kari-no-sugata

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kari-no-sugata last won the day on September 29 2017

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  1. The Shallan/Adolin arcs had a number of great scenes but I also felt that there were some stumbles, mainly towards the end. These stumbles felt particularly annoying because they felt quite glaring to me and also easy to fix. I might comment on the other arcs later, but for now I'll just focus on the Shallan/Adolin ones: Part 1: No particular complaints. On the minor side I'd say it was a shame we never found out why Ialai seemed to trust Shallan enough to tell her some things. Slightly more significantly, it's a shame the book never explicitly clarified exactly why Shallan started going down the path she's on 6 months ago - what caused/triggered this? I'd guess it's because her memories about Testament started to come back strongly enough. Part 2: Very close to perfect but the whole "Shallan tries to find the spy" thing felt a little too low stakes. It mattered to Shallan but not so much to the reader. Part 3: All the tension that gets built up in Part 2 goes to waste with the gap here. It's a huge gap too - from chapter 36 to 75. About a quarter of the whole book. Adding 1 or two Adolin/Shallan chapters in Part 3 would have been worth it, I think. Part 4: In Part 2 we see Adolin worrying about about whether he can succeed at all and takes a big risk when it looks like he's about to fail. That had ramped up the tension nicely but the trial itself feels weak - it feels like a farce and therefore not very threatening. In short, the tension I felt from Adolin in Part 2 somewhat fades away when it would likely have been better to do the opposite. I don't want to try to write the book myself and give specific suggestions but I think there were a number of options to do this. On a minor note, I think it might have been a bit better to make clear that Adolin wanted to do this himself and didn't want to rely so much on others (eg Shallan), since Shallan's lack of involvement with Adolin's situation feels a bit off. On another minor note, it might have been interesting to tie Adolin's strained relationship with his father into his arguments - I felt that while I was reading the book it could have made a good argument if Adolin told the honorspren how he still loves and trusts his father despite how he killed Adolin's mother / his own wife. On the Shallan side of things, the tension is very much there. Shallan is clearly falling apart and it feels like the chull is about to hit the fan. The scene where Shallan and Adolin are cuddling together and then Shallan suddenly goes Formless is deliciously dark and high tension. While Shallan's plot twists and reveals are fairly rewarding I felt that they were undercut by adding too much new much complexity to sort out. For example, the text never makes it clear when Shallan "killed" Testament - I presume it's just after her mother's death but if so then this should have been stated and I think we should have seen more of Shallan's immediate reaction at the time to make it more real and help tie it into Shallan's overall problems. I also felt that the overall arc was cut a bit short and just felt rushed in general - the last we see of Shallan, she's probably being confined with Kelek. We never see how exactly that bit got resolved, even if we could guess. Imagine showing Shallan and Kelek stuck in the same room but hearing loud noises coming from the courthouse and them worrying what it means. I think it might have been better to end Part 4 with Shallan starting to tell Adolin about Testament. Part 5: The little scene with Shallan near the end was very welcome and very tasty but it was really frustrating having to wait so long to get it. Might have been nice to hint earlier on in the arc that some more was coming - eg a little scene from Wit (and perhaps Jasnah) talking to Shallan (and perhaps Adolin) and it ends with Wit asking Shallan to pass on a message to Mraize when she calls him. On a minor note, since we know that Shallan and Wit at least have been in contact, I'm sure Shallan would have told Wit about the situation. But we never see Wit tell Jasnah or Dalinar about this. That have helped connect the various arcs together better - there's a bit of a risk that Adolin's success might feel a bit superfluous due to other events. On an overall note, I was somewhat frustrated at the lack of Shallan herself. While I felt that the personas were written a LOT better this time, I also wanted to read Shallan's perspective more - I don't find Veil and Radiant to be all that interesting. It's rather frustrating overall that we went through two books (or almost three since this started from the very end of WoR) with Shallan being in particularly bad mental shape due to being forced to remember her mother's death. That's half the entire series so far and it feels a bit of a waste of such an interesting character.
  2. Lightweavers also help others in their presence be closer to their ideal selves - there might be an influence there. Or maybe Kelek is just feeling more friendly due to recent events. With regards to Shallan's levels / truths etc, I suspect that for any other Radiant order, having two spren bonds wouldn't do much at all. After all, the particular oaths for each level are roughly the same so I suspect if you had two bonds to the same spren order then if you level up with one you'd level up with both. However, "truths" for Lightweavers are unique to each person. This in turn means you could level up with one spren by telling a truth to one but that wouldn't necessarily level up both spren, particularly in Shallan's case when one of her spren is a deadeye. So it's possible that Shallan (as of the end of RoW) has a level 5 bond with Pattern but a level 3 bond with Testament. I dunno if this makes any practical differences though - for example, is it possible that Shallan could get a compounding effect that other orders couldn't, even with two spren of the same order? Or does a compounding effect work for anyone with two spren bonds from the same order? Or are there no benefits except for two Blades? (Hmm, would two Blades also means two Plates?) Random side thought: given that we still don't have all of Shallan's childhood info, I suspect it might be plot significant in book 5. For example, maybe the BAM gem is hidden somewhere on the Davar estate? Given that Kelek was there for when BAM was trapped, would he have any good ideas?
  3. I suspect the main reason is that young Shallan's bond to Testament was a lot stronger - at least level 3, possibly level 4. Kaladin and Syl were at level 2 at the time. There may be some other factors as well. It would be interesting to get some clarification on what was going on during tWoK. Was Shallan talking to Testament there or one of the Cryptics hovering near her when she did her Soulcasting? I'd have to guess now that it was Testament. Hopefully we get some clarification on this with some WoBs. It would also be interesting to know if Shallan has gone up a level during RoW or not. Would also nice to get confirmation about whether the scene where young Shallan "kills" Testament happens before or after her mother's death - I presume it's after but the text doesn't make it clear.
  4. Adolin: I talk to my sword too. Funny thing is, she eventually talked back
  5. Hi, thanks for the reply. Aren't you implicitly assuming Thaidakar is Kelsier though? I wrote up my thoughts before reading the discussion here and it didn't seem that obvious to me that Thaidakar is Kelsier - after all, why would Wit say "Deal with your own stupid planet" if that planet is Scadrial? But it's a decent theory. But yes, I agree with your general thrust that just because Shallan might go to Ghostblood HQ to finish them off it doesn't necessarily mean she'll kill all their members. She'd probably be happy so long as any threats to Roshar and her family are removed. And whatever Thaidakar might actually be I suspect it'll be hard to confirm his death. Edit: A lot of people seem to want to discuss the Thaidakar is Kelsier theory, but I don't think this is the best thread for it so I'm not going to discuss that further here. It has been suggested that Thaidakar has avatars so perhaps we could see such an avatar in SA5? That could help clarify some things. If not, it might be a long long time before we have any clarification.
  6. I've not posted in ages but I independently wrote up some thoughts on the book for a friend before reading any other spoilers or reviews. I figured it might be interesting for others to read them: One of my problems with OB is that the book ended with a major character (Shallan) in a very vague state, making it very difficult to imagine how she could behave and come across in future. With RoW we instead end up with the plot in a vague state but I think that’s less of a problem - uncertainty in the plot gives you more to speculate about. But is there too much uncertainty? Maybe I’ll need to re-read a bunch of chapters a few times to really try to get a better sense of the situation. If I’d vaguely summarise my thoughts on the books so far it would be something like this: tWoK: highly entertaining and almost flawless - there’s almost nothing I think needs changing/improving. WoR: extremely entertaining but has a couple of minor flaws. OB: mostly rather average with a couple of good scenes, multiple major and minor flaws. Left me depressed about the direction of the series. RoW: entertaining but the flaws I see really annoy me, even if they are relatively small. The flaws here leave me quite frustrated as I don’t think it was that hard to fix them. So what are the major flaws I see in RoW: the main one is that the Shallan and Adolin arcs felt quite rushed - they needed more time / chapters. Just 6 chapters for 2 characters to get their main plot sequence and resolution is too little. They should have had perhaps 2 chapters in Part 3 to make their situation a bit clearer sooner (there’s no real justification to leave them out of Part 3) and a few more in Part 4 to really hammer home the seriousness of the situation. While we really feel the depths of the darkness of Shallan’s side, it is somewhat undermined by the fact that her fear of betrayal (of people leaving her) was never really explained clearly. A simple solution for this would have been to make it clear that after young Shallan said those hurtful words to her spren, Testament simply vanished without Shallan understanding why and so Shallan feels that Testament left her because she was “bad” when instead it was due to Nahel bond mechanics. (Side note: present day Shallan should warn the spren not to bond children) We can infer this but we don’t really feel it. In short, it undermines Shallan’s plot arc that we have to guess why she was feeling the way she did in the first place - her central problem in the book is set on shaky ground. The problems with Adolin’s arc are somewhat different but his situation feels a bit too light. While it’s nice to have more positive viewpoints as a contrast, it would have been better to have Adolin’s situation feel more serious and for him to feel more desperate. Kelek and some of the honorspren felt like ‘cheap’ antagonists. This weakens the payoff. It also feels like a shame that Dalinar never found out what was going on with Adolin. There’s also a couple of minor flaws: Kaladin’s start in the book was a bit too repetitive and boring - I didn’t even want to read him. The overall ending could have done with a bit more follow-up - you feel a little bit cheated and left hanging. Soulcasting is still underdeveloped or explained. The Stormfather feels a bit too much of a gag character at times - alternating between going “that’s impossible!” to “I can’t do that” or “I can’t help you” a bit too much. In Part 1 Jasnah says she plans to make an announcement to free the slaves but there’s no follow-up, nor any follow-up to the slaves Shallan got in RoW (missed opportunity). At times it feels a bit too much like “The Mental Illness Archive” rather than “The Stormlight Archive”. Zahel vanishes after Part 1. I don’t want to repeat it too much but I think a flaw that I started to see in OB has been carried over - characters rarely think about other characters unless they have an overlapping character arc. But that’s not how real people see things. To give a simple example, Shallan is now Dalinar’s daughter-in-law and sort-of Navani’s daughter-in-law but they never really give any thought about her. It just doesn’t feel natural. On a related note, chapter 12 was great but needed more. That above complaints out of the way, there’s a lot to celebrate: Adolin finally gets a proper in-depth stand-alone character arc - a big story where it centers on him and not his relationship with others. While it didn’t quite feel right that Shallan wasn’t helping him more, the more she helped him the more that would have undermined his character. Essentially we needed to see that both were capable in their own way, even if Adolin needed some luck. I hope to see Shallan and Adolin become a real power couple in future. It also appears that my dream of seeing Shallan and Adolin traipse around the Cosmere having fun is going to happen. The development between Adolin and Maya was very nice - Maya has a real “stand up and cheer” moment. It was obviously going to have some payoff and while it was predictable it was the good kind of predictable. Like when you get exactly the best possible presents that you could have hoped for at Christmas. Adolin wasn’t explicitly trying to revive Maya really, he just wanted to treat her well. Every time another spren disparaged his efforts it just made you want to see him succeed even more. But we didn’t get just that, we got some crucial information - that the spren who “died” in the Recreance were not victims. This could be taken as lacking in realism but them becoming deadeyes wasn’t what they expected though and had never been seen before, so perhaps that’s why they never warned anyone. So where does Adolin go from here? While he doesn’t seem like a perfect fit for the Edgedancers, he’s certainly not bad. It’s not like there’s only one type of Edgedancer - while some were pure healers, others did fight. We’ve not seen that many fighters just yet. I don’t see any fundamental barriers to him becoming an Edgedancer. That being said, I did start to wonder - might we see Adolin bond spren from two different orders? Basically, he revevies Maya completely but before that happens he also bonds with another spren. Who could that be? How about Notum? I mean, the guy totally stood up for Adolin in the trial and helped put a completely different dimension on the whole situation. Can you imagine Notum wanting to bond someone else? Not really. You can also imagine Notum wanting to help someone who might figure out a way to help revive his father. Adolin might not be the most conventional Windrunner but let’s not forget that both Shallan and Dalinar have seen him as a potential Windrunner - that could be considered foreshadowing. In addition, perhaps the energy gained from bonding one spren would help Adolin “jump start” Maya’s revival. After all, the power-up energy for Windrunners is special. Another possibility of course is that Maya will be fully revived by Dalinar but I feel it would be better for Adolin to achieve it on his own merit. It will also be interesting to see where the relationship between Adolin and Dalinar goes from here. I can imagine the Stormfather being rather amazed at the possibility that the deadeye spren could be revived. That would also make a huge difference to the war if 100s or 1000s of dead spren could rejoin the battle. You would expect Dalinar in turn to be delighted - Adolin over delivered. I’d also hope that Adolin will gain some confidence from this. Maybe Dalinar will finally see that the best thing for Adolin is to let him be himself. On to Shallan: We got a lot of developments that I hoped to see and some that I never expected. I had hoped for a bit more progress though. Still that “time to soar” line at the end is very promising - after effectively 2 whole books of Shallan being somewhat morose and inwards looking, it would be nice to see the kick-ass Shallan return and take center stage in her narrative. I didn’t pay to see two supporting acts (Veil and Radiant), I paid to see Shallan and we got precious little good quality Shallan time. This was very frustrating and the last thing I wanted. Hopefully we can get a decent amount in book 5 and finally have a truly epic scene from her to make up for all this. Her final state is a bit unclear. Did she level up or not? It would feel kinda weird if she didn’t after admitting such a major thing about herself. I’m not sure why it would take (say) integrating Radiant for her to level up unless that comes with some even further backstory for her to admit to. (Talking of her backstory, it seems likely to involve the Ghostbloods somehow). That being said, it doesn’t matter much for this book since it’s not like she needed to do anything after admitting to the truth regarding Testament. Hopefully we can see some new Lightweaver powers in book 5 as there was nothing new in book 4 at all. It would also be nice to get a better idea of how Lightweavers level up normally since Shallan is such a special case. One curious development about Shallan is that she will be able to use two Shardblades. But since she is not combat specialised that’s not very useful to her at all. That being said, if you’re going to “dual wield”, using a sword+shield combo is going to be much more useful than two swords, generally. I could also imagine this being particularly useful for Shallan - having much improved defence when she’s not especially experienced in combat would be very useful for her. I suspect the real benefit for Shallan is having a double-strength Nahel bond. I’m not sure if Shallan has finally gotten the message that it’s okay to love herself. I guess she has but again it’s unclear. It has been her most central issue in the general sense - ie ignoring any specific traumas in her past. I can imagine that Shallan could feel like she has to leave Adolin if she has gotten into the state where she is terrified about others leaving her and I might have even speculated on this. Shallan has a lot of imagination and hates conflict (between people she cares about) and I could see her seeking out a place where she doesn’t have to be so afraid. However, it’s not clear how Shallan got in such a state in the first place. Perhaps she started relying upon Veil and Radiant too much when she wanted to hide so instead of dealing with issues properly she hid and the pain/fear started building up. After all, the more that Shallan hides away the more that Formless develops. It’s also nice to finally get some progress on the Ghostbloods. It’s way overdue. I was very happy to see Shallan stick it to Mraize at the end. I was also amused to see Shallan telling Mraize to vacate Urithiru or else and the “of course you realise this means war” aspect since these are things I had thought about and speculated on before. Essentially, as soon as Shallan did tell Adolin about the Ghostbloods she would have to take this approach. It’s a shame we didn’t get a scene of Shallan saying this and asking Adolin for help. Shallan’s plot for book 5 seems pretty much set - find the gem with the Unmade and release it while beating the Ghostbloods to it. I’m not sure if Adolin will be a tag-along or doing something else. I wonder who Shallan will use that knife on? It looks like there’s no real reason for Ialai to have trusted Shallan at the start. It’s still unclear why that happened, which is a bit annoying. It also looks like her little notebook wasn’t especially plot relevant and more about seeding the future possibility that Shallan will be going to other planets. I’d like to see Shallan go to Nalthis and be like “A language that is art? Challenge accepted” - would also be a nice place to go for a “honeymoon” with Adolin. Longer term might we see Shallan going to the Ghostbloods homeworld to finish them off for good? Seems quite likely at this stage, though obviously something for the 2nd half of the series. On a minor note, I wonder if we’ll see any more contact between Shallan and Sja-anat. I doubt Shallan will be unhappy that the Ghostbloods didn’t get a spren. Will Shallan tell Sja-anat about her plans? Kaladin was a lot better overall, apart from the first couple of chapters in Part 1. Essentially, until Dalinar removed him from combat I could barely stand to even read his chapters. From then on he was a lot more interesting. In a way, his arc felt closer to tWoK - dark and oppressive, but with real progress and a sense of movement, though with some obvious stumbles and mistakes along the way, with a final epic ending. However, the whole SFX extravaganza when Kaladin powers-up and how everyone seems to worship him feels a bit overdone. It’s wearing a bit thin for me - I suspect this is something that will work well for some but not for others. To me, Kaladin is sort of the “classic” or “traditional” hero in the sense that his parts are more action orientated and more about him climbing up from the bottom. I very much felt this in tWoK. This is not to belittle him at all. What was great about Kaladin in tWoK was how well this character type was done - better than anything I’ve ever seen, by a mile. I also liked how his flaws were almost his undoing in WoR - very much like a classical Greek hero. However, his character/plot didn’t work as well in OB and I really couldn't stand him at the start of Part 1 of RoW but after again being knocked down to the bottom he rises again. And it was great and rather classic in many ways. I like that it’s clear that Kaladin still has a lot of mental healing left to do. It also makes sense for him to need a sort of veterans association and forum to discuss their traumas. Szeth is perhaps the person who needs something like that the most, except it looks like he’s going to be going on his little quest with Kaladin. Maybe discussing his traumas with Kaladin will help Szeth, and perhaps Kaladin too. I’m not expecting Kaladin to reach 5th level in book 5, particularly since his Chosen One status seems to have been undercut. Navani was a lot more interesting overall and despite some of my fears it worked out quite well. It was interesting to see all sorts of little nods to real science. That being said, it took a long time for her story to really get going and earlier on she felt more like a “fly on the wall”. I’m not that happy with her becoming the second Bondsmith (seems a bit too convenient for Dalinar) but it’s not the end of the world. Was nice to finally have Urithiru fully up and running at last and to have all that background detail. Navani’s relationship with Raboniel was interesting. She’s sort-of the Fused equivalent of Jasnah in that she’s very smart, focused, a realist, willing to use underhand methods etc. I’m not suggesting that Navani saw Raboniel that way, just that’s the sort of person she seems to be. Navani finally got some validation and respect but she had to go through a lot of failure to get there. Raboniel initially comes across as straight from the “mad scientist” trope but I was glad she wasn’t developed that way and she felt very real and relatable in the end. Very dangerous still though. I’ve struggled to like Dalinar since tWoK. He really depends far too much on using force of personality to get his way and gets little pushback. In tWoK he had Adolin to slap some sense into him and give him pushback but since then he’s largely been charging ahead and making mistakes and then complaining about it. It’s not like I found Dalinar annoying overall here and he does seem to be getting better and has belatedly realised he wasn’t as good a father as he thought he was but he does come across as rather entitled when he complains about not understanding his powers and then not doing all that much about it. Lift didn’t get much in the way of development or page time. In the original plan she was going to go on the Shadesmar trip. I can understand why this wasn’t done in the end - she is definitely too young and unpredictable for a diplomatic trip. Still, I would have liked to see her and Shallan bouncing off each other - something I’ve been waiting for for a long time. Well, given that she now has a grudge against Mraize and Shallan is openly gunning for Mraize, she’d likely volunteer to go with Shallan in book 5 if it means there’s a chance she can get some revenge. Jasnah got some development, though I wasn’t surprised by any of it. This isn’t to say that her chapters weren’t interesting or involving. However, I don’t think there was much pay-off for her chapters - they’re more like isolated incidents rather than some kind of character arc. Her relationship with Wit made a lot of sense to me but I was surprised that she wasn’t more paranoid about his intentions. I also wonder if we’ll see any obvious changes in Wit going forwards given what happened in the end. Venli was interesting but she felt a bit disconnected to the main plots. Her personal arc only slightly overlapped with the other characters - it felt like more could have been done here. With the way she ended I’m not sure how much presence she’ll have in book 5 either. Maybe she’ll have much more of a presence in the back 5 books though. That being said, I liked her flashbacks with Eshonai - felt very nostalgic somehow. Szeth had a muted role. He’s certainly dialling the crazy up to 10 (Ishar is 11). It doesn’t seem that surprising that he’s in such a bad place mentally. I don’t expect him to survive Book 5 but what will happen to Nightblood? Overall thoughts: RoW definitely worked for me better than OB, at least so far. One of the “problems” I had with OB is that I wasn’t that satisfied overall and as I tried re-reading the book more to try to make sense of it my feeling of satisfaction got worse rather than better. So perhaps my evaluation will change over time with RoW too, but I’m not sure how much I’ll be thinking about it. After OB I felt rather burned so stopped thinking about the series much. While RoW has allayed most of my fears, I still don’t feel that excited about the series. The spark has gone, as it were. That being said, I nearly cried more than once during RoW and my feelings were definitely running strong at certain points. The book definitely conveyed strong emotions and feelings. Unfortunately, one of them was a strong sense of “so near but yet so far” - Shallan and Adolin’s arcs in Part 4 could have been truly awesome with just a bit more work and it feels really obvious that they were rushed and came up short. WoR also had flaws but they were more subtle. In terms of pure entertainment I think I would have enjoyed RoW about as much as tWoK if just the bigger flaws had been fixed. So overall, I can’t really say that the series is getting better.
  7. I have a lot of problems with OB. I have re-read it, some bits more than others, but while I've been able to feel better about some problems I keep noticing new problems. I'm actually so frustrated that I've decided that it's best that I ignore the book and these forums for a while. I need to move on.
  8. As others have said, it could be prohibitively expensive in terms of Stormlight to create a lethal dose of gamma rays with Illumination. So it's probably not the most effective tool, even if the characters could use it, which is unlikely. More conventional uses of light would probably be far more effective, eg: Sensory overload: simply make a very bright light and blind your opponents Sensory deprivation: Lightweave a dark box around the opponent's head, making it impossible for them to see and hear. (Not sure how practical this would be but it doesn't seem to advanced). Sensory confusion: create mirror images, displaced images etc If you want WMD style then: Currently, it seems most likely that the Shattered Plains was caused by Radiants (or even a single Radiant). Probably by making the ground vibrate to a very strong sound wave, or similar. If it is possible to create lens effects or mirror effects then it would be practical to focus the rays of the sun. The focal length and direction would probably need to be adjusted on the fly for this to really work though. Lasers. Would such a thing be possible purely with the Surge by itself, or maybe with a handy gem? Or would more be needed?
  9. I wouldn't be surprised if the Shattered Plains was caused by the Surge of Illumination. There's hints that Honor was doing things to keep the Radiants safe. For example, maybe he was limiting the maximum amount of Stormlight they could use. With Honor now being dead, those limits have now been removed it seems, making the Radiants much more dangerous. If we imagine a single person using the Surge of "Illumination" to create wave-forms in the ground (sound is just vibrating air after all) during a highstorm then perhaps destruction on the scale of the Shattered Plains would be possible. This is just a theory. I'm not suggesting that all Radiants would be able to do this - reaching the 5th Ideal seems to be special in various ways, so it's possible that only a 5th Ideal Radiant would be dangerous on this level.
  10. As far as I know, it’s the cracks in the soul that’s a requirement for a Nahel bond and how you get them does not matter too much. Then there’s attracting a spren on top of that.
  11. Shallan came up with quite a lot of improvements with Lightweaving over the course of OB, but it was a shame that a lot of them were simply presented as-is. The only times where we saw her actually working on improvements were her disguises (practising Veil, including voice) and the trick to get her illusions fed by gems instead of herself or Pattern. We see Shallan thinking about religion a fair bit but her feelings did not come across as being particularly intense. It feels like something she turned to for comfort, particularly after killing her father. She makes cultural comparisons and similar in her head but almost never speaks about it and she never tries to push her religion onto anyone and is accepting of those with different opinions and traditions, even if they sometimes make her nervous. I don't get the sense that daily rituals are ingrained into her, for example. I think it's quite reasonable for Shallan to learn some combat skills given her situation. Nothing much actually came out of it though.
  12. This is somewhat going back to my impression of Shallan from tWoK but I think it's still fairly relevant: Shallan clearly has both a "creative" side and a "logical" side. Certainly her creative side is stronger but she can do plenty of logical type work, even including accounting. She's an artist first, a scientist second. The reason why I raise this is that often characters are shown to be one or the other when such things are emphasised - having both sides emphasised in a single character was something I liked. (This is not to say that other characters are binary - Jasnah clearly has a creative/artistic side to her as well). Shallan is self-taught to a significant degree and also wants to learn more. I thought it was a bit of a shame that we didn't see more of Shallan teaching herself in her flashbacks but we did see her doing all sorts of problem-solving. I also particularly liked the scenes in WoR where we see Shallan experiment with her powers. People who are taught by rote are generally quite poor at such activities. All things great and small - Shallan can find something interesting about just about anything and everyone. She draws anything and everyone. She's a religious moderate. We very rarely see these in fantasy. I'm a lifelong atheist but this side of her was also interesting. She's active and willing to take risks, though somewhat crash-tastic. Shallan is often juggling several problems at once and will often make a mess of at least one problem. Life is rarely boring with Shallan - she's certainly living in interesting times. In terms of skills, Shallan is the most broad-based though the one thing she stands out in (drawing) is generally not considered to be especially useful. Her Radiant powers are the most open-ended as well - make stuff (Soulcasting) and visualise stuff (Lightweaving). In terms of emotion and personality she shows the most variety as well. She's one of the three main characters in the first 5 books. I wonder what her main achievement will be.
  13. Given how everyone else just magically accepted him so far, I have a somewhat sinking feeling that this whole issue will just be glossed over. I'd be slightly curious as to whether it'll become public that Taravangian had been the one behind Szeth's killing spree or not. I'd guess that Dalinar will, as usual, simply gloss over this and Taravangian himself would be unlikely to volunteer the information. I wonder if the plot will gloss over this or not.
  14. You might want to see this thread:
  15. Umm, I'm not sure why you think I'm responding to you. That list of quotes and thoughts is something that I'd wanted to post for some time so I used the opportunity of this new thread to post it. I looked back through your posts here but I can't see anything there that particularly connects them to my post. You make some good points. I think Adolin would consider what happened at Kholinar to be a major failure but it wasn't highlighted much in the text.