Interludes I-1: Ishikk
Last time on The Way of Kings we arrived at a series of confusingly numbered interludes, so thanks for fucking up my post numbering system Branderson. This one is about Ishikk. Ishikk with two k’s. Ishick-ick. Like many fantasy names I feel certain I’ve seen this one somewhere before, but a google search doesn’t turn up anything not connected to Way of Kings.
He wore lake sandals on his submerged feet and a pair of knee-length breeches. No shirt. Nu Ralik forbid! A good Purelaker never covered his shoulders when the sun was shining. A man could get sick that way, not getting enough sunlight.
It literally scares me to think that there are segments of the population who consider this good writing.
Only five fish swam in Ishikk’s buckets, and four were of the dullest, most common variety
Ishikk is playing that fishing mini-game from Zelda.
The Purelake is apparently really shallow for, no more than six feet at its deepest point despite being hundreds of miles in diameter. This strikes me as unlikely for some reason, but I don’t know a whole lot about lakeology or whatever so maybe it’s not.
The Purelakers are all chill and laid back, rarely running or moving in any particular hurry. Maybe they’re all stoned or something. And they talk like this:
“Ah, that’s the way of things. Are my foreigners here?”
“Sure are. Over at Maib’s place.”
“Vun Makak send they don’t eat her out of home,” Ishikk said, continuing on his way. “Or infect her with their constant worries.”
“Sun and tides send it!” Thaspic said with a chuckle, continuing on.
Needless to say I’m hoping for a freak tidal wave and/or lake monster attack.
(Also is it just me or is this setting reminding anyone really strongly of Final Fantasy X?)
Besides, it was probably cold there. Ishikk pitied those who had to live in the cold.
Fuck you Ishikk, cold is awesome check this out:
The Purelakers have a deep and richly drawn culture that I’m sure Branderson spent a long time coming up with but since it’s all superfluous window dressing I’m just going to ignore it.
Ishikkk is there to meet some foreigners, who are strange and bewildering.
There were three of them. Two were dark-skinned Makabaki, though they were the strangest Makabaki he’d ever seen. One was thick limbed where most of his kind were small and fine-boned
Racial stereotypes seem to be a really big thing in this word. Do people from different areas never intermingle or something?
One of them is pissed because Ishikkkk is late.
“The day is right, friend,” Grump said. “But we were to meet at noon. Understand?” He generally did most of the talking.
“We’re close to that,” Ishikk said. Honestly. Who paid attention to what hour it was? Foreigners. Always so busy.
Wait is this like a fantasy version of that thing where people from the Caribbean are supposed to be super laid back all the time? Oh god I think it might be
The foreigners wanted Ishikkkkk to sail around looking for a man with “white hair, a clever tongue and an arrowlike face” named Hoid but he couldn’t find anyone matching that description.
The end! Well that was enlightening wasn’t it.
I-2: Nan Balat
Nan Balat, our protagonist for this diversion, likes killing animals. As we join him he’s sitting on the porch of his mansion pulling the legs off of crabs for the lulz.
He didn’t like to talk about his habit. He didn’t even speak of it to Eylita. It was just something he did. You had to keep your sanity somehow.
Sounds like a sterling fellow to me.
He finished with the legs, then stood up, leaning on his cane, looking out over the Davar gardens, which were made up of stonework walls covered with different kinds of vines. They were beautiful, though Shallan had been the only one who truly appreciated them.
Woah it’s Shallan’s
brother? I think? Whatever.
We get some brief descriptions of all the wacky flora and fauna of this part of Brandersonland, mostly consisting of things that sound like Earth things but are actually other things (crab things that sing instead of birds, “axehounds” that are actually carapaced things with antennae instead of dogs, other assorted things).
Most of Shallan’s siblings have been terribly scarred by the experience of growing up with their father, who was apparently a giant douchewaffle, apart from Shallan herself. This makes Balat envious. I’m not entirely sure why we’re cutting to a completely different POV just to provide this information.
but how could you truly hate someone like Shallan? Shy, quiet, delicate.
For fuck’s sake can we please just settle on what Shallan’s personality is supposed to be? I’m getting whiplash here.
One of Balat’s brothers comes running out and announces that they have “a big problem” and then the chapter ends. Oh good, I guess we’ll be getting more of thee characters.
I-3: The Glory of Ignorance
It’s back to Szeth the angsty assassin, who is in a bar getting hammered.
He did not complain. If he looked like a wretch, people treated him as a wretch. One did not ask a wretch to assassinate people.
Couldn’t you just…. say no? Or is there a reason he can’t refuse? I can’t remember, this character is so uninteresting it’s affecting my memory.
Szeth is now a slave or something belonging to someone called Took. Took gets him to do a lot of embarrassing things and cut his arm up, which he does with no hesitation, then orders him to cut his own throat.
“I am forbidden to take my own life,” Szeth said softly in the Bav language. “As Truthless, it is the nature of my suffering to be forbidden the taste of death by my own hand.”
Sweet merciful fucking God.
Szeth always gets sold on because his intelligence and awesomeness makes people nervous.
The moment he summoned his Blade, his eyes would turn from dark green to pale—almost glowing—sapphire, a unique effect of his particular weapon.
-text recovered from Brandon Sanderson’s fifth-year notebook, next to his ballpoint drawing of the Metallica logo
By then, Szeth had stood only in a loincloth. His honor had forced him to discard the white clothing, as it would have made him easier to recognize. He had to preserve himself so that he could suffer.
CRAAAAAWLING IN yeah
Anyway Took gets a knife to the throat and the thieves who killed him claim ownership of Szeth. Wheeee.
Next time: yet more new viewpoint characters!