Way of Kings Readalong, Part V

"Shardbearers" by Dixon Leavitt

This is the final week of discussion questions for the Way of Kings readalong.  My apologies for being significantly late getting my responses posted.  On Monday, I’m planning on posting a wrap-up review of the book that doesn’t contain any spoilers.

This week’s “Way of Kings” fan art is by Dixon Leavitt.  This week’s discussion questions were written by Suey.  Also, I’d just like to thank everyone who’s been participating thus far.  This groupread has been an awesome experience!  Be sure to check out everyone else’s responses (if you haven’t already) at the Polishing Mud Balls Read Along Page.

SPOILER ALERT, SNAPE KILLS DUMBLEDORE!

1. It seems like every main character had a little wrap up chapter in this section, with each section ending on a bit of a cliff hanger. What do you think? Do you appreciate these cliff hangers or do they make you crazy? Did you predict some of them, or have no idea they were coming? Did one of them stand out as most surprising?

Mike:  The cliff hangers made sense, so I’m perfectly fine with them. Honestly if anything this is another testament to Sanderson’s skill in developing a story that’s interesting and can keep me on my toes guessing.  I kinda did see that all the characters would come together at some point, just not the reasons why are when it would happen, but it seems like next book is when that will happen.

Me:  I liked the way that “The Way of Kings” ended.  There was a hint of resolution, and it felt like this was the place to stop before continuing to the next book.  At the same time, I’m still incredibly curious as to what happens next, especially with regards to the relationship between the Voidbringers and the Parshendi.

2.  Did the book leave you with an overall satisfied feeling, or are you left with too many unanswered questions? If so, what are some of the questions bothering you the most?

Me:  I think it’s fair to say that both of us are satisfied by the book as a whole, although there are some things that we are hoping will be expanded upon in the next book.

Mike:  The only thing that surprised me was Shallan killing her father, and that’s because it had the least amount revealed behind it.

Me:  I’m rather curious about that myself.  I wonder if she actually killed him, or if it’s a situation where she blames herself for his death.

Mike:  Oh, and the king.  Is he actually evil?  I don’t really understand his plan at all.  How could killing droves of people accomplish anything good?

3. What did you think of the book ending with a Wit chapter? Did you understand what he was trying to say? What does
this chapter mean in relation to the rest of the series?

Mike:  The chapter meant that guy who was missing from the prologue has returned in the wrong time somehow and is all confused.  So we have an original shardbearer to reveal some things… that is if he didn’t collapse and die there at the end.

Me:  Wit’s just so interesting.  He is able to do and say as he pleases, stepping outside of social boundaries to tell us more about what’s going on.  I hope he continues to play an important part in the story.

4. If someone asked you what this book is about… how would you answer them? In just two or three sentences!

Mike:  This book is about shards, crystals, and gems.  Gems everywhere!  And those creatures that everyone’s killing?  You’d better bet they have gems.  The weapons are crystal.  I’m surprised there aren’t crystal spren.  You can’t throw a gem into the air without it hitting at least three crystals and a shard-something.

Me:  I can sum up the book in two words:  unbridled awesomeness.  When talking about it to friends though, I’ve said that it’s excellent epic fantasy that puts George Martin to shame.

5. And finally (even though I suspect I know everyone’s answer) will you be reading the rest of this series? Will you be there the day it comes out? Or just whenever? Will you be recommending this to others?

Me:  This is what Amazon pre-order was invented for.  Unless, of course, there’s any way I can manage to get my hands on a review copy (while doubtful, I can still hope!)

Mike:  I’ll recommend it to Nebraskans I know so they can have something to be proud of other than their Cornhusker football team.  (<<used to live in Nebraska)

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Categories: Fantasy, Fiction | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Way of Kings Readalong, Part V

  1. I’ve enjoyed these posts for the book, I really liked the book and I’m pleased that you enjoyed it as well. You’ll have to do a post for the next readalong that you do so I can join in as well.

    Also, for the comment you said about this book putting Martin to shame, Brandon’s editor for this book (Moshe Feder) wanted to put this on the back cover of the book: “Following in the vein of Lord of the Rings and The Wheel of Time, this series is going to be the new standard in epic fantasy for the next 20 years” (that’s not word for word, but it’s the basic gist of what he wanted on the book). Sanderson didn’t feel that that should be said on the first book of the series and he was ultimately able to get it removed from the cover, although several ARC’s of the book were sent out with that quote on it.

    The only bad part about this series is that he won’t be able to write the books fast enough, although he is a fanatical writer so I don’t think we’ll ever have to deal with a huge wait between books.

    • Thank you for reading them! I can’t wait for the next books to come out… Sanderson’s writing is masterful and is just so much better than most other epic fantasy that I’ve read.

      I’m currently doing another groupread of Neil Gaiman’s book of short stories entitled “Fragile Things.” It’s not nearly a substitute for “The Way of Kings,” but I’m enjoying it thus far.

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