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Chapter 41

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

Chapter 41 (The Most Dangerous)
Epigraph: And now you say it doesn’t matter? Then why did I spend the last three chapters theory crafting about your semantics, Sazed? Hmm? Maybe you should only drop meaningful hints and not make fun of the fans who want to analyze your words exhaustively. Ever think of that?

Venli must know that she is a main character, because otherwise choosing to stay close to the Lady of Wishes would be a very poor decision from a life expectancy perspective. Raboniel thinks the murals are a Listener style of art, if not made by them. I wonder if she’s going to destroy them in a fit of pique or preserve them for the tower’s new inhabitants?

Oh, nope. I misinterpreted. She thinks the murals are too human and out of touch with nature. 

The Pursuer is here, and is advocating genocide along with his single-minded search for Kaladin. Joy. Ah, and Raboniel wants to collect all the Radiants as test subjects. This just gets better and better. 

I’m not sure why Venli jumps to the conclusion that the new rhythm is one unique to Raboniel and not just a rhythm she hasn’t heard before.Venli has an interesting interpretation of madness, which touches interestingly on the nature of spren: 

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The Pursuer had lived so long that his traditions had taken control of his reason. He was like a spren, existing more than living.

 

And naturally, Timbre takes offense to that thought.
 

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Humans take as their own everything they see. Yet they do not understand that by holding so tightly, they cause the very thing they desired to crumble. They truly are children of Honor.

What is she saying about Tanavast? Is this some observation of how the early interactions between shards impacted Roshar?
It also strikes me that this is a fitting description of what’s holding Kaladin back from his fourth oath. He refuses to let go of things he cares about enough to claim. It’s telling, then, that he must overcome this in order to approach closer to honor. Raboniel’s indictment of Honor fails.

The idea that by acting in ways that aren’t advertised by your appearance you are inherently duplicitous (as opposed to multifaceted) is a fascinating cultural viewpoint for the singers. You can’t trust humans because they might not be what they appear.

Oh, it’s Vyre that opened the Oathgate for them. Figures.

I can’t help but think that the Lady of Wishes being impressed enough to hum to subservience is a bad thing, especially when the thing she’s impressed with is a fabrial that could arguably be described as a way to force a captive to work for you indefinitely.Hm, the partnership Raboniel seemed to be advocating didn’t sound as ominous as I expected… until this line:

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If there is one thing I can guarantee you about humankind, Last Listener, it is this: Provide them with a sword, and they will find a way to impale themselves upon it.”

 

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I’m feeling sorry for the visiting Thaylen scholars who are suddenly confronted with just why Alethkar has such a bloody reputation. I don’t envy them doing their science in the middle of a battlefield.

What are those devices? They aren’t described well enough to guess, but Navani just got earplugs. Are these explosives? Something else? Oh, the earplugs are for the stormform Regals, because they cause thunderclaps with their lightning attacks.

Ah, the pillars are lightning rods. Science for the win!

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Herdazian sand paintings? I need more art! (Talking to you, Isaac and Ben)

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If you don’t want people to cringe when they see you, act less like a ruffian.

Is this… self awareness, Kaladin? What is happening?

Oh, Herdazians! I just thought of the Mink. I wonder if he’s secretly here somehow, ready to pop out of a hidden corridor and lead the plucky defenders? Not likely, his army is kind of important for the offensive against Emul, but I just realized he’d be kind of perfect for resisting the current invasion.

Kaladin, I’m proud of you for making yourself back down. That’s not something you’ve had to do for a long time. On the other hand though, I don’t get the sense you are really internalizing the identity of “surgeon’s son” the way you intended to.
 


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