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Chapter 38



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

Chapter 38 (Rhythm of the Terrors) 
Title: That can’t be good. I’m not sure whether the actual reference will be to something that the one attuning it is terrified of, or of them channeling terror against others. More importantly, I am wondering if there are Rosharan entities that have been given the title of Terrors, and how those might relate to the Unmade or other frighteningly formidable beings.

Epigraph: Sazed says Hoid was right to refuse a Shard, and that the shards themselves should be more frightening than the vessels. That combines ominously with the chapter title.

Huh. I was really expecting Navani’s message to have been the final warning of the guardpost we saw slaughtered at the end of the chapter, but I guess not. (Makes the “silence from the dead” title more fitting, I suppose.) But what mechanism could have caused Szeth’s sphere to explode? I’m baffled, and also concerned that they just lost their two best experts on gems, lenses, etc. That’s going to set them back.

Or am I jumping to conclusions? It just says the sphere was destroyed in the explosion along with everything else in the room, not that it was the cause.

Navani makes a good point. This was fabrial experimentation, sabotaged (potentially) just as the spren’s messenger was discovered. 

I also just had the image of the spren who is taking offense to all this as the head of Roshar’s PETA organization, advocating strenuously for fair treatment of even non-sentient spren. Navani’s argument of “they’re just animals, not people like the nahel spren” sound fairly barbaric in that light, even while I still sympathize with her position.

Finally, and I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me before, I suddenly wonder whether this spren communicating with Navani is one of the Enlightened of Sja-Anat. It could contribute to the divergent perspective compared to other spren, it’s altered ability to interact in the physical realm, and be involved in the chaos as Sja-Anat seeks to hide her true actions by playing both sides.


Two hours of running up stairs is horrifyingly exhausting. I am very glad it is Venli making that climb and not me.


“I hope your slumber is peaceful, Sibling…. You shall not awake, at least not as yourself.”

Gah, I didn’t think that subverting the defenses meant warping the spren at their heart. This is what we call “not good.” I’m sorry, Sibling. I hope Navani comes to rescue you.
Also, until this point I’ve been considering the title of Sibling to refer to its relationship with Nightwatcher and Stormfather. The way Raboniel addresses it as Sibling makes me wonder if there is a closer kinship with the Fused and/or Unmade than I suspected before.


That ironic statement by Teft of “this place is dead” is a bit too on the nose for me.

Syl and Adolin set up Kal with Lyn: “Storming man. Storming spren. Bless them both.” Awww.

The exchange with Rlain about the apology for desecrating listener bodies is very strong characterization. He responds respectfully but not accommodatingly until Kaladin gives an actual apology rather than just hinting at the sentiment. 

Rlain (and Teft) calling out Kaladin for not participating in therapy himself is great.