Thu
Dec 12 2013 1:00pm
The Way of Kings Reread: Chapter 48

Welcome back to Tor.com’s reread of The Way of Kings. This week saw a ton of news in our ongoing coverage of the build-up to the release of Words of Radiance. We previewed an entire interlude chapter, introducing a new character and a whole new kind of Surgebinding. What’s more, the completed manuscript of Words of Radiance came in, and the weight of that 2000 page volume nearly broke my hands.

I’m all a-flutter about the next volume, but the reread calls, anchoring me firmly in the present. Thankfully, the chapter I’m going to cover today is about Shallan, the hero of Words of Radiance. Chapter 48 features a hospitalized Shallan, an apologetic Jasnah, and the deadly return of the jam menace.

Small scheduling note: our plan for the reread during the holidays is for Michael to write next week’s post, and for my next post to be delayed until January 2nd.

Chapter 48: Strawberry
Setting:
Kharbranth
Point of View: Shallan

What Happens: Suspected by Taravangian’s doctors of being at risk of suicide, Shallan sits in a hospital bed under orders not to stress herself. Her arm is in pain from where she cut it to cover up the signs of accidental Soulcasting. She’s sketching to pass the time and distract herself from her own embarrassment. All of her sketches have shown the symbolheads lurking at the corners. She is currently working on a sketch of the strange place she found herself when she Soulcast.

Although no one seems to have found the Soulcaster in her safepouch, and Jasnah hasn’t accused her of Soulcasting, Shallan thinks it unlikely that she’ll be able to stay on as her ward. Her supposed suicide is too perfect an excuse not to make use of. She can learn how to properly use the Soulcaster on her trip home. The details of that process still mystify her.

She is visited by King Taravangian, who expresses deep regret that she had to be a guest in his hospital. She converses pleasantly with him, and asks to be released, but he says that he can’t do that while his surgeons and nurses still think her at risk of self-harm. He suggests that she suspend her training when she recovers, and she agrees, saying she’s been missing her home anyway.

Five minutes after he leaves, Jasnah enters. She actually apologizes for the strictness of her tutelage. Jasnah clearly blames herself for her ward’s supposed mental breakdown. To Shallan’s great surprise, Jasnah has been waiting outside her hospital room ever since the incident. Jasnah gives Shallan a gift: a tome called The Book of Endless Pages. It is a blank text that the Devotary of Sincerity uses as their holy document, symbolizing their eternal and indefatigable quest for more answers. She thinks it is a fine book for Shallan, who seeks truth while holding to her faith.

Shallan is surprised to receive such a religious present from her heretical mentor, but Jasnah claims that there are wise men to be found in every religion, and fools in all walks of life. Shallan realizes abruptly that Kabsal was wrong about the purpose of Jasnah’s research; she wasn’t trying to prove Vorinism false. But then, why was she researching Voidbringers?

Kabsal enters, bearing bread and strawberry jam. Jasnah shames him, saying she would have thought he would “allow Shallan a respite,” given that his “attentions drove her to despair.” Shallan promises that it wasn’t his fault. He offers her the bread and jam, and she comments that she’s never heard of strawberries. Like all food from Shinovar, it’s very rare. Jasnah sticks her hand in the jam and sniffs it, even though she doesn’t like jam.

Kabsal again suggests they have some bread, suggesting that he brought it as a kind of apology for his forwardness. She jokes about the concept: “I’m sorry I drove you to suicide. Here’s some bread.” But she relents, and accepts some bread, giving a chunk to Kabsal and a chunk to Jasnah. Jasnah at first refuses, then relents under Shallan’s insistence, although she treats it as if it’s disgusting. It tastes fine to Shallan.

The Way of Kings Brandon Sanderson UK GollanczKabsal suggests again that Shallan have it with jam, since strawberry jam is so rare. He grows increasingly insistent, but when she opens the jar and smells it the jam is disgusting, smelling like “vinegar and slime.” Kabsal is alarmed, and forces down some of the jam himself before stumbling from the room and falling to the floor.

Shallan begins to feel dizzy. She stands, then falls. Jasnah cries out that Shallan has been poisoned, shouting for a garnet so that she can Soulcast the poison away. Shallan, of course, knows that Jasnah’s Soulcaster is a fake, and asks her to look in her safepouch. Jasnah opens it and gasps.

Shallan has almost faded away when something happens to her: “A flash of warmth burned through Shallan, something inside her skin, as if she had been dumped into a steaming hot cauldron.” She spasms, and blacks out.

Quote of the Chapter:

“I am sorry, Shallan Davar. In overworking you, I may have done the world a disservice and stolen from it one of the great scholars of the rising generation.”

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww! Jasnah and Shallan are the best. The very, very best. Shallan has gotten in Jasnah’s head, somehow finding all the cracks in her emotional armor.

Commentary:

Bread! I trusted you!

Kabsal has pulled the trigger on his long-running scheme, and it proved most insidious. In the process, he ruined what could have been a very helpful reconciliation of the major influences of faith and scholarship in Shallan’s mind. She and her two favorite people in Kharbranth, putting aside their differences and breaking bread together, all spoiled by the fact that one of her favorite people turned out to be an evil assassin.

Jasnah’s one-sided lack of interest in Vorinism is in great form this chapter. I love how dismissive she is of the idea of trying to prove to the church that their religion is fake. I love even more how she’s finally willing to display vulnerability to her ward. Jasnah is a brave woman, who takes great risks, accepting the potential consequences. She doesn’t seem to be great at coping with unintended collateral damage, however. The amount to which she unbends when seeing her ward in pain, offering her a holy text as a present and opening into an open discussion of faith in nearly positive tones, is a wonder to behold.

Shallan, meanwhile, is still indecisive about the shape she wants her life to take. She has the opportunity to go home and fix her family’s problems, but still doesn’t want to hurt her mentor. She doesn’t want to set aside the opportunity to be a scholar. In a way, this is her naïveté. Shallan doesn’t want to disappoint or hurt anyone, and it makes it hard for her to make productive choices. But at the root of her problem is the fact that scholarship is clearly Shallan’s perfect profession.

The social perception of Shallan as a woman who attempted suicide is a heavy presence throughout this chapter. You can see the gears turning in the minds of every single character who comes to see her. With Jasnah this expressed itself openly, but with Taravangian the displays are subtler. Throughout his discussion of the hospitals he maligns his life work, saying that he would prefer no one have to use them, and discredits the work of scholarship. Consider how he describes the hospitals: “It’s all paid for by the Panalaeum, you know. In a way, even the most obscure and useless record is helping heal the sick.”

Shallan has little choice but to inhabit that perception, and it weighs heavy on her. I think especially because she sees in this deceit the first tastes of her future guilt, over a lifetime knowing that she cheated Jasnah out of her precious Soulcaster.

That’s it from me for this year! I’ll see all of you in the comments, and in 2014.


Carl Engle-Laird is an editorial assistant and resident Stormlight correspondent for Tor.com. You can follow him on Twitter here.

45 comments
Nadine L.
1. travyl
I thought it a great "plot twist" that Shallan just meant to simulate a wound and was suspected of a suicide attempt. - Gives Shallan even more guilt because of Jasnah treats her so nicely.

Jasnah asks for a garnet - not the stone associated to her supposed order, but the one linked to blood. Does this indicate that she needs a specific diamond depending on into what she wishes her target to be soulcasted? Does this mean she murdered the thieves differently (a few chapters back) because once one gem was "expired" with the next she couldn't soulcast the next into the same substance?

PS to Carl: you might want to correct your intro: chapter 48 (twice)
Mike I
2. MikeyRocks
These few chapters in this section that focus on Shallan, clearly exemplifies why I just don’t care for her. Especially now that we've been introduced to a new character Lift, Shallan is definitely my least favorite character including the "villains".
Shallan is a selfish, hypocritical little girl frankly not fit to wash the sandals Jasnah wears. I know Brandon is placing her to be a major character but I would be very happy to see her killed off in WOR.
Adam S.
3. MDNY
Strawberries? Who ever heard of strawberries?
Poisoined in her hospital bed, Shallan is about to go from the frying pan into the fire. And Kabsal finally reveals his true self. I think he did care for Shallan, maybe even loved her, but he still clearly cares most about his own life. Too bad he poisoned himself, thanks to Jasnah's little trickery.
I agree that Jasnah is in top form in this chapter, revealing her own humanity, her ability to care and her self-doubts. I wonder if we'll find out more about who gave her the book of endless pages? Some old flame, perhaps?
Alice Arneson
5. Wetlandernw
Heh. Rather ironic that "The Book of Endless Pages" shows up in the chapter we're reading the same week we got to see the picture of the Book of Endless Pages Words of Radiance manuscript. :)
Cory S.
4. Hungry_For_Hands
@2 - I am going to wait until reading Shallan's backstory in WoR before I finalize my judgement. But at this point in time I tend to agree with you. It is tough for me to see past her flaws.
Daniel Robertson
6. danr62
Throughout his discussion of the hospitals he maligns his life work, saying that he would prefer no one have to use them, and discredits the work of scholarship. Consider how he describes the hospitals: “It’s all paid for by the Panalaeum, you know. In a way, even the most obscure and useless record is helping heal the sick.”
I don't think he is descrediting scholarship at all. He didn't say all the texts in the Palaneum are useless. He only said the even the ones that are obscure and useless allow him to build hospitals.
Adam S.
7. MDNY
@ 2, 4: Hey, ease off of Shallan. I like Shallan, I think her powers and abilities are interesting and look forward to learning more of her backstory. I think it's harsh to call her selfish at this point, all we know is she's planned a theft with her brothers to help protect her family. I don't see her as selfish, I think her going halfway around the world to find Jasnah and the soulcaster, risking her very life if she's discovered, demonstrates her courage and selflessness. Remember, she spent almost her whole life sheltered on her family's lands, rarely even leaving their estates.
Alice Arneson
8. Wetlandernw
travyl @1 - Although it's not emphasized in WoK, it does seem that the gems (Stormlight source) affect the substance to be soulcast. At least in this case, since Jasnah is trying to soulcast poisoned blood into non-poisoned blood, apparently she believes she has a better chance of success if she uses the stone associated with blood. We already knew that the reason emeralds are so much more valuable is their usefulness in Soulcasting food; what we didn't know (but is implied here) is that a Surgebinder has the same needs as a fabrial in terms of source gems. Which... at least implies that your surmise about Jasnah Soulcasting the thieves was to some extent determined by the gems she had available. Good catch!

@ Mikey and Hungry - I would strongly recommend waiting for WoR before you judge Shallan. Or her family, for that matter. Her flashback sequence is.... powerful. Heartwrenchingly so, IMO. That doesn't mean you'll like her, but if you try, you might understand her more.
Awesomeness Lift
9. Awesomeness Lift
Wetlandernw dont know if you are allowed to or have previously done so but have you given a review o fWoR. How do you feel it Stacks up to WoK?.Is it fast paced? Is the conclusion of the book as powerfully fulfilling as WoK? Shallan is not my favorite though by no means I dislike her.Kaladin story line has been my favorite is there enough time given to his story line? Your thoughts would be much appreciated.
Awesomeness Lift
10. Aoibheann
to expand on what MDNY is saying @7: Shallan is finally learning about the real world and the complexity of the people in it. It's easy to see the world as black and white, us vs. them, when you only know your family estates; when Jasnah Kohlin is a faceless heretic. Shallan is finally maturing out of adolescence. Adolescents are annoying.

Let's see what kind of woman she becomes.

With Kabsal's Ghostblood connections, I wonder if he was placed in Kharbranth solely to poison Jasnah or also to keep an eye on Shallan. Maybe that's why he offered to go with her when she planned to leave for the estates. Luesh is dead; the Ghostbloods have no one else to keep an eye on the Davar children.

With Shallan now soulcasting, accidental as it maybe, will it appear to the Ghostbloods that she just stole her father's fabrial; they haven't been told the fabrial is broken.
Jordan Hibbits
11. rhandric
@1, 8: I read it as her seeking a garnet not for her own requirements, but as it is what is linked with blood for "real" Soulcasters (via the fabrial), to hide that she doesn't actually need the fabrial. Hopefully we'll see in future volumes which of us is right :)
Matt Stoumbaugh
12. LazerWulf
@1, 8, 11: I think that, though Jasnah is using a fake Soulcaster, she still is bound by the transmutation restrictions of the 10 essences/10 gemstones. So in order to soulcast blood, she does need the garnet. Word of Brandon has said that this is a limitation on Soulcasting (Surgebinding version OR Fabrial version) not present in other forms of Surgebinding (though I can't seem to find the exact quote, I know he's said this).

I can't help but think that the only reason Taravangian is so against suicide is that it typically happens when they're alone, and so there would be no one there to record their last words...
Andrew Berenson
13. AndrewHB
Shallan is my favorite character. Count me among those who cannot wait to read her back story in WoR. I enjoy her sarcasim.

Until the reveal in this chapter, I did not guess that Kabsal's bread was poisoned and the jam contained the antidote. In retrospect, I beleive it made sense. IIRC, earlier in WoK Jasnah noted that she does not like jam.

Thanks for reviewing my musings.
AndrewB
(aka the musespren)
Jeremy Guebert
14. jeremyguebert
@12 - Thanks for the info. If you're confident it's Word of Brandon, I'm willing to believe it without an exact quote. It's certainly something I've been wondering about for a while. Morbid (but likely somewhat accurate) thoughts on Taravangian.

Really sad to see the betrayal, although I guess Kabsal got what was coming to him.

I also really loved the reconciliation between Jasnah and Shallan, and I agree with Wetlander that the timing of this chapter is quite ironic.
Cory S.
15. Hungry_For_Hands
Re: Shallan - I haven't given up on her yet, but as a character she really gets on my nerves. I actually enjoyed her chapters a lot, but more for the worldbuilding and glimpses of Jasnah. I am hoping that in WoR she continues to mature and becomes a character that I can like. Because as of right now, I don't.

@Wetlander - I am glad to hear that her backstory is so moving. Maybe I will end up changing my mind on her afterall.
Awesomeness Lift
16. McKay B
@2, 15: Shallan is indeed deeply flawed and selfish ... in other words, she's an adolescent who is still figuring herself out. I think there's still a lot of room for her to become a likeable character yet; maturity can do amazing things to people.

Fantasy in general tends to glamorize teenagers and gloss over a lot of the flaws that they have -- meaning no disrespect, just that maturity and cohesiveness of character take time to develop (and never finish completely). Brandon has probably even been guilty of this with some of his other young characters that were a little unbelievable in their overall maturity. (Siri, in particular, comes to mind. Also Vin and Kaladin.) So Shallan, in her deeply flawed state (but with good potential) is a welcome element of depth to this writing.

@13: Yeah, this whole sequence really shocked me. I didn't see any of it coming; I felt like I'd just been knocked clean off my feet by a sweet emotional sequence suddenly becoming a mess of betrayal and death.
Awesomeness Lift
17. Pineapples!
I feel like I'm missing something obvious. The jam-antidote didn't work because Jasnah soulcast the jam. But why did she do so?

I feel like it is suppose to be because she is afraid of being poisoned but since she wasn't planning on eating the jam why did she feel any need to soulcast it?
Jordan Hibbits
18. rhandric
@17 She didn't know whether the jam or the bread was poisoned, so she soulcast both - but only her own bread, as she couldn't easily (and non-obviously) soulcast the entire bread. She soulcast the jam because she valued the life of Shallan
Alice Arneson
19. Wetlandernw
Awesomeness Lift @9 - I have not written a review (other than "general reactions to the book" in the beta document), but I'd be glad to make a few comments without spoiling anything. FWIW, though, I'll admit that I'm completely biased. As I told Brandon, I sometimes felt that my beta input mostly consisted of squealing like a little girl. :)

Personally, I really liked the pacing in WoR; there were crazy-fast action sequences interspersed with slower progressions, so I had moments to catch my breath here and there. Even the "slower" bits tended to be pretty full of world-building and character development, so it wasn't like there were any boring bits. Those who want an adrenaline rush from start to finish might disagree with me, and there may be other reasons to disagree, but that was my personal reaction. There was plenty of adrenaline! There was one scene that left me so stunned, I couldn't form a coherent comment for a couple of days. (That was Peter's favorite, I think.) There was one where my coherence was limited to "Oh, my. Ohmyohmyohmyohmy!" There was also one where I said something like, "NO. I WILL NOT ACCEPT THIS," and then had to sit on it for a while before I could say any more.

I felt that Brandon did a great job of giving us fulfilling answers - even answers we didn't expect yet - but balancing it with continuing questions and (of course!) new questions. The flashback sequences, as I said, were revealing, instructive, and heartbreaking; anyone who reads them without prejudice will, I think, dramatically revise their understanding of Shallan and her family. I had to repeatedly retrieve my jaw from the floor as new angles were revealed. (Keep in mind, here, that I am a reader who is generally content to let the characters be who they are, as long as they are consistent with human nature. So I was interested in finding out what made her tick, rather than whether or not I personally would enjoy spending time with her. She's definitely realistic. Well, plus Surgebinding powers, but there has to be some fantasy in fantasy...)

The interludes, like WoK, included some recurring characters and some one-offs. He used them a little differently, but I can't say more than that. They were great, though.

Again, there are multiple plotlines going, but in WoR they function together more than in WoK - for example, as we know, Dalinar and Kaladin are now "in the same space" and so their lines, while still distinctly their own, overlap a lot more. Some others do the same kind of thing, but I won't say which. :)

The avalanche will not, I think, disappoint anyone. I think it's a little longer (and there are earlier slides that made me wonder if he was starting the avalanche at the half-way point!) and more drawn-out than WoK, but it's every bit as fulfilling. Something that strikes me, though it may have changed in further revision, is that the end is very much like an avalanche. Everything is wild and crazy and chaotic, and then it seems to be done... and then things settle a bit here, and slide a bit there, and then it gets quiet, and then a few more bits fall into place, and then when you're sure things are quiet, something else goes SMASH.

My one-word summary on the final page?

BRILLIANT.
Nadine L.
20. travyl
rhandric @11:
I read it as her seeking a garnet not for her own requirements, but ... to hide that she doesn't actually need the fabrial.
Barely anybody knows how soulcasters work and Jasnah keeps hers mostly hidden, so I don't think Jasnah would have risked Shallan's life by demanding a garnet, if she hadn't needed one, and instead just would have pretended that she had one.
But yes, hopefully we'll see, who's right in march.
Awesomeness Lift
21. Awesomeness Lift
Thanks Wetlandernw this is exactly what I was hoping to hear. I have loved WoK so much that it's hard to believe he can match it. Then I read lift  and what you wrote and I just marvel at what Sanderson can accomplish.  It must be very difficult to have read it and not be able to share and get others feedback but then again I would gladly have carried that burden for you lol . Thanks again for your comment, I'm even more looking forward to WoR and I didn't think that posable. If I had magic powerss it would be March already
Daniel Robertson
22. danr62
@19 Wetlandernw

Dude (or dudettte?) you got me crying with that review.

Edit: Oh, dudette. I just noticed your name shows up when I hover over your little avatar.
Alice Arneson
23. Wetlandernw
@21 and 22 - Aw, thanks! I am so excited for y'all to read it; it will be well worth the wait. If you liked WoK enough to be here reading/discussing, you'll love WoR.

As for not being able to share... yes, it's been very hard, but I've learned to live with it. ;) The thing that saved my sanity is the way Brandon conducts his beta read: all the readers have access to a googledoc where we enter our comments as we go. Needless to say, discussion and speculation broke out occasionally as well! While it tended to be more focused on "does this actually work?" and "is this consistent with what we already know?" there was also some sheer exuberance and virtual high-fiving going down.

Oh, and there's humor. There's one bit that I have concluded may well be the funniest line in all of fantasy. (It may not, of course, depending on one's sense of humor, but I read it several months ago and I still get a silly grin and start sniggering whenever I think of it.)

Heh. Now I'm tempted to come up with a list of my favorite reactions and post them somewhere for everyone to guess what I was reacting to. :)
Mike I
24. MikeyRocks
@wetlandernw thank you for your review, this book and a couple of others coming out next year are driving me insane with anticipation. If at all possible could you answer whether we see more of Lift in WOR, I know I sound like a man with a wee bit of a crack problem for this book, but as they say "the struggle is real!"

I will try to not hate Shallan too much till WOR, but that's the last chance she gets from me.

Does anyone know if Brandon ever said how many books are going to be in this series?
Jeremy Guebert
25. jeremyguebert
Thanks for sharing, Wetlander, that's brilliant. It's hard to put into words how excited I am to read this book. I'm seriously tempted to take time off from work to power through it in the shortest time possible. Random question about beta reading - are the epigraphs for each chapter included in what you're reading, or are those added later?

The list of reactions reminds me of Leigh Butler's spoiler-free reviews on the last few Wheel of Time books - those were always fun to go through.

@24 - I can't speak with certainty about Lift, but I know that Brandon has said there will be ten books in the Stormlight Archive (two sets of five books).
Jordan Hibbits
26. rhandric
@24
Peter Ahlstrom said in the Lift excerpt (comment 20) that this is the only time Lift appears in this book, but it can be extrapolated from his comment that it's likely she'll appear in future volumes
Alice Arneson
27. Wetlandernw
MikeyRocks @24 – This is the only time we see Lift in WoR, but I personally expect that we will see her again. (Several of the beta readers expressed that desire rather strongly, as well!) I just don’t see Brandon introducing a single member of an Order and then not returning to her/bringing her in eventually. Especially since she’s learned Regrowth!

As Jeremy said @25, Brandon plans ten books for the series; he’s more recently said that it’s plotted as two arcs of five books each. Not sure what that means, exactly, but that’s what he said. Re: Shallan, I can only beg you (for your own enjoyment) to try very hard to keep your mind open to all the things that are going on in her flashbacks, including the things that are not directly stated. Some things require a certain understanding of human nature to form the subtle links between an event and its later effects, but those links make the story much deeper and more poignant.

Jeremy @25 – While I can certainly understand the temptation to power through uninterrupted, I found one unexpected benefit to the beta read: it was not possible to read straight through. There are five parts, just like last time, with three Interludes between the parts, plus a prologue and an epilogue. Brandon sent it to us one part at a time, with about a week (give or take a couple days) in between. That meant that I knew there was no point in racing through, so I read more slowly, really thinking about things as I went. (Well, and that was my job, so there’s that…) Even so, I think I got to a point in each part where I simply got caught up in the reading, and had to reread the last few chapters in order to make comments.

Which is to say, you will seriously not want to put it down, but it benefits from a more thoughtful read. There’s also the problem of wanting to jump into the discussion as quickly as possible – and I’m betting this will generate LOTS of discussion! If you’ve got the stamina, you can power through it and then go for a reflective reread… :) If you possibly can, force yourself to put it down at least between parts, or you’ll find yourself a couple days later with no sleep and starving of the hunger.

Oh, and for the beta, we did not get the epigraphs, titles or icons for the chapters. In fact, there are a couple of chapters that made me really curious to see the icons. (Peter, of course, wasn’t telling! He was too busy enjoying our speculations.)

The list of reactions thought was undoubtedly triggered by Leigh’s review; I realized that I had inadvertently done a little of the same thing, and could have a lot of fun doing more. I enjoyed going through hers and trying to figure them out.
June Williams
28. Windspren
Alot of us seem to think Shallon has a shardblade , that she has gotton it from her father or somewhere else but.... i have been thinking this..

reading the Shallon chapter from WOR ;
Shallon blames herself for what happened, her father carries her to her room she is shaking, her father is singing a lullabye to her,her skin starts to crawl, and she thinks a monster should not be held in love , a monster killed...they pass her mothers body and she can
not see the eyes . those horrible eyes .

i feel that she is hateing herself here for what she did,for the death of her mother with perhaps a weapon,(that burns or does something horrific to the eyes of the dead) ,NOT her father. Would a shardblade be shining in the safe ? I don`t think it can be, Ithink if
shes not holding it , a shardblade, it would have gone to mist. so what is the monster in the safe if not a shardblade, but someother weapon? If it is how did she come by it, is it possible to be born with one
does this make sense, so perhaps this is the first introduction to a new weapon for Radiant Knights.

If you can measure some spren and they retain the size that is writtne down. Spoiler: perhaps this may be a way to make evil spren thunderclasts or other large spren related evil a small size to mange? (Spoilers: Roll over text above to read)
June Williams
29. Windspren
crap could someone white out my spoilers. sorry.
Sean Arthur
31. wsean
Shallan's arc was my least favorite part of WoK, but wetlander's posts make me hopeful I'll enjoy her in the new one. :)
Jeremy Guebert
32. jeremyguebert
@27 - Interesting thoughts about forcing yourself to read slower. In all honesty I expect my work schedule to prevent me through reading it straight through super fast (i.e. 2-3 days), but I'm still planning on buying it on release day, and I'm guessing I'll be done in under two or three weeks. And by done, I of course mean have read through it once. At this point, I'm on at least my fifth or sixth read-through of Way of Kings, so I expect that I'll be reading Words of Radiance multiple times as well. Likely slower the following times (especially when this re-read gets to that point). Which begs the question - do you think we'll finish the Way of Kings re-read before March 4th?

On epigraphs: kind of a shame that you didn't get to read those - they were always some of the more interesting bits, especially after we figured out the origin of the different segments. On the plus side, there should be even more fuel for speculation when the book actually does come out ;)

On the reactions post: can that be a thing? Seriously, though - to the powers that be at Tor.com, I would love to see that actually happen. I really enjoyed reading Leigh's posts, and would be highly interested in something similar for WoR. Or were you (Wetlander) intending it to be more of a personal thing and/or in the comments? Obviously, no one is going to force you to write anything you don't want to, but if you're willing, you've got my support.
Alice Arneson
33. Wetlandernw
Jeremy @32 - Re: reading slower... I know that if I'd had the whole thing in my hands, I would have been hard pressed to stop myself. :) That bit about eating and sleeping? Yeah, if I didn't have kids that think they need to eat dinner every single day, (and breakfast and lunch, to boot!) I'd probably read from start to finish, grabbing easy things to nibble on while reading, sleeping only when if I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. And I'm pretty sure WoR will try to do that to you. In fact, I fully expect it will do that to me again in March; along with the epigraphs, there are significant revisions and additions since I saw it. For all I know, I'm also very eager for the release!

As far as the reactions post, it's of course up to the powers that be. I sort of assume that they will have someone do a non-spoiler review (likely Carl?) and then a full-up spoiler discussion. If they do a non-spoiler review, I would probably put my "reaction list" in the comments there; otherwise, I'll put it in the WoK reread discussion a couple weeks prior to the release. Of course, if they asked me to do it... ;)
Nadine L.
34. travyl
It's only 10 eligible thursdays before march 4 (yes, we are this close ;) and 27 chapters, 3 interludes and one epilogue to discuss left, so I expect, we won't be done before release of WoR (unless they rush it of course).
If I could choose I would vote for a non-rushed re-read with a hiatus in march, so we can devote ourselves to the other book. Additionally I'm confident Michael and Carl will Re-read WoR as well and since we'll likely have a spoiler-post for initial reaction, I would prefer if a few months (maybe at least two?) passed after release date before they start a RE-READ of WoR.

PS: Amazon "kindly" informed me, that my book will be delivered march 14-18, but I won't wait that long: my fingers are twitching already to preorder the ebook as well. (I haven't yet because I'm still hoping for the miracle of a reduce prize for those who buy both (hardback and ebook), like Brandon did US-wide with some of his other books)
Jeremy Guebert
35. jeremyguebert
Wetlander @33 - everything I read about this book just makes me more excited for when it actually comes out.

travyl @34 - thanks for working out the math on the schedule. I confess I got lazy on that one... I definitely agree - going at a non-rushed pace would be much better, so we can take the time we need to analyze and discuss things to the full. If we're going to be doing this, we may as well do it right.
David Foster
36. ZenBossanova
If we do 3 chapters/interludes at a time (too much?) and one week for the epilogue, then that is 11 weeks. At that point, we might as well just finish it off before starting the reading of Words of Radiance.

Also, regarding Taravangian's comments regarding books and hospitals, I think we can expect him to play his role well enough no one is going to expect him to be the mass murder super-genius that he is.
Alice Arneson
37. Wetlandernw
Not that it's up for a vote, but if it were, I'd vote for travyl's suggestion: continue the reread at the current pace, take a break when WoR comes out, then finish up WoK. Take another short break, maybe (depending on how the timing works out, and then start the reread (with detailed discussion) of WoR in about May.

Edit to insert: after some recalculation, it seems that if we continue at the current pace (average 1.5 chapters/week), plus one week for the remaining interludes, one for the remaining epigraphs (?), one for the epilogue, and one for a general wrap-up (including the Ars Arcanum), we would have 22 weeks of WoK reread left. With a week off at Christmas and a month off for the WoR release and initial discussion, that takes us out to nearly the end of June! But I really, really don't want to rush the discussion by pushing to finish WoK by the end of February.

And... the discussion of WoR seems to have gesumped the discussion of chapter 48 this week! (Oops.)
James Briggs
38. traveler
Hi all I've got to say that I agree with Wetlander on finishing the W O K at its present place . But I have been looking for anything that's written on the WOR .
Wetlander, I think that Brandon made a great choice in making you a beta reader .
I will be taking about
a week or two to read the next book then I start all over again and pick it apart looking for answers. And then I will be looking forward to seeing everyone's comments .
P'S. I LOVE TO TALK ABOUT SPOILERS AND WOULD LIKE TO SEE A SIGHT THAT'S JUST FOR THIS KIND OF DISCUSSION.
Carl Engle-Laird
39. CarlEngle-Laird
Hey guys, Carl here.

We're still throwing around ideas for how we're going to handle the Way of Kings reread once Words of Radiance comes out. Finishing by then is pretty much off the table; that would have to be a truly rushed job on our parts. We want to keep providing detailed and thoughtful coverage of the Stormlight Archive. At the moment, we're considering taking a break from the reread for a few weeks to give you all as much time and space to discuss Words of Radiance as you need. I'm sure I'll be active in that discussion while it's happening, as well as contributing various articles as seems appropriate.

@38, have no fear. We will provide a space for spoilery discussions of Words of Radiance as soon as the book is released. There will also be reviews, probably both a spoiler and a non-spoiler version, although that's still being arranged.
Cory S.
40. Hungry_For_Hands
For what it's worth, I would love to read a Wetlander reaction post.
I've come to associate these WoK posts with her as much as the actual authors.
Alice Arneson
41. Wetlandernw
(::shhhhh:: That's 'cause I talk too much...)

;)
Jeremy Guebert
42. jeremyguebert
Thanks for the scheduling update, Carl!

For what it's worth, taking a break for WoR sounds like a good plan to me.
Awesomeness Lift
43. Rajani_Isa
I can't see him not using Lift again - not after giving her a rather unqiue ability.
Josep Abenza
44. JosepAbenza
Getting back to this chapter's review...

@17 and @18: Did Jasnah really soulcast his bread? I don't recall this being explained later--though it could, I've been reading at this reread's pace--, but it very much looks to me as if she suspects nothing. However, she eats the bread and does not get poisoned...

Can someone shed a bit of light on this?
Awesomeness Lift
45. Jasuni
@44 Jasnah soulcasted her bread as she was eating (Shallan's sketch shows the bread squishing between her fingers, and she grimaced at the taste, although the bread tasted great to Shallan), so she was not poisoned. Jasnah never trusted Kabsal, and has been dealing with assassins for some time.
Nadine L.
46. travyl
@44, you can read the scene Jasuni explained of Shallan's reasoning in chapter 70.

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