Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers.
Chapter 110 (Reborn)
Icons: Jez and Ishar. We’re back to our regular mirrored doublet, so maybe things are calming down? Looks like windrunner and bondsmith shenanigans inbound.
Epigraph: Really? Now you’re teasing us with one word at a time? This is getting silly.
Okay, that is a lot more windspren than I expected. Kaladin is overachieving again, opening a glowing channel from the top of the storm to the bottom. No wonder the giant window was lighting up in the tower.
Hm. This is a nice moment of earning his Plate, and it’s great to both see it and feel the significance of the windspren choosing that connection. HOWEVER! Why does Kaladin get this scene? Jasnah has had her plate for over a year, and she’s not the only one. We all knew where plate comes from by now, so this isn’t a reveal of any sort. Doesn’t Jasnah deserve some time in the spotlight? This isn’t just the Kaladin show. The other characters matter too.
And the PoV cuts off right as he is about to grab Lirin, or they’re both going to smack into the ground. It’s cinematic, but does anyone actually think Brandon’s going to let Kaladin fail to save Lirin right here? I guess it would be a test of his new oath…
Yes! Go Navani! Reject those internalized judgements of not being good enough. You are a scholar. You are a creator. You are enough, and you are worthy! We’ve been waiting for this culmination of your character journey. Take that, Gavilar.
Navani is willing to compromise, to unite. It’s a different conception of unity than Dalinar encompases, but it’s an important one. Perhaps more important for that difference.
Navani hums Odium’s tone, as the only one she can hear… but she can invert it in her own voice. This reclaims some of the Sibling and forces Moash to hesitate. This is what you’ve discovered, Navani, and a skill you’ve earned.
Sibling can hear Cultivation’s tone, but not Honor’s. So the answer is no, cultivation’s investiture was not replaced by the infusion of Voidlight.
Navani unknowingly echoes Notum and the other honorspren here, “Honor is not dead. He lives inside the hearts of his children.” And she makes it a reality, drawing on her own heart to bring forth Honor’s tone.
All her practice jamming out with Raboniel means she can immediately and on the fly harmonize into the Rhythm of the Tower, finding that common ground with the Sibling. Yep, she’s awesome.
Also, I love that Navani is speaking to these Rhythms now. She’s going to be welcomed by Leshwi and friends.
The Sibling says their initial creation was in order to create common ground between humans and spren. What does that mean for the founding of Urithiru, and the formalization of nahel structure by Ishar? I doubt we’ll find out soon.
I find it significant that the Sibling accepts her oath. It’s not weird, since they are of equivalent stature/standing as the Stormfather and he’s the one who usually does it. But this is personal and the result of long negotiation. I approve.
She’s somehow healed the Sibling’s ability to create Towerlight, and they do it together. I don’t have a problem with that, except that it appears to trivially revert all of the Unmaking that Raboniel has been doing for weeks. Sure, that was needlessly drawn out in order to push Raboniel’s other plans, but it was still a huge infusion of voidlight into the very being of the Sibling, to the point that their mind has been undergoing fundamental alteration. I don’t think you should be able to gloss over that with a single power-up sequence.
In fact, I was looking forward to Rlain the Bondsmith in part because of the partial unmaking of the Sibling. It would be something new and interesting to work around.
On top of that, I think it would have been better and more Significant for a listener/singer to be the second Bondsmith. That would recast the conflict significantly, and draw a lot more eyes than Venli’s bond. Maybe that’s why Brandon didn’t do it? Because he didn’t want Venli overshadowed? But then why give the job to the Kholin family?
In fact, I’m a little irked that Navani’s “yes I matter, yes I’m good enough” moment leads directly into phenomenal cosmic powers. She was unique among the core cast as being someone without magical skills but still getting by through fabrial tech and family bonds and sheer gumption. Why undercut that role by giving her powers, right when she starts to accept her own contributions? I’m not fully happy with this development, as great as it is.
Still, “Journey before destination, you bastard.” That’s a badass moment and something we’ve all been wanting to spit in Moash’s face for a while. You go, Navani!
Lirin accepting the shash glyph is a nice touch to this reunion scene. Kaladin’s brand healing is nice and symbolic, but doesn’t make sense. Why would accepting his inability to save people negate his self identity as branded and enslaved? This doesn’t jive for me. It’s too sudden. Sure, elevations to another tier of Radiant Oaths are empowering, but he was accepting loss and weakness, not whatever this is.