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Back Cover Copy

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

Back Cover

Before jumping into this, I want to share something very cool that I learned this week. Did you know that the Coppermind has implemented a time machine function where you can access the articles as they appeared prior to the release of a particular book? That means you don’t have to avoid the wiki entirely if you are trying to stay spoiler free. Props to the Coppermind staff and contributors for making such a useful function operate (so far) in a seamless fashion.

Now then, in addition to the art in the physical copy, I am also eager to get a look at the back cover. As you (probably) know, the back cover text of the Stormlight books is distinct from the publisher’s blurb. Brandon insisted on attaching in-world text to the books, and ever since Edgedancer we’ve known that these are written by the Sleepless. 

Speaking of which, it just occurred to me that I’ve only looked at digital copies of Edgedancer and (cursorily, since I haven’t read it yet) Dawnshard. I have no idea whether the novellas also get in-world text equivalent to the bits on the full novels. I’m going to guess no, the Sleepless commentary is exclusive to the main-sequence books, but I honestly don’t know. I’ll need to ask someone on 17S. 

Anyway, let’s take a look. The One Who Is Three is a great title for Shallan (and friends). She “seeks the captured soul.” Does that mean the Sibling, or something new that we don’t know about yet? 

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Can she free her own soul in time to find knowledge? The knowledge that damns all people of Roshar?

I’m curious how her internal division is an obstacle to finding this knowledge. I also note that “all people”  sounds a whole lot like shorthand for “humans, singers, sleepless, and Siah Aimian alike,” which means it’s something more than the whole crisis of morality that the Radiants faced when they realized humans were interlopers on Roshar. I can’t wait to find out what the next big reveal is. (Hopefully, as I haven’t been steeped in the pre-release theorycrafting this time around, it will be less anticlimactic than the last one.)

The Fallen Soldier--sounds like Kal is going to have a rough time in this book.

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He can bring [no light] with him but that which he can kindle himself.

I’m curious if this is doing double duty and has literal meaning on top of the metaphor. Is Kaladin going to be cut off from Stormlight somehow?

The Broken Sister--Venli’s ancestors are carrying her? Towards “that most important silence” ? I am confused. Is this a silence that stills the new (Odium-inspired) rhythms? Or is it a silence from all rhythms? Because that sounds like a dangerous repudiation of what makes a listener. I’m going to just have to read and find out on this one.

The Mother of Machines--nice to see Navani get a part of the spotlight here. Especially since she’s called out as the “most important of them all.” I’m entirely unclear on how her “lies” are related to the secrets of the sleepless, but I guess that’s the point. I do wonder whether this is an indication that Navani has a nahel bond in her future, since the sleepless have been focused on proto-radiants in previous volumes of the Stormlight Archive. I suspect not--they just like the way she’s sparking the industrial revolution and changing the world--but I wouldn’t put a firm bet on that.
 

And that's that. While I'm here looking at the cover I do want to add to my previous observations that the colors are really vibrantly beautiful in this cover art. I'm looking at the oil-sheen-like rainbow on the rocky outcropping and the shimmering spheres that make up the bead ocean. I love being able to look at all the little details up close. Thank you Michael Whelan for doing the art! You're amazing!

 

(And as an aside I think it's hilarious that Nazrilof is credited for taking Brandon's photo.)


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