• entries
  • comments
  • views

Chapter 5



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

Chapter 5 (Broken Spears)
Epigraph: Oh, interesting. I thought the spren would enter the gem, then be trapped there when the stormlight ran dry. Instead, it’s more like you create a sudden vacuum, pulling the spren inside. That can’t be a pleasant process on the spren’s side.  Although, I really have to wonder who first discovered this phenomenon. Was this a chance discovery when a larkin was feeding and happened to capture a spren as a side effect? Was this something known by the early Radiants, with their use of stormlight? How old is fabrial science and where are its roots? In particular, how much does what they do now resemble the ancient types of fabrial? Soulcasters, regrowth, oathgates, and Urithiru’s mysterious tower mechanisms all appear to operate on quite different principles than modern devices. Actual developments in applying trapped spren for specific effects seem to have been an entirely recent phenomenon.


They’d learned much about the Fused from the Herald Ash.

I hadn’t thought that Ash would really stick around to tell them much. I’m very curious about how much they actually discovered in those conversations, and in what arrangements they made for Ash and Taln.

3 flights =54 members. Where does the numerology of 18 come from? I know we’re using 9 as the number for Braize (and/or Odium?) but why double it? Is there some other organizing principle here?

Rock’s kids are around and contributing. Yay Rock! Hooray for the unkalaki!

50 Windrunner Knights plus 250+ squires is pretty respectable for only a year since Lopen and Teft figured it out. 
Almost all of the surviving original members of Bridge Four had bonded a spren by now, as had many of the second wave—those who had joined him soon after he had moved to Dalinar’s camp. Even some of the third wave—those who had joined the Windrunners after moving to Urithiru—had found a spren to bond.
The “almost” sticks out to me here. Who from the original crew (besides Shen, presumably) hasn’t formed a nahel bond?

I hadn’t thought about spren being a limiting resource, but it makes sense, especially since Windrunners are apparently the most numerous due to the “strength of squires” quirk, meaning that their population was among the hardest hit during the Recreance and the demand will be highest in the current resurgence.

Huh, I like that word. “Resurgence” seems like a great term for the re-emergence of surges, nahel bonds, and the association of humans with spren. I’m going to propose it on the forums as a name for the current time period on Roshar.

One-on-one combat? Duels in the air? That’s not at all how I expected this to play out. I can respect the use of traditional chivalry and honor, following the singer’s history, but in a war like this I would have really expected them to try formation tactics, etc.

I’m interested in this rivalry Kaladin has with Leshwi. They haven’t actually started fighting yet, but I’m getting a strong undercurrent of respect and anticipation from Kal. Is this a pseudo-date? Do they seek each other out not only to test their own skill but out of a kinship? I don’t see this becoming romantic, but definitely a bond of some sort. Might come in useful (or be devastating) when the opportunity to team up against another threat arrives.

The Heavenly Ones will perform “rare” lashings. I wonder why, and how those lashings (dependent on a single surge rather than the paired surges of Windrunners) differ from what we have seen.



Leshwi’s spear was lined with a silvery metal that resisted Shardblade cuts. More importantly, it was set with a gemstone at its base. If the weapon struck Kaladin, that gemstone would suck away Kaladin’s Stormlight and render him unable to heal


This is a strong counter to the Radiants. I like that their abilities and gear are asymmetric, yet still mostly balanced. It bodes well for future fight scenes.


He followed, the chase thrilling him in part because of how well Leshwi flew.

Yeah, he looks forward to these. Especially since the honorable nature of the combat means bystanders are not at risk until he loses. No sudden hostage situations, no massive collateral damage, just a contest of skill with high personal stakes. This sounds almost like what Kal wants out of life.

Oh, Rock. Obviously he’s not fighting, and there’s a good chance that means he hasn’t tried to bond a spren. So he may be one of the original crew who remains at squire level.


Leshwi disappeared into the fight, leaving him behind with an exultant swirling maneuver in the sky. She seemed to revel in losing him when she could.

Looks like it’s mutual. She enjoys it too.


No casualties so far, thank Kelek.

This is a standard construction, which I’m pretty sure we’ve seen before. (I’ll confirm with my list.) However, it does make me wonder how these references will change now that they’ve begun to encounter (and interview) the heralds. I guess we’ll see.


Roshone ushered them on, and the old blowhard looked concerned for the people under his care. Perhaps he’d been taking acting lessons with the Lightweavers.

Kal, you are a judgemental prick. Let it go. (Okay, i can recognize that this is a bigger deal than just a grudge, but all evidence points to Roshone doing a good job with things after Kal and Tien left. Laral has been good for him, too. So even if you can’t let go of the grudge, you should at least open yourself to recognizing that he isn’t Amaram or Sadeas.)


It wasn’t Leshwi, but Kaladin was happy to accept the challenge.

At this point the question is more about whether this is as obvious to everyone else as it is to the reader. Is Kaladin obviously in denial to everyone around him, or haven’t they noticed his fixation on the opposing general?

Back to Shallan. Radiant watching her think on her feet. Let’s see some improv.


Even the tall man with the sack didn’t move, though that wasn’t as surprising. He’d be waiting for her to take the lead.

Is this the previous person who infiltrated the group? The one who wasn’t high placed enough to confirm Ialai’s involvement? (Is it Vathah?)

Selling war tech. That’s a good cover. Lots of holes to poke in it, but if you’re using it to poke holes in your previous cover, that’s messy enough it might get you by.

Ah, nope. It was Red, not Vathah.

And Adolin rushes in with the unwanted rescue.



They saw Kaladin as a challenge, a test. Leshwi always got to fight Kaladin first, but if he disengaged or defeated her, another was always waiting. 

How’s that for an ego boost? “You are our training dummy. Thanks Mr. Stormblessed.”

Rematch with the teleporter is… not happening. Just a quick appearance.

Kal is bitter about the breakup :-( Poor Kal.


“Stop being a stumer.”
“I’m not being a… What’s a stumer?”
“I don’t know,” Syl admitted. “It’s a word I heard Lift using. Regardless, I’m pretty sure you’re being one right now.”

Yes! Lift’s vocabulary spreads.
It’s interesting to consider what a meme would be like in a place where ideas gain actual physical manifestations as they spread and take root. Will we see the emergence of new spren at some point in the series?


Cord, who carried Amaram’s old Shardbow strapped to her back and wore the full set of Shardplate she’d found in Aimia.

WHAT? When did anyone go to Aimia? Will this be covered in the Dawnshard novella? Will we learn more about it here? TELL ME MORE! I must know.


Kaladin glanced upward as one of the Heavenly Ones shot past, chased by Sigzil.
“That’s Leshwi,” Kaladin said, launching into the air.

Yeah, he’s obsessed.