Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers.
Chapter 25 (Devotary of Mercy)
Epigraph: Great Googly Moogly! More shard names? What inspired Brandon to give us this sudden windfall? Whimsy, Mercy, and Valor now, in addition to Invention from the previous chapter. Not much information about them beyond hints, though I really want to see what kind of magic system Whimsy inspires. (Maybe that’s the magic kite story that was mentioned in the State of the Sanderson?) Valor is willing to entertain another entreaty from Hoid, and is at least looking forward to a conversation with him. I’m quite concerned about how Mercy is (in Sazed’s view) going off the rails. I do not want to see a corrupted/insane shard with that divine attribute. It makes sense as an extension of the whole “Preservation isn’t purely good, despite human connotations,” and fits in with Brandon’s cosmology extremely well, but it’s quite ominous.
I will also say that titling a chapter “Devotary of Mercy” and giving clues in the epigraph that the vessel of Mercy in the universe may have gone off the deep end is not an encouraging portent.
Oh no. The Devotary of Mercy administers the asylum. This is not something Kaladin will like seeing.
Teft’s comparison of walk-throughs of the tower and true exploring is interesting and worrisome. “You might never see the things looking back at you.”
Yes, Kaladin. I totally believe that you’ve “gotten over” being a lighteyes. Definitely only Teft here who is still bothered by that.
Summoning a shardspear looks like a very effective way of circumventing bureaucratic paperwork, I must say. Looks like there are some benefits to your status after all.
Syl: “What are we doing? Actually, I don’t care. I need to tell you about PUPPIES!” Yes, Syl, you are adorable.
The whole chapter was building to this choice of Kaladin’s to take over the mental patients, so it’s not a surprise in the least. His thought process about empiricism is not what I expected, though. I guess that’s why he’s doing this rather than one of the edgedancers. They have the skill and disposition to listen and to care, but they would only have the staying power to help a handful of people, and they would do it all in an individualistic way. Personalized, directed caring. In order to revamp treatment of these people at an organizational level and in a systematic way, you need a compassionate leader. That’s the Windrunners, through and through.