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Chapter 49



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

Chapter 49 (Soul of Discovery)
Epigraph: Yes, I would expect someone in your situation to have trouble focusing on the right knowledge, when everything is so tangled and obfuscated, and you must hide your discoveries. Good luck, Navani, I believe in you!

Busywork to buy yourself time to think and get organized. Makes sense, but Raboniel will anticipate this. I vote for boldness!

Is Navani mistaking Venli for a Fused instead of a Regal, or is there another Fused down there with them? Ah, whoever it is seems to be insane like most Fused, so it’s not going to be Venli. Don’t underestimate any of them, though. 

Still not sure why garnet is the telepathy stone. Maybe just by analogy, where it serves as the tower’s blood? Feels awkward as a reason.

Sibling hid from Re-Shephir for centuries? That’s storming impressive….and Sibling just discounts that as unimportant. Time doesn’t matter to them.

Radiant spren “think like humans because they want to be humans. I do not pretend. I am not human. I do not need to care about time.” Methinks the Sibling doth protest too much. Who are you really angry at that you want to relish the distance between yourself and humans? Is it Melishi? Someone else?

As an aside, this is a good point to bring up that I’m having a hard time remembering to keep Sibling agender. I gendered it as female in my head up until it was introduced, and I’m taking a while to recontextualize that.

“We are not friends, human. You are a slaver. I do not trust you.” Well, good. Nice to see we can rely on each other here.

Navani sees the human thought processes that the Sibling follows. She sees through the protests just like I did, except with actual analysis instead of just intuition and skepticism. You go, Navani!

The shield is soulcasting air into glass, in an ongoing manner rather than the one-off that most soulcasting uses. That’s fascinating, and a workable method for preventing someone from just breaking the wall that you’ve erected--constantly recreate it.

The tower is called Ur. That gives us half of the palindromic name. What is the central bit, then? I also like the connection to our use of “Ur”, both as the ancient city and the “ur example” etc. It’s a fun linguistic overlap.

The Sibling was harmed when the Unmade were bound and the listeners enslaved. Specifically, they lost the Rhythm of their Light. And Honor couldn’t or wouldn’t help them.
So, which lights/rhythms were affected? Surely it couldn’t have been everything except Stormlight, right?

On second thought, though, that might be the easiest way to implement it. Give a sample of “permitted” investiture to act as a key, and shut down everything that doesn’t match. It’s the same as Ur’s suppression field, except scaled up to Bondsmith epic proportions.

Lift got caught! Oh no! Mraize, you are on my list, now. And she’s in a ralkalest cage? Not good.

Hmm. Sibling’s awareness of the tower is mediated by the Connection to radiants. That’s interesting mechanistically.
Kaladin sneaking through the tower didn’t seem like a big deal to me, until I realized he was doing it in complete darkness. Syl doesn’t illuminate her surroundings, so even though she can guide him she can’t help him see. This is a terrifying situation to be spelunking through what amount to twisted caverns. At least they are sized to fit a person walking, but it still holds a frightening risk of getting hopelessly lost.

Kaladin’s mind jumps to them using collaborators from Amaram’s army or some other group outside the tower, rather than finding actual Alethi soldiers who will cooperate. It’s possible that he’s right and those uniforms are stolen, but I find it much more likely that the new overlords are forcing humans to do what they wish.

Lirin and company are safe, so that’s good. I wasn’t expecting otherwise, but it is great to have confirmation.

More lashing practice. I guess he hasn’t tried the Reverse Lashing much, since he mostly just loves flying. Oh, now that’s interesting. I hadn’t clued into it previously, if the hints were there, that the reverse lashing can be selective in what it targets. The explanation in Way of Kings was that objects in motion are naturally more affected, which is why the arrows were attracted to the bridge he was carrying but clothing, rocks, and bridgmen were not. I wonder if this is a new aspect to the magic that Brandon decided to develop, or if it’s something that we just didn’t learn before because Kaladin didn’t have the practice and terminology to share it. I’m honestly leaning toward the retcon/new idea side of things, but either could be the case.

Ah, getting supply from the ardents running the mental ward. Makes sense, and it looks like he’ll be coming back for more. Bet you a skymark that his eventual resistance involves all the soldiers he’d been starting group therapy with.

It’s obvious that the Sibling is facilitating this little telepathy session, but I’m curious whether that’s necessary. It’s certainly possible that the garnet veins could function for that purpose if infused and operated by someone with the right knowledge/ability. 

I’m really not understanding the priority here. Why is figuring out the oathgates the first thing they need to do? I would absolutely send Kaladin after Lift first, get two free radiants on your side. (Although I suppose that’s largely because I know that it’s the Ghostbloods not the listeners that have captured her. Navani doesn’t have that information and it would be bad to tip off the occupying force just to get a second asset.) Okay, I take it back. She’s acting reasonably.

I’m not sure if Kaladin sneaking around to investigate the oathgates is going to lead to a Vyre or Pursuer confrontation first. If this were a different kind of book I would expect Vyre to save him from the pursuer before having a talk of his own, but that doesn’t really jive with what we’ve seen from Vyre so far. I’ll put it at low odds for now.