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Chapter 35



Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers.

Chapter 35 (The Strength of a Soldier)
Epigraph: no comment...oh, except that I’m now wondering if this advice to keep shard and vessel “separate in our minds” is general or targeted specifically at the Vessels themselves (since it was apparently given to Sazed) for the purpose of self knowledge and relationships with each other. Is it advice for handling the Shards and their interaction? Or is it just the mundane plurality of identity thing?

And there goes Adolin being all Edgedancery again. Listening to Shallan, to Gallant… even to Ua’pam and Arshqqam now that I think of it, and all on the first page of the chapter. He’s basically a shoo-in, except for the fact that his bond will necessarily be different in consideration of Maya. I wonder what form that will take, since it’s obviously not going to be the standard nahel thing… INSPIRATION!

Okay, predicting it now. Adolin will be the first of the new Heralds, replacing Vedeledev, or whatever her real name is. I suppose he might not be first if we need Dalinar to get promoted before that for Bondsmith reasons, but I really hope not. Adolin needs his chance to shine. He’ll ascend or whatever with Maya at his side but not as his blade. Too bad we’ll have to wait for book 7-ish to find out if I’m right.

Aww, and Gallant is bonding with Maya too! Adolin really is the feel-good center of these books. There’s some of that with other characters, but his sections consistently have that wholesome vibe to them.

Felt “seemed to have a sixth sense for traveling in unknown places.” Where does that come from? Is it just mundane skill? Because I can’t think of anything except maybe tin allomancy that would help with that. No other allomantic or feruchemic traits really fit that description. I suppose feruchemical duralumin (connection) might, but that’s a stretch. Do we have confirmation that Felt is a native of Scadrial and didn’t end up there from somewhere else?

The Tukari don’t want to meet the honorspren. Would the honorspren recognize whatever Ishar did with them? Would they attack? I don’t know!

Wait, were they following Notum instead? Why prepare for an attack here, then? What you just said makes no sense, Adolin, and it’s throwing off my own predictions because you seem like you know what you’re talking about. Oh, wait I misread it. I thought you told everyone to stay at the camp, but you actually said to have everyone follow you and be ready for a fight where you’re going.

Adolin’s trick riding with Maya on board is an awesome image. Way to flex your skills, dude!

I’m still not convinced that death for spren is specifically as described here, mind broken from too much pain. I believe there’s more to be revealed on that front.

Adolin invites Maya to help, she’s scared for his safety (though he misinterprets it) and he understands her responses. Every interaction is that much more substantive. Keep on Listening!

Adolin’s inferiority complex is a problem, though. Don’t you realize that by showing honor here and coming to Notum’s defense you are providing the one possible argument for your own credibility on this envoy? I guess it’s a good thing you don’t, since that would color your motivations and possibly disqualify you automatically even if you did the right thing anyway.

Anticipationspren look like giant lurgs? Who gets excited about lurgs? Dang it, someone just said “Tien” didn’t they. Fine, I know when I’ve lost. I’ll just be over here muttering about nonsensical associations.

The painspren is howling… in anticipation of the coming fight? Do they have an ability to know ahead of time where they need to be? It would make sense, especially in this case since the sensation of pain is largely about expectation and anticipation on top of the physical aspect. The alternative is that Notum’s pain is drawing it, but I don’t think we ever got an indication that emotion spren could feed from or were attracted to other spren.

These Tukari may be untrained, but there’s still whatever magical junk Ishar did to them. Don’t get cocky, Adolin. Your wife will be upset if you get yourself killed. I do also admit to being slightly shocked when Adolin’s opening move was a decapitation. I’ve been reading superhero fiction lately, where the majority of people go out of their way to avoid lethal or even crippling blows, so this was a bit of genre mismatch.


This was butchery. Fortunately, he had some good role models in that realm.

I really can’t tell how sincere you’re being here, Adolin. Is this a dig at Dalinar?

Oh, stabbed in the stomach with a spear. That’s not a good thing. Maybe you should think about gaining some stormlight healing soon?


All around him, others danced in a strange motion, moving unexpectedly.

Wait, he’s injured and suffering from blood loss. Is this Ishar’s magic doing stuff, or is Adolin just disoriented? It’s not allowed to be ambiguous! 

And Maya came to the rescue! I wasn’t sure she would, this time. Oh, and the kata lets her actually save him, distracting and intimidating the enemy. Nice!

Oh, but the Tukari leader got away. “Adolin didn’t win. But the Tukari lost.” That about sums it up, and it’s still a victory. Very sweet fight scene.


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