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Chapter 48



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

Chapter 48 (Scent of Death, Scent of Life)
Flashback time :-)
Still 9 years ago, by the heading. 

I love that Eshonai describes the humans as living relics. That perspective is utterly at odds with the human conception of things, not only in the ethnocentrism each side brings with them, but also because the listeners have an oral history that tells them about the humans, while the opposite is obviously not the case.

It’s also fascinating and tragic that she doesn’t recognize the parshendi as listeners. They don’t listen to the rhythms, so they can’t possibly be related despite the physical similarities.

Klade and Eshonai teaming up to talk to the humans. Go team!

Well, there’s the title: old plants die and new plants grow in their place. A bit heavyhanded as a metaphor, except that it’s ironic because Eshonai doesn’t see it yet.

This has got to be Jasnah, but I was initially confused at her position being described as “surgeon’s assistant.” She’s got the scholar thing down, obviously, but she’s being far less subtle with her questions about nahel spren than I would have expected.

Dalinar = warform human. I didn’t know that was a theory, but call it confirmed. Nice, Eshonai!

Ah, so the confusion about their gods and the chasmfiends was a language issue. When you define “worship” as “respect” you are bound to get a different answer than you suppose.

Eshonai’s continued misapprehension about the scale of the world is somewhat comedic but more painful as a reminder of just how isolated her people are and have been.

It strikes me as interesting that Eshonai doesn’t recognize the soulcaster at all. The listeners have shardblades, but no ancient fabrials. Why is that? We learned before that the human assumption about listeners soulcasting their food was wrong, but I didn’t think it was wrong to the extent that they’d never encountered a soulcaster. I mean, it makes sense, but it’s an intriguing point.

For some reason I’m surprised to hear Jasnah refer to the False Desolation as such. I thought that name for it was based on more recently discovered knowledge. I may have to review who knows what about Rosharan history.

“As if the Rhythm of Awe had been given life.” That’s a good description of a chasmfiend.

Honestly, I was expecting Dalinar to start running at the chasmfiend to attack it as soon as it emerged. That he’s standing back and talking about it first shouldn’t be a surprise, but I guess he has a little more sanity back then than I gave him credit for.

She calls the spren that follow chasmfiends ‘chasmspren’ which is odd, except that if they really only see them in company of the greatshells in the chasms, it could make sense. Humans see them with skyeels first, so they have a different association.

Gavilar perks up at the mention of ruins. What was he looking for at this time? I really don’t have a sense for the timeline of his development. (Honestly, I still don’t know much of what he was up to, but I know even less about the timing.) He asks her about the Radiants too, as though that aspect of things clinches his interest, but I get the sense the ruins are his focus. It’s got to be the oathgate he’s searching for, but how much did he know? Why did he think to look for ancient cities? If he knew enough to do that… you know, I was going to say something about the one in Kholinar, but I’m remembering that it was locked and Jasnah couldn’t get it open. So it makes sense he’d look elsewhere.

Ooo, crafty. Give your tentative allies (a.k.a. exploitable resource) better weapons so they can conquer their rivals for you. It’s irresistible for Eshonai’s tribe, and so this is the point where tragedy begins to loom.