Chapter 1 jumps us another 15 years into the future following the prologue. From the viewpoint of a young, inexperienced soldier, Cenn, this chapter gives us a little more insight into how the world works within the book. Cenn has been tossed into a small squad of soldiers that serve a much larger army involved in a territorial dispute. At the time, Cenn is absolutely terrified out of his mind.
Luckily for him, a squadmate tells him that he’s been put into Kaladin Stormblessed’s squad, the best squad in the army and the squad that sees the fewest number of casualties. As it turns out, that squadmate was right.
Soon enough, Kaladin, one of the three main viewpoint characters of the book, shows up and takes charge of the squad. He has a certain air about him that the squad responds to and as soon as the battle starts Kaladin leads his squad right to the middle of the action. Cenn is overwhelmed and just trying to keep up as the two opposing forces collide.
The squad maneuvers throughout the battlefield, following the orders of Kaladin like a precision-oiled machine. Several soldiers get injured, but they recover and get right back into the fight. Up until the point where Kaladin spots a lighteye Brightlord riding through the throng smacking people left and right with a giant mace. Something changes in Kaladin at that point and he insists that the squad go after the Brightlord. He leaves Cenn behind with the injured, Cenn being injured slightly himself, and takes the rest of the squad to go after the Brightlord.
That doesn’t work out so well.
Yes, Kaladin takes down the Brightlord whom he believes is one of “Harrow’s” from what he tells the squad second-in-command. But… then a Shardbearer, in full Shardplate and swinging a massive Shardblade comes barreling across the battlefield. Kaladin is so busy with the Brightlord he never sees the Shardbearer coming and Cenn finds himself in between the two of them.
Cenn doesn’t make it.
One thing I noticed during this chapter was the constant distinction made between a person being a lighteyes versus being a darkeyes. It seems that the color of a person’s eyes has almost everything to do with their standing in society. I’m guessing this is going to be a point of interest for a majority of the book. Kaladin himself is a darkeyes and he so far seems to have a bit of a grudge against those of the lighter-eyed persuasion.
“Many of the lighteyes had full suits of armor. They sat astride horses, their honor guards clustering around them with breastplates that gleamed burgundy and deep forest green.”
“Ordinary men didn’t kill Shardbearers. It had happened so infrequently that each occurrence was now legendary.”
“And why would you want to fight the Almighty?”
QUESTIONS I’M LEFT TO PONDER
- Who is Harrow and why is Kaladin after him?
- Was that Shardbearer supposed to be on the battlefield or was that a surprise?
- Does Kaladin have some sort of horrible past that is going to crop up?
A complete list of posts in this BRICK series can be found here.