• entries
  • comments
  • views

Chapter 89



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

Chapter 89 (Voice of Lights)
Icons: Kelek and Palah–Learned and Builder for Navani doing science things?

Epigraph: Kelek thinks he’d be even more insane/fallen with more memories of his failures across his long life. I can’t really say he’s wrong, but it feels like the memories are incidental to his mindset. 

That’s got to be rough for Navani to be out of contact with everyone. Is she still allowed to send notes to people or is she entirely isolated to her lab, with only singers to speak to?

Key terms there: static and kinetic investiture. I know kinetic has been in use in the fandom for a while, but I think this is the first time we’ve had a real term for its complement. 

The sand changes color in the presence of spren. I wonder, what is the limit of detection here? How little investiture leakage is enough to cause color change? Does the sand itself leak, such that a large amount of white sand could convert a small amount of black sand?

Raboniel doesn’t know where the sand is from, which I at first didn’t believe but actually makes sense. It’s valuable enough to make the trading circuit, but it’s not a place people have been able to access for some time. Plus, Raboniel isn’t able to leave the Rosharan system any more than the heralds can. Actually, is that what she’s looking for with the whole anti-light search? Is she trying to find the same solution that Restares is seeking, so she can “get off this rock?” I imagine she has different motivations than he does, but the goal may well be the same.

Oh, she just said that exact thing. Guess I could just read instead of stopping to speculate wildly…but then what would be the point of keeping this blog?

Oh, that’s both funny and terrible. They sent Heavenly Ones to try to fly to Braize through normal space. I guess since they can reincarnate it wasn’t a huge burden to die of asphyxiation or decompression in space when their Light ran out. Still, that’s not the sort of space program I want to design my rockets.

Electromagnets powered by stormform zapping! That’s delightful! I want to see singer fabrial science take off and have them build a maglev train powered by a team of stormform.

What polarity do the gemstones have that would need to be swapped? Forget the idea of using electricity to effect the change, what even are you trying to accomplish here?

Hm, it appears there is a ways to go before controlled use of stormform lightning can be used for actual sustained electric current.

I love the tension of Navani only getting academic acknowledgement from her enemy, and for the encouragement to come from that quarter. I want Raboniel to tease out the insight that Navani doesn’t consider herself a scholar primarily because her first husband belittled her so much. It seems like the sort of hurtful bluntness that the Lady of Wishes would go for, and something Navani would struggle with because if it’s true then she’s agreeing with the enemy and letting them help her heal from that abuse. It’s a deliciously complicated possibility. We’ll see if it actually comes through in the text rather than just my imagination.

Oh, now that is a mark of honor for sure. Navani no longer has to use elaborate titles to address Raboniel. That’s one way to prove sincerity of compliments.

Is Navani recognizing rhythms now because she’s spent enough time in company with singers who use them, and is simply becoming acclimated as with any other language? Or is it deeper than that, and her study of Light and Tones has allowed her to begin attuning them?


“I’m not killing the Sibling, I’m … doing something worse. I’m unmaking the Sibling.”

First, this is the confirmation that the Sibling is on the path to becoming another Unmade. Not something we want to happen, but it also isn’t necessarily disastrous. Going by Sja-Anat, they still have some degree of self-determination and volition outside of their patron shard. Actually, this is an interesting question. Going by the numerology, is the Sibling’s unmaking important for replacing either Sja-Anat or Ba-Ado-Mishram? What about Yelig-Nar? I wouldn’t think that the trapped unmade would stop counting toward the total of Nine, but the defector might. On the flip side, if they all still count, does adding the Sibling as a full Unmade change anything about the nature of the group? Do they become less in tune with Braize and/or Rayse? Will Sja-Anat’s departure be further enabled by a success with converting the Sibling?

Second, it’s Significant that Raboniel considers this unmaking a “worse” thing. Wouldn’t she be in favor? I don’t think she recognizes the pain she causes in people as a moral wrong at all, so I’m not sure what about this is a line too far for her.

Cymatics are ancient listener music? 

Navani gets a singer title? A Fused title? That is incredible. And Voice of Lights is appropriate. 

The sibling is not doing well. They can tell that they have eavesdroppers, though, which is an improvement. I’m still not clear on how that eavesdropping works.

Okay, I’m calling B.S. here. You want to be able to reverse engineer a musical tone and rhythm from a cymatic pattern? A pattern that you generate to be a reverse-phased version of others you have seen? 

I do like that the cymatics weren’t actually the music, just a side effect that the singers didn’t expect, and I like that it is coming into play this way after being teased in so many places. I look forward to Navani discovering the connections to the Dawncities and how they work with Light. However, this whole flow of science in the other direction, extrapolating from cymatics back to sound, really stretches my suspension of disbelief. 

I know, I know. Why would that be the thing that makes me question stuff? It’s not like anything else has been improbable. I guess I’ll just hold out hope that it’s presented in a believable way.