Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Intro post here. Beware of spoilers.
Chapter 3 (The Fourth Bridge)
Epigraph: So unless the stormlight is removed, the spren has an escape route. Which is interesting, because we know that fabrials must be infused to function, so it’s not an easily reversible process. I’m not sure I’m ready to speculate on the mechanics of how removing the extra investiture congeals the spren into a frozen space, but there’s some very suggestive principles there that probably translate to fascinating applications in other magic systems.
It’s also noteworthy that larkin have this link to fabrial production. The Aimian wars were probably not over scientific development or industrialization in any real sense, but I’m betting they impacted on those issues. It’s interesting to think about what other processes could remove stormlight fast enough to entrap a spren (a presume that speed is the primary concern). It makes me really want to see Navani conscript Szeth for artifabrian duties just so she can get access to Nightblood and its super efficient stormlight sink.
A Navani chapter! Hooray! Fabrials ahoy.
The description of trees as a phalanx is more martial than I would expect from Navani, but she has been involved in war for her whole life. It shouldn’t be surprising to me that she thinks in those terms.
I’m a little shocked that Navani came personally to Hearthstone. That is not something I expected Dalinar to approve of, even if it’s her flying carpet that is making the trip.
Oh, wait, nevermind. He’s there too. Of course they’d go on a date like this.
Dalinar’s voice is “as steady as steel, as immutable as mathematics.” Yep, she’s an engineer.
They say “platform” but it’s got 3 decks, 40 feet thick compared to 60 wide and 100 long. That’s called a box.
100+ engineers to pilot the thing, plus however many are operating things on the Urithiru end, all coordinated by spanreed. Not even written messages, they’re doing morse code as they blink them on and off. This is not an easily scalable undertaking. There are a lot of hurdles to overcome before Navani’s airship sketches from Oathbringer become anything close to feasible.
Yeah, hundreds of men and chulls are working the pulley system on the other end. These will not be mass produced soon. No flotilla of warships on the horizon.
Ooooo. Aluminum shielding to temporarily decouple the gem halves, or do so along single axes of force. That’s crucial and brilliant, yet straightforwardly simple at the same time. Glad she mentioned that, because it was going to be my next question. That’s going to take a lot of aluminum, though. Fortunately, it’s soulcastable (at least for creation--resistant to turning into something else) so they shouldn’t need to develop industrial refining processes to make this work.
Navani doubting her accomplishments, since she is more project manager and patron than direct inventor for the flying ship, harks back to Gavilar’s disparaging comments in the prologue, and points to a need for fulfillment that I hope (and expect) her work beside Dalinar to deliver eventually. At the same time, it’s an interesting contrast to the patronage system of Earth’s European Renaissance, when the patrons would absolutely stick their name on any of the art or inventions that were developed.
“Highmarshal” Kaladin. That’s the first time we’ve seen that title, I think? I don’t remember him being called that in the last book.
Aww, the actual Bridge #4 was incorporated into construction of the flying Fourth Bridge. Very nice tribute.
I wonder what kind of speed this thing gets. Airships probably don’t handle highstorms well, if I were to guess. They will want to get back to Urithiru as quickly as feasible. It will be far faster than they would be able to move overland, but it probably won’t exceed a max of 10-15 mph, at a guess. That is a slow pace to cross a continent. Unless they only need to get to an oathgate? That would make a lot more sense in terms of travel time. Just slide over to Jah Keved, then portal back home.
“A dozen Edgedancers” YAY! Lift has friends. More people listening (especially since the actual listeners are singers now.)
Kmakl. Don’t you just love Thaylen names? I’m not sure I totally get the politics of naming him “prince consort” to Fen’s “queen,” especially in context of the mercantile governance of Thaylenah, but the important information is there.
Average speed of 5 knots. Google says that’s just under 6 mph (and Earth to Roshar units are wonky anyway, so ballpark is fine). That’s not too far off what I was expecting.
Lirin meeting Dalinar...doesn’t know about Kal’s titles and social elevation. Navani thinks he’s just as judgy as Kaladin. At least Kal comes by it honestly. I’m really looking forward to Navani meeting Hesina. Is that going to happen this chapter?
“Surgeons are obsolete. We have Edgedancer healers.” --not the best way to endear yourself to Lirin, or the most foresighted approach. You don’t want to become overly reliant on that limited resource, and you certainly shouldn’t take the flighty order of Edgedancers and try to regiment them into an army hierarchy.
Yeah, they’re going to be flying for several weeks to reach the Shattered Plains, which… just gonna say that a flying barge is not super defensible when your enemy includes the flying Fused. This is going to be a slog--maybe not narratively, but for the people? Definitely.
Dalinar is still doing his localized perpendicularity to infuse radiants and spheres. I thought that would be a special occasion thing, but I guess he can just throw it around as needed?
An ability once reserved for the storms and the things that lived in them.
Do you know something about the storm striders, Navani? TELL US!!!
Dalinar is getting better at reading, likes to read his wife’s notes. “Bondsmiths might be related to the tower.” Yes, we know that! Does that mean you’ll be figuring out the answer and telling us in this book? Go Navani! I’m cheering for you. Yay research!
Navani knows at least as much as we do about the Sibling. I like that she’s questioning what “death” means when applied to the Sibling, since there are multiple types of death for a spren.
“Some spren she interviewed said...” I like that this is a thing.
The Mink does dramatic entrances too, not just disappearances. I can see him playing off of Dalinar very well. This should be fun. I wonder what Shallan will think of him if/when they meet.
Hi Lyn! Good to see you. Too bad you had to bring news of… how many Fused are in a “flight” anyway? Three flights sounds like a lot.
Sounds like time for a fight scene.