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Chapter 36



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

Chapter 36 (The Price of Honor)
Title: Adolin’s wound is gonna be their ticket into negotiations with the honorspren.
Epigraph: Sazed seems to be responding as though Hoid’s advice in the previous epigraph were personally directed, which makes it more interesting.

Shockspren clustering around Notum--we now have the confirmation that was lacking last chapter. Yes, emotion spren are drawn to other spren, not just to humans/listeners/(sleepless, etc?)

Hmm. The title could also be suggesting that leaving Notum behind might be the price of entering Lasting Integrity. I don’t think that will be the case, but that’s the foreshadowing vibe I pick up from these few paragraphs. Not sure I can call it a red herring since it’s not blatant enough.

Glad that the Three are now in agreement about Beryl’s innocence. I was worried that plot point would drag on for too long and leave Shallan looking foolish.

Godeke being a good Edgedancer, and nobody else appreciates it. I suppose that makes sense. As much as I love the Edgedancer ideals, I admire them primarily at a significant remove, in the context of fiction. Being able to actually listen, remember, and have compassion for your very real enemies is a lot more difficult than it is to like reading about someone who does those things.

I’m really not sure what Stump is thinking about all of this. I doubt we’ll get an interlude since she’s so close to the main cast, but I hope that we at least get some more screen time from her soon. She’s a great character, and her reactions are different than the rest of the expedition’s.
Pattern? Really? It’s ludicrous, and a bit too reminiscent of OreSeur. On the other hand, Pattern has been acting strangely in a few places. I predict that he has in fact been “spying” for Mraize for the express purpose of breaking down Shallan’s barriers and her unwillingness to rely on Adolin or others. He’s trying to push her to acknowledge her truth, and doing it in a terribly reckless way. He already said that he’d be willing to die for the knowledge he is gaining from their partnership, and that he actually expects it to happen. Moreover, he expects it to be sooner rather than later, if I remember the tone of that conversation correctly.

Oh, Pattern. What are you doing? I do think it’s dumb that Pattern would be caught by any of Veil’s tricks, considering that he recognized the cypher even without being able to read. Any pattern with intentionality to it seems to stick out to him, so the orientation of the cube and the dust coating should not be things he would miss.

Oh, her suspicions about Pattern being a spy all the way back when her dad was working with the Ghostbloods? That he subtly put her in contact with Mraize and guided her other interactions? That’s the kind of “oh rust” moment I love. I wish I were more convinced of it, but I still enjoy watching Shallan freak out about it. 

The best part is that it works perfectly into my prediction of Pattern’s motives, because trying to uncover what happened between Shallan and Pattern back in the day might just be the kick Shallan needs to stop suppressing everything and actually go seek out her truths.

Oh dear, the timeline doesn’t make sense? I thought we’d pieced things together pretty well, and I'm happy to have holes and misunderstandings filled in, but if we have to start doubting what we’ve seen I’m going to be a bit upset. Whose testimony are we throwing out?

“Imperious” that’s the word I was looking for in the honorspren sketchbook page. Thanks, Shallan.

Yeah, Pattern is terrible at this lying business. I don’t know how long ago he had this idea, but he sure isn’t the smooth operator that would be able to do this for a decade. Sorry, Shallan, your trauma is justified but unnecessary. Just kick him in the equations and tell him to cut it out.

Interpreting the letters as a contract, that by reading them they imply a possible accommodation, is a very cool argument. I would love to see Jasnah respond to that, but she’d do so unsuccessfully. Good thing Adolin is here.

Oh, yeah, Adolin rocks. “I’ve come to stand trial. Reject that!” Honestly, though, I think he had too much fun sitting in prison and texting Shallan a couple books ago. I’m not sure this version will be quite as fun without his bro Kaladin nearby (among other amenities). Guess I was wrong about the wound mattering, though.

I’m really not sure who I want to have as the second person to accompany Adolin into Lasting Integrity. Stump? Beryl? Oh, are they counting spren too? That would stink to just be Shallan and Pattern. Good thing they don’t know about Veil and Radiant, or Shallan wouldn’t be able to come. Party limits are only enforceable if you can see the people.

Pretty clear, though, that the best defence (and his key to getting back out of Lasting Integrity) is going to be Maya. Reviving her right in the middle of the Sanderlanche, to tie off both the character work and like five plot hooks all at once is something that I can totally see happening. I wasn’t really expecting her revival to be in this book until now, but there’s been so much emphasis on it and now it’s almost the only path forward for Adolin and friends. I predict it happens in… part 4, since Brandon has been trying to spread out his Sanderlanche, and we need time for the consequences to impact the ending.

Ah, yup. Pattern counts, so it’s just the four of them entering Lasting Integrity... plus Gallant, so that brings the party up to eight total if we’re counting Formless. Wow. Put like that, the honorspren are doomed.