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Chapter 57

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

Chapter 57 (Child of Odium)
“All song and no crescendo” is one of the few idioms that really doesn’t work for me so far. Its parts don’t fit the role they’re given in that phrase, and it feels like it’s an attempt to port a familiar phrase into another culture by simple substitution. I’m gonna give this one a thumbs down.

That’s uncomfortable how Eshonai is fitting into the blindspot humans have for their parsh slaves, but doing so with a feeling of exploration and without recognizing why that hole is there.

Meeting this version of Dalinar is going to be interesting. 

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“Places have power over us, parshwoman,” he said. “Places have memories. Sometimes when you go to a place you’ve never been, it can be wonderful...because it lets you be someone else. No expectations. No storming memories.” 

This is far more philosophical than I expect from the Blackthorn. He’s not usually this self-reflective.
 

Quote

“I’ve grown tired of pushing people around,” Dalinar said. “In my wake, I’ve left too many smoldering holes where cities used to be.”

Exactly when is this in Dalinar’s timeline? He’s obviously post-Evi, and I’m pretty positive he’s post-Nightwatcher, but I had in mind that he had returned to his former brashness at that point up until Elhokar’s death. Dalinar warning someone against Elhokar at this time feels out of character. I suspect I am just in need of an Oathbringer reread--at least the flashback sections--to get the context better, but with my current memories of his progression I didn’t think he had become critical of the Alethi until after Szeth’s assassination visit. 

I like the listener version of stormshelters. It’s not something that would be comfortable for humans, but it feels like a companionable atmosphere. I also like the way the covering is described as “animal carapace.” Because obviously that’s a thing that animals have, why would we need to specify further? It’s like saying leather on Earth. We don’t have to specify it’s from a cow or something else, because it’s the function that matters and everyone knows where leather comes from.

Venli’s description of the rain is a neat bit of narration to externalize her anxiety.

I’d forgotten that the listener’s call the Stormfather “Rider”. Good reminder.

I’m currently predicting that Venli’s determination and combative mindset at this stage is going to unintentionally give her the key to the warform breakthrough, and that’s what will help postpone a mishap with the voidspren.

Seeing the rainspren is a lot creepier through listener eyes than through human ones. I hope that any film adaptation of the series presents some scenes like that, where they can observe the predatory nature of the spren lurking out of phase with the physical realm.

Ah, nope. I was wrong. Venli just chickened out when the Rider asked if she was sure she knew what she was doing. I’m glad she waited until after the perpendicularity passed to break the gem.

Certainly chatty, isn’t he? I was not expecting the spren that came out to have so much to say.

Oh, I guess it didn’t matter that she waited. The spren (I don’t remember his name) had a different plan all along.

I didn’t realize that Venli had experience with a disguised spren in her gemheart before Timbre tried it. It’s trickier now since Timbre is actively suppressing/capturing the voidspren as an annoying roommate, which I doubt what’s-his-face has the patience for, but I’m curious what parallels she experiences and if that changes what she’s able to accomplish now.

I’m glad Eshonai recognizes her sister’s jealousy for what it is, but I can’t say I’m surprised. Venli isn’t super subtle and Eshonai isn’t dumb.

Oh dear. Cut off from the normal rhythms, heavily influenced by the void. Venli is in for a rough few years, even before the war starts.


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