Tue
Jan 21 2014 12:00pm

Read an Excerpt from Words of Radiance: Chapters Six, Eight, and Nine

Brandon Sanderson The Stormlight Archive Words of Radiance

Tor.com is pleased to offer the following excerpt from Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance, book two of The Stormlight Archive. Be sure to check back for further excerpts and sneak peeks in the weeks to come, leading up to the book’s release on March 4th!

Following the events of The Way of Kings, Sanderson returns us to the remarkable world of Roshar, where the war between humans and the enigmatic Parshendi will move into a new, dangerous phase.

Dalinar leads the human armies deep into the heart of the Shattered Plains in a bold attempt to finally end the war. Shallan is set on finding the legendary and perhaps mythical city of Urithiru, which Jasnah believes holds a secret vital to mankind’s survival on Roshar. Kaladin struggles to wear the mantle of the Windrunners as his old demons resurface. And the threat of the Voidbringers’ return hangs over them all...

Also, we’ve opened up a spoiler thread here for discussion of the new chapters.

 

 

 

We had never considered that there might be Parshendi spies hiding among our slaves. This is something else I should have seen.

—From the journal of Navani Kholin, Jesesan 1174

 

Shallan sat again on her box on the ship’s deck, though she now wore a hat on her head, a coat over her dress, and a glove on her freehand—her safehand was, of course, pinned inside its sleeve.

The chill out here on the open ocean was something unreal. The captain said that far to the south, the ocean itself actually froze. That sounded incredible; she’d like to see it. She’d occasionally seen snow and ice in Jah Keved, during the odd winter. But an entire ocean of it? Amazing.

She wrote with gloved fingers as she observed the spren she’d named Pattern. At the moment, he had lifted himself up off the surface of the deck, forming a ball of swirling blackness—infinite lines that twisted in ways she could never have captured on the flat page. Instead, she wrote descriptions supplemented with sketches.

“Food…” Pattern said. The sound had a buzzing quality and he vibrated when he spoke.

“Yes,” Shallan said. “We eat it.” She selected a small limafruit from the bowl beside her and placed it in her mouth, then chewed and swallowed.

“Eat,” Pattern said. “You… make it… into you.”

“Yes! Exactly.”

He dropped down, the darkness vanishing as he entered the wooden deck of the ship. Once again, he became part of the material—making the wood ripple as if it were water. He slid across the floor, then moved up the box beside her to the bowl of small green fruits. Here, he moved across them, each fruit’s rind puckering and rising with the shape of his pattern.

“Terrible!” he said, the sound vibrating up from the bowl.

“Terrible?”

“Destruction!”

“What? No, it’s how we survive. Everything needs to eat.”

“Terrible destruction to eat!” He sounded aghast. He retreated from the bowl to the deck.

Pattern connects increasingly complex thoughts, Shallan wrote. Abstractions come easily to him. Early, he asked me the questions “Why? Why you? Why be?” I interpreted this as asking me my purpose. When I replied, “To find truth,” he easily seemed to grasp my meaning. And yet, some simple realities—such as why people would need to eat—completely escape him. It—

She stopped writing as the paper puckered and rose, Pattern appearing on the sheet itself, his tiny ridges lifting the letters she had just penned.

“Why this?” he asked.

“To remember.”

“Remember,” he said, trying the word.

“It means…” Stormfather. How did she explain memory? “It means to be able to know what you did in the past. In other moments, ones that happened days ago.”

“Remember,” he said. “I… cannot… remember…”

“What is the first thing you do remember?” Shallan asked. “Where were you first?”

“First,” Pattern said. “With you.”

“On the ship?” Shallan said, writing.

“No. Green. Food. Food not eaten.”

“Plants?” Shallan asked.

“Yes. Many plants.” He vibrated, and she thought she could hear in that vibration the blowing of wind through branches. Shallan breathed in. She could almost see it. The deck in front of her changing to a dirt path, her box becoming a stone bench. Faintly. Not really there, but almost. Her father’s gardens. Pattern on the ground, drawn in the dust…

“Remember,” Pattern said, voice like a whisper.

No, Shallan thought, horrified. NO!

The image vanished. It hadn’t really been there in the first place, had it? She raised her safehand to her breast, breathing in and out in sharp gasps. No.

“Hey, young miss!” Yalb said from behind. “Tell the new kid here what happened in Kharbranth!”

Shallan turned, heart still racing, to see Yalb walking over with the “new kid,” a six-foot-tall hulk of a man who was at least five years Yalb’s senior. They’d picked him up at Amydlatn, the last port. Tozbek wanted to be sure they wouldn’t be undermanned during the last leg to New Natanan.

Yalb squatted down beside her stool. In the face of the chill, he’d acquiesced to wearing a shirt with ragged sleeves and a kind of headband that wrapped over his ears.

“Brightness?” Yalb asked. “You all right? You look like you swallowed a turtle. And not just the head, neither.”

“I’m well,” Shallan said. “What… what was it you wanted of me, again?”

“In Kharbranth,” Yalb said, thumbing over his shoulder. “Did we or did we not meet the king?”

“We?” Shallan asked. “I met him.”

“And I was your retinue.”

“You were waiting outside.”

“Doesn’t matter none,” Yalb said. “I was your footman for that meeting, eh?”

Footman? He’d led her up to the palace as a favor. “I… guess,” she said. “You did have a nice bow, as I recall.”

“See,” Yalb said, standing and confronting the much larger man. “I mentioned the bow, didn’t I?”

The “new kid” rumbled his agreement.

“So get to washing those dishes,” Yalb said. He got a scowl in response. “Now, don’t give me that,” Yalb said. “I told you, galley duty is something the captain watches closely. If you want to fit in around here, you do it well, and do some extra. It will put you ahead with the captain and the rest of the men. I’m giving you quite the opportunity here, and I’ll have you appreciate it.”

That seemed to placate the larger man, who turned around and went tromping toward the lower decks.

“Passions!” Yalb said. “That fellow is as dun as two spheres made of mud. I worry about him. Somebody’s going to take advantage of him, Brightness.”

“Yalb, have you been boasting again?” Shallan said.

“ ’Tain’t boasting if some of it’s true.”

“Actually, that’s exactly what boasting entails.”

“Hey,” Yalb said, turning toward her. “What were you doing before? You know, with the colors?”

“Colors?” Shallan said, suddenly cold.

“Yeah, the deck turned green, eh?” Yalb said. “I swear I saw it. Has to do with that strange spren, does it?”

“I… I’m trying to determine exactly what kind of spren it is,” Shallan said, keeping her voice even. “It’s a scholarly matter.”

“I thought so,” Yalb said, though she’d given him nothing in the way of an answer. He raised an affable hand to her, then jogged off.

She worried about letting them see Pattern. She’d tried staying in her cabin to keep him a secret from the men, but being cooped up had been too difficult for her, and he didn’t respond to her suggestions that he stay out of their sight. So, during the last four days, she’d been forced to let them see what she was doing as she studied him.

They were understandably discomforted by him, but didn’t say much. Today, they were getting the ship ready to sail all night. Thoughts of the open sea at night unsettled her, but that was the cost of sailing this far from civilization. Two days back, they’d even been forced to weather a storm in a cove along the coast. Jasnah and Shallan had gone ashore to stay in a fortress maintained for the purpose—paying a steep cost to get in—while the sailors had stayed on board.

That cove, though not a true port, had at least had a stormwall to help shelter the ship. Next highstorm, they wouldn’t even have that. They’d find a cove and try to ride out the winds, though Tozbek said he’d send Shallan and Jasnah ashore to seek shelter in a cavern.

She turned back to Pattern, who had shifted into his hovering form. He looked something like the pattern of splintered light thrown on the wall by a crystal chandelier—except he was made of something black instead of light, and he was three-dimensional. So… Maybe not much like that at all.

“Lies,” Pattern said. “Lies from the Yalb.”

“Yes,” Shallan said with a sigh. “Yalb is far too skilled at persuasion for his own good, sometimes.”

Pattern hummed softly. He seemed pleased.

“You like lies?” Shallan asked.

“Good lies,” Pattern said. “That lie. Good lie.”

“What makes a lie good?” Shallan asked, taking careful notes, recording Pattern’s exact words.

“True lies.”

“Pattern, those two are opposites.”

“Hmmmm… Light makes shadow. Truth makes lies. Hmmmm.”

Liespren, Jasnah called them, Shallan wrote. A moniker they don’t like, apparently. When I Soulcast for the first time, a voice demanded a truth from me. I still don’t know what that means, and Jasnah has not been forthcoming. She doesn’t seem to know what to make of my experience either. I do not think that voice belonged to Pattern, but I cannot say, as he seems to have forgotten much about himself.

She turned to making a few sketches of Pattern both in his floating and flattened forms. Drawing let her mind relax. By the time she was done, there were several half-remembered passages from her research that she wanted to quote in her notes.

She made her way down the steps belowdecks, Pattern following. He drew looks from the sailors. Sailors were a superstitious lot, and some took him as a bad sign.

In her quarters, Pattern moved up the wall beside her, watching without eyes as she searched for a passage she remembered, which mentioned spren that spoke. Not just windspren and riverspren, which would mimic people and make playful comments. Those were a step up from ordinary spren, but there was yet another level of spren, one rarely seen. Spren like Pattern, who had real conversations with people.

The Nightwatcher is obviously one of these, Alai wrote, Shallan copying the passage. The records of conversations with her—and she is definitely female, despite what rural Alethi folktales would have one believe—are numerous and credible. Shubalai herself, intent on providing a firsthand scholarly report, visited the Nightwatcher and recorded her story word for word.…

Shallan went to another reference, and before long got completely lost in her studies. A few hours later, she closed a book and set it on the table beside her bed. Her spheres were getting dim; they’d go out soon, and would need to be reinfused with Stormlight. Shallan released a contented sigh and leaned back against her bed, her notes from a dozen different sources laid out on the floor of her small chamber.

She felt… satisfied. Her brothers loved the plan of fixing the Soulcaster and returning it, and seemed energized by her suggestion that all was not lost. They thought they could last longer, now that a plan was in place.

Shallan’s life was coming together. How long had it been since she’d just been able to sit and read? Without worried concern for her house, without dreading the need to find a way to steal from Jasnah? Even before the terrible sequence of events that had led to her father’s death, she had always been anxious. That had been her life. She’d seen becoming a true scholar as something unreachable. Stormfather! She’d seen the next town over as being unreachable.

She stood up, gathering her sketchbook and flipping through her pictures of the santhid, including several drawn from the memory of her dip in the ocean. She smiled at that, recalling how she’d climbed back up on deck, dripping wet and grinning. The sailors had all obviously thought her mad.

Now she was sailing toward a city on the edge of the world, betrothed to a powerful Alethi prince, and was free to just learn. She was seeing incredible new sights, sketching them during the days, then reading through piles of books in the nights.

She had stumbled into the perfect life, and it was everything she’d wished for.

Shallan fished in the pocket inside her safehand sleeve, digging out some more spheres to replace those dimming in the goblet. The ones her hand emerged with, however, were completely dun. Not a glimmer of Light in them.

She frowned. These had been restored during the previous highstorm, held in a basket tied to the ship’s mast. The ones in her goblet were two storms old now, which was why they were running out. How had the ones in her pocket gone dun faster? It defied reason.

“Mmmmm…” Pattern said from the wall near her head. “Lies.”

Shallan replaced the spheres in her pocket, then opened the door into the ship’s narrow companionway and moved to Jasnah’s cabin. It was the cabin that Tozbek and his wife usually shared, but they had vacated it for the third—and smallest—of the cabins to give Jasnah the better quarters. People did things like that for her, even when she didn’t ask.

Jasnah would have some spheres for Shallan to use. Indeed, Jasnah’s door was cracked open, swaying slightly as the ship creaked and rocked along its evening path. Jasnah sat at the desk inside, and Shallan peeked in, suddenly uncertain if she wanted to bother the woman.

She could see Jasnah’s face, hand against her temple, staring at the pages spread before her. Jasnah’s eyes were haunted, her expression haggard.

This was not the Jasnah that Shallan was accustomed to seeing. The confidence had been overwhelmed by exhaustion, the poise replaced by worry. Jasnah started to write something, but stopped after just a few words. She set down the pen, closing her eyes and massaging her temples. A few dizzy-looking spren, like jets of dust rising into the air, appeared around Jasnah’s head. Exhaustionspren.

Shallan pulled back, suddenly feeling as if she’d intruded upon an intimate moment. Jasnah with her defenses down. Shallan began to creep away, but a voice from the floor suddenly said, “Truth!”

Startled, Jasnah looked up, eyes finding Shallan—who, of course, blushed furiously.

Jasnah turned her eyes down toward Pattern on the floor, then reset her mask, sitting up with proper posture. “Yes, child?”

“I… I needed spheres…” Shallan said. “Those in my pouch went dun.”

“Have you been Soulcasting?” Jasnah asked sharply.

“What? No, Brightness. I promised I would not.”

“Then it is the second ability,” Jasnah said. “Come in and close that door. I should speak to Captain Tozbek; it won’t latch properly.”

Shallan stepped in, pushing the door closed, though the latch didn’t catch. She stepped forward, hands clasped, feeling embarrassed.

“What did you do?” Jasnah asked. “It involved light, I assume?”

“I seemed to make plants appear,” Shallan said. “Well, really just the color. One of the sailors saw the deck turn green, but it vanished when I stopped thinking about the plants.”

“Yes…” Jasnah said. She flipped through one of her books, stopping at an illustration. Shallan had seen it before; it was as ancient as Vorinism. Ten spheres connected by lines forming a shape like an hourglass on its side. Two of the spheres at the center looked almost like pupils. The Double Eye of the Almighty.

“Ten Essences,” Jasnah said softly. She ran her fingers along the page. “Ten Surges. Ten orders. But what does it mean that the spren have finally decided to return the oaths to us? And how much time remains to me? Not long. Not long…”

“Brightness?” Shallan asked.

“Before your arrival, I could assume I was an anomaly,” Jasnah said. “I could hope that Surgebindings were not returning in large numbers. I no longer have that hope. The Cryptics sent you to me, of that I have no doubt, because they knew you would need training. That gives me hope that I was at least one of the first.”

“I don’t understand.”

Jasnah looked up toward Shallan, meeting her eyes with an intense gaze. The woman’s eyes were reddened with fatigue. How late was she working? Every night when Shallan turned in, there was still light coming from under Jasnah’s door.

“To be honest,” Jasnah said, “I don’t understand either.”

“Are you all right?” Shallan asked. “Before I entered, you seemed… distressed.”

Jasnah hesitated just briefly. “I have merely been spending too long at my studies.” She turned to one of her trunks, digging out a dark cloth pouch filled with spheres. “Take these. I would suggest that you keep spheres with you at all times, so that your Surgebinding has the opportunity to manifest.”

“Can you teach me?” Shallan asked, taking the pouch.

“I don’t know,” Jasnah said. “I will try. On this diagram, one of the Surges is known as Illumination, the mastery of light. For now, I would prefer you expend your efforts on learning this Surge, as opposed to Soulcasting. That is a dangerous art, more so now than it once was.”

Shallan nodded, rising. She hesitated before leaving, however. “Are you sure you are well?”

“Of course.” She said it too quickly. The woman was poised, in control, but also obviously exhausted. The mask was cracked, and Shallan could see the truth.

She’s trying to placate me, Shallan realized. Pat me on the head and send me back to bed, like a child awakened by a nightmare.

“You’re worried,” Shallan said, meeting Jasnah’s eyes.

The woman turned away. She pushed a book over something wiggling on her table—a small purple spren. Fearspren. Only one, true, but still.

“No...” Shallan whispered. “You’re not worried. You’re terrified.” Stormfather!

“It is all right, Shallan,” Jasnah said. “I just need some sleep. Go back to your studies.”

Shallan sat down on the stool beside Jasnah’s desk. The older woman looked back at her, and Shallan could see the mask cracking further. Annoyance as Jasnah drew her lips to a line. Tension in the way she held her pen, in a fist.

“You told me I could be part of this,” Shallan said. “Jasnah, if you’re worried about something…”

“My worry is what it has always been,” Jasnah said, leaning back in her chair. “That I will be too late. That I’m incapable of doing anything meaningful to stop what is coming—that I’m trying to stop a highstorm by blowing against it really hard.”

“The Voidbringers,” Shallan said. “The parshmen.”

“In the past,” Jasnah said, “the Desolation—the coming of the Voidbringers—was supposedly always marked by a return of the Heralds to prepare mankind. They would train the Knights Radiant, who would experience a rush of new members.”

“But we captured the Voidbringers,” Shallan said. “And enslaved them.” That was what Jasnah postulated, and Shallan agreed, having seen the research. “So you think a kind of revolution is coming. That the parshmen will turn against us as they did in the past.”

“Yes,” Jasnah said, rifling through her notes. “And soon. Your proving to be a Surgebinder does not comfort me, as it smacks too much of what happened before. But back then, new knights had teachers to train them, generations of tradition. We have nothing.”

“The Voidbringers are captive,” Shallan said, glancing toward Pattern. He rested on the floor, almost invisible, saying nothing. “The parshmen can barely communicate. How could they possibly stage a revolution?”

Jasnah found the sheet of paper she’d been seeking and handed it to Shallan. Written in Jasnah’s own hand, it was an account by a captain’s wife of a plateau assault on the Shattered Plains.

“Parshendi,” Jasnah said, “can sing in time with one another no matter how far they are separated. They have some ability to communicate that we do not understand. I can only assume that their cousins the parshmen have the same. They may not need to hear a call to action in order to revolt.”

Shallan read the report, nodding slowly. “We need to warn others, Jasnah.”

“You don’t think I’ve tried?” Jasnah asked. “I’ve written to scholars and kings all around the world. Most dismiss me as paranoid. The evidence you readily accept, others call flimsy.

“The ardents were my best hope, but their eyes are clouded by the interference of the Hierocracy. Besides, my personal beliefs make ardents skeptical of anything I say. My mother wants to see my research, which is something. My brother and uncle might believe, and that is why we are going to them.” She hesitated. “There is another reason we seek the Shattered Plains. A way to find evidence that might convince everyone.”

“Urithiru,” Shallan said. “The city you seek?”

Jasnah gave her another curt glance. The ancient city was something Shallan had first learned about by secretly reading Jasnah’s notes.

“You still blush too easily when confronted,” Jasnah noted.

“I’m sorry.”

“And apologize too easily as well.”

“I’m… uh, indignant?”

Jasnah smiled, picking up the representation of the Double Eye. She stared at it. “There is a secret hidden somewhere on the Shattered Plains. A secret about Urithiru.”

“You told me the city wasn’t there!”

“It isn’t. But the path to it may be.” Her lips tightened. “According to legend, only a Knight Radiant could open the way.”

“Fortunately, we know two of those.”

“Again, you are not a Radiant, and neither am I. Being able to replicate some of the things they could do may not matter. We don’t have their traditions or knowledge.”

“We’re talking about the potential end of civilization itself, aren’t we?” Shallan asked softly.

Jasnah hesitated.

“The Desolations,” Shallan said. “I know very little, but the legends…”

“In the aftermath of each one, mankind was broken. Great cities in ashes, industry smashed. Each time, knowledge and growth were reduced to an almost prehistoric state—it took centuries of rebuilding to restore civilization to what it had been before.” She hesitated. “I keep hoping that I’m wrong.”

“Urithiru,” Shallan said. She tried to refrain from just asking questions, trying instead to reason her way to the answer. “You said the city was a kind of base or home to the Knights Radiant. I hadn’t heard of it before speaking with you, and so can guess that it’s not commonly referred to in the literature. Perhaps, then, it is one of the things that the Hierocracy suppressed knowledge of?”

“Very good,” Jasnah said. “Although I think that it had begun to fade into legend even before then, the Hierocracy did not help.”

“So if it existed before the Hierocracy, and if the pathway to it was locked at the fall of the Radiants… then it might contain records that have not been touched by modern scholars. Unaltered, unchanged lore about the Voidbringers and Surgebinding.” Shallan shivered. “That’s why we’re really going to the Shattered Plains.”

Jasnah smiled through her fatigue. “Very good indeed. My time in the Palanaeum was very useful, but also in some ways disappointing. While I confirmed my suspicions about the parshmen, I also found that many of the great library’s records bore the same signs of tampering as others I’d read. This ‘cleansing’ of history, removing direct references to Urithiru or the Radiants because they were embarrassments to Vorinism—it’s infuriating. And people ask me why I am hostile to the church! I need primary sources. And then, there are stories—ones I dare to believe—claiming that Urithiru was holy and protected from the Voidbringers. Maybe that was wishful fancy, but I am not too much a scholar to hope that something like that might be true.”

“And the parshmen?”

“We will try to persuade the Alethi to rid themselves of those.”

“Not an easy task.”

“A nearly impossible one,” Jasnah said, standing. She began to pack her books away for the night, putting them in her waterproofed trunk. “Parshmen are such perfect slaves. Docile, obedient. Our society has become far too reliant upon them. The parshmen wouldn’t need to turn violent to throw us into chaos—though I’m certain that is what’s coming—they could simply walk away. It would cause an economic crisis.”

She closed the trunk after removing one volume, then turned back to Shallan. “Convincing everyone of what I say is beyond us without more evidence. Even if my brother listens, he doesn’t have the authority to force the highprinces to get rid of their parshmen. And, in all honesty, I fear my brother won’t be brave enough to risk the collapse expelling the parshmen might cause.”

“But if they turn on us, the collapse will come anyway.”

“Yes,” Jasnah said. “You know this, and I know it. My mother might believe it. But the risk of being wrong is so immense that… well, we will need evidence—overwhelming and irrefutable evidence. So we find the city. At all costs, we find that city.”

Shallan nodded.

“I did not want to lay all of this upon your shoulders, child,” Jasnah said, sitting back down. “However, I will admit that it is a relief to speak of these things to someone who doesn’t challenge me on every other point.”

“We’ll do it, Jasnah,” Shallan said. “We’ll travel to the Shattered Plains and we’ll find Urithiru. We’ll get the evidence and convince everyone to listen.”

“Ah, the optimism of youth,” Jasnah said. “That is nice to hear on occasion too.” She handed the book to Shallan. “Among the Knights Radiant, there was an order known as the Lightweavers. I know precious little about them, but of all the sources I’ve read, this one has the most information.”

Shallan took the volume eagerly. Words of Radiance, the title read. “Go,” Jasnah said. “Read.”

Shallan glanced at her.

“I will sleep,” Jasnah promised, a smile creeping to her lips. “And stop trying to mother me. I don’t even let Navani do that.”

Shallan sighed, nodding, and left Jasnah’s quarters. Pattern tagged along behind; he’d spent the entire conversation silent. As she entered her cabin, she found herself much heavier of heart than when she’d left it. She couldn’t banish the image of terror in Jasnah’s eyes. Jasnah Kholin shouldn’t fear anything, should she?

Shallan crawled onto her cot with the book she’d been given and the pouch of spheres. Part of her was eager to begin, but she was exhausted, her eyelids drooping. It really had gotten late. If she started the book now…

Perhaps better to get a good night’s sleep, then dig refreshed into a new day’s studies. She set the book on the small table beside her bed, curled up, and let the rocking of the boat coax her to sleep.

She awoke to screams, shouts, and smoke.

 

 

 

The familiar scraping of wood as a bridge slid into place. The stomping of feet in unison, first a flat sound on stone, then the ringing thump of boots on wood. The distant calls of scouts, shouting back the all-clear.

The sounds of a plateau run were familiar to Dalinar. Once, he had craved these sounds. He’d been impatient between runs, longing for the chance to strike down Parshendi with his Blade, to win wealth and recognition.

That Dalinar had been seeking to cover up his shame—the shame of lying slumped in a drunken stupor while his brother fought an assassin.

The setting of a plateau run was uniform: bare, jagged rocks, mostly the same dull color as the stone surface they sat on, broken only by the occasional cluster of closed rockbuds. Even those, as their name implied, could be mistaken for more rocks. There was nothing but more of the same from here where you stood, all the way out to the far horizon; and everything you’d brought with you, everything human, was dwarfed by the vastness of these endless, fractured plains and deadly chasms.

Over the years, this activity had become rote. Marching beneath that white sun like molten steel. Crossing gap after gap. Eventually, plateau runs had become less something to anticipate and more a dogged obligation. For Gavilar and glory, yes, but mainly because they—and the enemy— were here. This was what you did.

The scents of a plateau run were the scents of a great stillness: baked stone, dried crem, long-traveled winds.

Most recently, Dalinar was coming to detest plateau runs. They were a frivolity, a waste of life. They weren’t about fulfilling the Vengeance Pact, but about greed. Many gemhearts appeared on the near plateaus, convenient to reach. Those didn’t sate the Alethi. They had to reach farther, toward assaults that cost dearly.

Ahead, Highprince Aladar’s men fought on a plateau. They had arrived before Dalinar’s army, and the conflict told a familiar story. Men against Parshendi, fighting in a sinuous line, each army trying to shove the other back. The humans could field far more men than the Parshendi, but the Parshendi could reach plateaus faster and secure them quickly.

The scattered bodies of bridgemen on the staging plateau, leading up to the chasm, attested to the danger of charging an entrenched foe. Dalinar did not miss the dark expressions on his bodyguards’ faces as they surveyed the dead. Aladar, like most of the other highprinces, used Sadeas’s philosophy on bridge runs. Quick, brutal assaults that treated manpower as an expendable resource. It hadn’t always been this way. In the past, bridges had been carried by armored troops, but success bred imitation.

The warcamps needed a constant influx of cheap slaves to feed the monster. That meant a growing plague of slavers and bandits roaming the Unclaimed Hills, trading in flesh. Another thing I’ll have to change, Dalinar thought.

Aladar himself didn’t fight, but had instead set up a command center on an adjacent plateau. Dalinar pointed toward the flapping banner, and one of his large mechanical bridges rolled into place. Pulled by chulls and full of gears, levers, and cams, the bridges protected the men who worked them. They were also very slow. Dalinar waited with self-disciplined patience as the workers ratcheted the bridge down, spanning the chasm between this plateau and the one where Aladar’s banner flew.

Once the bridge was in position and locked, his bodyguard—led by one of Captain Kaladin’s darkeyed officers—trotted onto it, spears to shoulders. Dalinar had promised Kaladin his men would not have to fight except to defend him. Once they were across, Dalinar kicked Gallant into motion to cross to Aladar’s command plateau. Dalinar felt too light on the stallion’s back—the lack of Shardplate. In the many years since he’d obtained his suit, he’d never gone out onto a battlefield without it.

Today, however, he didn’t ride to battle—not truly. Behind him, Adolin’s own personal banner flew, and he led the bulk of Dalinar’s armies to assault the plateau where Aladar’s men already fought. Dalinar didn’t send any orders regarding how the assault should go. His son had been trained well, and he was ready to take battlefield command—with General Khal at his side, of course, for advice.

Yes, from now on, Adolin would lead the battles.

Dalinar would change the world.

He rode toward Aladar’s command tent. This was the first plateau run following his proclamation requiring the armies to work together. The fact that Aladar had come, as commanded, and Roion had not—even though the target plateau was closest to Roion’s warcamp—was a victory unto itself. A small encouragement, but Dalinar would take what he could get.

He found Highprince Aladar watching from a small pavilion set up on a secure, raised part of this plateau overlooking the battlefield. A perfect location for a command post. Aladar was a Shardbearer, though he commonly lent his Plate and Blade to one of his officers during battles, preferring to lead tactically from behind the battle lines. A practiced Shardbearer could mentally command a Blade to not dissolve when he let go of it, though—in an emergency—Aladar could summon it to himself, making it vanish from the hands of his officer in an eyeblink, then appear in his own hands ten heartbeats later. Loaning a Blade required a great deal of trust on both sides.

Dalinar dismounted. His horse, Gallant, glared at the groom who tried to take him, and Dalinar patted the horse on the neck. “He’ll be fine on his own, son,” he said to the groom. Most common grooms didn’t know what to do with one of the Ryshadium anyway.

Trailed by his bridgeman guards, Dalinar joined Aladar, who stood at the edge of the plateau, overseeing the battlefield ahead and just below. Slender and completely bald, the man had skin a darker tan than most Alethi. He stood with hands behind his back, and wore a sharp traditional uniform with a skirtlike takama, though he wore a modern jacket above it, cut to match the takama.

It was a style Dalinar had never seen before. Aladar also wore a thin mustache and a tuft of hair beneath his lip, again an unconventional choice. Aladar was powerful enough, and renowned enough, to make his own fashion—and he did so, often setting trends.

“Dalinar,” Aladar said, nodding to him. “I thought you weren’t going to fight on plateau runs any longer.”

“I’m not,” Dalinar said, nodding toward Adolin’s banner. There, soldiers streamed across Dalinar’s bridges to join the battle. The plateau was small enough that many of Aladar’s men had to withdraw to make way, something they were obviously all too eager to do.

“You almost lost this day,” Dalinar noted. “It is well that you had support.” Below, Dalinar’s troops restored order to the battlefield and pushed against the Parshendi.

“Perhaps,” Aladar said. “Yet in the past, I was victorious in one out of three assaults. Having support will mean I win a few more, certainly, but will also cost half my earnings. Assuming the king even assigns me any. I’m not convinced that I’ll be better off in the long run.”

“But this way, you lose fewer men,” Dalinar said. “And the total winnings for the entire army will rise. The honor of the—”

“Don’t talk to me about honor, Dalinar. I can’t pay my soldiers with honor, and I can’t use it to keep the other highprinces from snapping at my neck. Your plan favors the weakest among us and undercuts the successful.”

“Fine,” Dalinar snapped, “honor has no value to you. You will still obey, Aladar, because your king demands it. That is the only reason you need. You will do as told.”

“Or?” Aladar said.

“Ask Yenev.”

Aladar started as if slapped. Ten years back, Highprince Yenev had refused to accept the unification of Alethkar. At Gavilar’s order, Sadeas had dueled the man. And killed him.

“Threats?” Aladar asked.

“Yes.” Dalinar turned to look the shorter man in the eyes. “I’m done cajoling, Aladar. I’m done asking. When you disobey Elhokar, you mock my brother and what he stood for. I will have a unified kingdom.”

“Amusing,” Aladar said. “Good of you to mention Gavilar, as he didn’t bring the kingdom together with honor. He did it with knives in the back and soldiers on the field, cutting the heads off any who resisted. Are we back to that again, then? Such things don’t sound much like the fine words of your precious book.”

Dalinar ground his teeth, turning away to watch the battlefield. His first instinct was to tell Aladar he was an officer under Dalinar’s command, and take the man to task for his tone. Treat him like a recruit in need of correction.

But what if Aladar just ignored him? Would he force the man to obey? Dalinar didn’t have the troops for it.

He found himself annoyed—more at himself than at Aladar. He’d come on this plateau run not to fight, but to talk. To persuade. Navani was right. Dalinar needed more than brusque words and military commands to save this kingdom. He needed loyalty, not fear.

But storms take him, how? What persuading he’d done in life, he’d accomplished with a sword in hand and a fist to the face. Gavilar had always been the one with the right words, the one who could make people listen.

Dalinar had no business trying to be a politician.

Half the lads on that battlefield probably didn’t think they had any business being soldiers, at first, a part of him whispered. You don’t have the luxury of being bad at this. Don’t complain. Change.

“The Parshendi are pushing too hard,” Aladar said to his generals. “They want to shove us off the plateau. Tell the men to give a little and let the Parshendi lose their advantage of footing; that will let us surround them.”

The generals nodded, one calling out orders.

Dalinar narrowed his eyes at the battlefield, reading it. “No,” he said softly.

The general stopped giving orders. Aladar glanced at Dalinar.

“The Parshendi are preparing to pull back,” Dalinar said.

“They certainly don’t act like it.”

“They want some room to breathe,” Dalinar said, reading the swirl of combat below. “They nearly have the gemheart harvested. They will continue to push hard, but will break into a quick retreat around the chrysalis to buy time for the final harvesting. That’s what you’ll need to stop.”

The Parshendi surged forward.

“I took point on this run,” Aladar said. “By your own rules, I get final say over our tactics.”

“I observe only,” Dalinar said. “I’m not even commanding my own army today. You may choose your tactics, and I will not interfere.”

Aladar considered, then cursed softly. “Assume Dalinar is correct. Prepare the men for a withdrawal by the Parshendi. Send a strike team forward to secure the chrysalis, which should be almost opened up.”

The generals set up the new details, and messengers raced off with the tactical orders. Aladar and Dalinar watched, side by side, as the Parshendi shoved forward. That singing of theirs hovered over the battlefield.

Then they pulled back, careful as always to respectfully step over the bodies of the dead. Ready for this, the human troops rushed after. Led by Adolin in gleaming Plate, a strike force of fresh troops broke through the Parshendi line and reached the chrysalis. Other human troops poured through the gap they opened, shoving the Parshendi to the flanks, turning the Parshendi withdrawal into a tactical disaster.

In minutes, the Parshendi had abandoned the plateau, jumping away and fleeing.

“Damnation,” Aladar said softly. “I hate that you’re so good at this.”

Dalinar narrowed his eyes, noticing that some of the fleeing Parshendi stopped on a plateau a short distance from the battlefield. They lingered there, though much of their force continued on away.

Dalinar waved for one of Aladar’s servants to hand him a spyglass, then he raised it, focusing on that group. A figure stood at the edge of the plateau out there, a figure in glistening armor.

The Parshendi Shardbearer, he thought. The one from the battle at the Tower. He almost killed me.

Dalinar didn’t remember much from that encounter. He’d been beaten near senseless toward the end of it. This Shardbearer hadn’t participated in today’s battle. Why? Surely with a Shardbearer, they could have opened the chrysalis sooner.

Dalinar felt a disturbing pit inside of him. This one fact, the watching Shardbearer, changed his understanding of the battle entirely. He thought he’d been able to read what was going on. Now it occurred to him that the enemy’s tactics were more opaque than he’d assumed.

“Are some of them still out there?” Aladar asked. “Watching?”

Dalinar nodded, lowering his spyglass.

“Have they done that before in any battle you’ve fought?”

Dalinar shook his head.

Aladar mulled for a moment, then gave orders for his men on the plateau to remain alert, with scouts posted to watch for a surprise return of the Parshendi.

“Thank you,” Aladar added, grudgingly, turning to Dalinar. “Your advice proved helpful.”

“You trusted me when it came to tactics,” Dalinar said, turning to him. “Why not try trusting me in what is best for this kingdom?”

Aladar studied him. Behind, soldiers cheered their victory and Adolin ripped the gemheart free from the chrysalis. Others fanned out to watch for a return attack, but none came.

“I wish I could, Dalinar,” Aladar finally said. “But this isn’t about you. It’s about the other highprinces. Maybe I could trust you, but I’ll never trust them. You’re asking me to risk too much of myself. The others would do to me what Sadeas did to you on the Tower.”

“What if I can bring the others around? What if I can prove to you that they’re worthy of trust? What if I can change the direction of this kingdom, and this war? Will you follow me then?”

“No,” Aladar said. “I’m sorry.” He turned away, calling for his horse.

The trip back was miserable. They’d won the day, but Aladar kept his distance. How could Dalinar do so many things so right, yet still be unable to persuade men like Aladar? And what did it mean that the Parshendi were changing tactics on the battlefield, not committing their Shardbearer? Were they too afraid to lose their Shards?

When, at long last, Dalinar returned to his bunker in the warcamps— after seeing to his men and sending a report to the king—he found an unexpected letter waiting for him.

He sent for Navani to read him the words. Dalinar stood waiting in his private study, staring at the wall that had borne the strange glyphs. Those had been sanded away, the scratches hidden, but the pale patch of stone whispered.

Sixty-two days.

Sixty-two days to come up with an answer. Well, sixty now. Not much time to save a kingdom, to prepare for the worst. The ardents would condemn the prophecy as a prank at best, or blasphemous at worst. To foretell the future was forbidden. It was of the Voidbringers. Even games of chance were suspect, for they incited men to look for the secrets of what was to come.

He believed anyway. For he suspected his own hand had written those words.

Navani arrived and looked over the letter, then started reading aloud. It turned out to be from an old friend who was going to arrive soon on the Shattered Plains—and who might provide a solution to Dalinar’s problems.

 

 

 

Kaladin led the way down into the chasms, as was his right.

They used a rope ladder, as they had in Sadeas’s army. These ladders had been unsavory things, the ropes frayed and stained with moss, the planks battered by far too many highstorms. Kaladin had never lost a man because of those storming ladders, but he’d always worried.

This one was brand new. He knew that for a fact, as Rind the quartermaster had scratched his head at the request, and then had one built to Kaladin’s specifications. It was sturdy and well made, like Dalinar’s army itself.

Kaladin reached the bottom with a final hop. Syl floated down and landed on his shoulder as he held up a sphere to survey the chasm bottom. The single sapphire broam was worth more by itself than the entirety of his wages as a bridgeman.

In Sadeas’s army, the chasms had been a frequent destination for bridgemen. Kaladin still didn’t know if the purpose had been to scavenge every possible resource from the Shattered Plains, or if it had really been about finding something menial—and will-breaking—for bridgemen to do between runs.

The chasm bottom here, however, was untouched. There were no paths cut through the snarl of stormleavings on the ground, and there were no scratched messages or instructions in the lichen on the walls. Like the other chasms, this one opened up like a vase, wider at the bottom than at the cracked top—a result of waters rushing through during highstorms. The floor was relatively flat, smoothed by the hardened sediment of settling crem.

As he moved forward, Kaladin had to pick his way over all kinds of debris. Broken sticks and logs from trees blown in from across the Plains. Cracked rockbud shells. Countless tangles of dried vines, twisted through one another like discarded yarn.

And bodies, of course.

A lot of corpses ended up in the chasms. Whenever men lost their battle to seize a plateau, they had to retreat and leave their dead behind. Storms! Sadeas often left the corpses behind even if he won—and bridgemen he’d leave wounded, abandoned, even if they could have been saved.

After a highstorm, the dead ended up here, in the chasms. And since storms blew westward, toward the warcamps, the bodies washed in this direction. Kaladin found it hard to move without stepping on bones entwined in the accumulated foliage on the chasm floor.

He picked his way through as respectfully as he could as Rock reached the bottom behind him, uttering a quiet phrase in his native tongue. Kaladin couldn’t tell if it was a curse or a prayer. Syl moved from Kaladin’s shoulder, zipping into the air, then streaking in an arc to the ground. There, she formed into what he thought of as her true shape, that of a young woman with a simple dress that frayed to mist just below the knees. She perched on a branch and stared at a femur poking up through the moss.

She didn’t like violence. He wasn’t certain if, even now, she understood death. She spoke of it like a child trying to grasp something beyond her.

“What a mess,” Teft said as he reached the bottom. “Bah! This place hasn’t seen any kind of care at all.”

“It is a grave,” Rock said. “We walk in a grave.”

“All of the chasms are graves,” Teft said, his voice echoing in the dank confines. “This one’s just a messy grave.”

“Hard to find death that isn’t messy, Teft,” Kaladin said.

Teft grunted, then started to greet the new recruits as they reached the bottom. Moash and Skar were watching over Dalinar and his sons as they attended some lighteyed feast—something that Kaladin was glad to be able to avoid. Instead, he’d come with Teft down here.

They were joined by the forty bridgemen—two from each reorganized crew—that Teft was training with the hope that they’d make good sergeants for their own crews.

“Take a good look, lads,” Teft said to them. “This is where we come from. This is why some call us the order of bone. We’re not going to make you go through everything we did, and be glad! We could have been swept away by a highstorm at any moment. Now, with Dalinar Kholin’s stormwardens to guide us, we won’t have nearly as much risk—and we’ll be staying close to the exit just in case…”

Kaladin folded his arms, watching Teft instruct as Rock handed practice spears to the men. Teft himself carried no spear, and though he was shorter than the bridgemen who gathered around him—wearing simple soldiers’ uniforms—they seemed thoroughly intimidated.

What else did you expect? Kaladin thought. They’re bridgemen. A stiff breeze could quell them.

Still, Teft looked completely in control. Comfortably so. This was right. Something about it was just… right.

A swarm of small glowing orbs materialized around Kaladin’s head, spren the shape of golden spheres that darted this way and that. He started, looking at them. Gloryspren. Storms. He felt as if he hadn’t seen the like in years.

Syl zipped up into the air and joined them, giggling and spinning around Kaladin’s head. “Feeling proud of yourself?”

“Teft,” Kaladin said. “He’s a leader.”

“Of course he is. You gave him a rank, didn’t you?”

“No,” Kaladin said. “I didn’t give it to him. He claimed it. Come on. Let’s walk.”

She nodded, alighting in the air and settling down, her legs crossed at the knees as if she were primly seating herself in an invisible chair. She continued to hover there, moving exactly in step with him.

“Giving up all pretense of obeying natural laws again, I see,” he said.

Natural laws?” Syl said, finding the concept amusing. “Laws are of men, Kaladin. Nature doesn’t have them!”

“If I toss something upward, it comes back down.”

“Except when it doesn’t.”

“It’s a law.”

“No,” Syl said, looking upward. “It’s more like… more like an agreement among friends.”

He looked at her, raising an eyebrow.

“We have to be consistent,” she said, leaning in conspiratorially. “Or we’ll break your brains.”

He snorted, walking around a clump of bones and sticks pierced by a spear. Cankered with rust, it looked like a monument.

“Oh, come on,” Syl said, tossing her hair. “That was worth at least a chuckle.”

Kaladin kept walking.

“A snort is not a chuckle,” Syl said. “I know this because I am intelligent and articulate. You should compliment me now.”

“Dalinar Kholin wants to refound the Knights Radiant.”

“Yes,” Syl said loftily, hanging in the corner of his vision. “A brilliant idea. I wish I’d thought of it.” She grinned triumphantly, then scowled.

“What?” he said, turning back to her.

“Has it ever struck you as unfair,” she said, “that spren cannot attract spren? I should really have had some gloryspren of my own there.”

“I have to protect Dalinar,” Kaladin said, ignoring her complaint. “Not just him, but his family, maybe the king himself. Even though I failed to keep someone from sneaking into Dalinar’s rooms.” He still couldn’t figure out how someone had managed to get in. Unless it hadn’t been a person. “Could a spren have made those glyphs on the wall?” Syl had carried a leaf once. She had some physical form, just not much.

“I don’t know,” she said, glancing to the side. “I’ve seen…”

“What?”

“Spren like red lightning,” Syl said softly. “Dangerous spren. Spren I haven’t seen before. I catch them in the distance, on occasion. Stormspren? Something dangerous is coming. About that, the glyphs are right.”

He chewed on that for a while, then finally stopped and looked at her. “Syl, are there others like me?”

Her face grew solemn. “Oh.”

“Oh?”

“Oh, that question.”

“You’ve been expecting it, then?”

“Yeah. Sort of.”

“So you’ve had plenty of time to think about a good answer,” Kaladin said, folding his arms and leaning back against a somewhat dry portion of the wall. “That makes me wonder if you’ve come up with a solid explanation or a solid lie.”

“Lie?” Syl said, aghast. “Kaladin! What do you think I am? A Cryptic?”

“And what is a Cryptic?”

Syl, still perched as if on a seat, sat up straight and cocked her head. “I actually… I actually have no idea. Huh.”

“Syl…”

“I’m serious, Kaladin! I don’t know. I don’t remember.” She grabbed her hair, one clump of white translucence in each hand, and pulled sideways.

He frowned, then pointed. “That…”

“I saw a woman do it in the market,” Syl said, yanking her hair to the sides again. “It means I’m frustrated. I think it’s supposed to hurt. So… ow? Anyway, it’s not that I don’t want to tell you what I know. I do! I just… I don’t know what I know.”

“That doesn’t make sense.”

“Well, imagine how frustrating it feels!”

Kaladin sighed, then continued along the chasm, passing pools of stagnant water clotted with debris. A scattering of enterprising rockbuds grew stunted along one chasm wall. They must not get much light down here.

He breathed in deeply the scents of overloaded life. Moss and mold. Most of the bodies here were mere bone, though he did steer clear of one patch of ground crawling with the red dots of rotspren. Just beside it, a group of frillblooms wafted their delicate fanlike fronds in the air, and those danced with green specks of lifespren. Life and death shook hands here in the chasms.

He explored several of the chasm’s branching paths. It felt odd to not know this area; he’d learned the chasms closest to Sadeas’s camp better than the camp itself. As he walked, the chasm grew deeper and the area opened up. He made a few marks on the wall.

Along one fork he found a round open area with little debris. He noted it, then walked back, marking the wall again before taking another branch. Eventually, they entered another place where the chasm opened up, widening into a roomy space.

“Coming here was dangerous,” Syl said.

“Into the chasms?” Kaladin asked. “There aren’t going to be any chasmfiends this close to the warcamps.”

“No. I meant for me, coming into this realm before I found you. It was dangerous.”

“Where were you before?”

“Another place. With lots of spren. I can’t remember well… it had lights in the air. Living lights.”

“Like lifespren.”

“Yes. And no. Coming here risked death. Without you, without a mind born of this realm, I couldn’t think. Alone, I was just another windspren.”

“But you’re not windspren,” Kaladin said, kneeling beside a large pool of water. “You’re honorspren.”

“Yes,” Syl said.

Kaladin closed his hand around his sphere, bringing near-darkness to the cavernous space. It was day above, but that crack of sky was distant, unreachable.

Mounds of flood-borne refuse fell into shadows that seemed almost to give them flesh again. Heaps of bones took on the semblance of limp arms, of corpses piled high. In a moment, Kaladin remembered it. Charging with a yell toward lines of Parshendi archers. His friends dying on barren plateaus, thrashing in their own blood.

The thunder of hooves on stone. The incongruous chanting of alien tongues. The cries of men both lighteyed and dark. A world that cared nothing for bridgemen. They were refuse. Sacrifices to be cast into the chasms and carried away by the cleansing floods.

This was their true home, these rents in the earth, these places lower than any other. As his eyes adjusted to the dimness, the memories of death receded, though he would never be free of them. He would forever bear those scars upon his memory like the many upon his flesh. Like the ones on his forehead.

The pool in front of him glowed a deep violet. He’d noticed it earlier, but in the light of his sphere it had been harder to see. Now, in the dimness, the pool could reveal its eerie radiance.

Syl landed on the side of the pool, looking like a woman standing on an ocean’s shore. Kaladin frowned, leaning down to inspect her more closely. She seemed… different. Had her face changed shape?

“There are others like you,” Syl whispered. “I do not know them, but I know that other spren are trying, in their own way, to reclaim what was lost.”

She looked to him, and her face now had its familiar form. The fleeting change had been so subtle, Kaladin wasn’t sure if he’d imagined it.

“I am the only honorspren who has come,” Syl said. “I…” She seemed to be stretching to remember. “I was forbidden. I came anyway. To find you.”

“You knew me?”

“No. But I knew I’d find you.” She smiled. “I spent the time with my cousins, searching.”

“The windspren.”

“Without the bond, I am basically one of them,” she said. “Though they don’t have the capacity to do what we do. And what we do is important. So important that I left everything, defying the Stormfather, to come. You saw him. In the storm.”

The hair stood up on Kaladin’s arms. He had indeed seen a being in the storm. A face as vast as the sky itself. Whatever the thing was—spren, Herald, or god—it had not tempered its storms for Kaladin during that day he’d spent strung up.

“We are needed, Kaladin,” Syl said softly. She waved for him, and he lowered his hand to the shore of the tiny violet ocean glowing softly in the chasm. She stepped onto his hand, and he stood up, lifting her.

She walked up his fingers and he could actually feel a little weight, which was unusual. He turned his hand as she stepped up until she was perched on one finger, her hands clasped behind her back, meeting his eyes as he held that finger up before his face.

“You,” Syl said. “You’re going to need to become what Dalinar Kholin is looking for. Don’t let him search in vain.”

“They’ll take it from me, Syl,” Kaladin whispered. “They’ll find a way to take you from me.”

“That’s foolishness. You know that it is.”

“I know it is, but I feel it isn’t. They broke me, Syl. I’m not what you think I am. I’m no Radiant.”

“That’s not what I saw,” Syl said. “On the battlefield after Sadeas’s betrayal, when men were trapped, abandoned. That day I saw a hero.”

He looked into her eyes. She had pupils, though they were created only from the differing shades of white and blue, like the rest of her. She glowed more softly than the weakest of spheres, but it was enough to light his finger. She smiled, seeming utterly confident in him.

At least one of them was.

“I’ll try,” Kaladin whispered. A promise.

“Kaladin?” The voice was Rock’s, with his distinctive Horneater accent. He pronounced the name “kal-ah-deen,” instead of the normal “kal-a-din.”

Syl zipped off Kaladin’s finger, becoming a ribbon of light and flitting over to Rock. He showed respect to her in his Horneater way, touching his shoulders in turn with one hand, and then raising the hand to his forehead. She giggled; her profound solemnity had become girlish joy in moments. Syl might only be a cousin to windspren, but she obviously shared their impish nature.

“Hey,” Kaladin said, nodding to Rock, and fishing in the pool. He came out with an amethyst broam and held it up. Somewhere up there on the Plains, a lighteyes had died with this in his pocket. “Riches, if we still were bridgemen.”

“We are still bridgemen,” Rock said, coming over. He plucked the sphere from Kaladin’s fingers. “And this is still riches. Ha! Spices they have for us to requisition are tuma’alki! I have promised I will not fix dung for the men, but it is hard, with soldiers being accustomed to food that is not much better.” He held up the sphere. “I will use him to buy better, eh?”

“Sure,” Kaladin said. Syl landed on Rock’s shoulder and became a young woman, then sat down.

Rock eyed her and tried to bow to his own shoulder.

“Stop tormenting him, Syl,” Kaladin said.

“It’s so fun!”

“You are to be praised for your aid of us, mafah’liki,” Rock said to her. “I will endure whatever you wish of me. And now that I am free, I can create a shrine fitting to you.”

“A shrine?” Syl said, eyes widening. “Ooooh.”

“Syl!” Kaladin said. “Stop it. Rock, I saw a good place for the men to practice. It’s back a couple of branches. I marked it on the walls.”

“Yes, we saw this thing,” Rock said. “Teft has led the men there. It is strange. This place is frightening; it is a place that nobody comes, and yet the new recruits…”

“They’re opening up,” Kaladin guessed.

“Yes. How did you know this thing would happen?”

“They were there,” Kaladin said, “in Sadeas’s warcamp, when we were assigned to exclusive duty in the chasms. They saw what we did, and have heard stories of our training here. By bringing them down here, we’re inviting them in, like an initiation.”

Teft had been having problems getting the former bridgemen to show interest in his training. The old soldier was always sputtering at them in annoyance. They’d insisted on remaining with Kaladin rather than going free, so why wouldn’t they learn?

They had needed to be invited. Not just with words.

“Yes, well,” Rock said. “Sigzil sent me. He wishes to know if you are ready to practice your abilities.”

Kaladin took a deep breath, glancing at Syl, then nodded. “Yes. Bring him. We can do it here.”

“Ha! Finally. I will fetch him.”

 


Words of Radiance © Brandon Sanderson, 2014
Join the discussion on our Words of Radiance spoiler thread!

The Stormlight Archive: ‹ previous | index | next ›
186 comments
Mike I
1. MikeyRocks
Thanks for not disappointing me Tor.
Deana Whitney
2. Braid_Tug
Thank you Tor.com!
But it is a little scary / funny how much of the book you are letting us pre-read. Because that shows how massive the thing is!
Ailema
3. Ailema
Thank you, thank you! I was already going to throw my money at you but if you're giving out appetizers, I'm not complaining. It's time for a break from the spreadsheets anyway.
Robert Dickinson
4. ChocolateRob
Good thinking Kaladin but you need to show them what you can do, not the stormlight, just you with a spear.

Hmmm, who wants to bet that the letter is from Amaram?
Conflict brewing...
Ailema
6. flyleaffan
I really want to know what happens in chapter 7...
Rich Bennett
8. Neuralnet
thanks, this is awesome. kind of funny that they chose to skip chapter 7... it must have all the good spoilers
Esther smith
9. huppel
awesome
I love the kaladin chapter
And Dalinar believing he wrote the "prophesy" himself. Loving Shalan's spren.
Ailema
11. TBGH
I bet chapter 7 is a Shallan flashback chapter. There's been a lot of speculation on what's in her past and as far as I know, Brandon has been very tightlipped about that part of this book.
Nadine L.
12. travyl
I agree with the letter coming from Amaram. I wonder though how long it will take him to arrive. And I wonder even more, how long it will take for Shallan and Jasnah: their still on open see and looking at the map, it seems as if it's still a way to go from New Natanatan to the warcamps.

chapter 7 either a flashback, or a POV we haven't had yet, so they decided to skip?

I was "convinced" we'd see Kaladin practice when he went into the chasm - away from prying eyes - and even with a sapphire. Might a sapphire work better than other gems for him, since it's the gem associated zu Jes? - Maybe we'll see in another chapter.
Alice Arneson
13. Wetlandernw
“We have to be consistent,” she said, leaning in conspiratorially. “Or we’ll break your brains.”

Loved this line. Love it again every time I read it. :D I guess I'm a Sylphrena fangirl...

Also, this: “That fellow is as dun as two spheres made of mud."
::gigglesnort::

@several - I'm pretty sure they won't release any chapters that give away too many secrets or surprises... which indicates that this book must have a metric tonne of secrets and surprises, given what we've already seen!
Ailema
14. James Vermilling
I should really be doing homework you know.
Robert Dickinson
15. ChocolateRob
@14 This doesn't count as homework? It is research.
Sam Mickel
16. Samadai
3 more very good chapters. more answers and even more questions. And whoohoo Dalinar is about to find out he has his first Radiant recruit
:D
Esther smith
17. huppel
I guess I'm A greedy person tor.com has given 9 chapters and I still want more!! Wish it was 4th march yeserday!
Jennifer B
19. JennB
And I had just stopped obsessively looking for more chapters.
Alice Arneson
20. Wetlandernw
Wow. I just realized that, both by chapter and page count, they've given us roughly 10% of the book already!
Ailema
21. bartbug
It doesn't feel like 10%... want MOAR! :D
Ailema
22. RudeAnon
Where are 8-9's quotes? What delicious spoilery goodness are they hiding from us?!?
Deana Whitney
23. Braid_Tug
“She had stumbled into the perfect life, and it was everything she’d wished for.”
Dum, dum, dum… this won’t last long. The books are not short enough.

Starting to wonder if Shallan and Jasnah will even reach the Shattered Planes in this book.

And Shallan is starting to absorb Stormlight! Yeah!

Storm it! Hope we get more of Shallan next week or so, because that was one hell of a cliff hanger to leave us on.

Congratulations to whoever said Dalinar wrote the 62 days himself.

Kaliden and Sly are great together.

@10: LOL, yep, it is!

@13: Wet- You would know!
@20: Oh no! Do you think they will stop at 10%? There are 5 more weeks to go. I doubt they keep giving us 3 chapters a week, much as I could wish for that. But it will make reading the whole book go much faster the week it is released
Ailema
24. Rybal
What a downright cruel/evil place to stop.
Ailema
25. Bussik
I don't think the letter was from Amaram. Amaram's highprince is Sades so why would he want to help Dalinar?
Cory S.
26. Hungry_For_Hands
@25 - Brandon released a teaser (sentence?) months ago which implied that Dalinar & Amaram would be working together (or at least communicating) in this book. I cannot remember what the sentence was or where to find it though! But anyway, I think that this is why people assume the letter is from Amaram.
Ailema
27. RudeAnon
@25 Dalinar's previous closeness with Sadeas along with the reputation that Amaram is a very honorable man could explain his eagerness. Also Amaram has been away from the front lines and may not know that the current Dalinar isn't the Blackthron of the past.

Or he could have heard the slaver rumors about how Amaram really got his plate and see's it as a good opportunity to pressure Amaram into dueling Adolin.

Old friend does not necessarily mean they are still friends.
Robert Dickinson
28. ChocolateRob
@23 Me, I guessed that it was Dalinar. I considered that it was a Parshman but dismissed it because it would have made far too much noise for any person to break a rock out of a wall (or whatever it was) then scratch a message with it if Dalinar was in any normal kind of sleep.

@25 I assumed the leter was fom Amaram because he was clearly a crony of Gavilar in the prologue and we know that he is on his way to the plains, it just fits to me. I hadn't heard of Brandon's tip.
Ailema
29. Cypher
Im loving being able to read a few of the chapters before March. Though its making the wait even harder. I think I might have to take a few days off from work to read it. I work customer service so I sadly cant read at work. If only.
Ailema
30. Porphyrogenitus
“Yes. And no. Coming here risked death. Without you, without a mind born of this realm, I couldn’t think. Alone, I was just another windspren.”“But you’re not windspren,” Kaladin said, kneeling beside a large pool of water. “You’re honorspren.”
“Yes,” Syl said.
Did anyone else find this particular exchange especially intriguing?
Ailema
31. TheRen
Ohhh man. This is all so good. Thanks, Tor! I really need to go back and reread Way of Kings. Also, I love how much we're learning about spren in these chapters. Sanderson is truly a genius.
Anneke van Staden
32. QueenofDreams
Personally I'm a little disturbed by the reference to Syl's appearance changing a bit. I'm worried, I love Syl. I don't want her to be something sinister in disguise or get corrupted or anything like that.
Anneke van Staden
33. QueenofDreams
Oh, and howcome everyone can see Shallan's spren? Syl is invisible to everyone but Rock. Wyndle was also invisible to Lift's companions. Why can others see Pattern? And I wonder how our other main characters will react when they see it?
Deana Whitney
34. Braid_Tug
@33, maybe because on the nature of Lightweavers and Illumination. Since they are visual, it makes a type of since that the sprens can be seen by more.
But it is a good question. Really wonder how the King is going to react.
Mike I
35. MikeyRocks
I'll do my Carl impression and give a quote of the read.

No,” Syl said, looking upward. “It’s more like… more like an agreement among friends.”
He looked at her, raising an eyebrow.
“We have to be consistent,” she said, leaning in conspiratorially. “Or we’ll break your brains.”

I can't wait for Brandon to elaborate on this.

The Kaladin chapter is great, I do fear that his fear will come through. They will find a way to take Syl from him, and it will make me sick and want to toss the book out the window.
Ailema
36. SCM of 2814
I'm getting the feeling Cryptics are ess 'lie'-spren and more 'fiction'-spren. At least, that's the impression I get from Pattern's 'True lies' line. Mabe they mean they like representations (lies) or real things (truth). It would explain Shallan and her drawing. Unless it means the liked Ahnold in that movie.
Nadine L.
37. travyl
Wetlander @13, MikeyRocks @35
I love the passage as well, though I "adore" the first part even more than the second you quoted:
“If I toss something upward, it comes back down.”
Except when it doesn’t.
“It’s a law.”
“No,” Syl said ... “It’s more like… more like an agreement among friends.”
I love her retort, especially because despite Kaladin opinion he has already shown the ability to make objects temporarily defy gravitation by sticking rocks to walls and such.

@33: Maybe it's up to the spren, to decide if he/she can be seen.
(Syl can make herself visible to normal men as well).
Ailema
38. Ailema
I have a pacing question. Does anyone think that the entire book will somehow manage to stretch over the full sixty-two days only? Because it sounds like some really badass climactic battle at the end of the sixty-two days is due, perfect for a book ending.

Or given how long this book is, maybe we'll have a goosebump-raising free-for-all somewhere in the middle and have another build-up to the end. Drat, I really want to read the book now.
Ashley Martin
39. DE137
I can sort of understand why some people refer to the Cryptics as Liespren, seeing as how in a way, illusions are a lie, not really real. That was just a random thought I had while reading this...

I also thought it was funny how Syl mentioned the Cryptics, and I can't help but wonder what her reaction will be when she meets Pattern. Thats definitely something Im looking forward to reading.
Ailema
40. AlcairNovall
Theory! (that kind of rambles)
So we got from last weeks conversation between Shallan and Jasnah that there were two 'breeds' of spren, emotion (though I think concept spren for the ones like Syl, Pattern, Wyndle, and... Jasnah's would be more applicable) and nature based. On top of that we can infer, based on the fact that we've seen so many more of them, that Nature Spren are denizens of the physical realm where the more concrete things of the natural world - things that Cultivation would be in tune with rather than Honor - are found. Meanwhile, based on what we've seen in the Prologue, as well as the conversations between Shallan/Jasnah, Lift/Wyndle, and Kaladin/Sylphrena, we can infer that the Concept spren dwell in the Cognitive realm where things like concepts (even concepts of concrete things as we saw from the description of how Jasnah made her platform while visiting Shadesmar) can be easily found.

Next, compare what Honor and Cultivation tend to mean in real life. When you cultivate something, you deal with affecting nature. When speaking of honoring something, it can be a little less straightforward in defining it because honor is not something that can be easily determined.

Last, we go to something Syl said, that without Kaladin she's 'just another windspren.'

That brings me to my actual point (sorry for rambling) - that there's a reason that the Concept spren are so limited compared to Nature spren as far as how many we've seen is concerned. It's because the Concept spren are native to the Cognitive realm and, due to being based around concepts of some sort, are also more intelligent because of it. This is also the reason why Pattern and Syl are becoming more intelligent due to their interations with Shallan and Kaladin. They need the connection to a being that exists in both realms to ground them well enough to be able to think after they make the jump to the Physical Realm. As for why Wyndle isn't affected by this as well, he said that he hasn't moved everything to the Physical Realm, allowing him to keep his memories and ability to think, while Syl and Pattern probably have fully shifted (obviously I'm operating on a lot of assumptions for that part but still).

Second theory, this is also why there are only the ten orders of Knights with their spren. Honor didn't expect it, and Wyndle says that the group of spren that he comes from sent him to Lift because 'She has visited the Old Magic,' and that their 'Mother has blessed her.' We know that the Nightmother is connected with the Old Magic and assume that she is Cultivation. Syl said that the windspren and honorspren are cousins, so what if the spren are all related and are only different in what they are based on - Conceptspren on ideas, Naturespren on nature, and Voidspren (that we haven't really encountered yet and are probably pawns of Odium the way that Kandra, Koloss and Steel Inquisitor's were pawns of Ruin) on things of the spirit. What if the difference between the kinds of spren is where they dwell - Conceptspren in Shadesmar, Naturespren in the Physical Realm, and Voidspren in the Spiritual Realm. The same Spiritual Realm where a person is cut by a Shardblade.
Okay... Done now... Have at me!
Andrew Berenson
41. AndrewHB
The quotes from Navani's journal we have seen so far (especially the quote at the beginning of chapter 6 speaks of something extremely violent life changing. Here is hoping that we get said payoff by the end of WoR. It would be quite annoying if that aspect of the story is not told until the third book.

Thanks for reading my musings,
AndrewB
(aka the musespren)
Nadine L.
42. travyl
(Syl to Kaladin:) "what we do is important. So important that I left everything, defying the Stormfather, to come. You saw him. In the storm."
Interessting that Syl defied the Stormfather, by coming. This puts the Lift-Interlude and Darkness's motives (hunting surgebinders) into another perspective. I really want to know who the Stormfather is.
How can Kaladin not ask Syl after the Stormfather???? So frustrating.

I also think it curious that in the so far released material various characters think of the Nightwatcher as a spren. From WoK I didn't had that impression, but I guess it makes sense.
Ailema
43. RudeAnon
@42 The Stormfather is Jezrien. That Kingly looking Herald from the WoK Prelude.
Ailema
44. jradshbr
This passage explains why others can see Pattern:
She worried about letting them see Pattern. She’d tried staying in her cabin to keep him a secret from the men, but being cooped up had been too difficult for her, and he didn’t respond to her suggestions that he stay out of their sight. So, during the last four days, she’d been forced to let them see what she was doing as she studied him."
Ailema
45. jradshbr
"She wasn’t sure how she did it. She just did. It had started right around when Wyndle had first appeared.

He hadn’t talked then. She kind of missed those days."

Lift mentions that she liked Wyndle more when he didn't talk much. I think that Wyndle and Lift have been together for awhile and has given Wyndle time to go through his own growing pains in the physical world.
Ailema
46. Bjarni
Anyone else have the feeling that the "path" to Urithiru lies in the chasms. You would have to be a KR just to make it from one end to the other. I wouldn't be surprised to see Shallon and Kaladin talking long walks in the chasms. . .

Not sure about the parshmen being the voidbringers. That seems too tidy for Brandon. If you were the bad guys, would you want to provoke your enemy and then "prepare" them for your attack with years of battle preparation? I can see Brandon spinning them into good guys somehow. Wasn't the spren in the Purelake black with red eyes? Could that prophecy could apply to them?

I naively thought that when WoT was done I would no longer have months/years of frustration waiting for the "next" book to come out. Curse you BS!!

Grrrr. . .
Ailema
47. RudeAnon
@46 Urithiru is in the centre of the shattered plains. It fell from the sky, causing the plains to shatter in the first place. It is also the "large plateau" with lights Kaladin saw when he was with the highstorm.
Ailema
48. Daniean McC
I'm tiring to imagine Shallan the illusionist in Battle and I like what I see.

I’m pretty sure she will eventually be a fighter. She already has a Shadeblade and the idea of female fighters being reintroduced into a society with established gender roles would be would be so nice to read.
Character growth in a story is a most, But in a story this large you most expect to see a some of societal growth, changing views on gender roles and social structure seem inevitable

Her powers as a lightweaver could have many fascinating applications on the battlefield.
Deana Whitney
49. Braid_Tug
@46: Understand your frustration. I had no intention of starting another book series that would take YEARS. But then BWS other works were so good, and Tor offered the ebook for $2.99 right before starting a Re-read. Could hold out no longer.

@28: Ch.Rob: again good call.

I could see Amaram writing to Dalinar because they are friends. Remember Jasnah said her family was hoping they would marry 6 years ago. But yes, that Amaram’s good standing with Dalinar will destruct in 3, 2, 1….
Ailema
50. Afterthought
Was it just me,or did this passage in particular catch anyone else's eye?
“Spren like red lightning,” Syl said softly. “Dangerous spren. Spren I haven’t seen before. I catch them in the distance, on occasion. Stormspren? Something dangerous is coming. About that, the glyphs are right.”
Voidspren?

Just a thought.
Nadine L.
51. travyl
@43/47 RudeAnon:
I know the in-book characters believe the Stormfather to be Jezrien, but I'm really not sure this is true (maybe because I thought of the Heralds as man with abilities but this might be wrong.).
You present your facts, as if you know what you're saying is true (@43 + 47). Is this just "your opinion" or is it based on confirmation by Brandon Sanderson / Peter Ahlstrom.

@46/49: Re epic book series...
I only had to really wait for aMoL, so I can't say if I'll change my opinion in the years to come, but so far, I'm "glad" for the waiting time. My re-read and then the TOR re-read gave the book so much more depht for me. Many things we "discovered" I'm sure I'd have missed if I'd have started the series, when completed (meaning that I hadn't stopped myself between books to think, ...)
David Foster
52. ZenBossanova
@43,47 RudeAnon
It is not clear that Jezrien is the Stormfather. He sounds more like some mega-spren to me, or a large fragment of Honor. Now that I say that, I wonder if anyone could bond with him.

Also, Urithiru has been hypothesized to be at the Shattered Plains, but that is not a given. Jasnah pretty definitely thinks it is not, but it might have some clues.
David Foster
53. ZenBossanova
@46 I wonder if we have Parshendi who don't want to serve Odium, but at the moment, don't feel like they have a choice either. I think we will see awesome things out of some of the Parshendi later. I also suspect that about Szeth.

@48 Regarding Shallan as an Illusionist, imagine Parshendi jumping between plateaus, only to realize that the real otherside, was another 9 feet/3 meters away?
Sam Mickel
54. Samadai
In a world where ( if Jasnah is correct) Spren are created by the thoughts and spirit of man, it stands to reason that the stormfather is just a very powerful spren. It goes back to the old mythology that men created Gods. " oh look we have fire, there must then be a god of fire" God of lightning, etc etc. So men noticed the storms were fierce and then thought about how there was something behind the storms, and presto, the spren the Stormfather was created. "wow this storm is really powerful, the stormfather is really strong"
Michelle Higoy
55. MitchSedai2010
I'd like to know what Kaladin's second ability is... We already know what Lift and Shallan's second ability. I'm dying to know what Kaladin and Jasnah can do. Also, if all of them have a spren, then Szeth must have one too. And the shapes that Elokhar sees that made him paranoid, I'm strting to think were actually spren and that they are trying to bond with him. He might look weak based on what we saw of him in TWoK, but Dalinar is convinced that he's better than what people think of him. I guess, we can look forwar to some development involving the king...
Ailema
56. Afterthought
Just a couple of off the wall thoughts I'd like people's opinions on:

1) I know conventional wisdom about Syl not liking Shardblades would run against this, but given her aversion to Cryptics (without even knowing what they are), is it possible that the reason she doesn't like Shardblades is because they are made by/with Cryptics? The only reason I say that, is because (as far as I know) we haven't heard of any other Spren not liking them.

2) Why has Dalinar not met his Spren yet? All the other prospective radiants have met and interacted with their spren... is it possible that Dalinar - at least as of yet - doesn't have one? The fact that Rock hasn't seen one around Dalinar would seem to suggest that maybe he hasn't.

The fact that his armour glowed a couple of times in WoK would seem to suggest that he has got one. (As presumably, spren are needed for that?)

And a couple of slightly less off the wall thoughts:

3) Could Cryptics be better described as 'intrigue-spren' or 'disguise-spren' rather than 'liespren'? They seem to be ideally suited to thinking about espionage, and that line of work. The idea of 'true lies' seems to play off the idea that the best lies are those based on a grain of truth.

4) I'm finding it hard to reconcile the Cryptics as being integral to an order of the Radiants (which at least at first were seemingly noble). Could Cryptics and honorspren perhaps be a play on the concept of whether or not the ends justify the means? That would seem to give room for large conflict between the two whilst leaving them working towards a common goal.
Ailema
57. Wonko the Sane
When Kaladin came across a pool that glowed purple, my theory brain whizzed into action as I tried to figure out exactly how Honor's Shardpool had ended up at the bottom of some random chasm. And then he pulled the sphere out and it was just water.
Ailema
58. Daniean McC
@55 Sorry to disappoint you but both Kaladin and Szeth's second ability is known. They are confirmed as windrunners.
There first ability is to affect gravity and so far this manifested in there ability to do the basic lashing and the reverse lashing.
There second ability is to manipulate atmospheric pressure and this manifested itself in their full lashing (sticking thing together)
Jasnah Kholin is an Eslecaller with the surges of Transformation (soulcasting) and Transportation. No idea what transportation entails
David Foster
59. ZenBossanova
When Syl mentions things falling down as more of an agreement among spren, than a law, I think we had our first in-text suggestion of Kaladin's second ability.

And as far as we know, Szeth does NOT have spren. He is somehow able to do everything without one. But it means there are differences in strength and ability between him and Kaladin.

Regarding Cryptics, I think it goes back to what is actually honorable. Sometimes, it is more honorable to not tell the whole truth. Not lie, per se, but like, conceal secrets people have confided in you. The whole truth isn't always everyone else's business, for instance if you knew someone was having marital problems. It isn't your place to gossip the news all over the place.

But when I try to think of a word for this, I can't think of one that expresses it just right. Lie isn't exactly right, but perhaps secrets? Secret-spren? Concealed knowledge?
Ailema
60. Agafist
@55 Word of BS is that Szeth doesn't have a spren, he gets his Windrunner powers from an unknown source. Elhokar's shapes that he sees are also speculated to be the Cryptics (like Shallan's spren Pattern). Oh god, not sure if I can take another 6 weeks of waiting...
Ailema
61. Khyrindor
@58 What about theyre ability to heal and stuff like that? Could it just be an extra thing and the lashings are all one?

And does it not bug anyone else about the 'dark sphere' hidden somewhere in Jah Keved that Gavilar gave to Szeth upon his death, along with the words "They must not have it." Now we find out in the prologue that the Parshendi had him killed because "he was about to do something terrible." I think that it may have had something to do with that sphere...

Also (as we found out at the end of TWoK) that Tervagian has sent Szeth after Dalinar, who not has his own Knight Radiant to guard him. Perhaps Brandon Sanderson will flip this all around, and the Alethi will turn out to bring back the voibringers-accidentally of course (like in the Well of Ascension)-and the Knights Radiant will turn to the Parshendi in order to stop it from happening (we also know that we will have a Parshendi protagonist).

Speaking of Tarvagian, what do yoou think his motives are for killing all of these important lighteyes? I think he knows about the Everstorm/Desolation that the dying were talking about, and is trying to stop it some how.

Storms, I love this book already!

I do not think the Cryptics are evil: they are some of the spren that are needed to form the Knights Radiant. Perhaps it is just a Spren-rivalry of sorts. But then again, the Knights Radiant 'betrayed' them.

I also wonder how it will go between Adolin and Shallan, and for some reason I think that Kaladin maybe reunited with his father (if he's not dead-can't remember). This whole "lighteyes/darkeyes" thing is totally gonna get flipped around.

As for the Amaram thing: Kaladin absolutely despises him. It wouldn't be surprising if he triend to kill him or (the exact opposite), be forced to work together with him. Will Dalinar start to hate one or both of them?

I have lots more, but I'll spare you.
Alice Arneson
62. Wetlandernw
Cryptic: 1) ambiguous or obscure: deliberately mysterious and seeming to have a hidden meaning; 2) secret: secret or hidden in some way

Looks to me like Brandon gave them the right name after all...
Ailema
63. Khyrindor
Guys, one more thought: Perhaps Szeth had a spren, but lost it when he lost his honor...Just a thought.

But you know that the Almighty forbids us of predicting the future!
Ailema
64. Stillill
@46. The long walks in the chasms. Brandon has already set up a little distrust or animosity between Kaladin and Adolin. This is certainly going to come into play when Adolin's betrothed falls in love with Kaladin :-)
Ailema
65. anomanderrake
Syl, and likely other Honorspren, are good with physical ideas (In WOK Kaladin says Syl has no trouble understanding why men need to breathe) but have trouble with abstractions. Originally I thought all spren were that way. But Pattern the Cryptic is the opposite; great with abstractions but doesn't understand the physical world. Another instance of Roshar's inherent symmetry. And Syl saying "Laws are of men...nature has no laws". Intriguing. I do believe BS is going to have some interesting things to say about the physical laws of Roshar.
Maiane Bakroeva
66. Isilel
So, the ship is being attacked by pirates and all Jasnah's and Shallan's research is going to be lost? Oh, and all the precious books that they have with them, particularly the super-rare Lightweaver book, right? Can't have our heroes not fly entirely by the seat of their pants, eh? Sigh. I wonder if we are going to see Jasnah's Transportation surge in action during their escape.
Sanderson should better not kill Jasnah at this point, just so Shallan is forced to stand on her own! I hate this hoary dying mentor trope and love Jasnah's character...
But I guess that their separation and travails of Shallan in her bid to reach the Broken Plains are inevitable at this point.

I really love Dalinar and how bad he is at convincing people verbally, heh. As to his spren, didn't it talk to him during that battle where he nearly died? Telling him what the shards were meant for, even mentioning "strength before weakness", etc. Maybe Dalinar's past as a bloodthirsty warmonger makes full bonding difficult or something else about him does.
BTW, do we know that Rock can see all Radiant spren, or just honorspren, of whom Syl is a unique representative?

Which is interesting in itself - will Kaladin be the sole Windrunner among the more numerous representatives of other Radiant Orders? Because we have seen in Lift interlude that certain types of spren actually have an organized movement to bond likely prospects, which are pre-determined by a comitee, not to mention improved crossing procedures, as opposed to having to go rogue and risk everything.

Yes, Kaladin and Amaram is going to be interesting. But I kinda hope that Amaram will positively surprise us, despite his previous dastardy. Now that we know that he was deeply in Gavilar's confidence, I suspect that he way have had more lofty motives for his betrayal of Kaladin and his men than pure greed and ambition.

Stillill @64:

This is certainly going to come into play when Adolin's betrothed falls in love with Kaladin :-)

Please, no! Not the dreaded triangle between a spoiled, if fundamentally decent noble and a scrappy commoner hero competing for the hand of a feisty "princess"! It would be so tropy and predictable!
If Kaladin absolutely has to be paired with somebody, of which I am not really convinced, Jasnah would be a more interesting option, IMHO. Yes, she is older. That would add yet another obstacle to potential romance and make it more complex and poignant.

P.S. According to Honor's visions to Dalinar, fortelling the future certainly isn't of the voidbringers, but of Cultivation.
As a corollary, if Odium was great at seeing the future, wouldn't he have won already? Not to mention that it would be a repetition of atium/Ruin.
Ailema
67. er2014
Jasnah put her books in a waterproofed trunk while Shallan set her book on the small table beside her bed. After reading this, I think I know what to expect ;)
Ailema
68. Afterthought
@62
Cryptic: 1) ambiguous or obscure: deliberately mysterious and seeming to have a hidden meaning; 2) secret: secret or hidden in some way

Looks to me like Brandon gave them the right name after all...
Well, yes, obviously, but don't you want to hypothesise as to what the hideen meaning is? ;) I wouldn't presume to know BS' world better than he does, that would be silly.

When I was saying 'better described', I meant both in terms of the normal notation of spren and rather than the 'liespren' that they dislike being called. If we take what Jasnah has told us about how spren are formed by personifying forces (whether mental or physical, or whatever), 'cryptic' doesn't really fit as well as 'liespren' or 'angerspren' or 'honourspren'.

Or, to put it another way, what was personified in order to create Crypics?
Ailema
69. Ailema
@66 Totally agree with the love triangle trope. I shudder at this. I think Jasnah and Kaladin would be a much more intriguing couple… or even, in a star-crossed sort of way, Kaladin and Syl. To me, their budding friendship was so sweet, so life-changing, throwing in a romantic angle would definitely add some complications.
Ailema
70. RudeAnon
@69 We know she can get big, and Lift has shown us that it is possible to touch spren.
Deana Whitney
71. Braid_Tug
@66, Isilel: At some point Shallan will have to stand on her own. But I really hope it’s not this early. Nor do I think Jasnah has to die to accomplish it. Jasnah could simply tell Shallan, “ I’m off to research somewhere else kid. You’re on your own from now on.”

But @67 made a great catch. Guess Shallan didn’t have a waterproofed trunk.

Re: Shipping – Here’s how I see it happening.
Shallan will become friends with both Kaladin and Renarin. Simply by being friends with them, Adolin will be jealous. Here’s a guy who has been able to get girls basically by smiling at them and snapping his fingers. But he’s never really got to know them on a deeper level. He has to actually get to know Shallan, but they are such brain vs brawn match. She’s probably going to get along better and more easily with the other two men. If Kaladin gets over his prejudges. Which will make Adolin want to be a better fiancé.
But Shallan is engaged to Adolin to save her family, and never expected to know or love her husband. She’s not going to break the engagement.
That is, once she and Jasnah get to the Planes.

Kaladin & Sly: there goes the hope for children.
But most of me thinks they are a family unit of love. Not a romantic partners love.
Ailema
72. Afterthought
@66, you said this:
I really love Dalinar and how bad he is at convincing people verbally, heh. As to his spren, didn't it talk to him during that battle where he nearly died? Telling him what the shards were meant for, even mentioning "strength before weakness", etc. Maybe Dalinar's past as a bloodthirsty warmonger makes full bonding difficult or something else about him does. BTW, do we know that Rock can see all Radiant spren, or just honorspren, of whom Syl is a unique representative?
Do you have a reference to what you're talking about? I can't remember any spren talking to Dalinar. I know Dalinar remembers parts of his visions, and refers to the Codes during his fights against the Parshendi, but I don't remember anything suggestive of a spren. (More than possible I've missed it.)
Ailema
73. Rondel
MORE!!!! MORE!!! MORE!!!! MORE!!! I need more pages! Damn you Brandon Sanders! I'm thirsty for this book!!!! Release it early to Kindle readers only. Something! Anything! I'm desperate!

Seriously: Great so far. I love it. You picked up where you left off and I better see your name on the list of grand masters at the next convention.
Alice Arneson
74. Wetlandernw
Isilel @66 - Please, no! Not the dreaded triangle between a spoiled, if fundamentally decent noble and a scrappy commoner hero competing for the hand of a feisty "princess"! It would be so tropy and predictable!

Thank you!!! I'm glad I'm not alone in this anti-shipping. :) (And there are others, e.g. @69. Whee!) I was delighted to see the causal betrothal between Shallan and Adolin - although I have to admit, my immediate reaction was, "Great, now Adolin is going to die, because we can't possibly have a fairy-tale romance..." Honestly, I'd rather have that than the triangle, though. Not that I get to choose, of course, but if we were taking a vote and those were the only two choices, I'd go for Shallan/Adolin. Given the world setup at this point, it seems obvious that "happily ever after" is a long ways away in any case.
Ailema
75. anomanderrake
“Has it ever struck you as unfair,” she said, “that spren cannot attract spren?" Laughing my heart out. Syl is one cute spren.
Ashley Martin
76. DE137
@74 AH, I had that same thought. That now something bad is going to happen to Adolin. Especially with him taking over leading the battles on the field. I really hope that doesn't happen though...

But I agree, anything but a love triangle....

Also, I happen to think Shallan and Kaladin might not get along, at least at first. There's the issue with their Spren probably disliking each other. And Kaladin has a thing against light eyes, and since Shallan is a lighteyes... Syl is probably going to distrust Pattern, and talk to Kaladin about it, which will make Kaladin likely distrust her as well, at least at first.... Maybe it'll change later after Shallan proves herself in someway.

I also wonder if, due to the possible potential distrust between the two's Spren, and the fact that Adolin already seems to distrust Kaladin a bit, if that'll be a bonding point, or at least a talking point between Shallan and Adolin. Probably not though....
Cory S.
77. Hungry_For_Hands
@66 - Re: Pirates. My guess is that it is not going to be an attack on the ship. I think that it will be Shallan "waking up" into a dream of her haunting past. I bet that this will be the first flashback chapter. Either that or maybe she will wake up and unconciously be using her lightweaving ability to project her haunting past into her cabin.
Nathan Kinsinger
78. Brotherbard
@66 + @77 Re: Pirates
The man that Yalb called "dun as two spheres made of mud" put a lot of effort into finding the person who had been to meet the king. So if anyone it seems likely to be whoever he is working for.

I wonder how much control Jasnah has with Transportation. She was probably using it in the first book when Shallon was following her and she has a trunk of books and other belongings but can she Transport others? If she can why are they traveling by boat?
Ailema
79. Khyrindor
Anyone wanna bet that Teft is part of that same mystrious order that those people who are barking up at Shallan's family but betrayed them? theres that one moment when he discover's Kaladin's powers, and says (or thinks) some rather hefty stuff. I am also beginning to think that that Tarvagian is in on it somehow, and has his own evil spren wispering in his ear or something.

Something else to think about: what if Syl was Szeth's spren, because they seem to have the same set of powers.

Shallan has a Shardblade. What do you think will happen when the other lighteyes and Kaladin find out? Come on guys, a woman Sharbearer?

You guys have been talking about Adolin vs. Kaladin, and if Adolin dies, then that would solve that problem, but immediatly start several new ones. Such as, the Lighteyes would immediatly suspect Kaladin (if he wasn't killed in battle), so if one of the other Highprinces puts two and two together, and they will, killing Adolin could devide the kingdom.

Also, if Kaladin reveals his powers to Dalinar, and then Szeth kills him, Kaladin would be to blame because they would think it was him. I see an epic battle coming, but I don't think Dalinar will die at this point. Adolin I could see, and it would then put pressure on Renarin to be the heir.

Thoughts?
David Foster
80. ZenBossanova
Half of the Heralds are women, and female Radiants is historically correct, even if women are not typically shardbearers in modern times.

In fact, I strongly wonder if half of the orders of the Radiants are male, and the others female. So far, they seem to follow that pattern, but we don't know to many surgebinders yet.
Ashley Martin
81. DE137
So far, for surgebinders, there seem to be an even number of men and women. Kaladin, the Darkness guy, and possibly Szeth. And then for females, we have Lift, Jesnah and Shallan. At least confirmed, am I missing any? probably....

Besides, I doubt theyre gonna care too much about Shallan having a shardblade, especially if she has KR powers. And that's assuming Shallan eventually reveals to people that she has one.
Ashley Martin
82. DE137
Actually, now I'm second guessing myself again and I don't have time to go back and reread Lift's portion. Was Darkness a surgebinder?
Ailema
84. RudeAnon
@82 It is strongly believed that Darkness is a Herald. But if not then the fact that he was glowing and running much faster than a person should be able to indicates he likely is a surgebinder.

Another Interlude involves a man giving street kids shoes that can heal wounds, so that would be another man to add to your list.
Jennifer B
85. JennB
Need more! March 4 is too far away. These little tidbits are only making me more impatient. I am so excited to read this book!
Ailema
86. Oneeye
I actually think that Shallan's shardblade will be the eventual bonding point for her and Andolin. Who better to teach her how to use it than one of the best shard weilding duelers in the kingdom?
Ailema
87. Confused
Under chapter 6 (jasnah/shallan) above, I saw a quote '
“According to legend, only a Knight Radiant could open the way.” “Fortunately, we know two of those.”

I'm confused now, does that mean the 2 ladies know there are 2 knight radiants existing (kal and szeth?)
How did they know? or am I reading it wrongly?
Ashley Martin
88. DE137
@87. They are Knights Radiant. Both of them have surgebinding powers.
Ailema
89. Confused
@88, the reader knows they are knights radiant, since we know everyone's POV,
but how did the 2 ladies even know of them at this point?
(they haven't even met or know of each other yet)
Ashley Martin
90. DE137
They don't know of them. When Shallan said that they knew two already, she was referring to themselves. Which then prompted Jesnah to say, "Again, you are not a Knight Radiant, and neither am I."

Jesnah was saying that they actually aren't. At least not technically, since they have neither the traditions or knowledge.
Ailema
91. not confused
@90 thanks...cleared everything up.
Ashley Martin
92. DE137
Eek. Just realized I'm misspelling Jasnah's name.... I blame my husband. He pronounces it Jezznah, so I started saying that too, and now I'm typing Jesnah. Sigh.
Julian Augustus
93. Alisonwonderland
@88, nobody is a Knight Radiant, not yet. So far, we have seen six people (Kaladin, Jasnah, Shallan, Dalinar, Lift, and Ym) who could develop into KR if they pass all 5 power levels. Or not. We know Kaladin has passed level 2 (he's spoken the Second Ideal of his Order), but have no idea at what levels the others may be. I will speculate that Jasnah is probably past level 2 from her ability to soulcast even from a distance, and that all the others have not yet even passed level 1.
Alice Arneson
94. Wetlandernw
DE137 @92 - And... just to confuse you further, it's actually pronounced "Yahz-nah". :D
Ashley Martin
95. DE137
@93. Yea, I knew they aren't Knight Radiants yet. I was just saying, in that instance, Shallan was saying they were, and then Jasnah corrected her.... Also, where can I find the stuff on Ym, haven't seen it yet...

@94. Haha. Yea, I actually thought it was pronounced Yahz-nah, but I hate pronouncing my J's as Y's or H's or anything else. Whenever I see that in a book, I stubbornly call the name as it looks like it should be pronounced. I'm sure it'll come back to bite me in my ass when I publish something with an odd pronounciation, and everyone insists on saying their name wrong.
Ailema
96. windspren
Shallans new spren by her discription sounds like a fractual,(my first thought when I read the chapter.) I think of fractuals as an infinete , so if pattern is similar, then I think what abilities would this best be applied for. I think pattern could help exchange messages , but mostly and this maybe really out landish. What if he wrapped him self around shallan and became a camouflage to hide her, or wrapped him self around her and took her to a place of her choice?? If soomeone has already mentioned this sorry I missed reading it and didn't mean to step on toes.

Could Amaran be a spy in side the Ghostbloods? Or is beliefs as a Ghostblood going to be found out and put him at odds with Dalinar. I thought he'd been from Sadeas home area?
Ailema
97. windspren
Ok I am going to change some of what i said above , to what if Pattern shows on the ground a place Shallan asks of him, could she and others then go there??
Chris R
98. up2stuff
I was worried about 62 days for a bit too, BUT: WoK spanned 4500 years. We saw A LOT of backstory on Kaladin and Shallan. I'll bet there is more about them to come (her at least) as well as Dalinar's Matrimonial history. his younger son is now an owner of Shard Plate I believe so I think we will get more about him. Plus, I can't fathom not getting MORE new characters. I'm SURE there will be enough material to fit in these 62 days.
Chris R
99. up2stuff
oops, double post. my bad
David Foster
100. ZenBossanova
#95 DE137 My daughter and I only agree on a very few names. That is one of the problems with discussing fantasy novels out loud. I was able to ask Sanderson about the pronoucation of Sadias, and we both had it wrong, but he was totally chill with that.

#96 Windspren Yes, very fractal. And yes, one of the distinguishing characteristics of fractals is infinite detail, so there is always more to see of you look closer.

Regarding Pattern, will he only take truth, for Shallan to soulcast? In that case, could Shallan play "20 Questions" to learn where Urithiru is?
T C
101. Freelancer
Wetlandern2 @94

I'm going to be nitpicky here. Regarding name pronunciations, Brandon was quite emphatic in stating that the reader is free to devise whatever way of saying the names is comfortable to them. It came up when he read part of the Prologue, and someone commented that they didn't realize which character he was talking about at first, because they had read her name as Jazz-nah, while he pronounced it Yahz-nah. So he spent several minutes discussing offbeat fantasy spellings and how they can get in the way of a reader's enjoyment of a story, and his wish to not do that. Hence names like Vin, Hoid, Wax, etc.

He wouldn't even go so far as to say that his way was "the right way" to say the names, that the reader is a significant partner in the experience of a book, giving them license in such areas.

Just saying.
Alice Arneson
102. Wetlandernw
DE137 @95 - Actually, I'm wrong about that. It's Yahs-nah. S sound, not Z. Now I have to fix my brain...

Freelancer @101 - True; Brandon often doesn't seem to mind how you mangle his names, though he does have specific ways that he pronounces them. Mostly, anyway. I asked him about one of the names in the Lift interlude, and he said that he actually can't pronounce it. He can hear it right, but not make the sounds come out right. Heh. So we have to ask Peter sometime - apparently he's one of the few that can say it right! (Makes me wonder what the readers will make of it for the audiobook...)
Ailema
103. ZZZZ
Glory of the audiobook version is that you always know the 'right' way to pronounce names.
Ailema
104. Khyrindor
anyone else check everything thats been said every few days, hoping to get ideas that you missed?

Yeah, but here's my naming input: I've always pronounced them JAZ-nah, SHAL-lan, KAL-uh-din, A-dole-in, Dah-lin-ar,EL-oh-kar. am I missing any?

BTW I don't care if its actually pronounced "YAS-nah." My ways better :p
Dixon Davis
105. KadesSwordElanor
Re: Name Pronunciations
If I had a quarter for every name in the Silmarillion I mispronounced until I got the audio book, I would be a very rich man.
Rob Campbell
106. rccampbe
As many have said, I think the Cryptics like obscuring the truth. That can be done with words and with light. The one example of a powerful 'truth' that the original Cryptic liked (Pattern pre-crossover?) was when Shallan claimed that she murdered her father. I doubt her claim is strictly true (legally speaking), so it would be an example of a cryptic statement that is partially true and partially not and really reveals more about Shallan because of its 'true lie' nature. The same can be said for Yalb's boasting. Pattern even says, "Mmm...lies." about Yalb's lies as if a Cryptic receives sustenance from true lies, which would explain his horror at Shallan's destructive eating.
As for light, I really liked @53 idea for battlefield application. That's a lie aspect of a Lightweaver, how about a truthful one. Pattern appears to be showing Shallan something from her past that she doesn't want to see. Lightweaver as video archiving historian? With the power to obscure the truth in doing so? Interesting.
I'm most at a loss as to how the Cryptic orders have Ideals. They seem to live in a gray area. True lies are hard to reconcile with 'Journey before destination.'
Rob Campbell
107. rccampbe
@105 oh my. I've never heard the audio for The Silmarillion. I kind of don't want to, so that I can continue assuming I pronounce them all correctly. That would break my brain like a mischievous Syl.
David Foster
108. ZenBossanova
@106 Rcampbe
For a Cryptic Ideal, how about, Discretion is the better part of valor?
Well, we would need to reword it, but I don't think the cryptics are enamored of selfish deceit, but of honorable concealment of facts.

Thoughts?
Ailema
109. Uchi
Could Dalinar's letter be from Wit, bringing Talenel to the Plains? Dalinar mentioned that he wished Wit was there to goad people into dueling Adolin.
Ailema
110. STBLST
I'm one of those readers who would appreciated information of the author's intended pronounciation of names. I guess it started with giving an oral book report in High School on "The Brothers Karamazov" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I could hardly get a word out because the teacher kept correcting my mispronounciations of the Russian names. Tolkien's long appendices to the "Lord of the Rings" contains helpful rules on how to pronounce names in the Elvish languages that he created. Jordan's Wheel of Time series, I note, also has such guidance. Sanderson does not, leaving me frustrated as to how to pronounce names such of such major characters as Kelsier, Vin, and Sazed in the Mistborne series (is it an English or French type pronounciation?), and
Yaznah in the current series (I'm less concerned with which syllable to accent). If the intended pronounciation of the latter name, Yasnah, is correct, it would provide a rationale for the chosen name. In Hebrew, yashan means old - an appropriate name for a historian.
Patrick Mosbacker
111. Patillian
I've seen a couple of references to Talenel. Isn't he dead since his blade did not vanish when he collapsed at the end of WoK? Or is the theory that the Herald's blades function differently, so he may be alive?

I liked @106's take on "true lies" for the Cryptic's meaning. It's like literature and art--truth via fiction. Truemeaningspren? Artspren? I was going to say as opposed to the creationspren which could presumably come from creating a building w/ new architectutal principles or a nice souffle, but then I remembered the Eshonai interlude. They have workers who can build things, but can't get creationspren. Have we only seen creationspren arise from Shallan's art? I kind of think I vaguely remember Shallan thinking about when they appear. Have any appeared via writing or music or construction or anything else? If not, is creationspren an accurate name?
Alice Arneson
112. Wetlandernw
Patillian @111 – a couple of quotations for you:
He recognized each one. If their masters had died, the Blades would have vanished.
(TWoK, Prelude to the Stormlight Archive, Kalak observing the ring of Heralds’ swords) So it’s not just a theory; the Heralds’ Blades do behave differently than the Shardblades.

Creationspren:
On Dalinar’s own island, several women had set up easels where they were sketching, painting or doing calligraphy…. A few of them attracted creationspren, the tiny shapes rolling across the tops of their easels or tables.
(TWoK, Chapter 22) Make of that what you will. It's the only time outside Shallan's drawing exercises that we see them mentioned in TWoK.
Ailema
113. Afterthought
@104 I do that too! :D

As regards the pronunciation: Anyone else noticed that the two readers of the WoK audiobook pronounce Sadeas differently? I tend to favour Sa-day-us myself.

I did notice that in these chapters Brandon has told us the correct way to pronounce Kaladin, though. I was putting too much stress on the middle syllable.

(I, too, like knowing the 'proper' way to pronounce the names...)
Adrian Abraham
114. Nazrax
@113 As far as I remember, the only time the female reader uses Sadeas' name is near the end of the book. It actually took me a few "pages" to figure out who she was talking about ...
Julian Augustus
115. Alisonwonderland
DE137 @95,

Ha ha you and me both! To this day I stubbornly pronounce Moiraine as Moy-rain even though I've known since Book 1 that Jordan wants it pronounced Mwah-rain. Or Faile and Taim as Fail and Taim instead of Jordan's Fa-eel and Ta-eem.
Deana Whitney
116. Braid_Tug
@115: One of my biggest shocks at JordanCon was trying to talk to people about the characters, because I was not saying them "right."
Right there with you about Moy-rain. And oh so many other of his names!
Julian Augustus
117. Alisonwonderland
Kaladin folded his arms, watching Teft instruct as Rock handed practice spears to the men. Teft himself carried no spear, and though he was shorter than the bridgemen who gathered around him—wearing simple soldiers’ uniforms—they seemed thoroughly intimidated.

What else did you expect? Kaladin thought. They’re bridgemen. A stiff breeze could quell them.

Still, Teft looked completely in control. Comfortably so. This was right. Something about it was just… right.

A swarm of small glowing orbs materialized around Kaladin’s head, spren the shape of golden spheres that darted this way and that. He started, looking at them. Gloryspren. Storms. He felt as if he hadn’t seen the like in years.
This seems inconsistent with the internal stucture established for the story so far. From what we've seen so far, spren generally appear when there is a notable change of state or action. So, for example, firespren appear when a fire is started, or creationspren appear when Shallan is creating a piece of art.

But what just happened here? Kaladin is only standing around watching Teft training the bridgemen. He is not doing anything particularly noteworthy, and I don't see anything glorious he is doing at that moment. So why would gloryspren appear around his head just then? Are the gloryspren predicting future glory for him? That doesn't make sense to me. Worse, it looks too much like WoT, as in Min seeing future glory around Logain's head. Of course I could be mistaken and this is definitely not WoT derivative, but I need someone to point out to me why not.
Ailema
118. Sigh
Maybe Szeth doesn't have a spren because at one point did they not mention there are no spren in Shinovar?
Ailema
119. Afterthought
@117 I guess Kaladin was feeling a huge surge of pride, at how his influence had changed Teft from the Bridgeman he was, into the solider (and instructor) that he 'should' have been.

This would work if spren are drawn to the emotions, rather than the actions that caused the glory.

If you look at what Syl says later, she clearly is feeling pride but because she's a spren, can't attract the gloryspren.

As an aside to Syl's comment - does that mean that Syl came back because she wanted to reinstate the Knights Radiant?
Ailema
120. Khyrindor
@113 I also do sah-DAY-us lol we're the same

@115 I don't even care to look at how to pronounce names in that book series. I like them better how I do it. for eezh-wen (Egwene), ny-NEEVE. Right with you on Faile and Taim though.

@110 I never even thought of the French way at all. Brandon Sanderson has a unique way of letting his fans choose how to pronounce his names, frustrating as it may be, I think I prefer it.


you guys were talking about the Cryptics there, but the thing about "discretion is the better part of valour," is that if the are so good, then how come Syl hates them so much?

Also, does anyone know who Wit actually is? I mean, not Hoid, but like, what is he? I think there will be important things springing from his story. Also, I think that he and Shallan will get along quite well (as Jasnah said).
Ailema
121. RudeAnon
@117 Kaladin is taking great pride in what Teft is doing, in what they accomplished by even being able to do what they are doing.

It is the same as when you see Fearspren and Anticipationspren around the soldiers before a battle or being able to see Angerspren around a man who was just found out he was betrayed.
Ailema
122. Khyrindor
also guys, what are the Ghostbloods?
Ailema
123. RudeAnon
@122 Ghostbloods are a secret organization that are doing some shady things behind the scenes. So far we know some of its members to be Kabsal(The Ardent who tried to poison Jasnah), Shallan's father, Shallan's family steward, the men visiting Shallan's family looking for the Soulcaster, and the Shardbearer Kalladin killed(or so Amaram suspects).

We don't really have any information as to what their goal is.
Ailema
124. Khyrindor
I thought so. Thanks.

Do you think it's possible that Taravagian (or whomever is controlling him) is also part of them?

And what of the group that Teft used to belong to?
Peter Ahlstrom
125. PeterAhlstrom
Pronunciations should be more standardized in the second audiobook. I've been working closely with Kate & Michael on the phonetic transcriptions.
Ailema
126. Khyrindor
I thought so. Thanks.

Do you think it's possible that Taravagian (or whomever is controlling him) is also part of them?

And what of the group that Teft used to belong to?
Ailema
127. RudeAnon
@124 Taravagian seems more like the person who would be the head of an organization then a member.

Teft was a member of a group called Envisagers. They were a secret group who kept info about the Knights Radiance alive, waiting for their return. They are also all dead, according to/because of Teft.
Alice Arneson
128. Wetlandernw
Alisonwonderland @117 – On a quick search through TWoK, it seems that gloryspren are drawn to a sense of accomplishment rather than something glorious the person is actually doing at the moment.

@several - Remember what Jasnah said back in Chapter 3? "There is a complex sort of conflict between them and the honorspren. Spren politics are not something I’ve been able to devote much time to." So I don't think we have much to go on, but clearly the Cryptics and the Honorspren don't think well of one another. (I have to admit, the thought of "spren politics" makes me laugh!)

Peter @125 - But can they say Tigzikk correctly?
Ailema
129. khyrindor
Tigzquq haha I would like to hear them try lol
Patrick Mosbacker
130. Patillian
@112 Wetlander Thanks! Totally missed that. The prelude is probably my least favorite part of the WoK, so grim with the torture images, that I think I have skipped it more often than not when returning to the book. Taln being alive is really so much more interesting, and I am very, very interested in finding out if Elhokar's wife and the Alethi in general accept his claim to be an ancient Herald.

So the only other mention of creationspren comes from "sketching, painting and calligraphy..." More like creativityspren than creationspren... I wonder if creating music, architecture, baking, life, etc. would call the same spren. If they're the key to something for the Parshendi, would it be a form that cannot be enslaved?

As to the gloryspren over Kaladin, I agree with the other two responses, and I think the whole point is that Kaladin didn't feel them while killing Parshendi or jumping from the bridge in the chasm. His motivation isn't to kill or capture gems--the other contexts where we've seen gloryspren in the army. He is feeling extreme victory/glory from what he feels is his part in "saving" the bridgemen. Not just saving them physically, but seeing the broken man that wouldn't share any food with an injured companion become a soul at relative peace fulfilling his potential as a leader of men. He still yearns for some way he could achieve ultimate peace, removing his men to a peaceful place where they could be away from the army and lighteyes as seen in his conversation with Moash, Teft, and Skar about getting money and training before possibly striking out for parts unknown. This conflicts however with his other internal need to save the other bridgemen, Dalinar, and just about anyone he sees.
T C
131. Freelancer
Wow, so many comments about pronunciation. Of course it is a universal issue for readers of fiction. The discussion reminders me of a debate I had with a co-worker over the names in Elantris.

I say Raoden as RAY-o-den, he says it ROU-den (Like the OU in shroud). For Dilaf I say DILL-aff, he says DEE-loff. For Saolin I say SAY-o-lin, he says SHOU-lin (like the Kung Fu monastery). Yet when referring to the Elantrian writing, we both say AY-on-dor.
T C
132. Freelancer
Patillian @130

Can't completely agree with your take on Kaladin's goals. He definitely wants his men to be free, but there's nothing in the story about him wanting to find a peaceful place. Yes, he wants to be away from the Lighteyes' manipulations and politics, but note that he sees his thousand as a potential mercenary band. He has always been aimed at action, he always wanted to be a soldier. His first Surge came holding a spear, and his first fully realized sense of accomplishment came in battle. Even when he considers that he could have asked for his men to be turned into medical aides, he dismisses the thought summarily. He's a warrior, and couldn't find internal peace being anything else. Dalinar must find a champion, according to his vision. He just doesn't know that his champion is already in front of him.
Rob Campbell
133. rccampbe
Please correct me if this statement is in any way false or even just uncertain: 'Not all spren are as discerning as honorspren' is a quote from Nohadon, founder of the Knights Radiant.

If I've got that right, then I'm less confused about Cryptic-bound Radiants. Surgebinders existed pre-Radiants. Nohadon tried to establish morality among Surgebinders, which led to the Radiants, the Ideals and enhanced Stormlight powers, because Stormlight comes from Honor, so honorable behavior enhances it. But honor is not a prerequisite for being a Surgebinder unless you're a Windrunner and bind to an honorspren. Even more so if you bind with a Cryptic, honorspren's rivals! So Cryptics could bind with all sorts of seedy characters because they aren't looking for honor in their partner, they are looking for_____. cryptic/inexplicable behavior? Are Cryptics searching for truth and they find it best by discovering why people lie?

@108 ZenBossanova A possible Cryptic ideal: I will uncover the truth. Fits well for Jasnah and Shallan.
Julian Augustus
134. Alisonwonderland
Wetlander @128, if that is the case, then the spren are seriously misnamed. A sense of pride (or more accurately, accomplishment) is a completely different thing from glory. The first is an emotion felt by the person in question, while the second is conferred on the person by other observers. To call them 'gloryspren' when they are supposedly attracted by a sense of accomplishment is misleading, and I hope Peter will see this and bring it to Brandon's attention.
Alice Arneson
135. Wetlandernw
Alisonwonderland @134 - I'm not sure Brandon would change it simply because we think its misleading. In context, it's the people of Roshar that named them "gloryspren" - just as some would name the Cryptics "liespren", which is equally misleading. Or consider the "groundspren" which we would call gravityspren, because it is gravity that pulls us "down" to the earth, but they think of as groundspren because they pull objects toward the ground.

Then there's Axies and his collection:
"I wonder what I should call them." The stories he'd heard called them sudspren, but that seemed silly. Intoxicationspren? No, too unwieldy. Alespren?...
So he's trying to figure out what to call them, and there's no reason to assume that he will give them a name that accurately reflects what they really are - just a combination of what he perceives them to be, and what he thinks sounds like a good name.


Incidentally, we saw musicspren in the prologue as well as in a later chapter. So creationspren must not necessarily be drawn to all forms of art; perhaps each art form has its own spren. In which case, the fact that the Rosharans (or at least Alethi) call them "creationspren" doesn't mean that they couldn't more accurately be called "drawspren" - it just means that the Alethi think of creation and the visual arts in the same context, while they don't think of music as creation.

Back to "gloryspren" - perhaps I was misleading in the way I phrased it. In the instances I found of gloryspren, they were most often drawn to someone who had done something that was, at least in their own eyes, a real triumph. Several times it had to do with winning the gemheart on a plateau run, or having fought extremely effectively and being cheered by the army. It's possible that, from our perspective, they might more accurately be dubbed "triumphspren" - but I'd suggest that the Alethi think of them as "gloryspren" because it suits their sense of "glory."
David Foster
136. ZenBossanova
I would not be shocked to see things misnamed, even on purpose. You are dealing with names common people give these things, and not spren scientists (sprenologists?). Kind of like how mountain goats, are not really goats, and electric eels are not eels at all.
Ailema
137. Jasuni
@113 I wonder if Rock's pronunciation of Kaladin is closer to the Hebrew roots than the "correct" pronunciation.

I am looking forward to seeing Syl meet Pattern - and it will likely influence the relationship between Kaladin and Shallan (however that plays out).
Patrick Mosbacker
138. Patillian
I think Wetlander is right that the names will necessarily be imperfect since they are somehow complex ideas come to life and then they add their own sentience in whatever degree to the mix. My nitpick over creationspren is unnecessary, but it is weird that the spren specific to painted art are what the Parshendi crave. The music ones won't do? Are the creationspren dormant spren of some more complex type like many of the windpren are actually honorspren?

@132 Good points Freelander how Kaldin can't actually remove himself from the action for some theoretical peace. But I think he is at least constantly conflicted about his need for battle. His conversations with Syl about how to deal with killing in order to protect are pretty central to his character. His father's beliefs are still part of him as well.

He won't turn his men to surgeons, but he also doesn't want them to die in battle. He may not be able to handle when they die, especially at the hands of a shardblade again. Szeth's appearance is sure to be a major psychological blow when he kills some Bridge 4 guards. Thinking about it, I think the Parshendi are going to be pawns for Odium somehow, and Kaladin is going to continue being conflicted about killing the otherwise honorable beings. Until at the end of the arc, the Parshendi will achieve some degree of independence and the more purely evil forces/creatures/leader will be revealed. Kaladin will be free to unleash whole-spiritedly against Midnight Essence, etc. which will allow him to be the champion Dalinar needs.
Ailema
139. SoulcastJam
@135 Playing music doesn't exactly qualify as creating something. Composing music would fit better, so we shouldn't expect to see creationspren around a musician playing in public unless they are improvising. I imagine that creationspren is a well-suited name.
Andrew Berenson
140. AndrewHB
In the WoR chapters that have been released, we learned that at least some types of spren (partucularly the more "sentient" types) originate in the Cognitive Realm (Shadesmar). IIRC, the Cognitive Realm is present throughout all of the Cosmere books.

If my memory is correct, does that mean that spren can enter other worlds in Brandon's Cosmere books? Have any of Brandon's other Cosmere books had spren in them? If not, may future books have spren? (WoK is the only Cosmere book I have read.)

Thanks for reading my musings,
AndrewB
(aka the musespren)
Ailema
141. cjudd
Betchya Chapter 7 is Eshonai's chapter (name of the parshendi shardbearer, learned through previous WOR readings). Said to be a new POV in this book.
Anneke van Staden
142. QueenofDreams
@138 I don't think it's that the Parshendi are craving the spren. I think it's more to do with trying to broaden the things they can do. It's been a while since I read that particular excerpt, but IIRC they were trying to expand their capabilities (if you see what I mean). There was a lot of reflection on them only having a few 'forms' and each form is limited in terms of what they can do and how they think. They're trying to discover forms that have been forgotten. Also will just remind people that they refer to their 'parshmen' counterparts as being in 'slave-form'. Which is fairly interesting.
Ailema
143. khyrindor
@140 lol Ashspren that would be awesome. or Mistspren
T C
144. Freelancer
Patillian @138

I don't think that Kaladin is as concerned about whether his men die in battle, as whether they are fighting for a just cause, and for an honorable leader. Dying in battle to protect what you hold as valuable is not something a warrior regrets. You are absolutely right that Lirin's teaching continues to influence Kaladin. At the same time, he has worked through part of that conflict, and decided that being the wolfhound is a valid vocation, in spite of his father's shortsighted disdain for such. As for Syl, killing is destructive no matter how right the cause, so it pains her, but she doesn't run from it, and that informs Kaladin's ability to choose as well.
Julian Augustus
145. Alisonwonderland
Wetlander @135

As usual, you make some really good points, and I can understand the setup Brandon has created with the "liespren", because he obviously wants to reveal their nature gradually and let us figure it out, meanwhile alerting us that the name may not accurately reflect their nature. But that is not the case with the "gloryspren".

Indeed, your second post reinforces the contradictory nature of the reasons for the appearance of gloryspren. You state:
In the instances I found of gloryspren, they were most often drawn to someone who had done something that was, at least in their own eyes, a real triumph. Several times it had to do with winning the gemheart on a plateau run, or having fought extremely effectively and being cheered by the army.
In the examples you cite here, clearly the person attracting the glory spren has just done something outstanding, and is in the process of receiving the approbation of his colleagues; they are cheering him. In that kind of situation, gloryspren appearing around the person being cheered is exactly right; he or she has won glory in the eyes of his peers at the moment the spren appeared.

Now contrast that with the situation quoted in this chapter. Kaladin's moments of glory, when he charged the Parshendi alone, ordered the retreat of Dalinar's troops to save the army, rescued Dalinar himself, etc., are all moments when he "covered himself with glory", as it were, in the eyes of his peers, and those are all moments when the gloryspren could legitimately appear.

However, at this point in the story all that is well behind him. At the moment the spren appear in such huge numbers, the best one can say is that he has a good sense of accomplishment. What specifically triggered the appearance of the spren at that moment (shouldn't he have had that sense of accomplishment for a while now?), something so out of the ordinary as to elicit such a tremendous response from the spren? More important, is it exactly the same type of spren who appear when someone is being cheered by his fellows?

I hope Brandon doesn't say "yes" to the last question because it would seriously contradict the internal consistency of the worldbuild he has shown us so far, by having the same spren respond to different human actions.

Now, I know this is Brandon's story, but if I may make a suggestion, a logical way out of the contradiction would be to explain that Kaladin is mistaken in his identification of the spren as "gloryspren", that they are in fact "pridespren" or "accomplishmentspren" or whatever name he comes up with that fits the human emotions to which the spren are responding.
David Foster
146. ZenBossanova
@142. QueenofDreams
I have been wondering for a while what would happen if people bonded too the different random spren out there, riverspren, windspren, gravityspren, gloryspren, etc. but if the Parshendi can have hundreds of forms, perhaps that is how they do it.

@140. AndrewHB
There have only been spren-like entities in certain books, and only when the Shards of Adolosium were shattered. There were things called Aons in Elantris and something called Breath in Warbreaker. It really makes me wonder if Odium shattering shards into spren, is going backfire on him later.

@145. Alisonwonderland
Arguably, it is a more important accomplishment to take the beaten down bridgemen and raise them up, than it was to hold back the Parshendi army. We might want to consider which makes more sense in light of what Honor is, if spren are flakes or fragments of honor. Let's just see what the spren act like, and fit the name to them, rather than vice versa.
Ailema
147. RudeAnon
@145 You seem to be under the impression that the gloryspren appear because of how other people feel about the actions someone just did, which by all accounts is incorrect(with all spren). These people feel proud of accomplishing something, which causes the gloryspren to appear, not the cheering that comes with it. I imagine when a scholar is sitting alone in a room and makes a huge breakthrough these same spren would appear.

And if it was that same scholar who named the spren I imagine "Pride in Accomplishment Spren" would be the very scholarly name that would be given to them. However it is the mass public in general that name the spren, so it is much more likely tens of thousands of soldiers saw them floating around the heads of their generals after slaying a shardbearer or the like, and in turn named them gloryspren.
Ailema
148. Harry31j97
About the argument over name of spren, there's is quote by Syl in WoK that goes something like this: 'Kaladin, do firespren start fire or are attracted to fire? I've finally remembered what kind of spren I am. I am an honorspren.'
I think this means that people named spren like Syl honorspren because they're attracted to honorable people. Now Cryptics don't mind the name 'cryptic' but do so 'liespren' because they are attracted to mysterious, cryptic people, who might be perceived as liers by others which explains their name 'liespren'. I think this means that asking for a truth or lie (or whatever else) is secondary to nature of Cryptics, primary being cryptic nature of their bonded, and so there might exist Cryptics who might not need truth every time they help in soulcasting.
Ailema
149. Harry31j97
Also this might explains why honorspren dislike Cryptics since Cryptics help soulcast even after knowing a fact which might be dishonorable or disgusting, it's only need being cryptic or not known to people other than their bonded companion.
Nadine L.
150. travyl
@145 Alison
On top of what wetlander and RudeAnon@147 said:
Don't forget, this scene only happens a few (3 or 4?) days after the huge battle, with Kaladin saving Dalinar and gaining the Bridgemen's freedom from Sadeas. From the nature of his character, always worrying, fearing that he'll lose his friends and end up as the lone survivor, it sounds reasonable to me, that this might be the first time, that "his glory" really "sinks in."

So far he was worrying about how he'll manage the Bridgemen and now he watches Teft working with them, sees how those few men, due to his suggestion to bring them into the chasm are transforming, like he managed with Bridge 4. So yes, this might be the exact moment, to attract gloryspren, his emotions for once ruled by a sense of accomplishment and not worry and planning.
Ailema
151. Khyrindor
guys, spren appear depending on the closest feeling of (in this case) accomplishement or glory. the reason they happened for Kaladin in that scene is because he was the only person around who was feeling glory at all, so they went to him. if, however, there was a battle going on, or something like that, the spren would be attracted there instead
Julian Augustus
152. Alisonwonderland
I am amazed that all of you responding to @145 do not seem to get the difference between glory and a sense of accomplishment. The two represent very different things.

Glory is not, I repeat, NOT felt by the person performing a heroic act. It is the emotion of approval and high esteem towards the person felt by a mass of other people, those who witnessed the heroic act directly, or heard about the act, sometimes generations later. Let me repeat once again, a person has glory only when other people think he or she has done something bloody fantastic and hold him or her in high esteem as a result.

A sense of accomplishment, on the other hand, is an emotion felt by the actual person who performs the act, either right away or long after the act is completed.

My point here is that the spren can't be the same in both instances. If we are calling the first group of spren "gloryspren" (an entirely appropriate name, I might add), then it can't be the same spren who show up when someone has a strong feeling of accomplishment. It can't be, based on what Brandon has shown us so far about the nature of spren.

Or else the entire basis of spren formation needs to be re-written. That is my point.

Kaladin has shown before that he can make a mistake on his spren identification. After all, when he first met Syl he thought she was a windspren, albeit one who showed capabilities no windspren has ever been know to have. The only way the episode described in this chapter makes sense is if Kaladin is, once again, thinking that what he is seeing are gloryspren when in reality they are something else quite different.
Ashley Martin
153. DE137
@152

If, what you say is true, then the spren are rightly named Gloryspren. Kaladin wasn't feeling an sense of accomplishment for himself, he was looking at Teft, and thinking he was a leader. Assigning him glory as to how he was able to take control of the men.

Syl asked Kaladin if he was feeling proud of himself, and Kaladin said no, he was feeling proud of Teft.

I'm sure Brandon put a lot of thought into what to call all the different spren, and I know I personally, wouldn't question him on something that he created and wrote. Instead, I would wait patiently for things to clarify. Or assume I was wrong, instead of the author. I definitley wouldn't assume he needs to re-write, or rethink his whole formation based on one persons opinion.
Julian Augustus
155. Alisonwonderland
RudeAnon @147,
I believe you did understand the point I have been making, though we seem to have a difference in opinion about the actual emotions to which the "gloryspren" are really attracted. I can respect that, and I think you provide a reasonable explanation for what I consider to be an inconsistency, though I disagree with that explanation.
Ailema
156. SoulcastJam
@152 Not to split hairs, but a simple google search shows that a second definition of glory is:
verb. take great pride or pleasure in.
It is not incorrect to say he was glorying in his accomplishment.
Ailema
157. SoulcastJam
*Not incorrect gramatically I should say. There is still room for opinion of course.
Ailema
158. Jin
i may have missed it in TWoK but was memories of Dalinar's wife his payment/curse from the Nightwatcher? wondering if this plays a big part in the unfolding somehow..
Ailema
159. Ailema
I don’t understand what the argument is about the gloryspren? A simple Kindle search gives a direct description of the gloryspren in their very first appearance in TWoK:

“Gloryspren— like tiny golden translucent globes of light— began to pop into existence around him, attracted by his sense of accomplishment.” Sanderson, Brandon (2010-08-31). The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive, The) (Kindle Locations 3267-3268). Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition.

This is a scene with just Elhokar and Dalinar. So I would say that SoulcastJam @ 156 is right, imho. The lowest common denominator in all the appearances of the gloryspren is someone’s sense of accomplishment, when someone is glorying directly in their own act or indirectly in someone else’s (simply because they were part of a team that accomplished the act), whether that someone is an individual (Elhokar beating Dalinar to the Tower), two people (Kaladin glorying in Teft’s abilities as a good leader should), or an entire army (as the supporting cast of a gemheart harvest).
Alice Arneson
160. Wetlandernw
I think the sense of "I will glory in... (whatever)" is the right angle for understanding gloryspren. If you think of it in terms of the noun only, and particularly receiving glory from others, it's a problem. If you think of it in terms of the verb, of glorying in one's accomplishment (which is a valid use of the word), it makes a lot more sense.
Jon _
161. Chasmfriend
Dear Tor,
Please release a new excerpt before there is bloodshed over the proper naming of spren or pronunciation of characters.
Thanks

PS Would spren attracted to someone who was bored be called "boredomspren" or "boredspren"? What would they look like?
Alice Arneson
163. Wetlandernw
Hamburglar53 @161 - Clearly, they would be called ennuispren (because the Rosharans have French roots) and they would take the form of puce-colored blobs that sit on your shoulder or head. Clearly.

:}
T C
164. Freelancer
Not at all. They would be maize-colored, almost egg-shaped, float around your upper body, and would be called apathyspren.

Obviously.
Ailema
166. TBGH
Amusement spren - little puffs of jumping yellow corn like things that appear when reading heated arguments over pointless technicalities
Ailema
167. Jasuni
@144 - Kaladin is all about protecting his men. That's what he was doing in Amaram's army (while he respected Amaram) and was his goal in WOK. He is also personally conflicted about the three men who died saving Dalinar's army.

@166 or amusing comments
Anneke van Staden
169. QueenofDreams
Wet, there are laughterspren, so I guess those would count as lolspren surely?
Ailema
170. Carfax
Gloryspren. Accomplishspren, whateverspren...........
Maarten Verbeek
171. FanfromHolland
Hello Everyone,

I have been reading the reread and these posts for months now. And I posted a few times without an account. But in preperation of the second (mega)volume in this series I decided to start my own account.

I read all of Brandon's books that fall within the Cosmere and Steelheart and The Rithmatist.

Now on topic:
Even Spren themselves seem unsure what their proper name is. Liespren, Truthspren, Cryptics?

Whether one feels Gloryspren is the correct name shouldn't matter. What matters is that the people of Roshar think of these Spren with these names.

I bet when Spren were first discovered, there were debates about proper names. But as it happens in all language. When the general population uses a certain name -academically correct or not- at some point that name will be added in the dictionary as the proper name.

A feeling of accomplishment seems ok, but might lead to bad habits if these spren also enlarge your feeling of accomplishment.
I pesonally believe that there is a two way relationship. Rot attracts Rotspren, and they enhance it etc. etc.

So could Gloryspren be the cause of the Thrill and lead men to the Dark Side?

Just my two cents.
Ailema
172. hamed743
when will there be another excerpt?
Alice Arneson
173. Wetlandernw
Any more suggestions for the names and descriptions of boredom spren? We only have 4 names and 2 descriptions - that's not much to choose from. How can we vote on that?

QueenofDreams @169 - *sigh* I suppose laughterspren will have to do. Doesn't have quite the same... zip. ;)

FanfromHolland @171 - First, welcome to the Black Side. ;)

Second, I agree with your assessment of the names of spren. While some spren seem to know their names with great confidence, and apparently care what they are called, others probably aren't even aware of what people call them. They appear for the events, emotions, activites, objects, or changes that draw them, and are interpreted and named by those who observe them. The observers might not be understanding exactly what it is that draws the spren - they could be way off, in fact - but as long as it's reasonably consistent in outward effect, how would they know? So they name the spren for what they assume to be the relevant factor, and... there you have it.

(FWIW, I'm beginning to think that the more self-aware spren - those who are aware of their individuality and nature even while in the Physical Realm - are likely to be the ones who are sufficiently sentient to bond with humans and make them Surgebinders. The vast majority of spren are much more simplistic, though.)

As for the relationship of gloryspren to the Thrill, or the relationship of the Thrill to the Dark Side... I wouldn't even venture a guess. The Thrill seems significant in some way, but from the widely varied theories about it, I'd have to say that we just don't know enough yet.
Deana Whitney
174. Braid_Tug
Can there be “boredom” spren? Seems like if one shows up, you might not be so bored anymore.
Or Depression Spren? - If there are, Kaladin should have attracted them during his dark days.

So my 5 minuet analyses says, there’s not a spren for everything. But as for what does create a spren, we will have to wait for more information from their Creator, BWS.

@171, FanfromHolland: Welcome! Congratulations for “Taking the Black.” (GRRM thing, if you have read him / watched the show.)
Ailema
176. Capt D
I'm afraid Dalinar might be being used for evil. There has been some foreshadowing of this. Prediction/Prophecying is of Odium and Dalinar thinks he was the one who wrote on the wall. Kaladin's theme of Brightlords letting him down. We haven't seen a spren associated with Dalinar. Kaladin notes that Dalinar is similar to Amaram by taking power that isn't his to take (He acts like he is king, not Elohkar). Finally, the back of Way of Kings says that one of the four (Kaladin, Shallan, Sezth, Dalinar) will destroy us and one may redeem us. Could it be a similar situation to Mistborn with Ruin manipulating Vin?
Ailema
177. Capt D
I'm afraid Dalinar might be being used for evil. There has been some foreshadowing of this. Prediction/Prophecying is of Odium and Dalinar thinks he was the one who wrote on the wall. Kaladin's theme of Brightlords letting him down. We haven't seen a spren associated with Dalinar. Kaladin notes that Dalinar is similar to Amaram by taking power that isn't his to take (He acts like he is king, not Elohkar). Finally, the back of Way of Kings says that one of the four (Kaladin, Shallan, Sezth, Dalinar) will destroy us and one may redeem us. Could it be a similar situation to Mistborn with Ruin manipulating Vin?
Ailema
178. Zathic
@33 QueenofDreams - Shallan's spren is a "liespren" while Kaladin's is a honorspren. So I'm thinking everyone can see Shallan's because they are more accustomed to lies than honor. That's my theory anyways.
T C
179. Freelancer
We're still going on about spren titles, and mostly about ones not defined in the text? We should be several more volumes into this epic before it gets that bad, people.

You're going to attract debatespren that way. Or would they be argumentspren? Rantspren? Intensityspren?

I don't know, maybe we just let the author decide.
Julian Augustus
183. Alisonwonderland
I guess I get to have the last word.

Ailema @159:
Thank you for finding the explanation for what really attracts the gloryspen. Your quote neatly resolves the contradiction that was bothering me, as, from the way Brandon has set it up, even in the incident with other observers cheering, it was not the cheering observers that attracted the gloryspren, but the sense of accomplishment of the person performing the glorious act. So, there is no contradiction with the scene in this chapter, and I'm happy with that.

Incidentally, this is the same explanation advanced by RudeAnon @147, which I didn't credit enough because I was thinking in terms of "glory" in the usual sense of the word instead of "glorying in" as suggested by Wetlander, and clearly the intention of Brandon. Thanks to you both. I supposed I could have avoided this entire discussion by wading through that thick book looking for previous instances where "gloryspren" had appeared, but I quailed at that daunting task. And, isn't this kind of dicussion the purpose of such a board anyway?

Finally, as for all those who still think I was complaining about the name of the spren and did not realize that I was pointing out what I thought was a basic contradiction in the reasons for the appearance of the spren, I wish you better understanding of the books than you did my posts.
Alice Arneson
184. Wetlandernw
"And, isn't this kind of dicussion the purpose of such a board anyway?"

ABSOLUTELY! :D

Well, at least it's a large part of why I'm here. I don't always manage to explain myself very clearly, but the effort to do so always helps me figure out what I think and why I think it. And it's really rather fascinating to be reminded that things I take for granted (e.g. in definitions) are less familiar to others, and vice versa. (They say you learn something new every day, if you aren't careful...)
Leeland Woodard
185. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
I'm late to this party, but I wanted to point out an interesting theory that I have that's related to the Dalinar chapters herein, as well as some of the discussion and a hefty dash of my own personal speculation.

What if Dalinar isn't becoming a KR? What if he just plain doesn't have a spren, and that's why we aren't seeing him as a proto-radiant? Obviously we've talked about this at some length, and I think that there's a decent possibility that this is the case.

I do not, however, think that this means that Dalinar is going to be left powerless.

So, apparently the spren started bonding with people in order to mimic the traits that Honor (and presumably Cultivation) gifted to the Heralds. We know that Dalinar has some sort of link to Honor, being as Honor is giving him these visions, and explicitly asking him to re-found the Knights Radiant. We also know that apaprently Dalinar is going to be a Bondsmith (the name heavily suggests a lot of influence from Honor, if you think about it).

What if Dalinar is going to be a new Herald? What if the nine that abandoned the Oathpact have forsaken their nature and are actively working with/for Odium now, having been corrupted by him (we have seen some evidence of the Heralds working against their natures)? What if Tanavast, knowing that the Oathpact had been abandoned, set his shard (Honor) to search for worthy people that follow his ideals,and especially to find a leader for them?

The most telling piece of evidence here, I think, is that Tanavast specifically asks Dalinar (or, the nameless recipient of his message) to re-found the Knights Radiant. The Heralds were traditionally the ones that trained the KR for the oncoming desolation. In addition, he's told in WoK to "Act with honor, and Honor will aid you" suggesting, to me at least, that if he acts with honor, power from the shard Honor will aid him directly. Not through a spren, as it does with the other KR, but that Honor would aid him.
Ailema
186. _Elena
@64 /.....Brandon has already set up a little distrust or animosity between Kaladin and Adolin. This is certainly going to come into play when Adolin's betrothed falls in love with Kaladin :-)/

THANK YOU. My thoughts exactly, since reading chapter 1 - I'm calling this right now.
Michael Church
187. Airsicklowlander
Kaladin is oblviously pleased with Teft's transformation to a solid leader. I think anytime Dalinar or Kaladin "feel" something is good or right, it's important. So perhaps Teft will become a bondsmith or other radiant.

I wonder if one of Kaladin's Ideals has to do with leadership.
"I'll help others be all that they can be!"
It would be a good army recruitment commercial anyway.

Subscribe to this thread

Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads.
Post a comment