Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers.
Chapter 75 (The Middle Step)
Title: I don’t remember if we had a “first step” chapter with Shallan/Adolin before in this book. It’s probably worth going back to look, but I won’t right now.
Epigraph: This could still be a letter, but I’m starting to think it might be something that will be said by one of the people we’re trying to meet: Either Ishar speaking to Dalinar, or Restares speaking to Shallan
A “crystalline” day in Shadesmar. That sounds tautological to me.
Oh, a timeskip forward by several weeks. That’s slightly unexpected, but I guess we have to synchronize events with the invasion of Emul and the occupation of the Tower if we want to get the Sanderlanche timing right.
Oh. Crystalline is a name for the weather, so it’s actually a valid adjective to use here.
Hey, neat. Lasting Integrity is a literal Escher drawing, which you can apparently do in the cognitive realm. This makes me suddenly super eager for the Silverlight novel/novella or whatever we end up getting about it. I just read Naomi Novik’s scholomance books (which are fabulous by the way, highly recommended) and I’m in the mood for more physics-defying magic school. I have an inkling that the university of investiture studies is a good candidate for filling that desire.
What causes the waves (and tides?) in the bead sea of shadesmar? Is there some gravitational force? Do the highstorms propel them? Is it simple cognitive resonance to the way a sea ought to behave? Or are there giant creatures churning the depths and sending ripples out through the undulating mass? Some of those possible answers are more disconcerting than others.
Adolin can observe the rhythms (at least one rhythm) in how the lifespren react as a collective, but why would that be regionally specific to this part of Shadesmar?
Hm. So only Godeke, Felt, and Malli are waiting around for Adolin. The rest took off to tell Dalinar what’s going on. (This seems like something else that the Stormfather ought to be aware of, being the patron/parent of the highspren, but I guess instant communication needs to have lots of limits.)
Woah. Deadeyes are flocking to Maya. I did not anticipate that at all. It’s a huge development, and I can’t imagine the payoff will fully come in this book, but if Maya’s progress culminates here like I expect, I can see this as a set up for the knock-on effects to become a big part of the Book 5 climax.
I checked the art page on highspren to see if Vaiu is depicted, and it looks like he’s not. I wonder if any of those spren match to individuals that will be described?
Oh, I guess that’s a viable theory as well: The deadeyes are gathering to the trial about the Recreance, and the culpability of modern humans in that event. It’s more straightforward than my theory about Maya, and makes more realmatic sense, but I don’t like it as much.
Yay! Back to Veil! I’ve been missing these girls.
Oh dear. Formless is coming into being in response to Pattern’s perceived betrayal. I’d say we should hope for a quick resolution to that relationship issue, but I’m not so naive to expect anything of the sort.
Hm. Shallan’s not in a mental position to draw Lasting Integrity, which is why we don’t get any pictures. I’ll accept that reasoning. I know we won’t see any, at least in this book, but I kinda want to get Veil’s drawing of the place as a consolation prize.
Huh. I’m as surprised as Radiant about the non-honorspren residents of Lasting Integrity. I guess it’s honorable to grandfather in people who lived there under the prior policy.
Yeah, Restares’ mission and the goal of the Sons of Honor sounds really stupid when you say it like that, and it feels very odd that he would be in hiding in Lasting Integrity if that was actually how it went down from his perspective. I’m hoping for some nuance and explanation when we do eventually catch up with him.
Nalthian traders hanging out in Lasting Integrity. Why are they still there? What’s the point of staying? Radiant learns that’s where Azure is from, but how? Did they know her by name, description, or personally? I want to know more!
A clan of horneaters living in Shadesmar makes lots of sense, though it’s not clear why they don’t have communication with the physical realm clans. The family here in Lasting Integrity seem unlikely to be significant in the plot.
She’s still reporting to Mraize? Makes sense, though I’m surprised that she can do so undetected and unobserved. That radio must be quite the thing.
Restares is calling himself “Sixteen.” Yeah, his ambitions are way larger than anything as provincial as Roshar. Desolation Smesolation. We’re talking cosmere-wide plans undoubtedly. But, if the epigraphs are in fact from Restares, I’m guessing his actions have created consequences beyond his anticipation or reach.
Nice to see Veil’s drawing trick still works sometimes to get Shallan to surface.
Statues of spren that became deadeyes isn’t odd at all, when you think about it. I’m not sure if Veil just doesn’t get memorialization or artwork in general, or if there’s something she sees about it that I’m missing.
Veil remembers things about Shallan’s life that Radiant doesn’t? That’s a new twist. I didn’t expect the partition to be so complicated.
Huh. Was Pattern not the same spren that Shallan originally bonded? I know it’s an out-there theory, but it would be a fascinating thing to need to puzzle out. I doubt it’s the case, but it’s worth adding to the stack of possibilities.
Oh storms. This is not good. Radiant confronted Pattern about the lying (I mean, he’s a cryptic–of course he lied) but the danger of that confrontation was from the effect it had on Shallan not from the change in the relationship with Pattern. What are you trying to accomplish here, Pattern, and who have you brought?
Is this really just another cryptic? Is the head being “twisted and wrong” a description of weird fractal patterns, or is it an indication of Sja-Anat’s touch? Or something else? No matter who it is, how did they get into Lasting Integrity? Were they here all along waiting? That seems supremely unlikely.
Oh dear. Radiant and Veil both got depowered and imprisoned by Shallan. That is not going to help keep Formless at bay.
Hm. Shallan is easily duped, I guess. That was absolutely the sort of offworld person that is important to pay attention to. I’m not convinced he wasn’t Restares, but even if he’s not you can’t dismiss him. He’s definitely Significant.
Shallan is making bad decisions left and right. Not surprising, but definitely sad. “Yes, let’s just ignore whatever Pattern did, pretend it didn’t happen except for how we don’t trust him any more. Then, let’s keep him close and go contact Mraize while we’re emotionally unbalanced. Nothing could go wrong.”