Ailvara

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  1. I agree with the others that she shouldn't be held responsible. But there should be strong narrative consequences to the fact that the very person who delivered a strong argument to the Honorspren case was present there for the trial and a vital part of the envoy sent to alleviate the situation. It was such a suspenseful accident waiting to happen (especially if you figured out the secret early enough) and then... Nothing. If it was anyone else than Shallan who killed Testament, it would make no difference to the trial, and that's just a disappointing red herring.
  2. I think all of El, Moash, Nale, make sense but would be quite underwhelming and uninteresting. I still wish for Adolin (drama!), but after RoW he seems to be set up for a different arc (BAM release). However, Rodium nearly turned Dalinar, then nearly Kaladin of all people, each in less than one book. So who knows. It'd be actually super cool to see how Todium is a much more masterful and convincing sneaky bastard.
  3. I think it's safe to say, if Brandon would plan anything between Kaladin and Laral, he had every opportunity to at least re-establish some form of friendship between them in this book. Between that and "it's a girl I would never marry, no matter what", I'm not sure how much more he could sink this ship, aside from maybe killing any of the characters.
  4. So, from the perspective of a non-fan, I don't mind he's not interesting. Supporting characters exist for a reason. I do have issues, however, with the way he is presented as "the best of them all" because it's not just the fandom, I totally see why you would think that. One is: it tends to ignore the somewhat machiavellian touch to his character. He's good, but he's definitely more towards chaotic good than 100% paladin. And we can agree to disagree here, but I'm with Dalinar on this one. Especially when other characters go above and beyond to avoid killing, and prove that it's possible to win anyway. His moral code would absolutely work in, say, GOT, but in SA there are too many examples that it's possible to do better. Second: to show him as the best undermines the journeys of the other characters. To help a friend, Adolin simply needs to notice they need help and talk to them. And that's lovely. But compare that to Shallan, who shows people their best selves and gives them a smile despite being so shattered on the inside. Or to Kaladin, who gets Bridge Four members out of the darkest place, while battling his own demons, not to mention the whole slavery thing. Even Dalinar, he wasn't born or raised good, he had to go through hell to earn hard whatever moral "level" he is on. These accomplishments are so much more precious because of how hard it was and yet they did it anyway. Veil explained that beautifully.
  5. This WoB is so straightforward it makes me chuckle. He basically told us years (?) ago! It sounds reasonable that Kelsier took over the Ghostbloods from someone else. I don't think, however, that they are unaware of the change - the Lord of Scars seems to be very much his own title, not inherited from anyone.
  6. There've been WOBs for both. Lirin and Hesina are Kaladin's biological parents. The second one, IIRC it implied that his abilities are augmented due the Connection to Syl through Spiritual Realm which of transcends time.
  7. After that epilogue... It's a scary idea.
  8. So much this. There were some elements of it in RoW, but he was more of an icon, like some Superman, than a leader. Bridge Four has moved on and left a void behind, making it almost seem like his best time for leadership is, for now, behind him. And by "for now" I mean, "for a while". Both that quest to Shinovar and the little time left don't leave much room for his further development in this area. We can only assume his arc won't done in book 5, I guess? But then, with Jezrien dead and Kaladin going to Ishar who implied he could restore the Oathpact, the implications seem obvious - maybe too obvious, but if that's where it's going, I think he's not nearly ready for that.
  9. Wow, this was a rollercoaster. Many things that I expected to like, I didn't, and all those that I didn't expect to like, I did. Maybe the expectations are the key. Either way, epic. Group A: I loved the gloomy atmosphere of the occupied fortress. And I loved how tightly-knit this arc was. Switching viewpoints was so smooth, with a lot of interactions between all POVs. I thought the Singers would be boring and take away the focus from the established characters (especially after the early reviews), but they turned out to be an absolute highlight. Venli was fantastic, Brandon really didn't shy away from any unlikable characteristics, and yet I found myself cheering for her. Raboniel moved me more than some of Kaladin's key scenes. Navani's chapters were at times a bit too info-dumpy, but the tension made them work. I have mixed feelings about Kaladin. There was so much hype about his arc, that maybe I simply expected more. Wonderful that he's taking the first steps to introduce psychiatry to Roshar. It was super cool to see him inspire the people of Urithiru and be awesome (maybe a bit too overdone, but I don't mind much). His fights with the Pursuer were quite repetitive, though, and he showed little initiative, mostly following Navani's or Sibling's plans. The most emotional and heartbreaking moments for me were those in Part 1. In the climax, I was largely indifferent, it seemed obvious how it would end. As much as Teft's death was a shock, I didn't fully buy Kaladin going all suicidal after that. That scene in Kholinar, when whole groups of people he led for a while started killing each other, was way more dramatic. The Tien vision was sweet but heavy-handed, the way he pretty much gave Kaladin the ready-made answer kinda violated "show don't tell" to me. Most of all, I feel like his character arc currently lacks direction a bit. They need a fighter to defend the Sibling - done. They need a healer to go to Ishar - yes, please. He's pulled in so many directions, he goes in circles. The most amazing thing he's ever done was not fighting, not being a surgeon, but turning Bridge Four into what it has become. I don't currently see any setup for him to progress along those lines further. The trip to Ishar will certainly be fascinating, but it feels disconnected. It's telling how impossible it is to tell what his 5th Ideal would be, what's his next challenge as a character. I'm sure there's a plan, but I'm a bit worried. Group B: A relatively slow read, disconnected from all other arcs. I enjoyed it more when I finally decided to read it separately. Still, most of Part 2 was unnecessary. I enjoyed Adolin's interactions with Kaladin and Dalinar a lot, but the moment they started to travel, and travel through Shadesmar... Boring. Especially the whole hunt for the spy was anticlimactic. When Pattern said it was him, I was waiting for some twist, at least to see that his intentions were different... But that was it. A lot of setup for not much. On the other hand, Part 4 was rushed in some places. Shallan integrating Veil happened a bit out of nowhere, I expected a stronger "trigger" and more incremental setup there, and Formless was much ado about nothing too. Maya speaking on the trial was the most predictable development possible, but the content made sense, and I like that she spoke for herself. The Honorspren were so ridiculously focused on the law that they should have been Highspren. Looks like, next thing, they'll release BAM and all the deadeyes will all be revived. Which may be too predictable to actually happen, or not. Group C: That was the smallest arc? Huh. In addition to Dalinar and Jasnah - Renarin, Szeth, Taravangian, Wit... Big party, big revelations. Also tied to Group A which made part 3 all the more interconnected and enjoyable. Jasnah felt a little odd at times, the whole duel scene came a bit out of nowhere and it seemed only put there for the sake of maybe some foreshadowing of the deal with Odium? Renarin is the best, even when there's so little of him (maybe especially then - I'm actually not looking forward to him becoming much less mysterious). Let me just say, I didn't expect Rayse to die just yet - and the way this whole secret looms over our protagonists, that epilogue... Makes me shiver. I really love how the stakes continue to grow, a war with a god for the fate of the world wasn't enough, we have the whole universe involved in so many ways. Now I really don't know what would be next.
  10. I think it's a pretty safe bet, that if we've got 2 possible scenarios given on a silver plate, then we're getting any but these two. Especially that there's already talk about the loopholes. It ties nicely to what Wit was saying about winning vs not losing (can't remember the exact situation/wording). It looks like we may have some sort of a tie, though it's hard to imagine how this could play out. Maybe neither of the Champions dying, hence "to the death" would be the loophole?
  11. I had one more theory that adds to that today. If Maya revival happens, I expect that she won't exactly be chill about humanity. We've seen so many spren hate on humans because of what Recreance did to their kin, what will do one that actually lived through it herself? I believe Maya won't be ready to give humanity another chance and won't necessarily want to fight on the side of our protagonists. And Adolin will follow her. I also expect the mission sent to the Honorspren to fail one way or another, and this is an interesting way this may happen, to have Maya contribute to them not trusting humans, tipping the scales.
  12. Maybe one and a half of these are fully mine, some I've discussed with friends, others have been around for a while but I stand by them. Anyway, if I were to put my money on anything, it would be these: Kaladin is going to save the day during the attack on Urithiru and unwittingly claim a bigger leadership role without Dalinar or Jasnah around. Lirin will then finally see the bigger picture as well and help him come to terms with that. Kaladin will eventually play a vital role in bringing the humans and (some of) the singers together in the fight against Odium. The moment of him swearing the 4th oath will be parallel to Shallan's moment of revelation, similarly to how their low moments were interwoven in the first chapters. Venli thinks she's going to kidnap a Radiant, but in fact, she is going to be stuck in Urithiru after the assault, get to know everyone better, and eventually help with figuring out how to avoid genocide or enslavement of either side. Shallan is going to realize she's been a persona since she split in childhood. Her last truth will require facing something terrible Helaran did to her and it will encompass her whole self, and her admitting to truly being each and all of her four alters. After reintegration, she and Adolin will need to face that only 1/4 of her (or less - as "Shallan" is mostly made up of coping mechanisms) is, in the eyes of both of them, truly married to and/or in love with Adolin. Between that and her involvement with the Ghostbloods it's not going to progress well. [Extensive reasoning for this and the next point as usual here; yep, I also still believe Shalladin will be the endgame, but possibly in back five] Adolin will either snap again and do something reckless that will put him on a path of no return, or he'll decide the human side isn't really the "right" side, especially after the ongoing conflict with his father (and possibly under the influence of e.g. Taravangian). He'll end up being Odium's champion. Dalinar will face Adolin in the final showdown and will have a chance to kill him, but won't be emotionally capable of doing so. As a result, the protagonists are going to suffer a crippling defeat in the finale of book 5. Up to and including destroying Roshar Ashyn-style in an attempt to keep Odium confined. [The ground for this theory are some of the death rattles + mirroring characteristic to SA]. We're going to get our main characters as the 10 new Heralds, but the Oathpact won't be recreated in the same form (or even any form - they'll just guide humanity through the back five). As a surprise to no one, Gavilar is alive and Navani will bond Sibling.
  13. Adolin dying doesn't change anything WRT Shalladin. It'd make it a second choice anyway. If you need to have it in military language, a "victory" would be to show they don't work well together, not have Adolin die heroically and Shallan mourn over her perfect husband. So no, the reason people think Adolin will die is that he still has no character development, no interesting places where his arc is set up to go (Maya revival is super predictable at this point + it'd remove Adolin's last unique characteristic in that he's a "normal" guy). The point is, nothing that was just released has challenged that, so it looks like this state of things is intentional.
  14. I think it's natural such rumors would exist given how much time they likely spend together. Add to it that we as readers have a perfectly good explanation of what they're really doing (talking about Serious Things) and it's an obvious wink to the readers through a less informed narrator. Same as Adolin and Shallan wondering what Nalthis and Scadrial are without ever getting even close.
  15. Forget Jasnah/Wit. Given her abolition of slavery there is one entirely different character that I want to see her interact with ASAP.