Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers.
Chapter 73 (Which Master to Follow)
It’s Part 4! Time for new PoVs, including my favorite collective in a single body! Title page indicates we’ll be getting the Shadesmar crew, Navani and Venli, plus Bridge Four. I’m slightly dubious about Bridge Four being given PoVs again–it worked before, but at the moment I feel like that’s indulging in character creep. I’m sure I’ll appreciate it when we actually get to that part, though. Teft in particular is going to need some attention if he wakes up before part five.
Anyway, we’re back to the flashbacks. Let’s see what the sisters are up to.
Interesting that Venli doesn’t recognize the new rhythms as sinister. Even in her tightly controlled state after first assuming stormform, Eshonai knew the rhythms were wrong and uncomfortable.
Wow. That flattery isn’t transparently fake at all, Ulim. Way to really sell it. “You are the specialist snowflake ever. Just do what I say and you’ll be famous.”
And, here’s the sad part. Her thoughts have been warped enough to focus on jealousy and coveting new forms for herself at the expense of gifting her mother a form that (in her hopes at least) could stave off the dementia.
The agents of Odium have to pull the voidspren across at the Origin? How do they get there? Even with the industrial strength of other worlds, I have serious doubts about how well a vessel could survive on the ocean in a highstorm, especially at (presumably) the strongest point of the storm where the singularity pours power into it. I suppose they hang out east of the Origin until the riddens of the previous storm passes them, then move to the Origin to do their thing. But they have to pass the filled gems to the mainland somehow, and that’s a long journey. My best guess at the moment is that they have some manner of submersible that allows them to escape the worst of the storm's wrath when it passes over. However, santhid aren’t the only creatures in the ocean, and I or one would not volunteer to pilot an early-industrial submarine when Rosharan greatshells are about.
At least she’s not simply naive. When she starts to think about Ulim’s manipulative nature, and how that might be concerning, her thoughts get fuzzy. She’s very much a tool more than an actor at this point.
This does make me think that Venli, Rlain, and the other singer/listener radiants of the new era will have a much closer bond to their spren, and manifest extreme versions of the stereotypical personality traits of their given order. Having a spren inside their gemhearts leads to a more synchronous attunement through the bond than early stage human radiants.
Please don’t say that around any of my friends. You’ll make me look bad.
Bah, it was a fluke.
I wasn’t expecting this sort of self assurance and casual dismissal from Ulim. It’s a different manner of speech than we’ve seen from any of the other spren, and feels closer to modern colloquial English than any of the other characters. It’s odd, but I can see how it fits…assuming the society of Voidspren that have been planning this resurgence really have been interacting with many people and cultures.
Interesting to hear about the False Desolation from Ulim’s perspective. It’s basically what we expected from Ba-Ado-Mishram, but the point about her having too little power and being thereby susceptible to Melishi’s attack is new-ish, as is the circumstances of the Unmade starting the False Desolation.
I appreciate Venli’s backtalk in support of her “traitorous” ancestors. She’s not fully subverted yet.
Yay! Jaxlim anchors Venli to the old rhythms.
Oh storms. Venli, no, that’s an awful idea. I thought the Sons of Honor were unique in their madness, but apparently they had a mirror here. In fact, it’s so similar that I’m betting they were both created by the same manipulations. Venli wants to terrify her people, and trap them in a war of attrition to force them to seek out forms of power. Meanwhile, Gavilar and company want to force those forms of power into being so that humanity will be threatened enough to bring the Heralds back. Good grief.