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The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1)
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May - Way of Kings > Chapters 65-69

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message 1: by Matthew (last edited May 16, 2020 04:07PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matthew Manchester (calvinistbatman) | 233 comments Mod
We have finally reach the climax of the book where the main narratives all start blending together.

Dalinar and Sadeas go to The Tower with the largest force possible. Everyone is having a nice time killing each other until Adolin realizes that another Parshendi army is coming. Wondering why Sadeas' scouts didn't alert them, they realize that Sadeas has betrayed them and retreated, leaving them to be surrounded.

Wow. What a low move for Sadeas. However, Sadeas' believability in this section (both in "The Tower" and in "Justice") is unreal. It's the reason you don't really see the betrayal coming. Dalinar's final battle speech is worth quoting though:
“It is time for us to fight,” he said, voice growing louder. “And we do so not because we seek the glory of men, but because the other options are worse. We follow the codes not because they bring gain, but because we loathe the people we would otherwise become. We stand here on this battlefield alone because of who we are.”

“Death is the end of all men!” Dalinar bellowed. “What is the measure of him once he is gone? The wealth he accumulated and left for his heirs to squabble over? The glory he obtained, only to be passed on to those who slew him? The lofty positions he held through happenstance?

“No. We fight here because we understand. The end is the same. It is the path that separates men. When we taste that end, we will do so with our heads held high, eyes to the sun.” He held out a hand, summoning Oathbringer. “I am not ashamed of what I have become,” he shouted, and found it to be true. It felt so strange to be free of guilt. “Other men may debase themselves to destroy me. Let them have their glory. For I will retain mine!”


This betrayal does not sit well with the bridgemen. I really liked how it showed the depth of Sadeas' betrayal by having Kaladin contrast it with his own betrayal by Amaram. ALL WHICH BRINGS US TO THE BEST CHAPTER IN THE BOOK.

Syl tells Kaladin that she remembers what kind of spren she is and it's NOT a windspren:
“Are windspren attracted to the wind,” she asked softly, “or do they make it?”

“I don’t know,” Kaladin said. “Does it matter?”

“Perhaps not. You see, I’ve remembered what kind of spren I am.”

“Is this the time for it, Syl?”

“I bind things, Kaladin,” she said, turning and meeting his eyes. “I am honorspren. Spirit of oaths. Of promises. And of nobility.”

The "are windspren attracted to the wind" question makes a lot more sense now. Kaladin has been honorable, doing his best to fulfill the promises he's made. And this attracted Syl.

They decide to go back to help save Dalinar's army using their bridge. Kaladin goes decoying again, using some serious skills and powers to attract arrows to his shield (if you're paying attention, he's using a Reverse Lashing like Szeth did in the prologue). As Kaladin recovers from serious wounds he sees his team in major trouble which is when we get our final flashback, one that happens in the middle of the story-arc, not as a separate chapter. At that moment, Kaladin is reminded (and we are shown) the day his brother was killed in battle. <<< MY. HEART. DIES. >>>

This flashback makes Kaladin run to save his men. As he starts fighting the Parshmen, Syl leads him into saying the second Oath/Ideal of his order in the (new) Knights Radiant (though they aren't formed yet):

1st Oath/Ideal: "Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination."
2nd Oath/Ideal: "I will protect those who cannot protect themselves."


I don't know if you cried, but I teared up and fistpumped most of this section.

Kaladin saves Dalinar, Adolin, and the army they have left. Dalinar promises to payback Kaladin for what he did.

That's when we get our final confrontation between Dalinar and Sadeas. Sadeas tells his true feelings to Dalinar, but Dalinar doesn't want to throw the kingdom into war. He tells Sadeas to sell him the bridgemen, and after some arguing Dalinar trades his shardblade for all the bridgemen, over 1,000 in number. I love Dalinar and Kaladin's conversation immediately afterwards:
“What is a man’s life worth?” Dalinar asked softly.

“The slavemasters say one is worth about two emerald broams,” Kaladin said, frowning.

“And what do you say?”

“A life is priceless,” he said immediately, quoting his father.

Dalinar smiled, wrinkle lines extending from the corners of his eyes. “Coincidentally, that is the exact value of a Shardblade. So today, you and your men sacrificed to buy me twenty-six hundred precious lives. And all I had to repay you with was a single priceless sword. I call that a bargain.”


Part Four ends with a humorous and interesting twist: the king cut his own saddle, faking his assassination attempt. And Dalinar gives the king the beating of his life. After Dalinar shows the king that he has no desire to kill him, Dalinar demands to be made Highprince of War. He's gonna whip these highprinces into shape.



- This whole section is on a level that GOT wishes it could be on. Imagine this section on Netflix/HBO.
- Sanderson was smart by rarely mentioning the gems that the Parshendi have in their beards.
- Dalinar and Sanderson be showing better imago dei theology than many Christians I've seen these last two months.

Any guesses why the chapter was titled "Eshonai"?
Did anyone get the feels when Sanderson mentions Renarin showing emotion?
Is betrayal one of the worst and most harmful sins? Why or why not?

"This is the end of Part Four."


As we move into Part Five, there are no interludes. Part Five is just six chapters and an epilogue, all that act as a setup for the next book in the series and giving some big payoff answers. Prepare thyself, the final 1-2 discussions are going to be intense. It's time to talk about the deeper things of this book!

Amanda | 101 comments Mod
Oh, these chapters. First, can I just say that Sanderson completely won me with the writing in this section? I found myself taking deep breaths every time Kaladin was mentioned breathing in the Light. Kaladin and Dalinar's stories, how they intertwine and play together, is magic and I loved every second of it.

Ok, the story. I'm guessing "eshonai" means honor or something like that?

Sanderson mentions the gemstones in the Parshendi beards often enough to make it not feel like it's coming out of left field, but little enough that it was still a surprise. I vaguely remember a section in the chasms where it's mentioned that the Parshendi's beard gemstones aren't as bright as the ones the Alethi use for currency.

I got teary as Dalinar was explaining to Kaladin why he would trade his Shardblade for the bridgemen. Yes, even the bridgemen are priceless. That idea not only argues against everything in the book up until now, but most of our culture doesn't really believe that all lives are priceless, either. Our standards are different, who is considered more or less important varies from group to group, but the idea that some lives are more valuable than others is prevalent.

Navani got to show herself to be a queen, and her "justice" glyph got a big yes from me. She figured it out fast.

Kaladin's second ideal - "I will protect those who cannot protect themselves." - makes so much sense for his character.

Dalinar beating the king was the icing on the cake. No wonder Sanderson kept telling us about the men around the king who were loyal to Dalinar! I bet the point he was trying to make won't be forgotten.

Thomas Weaver | 24 comments These chapters were some of the best in the whole book. When Dalinar purchased the lives of the bridgemen with his Shardblade, I actually teared up. I was so overwhelmed with emotion. Everything Dalinar has been learning about sacrifice and selflessness from the Way of Kings has been leading to this moment. And for Kaladin to finally have someone (let alone a lighteyes) fight for him and sacrifice for him after all his turmoil....whew....I can’t.

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