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The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1)
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May - Way of Kings > Chapters 71, 73, 75 + Epilogue (Cosmere)

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message 1: by Matthew (last edited May 22, 2020 10:16AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matthew Manchester (calvinistbatman) | 233 comments Mod
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 discussions are going to be intense. It's time to talk about the deeper things about this book!

We will talk about the greater Cosmere and Hoid in this section by focusing on the final chapters that focus on Szeth, Dalinar, Kaladin, and Hoid/Wit.


Szeth has reached the final name in his list: Taravangian, the king of Kharbranth. Szeth breaks in and corners the king only for Taravangian to pull out Szeth's oathstone. Taravangian has been the one pulling Szeth's strings for the past few interludes. Szeth asks why he does all of this. What is the bigger purpose? Taravangian takes him to the secret death wing of the hospital where they take the chronically sick (usually/ *shudders*) and bleed them out. Why? Because some people at the end of their life see visions of the Spiritual Realm (to use language from the last post). Something is coming and Taravangian is trying to get ahead of it, any way possible.

There was questions and interest in the quotes that start many of the chapters. I really encourage you to go back real quick and read them. It changes the meaning of all of them.

Meanwhile, Kaladin haggles for a better position and life for the bridgemen. If you want to see what this team can do, read the next book: Words of Radiance.

Meanwhile, Dalinar's last vision is a doozy. He sees a possible future desolation that destroys the country. Then he finds out that all of his previous visions and the things he has heard are (1) looped like on a recording device and (2) THE LOOPED MESSAGE IS FROM GOD.
“I am… I was… God. The one you call the Almighty, the creator of mankind.” The figure closed his eyes. “And now I am dead. Odium has killed me. I am sorry.”


So many questions.

But finally in the epilogue, we meet Wit/Hoid again as he gives a riddle to night guards. Then Taln arrives, breaks open the gate with his shardblade, and collapses warning about the upcoming Everstorm. If you don't remember, Taln is the 10th Herald who has been suffering in a hell-like place. Yet, this is not the only Herald we've glimpsed in this book walking around Roshar. I won't spoil what happens with Taln. Read the next book.

Will Dalinar's realization that God is dead change him?
What other Heralds have we seen and what have they been doing?
Were you shocked by the twist with Taravangian?


full map of Roshar

So let's talk (finally!) about the Cosmere, but let me make a quick disclaimer. This information isn't pulled by reading the next book, but rather all of Sanderson's books. Sanderson doesn't like to give information easily and clearly but rather in secret and turn-of-phrases. Some details might be discussed in future Stormlight books, but it's nothing spoilery. The only spoilery-Cosmere moment is in Way of Kings with Dalinar's final vision. Okay, let's go!

Brandon Sanderson has made a literary universe of books. Like Stephen King's The Dark Tower Series Collection: The Gunslinger, The Drawing of the Three, The Waste Lands, Wizard and Glass, Wolves of the Calla, Song of Susannah, The Dark Tower that interconnects all his other books like It and The Stand , Sanderson has made even more interactive and interconnected worlds.

So here's the quick of it: in the beginning lived the true God, the Creator, "Adonalasium". (In this book, Wit asks Dalinar if he ever heard this name.) Somehow, 16 people grouped together and killed Adonalasium. Not only did they kill him, they broke his power into sixteen separate "Shards". These Shards each bear an aspect of Adonalsium's nature. The Shards from Adonalasium changes the killers into the embodiment of the Shard they carry. It changes their desires to primarily match their Shard. The killers, after becoming god-like, all separated and went to different worlds and solar systems. They created worlds, destroyed worlds, influenced worlds.

The currently known Shards (gods) are:


Odium defined is "intense hatred or dislike, especially toward a person or thing regarded as contemptible, despicable, or repugnant."

Eventually Honor, Cultivation, and Roshar ended up on the same planet, Roshar. Yes, Honor is the god who died. In fact, SANDERSON TOLD US THIS IN THE TITLE OF THE SECOND CHAPTER: "Honor Is Dead"

The Stormlight Archive uses some wonderful literary devices. There's levels of symmetry and order in the structure of the book. The motto of the Cosmere is: There's always another secret. I cannot explain how true that is. One of my favorite things about this series is the high praise and dignity he puts on researchers and the studied. And the series reflects that. The more you look for secrets and answers in this series, the more secrets you'll find. This undertaking is quite mind-blowing.

Back to the Cosmere: so Honor is dead on Roshar, we're told Cultivation is somewhere, and "Odium reigns". Odium has been trying to conquer everyone. It looks like he'll be unstoppable.

Enter Hoid.

He was present at the killing and shattering of Adonalsium, but we know very little of his story. Sanderson has been clear: he has to write all ten books of the Stormlight Archive and complete two more trilogies in the Mistborn series before he can tell Hoid's story. THIS COSMERE IS A HUGE UNDERTAKING. That's not to mention other sequels he also has to do for other books in the Cosmere. All-in-all, he estimates 50 books in the Cosmere before tells Hoid's story and the final universal arc.

However and somehow, Hoid can world-travel. We find him at significant moments, with many of the main characters, throughout each Cosmere series. Hoid is trying to make a big play and stop Odium from conquering the Cosmere. We don't know how but the more you read of the Cosmere books, the more you discover. I'm excited about the future books.

The quotes in Part Two are a letter from Hoid. Read it again now with Cosmere eyes:
Old friend, I hope this missive finds you well. Though, as you are now essentially immortal, I would guess that wellness on your part is something of a given. I realize that you are probably still angry. That is pleasant to know. Much as your perpetual health, I have come to rely upon your dissatisfaction with me. It is one of the cosmere's great constants, I should think.

Let me first assure you that the element is quite safe. I have found a good home for it. I protect its safety like I protect my own skin, you might say. You do not agree with my quest. I understand that, so much as it is possible to understand someone with whom I disagree so completely. Might I be quite frank? Before, you asked why I was so concerned. It is for the following reason: Ati was once a kind and generous man, and you saw what became of him. Rayse, on the other hand, was among the most loathsome, crafty, and dangerous individuals I had ever met. He holds the most frightening and terrible of all the Shards. Ponder on that for a time, you old reptile, and tell me if your insistence on nonintervention holds firm. Because I assure you, Rayse will not be similarly inhibited. One need only look at the aftermath of his brief visit to Sel to see proof of what I say. In case you have turned a blind eye to that disaster, know that Aona and Skai are both dead, and that which they held has been Splintered. Presumably to prevent anyone from rising up to challenge Rayse.

You have accused me of arrogance in my quest. You have accused me of perpetuating my grudge against Rayse and Bavadin. Both accusations are true. Neither point makes the things I have written to you untrue. I am being chased. Your friends of the Seventeenth Shard, I suspect. I believe they're still lost, following a false trail I left for them. They'll be happier that way. I doubt they have any inkling what to do with me should they actually catch me. If anything I have said makes a glimmer of sense to you, I trust that you'll call them off. Or maybe you could astound me and ask them to do something productive for once. For I have never been dedicated to a more important purpose, and the very pillars of the sky will shake with the results of our war here. I ask again. Support me. Do not stand aside and let disaster consume more lives. I've never begged you for something before, old friend.

I do so now.”

Rayse = Odium. Rayse was his name before he ascended into godhood by taking the Shard, Odium.

There are hints of a bigger war everywhere through these books.


I've seen people comment about getting sucked up and lost in the world Sanderson has created in The Stormlight Archive. But Sanderson hasn't created just a world. Or just a few worlds. The Cosmere combined with Realmatic Theory (like Shadesmar) makes for an entire UNIVERSE to get lost in. Each book is great on its own but combined they make something greater than the whole. I've yet to be disappointed.

What questions do you have about the Cosmere, the Shards/gods or Hoid?
How do Roshar's Shards/gods embed themselves and effect Roshar?
Do you feel this book has treated you with respect?
What literary devices or little secrets have you found in this book?
Looking back through reading this book, what has changed in your eyes after reading these final chapters?

p.s. Thank you for letting me rant and fanboy these past two posts. If you can't tell, I love these books. I like an author that makes me step up, do a little work, and use my brain. All after I've enjoyed the original story, of course.

Rose Elliott | 28 comments Mod
Okay, first thing: I got literal chills during Dalinar's vision. I had to stop what I was doing and just... listen. It was mind. blowing. Dalinar has felt like an unpredictable wild card for me this whole book. His arc was the hardest for me to fully understand, but I think I'm putting the pieces together. This scene made me want to go back and reevaluate all of his chapters. I may need a hard copy of this book.

What's interesting to me is the way the shards... bond (for lack of a better word) to people. It was like reading about a much more complex version of the Elder Wand (all roads lead to Harry Potter eventually lol). Especially now knowing that the shards are pieces of God. That knowledge also makes it even more significant that Kaladin would turn down the opportunity to be a Shard-Bearer.

Part Five shattered basically everything I thought I was understanding about this story. I feel a little mistreated by this book, but if books don't leave you feeling smacked around, are they even doing their jobs? I'm not kidding either when I say I want a hard copy of Way of Kings. Listening to it was perfect for a first experience, but now I just want to immediately read it again and hold it in my hands. I'll go more into that in my review, but Part Five has been very rude haha.

Amanda | 101 comments Mod
The scene with Szeth and Taravangian was heartbreaking. First, it was sad that Taravangian was going to die because the book made such a big deal about how kind and generous he is, how wonderful of a king, and such. Then, finding out that he's doing this awful thing to the people in the hospital? Yikes! And his generosity and care for the people suddenly takes on a whole different light. I thought it was interesting that Szeth took a moment to think about killing Taravangian and then decided not to...yet. So there are limits (at least in Szeth's mind) to how safe the holder of the Oathstone actually is.

Dalinar's last vision - I don't even know how you would begin processing the idea that your god is dead. Especially since it seems like Dalinar wasn't all that religious when he was younger but picked up religion in his age. How do you hold on to that and then deal with being told that god is dead? No idea. I can't imagine that it won't change him in some way.

I'm so happy that Kaladin has finally found a good place in the world.

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