Jan 28 2014 1:00pm

Read an Excerpt from Words of Radiance: Chapters Ten, Twelve, Fourteen, and Interlude I-1

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 for other excerpts and sneak peeks 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.



Words of Radiance chapter 10



The world ended, and Shallan was to blame.

“Pretend it never happened,” her father whispered. He wiped something wet from her cheek. His thumb came back red. “I’ll protect you.”

Was the room shaking? No, that was Shallan. Trembling. She felt so small. Eleven had seemed old to her, once. But she was a child, still a child. So small.

She looked up at her father with a shudder. She couldn’t blink; her eyes were frozen open.

Father started to whisper, blinking tears. “Now go to sleep in chasms deep, with darkness all around you…”

A familiar lullaby, one he always used to sing to her. In the room behind him, dark corpses stretched out on the floor. A red carpet once white.

“Though rock and dread may be your bed, so sleep my baby dear.”

Father gathered her into his arms, and she felt her skin squirming. No. No, this affection wasn’t right. A monster should not be held in love. A monster who killed, who murdered. No.

She could not move.

“Now comes the storm, but you’ll be warm, the wind will rock your basket…”

Father carried Shallan over the body of a woman in white. Little blood there. It was the man who bled. Mother lay facedown, so Shallan couldn’t see the eyes. The horrible eyes.

Almost, Shallan could imagine that the lullaby was the end to a nightmare. That it was night, that she had awakened screaming, and her father was singing her to sleep…

“The crystals fine will glow sublime, so sleep my baby dear.”

They passed Father’s strongbox set into the wall. It glowed brightly, light streaming from the cracks around the closed door. A monster was inside.

“And with a song, it won’t be long, you’ll sleep my baby dear.”

With Shallan in his arms, Father left the room and closed the door on the corpses.



Words of Radiance chapter 12

Unfortunately, we fixated upon Sadeas’s plotting so much that we did not take note of the changed pattern of our enemies, the murderers of my husband, the true danger. I would like to know what wind brought about their sudden, inexplicable transformation.

—From the journal of Navani Kholin, Jesesach 1174

Kaladin pressed the stone against the wall of the chasm, and it stuck there. “All right,” he said, stepping back.

Rock jumped up and grabbed it, then dangled from the wall, bending legs below. His deep, bellowing laugh echoed in the chasm. “This time, he holds me!”

Sigzil made a notation on his ledger. “Good. Keep hanging on, Rock.” “For how long?” Rock asked.

“Until you fall.”

“Until I…” The large Horneater frowned, hanging from the stone with both hands. “I do not like this experiment any longer.”

“Oh, don’t whine,” Kaladin said, folding his arms and leaning on the wall beside Rock. Spheres lit the chasm floor around them, with its vines, debris, and blooming plants. “You’re not dropping far.”

“It is not the drop,” Rock complained. “It is my arms. I am big man, you see.”

“So it’s a good thing you have big arms to hold you.”

“It does not work that way, I think,” Rock said, grunting. “And the handhold is not good. And I—”

The stone popped free and Rock fell downward. Kaladin grabbed his arm, steadying him as he caught himself.

“Twenty seconds,” Sigzil said. “Not very long.”

“I warned you,” Kaladin said, picking up the fallen stone. “It lasts longer if I use more Stormlight.”

“I think we need a baseline,” Sigzil said. He fished in his pocket and pulled out a glowing diamond chip, the smallest denomination of sphere. “Take all of the Stormlight from this, put it into the stone, then we’ll hang Rock from that and see how long he takes to fall.”

Rock groaned. “My poor arms…”

“Hey, mancha,” Lopen called from farther down the chasm, “at least you’ve got two of them, eh?” The Herdazian was watching to make sure none of the new recruits somehow wandered over and saw what Kaladin was doing. It shouldn’t happen—they were practicing several chasms over—but Kaladin wanted someone on guard.

Eventually they’ll all know anyway, Kaladin thought, taking the chip from Sigzil. Isn’t that what you just promised Syl? That you’d let yourself become a Radiant?

Kaladin drew in the chip’s Stormlight with a sharp intake of breath, then infused the Light into the stone. He was getting better at that, drawing the Stormlight into his hand, then using it like luminescent paint to coat the bottom of the rock. The Stormlight soaked into the stone, and when he pressed it against the wall, it stayed there.

Smoky tendrils of luminescence rose from the stone. “We probably don’t need to make Rock hang from it,” Kaladin said. “If you need a baseline, why not just use how long the stone remains there on its own?”

“Well, that’s less fun,” Sigzil said. “But very well.” He continued to write numbers on his ledger. That would have made most of the other bridgemen uncomfortable. A man writing was seen as unmasculine, even blasphemous—though Sigzil was only writing glyphs.

Today, fortunately, Kaladin had with him Sigzil, Rock, and Lopen—all foreigners from places with different rules. Herdaz was Vorin, technically, but they had their own brand of it and Lopen didn’t seem to mind a man writing.

“So,” Rock said as they waited, “Stormblessed leader, you said there was something else you could do, did you not?”

“Fly!” Lopen said from down the passage.

“I can’t fly,” Kaladin said dryly.

“Walk on walls!”

“I tried that,” Kaladin said. “I nearly broke my head from the fall.”

“Ah, gancho,” Lopen said. “No flying or walking on walls? I need to impress the women. I do not think sticking rocks to walls will be enough.”

“I think anyone would find that impressive,” Sigzil said. “It defies the laws of nature.”

“You do not know many Herdazian women, do you?” Lopen asked, sighing. “Really, I think we should try again on the flying. It would be the best.” “There is something more,” Kaladin said. “Not flying, but still useful. I’m not certain I can replicate it. I’ve never done it consciously.”

“The shield,” Rock said, standing by the wall, staring up at the rock. “On the battlefield, when the Parshendi shot at us. The arrows hit your shield. All the arrows.”

“Yes,” Kaladin said.

“We should test that,” Sigzil said. “We’ll need a bow.”

“Spren,” Rock said, pointing. “They pull the stone against the wall.”

“What?” Sigzil said, scrambling over, squinting at the rock Kaladin had pressed against the wall. “I don’t see them.”

“Ah,” Rock said. “Then they do not wish to be seen.” He bowed his head toward them. “Apologies, mafah’liki.”

Sigzil frowned, looking closer, holding up a sphere to light the area. Kaladin walked over and joined them. He could make out the tiny purple spren if he looked closely. “They’re there, Sig,” Kaladin said.

“Then why can’t I see them?”

“It has to do with my abilities,” Kaladin said, glancing at Syl, who sat on a cleft in the rock nearby, one leg draping over and swinging.

“But Rock—”

“I am alaii’iku,” Rock said, raising a hand to his breast.

“Which means?” Sigzil asked impatiently.

“That I can see these spren, and you cannot.” Rock rested a hand on the smaller man’s shoulder. “It is all right, friend. I do not blame you for being blind. Most lowlanders are. It is the air, you see. Makes your brains stop working right.”

Sigzil frowned, but wrote down some notes while absently doing something with his fingers. Keeping track of the seconds? The rock finally popped off the wall, trailing a few final wisps of Stormlight as it hit the ground. “Well over a minute,” Sigzil said. “I counted eighty-seven seconds.” He looked to the rest of them.

“We were supposed to be counting?” Kaladin asked, glancing at Rock, who shrugged.

Sigzil sighed.

“Ninety-one seconds,” Lopen called. “You’re welcome.”

Sigzil sat down on a rock, ignoring a few finger bones peeking out of the moss beside him, and made some notations on his ledger. He scowled.

“Ha!” Rock said, squatting down beside him. “You look like you have eaten bad eggs. What is problem?”

“I don’t know what I’m doing, Rock,” Sigzil said. “My master taught me to ask questions and find precise answers. But how can I be precise? I would need a clock for the timing, but they are too expensive. Even if we had one, I don’t know how to measure Stormlight!”

“With chips,” Kaladin said. “The gemstones are precisely weighed before being encased in glass.”

“And can they all hold the same amount?” Sigzil asked. “We know that uncut gems hold less than cut ones. So is one that was cut better going to hold more? Plus, Stormlight fades from a sphere over time. How many days has it been since that chip was infused, and how much Light has it lost since then? Do they all lose the same amount at the same rate? We know too little. I think perhaps I am wasting your time, sir.”

“It’s not a waste,” Lopen said, joining them. The one-armed Herdazian yawned, sitting down on the rock by Sigzil, forcing the other man over a little. “We just need to be testing other things, eh?”

“Like what?” Kaladin said.

“Well, gancho,” Lopen said. “Can you stick me to the wall?”

“I… I don’t know,” Kaladin said.

“Seems like it would be good to know, eh?” Lopen stood up. “Shall we try?”

Kaladin glanced at Sigzil, who shrugged.

Kaladin drew in more Stormlight. The raging tempest filled him, as if it were battering against his skin, a captive trying to find a way out. He drew the Stormlight into his hand and pressed it against the wall, painting the stones with luminescence.

Taking a deep breath, he picked up Lopen—the slender man was startlingly easy to lift, particularly with a measure of Stormlight still inside Kaladin’s veins. He pressed Lopen against the wall.

When Kaladin dubiously stepped back, the Herdazian remained there, stuck to the stone by his uniform, which bunched up under his armpits.

Lopen grinned. “It worked!”

“This thing could be useful,” Rock said, rubbing at his strangely cut Horneater beard. “Yes, this is what we need to test. You are a soldier, Kaladin. Can you use this in combat?”

Kaladin nodded slowly, a dozen possibilities popping into his head. What if his enemies ran across a pool of Light he had put on the floor? Could he stop a wagon from rolling? Stick his spear to an enemy shield, then yank it from their hands?

“How does it feel, Lopen?” Rock asked. “Does this thing hurt?”

“Nah,” Lopen said, wiggling. “I’m worried my coat will rip, or the buttons will snap. Oh. Oh. Question for you! What did the one-armed Herdazian do to the man who stuck him to the wall?”

Kaladin frowned. “I… I don’t know.”

“Nothing,” Lopen said. “The Herdazian was ’armless.” The slender man burst into laughter.

Sigzil groaned, though Rock laughed. Syl had cocked her head, zipping over to Kaladin. “Was that a joke?” she asked softly.

“Yes,” Kaladin said. “A distinctly bad one.”

“Ah, don’t say that!” Lopen said, still chuckling. “It’s the best one I know—and trust me, I’m an expert on one-armed Herdazian jokes. ‘Lopen,’ my mother always says, ‘you must learn these to laugh before others do. Then you steal the laughter from them, and have it all for yourself.’ She is a very wise woman. I once brought her the head of a chull.”

Kaladin blinked. “You… What?”

“Chull head,” Lopen said. “Very good to eat.”

“You are a strange man, Lopen,” Kaladin said.

“No,” Rock said. “They really are good. The head, he is best part of chull.”

“I will trust you two on that,” Kaladin said. “Marginally.” He reached up, taking Lopen by the arm as the Stormlight holding him in place began to fade. Rock grabbed the man’s waist, and they helped him down.

“All right,” Kaladin said, instinctively checking the sky for the time, though he couldn’t see the sun through the narrow chasm opening above. “Let’s experiment.”


Tempest stoked within him, Kaladin dashed across the chasm floor. His movement startled a group of frillblooms, which pulled in frantically, like hands closing. Vines trembled on the walls and began to curl upward.

Kaladin’s feet splashed in stagnant water. He leaped over a mound of debris, trailing Stormlight. He was filled with it, pounding with it. That made it easier to use; it wanted to flow. He pushed it into his spear.

Ahead, Lopen, Rock, and Sigzil waited with practice spears. Though Lopen wasn’t very good—the missing arm was a huge disadvantage—Rock made up for it. The large Horneater would not fight Parshendi and would not kill, but had agreed to spar today, in the name of “experimentation.”

He fought very well, and Sigzil was acceptable with the spear. Together on the battlefield, the three bridgemen might once have given Kaladin trouble.

Times changed.

Kaladin tossed his spear sideways at Rock, surprising the Horneater, who had raised his weapon to block. The Stormlight made Kaladin’s spear stick to Rock’s, forming a cross. Rock cursed, trying to turn his spear around to strike, but in doing so smacked himself on the side with Kaladin’s spear.

As Lopen’s spear struck, Kaladin pushed it down easily with one hand, filling the tip with Stormlight. The weapon hit the pile of refuse and stuck to the wood and bones.

Sigzil’s weapon came in, missing Kaladin’s chest by a wide margin as he stepped aside. Kaladin nudged and infused the weapon with the flat of his hand, shoving it into Lopen’s, which he’d just pulled out of the refuse, plastered with moss and bone. The two spears stuck together.

Kaladin slipped between Rock and Sigzil, leaving the three of them in a jumbled mess, off balance and trying to disentangle their weapons. Kaladin smiled grimly, jogging down to the other end of the chasm. He picked up a spear, then turned, dancing from one foot to the other. The Stormlight encouraged him to move. Standing still was practically impossible while holding so much.

Come on, come on, he thought. The three others finally got their weapons apart as the Stormlight ran out. They formed up to face him again.

Kaladin dashed forward. In the dim light of the chasm, the glow of the smoke rising from him was strong enough to cast shadows that leaped and spun. He crashed through pools, the water cold on his unshod feet. He’d removed his boots; he wanted to feel the stone underneath him.

This time, the three bridgemen set the butts of their spears on the ground as if against a charge. Kaladin smiled, then grabbed the top of his spear—like theirs, it was a practice one, without a real spearhead—and infused it with Stormlight.

He slapped it against Rock’s, intending to yank it out of the Horneater’s hands. Rock had other plans, and hauled his spear back with a strength that took Kaladin by surprise. He nearly lost his grip.

Lopen and Sigzil quickly moved to come at him from either side. Nice, Kaladin thought, proud. He’d taught them formations like that, showing them how to work together on the battlefield.

As they drew close, Kaladin let go of his spear and stuck out his leg. The Stormlight flowed out of his bare foot as easily as it did his hands, and he was able to swipe a large glowing arc on the ground. Sigzil stepped in it and tripped, his foot sticking to the Light. He tried to stab as he fell, but there was no force behind the blow.

Kaladin slammed his weight against Lopen, whose strike was off-center. He shoved Lopen against the wall, then pulled back, leaving the Herdazian stuck to the stone, which Kaladin had infused in the heartbeat they’d been pressed together.

“Ah, not again,” Lopen said with a groan.

Sigzil had fallen face-first in the water. Kaladin barely had time to smile before he noticed Rock swinging a log at his head.

An entire log. How had Rock lifted that thing? Kaladin threw himself out of the way, rolling on the ground and scraping his hand as the log crashed against the floor of the chasm.

Kaladin growled, Stormlight passing between his teeth and rising into the air in front of him. He jumped onto Rock’s log as the Horneater tried to lift it again.

Kaladin’s landing slammed the wood back against the ground. He leaped toward Rock, and part of him wondered just what he was thinking, getting into a hand-to-hand fight with someone twice his weight. He slammed into the Horneater, hurling them both to the ground. They rolled in the moss, Rock twisting to pin Kaladin’s arms. The Horneater obviously had training as a wrestler.

Kaladin poured Stormlight into the ground. It wouldn’t affect or hamper him, he’d found. So, as they rolled, first Rock’s arm stuck to the ground, then his side.

The Horneater kept fighting to get Kaladin into a hold. He almost had it, till Kaladin pushed with his legs, rolling both of them so Rock’s other elbow touched the ground, where it stuck.

Kaladin tore away, gasping and puffing, losing most of his remaining Stormlight as he coughed. He leaned up against the wall, mopping sweat from his face.

“Ha!” Rock said, stuck to the ground, splayed with arms to the sides. “I almost had you. Slippery as a fifth son, you are!”

“Storms, Rock,” Kaladin said. “What I wouldn’t do to get you on the battlefield. You are wasted as a cook.”

“You don’t like the food?” Rock asked, laughing. “I will have to try something with more grease. This thing will fit you! Grabbing you was like trying to keep my hands on a live lakefish! One that has been covered in butter! Ha!”

Kaladin stepped up to him, squatting down. “You’re a warrior, Rock. I saw it in Teft, and you can say whatever you want, but I see it in you.”

“I am wrong son to be soldier,” Rock said stubbornly. “It is a thing of the tuanalikina, the fourth son or below. Third son cannot be wasted in battle.”

“Didn’t stop you from throwing a tree at my head.”

“Was small tree,” Rock said. “And very hard head.”

Kaladin smiled, then reached down, touching the Stormlight infused into the stone beneath Rock. He hadn’t ever tried to take it back after using it in this way. Could he? He closed his eyes and breathed in, trying… yes.

Some of the tempest within him stoked again. When he opened his eyes, Rock was free. Kaladin hadn’t been able to take it all back, but some. The rest was evaporating into the air.

He took Rock by the hand, helping the larger man to his feet. Rock dusted himself off.

“That was embarrassing,” Sigzil said as Kaladin walked over to free him too. “It’s like we’re children. The Prime’s own eyes have not seen such a shameful show.”

“I have a very unfair advantage,” Kaladin said, helping Sigzil to his feet. “Years of training as a soldier, a larger build than you. Oh, and the ability to emit Stormlight from my fingers.” He patted Sigzil on the shoulder. “You did well. This is just a test, like you wanted.”

A more useful type of test, Kaladin thought.

“Sure,” Lopen said from behind them. “Just go ahead and leave the Herdazian stuck to the wall. The view here is wonderful. Oh, and is that slime running down my cheek? A fresh new look for the Lopen, who cannot brush it away, because—have I mentioned?—his hand is stuck to the wall.”

Kaladin smiled, walking over. “You were the one who asked me to stick you to a wall in the first place, Lopen.”

“My other hand?” Lopen said. “The one that was cut off long ago, eaten by a fearsome beast? It is making a rude gesture toward you right now. I thought you would wish to know, so that you can prepare to be insulted.” He said it with the same lightheartedness with which he seemed to approach everything. He had even joined the bridge crew with a certain crazy eagerness.

Kaladin let him down.

“This thing,” Rock said, “it worked well.”

“Yes,” Kaladin said. Though honestly, he probably could have dispatched the three men more easily just by using a spear and the extra speed and strength the Stormlight lent. He didn’t know yet whether that was because he was unfamiliar with these new powers, but he did think that forcing himself to use them had put him in some awkward positions.

Familiarity, he thought. I need to know these abilities as well as I know my spear.

That meant practice. Lots of practice. Unfortunately, the best way to practice was to find someone who matched or bested you in skill, strength, and capacity. Considering what he could now do, that was going to be a tall order.

The three others walked over to dig waterskins from their packs, and Kaladin noticed a figure standing in the shadows a little ways down the chasm. Kaladin stood up, alarmed until Teft emerged into the light of their spheres.

“I thought you were going to be on watch,” Teft growled at Lopen.

“Too busy being stuck to walls,” Lopen said, raising his waterskin. “I thought you had a bunch of greenvines to train?”

“Drehy has them in hand,” Teft said, picking his way around some debris, joining Kaladin beside the chasm wall. “I don’t know if the lads told you, Kaladin, but bringing that lot down here broke them out of their shells somehow.”

Kaladin nodded.

“How did you get to know people so well?” Teft asked.

“It involves a lot of cutting them apart,” Kaladin said, looking down at his hand, which he’d scraped while fighting Rock. The scrape was gone, Stormlight having healed the tears in his skin.

Teft grunted, glancing back at Rock and the other two, who had broken out rations. “You ought to put Rock in charge of the new recruits.”

“He won’t fight.”

“He just sparred with you,” Teft said. “So maybe he will with them. People like him more than me. I’m just going to screw this up.”

“You’ll do a fine job, Teft, I won’t have you saying otherwise. We have resources now. No more scrimping for every last sphere. You’ll train those lads, and you’ll do it right.”

Teft sighed, but said no more.

“You saw what I did.”

“Aye,” Teft said. “We’ll need to bring down the entire group of twenty if we want to give you a proper challenge.”

“That or find another person like myself,” Kaladin said. “Someone to spar with.”

“Aye,” Teft said again, nodding, as if he hadn’t considered that.

“There were ten orders of knights, right?” Kaladin asked. “Do you know much of the others?” Teft had been the first one to figure out what Kaladin could do. He’d known before Kaladin himself had.

“Not much,” Teft said with a grimace. “I know the orders didn’t always get along, despite what the official stories say. We’ll need to see if we can find someone who knows more than I do. I… I kept away. And the people I knew who could tell us, they aren’t around any longer.”

If Teft had been in a dour mood before, this drove him down even further. He looked at the ground. He spoke of his past infrequently, but Kaladin was more and more certain that whoever these people had been, they were dead because of something Teft himself had done.

“What would you think if you heard that somebody wanted to refound the Knights Radiant?” Kaladin said softly to Teft.

Teft looked up sharply. “You—”

“Not me,” Kaladin said, speaking carefully. Dalinar Kholin had let him listen in on the conference, and while Kaladin trusted Teft, there were certain expectations of silence that an officer was required to uphold.

Dalinar is a lighteyes, part of him whispered. He wouldn’t think twice if he were revealing a secret you’d shared with him.

“Not me,” Kaladin repeated. “What if a king somewhere decided he wanted to gather a group of people and name them Knights Radiant?”

“I’d call him an idiot,” Teft said. “Now, the Radiants weren’t what people say. They weren’t traitors. They just weren’t. But everyone is sure they betrayed us, and you’re not going to change minds quickly. Not unless you can Surgebind to quiet them.” Teft looked Kaladin up and down. “Are you going to do it, lad?”

“They’d hate me, wouldn’t they?” Kaladin said. He couldn’t help noticing Syl, who walked through the air until she was close, studying him. “For what the old Radiants did.” He held up a hand to stop Teft’s objection. “What people think they did.”

“Aye,” Teft said.

Syl folded her arms, giving Kaladin a look. You promised, that look said.

“We’ll have to be careful about how we do it, then,” Kaladin said. “Go gather the new recruits. They’ve had enough practice down here for one day.”

Teft nodded, then jogged off to do as ordered. Kaladin gathered his spear and the spheres he’d set out to light the sparring, then waved to the other three. They packed up their things and began the hike back out.

“So you’re going to do it,” Syl said, landing on his shoulder.

“I want to practice more first,” Kaladin said. And get used to the idea.

“It will be fine, Kaladin.”

“No. It will be hard. People will hate me, and even if they don’t, I’ll be set apart from them. Separated. I’ve accepted that as my lot, though. I’ll deal with it.” Even in Bridge Four, Moash was the only one who didn’t treat Kaladin like some mythological savior Herald. Him and maybe Rock.

Still, the other bridgemen hadn’t reacted with the fear he’d once worried about. They might idolize him, but they did not isolate him. It was good enough.

They reached the rope ladder before Teft and the greenvines, but there was no reason to wait. Kaladin climbed up out of the muggy chasm onto the plateau just east of the warcamps. It felt so strange to be able to carry his spear and money out of the chasm. Indeed, the soldiers guarding the approach to Dalinar’s warcamp didn’t pester him—instead, they saluted and stood up straight. It was as crisp a salute as he’d ever gotten, as crisp as the ones given to a general.

“They seem proud of you,” Syl said. “They don’t even know you, but they’re proud of you.”

“They’re darkeyes,” Kaladin said, saluting back. “Probably men who were fighting on the Tower when Sadeas betrayed them.”

“Stormblessed,” one of them called. “Have you heard the news?”

Curse the one who told them that nickname, Kaladin thought as Rock and the other two caught up to him.

“No,” Kaladin called. “What news?”

“A hero has come to the Shattered Plains!” the soldier yelled back. “He’s going to meet with Brightlord Kholin, perhaps support him! It’s a good sign. Might help calm things down around here.”

“What’s this?” Rock called back. “Who?”

The soldier said a name.

Kaladin’s heart became ice.

He nearly lost his spear from numb fingers. And then, he took off running. He didn’t heed Rock’s cry behind him, didn’t stop to let the others catch up with him. He dashed through the camp, running toward Dalinar’s command complex at its center.

He didn’t want to believe when he saw the banner hanging in the air above a group of soldiers, probably matched by a much larger group outside the warcamp. Kaladin passed them, drawing cries and stares, questions if something was wrong.

He finally stumbled to a stop outside the short set of steps into Dalinar’s bunkered complex of stone buildings. There, standing in front, the Blackthorn clasped hands with a tall man.

Square-faced and dignified, the newcomer wore a pristine uniform. He laughed, then embraced Dalinar. “Old friend,” he said. “It’s been too long.”

“Too long by far,” Dalinar agreed. “I’m glad you finally made your way here, after years of promises. I heard you’ve even found yourself a Shardblade!”

“Yes,” the newcomer said, pulling back and holding his hand to the side. “Taken from an assassin who dared try to kill me on the field of battle.”

The Blade appeared. Kaladin stared at the silvery weapon. Etched along its length, the Blade was shaped to look like flames in motion, and to Kaladin it seemed that the weapon was stained red. Names flooded his mind: Dallet, Coreb, Reesh… a squad before time, from another life. Men Kaladin had loved.

He looked up and forced himself to see the face of the newcomer. A man Kaladin hated, hated beyond any other. A man he had once worshipped.

Highlord Amaram. The man who had stolen Kaladin’s Shardblade, branded his forehead, and sold him into slavery.



Words of Radiance chapter 14


Mateform meek, for love to share,
Given to life, it brings us joy.
To find this form, one must care.
True empathy one must employ.

—From the Listener Song of Listing, 5th stanza


It’s been a while,” Adolin said, kneeling and holding his Shardblade before him, point sunken a few inches into the stone ground. He was alone. Just him and the sword in one of the new preparation rooms, built alongside the dueling arena.

“I remember when I won you,” Adolin whispered, looking at his reflection in the blade. “Nobody took me seriously then, either. The fop with the nice clothing. Tinalar thought to duel me just to embarrass my father. Instead I got his Blade.” If he’d lost, he would have had to give Tinalar his Plate, which he’d inherited from his mother’s side of the family.

Adolin had never named his Shardblade. Some did, some didn’t. He’d never thought it appropriate—not because he didn’t think the Blade deserved a name, but because he figured he didn’t know the right one. This weapon had belonged to one of the Knights Radiant, long ago. That man had named the weapon, undoubtedly. To call it something else seemed presumptuous. Adolin had felt that way even before he’d started thinking of the Radiants in a good light, as his father did.

This Blade would continue after Adolin died. He didn’t own it. He was borrowing it for a time.

Its surface was austerely smooth, long, sinuous like an eel, with ridges at the back like growing crystals. Shaped like a larger version of a standard longsword, it bore some resemblance to the enormous, two-handed broadswords he’d seen Horneaters wield.

“A real duel,” Adolin whispered to the Blade. “For real stakes. Finally. No more tiptoeing around it, no more limiting myself.”

The Shardblade didn’t respond, but Adolin imagined that it listened to him. You couldn’t use a weapon like this, a weapon that seemed like an extension of the soul itself, and not feel at times that it was alive.

“I speak so confidently to everyone else,” Adolin said, “since I know they rely on me. But if I lose today, that’s it. No more duels, and a severe knot in Father’s grand plan.”

He could hear people outside. Stomping feet, a buzz of chatter. Scraping on the stone. They’d come. Come to see Adolin win or be humiliated.

“This might be our last fight together,” Adolin said softly. “I appreciate what you’ve done for me. I know you’d do it for anyone who held you, but I still appreciate it. I… I want you to know: I believe in Father. I believe he’s right, that the things he sees are real. That the world needs a united Alethkar. Fights like this one are my way to make it happen.”

Adolin and his father weren’t politicians. They were soldiers—Dalinar by choice, Adolin more by circumstance. They wouldn’t be able to just talk their way into a unified kingdom. They’d have to fight their way into one.

Adolin stood up, patting his pocket, then dismissing his Blade to mist and crossing the small chamber. The stone walls of the narrow hallway he entered were etched with reliefs depicting the ten basic stances of swordsmanship. Those had been carved elsewhere, then placed here when this room was built—a recent addition, to replace the tents that dueling preparation had once happened in.

Windstance, Stonestance, Flamestance… There was a relief, with depicted stance, for each of the Ten Essences. Adolin counted them off to himself as he passed. This small tunnel had been cut into the stone of the arena itself, and ended in a small room cut into the rock. The bright sunlight of the dueling grounds glared around the edges of the final pair of doors between him and his opponent.

With a proper preparation room for meditation, then this staging room to put on armor or retreat between bouts, the dueling arena at the warcamps was transforming into one as proper as those, back in Alethkar. A welcome addition.

Adolin stepped into the staging room, where his brother and aunt were waiting. Stormfather, his hands were sweating. He hadn’t felt this nervous when riding into battle, when his life was actually in danger.

Aunt Navani had just finished a glyphward. She stepped away from the pedestal, setting aside her brushpen, and held up the ward for him to see. It was painted in bright red on a white cloth.

“Victory?” Adolin guessed.

Navani lowered it, raising an eyebrow at him.

“What?” Adolin said as his armorers entered, carrying the pieces of his Shardplate.

“It says ‘safety and glory,’” Navani said. “It wouldn’t kill you to learn some glyphs, Adolin.”

He shrugged. “Never seemed that important.”

“Yes, well,” Navani said, reverently folding the prayer and setting it in the brazier to burn. “Hopefully, you will eventually have a wife to do this for you. Both the reading of glyphs and the making of them.”

Adolin bowed his head, as was proper while the prayer burned. Pailiah knew, this wasn’t the time to offend the Almighty. Once it was done, however, he glanced at Navani. “And what of the news of the ship?”

They had expected word from Jasnah when she reached the Shallow Crypts, but none had been forthcoming. Navani had checked in with the harbormaster’s office in that distant city. They said the Wind’s Pleasure had not yet arrived. That put it a week overdue.

Navani waved a dismissive hand. “Jasnah was on that ship.”

“I know, Aunt,” Adolin said, shuffling uncomfortably. What had happened? Had the ship been caught in a highstorm? What of this woman Adolin might be marrying, if Jasnah had her way?

“If the ship is delayed, it’s because Jasnah is up to something,” Navani said. “Watch. We’ll get a communication from her in a few weeks, demanding some task or piece of information. I’ll have to pry from her why she vanished. Battah send that girl some sense to go with her intelligence.”

Adolin didn’t press the issue. Navani knew Jasnah better than anyone else. But… he was certainly concerned for Jasnah, and felt a sudden worry that he might not get to meet the girl, Shallan, when expected. Of course, the causal betrothal wasn’t likely to work out—but a piece of him wished that it would. Letting someone else choose for him had a strange appeal, considering how loudly Danlan had cursed at him when he’d broken off that particular relationship.

Danlan was still one of his father’s scribes, so he saw her on occasion. More glares. But storm it, that one was not his fault. The things she’d said to her friends…

An armorer set out his boots, and Adolin stepped into them, feeling them click into place. The armorers quickly affixed the greaves, then moved upward, covering him in too-light metal. Soon, all that remained were the gauntlets and the helm. He knelt down, placing his hands into the gauntlets at his side, fingers in their positions. In the strange manner of Shardplate, the armor constricted on its own, like a skyeel curling around its rat, pulling to comfortable tightness around his wrists.

He turned and reached for his helm from the last armorer. It was Renarin.

“You ate chicken?” Renarin asked as Adolin took the helm.

“For breakfast.”

“And you talked to the sword?”

“Had an entire conversation.”

“Mother’s chain in your pocket?”

“Checked three times.”

Navani folded her arms. “You still hold to those foolish superstitions?”

Both brothers looked at her sharply.

“They’re not superstitions,” Adolin said at the same time Renarin said, “It’s just good luck, Aunt.”

She rolled her eyes.

“I haven’t done a formal duel in a long time,” Adolin said, pulling on the helm, faceplate open. “I don’t want anything to go wrong.”

“Foolishness,” Navani repeated. “Trust in the Almighty and the Heralds, not whether or not you had the right meal before you duel. Storms. Next thing I know, you’ll be believing in the Passions.”

Adolin shared a look with Renarin. His little traditions probably didn’t help him win, but, well, why risk it? Every duelist had his own quirks. His hadn’t let him down yet.

“Our guards aren’t happy about this,” Renarin said softly. “They keep talking about how hard it’s going to be to protect you when someone else is swinging a Shardblade at you.”

Adolin slammed down his faceplate. It misted at the sides, locking into place, becoming translucent and giving him a full view of the room. Adolin grinned, knowing full well Renarin couldn’t see the expression. “I’m so sad to be denying them the chance to babysit me.”

“Why do you enjoy tormenting them?”

“I don’t like minders.”

“You’ve had guards before.”

“On the battlefield,” Adolin said. It felt different to be followed about everywhere he went.

“There’s more. Don’t lie to me, Brother. I know you too well.”

Adolin inspected his brother, whose eyes were so earnest behind his spectacles. The boy was too solemn all the time.

“I don’t like their captain,” Adolin admitted.

“Why? He saved Father’s life.”

“He just bothers me.” Adolin shrugged. “There’s something about him that is off, Renarin. That makes me suspicious.”

“I think you don’t like that he ordered you around, on the battlefield.”

“I barely even remember that,” Adolin said lightly, stepping toward the door out.

“Well, all right then. Off with you. And Brother?”


“Try not to lose.”

Adolin pushed open the doors and stepped out onto the sand. He’d been in this arena before, using the argument that though the Alethi Codes of War proscribed duels between officers, he still needed to maintain his skills.

To placate his father, Adolin had stayed away from important bouts— bouts for championships or for Shards. He hadn’t dared risk his Blade and Plate. Now everything was different.

The air was still chill with winter, but the sun was bright overhead. His breath sounded against the plate of his helm, and his feet crunched in sand. He checked to see that his father was watching. He was. As was the king.

Sadeas hadn’t come. Just as well. That might have distracted Adolin with memories of one of the last times that Sadeas and Dalinar had been amiable, sitting together up on those stone steps, watching Adolin duel. Had Sadeas been planning a betrayal even then, while laughing with his father and chatting like an old friend?

Focus. His foe today wasn’t Sadeas, though someday… Someday soon he’d get that man in the arena. It was the goal of everything he was doing here.

For now, he’d have to settle for Salinor, one of Thanadal’s Shardbearers. The man had only the Blade, though he’d been able to borrow a set of the King’s Plate for a bout with a full Shardbearer.

Salinor stood on the other side of the arena, wearing the unornamented slate-grey Plate and waiting for the highjudge—Brightlady Istow—to signal the start of the bout. This fight was, in a way, an insult to Adolin. In order to get Salinor to agree to the duel, Adolin had been forced to bet both his Plate and his Blade against just Salinor’s Blade. As if Adolin weren’t worthy, and had to offer more potential spoils to justify bothering Salinor.

As expected, the arena was overflowing with lighteyes. Even if it was speculated that Adolin had lost his former edge, bouts for Shards were very, very rare. This would be the first in over a year’s time.

“Summon Blades!” Istow ordered.

Adolin thrust his hand to the side. The Blade fell into his waiting hand ten heartbeats later—a moment before his opponent’s appeared. Adolin’s heart was beating more quickly than Salinor’s. Perhaps that meant his opponent wasn’t frightened, and underestimated him.

Adolin fell into Windstance, elbows bent, turned to the side, sword’s tip pointing up and backward. His opponent fell into Flamestance, sword held one-handed, other hand touching the blade, standing with a square posture of the feet. The stances were more a philosophy than a predefined set of moves. Windstance: flowing, sweeping, majestic. Flamestance: quick and flexible, better for shorter Shardblades.

Windstance was familiar to Adolin. It had served him well throughout his career.

But it didn’t feel right today.

We’re at war, Adolin thought as Salinor edged forward, looking to test him. And every lighteyes in this army is a raw recruit.

It wasn’t time for a show.

It was time for a beating.

As Salinor drew close for a cautious strike to feel out his opponent, Adolin twisted and fell into Ironstance, with his sword held two-handed up beside his head. He slapped away Salinor’s first strike, then stepped in and slammed his Blade down into the man’s helm. Once, twice, three times. Salinor tried to parry, but he was obviously surprised by Adolin’s attack, and two of the blows landed.

Cracks crawled across Salinor’s helm. Adolin heard grunts accompanying curses as Salinor tried to bring his weapon back to strike. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to go. Where were the test blows, the art, the dance?

Adolin growled, feeling the old Thrill of battle as he shoved aside Salinor’s attack—careless of the hit it scored on his side—then brought his Blade in two-handed and crashed it into his opponent’s breastplate, like he was chopping wood. Salinor grunted again and Adolin raised his foot and kicked the man backward, throwing him to the ground.

Salinor dropped his Blade—a weakness of Flamestance’s one-handed posture—and it vanished to mist. Adolin stepped over the man and dismissed his own Blade, then kicked down with a booted heel into Salinor’s helm. The piece of Plate exploded into molten bits, exposing a dazed, panicked face.

Adolin slammed the heel of his foot against the breastplate next. Though Salinor tried to grab his foot, Adolin kicked relentlessly until the breastplate, too, shattered.

“Stop! Stop!”

Adolin halted, lowering his foot beside Salinor’s head, looking up at the highjudge. The woman stood in her box, face red, voice furious.

“Adolin Kholin!” she shouted. “This is a duel, not a wrestling match!”

“Did I break any rules?” he shouted back.

Silence. It struck him, through the rush in his ears, that the entire crowd had gone quiet. He could hear their breathing.

“Did I break any rules?” Adolin demanded again.

“This is not how a duel—”

“So I win,” Adolin said.

The woman sputtered. “This duel was to three broken pieces of Plate. You broke only two.”

Adolin looked down at the dazed Salinor. Then he reached down, ripped off the man’s pauldron, and smashed it between two fists. “Done.”

Stunned silence.

Adolin knelt beside his opponent. “Your Blade.”

Salinor tried to stand, but with the breastplate missing, doing so was more difficult. His armor wouldn’t work properly, and he’d need to roll onto his side and work his way to his feet. Doable, but he obviously didn’t have the experience with Plate to perform the maneuver. Adolin slammed him back down to the sand by his shoulder.

“You’ve lost,” Adolin growled.

“You cheated!” Salinor sputtered.


“I don’t know how! It just—It’s not supposed to…”

He trailed off as Adolin carefully placed a gauntleted hand against his neck. Salinor’s eyes widened. “You wouldn’t.”

Fearspren crawled out of the sand around him.

“My prize,” Adolin said, suddenly feeling drained. The Thrill faded from him. Storms, he’d never before felt like this in a duel.

Salinor’s Blade appeared in his hand.

“Judgment,” the highjudge said, sounding reluctant, “goes to Adolin Kholin, the victor. Salinor Eved forfeits his Shard.”

Salinor let the Blade slip from his fingers. Adolin took it and knelt beside Salinor, holding the weapon with pommel toward the man. “Break the bond.”

Salinor hesitated, then touched the ruby at the weapon’s pommel. The gemstone flashed with light. The bond had been broken.

Adolin stood, ripping the ruby free, then crushing it in a gauntleted hand. That wouldn’t be needed, but it was a nice symbol. Sound finally rose in the crowd, frantic chattering. They’d come for a spectacle and had instead been given brutality. Well, that was how things often went in war. Good for them to see it, he supposed, though as he ducked back into the waiting room he was uncertain of himself. What he’d done was reckless. Dismissing his Blade? Putting himself in a position where the enemy could have gotten at his feet?

Adolin entered the staging room, where Renarin looked at him wide-eyed. “That,” his younger brother said, “was incredible. It has to be the shortest Shard bout on record! You were amazing, Adolin!”

“I… Thanks.” He handed Salinor’s Shardblade toward Renarin. “A present.”

“Adolin, are you sure? I mean, I’m not exactly the best with the Plate I already have.”

“Might as well have the full set,” Adolin said. “Take it.”

Renarin seemed hesitant.

“Take it,” Adolin said again.

Reluctantly, Renarin did so. He grimaced as he took it. Adolin shook his head, sitting down on one of the reinforced benches intended to hold a Shardbearer. Navani stepped into the room, having come down from the seats above.

“What you did,” she noted, “would not have worked on a more skillful opponent.”

“I know,” Adolin said.

“It was wise, then,” Navani said. “You mask your true skill. People can assume this was won by trickery, pit-fighting instead of proper dueling. They might continue to underestimate you. I can work with this to get you more duels.”

Adolin nodded, pretending that was why he’d done it.



Words of Radiance interlude I-1


The Rhythm of Resolve thrummed softly in the back of Eshonai’s mind as she reached the plateau at the center of the Shattered Plains.

The central plateau. Narak. Exile.


She ripped the helm of the Shardplate from her head, taking a deep breath of cool air. Plate ventilated wonderfully, but even it grew stuffy after extended exertions. Other soldiers landed behind her—she had taken some fifteen hundred this run. Fortunately, this time they’d arrived well before the humans, and had harvested the gemheart with minimal fighting. Devi carried it; he had earned the privilege by being the one to spot the chrysalis from afar.

Almost she wished it had not been so easy a run. Almost.

Where are you, Blackthorn? she thought, looking westward. Why have you not come to face me again?

She thought she’d seen him on that run a week or so back, when they’d been forced off the plateau by his son. Eshonai had not participated in that fight; her wounded leg ached, and the jumping from plateau to plateau had stressed it, even in Shardplate. Perhaps she should not be going on these runs in the first place.

She’d wanted to be there in case her strike force grew surrounded, and needed a Shardbearer—even a wounded one—to break them free. Her leg still hurt, but Plate cushioned it enough. Soon she would have to return to the fighting. Perhaps if she participated directly, the Blackthorn would appear again.

She needed to speak with him. She felt an urgency to do so blowing upon the winds themselves.

Her soldiers raised hands in farewell as they went their separate ways. Many softly sang or hummed a song to the Rhythm of Mourning. These days, few sang to Excitement, or even to Resolve. Step by step, storm by storm, depression claimed her people—the listeners, as they called their race. “Parshendi” was a human term.

Eshonai strode toward the ruins that dominated Narak. After so many years, there wasn’t much left. Ruins of ruins, one might call them. The works of men and listeners alike did not last long before the might of the highstorms.

That stone spire ahead, that had probably once been a tower. Over the centuries, it had grown a thick coating of crem from the raging storms. The soft crem had seeped into cracks and filled windows, then slowly hardened. The tower now looked like an enormous stalagmite, rounded point toward the sky, side knobbed with rock that looked as if it had been melted.

The spire must have had a strong core to survive the winds so long. Other examples of ancient engineering had not fared so well. Eshonai passed lumps and mounds, remnants of fallen buildings that had slowly been consumed by the Shattered Plains. The storms were unpredictable. Sometimes huge sections of rock would break free from formations, leaving gouges and jagged edges. Other times, spires would stand for centuries, growing—not shrinking—as the winds both weathered and augmented them.

Eshonai had discovered similar ruins in her explorations, such as the one she’d been on when her people had first encountered humans. Only seven years ago, but also an eternity. She had loved those days, exploring a wide world that felt infinite. And now…

Now she spent her life trapped on this one plateau. The wilderness called to her, sang that she should gather up what things she could carry and strike out. Unfortunately, that was no longer her destiny.

She passed into the shadow of a big lump of rock that she always imagined might have been a city gate. From what little they’d learned from their spies over the years, she knew that the Alethi did not understand. They marched over the uneven surface of the plateaus and saw only natural rock, never knowing that they traversed the bones of a city long dead.

Eshonai shivered, and attuned the Rhythm of the Lost. It was a soft beat, yet still violent, with sharp, separated notes. She did not attune it for long. Remembering the fallen was important, but working to protect the living was more so.

She attuned Resolve again and entered Narak. Here, the listeners had built the best home they could during the years of war. Rocky shelves had become barracks, carapace from greatshells forming the walls and roofs. Mounds that had once been buildings now grew rockbuds for food on their leeward sides. Much of the Shattered Plains had once been populated, but the largest city had been here at the center. So now the ruins of her people made their home in the ruins of a dead city.

They had named it Narak—exile—for it was where they had come to be separated from their gods.

Listeners, both malen and femalen, raised hands to her as she passed. So few remained. The humans were relentless in their pursuit of vengeance.

She didn’t blame them.

She turned toward the Hall of Art. It was nearby, and she hadn’t put in an appearance there for days. Inside, soldiers did a laughable job of painting. Eshonai strode among them, still wearing her Shardplate, helm under her arm. The long building had no roof—allowing in plenty of light to paint by—and the walls were thick with long-hardened crem. Holding thick-bristled brushes, the soldiers tried their best to depict the arrangement of rockbud flowers on a pedestal at the center. Eshonai did a round of the artists, looking at their work. Paper was precious and canvas nonexistent, so they painted on shell.

The paintings were awful. Splotches of garish color, off-center petals… Eshonai paused beside Varanis, one of her lieutenants. He held the brush delicately between armored fingers, a hulking form before an easel. Plates of chitin armor grew from his arms, shoulders, chest, even head. They were matched by her own, under her Plate.

“You are getting better,” Eshonai said to him, speaking to the Rhythm of Praise.

He looked to her, and hummed softly to Skepticism.

Eshonai chuckled, resting a hand on his shoulder. “It actually looks like flowers, Varanis. I mean it.”

“It looks like muddy water on a brown plateau,” he said. “Maybe with some brown leaves floating in it. Why do colors turn brown when they mix? Three beautiful colors put together, and they become the least beautiful color. It makes no sense, General.”

General. At times, she felt as awkward in the position as these men did trying to paint pictures. She wore warform, as she needed the armor for battle, but she preferred workform. More limber, more rugged. It wasn’t that she disliked leading these men, but doing the same thing every day— drills, plateau runs—numbed her mind. She wanted to be seeing new things, going new places. Instead, she joined her people in a long funeral vigil as, one by one, they died.

No. We will find a way out of it.

The art was part of that, she hoped. By her order, each man or woman took a turn in the Hall of Art at their appointed time. And they tried; they tried hard. So far, it had been about as successful as trying to leap a chasm with the other side out of sight. “No spren?” she asked.

“Not a one.” He said it to the Rhythm of Mourning. She heard that rhythm far too often these days.

“Keep trying,” she said. “We will not lose this battle for lack of effort.”

“But General,” Varanis said, “what is the point? Having artists won’t save us from the swords of humans.”

Nearby, other soldiers turned to hear her answer.

“Artists won’t help,” she said to the Rhythm of Peace. “But my sister is confident that she is close to discovering new forms. If we can discover how to create artists, then it might teach her more about the process of change—and that might help her with her research. Help her discover forms stronger, even, than warform. Artists won’t get us out of this, but some other form might.”

Varanis nodded. He was a good soldier. Not all of them were—warform did not intrinsically make one more disciplined. Unfortunately, it did hamper one’s artistic skill.

Eshonai had tried painting. She couldn’t think the right way, couldn’t grasp the abstraction needed to create art. Warform was a good form, versatile. It didn’t impede thought, like mateform did. As with workform, you were yourself when you were warform. But each had its quirks. A worker had difficulty committing violence—there was a block in the mind somewhere. That was one of the reasons she liked the form. It forced her to think differently to get around problems.

Neither form could create art. Not well, at least. Mateform was better, but came with a whole host of other problems. Keeping those types focused on anything productive was almost impossible. There were two other forms, though the first—dullform—was one they rarely used. It was a relic of the past, before they’d rediscovered something better.

That left only nimbleform, a general form that was lithe and careful. They used it for nurturing young and doing the kind of work that required more dexterity than brawn. Few could be spared for that form, though it was more skilled at art.

The old songs spoke of hundreds of forms. Now they knew of only five. Well, six if one counted slaveform, the form with no spren, no soul, and no song. The form the humans were accustomed to, the ones they called parshmen. It wasn’t really a form at all, however, but a lack of any form.

Eshonai left the Hall of Art, helm under her arm, leg aching. She passed through the watering square, where nimbles had crafted a large pool from sculpted crem. It caught rain during the riddens of a storm, thick with nourishment. Here, workers carried buckets to fetch water. Their forms were strong, almost like that of warform, though with thinner fingers and no armor. Many nodded to her, though as a general she had no authority over them. She was their last Shardbearer.

A group of three mateforms—two female, one male—played in the water, splashing at one another. Barely clothed, they dripped with what others would be drinking.

“You three,” Eshonai snapped at them. “Shouldn’t you be doing something?”

Plump and vapid, they grinned at Eshonai. “Come in!” one called. “It’s fun!”

“Out,” Eshonai said, pointing.

The three muttered to the Rhythm of Irritation as they climbed from the water. Nearby, several workers shook their heads as they passed, one singing to Praise in appreciation of Eshonai. Workers did not like confrontation.

It was an excuse. Just as those who took on mateform used their form as an excuse for their inane activities. When a worker, Eshonai had trained herself to confront when necessary. She’d even been a mate once, and had proven to herself firsthand that one could indeed be productive as a mate, despite… distractions.

Of course, the rest of her experiences as a mate had been an utter disaster.

She spoke to Reprimand to the mateforms, her words so passionate that she actually attracted angerspren. She saw them coming from a ways off, drawn by her emotion, moving with an incredible speed—like lightning dancing toward her across the distant stone. The lightning pooled at her feet, turning the stones red.

That put the fear of the gods into the mateforms, and they ran off to report to the Hall of Art. Hopefully, they wouldn’t end up in an alcove along the way, mating. Her stomach churned at the thought. She had never been able to fathom people who wanted to remain in mateform. Most couples, in order to have a child, would enter the form and sequester themselves away for a year—then would be out of the form as soon after the child’s birth as possible. After all, who would want to go out in public like that?

The humans did it. That had baffled her during those early days, when she’d spent time learning their language, trading with them. Not only did humans not change forms, they were always ready to mate, always distracted by sexual urges.

What she wouldn’t have given to be able to go among them unnoticed, to adopt their monochrome skin for a year and walk their highways, see their grand cities. Instead, she and the others had ordered the murder of the Alethi king in a desperate gambit to stop the listener gods from returning.

Well, that had worked—the Alethi king hadn’t been able to put his plan into action. But now, her people were slowly being destroyed as a result.

She finally reached the rock formation she called home: a small, collapsed dome. It reminded her of the ones on the edge of the Shattered Plains, actually—the enormous ones that the humans called warcamps. Her people had lived in those, before abandoning them for the security of the Shattered Plains, with its chasms the humans couldn’t jump.

Her home was much, much smaller, of course. During the early days of living here, Venli had crafted a roof of greatshell carapace and built walls to divide the space into chambers. She’d covered it all over with crem, which had hardened with time, creating something that actually felt like a home instead of a shanty.

Eshonai set her helm on a table just inside, but left the rest of her armor on. Shardplate just felt right to her. She liked the sensation of strength. It let her know that something was still reliable in the world. And with the power of Shardplate, she could mostly ignore the wound to her leg.

She ducked through a few rooms, nodding to the people she passed. Venli’s associates were scholars, though no one knew the proper form for true scholarship. Nimbleform was their makeshift substitute for now. Eshonai found her sister beside the window of the farthest chamber. Demid, Venli’s once-mate, sat next to her. Venli had held nimbleform for three years, as long as they’d known of the form, though in Eshonai’s mind’s eye she still saw her sister as a worker, with thicker arms and a stouter torso.

That was the past. Now, Venli was a slender woman with a thin face, her marblings delicate swirling patterns of red and white. Nimbleform grew long hairstrands, with no carapace helm to block them. Venli’s, a deep red, flowed down to her waist, where they were tied in three places. She wore a robe, drawn tight at the waist and showing a hint of breasts at the chest. This was not mateform, so they were small.

Venli and her once-mate were close, though their time as mates had produced no children. If they’d gone to the battlefield, they’d have been a warpair. Instead, they were a researchpair, or something. The things they spent their days doing were very un-listener. That was the point. Eshonai’s people could not afford to be what they had been in the past. The days of lounging isolated on these plateaus—singing songs to one another, only occasionally fighting—were over.

“So?” Venli asked to Curiosity.

“We won,” Eshonai said, leaning back against the wall and folding her arms with a clink of Shardplate. “The gemheart is ours. We will continue to eat.”

“That is well,” Venli said. “And your human?”

“Dalinar Kholin. He did not come to this battle.”

“He will not face you again,” Venli said. “You nearly killed him last time.” She said it to the Rhythm of Amusement as she rose, picking up a piece of paper—they made it from dried rockbud pulp following a harvest—which she handed to her once-mate. Looking it over, he nodded and began making notes on his own sheet.

That paper required precious time and resources to make, but Venli insisted the reward would be worth the effort. She’d better be right.

Venli regarded Eshonai. She had keen eyes—glassy and dark, like those of all listeners. Venli’s always seemed to have an extra depth of secret knowledge to them. In the right light, they had a violet cast.

“What would you do, Sister?” Venli asked. “If you and this Kholin were actually able to stop trying to kill each other long enough to have a conversation?”

“I’d sue for peace.”

“We murdered his brother,” Venli said. “We slaughtered King Gavilar on a night when he’d invited us into his home. That is not something the Alethi will forget, or forgive.”

Eshonai unfolded her arms and flexed a gauntleted hand. That night. A desperate plan, made between herself and five others. She had been part of it despite her youth, because of her knowledge of the humans. All had voted the same.

Kill the man. Kill him, and risk destruction. For if he had lived to do what he told them that night, all would have been lost. The others who had made that decision with her were dead now.

“I have discovered the secret of stormform,” Venli said.

What?” Eshonai stood up straight. “You were to be working on a form to help! A form for diplomats, or for scholars.”

“Those will not save us,” Venli said to Amusement. “If we wish to deal with the humans, we will need the ancient powers.”

“Venli,” Eshonai said, grabbing her sister by the arm. “Our gods!”

Venli didn’t flinch. “The humans have Surgebinders.”

“Perhaps not. It could have been an Honorblade.”

“You fought him. Was it an Honorblade that struck you, wounded your leg, sent you limping?”

“I…” Her leg ached.

“We don’t know which of the songs are true,” Venli said. Though she said it to Resolve, she sounded tired, and she drew exhaustionspren. They came with a sound like wind, blowing in through the windows and doors like jets of translucent vapor before becoming stronger, more visible, and spinning around her head like swirls of steam.

My poor sister. She works herself as hard as the soldiers do.

“If the Surgebinders have returned,” Venli continued, “we must strive for something meaningful, something that can ensure our freedom. The forms of power, Eshonai…” She glanced at Eshonai’s hand, still on her arm. “At least sit and listen. And stop looming like a mountain.”

Eshonai removed her fingers, but did not sit. Her Shardplate’s weight would break a chair. Instead, she leaned forward, inspecting the table full of papers.

Venli had invented the script herself. They’d learned that concept from the humans—memorizing songs was good, but not perfect, even when you had the rhythms to guide you. Information stored on pages was more practical, especially for research.

Eshonai had taught herself the script, but reading was still difficult for her. She did not have much time to practice.

“So… stormform?” Eshonai said.

“Enough people of that form,” Venli said, “could control a highstorm, or even summon one.”

“I remember the song that speaks of this form,” Eshonai said. “It was a thing of the gods.”

“Most of the forms are related to them in some way,” Venli said. “Can we really trust the accuracy of words first sung so long ago? When those songs were memorized, our people were mostly dullform.”

It was a form of low intelligence, low capacity. They used it now to spy on the humans. Once, it and mateform had been the only forms her people had known.

Demid shuffled some of the pages, moving a stack. “Venli is right, Eshonai. This is a risk we must take.”

“We could negotiate with the Alethi,” Eshonai said.

“To what end?” Venli said, again to Skepticism, her exhaustionspren finally fading, the spren spinning away to search out more fresh sources of emotion. “Eshonai, you keep saying you want to negotiate. I think it is because you are fascinated by humans. You think they’ll let you go freely among them? A person they see as having the form of a rebellious slave?”

“Centuries ago,” Demid said, “we escaped both our gods and the humans. Our ancestors left behind civilization, power, and might in order to secure freedom. I would not give that up, Eshonai. Stormform. With it, we can destroy the Alethi army.”

“With them gone,” Venli said, “you can return to exploration. No responsibility—you could travel, make your maps, discover places no person has ever seen.”

“What I want for myself is meaningless,” Eshonai said to Reprimand, “so long as we are all in danger of destruction.” She scanned the specks on the page, scribbles of songs. Songs without music, written out as they were. Their souls stripped away.

Could the listeners’ salvation really be in something so terrible? Venli and her team had spent five years recording all of the songs, learning the nuances from the elderly, capturing them in these pages. Through collaboration, research, and deep thought, they had discovered nimbleform.

“It is the only way,” Venli said to Peace. “We will bring this to the Five, Eshonai. I would have you on our side.”

“I… I will consider.”


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

The Stormlight Archive: ‹ previous | index | next ›
1. SkinnyLipid
Ok... These 'missing' chapters are actualy starting to make this wait even harder and I didn't think that was possible!
Lord Carfax
2. Carfax
Had to keep checking back every 20 minutes or so all day long. At least the missing chapters didn't include every male's favorite character Knights Champion Kaladin.
Deana Whitney
3. Braid_Tug
Everyone Enjoy!
Hear these will be the last whole chapters released. per Peter A. on FB.
Now to read them myself.
4. RudeAnon
Last ones? That means we gotta wait 35 days! How horrible.
7. Stormblessed
I just want to see Kaladin drop Amaram like a bad habit.
Scott Jones
8. Skavoovee
This was great, but March 4th cannot come soon enough!
Dixon Davis
9. KadesSwordElanor
Yeah. Off this afternoon because of the whooping 5- 10 inches of snow we are supposed to get here in the ENC (Eastern NC). Don't laugh guys in the Northeast and Upper Midwest/east. This much snow will criple us for days. No bread or milk to be found anywhere.;) Might even be enough snow to make a snow chasmfiend, if I knew what one looked like.
Robert Dickinson
10. ChocolateRob
What the? Did the interlude and chapter 14 just swap places or am I going nuts?
Rich Bennett
11. Neuralnet
Thanks Tor! That Shallan chapter is just stunning.. WTF, did she kill her mother with the shardblade?

I am more and more convinced that Szeth has a borrowed honorblade... guess we will find out soone (hopefully).
Lord Carfax
12. Carfax
Yeah, was kinda pissed he stopped to stare. Was hoping he was going stick an 9ft long spear into his clavicle, shattering the shardplate while he was at it
Travis Little
13. tblittle
... I am struggling to focus on work now... want more Kaladin chapters!

Also - Adolin!!!
14. ninthlite
I was worried that previous chapters were a bit lackluster, but these ones are A+ grade!
s r
15. Veovim
Wow, way to tease us with these chapters. I especially want to know what's up with chapter 10. Are Shallan's mother's eyes horrible simply because they're dead, or has something happened to them? Recall the assassin Jasnah met in the prologue who killed in a way that destroyed her victim's eyes.

Edit: @11 That's right, shardblades mess with peoples' eyes as well. That possibility raises its own questions
Paul Keelan
16. noblehunter
I think a Shardblade causes a person's eyes to burn out.
17. Stormblessed
@Carfax hopefully it's just a matter of time.
John Brown
18. Seerow
So I guess that confirms the suspicions that Szeth's Blade is an Honorblade, not a regular Shardblade.
19. SunsetEssence
So many questions of course, but I am most interested to read more from the Eshonai point of view. Who are the "listeners" gods? Sounds like the listeners can transform into "forms" that are a lot scarier than the warform that most of the Alethi have seen. A form that allows them to summon or control highstorms????? That's crazy, and there are 90 or so more forms?

And it sounds like stormlight injures the listeners, judging by Eshonai's sore leg. It's looking like the Pareshendi, or listeners, may be of Odium, but somehow broke free from his control. Eshonai wants to ensure they don't go back, but her sister's work may bring them back to Odium.
Lord Carfax
20. Carfax
And that Ironstance battering was a thing of beauty. Brutal enough to the shame the Bridgeburners. Probably make the great Karsa Orlong shed a tear or two while watching.
Scott Jones
21. Skavoovee
@19 SunsetEssence
I agree, it definitely seems like the Listeners are trying to break away from Odium, but their war with the Alethi may make it so they aren't able. Especially if they discover more dangerous forms, violence like that could just lead them right back to Odium. Sad, but I have a feeling that, with perhaps a few exceptions (Shen, Eshonai), most of the Listeners will end up reverting to being Voidbringers or something similarly evil.
Maiane Bakroeva
22. Isilel
So, Shen is totally a Parshendi spy in dullform and is going to be instrumental in humans and Parshendi reaching an understanding at some point, right?
As a corollary - if Parshmen don't have a mate form, how do they procreate?
I suspect that the new Stormform is going to be used not just to attack the Alethi, but to steal their Parshmen slaves and make them bond with spren and assume other forms - i.e. become Parshendi.
Interestingly enough, Parshendi don't think that appearance of Radiants would lead to whatever it was they feared so much that they killed Gavilar. So, it wasn't his possible intention to restore the Orders that panicked them. Hm...

Annnd... Drumroll! We have confirmation that Szeth has Jezrien's Honorblade and draws his powers from it.

Yep, Jasnah's and Shallan't trip hit a major snag, as expected. Pirates and/or shipwreck. All that precious research and irreplaceable source books, all gone :(.

Rock is the defeated Nuatoma himself, isn't he? Given how he is great with archery, spear-fighting and wrestling. It would blow up my WSoD if he is such a uniquely talented snowflake, who is naturally excellent at things that require years of training. His spren-seeing makes me wonder whether he could be an incipient surge-binder himself, too.

Who will Kaladin spar with? Somebody wearing Shardplate would be a natural fit, in absence of another Surgebinder. Of course, Amaram's appearance would make it even more difficult for Kaladin to confide in any of Kholins.

SunsetEssence @19:

And it sounds like stormlight injures the listeners, judging by Eshonai's sore leg.

Huh? Kaladin repeatedly slammed his spear into a gap in Eshonai's armor, with Stormlight-enhanced strength. That's why her leg is sore. Parshendi wear charged spheres braided into their beards, they are not harmed by Stormlight.
23. Stairdweller
Curse you tor.com, master of time-banditry! (Could literally not be happier with the wealth of preview chapters)
John Brown
24. Seerow
Who will Kaladin spar with? Somebody wearing Shardplate would be a natural fit, in absence of another Surgebinder. Of course, Amaram's appearance would make it even more difficult for Kaladin to confide in any of Kholins.

I'm actually really hoping Kaladin goes directly to Dalinar. But you're probably right, them acting like such good friends is going to put Kaladin on the defensive and make him suspicious, and cause lots of problems for both of them.

The real question is if Amaram recognizes Kaladin, and if so how that will play out. It could force the issue regardless of how Kaladin feels, or could lead to a lot of veiled hostility with no immediate resolution.

Gah I want the full book yesterday.
Deana Whitney
25. Braid_Tug
Ch. 12: AHG! What a cliff hanger! Well, this book is certainly off to a much faster start than the last one. No depression, but enough everything else to twist our guts

Ch.14: Can see why Carl said he liked Adolin better after this book, even after just this one chapter.
“Letting someone else choose for him had a strange appeal,” had to laugh at this!
And wow dude! Way to realize it’s not about the show, but about the war.
And so sweet to give his brother the first blade.

Random thought from the stone carvings: is stone working a male or female art? Because holding a chisel with a glove can be hazardous.

Interlude: oh, so much! Want Dalinar and Eshonai to talk – right now!
Kimani Rogers
26. KiManiak
These were great. Since these are the last that we'll be getting until the book release, I'm glad that they were entertaining and informative chapters.

Info on Parshendi forms, 2 more Heralds names stated (the Alethi versions anyway) and the total fighting stances known now up to 4 (Wind, Iron, Flame and Smoke).

I really need this book in my life. Badly.
John Brown
27. Seerow

We also now know there are 10 stances, each relating to an essence, so we can make educated guesses as to what the rest are.

Lucentia-(Glass, Crystal, Quartz) ???
Pulp-(Wood, Plants, Moss) Willowstance?
Blood-(Blood, non-oil liquid) Waterstance?
Tallow-(all kinds of oil) ???
Foil-(Metal) Ironstance
Talus-(Rock, Stone) Stonestance
Sinew-(Meat, Flesh) ???
28. Dassem
Could somoene please explain where the evidence that Szeth has an Honorblade is? I read this twice and didn't see the evidence, but I could be missing something. Thanks
John Brown
29. Seerow
This set of previews has the biggest evidence, stating that the Honorblades allow surgebinding without bonding a Spren. What happened to Szeth's spren has long been a point of discussion, and him having an honorblade would make the answer "He never had a spren", which makes sense.

I've seen other arguments for it in the past, but don't remember the details because I had mostly dismissed it as speculation that was almost certainly going to be wrong. I think it involved Szeth's shardblade being described as different from other blades.
Matt Stoumbaugh
30. LazerWulf
“The Herdazian was ’armless.”
God, I love puns. Especially bad ones.
Maiane Bakroeva
31. Isilel
Dassem @28:

From "Narak":

"Venli didn’t flinch. “The humans have Surgebinders.”
“Perhaps not. It could have been an Honorblade.

Sanderson confirmed in interviews/Q&As that Szeth doesn't have a spren bonded to him, unlike all other surgebinders seen on-screen in the series and here we learn that a Honorblade confers surgebinding abilities. I'd say the case is pretty much closed at this point.
32. kkchaitu
I was wondering the same about Szeth's blade and Scrutiny (member on 17th Shard) pointed me to
Cory S.
33. Hungry_For_Hands

Venli didn’t flinch. “The humans have Surgebinders.”
“Perhaps not. It could have been an Honorblade.”

The parashendi saw Kaladin using surgebinding powers. So this above statement implies that he could have used those powers if he had possession of an Honorblade instead of being a windrunner (which we know he is becoming).

We also know (from WoK and word of Brandon) that Szeth's blade is not a normal blade and he has no spren giving him his power (like Syl). So this combined with the fact that Honorblades can grant surgebinding leads us to believe that Szeth has an Honorblade.
34. Crisapx
I would literally kill for chapter 13 right now, assuming it's the rest of Kaladin meeting Amaram.
35. sacredhonour

Also during the prologue, the man with Darkness (we assume) refers to someone having a blade, which people are theorizing as Szeth has an honor blade.
“I don’t like this. What we’ve done was wrong. That creature carries my lord’sown Blade. We shouldn’t have let him keep it. He—”
Combined with Sanderson QAs and what we just learned from the Parshendi, more and more evidence is pointing to Szeth having an Honorblade.
Deana Whitney
36. Braid_Tug
Anyone think Ch. 13 might be told from Amaram’s POV?
But it’s probably going to be from Dalinar’s , if it is the meeting. Has to be the meeting, since we then jump to Adolin’s first duel.
Because robbing us of that first meeting between Dalinar, Amaram and Kaladin would just be cruel.

@34: Is that Moral or Just? As Shallan would define them both.
37. AGRooster
Sinew-(Meat, Flesh) - Squishstance
38. Khyrindor
I totally can't wait for the showdown between Amaram and Kaladin. Also looking forward to when Kaladin meets Szeth. Does anybody else think that Szeth will disobey Taravagian? He almost did already at the end of TWoK, when he saw that dying girl in his hospital. We already know from the names of the next two books that Dalinar and Szeth are both alive, so its an interesting setup.
Reid cashman
39. hellzie
Re: Szeth's blade-

In the WoK prelude the Herald's Honorblades were distinctly described as having both etchings of patterns (waves, flames, whatever) and glyphs inscribed on them. Several blades we've seen have etchings, but i don't remember any blades having inscribed glyphs, and the description of Taln's at the end isn't helpful; it says little more than 'large spike'.

Gosh I'm going to have to go back and reread Szeth's POVs now. But i think it's a reasonable conclusion that any blade we see with glyphs-and what else do we know that is represented by glyphs. hrmm...-could very well be an Honorblade.
40. muza
"We already know from the names of the next two books that Dalinar and Szeth are both alive"

Actually, we don't.

There is a Sanderson interview where he specifically points out that the flashbacks are scenes from the past and not the character remembering scenes from the past. So the focal character of a book can be dead and still be the focal character.

Sad to hear these are the last preview chapters, but it would only make sense. We're already in the second book, minus a few chapter skips.

Szeth has an Honorblade. However did he get it? Does it have something to do with him being Truthless? Most probably, I think.

Also Adolin. I was wondering if we would get another potential Kholin surgebinder, but what I see here is not what I expected.

Were the shards corrupted by Odium? Is that why Syl is uncomfortable around them? But obviously shards were used in the past by the Radiants. So what changed now?

Ah well.

Must get out calender and start marking days till March 4th.
41. Oli
What makes you guys so SURE that Szeth has an Honorblade instead of a Shardblade. I saw the implication, but this series is rife with several simultaneously possible implications...
Deana Whitney
42. Braid_Tug
@37; you make me wish there was a "like" button.
Scott Jones
43. Skavoovee
@41 Oli
As someone already mentioned, Brandon mentioned in an interview or at a signing that Szeth does not have a spren. That, in addition to what was implied by the Listeners, makes a lot of people think that he has an Honorblade, since it seems those confer surgebinding abilities without the need for a spren. PLUS, in one of Dalinar's visions the Almighty (Honor) states that he never expected what the Knights Radiant can do to happen, and that it was the spren trying to mimic what he gave to the Heralds.

I think those facts taken together make it highly likely that Szeth has an honorblade, though of course we won't know 100% for sure until Sanderson says it. I think he has one though, and until evidence to the contrary is given, I think it's a real solid theory.
Maarten Verbeek
44. FanfromHolland
So first Chapter 10:
A really short chapter.
Shallan was clearly very young when her mother was killed.
It sounds almost like it was her father that killed her, but is seems more likely that there was an assassin that killed her and Shallan's father killed the assassin. The young Shallan is scared, shocked and sees her loving father for the first time in a bad way. Because he is capable of killing.
Chapter 12:
Amaram you B*tard!!!
Sorry about that.
I am very curious to know whether chapter 13 continous with Kaladin or Dalinar and a confrontation with Amaram.
The training excersize was very interesting to read. He is clearly far from the level of our Shin friend Szeth. He would be the ideal sparring partner, albeit deadly partner.
I wonder when he will rediscover his other talents.
Chapter 14. Adolin went a little berserk out there. It worked this time, but I wonder why he did what he did. Where did that feeling come from that that was the way to fight? I don't have the answers.

The Interlude.
Many of us already read it already I think. Our first PoV of the Parshendi/Listeners. I forgot that the Explorer was one of the people that had made the decision.

I always get confused with all the terms for the blades. As they were talking of honorblades, are those the heraldblades? Are those ordinary shardblades?
Edit: That question was answered in ealier posts already
Reid cashman
45. hellzie
Adding to 100% sure: Also, piecing together all the little tidbit clues and foreshadowings before the text makes it clear makes books so much more enjoyable when we get to think for ourselves instead of being told.

At this point, we have enough clues that point to szeth having an honorblade that it's likely. More importantly (to me) there are no other alternatives to having surgebinging without having a spren and for the book to suddenly present another explanation would seem more than a little contrived when we seem to have the basic framework for what is magically possible on Roshar. Would dues-ex-machina be the right term?
46. dabebop
Maybe Kalladin would be granted a duel with Amaram.. and then everyone will see how awesome he is? Who do you think Kalladin will spar with: Dhalinar, Adolin, other?? Maybe the missing chapters are Szeth making his way to the plains?
47. Jimmre
"We already know from the names of the next two books that Dalinar and Szeth are both alive, so its an interesting setup."

I seem to recall Brandon saying that we can have books take place from dead people's perspective. Meaning they very well could be dead before those books come out and we'll see the past events through their eyes.
48. 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?
Nathan Kinsinger
49. Brotherbard
From the Listeners poem about Mateform:
To find this form, one must care.
True empathy one must employ.
So they need empathy, but the mateforms we see in the Narak Interlude do not seem to show much empathy for others. Maybe it's just for each other? Or maybe it's just needed to change to that form?

Many of the forms (worker, nimble, war, mate) seem to have very different physical appearances. I'm assuming that slaveform is different as well. Given that Kaladin and the others do not notice anything different about Shen then he must still be in slaveform but trying to work around it? What new form would he be?

Eshonai says they are using dullform to spy on the war camps. Is it possible that dullform looks like rock? Then they could hide in plain sight. Maybe even change to workerform write on a wall then change back?

Also slaveform has no song, so can the others communicate with them using song? Or is it that they just can't sing themselves?

Syl didn't like the shards she has been around. Amaram's shardblade has flames on it so maybe it's for a Flamedancer (or whatever they are called) and Kaladin needs to find a Windrunners blade. That would imply that only 1 in 10 shards are right for him.
Alice Arneson
50. Wetlandernw
AGRooster @37 - Yeah, I want a "Like" button too. I literally laughed out loud at that. :D

General: Wow! I'm really rather surprised (but delighted) that they released these chapters. I thought I might have to wait until March 5 to hear any reactions to Adolin's first duel. And it's the kind of thing that is crazy the first time you read it, but by the time you finish the book, it's almost lost in the mist.

I personally loved Ch. 14. Adolin went from being a relatively minor character we didn't know well, to hints of a multi-layered personality - and I really, really didn't expect this particular layer.
Deana Whitney
51. Braid_Tug
@50: to paraphrase: You are killing me Wet!
“…it's almost lost in the mist.” How is that not going to get us going?!
52. BZM
@Brotherbard: Unlikely re: the rocks and dullform. After all, Parshmen are even less, and they're definitely not rocks.

Has anyone else been speculating exactly WHAT Galivar was about to do to that made his death so important? Also, is this connected to his conversation with Amaram in the prologue? Perhaps we'll find out now that Amaram is back?
Nadine L.
53. travyl
I very much liked, that Kaladin's testing started scientifically ("We were supposed to be counting?") and then changed to fighting.

@26. KiManiak: I noticed the Heralds names (Pailiah, Battah), but am confused about Battah, since WoK already gave us an alethi/vorin name for her "Battar", IIRC.

@22: Admittedly the interlude strongly supports the theory of Szeth having an honorblade, but even with the words in the prologue I think it's less certain that it really has to be Jezrien's blade. After all we don't really know what, or whom those two were talking about.

Re Shallan: damn we get a flashback, which gives more questions, than it answers? I agree with all above who want this book right now.
Nadine L.
54. travyl
And I'm still confused about the parsh... listeners.
Are we sure they need spren to transform into a other form?
Are they searching for a specific spren by drawing? They seem to attract spren (angerspren, exhaustionspren) already, so why are they trying to draw? Do they need Creationspren?
Deanna Laming
55. darkvoice
I really want to know what Kaladin will do.....I wanna know!!!!
Maiane Bakroeva
56. Isilel
I suspect that the dullform looks a lot like the slave form and the Alethi, who don't pay much attention to the Parshmen, don't distinguish between the two. The dull form can communicate with the rest of Parshendi via music. IMHO, Shen is a Parshendi spy in the dull form.

Amaram is back, too bad that Jasnah isn't there to ak him the right questions. And who knows how his issues with Kaladin wouls affect his willingness to talk to the Kholins.
Rob Munnelly
57. RobMRobM
I can just see Adolin taking the Brightlord's side when Brightlord calls Kal a traitor. Ugh.

Really looking forward to Kaladin deciding that his best sparring partner is Adolin.
Kerly Luige
58. Celebrinnen
Storm you, Brandon! I love you, and now I hate you, for throwing us this bone and then leaving us hanging! I really, really, REALLY can't wait for Kaladin's and Amaram's first personal encounter. (And I just knew the letter was from him and he was coming there, for wasn't he preparing to join the others on the Shattered Plains even as long ago when he betrayed Kal?). I believe Amaram surely remembers Kaladin - it should be a bit hard to forget the face of a man whose men you murder to get his Blade and whom you betray by branding and selling him as a slave, shouldn't it?

I hope Dalinar doesn't betray Kal, Light knows it has been done too much to him, but I'm a bit worried that Adolin and Amaram can side against Kal, one being annoyed with him as he is and the other probably wanting to get rid of Kaladin for good.

And was I the only one to find herself thinking that Adolin's Blade could use some of Nightblood's skills when he spoke to it? :)
Skip Ives
59. Skip
@57 - Agreed, Adolin would make a good sparring partner for Kaladin, and it would allow some character development for both.

I hope that the next stage in Kaladin's progression involves forgiveness or dispassionate judgement. As much as I want to see Amaram pounded into sand, his character arc would be better if he did what he did for good reasons, and forces Kaladin to face how much his first dealings with light-eyes has colored every other interaction he has had with them.
60. Moogle
@Capt D
"I'm afraid Dalinar might be being used for evil."

What, the part where he was attempting genocide against a race that seems to be honorable didn't tip you off? :P

I don't know if Odium is watching Roshar, but if he is, and influenced Adolin to make him act in a way that would ensure he gets more duels, then he seems to be just as intelligent as certain other villains we've seen in the Cosmere. Very cunning plan on his part to force the Alethi into pressuring the Parshendi into stormform (which might use Odiumspren) and maybe cause the Desolation.

Also, with the ability to control highstorms, the death prophecies about the "Everstorm" suddenly makes a lot more sense.
61. Bernardette
I'm already distressed because I know WoR is going to come out, I'll read it in a couple of days and then I'll have a whole year or more to wait for the next one... augh! Epic Fantasy, why do you torment me so?!
62. TBGH
What's up with the blood?

If Shallan used a shardblade the limbs would feel dead, but would still be attached and she wouldn't cut into the bodies unless she kept on slicing after they died. The floor is covered in blood suggesting to me at least that this isn't the work of a shardblade. Maybe this is the work of of whatever her other surge can do . . . possibly in combination with a shardblade . . .

I'm stumped.
Anneke van Staden
63. QueenofDreams
@62 I don't believe this is the work of her surges, she's only started using them since going to kharbranth as far as we can tell. I have no theories about what did happen though, apart from thinking that her mother was killed with a Blade.
Nadine L.
64. travyl
"Little blood there. It was the man who bled. Mother lay facedown, so Shallan couldn’t see the eyes."
it seems the mother died without bleeding, the "litte blood", could come from the man, which implies (combined with the horrible eyes) that she was killed by a Shardblade.
Alice Arneson
65. Wetlandernw
Braid_Tug @51 - You made me laugh again! I'm sorry, that wasn't meant to have any hidden meaning. It's just that this particular duel of Adolin's happens at the beginning of Part Two, and so very much happens between here and the end of the book. As much as I wanted to see people's reactions to this scene, I didn't expect to be able to discuss it until the entire book was out. With the whole storming book to talk about, I don't honestly expect many people to be thinking about this scene any more. So... I was expecting this scene to get overlooked by the time the full spoiler thread comes up. That's all. Interestingly enough, not too many people seem to have reacted as strongly to it as I did.
66. Lorijo
Has anyone considered that Andolin's blade is helping him? He talked to it, explained the importance of winning, and then switched fighting styles because of a feeling. Or maybe something else overheard the conversation.
Jennifer B
67. JennB
@65 Wetlandernw I found the scene very troubling. I have bad feelings about where Adolin will end up by the end of the series.

Last excerpts before the book will be released over a month from now. Aaaah. What will we do? I want to know what happens.
68. David64
No one else find it significant that Renarin is as reluctant to take the shard blade as Kaladin was? Personally I always went with the theory that blades and plate are formed from bonded honourspren, and when the knights abandoned their gear they broke their bonds and the spren died, and those who have a fledgling bond with a spren feel the wrongness through the bond. Which suggests that Renarin will end up joining one of the other orders.
69. David64
Oh, and Cultivation was better than Honour at seeing the future, so perhaps one of her spren types can sense the near future. That would have been handy for a knight. So maybe the message on the wall is a bluff to make us overthink things and is not from an evil source at all.
70. TBGH

The most significant thing to me is that Shallan has blood wiped from her cheek. If it's not her own (which I don't think it is because of the wince) then she was probably right next to the man when he was being cut into. And since she's not thinking of her father or her mother as monsters during this scene, only herself, it's most likely she killed both. It's possible Sanderson is being intentionally misleading here, but he's certainly implying that a 10-12 year old girl killed both people and the shard blade only makes sense for one of them at most.
71. SoulcastJam
Am I the only one wondering what's in Shallan's father's safe? Or is it just obvious... =)
Andrew Berenson
72. AndrewHB
Does the mention of chasms in the lullaby that Shallan's father sang have anything to do with the chasms in the Shattered Plains?

Wetlandernw @50 wrote: "I thought I might have to wait until March 5 to hear any reactions to Adolin's first duel."

Wetlandernw -- does your statement above mean that Adolin will fight more than one duel in WoR?

SoulcastJam @71 -- It is not obvious to me. I also am curious.

I hope that the end of the prior Shallan chapter (where sh woke up to smoke and sounds of yelling) together with Navani's lack of communication from Jasnah does not mean that Shallan and Jasnah will not make it to the Althi war camp. Or worse, that Jasnah dies. Perhaps she could be the dead character whose flashbackss we will read in a future book.

Thanks for reading my musings,
(aka the musespren)
73. Pagnus

I'm not sure Shallan killed her mother. I think it was probably the man.

However I think it is rather clear that Shallan must have at least killed the man and that the man had a shardblade. Shallan calles the shardblade "the fruit of her sin" if I remember correctly. This suggests that she did something bad and aquired the shardblade as a result. Killing someone would certanly fit that bill.

I think that, if she was the one who killed her mother with the shardblade, the murder of some man might not be the thing that is foremost in her thoughts about the blade.

The man killing her mother also gives her a clear motive to kill him.
74. MostGratuitous

If Shen is a spy in dullform then wouldn't the Parshendi definitively know that Kaladin is a Surgebinder? I don't think they would have to speculate on whether he had an honorblade or not.
75. WonderChimp
@67 JennB - I agree. I can't help but read this Adolin perspective and think that he is going to go to the dark side.


1) He clearly feels the Thrill which current consensus is that it is of Odium. He is reveling in it where Dalinar because disgusted with it.

2) Dalinar clearly trusts Kaladin for unknown reasons where Adolin feels a natural distrust. This wouldn't be a big deal, but it is pointed out at least twice, so it is important.

3) He is walking on a thin fence regarding honor. At the end of TWoK he lets his father know that he agrees with the codes, but this chapter shows that the Thrill can overcome that. He threatened death in a duel that was not supposed to go that far.

I feel like Adolin is going to be a voidbinder and it will come about like the story of Arthas from the Warcraft universe. He will think he is doing all the right things until he has done so many horrible things that there is no turning back.

@59 Skip - What good reasons are there to kill people, your own troops even, in cold blood to hide the fact that you have no honor? Amaram is a peice of garbage. I will believe that through this whole series even if Brandon tries to convince us otherwise. Some acts are forgivable, what Amaram did is not.
76. Mezzamerize
Wouldn't it be interesting if Dalinar and company were actually the ones who are leading the world to destruction? Personally, I think Dalinar wrote the writing on the wall himself, while under the influence of a higher power, like Odium, hence the black-out. The Parshendi seem to know a lot more about the bigger picture of the world than the humans, and even Kaladin noted that he found honor in the Parshendi that he did not find in the humans. So perhaps we may see some side switching in WoR.
77. er2014
I don't know if this has been mentioned before but after reading Eshonai’s scene I think the Parshendi could have been the Dawnsingers. Now that would be interesting :)
Maiane Bakroeva
78. Isilel
MostGratuitious @74:

Good point. So, maybe Parshendi can't wirelessly transfer complex information, after all, and Shen needs to make contact to report? Maybe he fell under Kaladin's spell and doesn't want to report? Anyway, I am pretty sure that he is a Parshendi spy.

Er2014 @77:

Yes! Great idea - I think that they are the Dawnsingers too. I also suspect that they are not the Voidbringers, despite the evidence to the contrary. Oh, and that Recreance had to do with the war against them and enslvament of Parshmen.

BTW, does anybody know how to contact the moderators? This gallery bookmark spamming needs to stop, it has made the "hot bookmark" function completely useless.
79. ShadowJackofAmber
I love reading all of these theories. But I haven't really seen anyone talk about Wit, I have a feeling he's going to be something special as well.
Patrick Mosbacker
80. Patillian
I love the theories here about Adolin, Renarin, and the Parshendi. Adolin does lose the bad Thrill when he sees the fearspren appear as he holds the guy's throat. I think he could get hooked on the bad as theorized above, but I also think he could be having a moment of honorable revulsion at pointless violence like Dalinar began to have on the plains.

What I noticed was the reference to Adolin getting his plate from his mother's side of the family. I didn't wonder about Dalinar's wife in WoK as I was focused on Dalinar's worries and pain about forgetting her, and his sons never brought her up. This little tidbit about the armor grabbed my attention. Her family must have been important and it presumably must have been unusual for the armor not to have gone to a male relative of his mother's generation. Did his mother have no brothers? Was she the oldest sibling? I think there will be some more seemingly throwaway lines about Dalinar's wife in the books that will suddenly take on significance once we get Dalinar's flashbacks. I now think his wife's identity will be important.
Walker White
81. Walker
But I haven't really seen anyone talk about Wit, I have a feeling he's going to be something special as well.
People talk about Hoid (the name he gave Kaladin) all the time.
82. Krakatak
@46 Maybe Kaladin would be granted a duel with Amaram

I'd love to see that scene.
Kaladin: I want to duel Amaram for his honor.
Dalinar: Only a Lighteyes can challenge another Lighteyes to a duel for honor.

Kaladin: Done. I want to duel Amaram for his honor.
Joshua Krakos
83. jakrakos
Oops....that was supposed to be....

@46 Maybe Kaladin would be granted a duel with Amaram

I'd love to see that scene.

Kaladin: "I want to duel Amaram for his honor."
Dalinar: "Only a Lighteyes can challenge another Lighteyes to a duel for honor."
Without hesitation Kaladin breathes in stormlight and his eyes lighten.
Kaladin: "Done. I want to duel Amaram for his honor."
Walker White
84. Walker
I am fascinated by the number of people that want to see Kaladin take down Amaram. It is very clear from the set-up that this cannot happen. This is the entire point of the Honor vs. Vengence issue mentioned in the cover jacket. Kaladin is going to have to learn to do better than this.

I guarantee you that if he goes after Amaram, putting his personal issues over his men, Syl will leave him.
Bob Seiter
85. kbob_o
So wait... the Shattered Plains aren't shattered plains but a crem covered city?
86. other alias is in use
I'm starting to wonder if Shalash is erasing herself from existance and that she's only stuck in herald form because representations of her exist (quantum locked or whatever, a la the spren) and that Kaladin (Shashforehead) is not due to become a KR but rather evolve to a new kind of Herald to take her place.
Bridget McGovern
87. BMcGovern
@78: Re: the bookmarking issue--we're currently looking into it, and hope to have it fixed ASAP. Thanks!

UPDATE: Just a reminder that you can keep track of all your bookmarks on your profile page, if you scroll down below "My Conversations" to the last tab, "My Bookmarks"--hope that helps!
Deana Whitney
88. Braid_Tug
@51, Wetlander: Glad I made you laugh.
Here’s some deeper thoughts about Adolin’s duel and where I see it going.

Windstance: flowing, sweeping, majestic - unstated: artful, pretty, puts on “a good show.” It was what he used in his first not stakes duel we saw in WoK. There the point was to strike first. When the point of a duel is to be seen a superior swordsman by many, a graceful style will win that acclaim.
(Anyone here familiar with the Renaissance fencing masters?)

There are 3 moments which stand out:
1) “We’re at war, Adolin thought as Salinor edged forward, looking to test him. And every lighteyes in this army is a raw recruit.
It wasn’t time for a show. It was time for a beating.”
2) “This wasn’t the way it was supposed to go. Where were the test blows, the art, the dance?”
3) “Adolin Kholin!” she shouted. “This is a duel, not a wrestling match!” “Did I break any rules?” he shouted back.
Remember when Adolin went from thinking his dad was crazy, to realizing the point behind the Codes? When he realized the point of wearing an officers uniform all the time? He grew up in that moment of WoK.
This duel was another moment of growth for Adolin. He gave up the “good show” and showing his skills a dueler, in order to expedite the win. He’s treating his fellow Shardbearers as the raw recruits his father sees them as.
If this world uses the word “thug”, he will be labeled as one for a time. His previous skill and elegance forgotten.

He’s now also playing by the Letter of the Law, not the Spirit of the Law, so to speak. Before Dalainar held his sons to both the Sprit and the Letter of the Law. But he’s released Adolin’s blade. So Adolin will do his part to further his father’s goal of changing the way the High Princes and Lighteyes behave.

@75, WC, Your point #3 – disagree, as you can see from above. But I can also see some of why BWS might take the story that direction. Just hope it doesn’t. I see Adolin's actions, as ones of logic, not ones of a voidbinder. To me he was never going to carry out the threat of death. He was reinforcing the lesson the man had just learned.

@78, Contacting the Mods: easiest way is to self-flag your comment. I’ve flagged your comment for their notice.
Joshua Krakos
89. jakrakos
Walker @ 84

Foremost, I really just want Amaram to lose the shardblade. Much better for Amaram to face justice, the consequences of dishonor, insofar as that's possible in the current political system than for Kaladin to straight-up kill him. That would not go well for Kaladin, I think, for a whole host of reasons. I get the feeling that most of the other Highlords wouldn't have any problem with the way Amaram obtained his shardblade, but Dalinar will have a problem once he hears the story.

The question is who (Dalinar, Elkohar, some other Highlord?) will decide what justice means in this instance.
Jeremy Guebert
90. jeremyguebert
A few thoughts on the Adolin chapter:

When he's talking to his blade (weird athlete traditions/superstitions, heh), I really appreciated his thoughts on not renaming it, due to respecting its original owner. Quite classy, imo.

Confirmation on one type of fighting stance for each essence: totally called it!

I love a good beat-down of arrogant people who underestimate our heroes. Looking forward to seeing where this goes throughout the book.

I imagine this has been corrected, but I noticed that it said causal betrothal, where it should be casual betrothal.

On that note, his thoughts seem a bit presumptuous to me - if you have an arranged engagement, it doesn't really matter whether it "works out" (i.e. you get along), the choice has already been made for you and you have to live with it to the best of your abilities. Not sure exactly what Alethi customs/traditions are in that area, but there are cultures where breaking off an engagement is equivalent to divorce, which I don't think would be good for anyone involved.
Lauren Hartman
91. naupathia
Holee crap. I am already completely addicted to this book. The chapters so far are about a thousand times better than the first book, and I loved the first book! I really enjoyed the Parshendi POV! Sanderson, you really outdid yourself!

I seriously just cannot wait to dive into the whole thing!
92. Tarcanus
Everyone keeps mentioning Adolin as Kaladin's sparring partner, but that's not what Kaladin mentioned as what he needs. He said he needs someone who can surgebind to spar with.

Who do we know is on a crash course to the Shattered Plain and is also a surgebinder? Szeth. I don't know how the plot will allow it, but I bet Kal's sparring partner will, at least briefly, be Szeth.
Jon _
93. Werechull
I'd like some input on the best way to buy the book. I don't buy a lot of books but when I find a book I want to own I always get the hardback. What's the best way to have the book in hand by the release date? Does amazon ship early so they arrive on that date?
94. nayyi
Szeth's shardblade = Jezrien's Honorblade... seems a bit too easy.

I thought it was accepted that Szeth wasn't able to hold Stormlight as well as Kaladin? Seems weird that an Honorblade would be weaker than a Nahel bond in that respect.

I think Szeth would be the ideal sparring partner/learning resource for Kaladin (kind of like Rand-Asmodean). Kal's a bit of a straight arrow but can think outside the box when needed (carapace armor). Not sure how that would work though...
Peter Ahlstrom
95. PeterAhlstrom
jeremyguebert@90 Nope, causal betrothal is the term the Alethi use, not casual betrothal.
Jeremy Guebert
96. jeremyguebert
PeterAhlstrom@95 - so, does that just mean that it happened sight-unseen, or that there are some conditions to it, or what? I'm just a bit confused about how the term fits in with my internal definition of the word causal, i.e. something pertaining to a cause. What cause is being referred to here?
97. writelhd

I wondered about the "causal" vs "casual" thing too, but that's because I noticed in the release chapter where Jasnah first brought it up that it was called a "causal"--so I guess that's a term? I never heard that term before, but the narrative takes time to define it as what seemed like a legal term, more binding than a courtship, but not as binding as a betrothal.

For that reason the "if it works out" is still legitimate--it's not yet a full betrothal, once they meet, Adolin still has the right to say no, and I would assume so does Shallan. I don't know how long they have from when they meet to when causal becomes betrothal, and yeah I don't know how serious breaking off an actual betrothal would be in Alethi culture.


I've heard writers claim that the best way to buy a book to support the author is to request and buy the book from your local independent book store. Independent bookstores can listen more directly to customer requests and are more likely to have a real human making decisions about how much of what to stock, whereas big box stores have computers automatically adjusting down the shelf space available to a given author based on what percent of their books sold the first time around. Although Sanderson is so popular he probably is not adversely affected by that.

Reactions to these chapters are mostly incoherent desires for the 4th of March to just get here, already.
98. Afterthought
So much to talk about here that I think I'd better just focus on one chapter, apart from the following aside:

I find it very interesting that Shallan's father must have known about her Shardblade.

Okay. Adolin.

Wow. What a chapter. Where to start? Here are some of my thoughts!

1) His talking to his Shardblade:

(i) If the theory that Shards are created by (a bond with) spren is true, could his talking to his Blade be a prelude to bonding with a spren? The way he talked to the Blade - it was almost as though he were a prospective Knight Radiant: wanting to prove himself to it, and to be worthy of their ideals.

(ii) I like the insight into his character, and his insecurities. Not that he was two dimensional before, but it gives him more depth. I also find myself more able to relate to characters with insecurities, so that helps.

2) The fight itself:

(i) I find it striking that his decision to change his stance and style of fighting (drastically) was aligned so well to his father. The idea that all the lighteyes were raw recruits, and had to be trained, for example, is essentially what Dalinar had been saying in previous chapters. Was anyone else reminded of the way Dalinar treated Elhokar at the end of WoK?

(ii) It seems noteworthy that Adolin only feels the Thrill after he changed his tactics. So it seems like - if he was influenced by something external - it wasn't the Thrill. Could it have been his Shards that influenced him somehow?

3) The reaction:

(i) The lighteyes shock seems to come from this having been less of a game, and more of a true battle. That seems to fit nicely with what Dalinar wants them to become.

(ii) As a corollary to that, it's just going to add to the Kholin family's enemies.

(iii) Adolin is shaken by the whole thing - that seems a good sign to me overall. My suspicion is the introspection will lead him to examine the Thrill.
Jeremy Guebert
99. jeremyguebert
PeterAhlstrom@95 - so, does that just mean that it happened sight-unseen, or that there are some conditions to it, or what? I'm just a bit confused about how the term fits in with my internal definition of the word causal, i.e. something pertaining to a cause. What cause is being referred to here?
100. Cicatrix16
It's obvious what happened. Someone came and killed Shallan's mother with a shardblade, and in a moment of epicness Shallan pulled some crazy magic out the air and killed the man. That is where she got the Shardblade she has now.
David Foster
101. ZenBossanova
Regarding Amaram, Karma can be more ironically cruel than men. Imagine Kaladin does not take vengence on him, Jasnah finds Urithiru, all of our favorites become Knights Radiant, with all surges and full glowing plate and armor... and Amaram, (who honestly thought he was acting for the best) suddenly can't even take so much as the first oath. And all he has is a stolen dull shardblade.

Another first meeting that has not been mentioned is our favorite Herald Taln with Dalinar or Kaladin, or even Taln and the rest of the Heralds. That really sounds interesting to me.
102. Cicatrix16
Yeah she may have soulcasted the man on accident. And the stormlight that she used is what's in her father strongbox. He put it in there to stop her or something.
John Brown
103. Seerow
I really doubt she soulcasted. That's a result of her recent bonding, not something she would have been doing 6 years earlier. Also if she had done that, then she would have known a soulcaster isn't necessary, and Jasnah soulcasting people wouldn't have been such a shock to her. Basically, her soulcasting the guy invalidates her entire storyline in the last book. I'm sure whatever's in the strongbox is relevant, but if it involves her soulcasting the man, I'll eat my left shoe.
@101, Zen - don't waste your sympathy on Amaram. He is likely to be killed by Kaladin or someone else - and he will merit such a fate. Someone who kills innocents and enslaves the one who saved his life is in the same category as Taravangian. The rationale one may give for his actions doesn't override the normal judgment as to the ethics or morality of the acts. That is an important theme in the ideals of the Radiants, "journey before destination" - the pathway one takes to a goal takes precedence over the goal, itself.
105. SoulcastJam
@104, STBLST - You make some good points, but Dalinar seems to have learned the opposite lesson in WoK when he decides to ignore the codes to some degree in order to get things to a place where the codes make sense. Not that he is taking it to the same level that Amaram did.
And I'm not sure I agree that Amaram will get his comeuppance in the way you describe. It would mess things up royally for most of the protagonists. Dalinar loses an important ally, his men lose faith as they see one of their heroes disgraced, the other high-princes can point to this as an example of the codes being hypocrisy, and Kaladin gets satisfaction out of revenge/watching someone die (I'm sure that would sit really well with Syl).
On the other hand, forcing Kaladin to deal with his ghosts instead of slaughter them makes for compelling character growth and at least one book worth of suspense.
So, IMHO, Amaram's death would mess things up really badly at a critical time (everstorm approaching). That doesn't mean Brandon won't do it though... =)
106. ToothPuller
Does anyone else think that Shallan's father is the killer from Red Carpet? That he is the murderer she feels so wrong being close to? And that she poisoned her father (with one of those green plants she doesn't want to remember) to get her Shardblade?
Alice Arneson
107. Wetlandernw
Braid_Tug @88 - Nice insights! I checked back on my beta comments to make sure I wasn't basing this on later events, and I wasn't. This scene got much the same reaction from me that it got from you. It remains to be seen where he goes from here, of course.

Hamburglar53 - If you want to have the book ON MARCH FOURTH - there are a couple of ways. If you have a favorite local bookstore, check and make sure they will have copies available, and get thee to the store as early as possible. You can probably even get them to hold one for you, if you know you won't get there until later in the day. If getting to the bookstore on release day is not practical for you, order it from Amazon. They generally ship early so as to arrive on release day. (One time, I even got my book early, because UPS was being overly efficient. :D Broke my heart, that did...)

I used to always just order from Amazon, primarily for the convenience (dragging small kids to the bookstore was just not high on my favorites list) - but also, because they usually cut the price more than the brick-and-mortar stores can afford. Since I started going to signings, though, I've become more inclined to go to the bookstore. Amazon doesn't host signings; stores do. And in Seattle, if you buy the book from the University Bookstore, you get a ticket to the signing. (Brandon has become so popular, they have to rent a facility for his events.)
Nadine L.
108. travyl
I wonder, with Adolin winning more duels, will Dalinar get a new Shardblade, or is he (emotionally) attached to his old one and will refuse a new set of blade/plate? Based on the fact, that he thinks himself so threatend by his actions, can there be a reasonable reason to decline a blade? Shouldn't Adolin have given the first blade to his father (who can already fight) as opposed to his brother?

And some comments about the art:
So unlike with Kaladin's flashback "icon", Shallan's didn't just change color, but went from (what I see as a person in water?) to a complex symbol (Pattern maybe?).
Adolin's shardbearer looks kind of alien to me, but that could be because of the accurately oversized sword.
109. Freelancer
ToothPuller @106

No. Shallan is the one who killed whoever's blood ended up on her. How is not yet known. I expect it will be related to the second Surge of her "Order", aside from Soulcasting. There is no question that she thinks herself the monster:
Father gathered her into his arms, and she felt her skin squirming. No. No, this affection wasn’t right. A monster should not be held in love. A monster who killed, who murdered. No.
She is not holding her Father, he is holding her. What feels wrong to her is that someone who saw her do a monstrous thing would still show affection for her.

We have quite a ways to go in examining the complexity of this family. Her Mother, apparently killed by a shardblade. Her brothers are serially abused by their Father, while Shallan is treated as a treasured gem, kept hidden and "safe". And, from her POV in The Way of Kings, her most horrific act is related to her Father's death, which hasn't happened yet in this flashback chapter. Much to untangle.
110. MostGratuitous
Wait, wait, WAIT!

So, if I remember correctly, Shallan and Jasnah are headed towards the Shattered Plains to find Urithiru. But we just found that the Shattered Plains are a giant, crem-covered city. So could it be that the Shattered Plains ARE Uritheru?
111. SoulcastJam
@110 - That theory has been suggest. For discussions see http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/4767-shattered-plains-urithiru/
and http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/4068-urithiru-based-on-new-info/

There may also be other threads.
@105, I don't see Amaram as loyal to Dalinar, his warm greeting of Dalinar notwithstanding. Rather his loyalty would probably be to Sadeas, his former superior back home. If Kaladin doesn't warn Dalinar of Amaram's history, he could prove dangerous to the people that Kaladin is tasked to protect. Should he prove to be traitorous, then Kaladin's vengeance would be seen as justified or worthy. Dalinar, himself, could order the execution of a traitor or slay him in self-defense. Of course, Amaram's confession of his crime and the implication of Restares in the deed could be useful in uncovering the role of the Ghostbloods in such activities. Perhaps Kaladin need only soundly trash Amaram in a duel and win back the shard plate and blade to feel vindicated, and to remove the sting of his being the ultimate cause of the death of his squad.
113. Freelancer
Travyl @108

I am of mixed feelings about Dalinar and acquiring a new Blade, at least for a period of time. Sadeas might concoct a theory that Dalinar gave him his original Shardblade, knowing that he had already planned on Adolin winning new ones. This argument could be used to cheapen Dalinar's sacrifice in gaining the bridgemen, and further turn the other highprinces against him. It would definitely cause them to refuse further duels with Adolin. Tactically, it's best if Dalinar goes without, at least until they have accomplished the objectives of Adolin's dueling.
David Foster
114. ZenBossanova
My own bet is that Urithiru will be in Shinovar, and protected as sacred by the secretive Shin. Protected by martial arts monks like Szeth.
115. SoulcastJam
@112 - Good thoughts, although I make different assumptions about Amaram's character. I think of Amaram as mostly honorable and the friendship with Dalinar as genuine. My guess is that he will be exposed (perhaps only to Dalinar) and a lot of trust lost, but that it will be earned back. Maybe a not-to-the-death duel with Kaladin will be enough for everyone to feel good (or at least not openly hostile) about the situation.
116. Freelancer
Hmm, I don't think Syl would have much of a problem with Kaladin thrashing Amaram. We already know that Kaladin wouldn't take glory in vengeance, if he was that kind of man Syl would never have come near him. But virtually all of the pain Kaladin has suffered in the last several years can be properly laid at Amaram's feet, and as with Sadeas, he deserves what Navani prayed for so boldly, justice.

That Dalinar and Amaram are very well acquainted is no surprise, given Amaram's status as one of Sadeas' top leaders. I can easily foresee (ooh, I shouldn't do that, should I?) Sadeas twisting Amaram's opinion of Dalinar, leading to either Adolin or Kaladin having to battle him.

The thing setting up the most suspence in that plot arc is Adolin's displeasure with Kaladin. Many readers have commented on a wish to see Adolin become a Surgebinder, and I really didn't have a dog in that hunt, but his reticence to trust Kaladin might just be an evidence of a nascent relationship to a spren of a sort not closely aligned to Honor. I wouldn't normally even speculate about such, but the too-casual way that his inability to define why he doesn't like Kaladin caught my attention. And it could also be nothing. But latent Radiant or no, Adolin and Kaladin will have to come to a confrontation sooner or later, and that will be worth the price of admission.
Julian Augustus
117. Alisonwonderland
Eshonai's interlude makes me think a vicious cycle leading to a mighty Desolation is gathering speed (duh!). The long war of attrition in the shattered plains and the increasing desperation of the Parshendi leads them to try and discover more powerful forms ... which frightens a few spren like Syl to start to cross over and bond with humans to create new Knights Radiant to fight the coming Desolation ... the appearance of a few humans with KR powers into the conflict frightens the Parshendi even more into doubling their efforts to re-discover a form that would help them withstand the powers the humans are bringing to bear ... which cause many more spren to cross over and bond with many more humans ...

I expect that eventually the Parshendi will find the trigger that will convert the parshmen from slave form to warrior form, and the True Desolation will start when the newly awakened warrior parshmen lay waste to human civilizations. It may take a few books for this cycle to play out, but it looks like that is where we may be headed.

Perhaps Darkness (Nalan?) is right to have spent all his energies in the past millenia trying to stamp out anyone who shows the capability to develop into a Knight Radiant. That he missed Kaladin (especially) and Jasnah, and failed to kill Lift and Ym, may prove to be the real tragedy in this story.
Alice Arneson
118. Wetlandernw
travyl @108 - I think Shallan's icon was Shadesmar, with the "black sky and a strange, small white sun that hung on the horizon, too far away" and the hovering flames. At least, that's been my understanding of it.
119. Aidrick
I wonder if Shallan has an Honorblade.
Nathan Kinsinger
120. Brotherbard
@119 Aidrick
I think so too. When Szeth uses a lot of Stormlight his clothing gets covered in frost. In Red Carpet Once White Shallan's eyes are frozen open. I don't recall any of the others having mentioned getting cold while using Stormlight. Maybe it's a side effect of using an Honorblade.

Also the glowing from the strongbox could be Stormlight infused spheres that are being kept away from her.
Nadine L.
121. travyl
@110. From what Eshonai thinks:
Much of the Shattered Plains had once been populated, but the largest city had been here at the center.
Interpreting this, I don't think you can say, the shattered Plains is Urithiru, but maybe it was at the center, where the last Parshendi are. On the other hand it can't be that easy, because you couldn't walt to Urithiru...

@120. "Shallan's eyes are frozen open"
I took that more as emotional shock from what she had done, than frost, i.e. freezing cold.

@118. I agree about Shadesmar, but I can't help it, my mind sees the sun and the rays mirroring over the water (? I'm sure there is an english word for this I don't know) as head and body of a person, arms streched to the side (surface between sky and water). - I wonder what psychatrists would make out of this (inkblot / rorschach test).
Anneke van Staden
122. QueenofDreams
I'm with those thinking that Adolin's duel is a moment of growth. I can't help thinking how often on the reread threads people commented on Adolin's calling and saying how pointless and frivolous it is to devote your life to duelling. It showed a real lack of maturity and depth to his character. Now, however, he seems to be growing up and starting to take things seriously. This is reflected in the fact that he didn't treat this duel as a game to show off skill and finesse, but as a battle to be fought and won. Yes, it is brutal, but I believe that it's quite promising for his character, and where he's headed. As for his dislike of Kaladin, there's a moment where he says there's something 'off' about him. I'm definitely curious about that, what he's sensing in Kaladin and why.
Birgit F
123. birgit
Shen has recently started being more active. Did he learn from a Parshendi spy how to transform from slaveform to dullform?

Maybe the man attacked Shallan's mother (to get whatever is in the safe?). Shallan somehow summoned a shardblade and tried to kill the man, but accidentally killed her mother instead. Then her father killed the man with an ordinary weapon.
Maiane Bakroeva
124. Isilel
An0ther really interesting tidbit of information, BTW - the bond between a shardblade (and, I guess, plate?) and the owner. It has also been touched on in Dalinar's scene with that kilt-wearing High Prince in one of the previous chapters.
So, _that's_ why it is feasible to loan out the shards with some certainty of getting them back.
It always bugged me how it should be quite difficult to get loaned shards back, if the borrower would feel disinclined to return them and opt for turning against the owner instead. But Sanderson has thought of everything, it seems.

Re: Adolin feeling some sort of personal connection with his blade - does it mean that if there is a spren trapped inside it, it is not quite dead, but in deep hibernation instead? And that Adolin is unknowingly reaching to it and waking it up? That could be an intriguing twist.
125. Shur
First up the Adolin chapter is awesome, i always liked the character and this chapter reveals so much more about him.

Chapter 10 though....
I've been waiting for the Shallan backstory since it was first hinted that there is more to it (so basically since Shallan first appeared) and now finally there it is the first part of what i've been waiting for and out of the many questions i have, it answered....none. (sadface)
Again, a hint of a shardblade being somehow involved. Nothing new there.
But oh my, a whole bunch of new questions, who killed Shallans mother? Shallan? The people on the floor? Her father?
Who are those dead people on the floor anyway? Assassins? Servants?
And finally there's a monster in the strongbox, to make things even more messed up.
*Sigh* I need the next flashback chapter like...now :/
126. radrad2010
I've enjoyed your thoughts. All of this got me thinking back to the Almighty/Honour. Killed by Odium? How do you kill an idea (principle)? Does the Radiant's abdication , a betrayal of honour (oath breakers) have something to do with the passing of Honour from the world? And if honour is not god (Dallinar says "if you are not god, who are you") and is a personification of a principle, can he be resurrected by an comparable act of sacrifice to the same principle? It would have to be a big one if that's the case.

I don't think Kaladin will kill Amaram. I was uncomfortable that the chapter ended with a focus on what Amaram did to Kaladin himself - he's always been more concerned for his men but everything Kaladin has stood for so far indicates that he will not succumb to hit vengeance. I expect that a path will be provided for Amaram to redeem himself. Who will Kaladin spar/train with? Why not Amaram? After all , his personal debt to Kaladin is pretty huge.

Can't wait for March 4
Anneke van Staden
127. QueenofDreams
@126 have you read any of the other cosmere based books? Basically there are these 'shards' of a substance/thing called adonalsium. Each shard has an aspect. The shards present on Roshar are Honour, Cultivation, and Odium. Others that we know of include Endowment, Dominion, Ruin and Preservation. I can't think of others off the top of my head. Each of these shards has a 'holder'. A person who holds its power. Rayse is the holder of Odium, Tanavast was the holder of Honour. This is who was killed, and who was sending the visions Dalinar saw. Odium killed him and then 'splintered' his shard. Edit to add: There's no way that Tanavast could be resurrected. If the shard 'honour' hadn't been splintered then someone else could have become its new holder, however, as Odium splintered it, no one new can take up the shard. So at this point there's very little chance of there being a new personification of Honour.
128. Afterthought
@124 - I guess that's what I was hinting at (in @98) when talking about Adolin's chat with the blade.

I kind of like the possibilities if this were the case.
David Foster
129. ZenBossanova
I have wondered quite a bit about splintering.
Is it possible to un-splinter a shard?

It seems like spren are associated with a splintered shard. But is there a way this could turn out to Odium's disadvantage? He thought he was destroying them, when he really just gave more people access to its power.
Kimani Rogers
130. KiManiak
Alison@117 – I question whether we’ve seen the final, complete Ym Interlude yet, so it’s unclear if Darkness did indeed fail to kill Ym.

Queen@122 – re: Adolin thinking something is “off” about Kaladin –
Well, to be fair, Kaladin is holding back the fact that he:
1) has Surgebinding abilities;
2) can see and communicate with an “honorspren;”
3) doesn’t trust lighteyes because he was betrayed by one after saving his life and single-handedly defeating a full Shardbearer; and
4) was the guy that Adolin referred to as “bridgeboy” when Adolin rescued the prostitute, a term which Kaladin did not necessarily find all that endearing

Queen@127 – Just to add to your Shard list (with minimal Cosmere spoilers):
· “Devotion” (who shares the same planet as “Dominion”)
· “Harmony” (who has a… relationship with “Ruin” and “Preservation”)
Anneke van Staden
131. QueenofDreams
Thanks KiManiak. I remembered Devotion later and didn't want to mention Harmony due to the whole relationship and possible Mistborn spoilers.with regard to Adolin and Kaladin, I get those points, but part of me wonders if there's more to it. But you're right, there may not be more to it than those factors.
132. TheLastTargaryen
I wonder what is in all the skipped Shallan chapters that they don't want people to know yet. It kind of has me worried for Jasnah, even though it would be a little weird to kill a important character so early in the book.
133. Landy21
Hello everybody, I'm new around here. Could the monster in the strongbox be a shardblade? But personally I like Adolin as a 'good' character and would be dissappointed if he turned out otherwise.
134. Freelancer
No way Jasnah dies this soon. She hasn't met Kaladin yet.

Oh yes, I shipped them way back during the first book, and nothing has changed that belief.
135. CurtMac
There is no way Shen is a "Listener" or Parshendi, it specifically says he is Shin in WoK. The big, round Shin eyes which make him look like a child.. There is even evidence of his past and upbringing there in the interlude chapter where the Merchant travels to the Shin to trade Metal for chickens. There are multiple people in this forum that are saying he is Parshendi. Did you guys not read the interludes in the first book or pay attention to Shens backstory and character development???
Ashley Martin
136. DE137
I think you're thinking about Szeth, the assassin. Shen is a parshmen who was sold into working for the bridgecrews.
Michelle Higoy
137. MitchSedai2010
Oh my! Amaram and Kaladin meets again. I hope Kaladin won't do something stupid. He's level headed enough but it's a different story when it comes to Amaram...
Michelle Higoy
138. MitchSedai2010
I think we're focusing too much on Kaladin and Adolin's common dislike of each other... While I think that this will give an interesting twist on the situations were Amaram is involve, I don't think it's something serious. It could just be a result of their own prejudices, namely, Kaladin's dislike for lighteyes in general and Adolin being unused to a darkeye ordering him about.

There's a possibility that they can be sparring partners - Adolin "casually" inviting Kaladin to spar with him and Kaladin agreeing to the "spiled rich boy's" invitation - and eventually respect each other's skills... Maybe they can even be friends...

Then maybe, Adolin will urge Kaladin to fight Amaram in a duel disguised as him...

But I think, Kaladin's sparring partner would be Szeth... I don't know how this will happen - a Shin that can Surgebind would be automatically suspected as the Assasin in White - but somehow, he will be instumental in Kaladin's development.
139. CurtMac

You are correct. My bad. I misread some of the discussions about Shen and Szeth. Thanks for pointing that out to me, i was really confused.. It all makes sense now! Shen being an undercover Listener puts an interesting spin on things. Can't wait for WoR.
140. rsdrad2010
@127 thanks for the tip. I've read everything written by BS but this is the first time I've read through the posts - I had totally missed the links between Elantris, Mistborn etc. and WoK, thinking they were all independent, stand alone works, so thanks for pointer.

There is one other thing I'm not clear on: I get that Tanavast was killed. I'm not clear on when. From the narrative it seems to have happened between the last desolation and the coming one. But shards and Radiants were present before the last desolation, so the splintering of the shard must be an earlier event. Is there another thing I'm not seeing?
Anneke van Staden
141. QueenofDreams
@140 I also wonder what the timescale was for the destruction of the shards. Honestly, I don't know how long ago this happened. I would guess that it was before the recreance, maybe even before the founding of the KR. If spren were 'created' by the splintering of honour, then people can't have formed spren bonds to surgebind before that happened. So that would place it a very very long time ago! Thousands of years before the WoK timeline, well before the Heralds broke the Oathpact even, as we know from the WoK prologue that there were already radiants at that time. I'm also curious about the timeline relative to the other cosmere planets and when their shards were splintered.
Anneke van Staden
142. QueenofDreams
Oh, and don't feel bad for missing the links between the books. To be honest, I did as well. I'd picked up on the name Hoid recurring in different books, but my only thought about that was 'oh, that's a bit lazy reusing a name like that' D'oh! It wasn't till a few months ago that I kept seeing the term 'cosmere', googled it and got hit with a whole ton of information that just blew my mind.
Jon _
143. Werechull
Hoid was my gateway to all the cosmere stuff as well. His name really sticks out to me so I easily noted the recurrence. Am I the only one that thinks of "Avoid the Noid" everytime his name comes up?
Alice Arneson
144. Wetlandernw
Re: timeline - As far as I can tell, there's nothing out there to tell us the exact relationship of (time lapse or, in some cases, order) the various historical events such as the founding of the Radiants, the last Desolation & breaking the Oathpact, the Recreance, the Splintering of Honor, etc.)

Based on what we know, the Radiants were founded prior to the last Desolation & the breaking of the Oathpact, and the Recreance happened sometime afterwards. We really, really don't know when Honor was Splintered. I asked Brandon about this in October, in context of that event's relationship to the breaking of the Oathpact - as in, whether one caused the other - and how the Recreance was related. He was deliberately vague, but he did say that when a Shard is Splintered, the effects aren't necessarily immediate - or not all of them, anyway.

As far as the spren resulting from the Splintering of Honor, though, I don't think that fits. We know (WoB) that Cultivation is still alive, and since some of the spren seem to use Cultivation-power, I think we have to assume that the spren were originated by the unsplintered Shards. (They can do things like that, I hear.)
Jon _
145. Werechull
Re. timeline of events, we do know that the Last Desolation ended 4,500 years prior to the main events in WoK. It says that at the start of Book One. We don't know the timing of the other events in relation to it though.
Deana Whitney
146. Braid_Tug
From the Coppermind:

Not much help timeline wise, but only thing I've seen.
Anneke van Staden
147. QueenofDreams
Thanks Wet, I thought there was a WoB where someone asked if the spren were remnants of the splintering of Honour, like the Seons on Sel, and the answer was vaguely affirmative. I could be remembering wrong though, and can't reference as I always forget where I read these things!
David Foster
148. ZenBossanova
What I want to know is, if spren do come from splintering, why are there Voidspren? Or are they all just corrupted honorspren?

Or is Odium partially splintered somehow? He is called the Broken One.
Cory S.
149. Hungry_For_Hands
My thoughts on Honor/Cultivation/Odium always bring be back to Mistborn. Note: All of this is complete guesswork and personal speculation.

****Spoilers for the Mistborn Trilogy*******

If Ruin and Preservation can have physical manifestations of their power (Atium, Lerasium, Mists), then my guess is that the shards on Roshar can as well. And if they can have a physical manifestation, why not a spiritual and cognitive manifestation? With shardblades burning out your soul, maybe they are spiritual manifestations of Honor's power? With spren being from the cognitive realm, could they be cognitive manifestations of Honor & Cultivations power? And the highstorms that bring stormlight. Maybe the storms (or the stormlight itself) is a physical manifestation of Honor's power, much like Atium or Lerasium.

Perhaps Honor invested so much of his power into these objects that Odium was able to splinter his shard? Since we don't know timelines very well its hard to say how some of this would turn out. Maybe before shardblades, or spren, or highstorms, Honor & Cultivation fought an eternal war against Odium. Maybe they are losing this struggle and Honor decides to gamble by creating 10 Honorblades, pieces of his power in the spiritual realm, to give to his champions. To aid them he also diverts a piece of his power in the physical realm to stormlight/highstorms. But in return for doing this he has the Heralds form the Oathpact. When the Heralds broke this pact it dealt a strong blow to Honor and weakened him enough to allow Odium to shatter his shard. In this shattering, smaller fragments of his power were created. Lesser versions of the Honorblades... Shardblades?

Who knows... But that is something I've been running through my head for a while.
Cory S.
150. Hungry_For_Hands
To add onto this, I feel that understanding the 3 realms is going to be crucial to understanding the mysteries on Roshar.

Here is an excerpt from The Emperor's Soul. (keeping in mind these are talking about Forging... but the information about the Realms should carry over to Roshar)

"All things exist in three Realms, Gaotona. Physical, Cognitive, Spiritual. The Physical is what we feel, what is before us. The Cognitive is how an object is viewed and how it views itself. The Spiritual Realm contains an object's soul - its essence - as well as the ways it is connected to the things and people around it".

"The longer an object exists as a whole, and the longer it is seen in that state, the stronger its sense of complete identity becomes. ..... That wall has exsisted long enough to view itself as a single entity. I could, perhaps, have attacked each block separately- they might still be distinct enough- but doing so would be difficult as the wall wants to act as a whole"
"You imply the wall has a soul"
"All things do. Each object sees itself as something. Connection and intent are vital."
"These things exist beyond us. We think about windows, we know about windows; what is and isn't a window takes on... meaning in the Spiritual Realm. Takes on life, after a fashion"
And from Harmony
"I have come to see that each power has three aspects: a physical one, which can be seen in the creations made by Ruin and Preservation; a spiritual one in the unseen energy the permeates all of the world; and a cognitive one in the minds which controlled that energy"
151. ToothPuller
@109 Freelancer: Yes, I see your point about 'being held', but Shallan's father is involved somehow. How else can he say 'Pretend it never happened.' Believe me, I know about saying the wrong thing at the wrong time to comfort someone, but PRETEND? Yeah, Shallan is going to be able to pretend that away (assuming the 'it' is the death of her mother).
152. ToothPuller
Here's a thought regarding the Shardblades being of Honor. In these excerpts, Sadeas and Adolin have both been 'communicating' with their Shardblades and then both acted in disturbing ways: Sadeas thinking Dalinar got the better of him and then planning to conquer Alethkar and Jah Khaved; Adolin threatening to crush Salinor's throat. If they are forming bonds with their Shards, it doesn't sound like those bonds are good ones, Honorable ones. What do you'all think?
Nadine L.
153. travyl
@144 Wetlandernw:
you keep mentioning the breaking of the oathpact and the Recreance as two different things. Aren't those two the same?
the image of "THE HISTORY Of Men" seems to imply that to me, no?

edited, because I tried to embed the picture here, but it didn't work.
Cory S.
154. Hungry_For_Hands
@153 - If I remember correctly, the breaking of the Oathpact is what we see in the prologue of WoK. The Recreance is what we see in Dalinar's vision when the KR abandon their shards. Two separate events with big gaps between them (I think)
Nadine L.
155. travyl
Oh yes, the oathpact refers to the Heralds actions.
It makes sense then, I don't know why I confused these, thanks.
Sam Mickel
156. Samadai
I see the Expulsion, the Desolations, the Recreance, and the Hierocracy, but for the life of me I can't make out what the sections word is? anybody?
Alice Arneson
157. Wetlandernw
Aharietiam - "According to Vorin tradition, mankind led by the Heralds and their chosen knights fought off the Voidbringers ninety and nine times. Until finally, Aharietiam came and the Voidbringers were cast back into the Tranquiline Halls. The Heralds followed to force them out of heaven as well, and Roshar's Heraldic Epochs ended."
Deana Whitney
158. Braid_Tug
@156, Sam: Aharietiam

Have to love elaborate Medieval style fonts. Really wonder if there’s an original full color painting of that. If not makes me want to create one. Will need a better scribe. I can’t write that font at all.

See Wetlander beat me.
159. ajdecarlo
To everyone who is waiting for Kaladin to righeously kick Amaram's butt, I would like to point out that there are several quotes from the dying in WoK that foreshadowed events. The one I think is important for this topic is from chapter 69: "All is withdrawn for me. I stand against the one who saved my life. I protect the one who killed my promises. I raise my hand. The storm responds."
I think this is a good hint at how Kaladin will "out" himself as a Surgebinder. I think at some point Kaladin must defend Amaram. Just my best guess.
Julian Augustus
160. Alisonwonderland
@159, that quotes works better if seen from the viewpoint of Dalinar. He is going to stand against Kaladin (who saved his life) and potect Amaram (who made him go back on the promises he made to the bridgemen?).
Julian Augustus
161. Alisonwonderland
Freelancer @ 109:
I expect it will be related to the second Surge of her "Order", aside from Soulcasting
Shallan is a LightWeaver, which means her second Surge along with Transformation is Illumination. I'm not sure how that Surge would have come into play in the circumstances described in this scene. Do you mind sharing your thoughts?
162. Freelancer
Toothpuller @151

Shallan's father is certainly involved, being either a member or a tool of the Ghostbloods. I was simply clarifying that Shallan's reference to a monster was herself, that she did not deserve to be held in love.

Alisonwonderland @161

Very sorry, but no special insight to offer here. The text of the scene strongly suggests that Shallan caused the shedding of blood there. That means it didn't happen with her Shardblade. The idea that she soulcasted as an attack seems counter to her experiences with the creepy Cryptics. It seems well accepted that turning the goblet to blood was her first soulcasting experience. And that's as far as the currently available information has brought me. I'm not normally into leaps of unsupported speculation. Solving riddles where all the pieces (however well disguised) are available is one thing, a behavior I enjoy greatly. Positing guesses where little to no logical information exists, not so much.

When enough of the story is revealed to permit fitting pieces together more thoroughly, I'll be there.
David Foster
163. ZenBossanova
I wonder if she was trying to defend her mother from the "bad men" and accidentally killed everyone involved.
And her father was just happy that what was in the safe was not stolen.

Come to think of it, he might be using Shallan to hide that shardblade.
164. radrad02
Has anyone thought about what Tanavast means when he says "unite them"? The obvious meaning is that Dalinar should unite the Alethi (Princes) but what about the rest of mankind? I don't recall non Alethi population entering any of Dalinar's musings. Or is this a reference to uniting men and spren? Any thoughts?
165. Jasuni
@116 Syl would have major problems with Kaladin getting revenge on Amaram. She dislikes killing (and possibly fighting in general) and is scared of Kaladin's hatred towards lighteyes. Getting revenge could very easily halt Kaladin's growth as a knight radiant as well. Justice being administered by somebody else, might not be so big a problem.

@120 Kaladin also gets covered in frost when he uses large amounts of stormlight (see ch. 59 of WoK)

@164 I think Honor is refering to uniting the Knights Radiant when he says to "unite them." Could also be referring to humanity in general.
Matt Spencer
166. Iarvin

There is an interesting word of Brandon that states that Endowment's could theoretically could be mined from the planet of Warbreaker similarly to Lerasium or Atium. I'm not sure if that helps or hurts your theory, but it does confirm that there is likely a similar dynamic that could occur on Roshar.

Edit: Tanavasium just doesn't have the same ring. . . .
167. radrad
Just re-reading WoK and finished the 1-2 Nan Balat interlude: Shallan's family is really a wreck: Father who by all accounts is a sadist but who is kind and considerate to his daughter: Brother (Nan Balat) who likes killing things and torturing small creatures by pulling off their limbs (not much info on her other brothers); Shallain herself who is looking more and more like a Dr Jeckyl/Mr Hyde graduate from a comportment/finishing school for young ladies - I dont envy Adolin the match. He should be ok as long as he does'nt sleep too soundly. C'mon Brandon, be kind to Shallain. She really is becoming one of my favourite characters, I'd hate to see her go bad. Fingers crossed.
John Brown
168. Seerow
@167 Well given the speculation of Adolin going bad in this discssuion (for the record I don't agree with that speculation, but it is out there), Shallan going bad too would make them like the power couple of Team Evil. I could get into that.
169. Freelancer
Jasuni @165

If you carefully read my words @116, you'll note that I discarded the concept of revenge, and focused on justice. Amaram is a trusted senior officer of Sadeas' princedom, and has an amiable relationship with Dalinar through that connection. What happens to that relationship when Sadeas begins to poison his opinion of Dalinar? We already know that Amaram is not made of the same moral stuff as Dalinar, and could be used as a tool by Sadeas to attack him indirectly.

Guess who'll end up standing in his way?

Indeed, Sylphrena is never pleased with death, but she is pleased with honorable choices, and Dalinar's senior bodyguard protecting his charge is honorable.
170. JustanotherStormlightFan
So I am new to this as well never posted on any blogs but I have read a lot and I wanted to vent for a sec.

I no longer live near anyone who has read TWoK so its hard to find someone to share my thoughts with. Anyway here I go.

1. Kal vs Amaran: I don't think they will have an immediate confrontation and to have one now would deffinately cause major problems for Dalinar and Kals friendship. I doubt Amaran will recognize Kal right away and Kal may actual wait and speak to Dalinar about it or wait and see what kind of friendship he and Amaran have.

2. Dalinar: I don't know which order he will belong to with the KR but it will not and cannot be the windrunners. Syl already said she was the only Honorspren to come and the rest would not because it was forbidden. Also even though windspren are considered cousins to the honor spren they cannot creat the nahel bond and so the theories posted here that they may be long lost honor spren and one may bond to Dalinar is absolutley impossible. However I do believe he has bonded to a spren already. The evidence is subjective to your veiwpoint but it is possible that until he gave up his plate and blade he was somewhat unable to strengthen his bond or even see his spren. I will explain below.

3. Adolin: Speaking to his blade prior to his bout. This raised a whole lot of questions for me and answered none. My first guess is my strongest and so I will go with it. Adolin will deffinately bond a spren but I believe again his using a blade and plate not forged through a nahel bond is holding him back. But the connection has already been made and the bond is strong enough that he gave in to his instinct during the fight. If you look at how he fought that is the clue as to what order of the KR he would fall in. We simply need a little more info on the KR who focused on fighting.

4. Shardplate and Blade: I haven't seen this really discussed anywhere and I don't know why so I am hoping I am the first if not feel free to enlighten me and point me to the right forum. If you look at Dalinars vision where he fought the night essence creatures and the 2 KR came to his aid. He noted that they could remove there helm's without him actually seeing them physically take them off. Simply put they were on one second and off the next and vice versa. So I believe the back in the Day the KR could summon there armor just like the blade. When Dalinar witnessed the Day of recreance he heard a sound as the KR abandonded there plate and ablades. I think this was from the spren that had bonded to them. Maybe this killed them. The almighty stated he did not create the KR and the Heralds had suprised him. He stated that the spren tried to mimic his creation of the heralds by creating the bond to men which the heralds then molded into the KR with the help of nohadon. My guess is that once a new KR reaches the appropriate level by speaking the remaining ordeals of the KR for his order his bond with his spren will be complete granting him his own plate to summon at will and blade or in Kal's case we hope Shardspear=) If I am right that would explain a few things. Like why Syl didn't want Kal to have a blade or why she said Dalinar is better off without his. Because they were not earned and they have unknowingly offended the spren trying to bond them.

What do you think. hope that wasn't to long winded. I have so much more. I just finished reading WoK for the 13th time and at work and in my vehicle I have listened to the audio 4 times. I am lost in this world.
Matt Spencer
171. Iarvin
@170 JustanotherStormlightFan

Welcome to the tor.com blogs. Great theories! I know how you feel about finding people to talk to about this stuff. If you want another active forum for discussing this stuff, Brandon's official fan forum is a great place to start, http://www.17thshard.com/forum/.
2. Dalinar: I don't know which order he will belong to with the KR but it will not and cannot be the windrunners. Syl already said she was the only Honorspren to come and the rest would not because it was forbidden. Also even though windspren are considered cousins to the honor spren they cannot creat the nahel bond and so the theories posted here that they may be long lost honor spren and one may bond to Dalinar is absolutley impossible.
Another piece of evidence that may add to your enjoyment is that the back cover of Words of Radiance calls Dalinar a BondSmith, which Brandon has confirmed is another order of Radiants.
Ruben Guevara
172. rbnguevara
@171 Iarvin

Thanks for spelling it out for me. I have read that a few times guess it didn't stick Bondsmith won't forget it again.
Alice Arneson
173. Wetlandernw
To be extremely picky, the back cover doesn't specifically call Dalinar a Bondsmith.
The Windrunner, lost in a shattered land, balanced upon the boundary between vengeance and honor. The Lightweaver, slowly being consumed by her past, searching for the lie that she must become. The Bondsmith, born in blood and death, striving to rebuild what was destroyed. The Explorer, straddling the fates of two peoples, forced to choose between slow death and a terrible betrayal of all she believes.
It is past time for them to awaken, for the Everstorm looms.
And the Assassin has arrived.
It doesn't take much to make that assumption, but it really doesn't say so.

Also, welcome to our newest StormlightFan @170!
Matt Spencer
174. Iarvin
Thanks for quoting the passage Wetlander. I agree, the wording was poor. I would have been more accurate saying that it calls someone a Bondsmith, and the someone is quite possibly Dalinar.

Though, to be even more nitpicky, if we find out that it's talking about Dalinar, then it really is calling Dalinar a bondsmith. Conversely, if we find that the Bondsmith is actually Shen, then it would quite simply be wrong to say that it is calling Dalinar a Bondsmith.
Alice Arneson
175. Wetlandernw
Oh, my. My poor brain... :D

I guess we'll have to wait and see.
176. anomanderrake
From what I know of Brandon and his writing, he often seems to hide the extremely kickass characters in plain sight. Dilaf in Elantris, Taravangian in WoK, Vasher in Warbreaker, Phaedrus in Steelheart, Sazed in Mistborn...he does seem to favor the plot device a lot. So it seems like while he distracts us with the shiny characters, it's the standard issue ones he later pulls out of the hat like a magician. Not new characters, just average ones suddenly turned dangerous.
Accordingly I think Renarin should be paid much closer attention than he is. Sanderson goes out of his way to make him look ordinary. What better way to make someone look unthreatening and harmless than to make them sensitive and empathetic?
177. radrad
@176 I agree completely. Renarin looks like a sleeper. Self doubt and all but he is clearly highly intelligent.. And now he has a full set of plate and a blade.

@170 great insights. Syl's aversion to shardblades: I initially thought that shardplate and shardblades uused by the Alethi could have been of parshendi origin (Parshendi grow their own armour, and given that they wear storm light infused gems and the fact that stormlight is used to repair shardplate, it seemed plausible that Alethi plate could be dead parshmen armour after it's evolved into shardplate) and that Kaladin and Syl's aversion is a kind of a respect for the dead. In this lineof thinking, it is significant that Alerhi can dismiss the sword into mist but not their armour or pieces of armour. However, if the armour was a KR artifact and linked to a spren that was hurt/damaged/killed by the KR betrayal, that too would explain Syl and Kaladin reaction - the armour would be either tainted by Betrayal or spren suffering or be something that belonged to a dead spren so that taking of such plate would be akin to grave robbery. If the armour was a product of a bond to a different type of spren, perhaps that would make it even more incompatible.

Interestingly, Adolin's dialogue with his sword I interpreted as the first steps in developing/cementing a bond, particularly given the change in strategy during the duel. It didn't occur to me that the blade and armour could be preventing the bond being formed. Unfortunately, this all just raises more questions but no solid answers.
Nadine L.
178. travyl
@175, Wet, I guess you don't "have to wait and see", but we certainly do :)
Maiane Bakroeva
179. Isilel
Radrad @177:

The way I see it, if (and it is a big "if") the shards contain spren in deep hibernation, then they may not be compatible with incipient surgebinders who have already attracted aspren of their own and/or who are destined for a different Order than the one to which the blade (and armor?) used to originally belong to.
From what we have seen, the spren attracted and resultant Orders seem to depend on people's personalities.
Adolin might be a rare case of complete compatibility with his blade's spren and thus have a chance to wake it up and bond with it. Whereas for Dalinar, his shards were a hindrance in his development as a Radiant.
180. bones
Looking at the last chapter, i think it is safe to assume that Neshua Kadal means Surgebinder
Julian Augustus
181. Alisonwonderland
The evidence is subjective to your veiwpoint but it is possible that until he gave up his plate and blade he was somewhat unable to strengthen his bond or even see his spren.
Adolin will deffinately bond a spren but I believe again his using a blade and plate not forged through a nahel bond is holding him back.
If I am right that would explain a few things. Like why Syl didn't want Kal to have a blade or why she said Dalinar is better off without his. Because they were not earned and they have unknowingly offended the spren trying to bond them.
That is a really good insight, and it feels right. It explains why, among the characters who exhibit signs of being potential KR, the ones who have no plate or blade (Jasnah, Kaladin, Shallan, Lift, Ym) have already bonded their spren, while the characters who have either one or both of those shards (Dalinar, Adolin, Elhokar, Renarin) are still to bond their spren, as far as we know.

Welcome to the board.
Kerly Luige
182. Celebrinnen
I'm re-reading WoK, and every time I read it, more and more things start to appear in new light.
I'm sure this has been discussed and I think I even saw a thread somewhere, but I can't remember it. What can be the significance (for I am sure there IS a significance to it) that the Stormfather himself called Kal "Child of Tanavast. Child of Honor. Child of one long since departed." (WoK, p 648) in his vision during the highstorm? And this was probably also much more than a mere vision, because Kaladin felt that Szeth actually saw him, when he was riding the wind like men used to do?

And are they talking about Hoid in the pre-line to chapter 21 (p 312): "One need only look at the aftermath of his brief visit to Sel to see proof of what I say", as Hoid is known to hop between the worlds?
EDIT: Oh, stupid me :) It was Rayse/Odium, right? :)

I also wonder what is the story with Sigzil, for obviously, there seems to be secrets to his Worldsinger past (at least so it seems to me), not only to Teft's past.

As of the things mentioned here repetitively, I don't think Kaladin will kill Amaram or even takes him on in a duel, either. I really hope Brandon won't make a twist making Adolin to go over to the evil side, but I completely agree with anomanderrake and radrad about Renarin becoming much more important than Brandon wants us to see him.
Tricia Irish
183. Tektonica
Renarin has always felt like a bit player, waiting for his cue to take center stage to me. He's just too smart. His strength lies not in prowess with a blade, as has been pointed out a few times, but in perhaps, diplomacy?

Good questions@182: Is Kal as some sort of KR reborn perhaps?
Kunle Adebona
184. blackweaver
I too subscribe to the thought that Szeth's sword is an honorblade, besides i don't think the parshmen thought that Szeth was a surgebinder and while i don't have any proof, i believe they would have discovered what he could do and why; if they did discover, it would be weird to leave a surgebinder on the road waiting for anyone to pick up.

I also have this thought that the act of Szeth picking the honor blade is what made him truthless, we all know that among the Shin, warriors are held in lower esteem than most other people, so Szeth picking up one of the most destructive weapons on Roshar (which caused him to bond with it) became truthless; just my idle thought. And perhaps the Shamans are like guardians of the sword and have manuscripts traditions on what those who bore the sword before could do and how

As to the fact that Syl dislikes shardblades i wonder, could it be that spren could be hurt by it? That would be a good reason for her not to like it; when the blades were carried by the Knights Radiant in the old days they were probably used to fight a different kind of enemy so the notion that the sword would be used against normal people wouldn't come up

About a fight between Kaladin and Szeth, i would give the advantage to Szeth, even without the shardblade. Remember that Szeth is skilled in the martial art of kammar which he used to defeat Taravangian's guards. Also Kal's men would just be a hindrance as Szeth could jut infuse them with stormlight and Kal would be too busy trying to get them down
Kunle Adebona
185. blackweaver
@3 i noticed you said last "whole" chapters, does that mean there'll be other chapters, just not whole?
186. radrad
One more thought. Shallain and Teft both have a secret past which they don't want to think about. Does this suggest that they will have an affinity to the same type of spren? The bonding process to date is taking a long time, for Kaladin, Shallain and for Jasina. If there are only 60ish days left, there must be a faster bonding mechanism available, perhaps something Syl was trying to remember at the end of WoK when the bridgemen were asking Kaladin to teach them to do what he can do.
Tricia Irish
187. Tektonica
Life has been so busy, I finally got to finish reading this. Some quick thoughts, then I'll plunge into your comments.....

I'm dying to see what happens (in the missing chapter?) between Kaladin/Amaran/Dalinar! At least we know Kaladin is still around Dalinar, because Renarin and Adolin discuss him before Adolin pummels the other warrior in Ch 14. What is Dalinar going to think? The man who saved his life on the battlefield vs. his "old friend" Amaran. How will Kaladin play this? What will Amaran say/do/think? Oh my!

And Shallan and Jasnah are a week late arriving in port. Hummmm....they couldn't have died, so what's befallen them? Dun Dun Dun!

I loved the look behind the Parshendi lines, with an actual glimpse of their culture! Why does the female Shardbearer want to talk to The Blackthorn? We get a peek at their reasoning behind Gavilar's murder. Do they believe the KR are betrayers? Evil? Enemies? And we do see they are being killed off. Oh, so much to love and wonder about!
188. SoulcastJam
Two musings about shards:
1. Do the shapes of the shard blades have something to do with the type of spren at its source? (Assuming you accept the theory of spren in blades)
2. Do plate and blade need to be paired in their original pair. IE if a single spren fuels both blade and plate and those are separated, does that inhibit future bonds? And if you bring together the correct blade and matching plate, what happens?
189. Wanderlust
@186 I think that there is some science to the relative speed of the spren's development. Depending on how well they made it into the physical realm from the cognitive, it seems that the more they interact with their bonded partner the stronger they become. In WoK, there is an interlude with the ardents studying spren and food, right? I feel like that is a very underappreciated interlude, as it told us that spren are dependent upon our perception of them. Lift's interlude told us that Lift and Wyndle (her spren) had been together for quite a while, but she seems to largely dismiss him, saying that in the beginning he hadn’t talked as much… maybe because he couldn’t and still transitioning? Shallan on the other hand began studying and even conversing with her spren directly after it began communing with her. Following that logic, I think that we’ll see her bond with Pattern develop much faster than previously thought. -We don’t know how long Shallan has been chosen by Pattern, but we know that Syl had Kaladin chosen long before he became a slave, but she did not truly sentient and intelligent until Kaladin and her began sharing thoughts and ideas (essentially, defining who she is).

Mind you, this is mostly speculation on my part, so feel free to disregard it.

On the other hand, I haven't seen anyone discussing the piece of chapter 9, where Kaladin remarks that he can actually feel Syl’s weight on his hand, which he says is “unusual.” Is she becoming a physical being? What implication does that have? More control of the things around her? Is she now at risk of being hurt by Shards?
190. SoulcastJam
@189 I don't think Syl can be hurt by shards because they hurt the soul. We don't have any evidence that spren exist in the spiritual realm. Of course, we don't have any evidence that they don't... That opens up some interesting thoughts.
191. Alaxel
Adolin speaking to his blade was super important. He mused to himself how he didn't bother naming his Blade because he wasn't the first to weild it, nor would he be the last.

Then, after his duel, when he takes his opponent's Shardblade he smashes a ruby gem on the pommel to break the bond. This gemstone makes me think fabriels. In fact, I'll be that, after the Recreance, the original abandoned Shardblade's were not bonded. They weren't able to be dismissed or summoned. So Artifabrian's did some fancy engineering to replicate the effect of an authentic Shardblade - Weilder bond.

Foreshadowing: Those on the path to KR will make new Shardblades that are properly bonded.
192. Skinnylipid
@189 Re: Syl's weight on Kaladins hand... I read that as Kaladin's presence in the physical realm overlapping more with the Cognative realm, in the same way that Lift shouldn't be able to toutch Wyndle, but she's able too.

I guess that could be due to her gift from the Nightwarcher though.
James Briggs
193. traveler
Wow to much to say. I'm not sure what to expect next but what if Renarin learns to use storm light and is healed of his blood affliction because of the storm light.
I'll be supporting my local book store because I will get the book at midnight
194. Freelancer
It would be a stretch to say that Dalinar was born in blood and death. Less of a stretch to say the same of Adolin. And how poetic if the man who cannot hold on to a relationship becomes a Bondsmith?
Kerly Luige
195. Celebrinnen
Just a sidenote. I just realised that the Shardplate, especially putting one on, reminds me quite a lot Tony Stark and his Ironman suit :D
Jennifer B
196. JennB
@ 164
I have always believed that Dalinar is supposed to unite the humans and the Parshendi.

@ 181
Shallon has bonded a Spren even though she holds a Shardblade.

@ 183
Wit favors Renarin. I think we can expect great things from him.
David Foster
197. ZenBossanova
If the Shardblades and Plate are the physical manifestation of spren (which is an idea I have championed many times) then I wonder a lot about Jasnah's question about how a spren/idea can die.

It is clear that the dishonorable actions of the former Radiants 'killed' them by being dishonorable or abondoning their oaths. But if an idea can't fully die... then it is a strong possibility that we have a lot of spren in deep, deep hiberation waiting for the right conditions to come back to life.

The mixing of the physical and the cognitative realms is fascinating in and of itself. But will we see the spiritual realm at all?
Jennifer B
198. JennB
I just thought of something regarding Renarin. Jasnah is not good at soulcasting blood. Her skill lies with smoke, fire, and crystal. Shallon, however, is probably skilled with blood. After all her first soulcasting was blood. If Renarin is healed, Shallon is most likely the one to do it.
199. ninthlite
Dalinar is a bondsmith and kaladin is the windrunner!!! is it not obvious from the decriptions
Nadine L.
200. travyl
Freelancer @194
It would be ironic, if Adolin became the Bondsmith / Builder, but I still think the text alludes to Dalinar. The "born in blood and death" part I interpreted as his grown conviction to unite (the army) and build (re-institute the Knight Radiants) after the battle at the Rock (where he killed a lot of Parshendi and Kaladin safed him).
But you are right, it is not a given. On the other hand, I don't remember anything (seen so far) that would make that description fit Adolin better.
Ruben Guevara
201. rbnguevara
I don't think that that the Spren cannot return to the Cognative realm or at least we can assum this because of CH9 Syl stated
“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.”
Skip down a few paragraphs and
“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.”

If they could return to Shadesmar then they would right to avoid death and maybe try again. I also believe that once there Nahel-Bond is broken the immediately start to die and become like the there cousins. Not all would be windspren and they are cousins to the Honorspren the other orders would relate to other spren. So Death for a spren is simply death of there mind and ability to think. I don't believe they would or could actually come back from such a loss. We can't expect spren to be in "hibernation without the ability to think for over 4,500 years and then just bam somehow sense a potential match and wake up.

That being said the question of whether or not somone like adolin could truely link with there Shardblade seams a bit of a stretch. I don't think that the old spren are in anyway still tied to the Swords or Plate and the changes he underwent from the fight. I still believe they came from his would-be spren trying to communicate and influence him. Not a long lost dead spren making a comeback.

We will probably learn alot more from Syl as her bond matures but I don't think that any super great revalations will come from her about how to make Plate or Blade that is something Kal must learn on his own by embracing the Ideals and speaking them. Any other way would be to easy like skipping ahead in a book its just not right.

Ruben Guevara
202. rbnguevara
@ 201 that first line was supposed to say Can not Cannot.
Ruben Guevara
203. rbnguevara
On the subject of Plate.

I have seen repeated posts that state the obvious from both the WoK and WoR in refference to the transparency of the visor when wearing sharplate. Ok so I have read every statement or discription from Dalinar and Adolin regarding the ability to see through there helms because the inside is transparent almost 100%. They still need the visor slit because that is the only 100% clear space the rest is like looking through a dirty window.

So that being said I restate my belief that a true and complete Nahel-bond for a KR who has both plate and blade would be able to summon there plate as well as blade.

My evidence is in WoK Ch 19 and Ch 52 stated above comment @170. In Ch19 it does say he witnessed both male and female KR not just the female without there helms and he never saw them removed or replaced. Dalinar pays great attention to detail as we see this demonstrated in everyone of his POV's. If the knights had simply altered the light around themselves as some believe so that there armor was transparent we would have read something to support that. Like the woman no doubt had long hair. Even the men have long hair in this book so its easy to accept. If she never removed a helmet I'm sure we would have read something about her hat hair not blowing in the wind and stuck to her head as if she wore and invisible helm STILL. Also I'm sure there voices are altered when speaking through the helm and that detail would have been included as well.

My guess is that when Kal and Syl complete the oath together and maximize the Bond Kal will summon his Plate and Blade/Spear. I don't think for a second that doing so would silence Syl.
Adrian Abraham
204. Nazrax
In chapter 5, Kaladin says “Every man I’ve ever called ‘Brightlord’ has betrayed me. A few men I’ve called ‘sir’ still have my trust to this day. I use one more reverently than the other. Sir.”

I really hope his first words to Amaram are something like "Brightlord Amaram, it's been a while," and that Dalinar figures it out.
Barry T
205. blindillusion
Regarding the timeline and Tanavast/Honor: Honor says in the book that many of the visions he shows Dalinar are occasions he witnessed first hand. As such, it can be assumed he was splintered after the forming and fall of the KR.

If this has been mentioned, my apologies.
Jon _
206. Werechull
Re. Shallan's scene, the shardblade, and the safe.

It sounds like there's a shardblade in that safe, but it doesn't make much sense. Why would you keep a shardblade in a safe? If you're trying to keep it hidden and/or safe, you can just dismiss it.

EDIT: Also, do we know anything about why Ghostbloods are called that? There must be some significance to the name.
Kerly Luige
207. Celebrinnen
Does anybody else think that one of the characters to have their flashbacks in the books to come after their death might be Gavilar? (In case, of course, if it hasn't been confirmed yet and I have missed it)
Tricia Irish
208. Tektonica
What is the thinking amongst you all about kaladin eventually calling a shardblade/honorblade? Since he is a surgebinder/windrunner, does that mean he can't have an honorblade? Or does that not preclude that? What does Syl feel about Honorblades? Can Kaladin simply "manifest" an Honorblade when he speaks the last words of the KR creed?

I think Kaladin will learn a big lesson about justice vs vengence with Amaran. I don't care what Amaran's reasons for killing Kaladins men might have been, it was dispicable. However, Amaran is a officer under Sadeas, and Dalinar needs allies. What can happen to bring justice to Amaran, and at the same time bind him to Dalinars cause? Anything? I think Dalinar will ultimately side with Kaladin anyway, but how can this happen productively?

Free@169: Just saw your possible scenario and I like it!

Adolin.....I found his thought processes very realistic given his recent lessons from Dalinar, but the brutality seems out of place. He is a mystery to me still, but I would like to see him stay on the good-guys team and eventually come to trust Kal.

I agree that Szeth would be the best teacher for Kaladin, but how that will happen, given Szeth's killing of Gavilar??? I don't know.....
Nadine L.
209. travyl
The Honorblades were (as far as we think that we know), the Blades that were wielded by the Heralds. The "common" Knight Radiants had "only normal" Shardblades, so I don't think Kaladin would be able to summon an Honorblade, once he has spoken all his oath.

Syls aversion to Shardblades ist still not explained, right now, I can think of 3 possible reasons, especially since we know that the old-time Windrunner Knight Radiants had Shardblades (as seen in one Dalinar's Flashback scene):
1) The blade needs to be attuned right (Kaladin would have to find one, which formerly belonged to a Windrunner) ??? I don't think this is true
2) the Blades are tainted by Odium somehow ???
3) Kaladin will be gifted by a set of blade/plate through the bond with Syl (one he's spoken all oaths), and only these personal Shards (not Honor-, but else as you suggested), would allow him to fully use his powers, while other Shardblades/plates interfere with his Windrunner abilities, so she doesn't want him to have such a one???
Apparently no new excerpts are expected prior to the publication date (3/4), so that speculation about the current mysterious events is still appropriate. The most mysterious, perhaps, are the two traumatic events in young Shallan's life that she suppresses. The first is the death of her mother by a shardblade (excerpt from the chapter "Red carpet formerly white"), and the second is the killing of her father. Shallan blames herself, but that need not mean that she was the wielder of the blade - at least not in her mother's slaying. As I see it, the mysterious glowing object in the family safe is the soulcaster which her father had placed after the slayings. That soulcaster was being used by her mother, a presumed Ghostblood, in an attempt to prevent Shallan from becoming a Radiant. Shallan's potential for such a role was made manifest by the appearance of the Pattern spren which the mother had, apparently, witnessed. Perhaps the servant had been used to keep Shallan still while she concentrated on her soulcaster. At this point, the father entered the room, saw that his beloved Shallan was in grave immediate danger, and took quick action to thwart it. He summoned his shardblade and used it when his wife refused to stop. Shallan, a young girl of 11, believed that she was somehow guilty of her mother's death.

The second incident occurred when the father flew into a rage against Shallan's brother, beating him mercilessly and summoning his shardblade. Knowing what had previously followed, Shallan acted to protect her brother's life by quickly taking down a wall-mounted sword and striking her father. No doubt, she meant to disarm him and not to kill him. Yet, that's what happened. That killing resulted in her possession of the shardblade which she refuses to think about or use - given the association with a terrible event.
David Foster
211. ZenBossanova
205. blindillusion
Interesting point.
If the Recreance/Oathbreaking helped cause the death of Tanavast/Honor, that would be good reason why Cultivation had given up on Mankind. If the Radiants effectively killed their spren, could the Heralds have been indirectly responsible for 'killing' Honor?
Or more precisely, splintering Honor, which has a side-effect of killing Tanavast.
212. wolf charmer
Can't wait for March. I have some questions . Answers Speculations ? anyone. What is Kaladin really speaking about when he says "the finest gear in the war camps" Spears how long? Wooden shaft with an iron or steel blade? Could a thin wooden pole be sharpened at one or both ends and then soulcast into solid steel and then wrapped in leather for a good grip. Surely, this would be the "finest spear" What, if any secondary weapons do spearman carry? A large dagger similiar to a roman legionaries' "pugio" or perhaps a "short sword" similiar to the ones carried by the ancient Spartans. Do spearman carry any weapons they throw at the enemy ? Javelins or heavy darts similiar to roman "pilum or plumbata" What kind of shield do spearman carry? Round Square ? How heavy? Wood covered with metal? What does a spearman's "steel cap" look like? Do spearman wear special padded under clothes beneath their armour ? If so,how do they deal with the heat of the march and battlefield?
Alice Arneson
213. Wetlandernw
@212 - I can't give answers on much of this, but I have to say that I think soulcast steel spears would be too heavy to be useful. If you made them thin enough to be light enough to use, they'd bend too easily. JMO.
214. Jasuni
@212 I believe that the "finest gear in the war camps" would be the highest quality equipment avaliable. The equipment would be made well, rather than quickly put together or salvaged. I don't know all of the other equipment they use, but Kaladin did use knives in Amaram's army.
215. radrad
@209 I agree that it seems unlikely that an Honour Blade could be simply summoned. There must be more to it than that. Note however that a blade (sword) is not Kaladin's weapon but the spear. Remember that the first time Kaladin held a quaterstaff when he fought the village bully Jost, to Kaladin "the length of wood felt right in his fingers...". There is nothing so far to suggest that Kaladin will become a sword carrier. In any case I don't think that Kaladin will be an ordinary KR. And I don't think that Syl is really an Honour Spren. I know that she has said so but it may be that Honour is very important to her but that she may be something more. I expect that Kaladin will be the champion that Tanavast was urging Dallinar to field against Odium to "convince him that he may lose" as Tanavast put it. If this is to be the way it pans out, then Kaladin would need to be more effective than even the Heralds, would he not? After all, the heralds have been fighting against Odium long enough so he is aware of their capabilities.

Also, there are a number of intruiging comments made about spren: at one point Syl says something like "all spren are essentially one person". Note that she says "person" not entity or force or idea. So that was a very interesting comment. Tanavast says that he did not expect the Radiants, that this was something Spren did for men to imitate his gift to mankind. Does this suggests that Spren are separate/independent entities from Shard power held by Tanavast, Odium and Cultivation? If Wit is one such entity, why not another?

This may mean that we possibly have a hidden player who is yet to have a significant impact on events. And yes, BS has made it clear that spren do not all agree with each other and that they have factions ("spren politicss"), just like men. A case of split personality or something resulting from a splintered shard (not Shard Honour)? I'm not across which shards have been splintered to date and whose holder may have sympathies for men and their struggle against Odium but there may be a likely candidate somewhere there.

And my last thought: Once a man transorms into a KR, what happens to the spren? It is not likely that the Spren becomes something inanimate like a shardblade or shardplate - they are alive, thinking entities and they would want to remain so. After all, just before the last battle in WoK, Syl was shown to be the size of "a regular person". Also, I remember that Nahodan commented that not all spren are as selective as Honour spren and the context seemet to suggest peer-to-peer interaction. There was also a comment that Honour spren were "prickly". This suggests that they are able to intereact and communicate with men, possibly as equals, and its not likely that we'll see a KR having a conversation with his/her armour, is it? The blade may be different though, particularly with the interesting insight @188 leading to a possible link between the shape of a blade and spren - but how? Mind you, Shallain's spren is just a pattern, nothing like a regular person so maybe I'm way off the mark.
Gerd K
216. Kah-thurak
@213 Wetlandernw
A spear soulcast of steal (if soulcasting a complex alloy like steal is possible at all) would obviously need to be hollow to have the right dimensions, weight and robustness to be usefull, but it should be far superior to wood...
Alice Arneson
217. Wetlandernw
Kah-thurak @216 - So the next question is, does Roshar have bamboo? :P FWIW, as far as I know, some things are just not worth the effort to carve and then Soulcast; they have pretty good tech for forging normal weapons, so why do it the hard way? Since Soulcasting isn't necessarily the easiest or cheapest way to make things, I just doubt that they are doing much of it. Particularly not for spearmen - and lets not forget that, for all they have moved way up in the world, Kal & his men are still darkeyes. They get spears, shields and knives, and some form of armor, but they don't get plate (even normal plate) and they don't get swords.

The main point is that no, I don't think "the finest gear in the warcamps" means they were getting steel spears or Soulcast weaponry & armor. I think it means they were getting top quality, normal weapons and armor appropriate to the best spearmen.

radrad @215 - You say: at one point Syl says something like "all spren are essentially one person". Can you please find the exact quotation for this? It sounds like an interpretation rather than a direct quote, which... isn't a very solid basis from which to extrapolate your entire argument.
Jennifer B
218. JennB
@ 217
I think I remember that quote, but I have no idea how to find it.

Anyways... One month to go!
Jennifer B
219. JennB
Page 262 on the Kindle for iPad. I am trying to figure out how to copy it so I can paste it here.
Alice Arneson
220. Wetlandernw
JennB - Chapter number? General context? I can't find it searching my ebook, so at least some of the wording must be off.

Edit - never mind. I found it. But... that's not quite what it says.

"...all spren are, in a sense, virtually the same individual."

Not quite the same as "essentially the same person." Keep in mind, too, that this is Syl in her early days, so... I don't know how much I'd rely on "virtually the same individual," especially in context.
David Foster
221. ZenBossanova
It sounds to me, that while Jasnah and Shallan describe spren as living ideas, Sylphrenia makes it sound as if they were all fragments of Tanavast's personality, or consciousness.

And it sounds like both points of view are essentially correct.

But why does Odium lust after this world? Is his power somehow proportional to the size of the planet?
(do we need to tell him size really doesn't matter?)
222. radrad
@217 and @218 See WoK chapter 17, A Bloody Red Sunset, shortly after Kaladin and Syl leave the apotechary's shop for the first time. Also, I misquoted: Stl actually said "all spren are basically one individual". The paragraph starts with Syl saying "You all act differently and think differently..."
223. radrad
Apologies to Wetlandernw and Kah-thurak ... I've learned today not to post from my smartphone... My quote of Syl's statement is now twice wrong. The correct wording is:

"all spren are, in a sense, virtually the same individual. There is harmony in that."

As to how much we can rely on Syl's memory? I'd say 100%. She seems that sort of spren...(?)
Gerd K
224. Kah-thurak
I am not sure, but arent the buildings in the warcamp simply soulcast out of air? This would imply, that soulcasting any item in any shape without a "preform" is entirely possible.
Alice Arneson
225. Wetlandernw
Kah-thurak @224 - Quite possibly; I don't know quite how it works (and honestly haven't given it a lot of thought). I do know, though, that Soulcasting isn't cheap, much less free, so it's not the best solution to every need.
Jared Hulme
226. soulcastJam
I think that soulcasting is not that precise. For example, if you could choose the shape, why are they all domes? It's hardly an optimal use of space. And why do things get carved and then soulcast? I think soulcasting is more rough, at least when done by fabrials. It's probable that soulcasting in the original way allows for more flexibility.
227. harry31j97
@224,225, actually the buildings aren't soulcast out of air but wood. There's something along this line in WoK that wood was being collected so that ardents could soulcast them. I don't remember the exact line, but I think it was about supplying army with soulcast food, stands to reason that buildings were built the same way.
228. harry31j97
I have remembered the location of that line, it's when Dalinar is pressuring some brightlord into paying up tax. Besides even if they could soulcast wooden spear or armor into steel, it's going to be very expensive, given the rarity of large sized gems needed to soulcast something of that much quantity. They can't waste it on something they can easily make in forges. Food on the other hand is difficult to get on shattered lands that's why I think it's soulcast.
Jennifer B
229. JennB
Chapter 5, Heretic, pages 90-91 on the Kindle for iPad

Nine out of ten Soulcasters were capable of a few limited transformations: creating water or grain from stone; forming bland, single-roomed rock buildings out of air or cloth.

I believe that all the barracks were Soulcast from air as is described here.
Deana Whitney
230. Braid_Tug
If it's air or cloth, seems like it would be best if they basically pitched a cloth tent then turned it into stone.

Then again, the soulcasters have to be good at visualizing, so taking an empty space and filling it with a building might not be that hard for them.

I found the line about soulcasting food rather on point. something to the effect: if they couldn't soulcast food, war would not be possible. The supply lines would be too long and too hard to maintain to feed everyone.
So if it was not for soulcast food, would this society be so war like?
231. Khyrindor
OK guys, the people looking for Hoid were from the Elantris world, Sel. one of them said "Kayana." Galladon specifically says this at some point in the book. I wonder why they are looking for Hoid. I have a feeling that this series will not only include Roshar, but all the worlds? Maybe Sazed will become Adonalsium?
Jared Hulme
232. soulcastJam
I don't think this series is intended to span the cosmere. Rather, some characters will cross, but we will only see their interactions on Roshar. Also, it seems unlikely that Sazed will become Adonalsium as his character doesn't like to interfere.
David Foster
233. ZenBossanova
But there will be a series that will eventually pull together all of Hoid's adventures and misadventures and show exactly what he is trying to accomplish. It will probably be the DragonSteel series, but that is a long way off. It will be after the Stormlight Archive (all of them) and after all three Mistborn Trilogies, I think.
234. wolf charmer
I want to thank everyone who wrote re: my questions about the "finest gear in the war camps" I learned how little I understand about the economics and mechanics of "soulcasting" and the overall economy of Roshar. For example in WOR when Vstim trades with the shin farmer he seems to indicate that the most exacting soulcasting involves creating food. ( Considering the complexity of the organic chemistry of food this seems logicial ) . As to metal I recall Vstim saying something to the effect that novive ardents practice soulcasting by changing "garbage into metal" and when the shin farmer replies " but it can be forged " Vstim replies "why bother when you can carve the piece you want from wood and then have it soulcast into metal. ( As an aside I recently watched a film in which a highly skilled swordsmith using ancient techniques crafted the first high quality viking sword made in the last 8OO years. It took him many hours starting with changing raw iron into something approaching Damascus steel). One last question (For Now) In WOR knobweed harvestig to make antiseptic is described as a sort of trade secret unknown to Sadeus" physicians but in WOR Dalinar's physician's seem to know all about it . ??
Birgit F
235. birgit
I saw the documentary about the Viking sword too on German TV.
Gerd K
236. Kah-thurak
I am not sure if turning a tent into stone would make for a durable structure. The walls would be too thin I think.
237. radrad
@176 on kickass characters hiding in plain sight: Did anyone notice that Gaz, the bridge sergeant in WoK may also be a bit of a mystery? He did something unexplained that he was being blackmailed for by his superior, Lamaril; he hates himself for being "...a part of this...", the bridge squad; on a number of occasions he notices "something" moving in the dark that he thinks may be related to a spren (Chapter 30) and at the end of WoK he mysteriously disappears. Interesting.
238. radrad
Also, Lamaril gets killed for the debacle resulting from a bridge side-carry by Kaladin's crew but... Gaz is untouched! hmmm... ;-
Dixon Davis
239. KadesSwordElanor
wolf charmer

I saw that special on Viking swords (Ulfberht) too, on PBS. It was awesome. PBS has some of the best television.


There has been much speculation about the
significance of Gaz on WOK reread. You are not alone.

Interesting sidebar on Gaz. Gaz is a traditional name for Persian nougat, which is associated with manna. Hmmm??!!!
240. Era
Someone killed Shallans mother with a shardblade and shallan killed him and took his shardblade. I think shallans father was not a bad man and was being made to do what he did under durress, and his wife being killed was a message. I think this is the reason he died in the end.

The parshendi seem like a good honourable people, they may very well be the voidbringers but they must act as they do against there will, and there ancestors transformed into slaveform, giving up everything they had in order to attempt to prevent themselves from being used as tools.

I wonder what gavilar told the parshendi that made them decide to kill him, i dont think it was that he was renewing the knights radient, why would he tell them that? And they decided to kill him that very night, how did the parshendi come to own szeth. It feels like there are outside forces trying to manipulate events forcing the parshendi back on the path to initiate the next dessolation.

What is the stromfathers motives? He denied syl from crossing over into the physical realm so obviously didnt want spren bonding with men again, or the KR being reformed.

So many questions ughhh i could go on forever.
Adrian Abraham
241. Nazrax
"Against their will" seems to be a curious question when it comes to the Parshendi: "As with workform, you were yourself when you were warform. But each had its quirks. A worker had difficulty committing violence—there was a block in the mind somewhere."

It seems that with some of the other forms, they aren't themselves (Eshonai highlights mateform as impeding thought). Perhaps a Parshendi wouldn't want to go into "void form," but would delight in death and destruction once in it (the opposite of workform - a block against *not* committing violence).
Donovan Paas
242. Khyrindor
@232 & 233

Nevermind about Sazed, though the "Letter" that people think Hoid was writing (at the beginning to the chapters in part 2) may be adressed to him, it makes sense because of the "not wanting to interfere" thing that you brought up. Howerver, note this conversation between Hoid and Dalinar:

'"Winds are changing," Wit whispered.
Dalinar glanced at him.
Wit's eyes narrowed, and he scanned the night sky. "It's been happening for months now. A whirlwind. Shifting and churning, blowing us round and round. Like a world spinning, but we can't see it because we're too much a part of it."
"World spinning. What foolishness is this?"
"The foolishness of men who care, Dalinar," Wit said. "And the brilliance of those that do not. The second depend on the first-but also exploit the first-while the first misunderstand the second,hoping that the second are more like the first. And all of their games steal our time. Second by second."
"Wit," Dalinar said with a sigh. "I havent't the mind for this tonight. I'm sorry if I'm missing your intent, but I have no idea what you mean."
"I know, "Wit said, then looked directly at him. "Adonalsium."
Dalinar frowned more deeply. "What?"
Wit searched his face. "Have you ever heard the term, Dalinar?"
"Ado . . . what?"
"Nothing," Wit said. He seemed preocupied, like his usual self. "Nonsense. Balderdash. Figgldygrak. Isn't it odd that gibberish words are often the sounds of other words, cut up and dismembered, then stitched into something like them-yet wholly unlike them at the same time?"
Dalinar frowned.
"I wonder if you could do that to a man. Pull him apart, emotion by emotion, bit by bit, bloody chunck by bloody chunck. Then combine them back together into something else, like a Dysian Aimian. If you do put a man together like that, Dalinar, be sure to name him Gibberish, after me. Or perhaps Gibbletish."'

We all know that Hoid is Wit, of course, and that he has a knack for being in the right place at the right time, and can sort of 'distort' time. What he says about cutting a man up and putting him back together, and telling Dalinar to do it suggests that, perhaps, Dalinar will at least 'Put back together' Adonalsium (who was God before he was shattered into the 16 shards), If he doesn't BECOME him. Like howSazed took the Shards.

In the aforementioned 'Letter,' it implies that Odium caused the deaths of the two Shards on Sel. He is trying to convince someone to let him continue on his quest. Are you still sure that we won't see anything outside of Roshar?
Jared Hulme
243. soulcastJam
I am aware of all of this, and it's peripheral to what is happening on Roshar. Sure it's connected, but it's not really directly part of this story except Odium's influence on Roshar. And the quote you showed doesn't suggest that Dalinar (or anyone on Roshar) should put Adonalsium back together. It more like 1) Wit is musing on the possibilities and what might happen, and 2) he's checking if Dalinar has learned something of the cosmere somehow.

So no, I still don't think we'll see much in SA outside of Roshar other than hints (like Hoid's letter). Perhaps I should phrase it that I don't think we're ever going to have a POV in SA that takes place somewhere in the cosmere other than Roshar or the immediate Roshar system (if you accept the 3 planet theory).
Donovan Paas
244. Khyrindor
3 planets? as in the physical, cognitive, and spiritual? Shadesmar is what Hoid uses to Worldhop between Roshar, Sel, and Scadrial. Probably the others too. This is especially evident in the signing that Brandon did. He signed a book with "look at the map of Shadesmar" when asked about the cosmere. Also I have never known Brandon to put information into books that isn't going to be needed later. Notice how Hoid says "If YOU ever put a man back together." Hoid can see the future, and if he did write the letter and his comments to Kaladin about being older than he would believe are true, he knew the Shardholders before they held the Shards. He is on a quest to stop Odium. And is trying to convince someone to let him. I think he is letting Dalinar know what he'll have to do someday, even if he has no clue what he is talking about. Perhaps we won't see him do this in the Stormlight Archives, but we certainly will someday, otherwise Brandon would never have included that part in Chapter 54 at all.
Jared Hulme
245. soulcastJam
It's possible of course that your theories may happen, and that Dalinar is involved. WoB though is that we won't see a cosmere spanning novel for quite a while.

Also, not the 3 realms. I was talking about 3 planets (Roshar, Ashyn, and Braize) that share a solar system. You might recognize them as Roshar, Hell, and the Tranquiline halls.
Donovan Paas
246. Khyrindor
I agree comletely about the "guite a while" It probably won't happen until the end of the series. is WoB word of Brandon? I hadn't realized that the Rosharians had a hell
248. HappenStance
Do we have any info yet on what the Passions are? Because all the Rhythms that Ashonai is constantly mentioning sure sound like passions to me. Could they be related somehow to THE Passions?
249. Era
Shardblades and honorblades are created using spren in someway. This has to be the case since the blades appear out of knowhere, so they can definetly be coming from shadesmar. Also you have to form a link with your blade, like the link between KR and their spren. Honorblades are created using honorspren because they grant you surgebinding abilities.

Can anyone answer where the alethi really kicked out of the tranquiline halls and onto roshar or is this just religious fancy. An earlier poster said TH was another planet in the solar system, how where they transported from one planet to another be the voidbringers, who else lived on the TH and who is originally from roshar.
Leeland Woodard
250. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
WoB is that the letter was addressed from Hoid to a character from Dragonsteel. If you've read Dragonsteel, you should probably know who it is.
251. radrad
@249 I agree about shardblades, they do appear to be linked to spren. Honour blades, the weapons used by the heralds are not. Tanavast makes it clear in WoK that he was responsible for that.
252. radrad
@240 With regard to Shallain's mother and the dead man . I've just read "The Way of Kings Prime: Jeksonsonvallano" at
http://brandonsanderson.com/the-way-of-kings-prime-jeksonsonvallano/. The king of Veden, King Ahven, sends a Shin assassin Jeks to kill wife and children of Talshekh Davar—head of House Davar, one of the three High Families that ruled Jah Keved. Shallain clearly survived, maybe Jeks was the dead man. However, because the man was bleeding, the dead man was not killed by a shardblade. Shallain's mother, however, was killed by a shardblade, because "...Mother lay facedown, so Shallan couldn’t see the eyes. The horrible eyes." My guess is that Shallain killed her own mother by accident and that her father killed the assassin. Any thoughts?
253. Era
@242 Nono it makes much more sense the assassin killed the mother with his shardblade then shallan killed him and took his shardblade.
Eva Pharm
254. Evapharma
no words, is amazing this story.... I love it
255. radrad
@253 I'd checked the story again. Jens did not have a shardblade . If, as it looks, that a shardblade killed Shallain's mother, the blade most have come from somewhere else. Given Shallain's feelings about herself in the piece, the only thing that makes sense is that Shallain accidentally killed her own mother... damn!
David Foster
256. ZenBossanova
I am starting to wonder if Shallan is not being used as an arsenal for the Ghostbloods. She might have more than one shardblade on her!

Is that is true, it might be that the Ghostbloods are not particularly fixated on the Soulcaster. It might even be Shallan they want.

Just an idea to think about.
257. Era
@255 Thats interesting, it makes no sense for shallan to have a shardblade at age 12 though being a female as well, her father wouldn't have given it her. If the Davar family had more than one blade one of her brothers would hold it.
@256 i dont think you can hold more than one blade at once.
Ruben Guevara
258. rbnguevara
Just read the prime CH from WoK listed @252. Never new that existed now I want to hunt that book down. Also this raises too many new questions or changes old ones to close to WoR release so I will not dive into those until after I finish my 3rd or 4th reading of WoR. So here I am waiting at work its 0605 and I still haven't recieved my email/glimpse of WoR for the day. I need my fix. Anyone else as eager as I am. Been up off and on since 1201 checking my email.
Dixon Davis
259. KadesSwordElanor

I can’t give specifics, but I have asked the “can someone hold more than 1 shardblade” question. I was told, by other posters I trust, that BS (maybe @ a signing?) has confirmed a person can hold more than 1 shardblade.
James Briggs
260. traveler
Wit is asking Dalinar if he knowes about adonaluiem.And I was thinking of the black jewel that Gavalar had. What if they are one and the same. and that the parshendi are afraid of what it could mean if a radiant figured out how to use both storm light and adonaluiem?
Ruben Guevara
261. rbnguevara
well yeah at the end of Adolin's duel he took his Salinor's blade and walked away with it. He didn't display any issues with holidng the blade. But see below

My prize,” Adolin said, suddenly feeling drained. The Thrill faded from him. Storms, he’d never before felt like this in a duel.

I think he had been holding stormlight with some help and when he made the threat he lost the stormlight.

Its all speculation though.
262. radrad
traveler @256 ... amazing insight. That black jewel has been nagging at me for a while.
263. radrad
... sorry, that was traveller @260. Apologies.
264. Era
@262 No adonalsium got shattered into 16 shards. The black thing is probably related to odium. Maybe its part of him like Atium was part of ruin.
Alice Arneson
265. Wetlandernw
Kade'sSwordElanor @259 - Wow! I'd never seen that one before. That's very, very cool! Although (@261) I don't think there's ever been a question as to whether someone could just pick up a Blade not their own, especially an unbonded one; the far more intriguing issue is bonding two (or more) Blades.

This... just triggered a whole cascade series of thoughts and questions. I think I'd better go write them down.
Dixon Davis
266. KadesSwordElanor
Hey Wet & Era :)

On the The Stormlight Grimoire, Part 3, @ 11 I asked

I wonder if it is possible for someone to wield 2 Shardblades. I’m sure someone has asked or it is mentioned in WOK and I forgot.

Jit @ 13 responded

I think I remember brandon saying that a person can indeed carry more then one shardblade at a time but it takes another ten hartbaets in sommon each one

So, I am not be as sure in my knowledge as when I originally responded. I was thinking the response was from another frequent poster. So, please DIY the research. I don’t want to be the source of misinformation. Sorry.

:: Wipes egg off face::
Alice Arneson
267. Wetlandernw
No worries - I always want to know exactly what he said, so of course I looked it up. Brb with quotes... (There's no guarantee that these were verbatim, but there's not a lot of wiggle room.)

Question: Can one person have more than one Shardblade?
BWS: Yes. A person can possess more than one Shardblade.

Question: You said that a person can have more than one Shardblade--can they be dual-wielded?
BWS: Someone did exactly this in the original draft of Way of Kings, back in 2002.

Question: If a character bears multiple Shardblades, can they summon them all in the same 10 heartbeat span, or does each Shardblade require a separate summoning? Dying doesn't count.
BWS: Separate summoning.
268. khyrindor
"Thirty-eight days." Rinarin read. "The end of all nations."

dun dun dun....!
269. radrad
Era @264 Good thought. Though why assume the black jewel to be linked to Odium. Given Gavilar's commitment to the Codes and the Way, the gem could be linked to Honour instead. Unless he was trying to keep it out of "wrong" hands. But if that's the case, why give it away to a total stranger so also happens to be the guy that killed you? There is no doubt that the gem is an important artefact.
Dixon Davis
270. KadesSwordElanor
Thanks Wet

Knew I could count on you to find out.

Snow in the ENC (Eastern NC) again. Everything is shutdown. Just got done woods exploring with my oldest. Saw three dough, a fawn, and a buck. First time snow has fallen (significantly) during the day. God is good.
rad miletich
271. radrad
Just a thought. Kalladin is looking for someone to spar with, someone who would be more of a challenge. Who else in Dallinar's camp needs practice? Someone with shardplate he is not good with just yet and a brand new shard blade as described above? Renarin. That would be an interesting friendship, if it was to eventuate.
272. Chipbap1207
Hi all, new to this but something's been buggin me and I hope someone can help.... Can all Shin read and write or was it strange that szeth wrote down Gavilars message for Dalinar...?
273. Razor

The Windrunner, lost in a shattered land, balanced upon the boundary between vengeance and honor. The Lightweaver, slowly being consumed by her past, searching for the lie that she must become. The Bondsmith, born in blood and death, striving to rebuild what was destroyed. The Explorer, straddling the fates of two peoples, forced to choose between slow death and a terrible betrayal of all she believes.It is past time for them to awaken, for the Everstorm looms.And the Assassin has arrived.

we know the assassin in white.
we know Shallan is the lightweaver
we know Kaladan is the wind runner.
I assume the Explorer is the Parshendi
we do not know the bond smith. Why must it be a man?

it could be Janath (?spelling) the heretic soulcaster.
Kyle Hiatt
274. risleyp
sorry. I can't seem to make the whiteout feature work, so I removed this post
275. Razor
The Bondsmith, born in blood and death

how did shshsh die, was it in childbirth. Perhaps this is the second son's role?
Deana Whitney
276. Braid_Tug
@ 275: Nothing leads me to think it was a childbirth death.
The boys act like they have too many memories of their mother. I know not much has come up in Adolin's POV. The that's the general impression I get.

But part of me wonders if she did die of some illness and that is what made Dalinar a drunk 6 years ago. Grief.
Yet my theory is a bit more tangled than that. Here’s my thoughts:
1) Dalinar’s wife died of the blood weakness Renarin has. He goes a little crazy for a time.
2)Dalinar seeks the Nightwatcher to ‘cure’ Renarin so he doesn’t die like his mother.
3)The Nightwatcher instead blesses Renarin with something less visible (like KR potential), in exchange for Dalinar forgetting his wife. 4)Dalinar’s mix of grief, guilt, and a sense of failure drives him to become the drunk we see at the feast. Failure because his second son is not suddenly healthy like Adolin.
Jennifer B
277. JennB
I have a question for all ou resident experts.

I have been thinking about this line:

“We won,” Eshonai said, leaning back against the wall and folding her arms with a clink of Shardplate. “The gemheart is ours. We will continue to eat.”

At first, I took this to mean that they needed the gemheart to soulcast food. I have been thinking about it though and it doesn't make sense. They have lots of gemhearts. Those can be infused every Highstorm and used over and over again to make food. On top of that, their population is seriously dwindling. Why are they so desperate for new gemhearts?
Nadine L.
278. travyl
I'm not an expert, but I think gem's are "spent" in the process of creating food. As in the example where we saw that Jasnah's gem cracked when she killed the toughs with her surgebinding ability.

This would make sense, since the Alethi also value the gems so much, which wouldn't be the case, if a gemstone could be used perpetually and just had to be re-infused with stormlight.
Deana Whitney
279. Braid_Tug
@ 278, we may need to take both our theories and questions to the Spoiler Discussion thread at http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/01/spoiler-thread-for-words-of-radiance
But since the Glimpses have started it's been a bit quite there too.
Jennifer B
280. JennB
I always figured that the gems only cracked if the user overdid it by using too small of a stone for the job. I would think that something as routine as soulcasting food for an army would be done in a way that would preserve the gems. I thought this was why they only used rocks about the size of a persons head. I guess I am probably wrong about that. Hopefully we will learn more soon.
Michael Church
281. Airsicklowlander
“You ate chicken?” Renarin asked as Adolin took the helm.
“For breakfast.”
“And you talked to the sword?”
“Had an entire conversation.”
“Mother’s chain in your pocket?”
“Checked three times.”

It's only weird if it doesn't work. :)
282. KaladinIsABoss
I've been waiting for Amaram to show up at the shattered plains and 'greet' Kaladin, I'm expecting a dule here. :D

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