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Chapter 72



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

Chapter 72 (Outmatched)
Title: If this is a taunting reference to the way authorship of the Rhythm of War is a confusing mess, I’m going to be very mad. More likely it is simply a comment on the degree of the Sibling’s corruption. Oh, wait. I misread the title, thought it said “MISMATCHED”. Outmatched is much more straightforward–the Fused played Navani and she lost.

Icons: double Palah. Reference to “learned” for Navani’s research? Inverted, perhaps, to show she’s way behind Raboniel?

Epigraph: I guess the lesson is that you can’t treat realmatics as a science in the sense of objective repeatability. The fundamental forces of the universe respond directly to the intent of the observer/manipulator, and Intent is itself a deep, fundamental law. So you can’t do much with the light conversion by just using tuning forks. It requires a spiritweb and purpose.  Not sure that is worth the culminating note for the book.

Oh no. I’m suddenly remembering that Navani also gave away secrets about Shen during her conversations with the Sibling. Is he doomed now? 


“I couldn’t know that decision would bear fruit, but that is what you nurture nine seeds and watch for the one that begins growing.”

Special note of nine numerology, and a good idiom besides.


“The Sibling’s transformation is almost complete”

–I’m stuck again on the comparison to what Sja-Anat is doing. How is the interconversion accomplished in the case of those offspring spren? Is it a matter of changing out light as it is here? And for the Sibling, whose Intent matters? It’s clear that Raboniel is not well-versed in matters of Light, but she is an experienced user of voidbinding and has meticulously researched how to break people. Is there a way to insert Shen or Navani or another person into that process to subvert her efforts, provided they wield Intent in the correct way?

And I’m really sad that Navani is stuck with an “I’m a failure” end to this arc. I was really excited for her to succeed on her own merits now that she’s been forced into a research role rather than one of patronage. Obviously that’s likely still going to happen (we have two more sections  to go before the end) but this is a depressing nadir for her character, and a fitting one to put into the middle of a story that started with her confrontation with Gavilar.

Next up: Interludes!