|<< WoR Ch. 11: An Illusion Of Perception / WoR I. 1: Narak >>|
|“||Unfortunately, we fixated upon Sadeas's plotting so much that we did not take note of the changed pattern of our enemies, the murderers of my husband, the true danger. I would like to know what wind brought about their sudden, inexplicable transformation.||”|
–From the journal of Navani Kholin, Jesesach 1174
Progression of the Chapter:
Kaladin, Sigzil, Rock, and Lopen perform scientific experiments to measure magic; science proves insufficient due to a lack of clocks; things and people are stuck to other things and people; sparring breaks out, in which Kaladin easily triumphs over his men; one-armed Herdazian jokes intensify; Kaladin discusses the Knights Radiant with Teft; Sylphrena and Teft urge Kaladin to reveal his power; a "hero" arrives, and is welcomed as an old friend by Dalinar Kholin; the "hero" is Amaram.
Quote of the Chapter:
|“|| "So," Rock said as they waited, "Stormblessed leader, you said there was something else you could do, did you not?"
"Fly!" Lopen said from down the passage.
"I can’t fly," Kaladin said dryly.
"Walk on walls!"
"I tried that," Kaladin said. "I nearly broke my head from the fall."
"Ah, gancho, Lopen said. "No flying or walking on walls? I need to impress the women. I do not think sticking rocks to walls will be enough."
"I think anyone would find that impressive," Sigzil said. "It defies the laws of nature."
"You do not know many Herdazian women, do you?" Lopen asked, sighing "Really, I think we should try again on the flying. It would be the best."
Development of the Chapter:
This is the last chapter of Part One: Alight, and with it comes quite a twist. No one thought that Amaram was going to stay gone forever. (Anyone who brands and enslaves an epic fantasy protagonist is going to be coming back.) However, its surprising that he’s best friends with Dalinar. Amaram is a vassal of Sadeas (which makes sense because he is an evil man working for another evil man, but it turns out that his honorable exterior long ago convinced Dalinar).
Amaram’s arrival ignites Kaladin's internal conflict anew. He almost trusts Dalinar, but the fact that the Highprince is close to Amaram makes it impossible to really open up to him. Amaram is a living reminder of Kaladin’s destruction, and an ongoing proof that lighteyes can’t be trusted. So, Kaladin hides his powers from Dalinar, believing that Dalinar doesn’t share his goals, and generally, bitterly argues himself out of doing anything positive.
As he was trained, Sigzil is doing his best to apply the scientific method to this magic nonsense. He’s recording results, trying to get multiple estimations of time to approximate actual timekeeping in the lack of proper instruments, and trying to minimize the importance of uncontrollable variables. While it seems pretty hopeless, since many of the variables are totally uncontrollable (i.e., the cut of a gemstone), this process should eventually lead to a reliable system of measurement.
Kaladin doesn’t know it yet, but everything he does in this chapter is a Full Lashing, binding multiple objects together with the Surge of Adhesion. He mentions his other trick (i.e., giving a shield gravitational pull so that he doesn’t get killed by an infinite number of arrows), but can’t perform it in the absence of shields and arrows. This shows that, while he knows one application, he doesn’t understand the underlying capability. That other trick uses the Surge of Gravitation, showing that Kaladin has access to both his Surges, but like Shallan, he understands one of them better than the other.
Kaladin has to force himself to think beyond the passive value of Stormlight. He instinctively feels that the extra speed, strength, and healing provided by holding Stormlight are far more useful than his other newfound abilities, but he also knows that it’s just because he hasn’t yet practiced these new abilities enough as yet.
Amaram's reintroduction chapter is bizarrely graced by the image of Jezrien.
- Paraphrased from Carl Engle-Laird