Summary:Words of Radiance/Prologue
|Prologue: To Question|
|Words of Radiance Summary|
|Precedes||Chapter 1: Santhid|
Jasnah Kholin walks through the feast hall during the celebration of the signing of the Alethi-Parshendi treaty, observing the assembled people, while she goes to a meeting. She notices her shadow pointing the wrong way before it returns to normal. She looks around to see if anyone noticed and sees Szeth-son-son-Vallano. Outside the hall she runs into her father, King Gavilar Kholin, speaking with Brightlord Meridas Amaram. Tearim, wearing Gavilar's Shardplate, watches over them. Gavilar speaks too quietly for Jasnah to make out the words but the tone is harsh. She interrupts them and after speaking briefly with her Gavilar sends Amaram away and returns, with Tearim, to the feast. Jasnah remarks on how much he has changed in recent times.
She moves on and a short time later her shadow again starts pointing toward the light instead of away. She also observes a group of oily figures materialize before her. Jasnah then transfers to Shadesmar for the first time. She almost drowns in the sea of beads before figuring out how to shape the beads into the shape of one of the palace hallways, using the bead representing the palace itself being too weak to manifest the entire thing. One of the figures approaches her drawing a sword and Jasnah manifests a statue of Talenel to protect herself. The figure bows to her while his companions whisper to each other before Jasnah transfers back to the Physical Realm. She notices that the lanterns near her have been drained of Stormlight and remarks to herself it had been Shadesmar she had just visited.
She hurries on to her appointment reflecting on the sounds of the Parshendi's drums as they reverberate through the palace. She notices an unfamiliar Veden man outside the prearranged meeting place, in an out of the way section of the palace, and enters to meet Liss, an assassin known as the Weeper. Jasnah hires her to watch her brother's wife, Aesudan Kholin. Jasnah asks Liss about the new servant she had wanted to show her, thinking that the servant was Talak, standing outside. Liss reacts with confusion before clarifying that she had sold the Shin servant in question a few weeks prior. Before leaving Jasnah reminds Liss of their first agreement, that if anyone attempted to hire Liss to kill a member of Jasnah's family to come to Jasnah who would match the offer in exchange for the individual's name.
As she leaves Jasnah hears the Parshendi's drums cease. As she walks she encounters Nale and an unidentified man discussing an individual named Ash as well what Jasnah believes is a shardblade. When they notice her the unnamed man hurries off. Jasnah asks Nale if the feast has ended to which he responds with a yes while giving her a discerning stare. Nale's companion then returns and pulls him away.
Jasnah then hears screams and starts running. She emerges into a trail of destruction and follows it to her father's rooms. She watches as Szeth collapses the balcony beneath himself and Gavilar. She recognizes Szeth as he lashes himself to the wall, rolls into it, and then approaches her father. She begins to cry as he stands over her him and wonders what he is doing. When he walks away she sees that her father is dead, his blade having appeared next to him, and despairs over failing in her efforts to protect her family.
She briefly contemplates Liss being at fault, connecting Szeth to the Shin servant she had owned, before discounting it. Klade, Gangnah, and Varnali, members of the Parshendi ruling council, approach Jasnah and apologize, confessing to hiring Szeth to assassinate Gavilar claiming he was about to do something very dangerous. Sadeas enters the room and orders the Parshendi be taken into custody. She speaks briefly with Gangnah remarking on how there will be a war and that she will not stand in its way. Gangnah acknowledges it, without protest. Jasnah remarks on Szeth's abilities but gets no response.
Later it is found that the assassination and the Parshendi leaders' surrender provided a distraction for the bulk of their people to escape, who then kill the Alethi cavalry who attempt to capture them. The Parshendi leaders remain silent even until they are hanged. Jasnah then dedicates herself to understanding what had happened.
- Jasnah Kholin (Point of view)
- Dalinar Kholin
- Elhokar Kholin
- Aesudan Kholin
- Torol Sadeas
- Szeth-son-son-Vallano (Unnamed in text)
- Gavilar Kholin
- Meridas Amaram
- Navani Kholin (Mentioned only)
- Ivory (Unnamed in text)
- Talenel (Mentioned only, as Talenelat)
- Shalash (Mentioned only, as Ash)
- Nale (Unnamed in text)
- Nale's unnamed companion
- Six years ago
The Royal Palace in Kholinar, Alethkar, the night of the assassination of King Gavilar. Shadesmar
- The first Jasnah viewpoint.
- Like the prologue for The Way of Kings, To Question shows a different perspective of the events of the night King Gavilar is assassinated. The name follows the convention of "To <blank>".
- The oily figure Jasnah meets is likely Ivory.
- First mention of Talenel being the "Herald of War".
- Liss possesses a Shardblade.
- Nale and his companion, theorized to be Kalak, are discussing Shalash, their fellow Herald. "Kalak" mentions she is getting worse and asks if he himself is getting worse. It has been theorized that the Heralds have been corrupted in some way and are now following a perverted version of their Divine Attributes. Kalak also says "That creature carries my lord's own blade." Presumably this refers to Szeth, who is in possession of Jezrien's Honorblade. It is unknown whether the "my lord" refers to Jezrien or Honor himself.
- Shadesmar Icon
First use of the Shadesmar icon for a character who is not Shallan.
- Battar wedge
Battar is the patron of the Elsecallers, of whom Jasnah is one.