If I'm not just imagining it, that could mean the Thrill is in conflict with his honorable personality when he really starts to go for the idea of unifying the Alethi.

Anyone?
Leeland Woodard
48. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
@47 wcarter

I'm not ahead of the re-read either, but from my last read-through (which admittedly was almost a year ago now), I do remember the disgust for violence throwing him out of the Thrill. Though now that I think on it, maybe what caused him not to be able to feel the Thrill was that he no longer considered that his actions were honorable. Perhaps the Thrill is built into all of the Alethi, and depending on the way that you're using the Thrill, it's being powered by either Honor or Odium. Which could make the Thrill either a good thing or a bad thing, depending entirely on the person.
PL1
49. Zen
@48 Smintitule

Interesting. That would make it like the Shardblades. They were sacred holy objects that, when debased, became abominable. They are good when used correctly, but a terror and a thing of evil when used for selfish purposes.
T C
50. Freelancer
Stormlight is a tool. It is used for myriad purposes. Recall Szeth's displeasure at seeing Stormlight used as base lighting around Gavilar's palace, while also taking advantage of its availability to him for his Lashings. I am not arguing against Stormlight being a facet of Honor (nor for it), but regardless whence it comes, any with the material or innate skill may use it. This is not at odds with the idea that splinters of different Shards may oppose one another

The theory posited @42 suggests that a Shardbearer feels the Thrill as a side-effect of Stormlight being expended by the use of the Plate or Blade. If Dalinar, in the midst of a Thrill-inducing battle, considers the battle itself to be without merit, or unacceptably callous, it may trigger within him a nascent aspect which forces the Stormlight's effect from him. Or, it could simply be that the Thrill acts on the emotions only, and contrary emotions dampen it out.

I don't know that a solid conclusion is available for that.
Jennifer B
51. JennB
forkroot@45
Personally, I have been seeking out spoilers, but I have seen sentiment from several commenters on this reread that they wish to avoid spoilers for WoR. This makes sense since the book has not been published yet, and I feel we should respect that.

On the other hand, it seems to me that Cosmere books that have been out for years and provide background information that helps us understand what happened in WoK should be fair game. That is just my opinion though.

Maybe it would be fun if tor.com gave us a blog post with links to sample chapters for WoR and we could discuss them to our hearts content.

Would anyone else be interested in a Spoiler Thread for Words of Radiance sample chapters?
James Briggs
52. traveler
I dont mind the spoilers ,But i have read all of his books a number of times. Having a sight that woild allow us to read and converse would be great.
I just finished listening to an interveiw that he gave though where he i very expicit that no one give spoilers out where it would =ruin it for others so TOR should set up a sight where we can chat freely.This is a little bit self interested because this is one of the few sights that my computer allows. I will have one sometime but not yet.
Nadine L.
53. travyl
About Michael's Quote of chapter 17:
"all spren are, in a sense, virtually the same individual. There’s harmony in that" -
Syl must be confused: the shard harmony has no sway on Roshar. Unless this is the hint that spren are neither of Honor nor Cultivation but Harmony.

I agree with the consensus about our spoiler policy here: white out knowledge gained from pre-release of unpublished books -
published cosmere-related books should be allowed, desirably with a "potential Spoiler" warning for really huge spoiler (eg. Vin's ...earring)
PL1
54. Zen
Harmony ? harmony

I don't think we necessarily need to ready every useage of a term to mean that specific demi-god.

Sometimes a cigar really is just a cigar.
William Carter
55. wcarter
@Travyl and Zen

I don't think Harmony has anything to do with Roshar either. At the very least now right now.
I do however question whether he qualifies as just a demi-god though.
He's immortal--at least in as much as he cant be killed by anthing short of another Shard--and has Phenominal Cosmic Powers on a scale well beyond what most gods in polythestic pantheons have.
James Briggs
56. traveler
HI all 40@Beal I spent the weekend thinking about your comment about the spren and began to wondre if we really have all of the information that we need to find out their relationship to all of Roshar
1. you said that BWS said all of the information was there to find an good answer already.
2. someone also commented that all spren live on a scale from good to bad. Something like this,
and they all react to all types of action such as emotion, pain and death.
Syl said that all spren are basicly the same. So i wonder if accociation with others be it the 4 elaments or any type of living thing helps them to grow and retain memory untill they becom something else.Shallon was talking to a spren thatwas holdin its shape as a goblet untill she asked it to become something else. It is the will of creation or growth of any type that defines a sprens pourpose, so do all things have spren or just some and not others.
I think that there are also spren that were given certain types of form or awareness to help or hinder based on the intentions of their creator.
Honor and odium had a tug of war while cultivation was bringing in to existance all things so were back to the scale. Honor gave up his life to help balance the scales so all life will continue after he was goneand Odium wants to control it all like a kid in a candy store that just wants everything that they see regardless of the conciquences, and the spren are the balance between the 2.
WOW I dont think that this solved any thing but that is where my thoughts were this weekend .
James Briggs
57. traveler
RATS, Part of what i posted was cut off. here we go again.
After the 2nd comment something like this it was to be a scale between Honor-Cultivation -Odium compared with good bad, and honorgiving up his life to bring the spren into being. Something likethe mists being created that Vin used in mist born so that life could defend itself against destruction.
Sean Dowell
58. qbe_64
**EDIT**
Just going to jump in front of what I expect is going to happen in reponse to this post (edit after MDNY @60). What follows is my opinion on how I feel about his works to date, and in no way should be considered an empirical measure of quality of the various series in relation to each other. And keep in mind, even the low end of my personal quality scale of Brandon's works starts at 'good'. He is currently one of favourite authors.
**EDIT**
Spoilers for the cosmere to follow.

If there are 10 shardworlds in the cosmere, and 16 shards, through 4 (Nalthis, Roshar, Scadrial, Sel) different series, we've used up 9 shards.
That leaves us 7 shards for the remaining 6 worlds.

I would argue that Brandon's best work to date has been on series with multiple active shards who factor into the story line in some way)
(Elantris-Sel, Devotion and Dominion are dead/inactive), - good
(Warbreaker-Nalthis, Endownment is a single shard) - good
(Mistborn-Scadrial, Ruin/Preservation (Harmony) - very good
(Stormlight-Roshar, Cultivation, Honor, Odium) - potentially great

I'm concerned for the quality of the remaining books. To be fair, it's possible that he's just gotten better the more he's written (but Warbreaker was after Mistborn and IMO was not as good).
So, unless Odium is going to dispatch with Roshar and move onto to other worlds, there's really only one additional world with the potential for housing more than one shard. I suppose I will see what Steelheart has to offer and reserve judgement until then.
PL1
59. Zizoz
I don't know; we have very few data points and they're all obviously subjective. But even if you're right, it also seems that there may be a correlation between more shards and longer series (again, based on very few data points, but it makes sense to me), so in terms of books the proportion with multiple shards may be much more than 1 in 6.
Adam S.
60. MDNY
wow qbe_64 that is quite a claim, to equate shards with the quality of writing. Your opinion on how "good" the writing is is totally subjective. I personally love Mistborn the best of Sanderson's works, and I'm still waiting to see how Stormlight shapes up before I can draw real conclusions, but Way of Kings was not my favorite of his works. I think you may be onto something, just in terms of how much Sanderson puts into his work, because we know how manic his production can be, putting out multiple hundreds of page-long books in a short period of time (especially when you consider WOT). But Stormlight has been his baby ever since he started writing, so maybe he does put more thought and effort into it, and maybe that's why he put more shards there than anywhere else. Doesn't change the fact that as of yet, it is not my favorite of his works.
James Briggs
61. traveler
58-59-60 BWS has grown as a writer and will continue throughout time.I think that his work on the WOT gas inspired so I expect great things to continue. Just a thought on the shards, is there a reason that the shards can't travel between worlds like Hoid?
PL1
62. zas452
Steelheart is not a Cosmere book!
Sean Dowell
63. qbe_64
@62, seriously? I had honestly only read the advertisement blurb and hadn't looked into it further. Now after 30 seconds of research I see that it's a YA book.
I figured with the rithmatist just being released he wouldn't have another YA book so soon. Apparently I temporarily forgot that Brandon writes like 6 books a year.
PL1
64. Jasuni
Odium has traveled to other worlds (he did kill Devotion and Dominion). The other shards will be able to as well. There isn't anything that would prevent a shard from living on multiple worlds, so there can still be multiple unknown worlds with multiple shards. There could also be one shard for all of the six remaining worlds while one of the shards travels between all the worlds.
Alice Arneson
65. Wetlandernw
FWIW, Brandon has a short story in GRRM's forthcoming anthology "Dangerous Women" that is described as taking place "on a relatively unimportant Shardworld." I'm very curious as to whether any further stories will take place there, and if so, what the Shard there will prove to be. I'm assuming that since it's "relatively unimportant" it probably only has one Shard, or perhaps (per Jasuni @64) a Shard visits occasionally. Or... ... ... Oh, the possibilities.
T C
66. Freelancer
qbe_64 @58

Warbreaker was released in book form after Mistborn, but is an older original work. It was up on .doc form on his website before Well of Ascension was released, perhaps well before, I am not sure. If Peter is lurking, he might be able to set that straight.
James Briggs
67. traveler
64@Jasuni thanks , I was't sure but did wonder about it .I rember a question about Mistborn where BWS said that he would be doing 3 seprat seiries there.the original , then the one for alloy of law, then a space epic. So the people will meet on other worlds, I just wondered if the shards did as well. I wonder if Hoid is around for all of this, probably .
PL1
68. Zizoz
Also, it didn't even occur to me to check qbe's math earlier but... haven't we only used up 8 shards in 4 worlds (2 on Sel, 2 on Scadrial, 1 on Nalthis, 3 on Roshar)? That leaves 8, not 7, shards for the remaining 6.
William Carter
69. wcarter
Ruin, Preservation, Honor, Cultivation, Odium, Endowment, Dominion, Devotion: With their powers combined, I am Captain Planet someone is half of Adonalsium.
Leeland Woodard
70. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
I wouldn't say that, in general, more shards = a more interesting story. What makes a good story is interesting things happening to interesting people.

Specifically, @65 wetlandernw, you mentioned the possibility of a world that a shard visits occasionally--I think something like that would create a really interesting environment--you have to wonder how a shard's absence and reappearance would affect a culture, their magic, etc.

In any case, I don't think we're going to run out of fun Cosmere stories as we start running out of shards.
Jeremy Guebert
71. jeremyguebert
@67 - Mistborn is planned to be three distinct trilogies, but Alloy of Law isn't actually one of them. The middle trilogy is supposed to be more of an urban fantasy, whereas Alloy of Law is more of a "Western". It's a bonus, just not part of the trilogy of trilogies.

@ 69 - Bahahaha. That is all.
Sean Dowell
72. qbe_64
@68 - Shit!
Good catch. I'm a fucking accountant too.
Yikes.
William Carter
73. wcarter
@72 My guess is you probably accidentally counted Harmony as a unique Shard in your mind even though you correctly listed him as the combination of Ruin and Preservation
Kimani Rogers
74. KiManiak
Wetlander@65 – I’m intrigued by the possibilities. Why would it be an “unimportant” Shardworld? Is it due to the world, itself? Or maybe it houses the Shard that Brandon says has the intent of “just wants to hide and survive?”

What do you call the Shard that wants to hide? Some theories (some from the link, some are my own): The negative ways of looking at it could lead to some names: Cowardice? Fearful? Panic? I kind of like “Self-Preservation” but doubt Brandon would let it stand, considering :-)

Or should we adopt a more positive view of that desire: Survival? Solitude? Endurance? Discretion (it is the better part of valor, after all)? Alright, a little too playful on that last one.

I know, without anymore information from Brandon, this is all pure speculation. But it is kinda fun, in the wee hours of the night…
PL1
75. Kristine N
I bet we haven't met the love interests for the unpaired major characters yet, especially Kaladin, Shallan, and Adolin. I don't know that I'd expect a pairing for Jasnah, honestly. She's too focused on the problem of the voidbringers.
Alice Arneson
76. Wetlandernw
KiManiak @74 - I had't seen that before - and of course, got lost in the link for a while... (There's a reason I don't spend much time on 17th Shard - I'd never get anything done!) I think you might well be right - the one who "just wants to hide and survive" might well be on the "relatively unimportant Shardworld." Which is not to say that it was successful...

It will be a good question to ask Brandon sometime! As for the name... if it is the same Shard, I'd suggest Endurance.
Kimani Rogers
77. KiManiak
Wetlander@76 – Yeah, that place can almost be as time draining as TVtropes. I went to check Coppermindwiki to confirm the number of “revealed” Shards to date and came across a link to that little nugget.

As for the unimportant Shardworld, I would lean towards it being either linked to the “hide-and-survive” Shard, or the world that Bavadin (and his unnamed Shard) are currently on (if Bavadin isn’t himself the holder of the “hide-and-survive” Shard). I would be pleasantly shocked if Brandon releases hints on another “new” Shard; he appears to unveil bits of information on one or two at a time until the fans have worked out name and/or intent on their own (or he gives us enough info via his books).

@many - Re: The (most-likely-inevitable) pairing off of our main characters: I have mentioned in an earlier post that I think Kaladin and Shallan as a couple are too stereotypical and/or tropish for Brandon (who often likes to turn tropes on their head). I am sticking with rooting for Kaladin/Jasnah and Shallan/Adolin pairings for the time being; although I am liking more and more a Shallan/Adolin/Renarrin “love-triangle” to parallel the Navani/Gavilar/Dalinar love-triangle. ( In that case, maybe the younger brother will get the girl from the get-go.)

Who knows; Kaladin could end up with Eshonai (the Parshendi Shardbearer) and really throw the guessers for a loop! (Edited for potential spoiler)
Alice Arneson
78. Wetlandernw
FWIW, around 4:30 this morning Brandon posted the following:
Just polished off the last interlude for Stormlight 2. That gets us very close to finished. (Still a few unfinished scenes in the middle.)
Leeland Woodard
79. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
I wonder how much the mafia would charge me if I asked them to procure a copy of the manuscript for me the day he finishes writing it...
PL1
80. aliceb
Please... help me.
I'm just now reading all of your comments here, and I'm quite devastated: I don't understand *anything*.
Where did you find the information about Odium, Cultivation, Honor etc? How do you know that they can travel through the worlds?
And *which* world are you talking about??

Thank you
(and please! you all forgive me for my ignorance)
Adam S.
81. MDNY
@80 Some of the information comes from outside the book, from other BWS books, websites or signings and statements by Sanderson. The worldhoppers are recognizable from other books, that's where we get the information about who they are- if you haven't read the Mistborn trilogy (world=Scadrial) or Elantris (Sel, which is also the world for "The Emperor's Soul"), you wouldn't recognize them. Though I HIGHLY recommend his other works, especially the Mistborn books, they are my favorites of Sanderson's writing so far.
Leeland Woodard
82. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
@80 in addition, coppermind.net is a very valuable resource for all of the Cosmere universe (Cosmere is the universe in which many of Brandon's books take place). I highly suggest going there and reading up on some of it, it is very interesting stuff.

Of course, don't go there at all unless you have read or are prepared to have spoiled for you more or less everything that Brandon has written.
debora zanardini
83. dzanardini
Thank you smintitule.
In truth, I have already read the Mistborn series. And also Elantris. And Warbreaker.
But I hadn't made the association :DD
Maybe I should reread all of them.

Thank you
Leeland Woodard
84. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
Most people don't really see the connection at the start.

Ruin and Preservation from Mistborn, for instance, are both shardholders, once men who got shards and became something more.

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