Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers.
Chapter 31 (Daughter of Traitors)
Title: As a Venli chapter, this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The listeners weren’t ever characterized as traitors, as far as I recall. Yes, they rejected the Fused and Unmade, but that hasn’t been treated as betrayal so far. Not to say it won’t be… The other possibility is that it’s talking about Timbre, since there was a mention of the spren betraying/abandoning the listeners when they gave their nahel bonds to humans. But that feels less likely to me.
Epigraph: “If you can, as you suppose, maintain Odium’s prison for now…” Um, this sounds like Hoid has delusions of grandeur. I’m sure he’s influencing things, but to say that he’s the one maintaining Odium’s prison feels pretty disingenuous to me. It’s discounting not only everything the heralds and the modern protagonists are doing, but also Cultivation’s efforts and all the other mess of the Ghostbloods, etc. I’m not willing to concede that Hoid is the one who is protecting the Cosmere from Odium.
The Deepest Ones (makay-im) get the surge of … whichever one messes with solids. I haven’t gotten a grasp yet on tension vs. cohesion.
Finally we get someone walking to Urithiru! People keep talking about how Nohadon did it back in the day, but nobody’s actually tried to follow in his footsteps. Now we get the first pilgrimage, and it’s an invading force containing Venli. Nice. No idea where Abamabar might be or if it’s farther/closer than her starting point.
Well, that’s blunt. Nomon is directly named “Honor’s Moon” by the singers/listeners. Presumably Salas and Mishim have equally straightforward names?
The Edgedancer-like Fused who use friction/abrasion are called the Flowing Ones (shetel-im). Appropriate.
I’m concerned about Venli’s title as Last Listener. Is that just because she’s high ranked, or have they found and done something with the others who escaped at the end? (I really can’t remember who led that group right now, that Eshonai allowed to escape.)
[Humans] claim a tenth, of Honor alone. Adhesion is not a true Surge, but a lie that was presented to us as one. True Surges are of Honor and Cultivation--Cultivation for life, Honor to make the Surge into natural law.
This is fascinating, and obviously has at least some basis in realmatics. It really makes me wonder what’s going on with Bondsmiths. Is this extra surge perhaps part of the reason that Honor fell first to Odium? That extra bit of power invested in the system weakened Honor enough to make him an easier target? Also, we know that listeners predate the shattering, so it can’t be any innate reason that they are unable to access Adhesion. It’s got to be a spren difference, but what could leave it inaccessible when the others clearly can be used via alternate means?
Radiants are so outwardly focused. They change the world, but ignore themselves.
I really like seeing this outside perspective, even (especially?) because everything we’ve seen from at least the main cast of Radiants has been dominated by introspection. This is utterly false as a criticism where they are concerned, but entirely reasonable for Raboniel to make.
The value placed on ambition among the singers makes me want to see them interact directly with the Ghostbloods for a compare/contrast session of how they recruit and advance their membership.