Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers.
Chapter 81 (Trapped)
Hm. I’m not sure I get Eshonai’s mentality yet. Why would she need to reassure herself that warform wasn’t a prison? Where are we in the timeline? It’s a good opening, but I need some context.
I didn’t realize that Rlain was part of Eshonai’s warform circle. Did I just miss it before when he was mentioned, or is this his first appearance in the flashbacks? He and Eshonai share a wariness about warform, but the way they experience it appears to be different.
She attuned Anxiety. And Awe. Complementary emotions, in her experience.
That’s absolutely valid from the emotion side of things, but I think this is the first time anyone has been described as attuning two different rhythms at once. In light of Navani’s hybrid tone experiments to produce harmonics from the rhythms, this feels significant.
Also, as an aside, I like that depiction of the ocean as a network of streams. That’s something that could show up in a Wit story and be perfectly at home.
I appreciate that Eshonai retains her interest in exploration and mapping even through the various forms she takes. That would be a fascinating (if nervewracking) way to discover your personality, by seeing what wasn’t lost as you transitioned into new phases and mentalities of life at regular intervals.
I’m looking for Willshaper ideals in Eshonai’s speech, but it doesn’t feel like much of note. Yes, she invokes freedom, but it’s more to do with the listeners’ circumstance than with her evident desire to not be trapped on the Plains.
Ever since the events at the human city, he’d treated her with far more respect. And he’d never abandoned her.
The respect is understandable, after getting out of the confrontation with Nale, but the never “abandoning” her sounds more like he’s been babysitting to make sure she doesn’t have a chance to think clearly.
I hadn’t really thought about Venli’s scholars all being her inner circle in working for the Return. I was imagining it just being her and Demid. Did she pick five because she was mirroring the council of five that leads her people, or was it just the number of voidspren she had available?
The hubris of claiming that they would come out on top over the spren who have been manipulating everything is sad, but the part of this that really stings is the way she blames Eshonai for starting the war.