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Chapter 39



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

Chapter 39 (Invasion)
Is this the first chapter with dual herald icons? Jez and Vev… I don’t know what the significance should be.

Epigraph: Odium is more dangerous than Rayse because it has distinct intentionality? I don’t think I’m following the reasoning even though I trust that Sazed is probably right.

I like that in conjunction with Kaladin’s realization of a meaning for “strength before weakness” in the previous chapter, he’s become so used to pushing through his own mental hangups that when it’s externally imposed by the tower he does the same thing without even recognizing that it’s a different force. His natural response is just to keep going.

It also makes me wonder if the form of the attack is personalized to each Radiant’s own weakness. Tefts drug use and gambling, Kaladin’s depression… Is it less a suppression of investiture than an oppression of spirit? I’ll have to wait and see.

Hm, maybe not. Lashings don’t work. So even if it is partially personal, it is at least a large-scale anti-magic field.


“This place [Urithiru] glows like Nomon’s own backside.”

Thank you, Red. That one is going on the swear list. On earth the back side of a moon is often considered the dark side, or the unknown due to our moon being tidally locked. That’s clearly not the case for this more anthropomorphized reference.

WHAT!? Navani’s pen pal is the Sibling? I am shocked. Definitely did not see that coming.
Also, very convenient timing that the Sibling got taken out just before it could deliver its message. Just like the witness in a noir film or the old sheriff in a Western, there just wasn’t time to convey that crucial piece of information, and therefore we get the rest of the book.

Nahel spren seem to have been banished from the tower. If that’s part of the normal protections I’m confused about how the voidspren for the stormform and Deepest Ones, along with Raboniel, managed to approach enough to access the Sibling. Shouldn’t they have been excluded, at least the Deepest Ones’ rock phasing ability? I presume that the gemhearts provide a protective barrier that preserves some of their powers, but I would have expected the direct voidbinding to be inhibited.

Oh, the Full Lashing (adhesion) works, while the other (gravitation) doesn’t. This sounds suspiciously like the detection of surgebinding in Kharbranth. Why are some abilities inherently high/low bandwidth? Is there an explanation besides rule of cool?

So Syl clawed her way back. It was pretty obvious already, but that basically confirms that the strength of the bond correlates with resistance to being shut down by the effect. Even squires are affected, so it’s any degree of bond that makes one susceptible. The more tightly your soul is bound to your spren, the less your bond is disrupted.

I was not expecting Leshwi and company to show up yet. How will that play out, I wonder?

I didn’t remember there being veins of gemstone mixed in with the rock strata. It was probably mentioned and I just missed it or thought it unimportant, but that’s awesome. Nice to see that the Sibling is accessible from throughout the tower and not only in the pillar room. I can’t wait for Navani to do a fun garnet soul-dive (or more likely some macgyver engineering) to communicate with the Sibling. 

Kaladin having flashbacks when narratively we expect a badass moment makes it hit all the harder. Him diagnosing himself in this detached way just drives it home.
Kaladin himself expects to fight because that’s the pattern he’s learned. It takes a lot for Lirin to talk him down. I was not expecting the invasion to be so overwhelming, but (until Navani tries to save the day) it looks like Odium’s gambit worked marvelously.


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