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Rhythm of War Full Book Reactions

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Just finished. Initial thoughts: 

1. A piece of my Stormlight soul will be gone forever thanks to Moash and his traitorous baby-fits.

2. I’m not ashamed to admit I choked up hard in the scene between Kal and Tien. 

3. Is it me, or is Dalinar well on his well to ascending towards shardhood? I mean he has the authority to accept the words of Kal’s 4th ideal. I theorize that books 6-10 will contain a lot of dealings between Dalinar (Honor) and Taravangian (Odium). 

4. Lots of satisfaction in new Nahel Bonds!!!

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At the climax of the last book, Odium agreed to a contest of Champions. And then, his chosen champion slipped out of his fingers. What he now needed was a new champion. Someone Dalinar will find hard to fight. Having Dalinar have to fight this specific person should by itself be a breaking challenge. A major part of Rhythm of War was Odium’s attempt to Reach and Bind this new champion. Almost worked, but Dalinar (via the Stormfather) managed to get to him at the last moment (being able to “stop time” is a genius cheat for last-minute saves).

The way Kal ripped The Defeated One apart at the end... he was right where Odium wanted him to be. 

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28 minutes ago, Zea mays said:

The way Kal ripped The Defeated One apart at the end... he was right where Odium wanted him to be.

The contract calls for willing champions to fight to the death, and I can’t imagine Kaladin flipping so hard against all of his oaths in the next 10 days. 
 

I do agree though that the choice of champion is unclear: who will he choose? And the timeline...in book 5 Szeth goes to shinovar and Kal is going to Shadesmar and Dalinar prepares for an epic showdown. So...who will be the champion? 
 

Right now my money’s on Ishar.

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Oh, he will not flip at all now. 
and the 10 day limit was imposed by Odium after the resolutions at Urithiru.

My money is on Szeth for ToD’s champion. Wanna start a pool? :P

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A theory lodged into my head about the main antagonist of book 6-10.
I think, Cultivation is going to merge with the Shard of Odium. This is why:

During the Navani Raboniel brainstorming sessions, there was a glaring omission. Neither of them suggested, or even had a passing thought about mixing voidlight with lifelight. Both of them were scholars of wide branching interests, they had the method, they had the materials, they even had the free time. Raboniel learned a completely new rhythm from the storm-void mixture, so why not find out how the life-void mixture sounded like?

I couldn't think of a single excuse to this, unless the author himself wanted to avoid attention, because naming the rhythm of the light would give away the antagonist of a future book.

So what do we get if we mix the two? A tone of chaos mixed with the tone of ever-building majesty? A tone, which makes chaos build something majestic? It sounds a lot like the Rhythm of Evolution.

The chaotic shuffling of genes, and the passionate struggle for survival mixed with the uncaring selective pressure of nature. Nature, which is slowly changing, thus forcing everything around it to endlessly adapt and improve.
And to make it more interesting, add to this the intelligent guidance of selective breeding, and the power to grow whatever you want.

 

This works SO well. Cultivation has been established as an entity lacking of passion. She doesn't care what she grows, she only cares about growth itself. For her a boon and a curse are equally valid growths. But add passion to the mix and suddenly she can have directions and great goals.

I suspect, that the Shard Cultivation literally cannot have passion for her creations. Its Vessel Koravari might want to have it, but the Shard resists. We learned in RoW that Shards and their Vessels can have opposing desires, and usually the Shards win. If Koravari took Odium, she could finally grow things with unbridled passion.

But to what end? What would this mean for the Cosmere at large? Well, there is the utterly terrifying image of a rapidly evolving godlike zerg species taking over worlds, but I think that is just the means to an end. So what is the end goal for the God of Evolution?

I think she wants to grow, to evolve back into Adonalsium itself. She wants to merge all the shards, and probably try to recreate the dead shards too. This might be possible if we look at it through evolutionary principles. Without getting too technical, for example if an apex predator dies, that opens up a niche, a spot where another species could evolve into, thus taking its previous role. A similar yet unknown principle could exist in the Cosmere. Maybe the Shards that have died left their imprints, which divine evolution could fill up.
Who could better accomplish this than a god whose very nature is to change and adapt? To build itself to become ever greater?

This seems like the sort of villain Sanderson would write for his endgame. Odium is kind of a bog standard world conquering maniac who wants to become the sole god of everything. Not nearly interesting enough to keep until book 10.

 

There are other clues to Cultivation being up to something big:
Book 6 will be focused on Lift. This is important, because Cultivation has only ever touched three mortals. With Dalinar, she stole Odium's champion. With Taravangian, she stole his vessel. But we still have Lift. She has to have an equally grand role in the coming events, but what else is left to be stolen, other than the very Shard itself?

The powers that Cultivation gave her are quite telling too. She can enter and manipulate the visions of gods, the same place where Rayse just got killed. She also uses the light of cultivation exclusively, and has some hidden property to not get changed (Resist the influence of a Shard maybe, but able to seed it with lifelight? We have to wait for future books to learn.) Point is, she reeks of Cultivation, and if we keep with the pattern, this will somehow oppose Odium.

Finally, even though Odium is confined to Roshar right now, what would happen if he merged with Cultivation? Is it possible that all previous agreements would be null and void, since Evolution, as an entirely new Shard, has never agreed to anything?

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15 minutes ago, Dareios said:

Finally, even though Odium is confined to Roshar right now, what would happen if he merged with Cultivation? Is it possible that all previous agreements would be null and void, since Evolution, as an entirely new Shard, has never agreed to anything?

Well the trouble with this is that the main reason that Odium follows his agreements is because to not do so would damage him and allow another shard to destroy him.

Also, it wouldn't exactly be a new shard so much as it would be two individual shards combined. For example with harmony we know that Sazed is being pulled in two directions by the two shards (per WoB i found through the bottom text people have, of some random person's post. Sorry.), so this would heavily imply that when two shards are taken up they are not just transformed into one shard.

However, a similar result could still happen if cultivation took up two shards. She might be powerful enough that she could break an oath that Odium made, and since each shard is functionally equally powerful, the only one capable of posing an actual threat to her would be Harmony, as Odium would be damaged but Cultivation would not be.

Of course, the epigraphs have said that each shard is functionally infinite. So it might be that having two shards is not in any significant ways more powerful then having one shard, because when you start dealing with infinity or similar issues, things get strange. This fits more with the idea that the vessels can never be unbound like Wit is, because if they could just stop keeping oaths by picking up more shards then they'd be loosing one massive restraint.

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Overall:
I enjoyed Rhythm of War more than Oathbringer, but less than the first two books.

The central conflict in this book was incredibly interesting, but it also felt like this book had more inconsequential plot lines than the previous ones. The expansion into the Cosmere space age was also intriguing, but I felt like the way it was done - with how hard it was pushed - some of the story suffered for it because the stakes we bought into were being shifted too fast. I know they are tradition but I'm not sure if the flash backs added enough to the story to justify the time spent this time around. 

 

By Character:

Navani's plot and her conflict with Raboniel was brilliant. Definitely the highlight of this book for me. Navani's research was the perfect vehicle to lore dump and worldbuild - it felt natural. Raboniel's one of the best antagonists we've had across all 4 books and I thoroughly enjoyed their interactions, even if I felt like the overall tower plot got dragged on too much. It was nice to get to see more of Navani's character without the biases of a Dalinar POV. I almost wonder if we needed more flash backs for Navani as despite spending so much time with her, we didn't get to learn about her as much as we did Kal, Dalinar, and Shallan. 

 

Venli's parts were enjoyable, but with the way the story ended and what she ultimately contributed to the plot, I am truly wondering if we got too much of her? At the very least, I would've been happy to see some of her/Eshonai's flashbacks removed or reduced. Unlike the flash backs in the previous books, they did relatively little to expand our understanding of Venli or improve the emotional impact of her current day choices. We already knew who she was. Alternatively, we needed to see a more impactful and emotional climax from Venli to justify the cost of the time spent with her. The Stormfather's gift to Eshonai was absolutely beautiful though.  

 

I quite enjoyed Shallan/Adolin's journey and arcs this book, but felt like an incredible opportunity was wasted in the execution. A bit more time and words devoted to these two could've created some of the best scenes in all of Stormlight IMO. From the overall plot standpoint, I dislike how the choices towards the end of the book (10 days) has the potential to invalidate this entire plotline/journey (unless something changes)

The revelation of what happened in the Recreance has massive implications, but a slower burn could've helped the reveal from a story perspective. It was still a good moment, but could've hit harder. Similarly, we're simply told of Shallan's killing of her spren, as opposed to living through it (i.e. flashback). It could've been much more haunting and impactful if we actually got to meet Testament and experienced her death. 

 

Kaladin's plot was a disappointment. He was my favorite character in TWoKs, but with each book I'm losing interest in him more. He continues to be the most "reactive" of all our characters (as in the plot and circumstances tends to dictate what he has to do, rather than what the character wants), and I find that unengaging to read. I was excited when he was initially challenged with something he couldn't punch his way out of. But of course the plot pulls him right back into his same repetitive challenge again. 

Other main characters are given such diverse, interesting conflicts, whereas Kal's are mostly the same - and always solved by "oath harder, fight harder". His plot lines now look like monster of the week (he literally got a cartoon villain this book with the pursuer). It doesn't help that the plot constantly challenge his strengths instead of his weaknesses - his morality, mentally fortitude, and his fighting capability. Brandon is framing Kal as cosmere superman, but not giving him the good superman conflicts (i.e. a Lex Luthor).

 

I wish we got to see more of the Dalinar/Jasnah/Wit war plot, but I also understand that a lot is already going on, and they were there mainly to facilitate the tower. Because of how straight forward this part was once the fighting started, I wished we got more frontloading of Dalinar/Jasnah pre-departure. This way, we'd get to explore the ramifications of their characters post-OB in everyday situations more. What is Jasnah's rule like? The consequences of her policies? What does the political dynamic between uncle and niece look like?

 

Some Other Thoughts:

With more and more characters introduced and thus potential plot lines, I wonder if Brandon needs to reconsider the part5 Sanderlanche structure for certain books. I've loved the way he piles on the misery to build his amazing climaxes, but in a book with such separate plot lines and multiple POVs, it might be better to self-contain and wrap certain sections in earlier parts instead of piling it in the end. 

For exampIe, I feel like he held back on the Sanderlanch for Shallan/Adolin plot because part 4 needed to be peak dread for part 5 to flip our emotions as much as it did. If we had wrapped the Shallan/Adolin plot in part 3 instead, we don't lose the momentum from part 1/2, and we could've had a more proper climax there, before he went back and appropiate piled on misery in part 4 to prep for the final climax.  

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The kelsier thing imma be real I called that when jasnah and wit had a talk about thaidakar

When navani said “journey before destination b*stard” I just loved it 

moash is the worst and should die painfully

The shardplate moving seems to be a windrunner thing and is insane too, kaladin is so op, my favorite moment with him was when the pursuer comes in and tries to fight kaladin, and kaladin just takes him to town and destroys him moving so fast nobody is even better really registering it. Then when everyone liked backed up it was just great.

Shallan had a big arc but it just felt like it didn’t really land honestly, kaladin was having lots of really nice development and such awesome moments that shallan just don’t hit well for me. Though the old cryptic was a solid reveal.
i loved adolin and maya though so great

the Taravangian thing was super cool but sadly I spoiled it for myself by going to the wiki after hearing the new shards namedropped, but it was pretty cool though I am now very confused about cultivation’s manipulations and what taravangians actual plan is.

now navani, that was awesome her discoveries as a scholar and the discovery of anti light plus raboniel was just amazing. when we learned that the crazy fused was her daughter and when she put her to rest I just felt so bad for her.

 

Though this book reinforced my belief that kaladin is either going to die or become honor, just the way everyone treats him as being this implacable unmovable being that’s as moash said basically a force of nature. Kaladin is at this point especially after his resistance in the tower viewed with an almost religious reverence, but now that he isn’t gonna be the champion, I really don’t know.

 

also that moment with ishar and the one with Nale was just awesome, seeing heralds even mad ones dominating the best fighters we have seen is awesome 

 

masking what was with kaladins eyes, why were they yellow? What does that mean?

Edited by Valigus
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Full Book Reactions:

*Is Book 5 going to take 10 days? Or will there be a Sanderson twist early to sneak extra days in?

*Color, Tone, Rhythm, Light: It makes sense that the fundamental forces of creation would be heavily related to common phenomenon in nature, but Wow!

*Anti-Investiture, wow! The process to create it seemed pretty easy to automate, so it will likely be mass-produced in the near future. Could this be related to how Adonalsium was Shattered or is this something totally new? Space ships powered by Investiture and Anti-Investiture colliding anyone? 

*Ghostbloods are "the most powerful organization in the cosmere" and led by Kelsier. Also Shallan (and by extension Adolin and probably all the Radiants) just went to war with them. I always thought that Scadrial and Roshar would be teaming up in the coming space age Cosmere war, but this makes it seem like they will be on opposite sides. :(

*While I am on the subject, what do the Ghostbloods want with BAM? Most of the Ghostblood's goals have made sense: Mraize collecting different forms of Investiture not only increases his personal power, but he could be funneling these things to a team of scholars working on how to exploit them to free Kelsier. Being able to convert between different forms of Investiture would not just allow them to sell Stormlight, but could also be key to allowing Kelsier to leave Scadrial. Attempting to capture another Cognitive Shadow for study into Kelsier's "condition". But how does BAM fit into it?

*Taravangian being Odium!? Didn't see it coming, but since Dalinar is on his way to being the new Honor, we could have more philosophical discussions on leadership during the back five. I could totally see these being the new prologues.

*Also, many people here seem to be worried about Taravangian being the new Odium. I am not. Taravangian is a very "the ends justify the means" kinda person, but his goal is to save everyone. I think the Odium switch is a good thing, though it may not seem the way in the short term. I also think that the Shard is Passion, not Odium per say, and that Rayse molded it to be Odium because of his own personality. Taravangian could fix that.

I think that's all I have to say for now.

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3 minutes ago, Weux082690 said:

*Also, many people here seem to be worried about Taravangian being the new Odium. I am not. Taravangian is a very "the ends justify the means" kinda person, but his goal is to save everyone. I think the Odium switch is a good thing, though it may not seem the way in the short term. I also think that the Shard is Passion, not Odium per say, and that Rayse molded it to be Odium because of his own personality. Taravangian could fix that.

Here's my problem with that idea. We see how the shard attempts to influence Taravangian when he takes it up, and it definitely seems like Odium fits.

Sanderson has said (where do i search for specific answers he's given?) that while the vessel is capable of influencing the shard, that influence would not last after the vessel is replaced.

While this doesn't actually provide us with a timeline for how long that takes to revert, it's not a good sign for the idea that Odium (the shard) is anything other then what we see of it when taravangian first takes over.

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26 minutes ago, Blacksmithki said:

Here's my problem with that idea. We see how the shard attempts to influence Taravangian when he takes it up, and it definitely seems like Odium fits.

In the Sja-Anat interlude, we see that while Rayse is against questioning orders, the Shard is all for it, calling it a Passion (capital P). We also have Fused (who should know their god best) saying that many different emotions are worthy Passions (capital P), but that not all are considered equally worthy in the current situation.

I think it means that the Shard's Intent is actually Passion, but that Rayse has been forcing it to be Odium, hate. But Rayse was losing that battle. Now the new Vessel can use the Shard properly.

Also note that Cultivation says she needed to make Taravangian attractive to the Shard. The day he ascends he is not super smart, feeling only the emotion of annoyance towards everyone (which seems like Odium), but instead he is super emotional, every act sees him crying, cowering, full of passion.

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I might be reading too much but it appears Kaladin is the only character whom Hoid/Wit has told three stories in total and even gave him his Trailman's Flute to play it and master it. And Kal lost it but eventually it was found by end of book....along with that wooden horse of Tien. It genuinely made Wit worried that Odium was using hi visions to torment Kaladin on Braize perhaps? 

Spoiler

girsoe

Will Kaladin learn to play the flute?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. :)

/r/books AMA 2015 (June 21, 2015)

I wonder if it a set up for something grander...

Spoiler

Silasary

Is Kaladin a worldhopper?

Brandon Sanderson

No. Kaladin has not been to any other planets (as of current)...

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 (March 1, 2018)

 

Edited by Ramona Tehradin
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9 hours ago, IcaroRibeiro said:

I also don't like the Pursuer

What a pointless character. Sometimes I feel Kaladin is favorite Sanderson character and he feels he need to always give a plot of many chapters and significance to him. I thought Adolin was going to be the pointless POV of this book, but honestly Kaladin is by far the character with the weakest storyline in the series in both Oathbringer and Rhythm of War

True. Unless you needed a trigger for Kaladin's little decapitation trip. Which was cool. But there is the mystery of his eyes. We may just have seen preparation for book#5.

9 hours ago, IcaroRibeiro said:

Sanderson now set him up for an even more stupid plot (helping Ishar mental healthy? Wtf). I also don't like the prospect of him joining Szeth in his pilgrimage, just doesn't make any sense for me.

We will have to see. Rhythm of War cannot be fully understood as an independent book.

 

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On 11/20/2020 at 3:24 PM, CaptainRyan said:

Too many times in the series, and in this book, seemingly great or important scenes have happened off-screen. Scenes that could, that should, have a powerful impact on the reader are skipped completely.

Kaladin flying Shallan to Thaylenar in Oathbringer is the first egregious example I can think of. After their impactful time together in the chasms in Words of Radiance, with the undertones of a potential romance in Oathbringer, Sanderson skipped out on potentially powerful scene that could have built tension, foreshadowed outcomes, and developed both Kaladin and Shallan's character. At the end of Oathbringer, we are not given a glimpse of Adolin and Shallan's wedding, Jasnah's coronation, nor are we shown what should have been a difficult, but revealing, conversation between Dalinar and Szeth.

I agree with this so much. 

It blows me away when Brandon create such incredible characters and seemingly goes out of his way to deny us key character moments.

Agree with all your examples. Oathbringer was where this trend really started worrying me - when it was decided that Jasnah and Navani's reunion will be described as a single sentence in Dalinar's POV. Why is an incredible opportunity for us to see other aspects of Jasnah and Navani's character and relationship not taken? Why do all the work to setup Navani's pain in WoR and deny us the catharsis? It seems to go against the great writing advice he's given personally. 

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 Well, that’s the end of part five, and the end of Rhythm of War.  That was… incredible.  

Kaladin has sworn the Fourth Ideal, and it looks like a lot of people’s theories were right - it’s about accepting that sometimes you can’t save everyone.  That was one of the most emotional scenes I have read in quite some time.  It was incredibly powerful, incredibly moving, and I had to go for a run when I finished because my emotions were everywhere.  (I got about a hundred yards because I am not in shape.  And the vision with Tien?  Broke my heart in the best of ways.  The song Brother by Kodaline fits this very well, I think.)  And Teft… I cried.  It was heartbreaking, and painful, but at least he was at peace when he dies, and I can take comfort in that.  When Kaladin loses it, though… that was possibly the most cinematic moment in the entire book for me.  And it looks like Kaladin is going to continue his path towards helping people who need a mental health system.

Shadesmar - we didn’t get much there, but what we got was amazing.  Shallan has a seon now?!  The Cosmere connections grow by the page.  And it looks like Shallan technically has two spren.  We’ll see where that goes - but dual Shardblade wielding, y’all.

Speaking of Cosmere connections, that’s an Aviar Lift has?  Adonalsium help us all… 

Next, the major plot twists at the end: Taravangian is Odium now?  I can’t decide if that’s an ‘oh no’ or an ‘oh storms no’.  The contest is in ten days?  Well then.  I guess we know what time frame the next book will be.  It’ll probably pick up right after ROW ended.

Navani is the Sibling’s Bondsmith, which - yay!  Her first ideal was… awesome.  I don’t particularly like calling people names, but wow, did that phrasing work.

Speaking of Moash… I guess I should probably talk about him.  I try to stay out of the Moash discussion most of the time, but well.  Suicide baiting is unforgiveable in my eyes, and I’m going to be rather mad at him for quite some time.  I wasn’t expecting him to go blind, though.  I feel like he’s being set up to show up in like, one scene in the second arc, where he’s in jail, blind, and facing the consequences for his actions.  

Some of the Listeners made it out!  With help from a chasmfiend!  I cannot wait to see more of that.

And finally, because there’s not really a better way to explain how I’m feeling, here are the notes I took on Part Five.  (Possible Mistborn spoilers.  Also, these aren’t very coherent, nor are they very clear in places.)

Spoiler

 Ishar is here!

  Chapter 100’s title is Watchers at the Rim.  That seems foreboding somehow.

  Ash thinks Ishar isn’t as insane?  I doubt that, somehow.

  Oh no, oh no, oh no

  Agggghhhh

  Please Phendorana, don’t die!

  He’s dead.

  Teft is dead.

  I… he’s dead.

  Oh no, Kaladin, no no no…

  Moash, if you kill Navani, you’re going to make me cry again.  And I don’t like crying.

  KALADIN NO DON’T DO IT

  PLEASE DON’T DO IT

  Oh, Tien…

  YES

  HE DID IT

  I’M SO PROUD OF YOU, KALADIN

  Sanderson’s done an amazing job humanizing villains.

  He has his Plate!

  NAVANI IS A BONDSMITH

  STAB ME WITH A SHARDBLADE AND SPIKE MY SOUL

  WHAT IS HAPPENING

  I won’t say it myself, but Navani’s ‘journey before destination’ is *chef’s kiss*

  He’s healed his brands!  

  Kaladin, I love you so much right now.

  Okay, had to go on a run to get my emotions out.  I’m so exhilarated! 

  Ishar… is very much not sane.

  Crackpot theory: Ishar is Szeth’s father?

  Oh storms, that’s not good… Ishar was definitely not sane.  What kind of experiments was he trying to run?

  Moash is blind now?  Well.  I feel like we’re setting up for a tragedy end with him.  Without Bridge Four, blind, trying to deny ownership of his deeds?  Tragic end.  Probably not death, but forgotten.

  WHAT

  WHAT

  TARAVANGIAN IS ODIUM

  TARAVANGIAN IS STORMING ODIUM

  THE HECK?!

  Cultivation is either clueless or some kind of mad genius, and I’m not sure which is more scary.

  ‘Don’t make me come over there and slap you around again.’  There’s only one person we know of that Hoid has ever been able to cause physical harm to.

  Kelsier.

  Kaladin has the flute back!

  Wait.  Lift has an Aviar.  Shallan has a seon.  Oh.  Storms.

  Uh… Hoid?  You okay, mate?

Overall, I enjoyed Rhythm of War a lot!  I'm a reader who doesn't tend to really critique a book, I either enjoy it, have very few feelings, or dislike it, and I very much enjoyed this book.

Edited by Spren of Kindness
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Just finished and going to just throw out all my random thoughts.

They are so monumentally, colosally screwed. 

From the start I thought that if they lost Urithiru that was it, they would lose the war. Now I would prefer a million times over to have lost Urithiru rather than to have changed Rayse to Taravangian.

T is one of the most disgusting, selfish and petty characters in the whole Cosmere. Why? Because:

1. He pretends to be good

2. He fools millions, including very smart and good people (main characters, not just the masses) that he has a good core. In this book the main characters knew T was a traiter from the start and Dalinar still didn't kill him, convinced there was good in T. 

3. He actually believes himself that what he is doing is good, failing to realize that journey before destination is the most important Oath of all, and not for the KR but for any sentient being

 The only way to know you are doing the right thing is when your mind and heart are aligned. T did every single action against his heart. What is worse? A person who doesn't care he is doing something wrong, or someone who knows they are doing something wrong and does it anyway? The second by far. 

I thought that Sanderson would leave us the end of book 5 with a reasonably happy ending to tide us over for the years in between. After this, I don't see how. Best case scenario Dalinar will lose the duel and be enslaved to T. Worst case scenario T will turn most of Roshar into mindless slaves with as little willpower as the parshmen. Its possible Dalinar may ascend and become Honor, and T and Dalinar can play friends forever, but I hope not, Dalinar deserves better than to be stuck forever with odious (never said better) T as a companion. The other better alternative is kill T, Dalinar takes up Honor and Odium and forms War. Cultivation's grand plan has to my eyes proven to be the most stupid plan to ever be formed. Like stopping an enemy with a knife to give him a gun. 

There was a lot of good in this book, but a lot of bad as well. Why was Szeth locked up at the start? They had two nuclear bombs in Szeth and instead of exploiting them they threw them in the basement. A chance to create a splinter group of the Skybreakers loyal to Honor and Nightblood. Why did no-one try to fix Szeth's mental state in the year they had? If they had perhaps Szeth would have told someone when T began plotting, and the mess at the end could have been avoided. 

I can understand why Renarin said he doesn't say what he sees since it may change things for the worse, but right now Renarin knows Odium is T and I bet he will not tell anyone about it. Quite stupid when believing Odium is Rayse when it is really T will only end in tears. You cannot prepare for an enemy and win when they turn out to be someone with a whole other personality. 

El is a question mark and sounds quite dangerous, but also a bit delusional since the future is never set, and he sounds very certain.

Now to the good. Shallan was a good surprise. Although I'm curious, when she broke her Oaths did her dead Shardblade stay stuck in her father's vault until know? I had zero hopes for Shallan this book. Every single book she gained more power but devolved instead of evolved at least partially. Possible exception was book 2, and even there there were issues. This book began with Shallan been as small as expected, completely under the GB thumb for reasons that escaped me. Then she showed true strength and in my opinion her first true step fully forward. Before she did 1 forward, 2 back. In this one she regained all she had lost and went even further. 

Adolin was as great as I expected. I'm so happy to see him help fix Maya, and start to become as respected as he likely will among all spren. 

Rlain was also beautiful to watch. I'm also very fond of Rlain, was sad and angry to see him rejected by honorspren but happy when the Sibling considered him worthy and a Sja-nat spren embraced him. Its good to see Rlain accept he belongs no-where and everywhere. He is truly someone of two worlds, who can find home and love with individuals but not with an entire people. It is a bit melancholic, but there is always something good about seeing things slide into place.

Kaladin, -sigh-. I already knew what the Fourth Oath was, since it became obvious after Elhokar's death (one of the many theories already figured out correctly in the 17th Shard). So knowing what the Fourth Oath would be I was kind of agreeing with him at the start that he wouldn't be able to say it. When Urithiru fell I knew there were only two ways to save it before it was corrupted and the war lost forever. Kaladin saying the Oath or Navani bonding the Sibling. I lay higher odds on Navani. Surprisingly when Kaladin was sneaking about in Urithiru he was more solid than when he was supposedly safe. He ended up pulling together, but only with a lot of help from Dalinar, but that is not bad, after all the Bondsmith is about bonds and leading. What better way to lead than by helping his men through difficult obstacles?

Jasnah and Wit, I wasn't expecting them but they fit perfectly. I didn't expect it since I didn't think Wit would ever bind himself to anyone or anywhere. But that is a bit unfair to him, as everyone, even Hoid, deserves happiness. Design is delightful, a spren who can give Hoid a run for his money, :lol:. Wish to see more of Design, she is perfect even after a few short pages. Jasnah was good but didn't appear much.

The secret societies made me very contemptous on this book. All the happy plotting is okay when things are peaceful. Sadly, secret societies can be annoying and throw thorns on the way, but they are no-one at the end of the day. Secret societies in Roshar all liked to pretend to be in charge and have power, but when the Storm really starts, power is in the obvious places and nowhere else. Secret societies could press a finger here or there, but are empty by themselves. The only dangerous one this book was the Diagram because T was ruling Jah Keved. SoH irrelevant from the first page. GB annoying and I wanted to kill them when they captured Lift (strange, since I didn't use to like Lift, but she seems to have snuck into my heart). But ultimately, the GB were just an annoying buzz. They could annoy, but only by the support they could give Odium, by themselves they were worth very little. Good for Shallan for picking true strength over the empty weakness of the GB (in Roshar at least). 

Another sign of how useless societies are, is that they seldom create anything by themselves. They almost always have to steal what they want. They have an idea and some secret information and run with it even though they only have the ability to destroy and steal, but not make things themselves. Possible exception SoH and likely only because Kalak was around. 

Rock...I haven't read Dawnshard so I may have missed something but if Rock truly was killed for saving Kaladin's life because of laws of inheritance then the Horneaters maybe need to be scrapped and reformed. 

Moash as much of a mess as he's been since...always. Didn't like him in book 1, hated him in book 2, hated him in book 3, so he fulfilled my expectations in book 4. Saying he was similar to Kaladin has always been an insult, since they were not ever anything alike.

And then the true star of this book: Navani. 

I was completely indifferent to her before, but she proved her stripes many times over in this book. I was ready to kill Gavilar after the prologue, and I was very grimly satisfied as she overcame her chains of the past. Navani ensured she will end up in the history books, regardless of who wins, as the person who changed the eternal war forever, and possibly made a revolution in the Cosmere. She made mistakes, but she got back up almost inmediately. I need another thread in which to properly talk about her. 

There were some conflicting signals with the Sibling, at first I thought they would bond Navani, then Dabbid, then Rlain, then Navani again. When the Sibling dared to say to Navani she was not "worthy" I knew it was Navani who was bonding them for certain. 

Venli was a petty, small person the first three books, and sadly I'm not sure she can ever be much more. She may be an okay KR, but I can't see her be a brilliant KR like Kaladin, Jasnah and Dalinar. It makes sense in these massive books to see all typed of KR like Timbre said. The amazing heroes that others die for with a smile in the faces knowing its the right thing to do, the everyday people, and the cowards that don't intrinsically want to do the right thing but end up doing it anyway. 

Radoniel ended up been an amazing character, I wanted her to survive. I thought maybe she would live and she and Navani could converse over spanreed even while the war raged around them. 

It was so touching, although predictable, but nevertheless amazing how humanity rallied around Kaladin while Urithiru was occupied. They knew they might/would die, but they did it anyway, because they had to, because the alternative was worse, because they choose to.

p.s. I knew it would be a long post, but wew, if anyone reads it fully kudos :P

Edited by WhiteLeeopard
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5 hours ago, Weux082690 said:

Full Book Reactions:

*Is Book 5 going to take 10 days? Or will there be a Sanderson twist early to sneak extra days in?

*Color, Tone, Rhythm, Light: It makes sense that the fundamental forces of creation would be heavily related to common phenomenon in nature, but Wow!

*Anti-Investiture, wow! The process to create it seemed pretty easy to automate, so it will likely be mass-produced in the near future. Could this be related to how Adonalsium was Shattered or is this something totally new? Space ships powered by Investiture and Anti-Investiture colliding anyone? 

*Ghostbloods are "the most powerful organization in the cosmere" and led by Kelsier. Also Shallan (and by extension Adolin and probably all the Radiants) just went to war with them. I always thought that Scadrial and Roshar would be teaming up in the coming space age Cosmere war, but this makes it seem like they will be on opposite sides. :(

*While I am on the subject, what do the Ghostbloods want with BAM? Most of the Ghostblood's goals have made sense: Mraize collecting different forms of Investiture not only increases his personal power, but he could be funneling these things to a team of scholars working on how to exploit them to free Kelsier. Being able to convert between different forms of Investiture would not just allow them to sell Stormlight, but could also be key to allowing Kelsier to leave Scadrial. Attempting to capture another Cognitive Shadow for study into Kelsier's "condition". But how does BAM fit into it?

*Taravangian being Odium!? Didn't see it coming, but since Dalinar is on his way to being the new Honor, we could have more philosophical discussions on leadership during the back five. I could totally see these being the new prologues.

*Also, many people here seem to be worried about Taravangian being the new Odium. I am not. Taravangian is a very "the ends justify the means" kinda person, but his goal is to save everyone. I think the Odium switch is a good thing, though it may not seem the way in the short term. I also think that the Shard is Passion, not Odium per say, and that Rayse molded it to be Odium because of his own personality. Taravangian could fix that.

I think that's all I have to say for now.

Have you heard/read the Sequel of the Dusk reading yet? Go do it, if you haven’t.

Also: Kelsier. You are a powerful cognitive shadow, stapled to a body, who cannot get offworld and have only been around for a little over 300 years. And you’re somehow in charge of a powerful, Cosmere-wide organization. I’m a little scared now. What are you going to do once you can leave Scadrial?! Convert the entire Cosmere to your newest religion?!

 

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I just feel drained, confused and empty after the rolercoaster that was part 5 :( and after that Epilogue.. I'm scared. I feel like a proper post book depression is coming 

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3 minutes ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

Have you heard/read the Sequel of the Dusk reading yet? Go do it, if you haven’t.

I have. My take is:

Spoiler

I have always expected space age Mistborn to be Autonomy vs everyone else. Sixth of the Dusk made it seem like the Ones Above were representatives from everyone else, and that First of the Sun (being an Autonomy planet) would join up with other Autonomy planets to resist them. The Sequel makes it seem like the Ones Above are Autonomy's representatives, and the Windrunner is a representative from everyone else, and First of the Sun is going to form a coalition of smaller Shardworlds to be a neutral third party in the Cosmere.

 

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3 minutes ago, Weux082690 said:

I have. My take is:

  Hide contents

I have always expected space age Mistborn to be Autonomy vs everyone else. Sixth of the Dusk made it seem like the Ones Above were representatives from everyone else, and that First of the Sun (being an Autonomy planet) would join up with other Autonomy planets to resist them. The Sequel makes it seem like the Ones Above are Autonomy's representatives, and the Windrunner is a representative from everyone else, and First of the Sun is going to form a coalition of smaller Shardworlds to be a neutral third party in the Cosmere.

 

Spoiler

Note the Steel platform. The Ones Above are likely Scadrians. 
 

And I doubt Roshar speaks for anyone but Roshar...

 

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1 hour ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

Have you heard/read the Sequel of the Dusk reading yet? Go do it, if you haven’t.

What? When? Where?

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I really enjoyed this book. I didn’t notice many of the issues people are pointing out. I appreciate good character development and wordbuilding, and this book had lots of those. I couldn’t be more pleased with Kaladin/Syl, Navani, Shallan, and Rlain's arcs.  Even Venli won me over in the end (that scene with her mom, wow), though I would have liked more development for her. She frustrated me a bit with her unwillingness to tell anyone about her radiancy, but of course Kaladin and Shallan had that same issue in the first two books. I also would have enjoyed flashbacks for more Listeners and Singers, maybe even some of the Fused. A Raboniel or Leshwi flashback would be awesome. If I recall correctly, at the end of Oathbringer Hoid mentioned dancing with Leshwi in the distant past.

A few questions I haven’t seen discussed:

How did Moash end up blind at the end? He seemed to run out of the tower with no problem, then he lands in a snow bank and realizes he is blind. I went back and read it three times and can’t figure out what happened. Maybe the towerlight did something to him?

How did Wit project into an Odium vision? It was similar to when Odium projected into one of Dalinar’s visions, but I’m not sure by what mechanism Wit would be able to do that, all while erecting a bubble of protection around him and Kaladin which prevents Odium from noticing. Also, did those visions take place on Braize?

Did Szeth violate his oath to Dalinar by stabbing Taravangian? He swore to follow the Dalinar’s will, and Dalinar clearly did not want Taravangian dead.

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15 minutes ago, Starla said:

I really enjoyed this book. I didn’t notice many of the issues people are pointing out. I appreciate good character development and wordbuilding, and this book had lots of those. I couldn’t be more pleased with Kaladin/Syl, Navani, Shallan, and Rlain's arcs.  Even Venli won me over in the end (that scene with her mom, wow), though I would have liked more development for her. She frustrated me a bit with her unwillingness to tell anyone about her radiancy, but of course Kaladin and Shallan had that same issue in the first two books. I also would have enjoyed flashbacks for more Listeners and Singers, maybe even some of the Fused. A Raboniel or Leshwi flashback would be awesome. If I recall correctly, at the end of Oathbringer Hoid mentioned dancing with Leshwi in the distant past.

A few questions I haven’t seen discussed:

How did Moash end up blind at the end? He seemed to run out of the tower with no problem, then he lands in a snow bank and realizes he is blind. I went back and read it three times and can’t figure out what happened. Maybe the towerlight did something to him?

How did Wit project into an Odium vision? It was similar to when Odium projected into one of Dalinar’s visions, but I’m not sure by what mechanism Wit would be able to do that, all while erecting a bubble of protection around him and Kaladin which prevents Odium from noticing. Also, did those visions take place on Braize?

Did Szeth violate his oath to Dalinar by stabbing Taravangian? He swore to follow the Dalinar’s will, and Dalinar clearly did not want Taravangian dead.

I think Moash's blindness has something to do with the Honorblade, there's a thread somewhere.  And yes, the visions were on Braize, but I don't know what's going on with anything else.

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7 hours ago, Weux082690 said:

I have. My take is:

  Hide contents

I have always expected space age Mistborn to be Autonomy vs everyone else. Sixth of the Dusk made it seem like the Ones Above were representatives from everyone else, and that First of the Sun (being an Autonomy planet) would join up with other Autonomy planets to resist them. The Sequel makes it seem like the Ones Above are Autonomy's representatives, and the Windrunner is a representative from everyone else, and First of the Sun is going to form a coalition of smaller Shardworlds to be a neutral third party in the Cosmere.

 

Spoiler

I don't think that's a Windrunner. The line "Do I have legal justification to shoot this man?" makes the Radiant seem like a Skybreaker. I think the Skybreaker seems more likely to be a representative of Autonomy than the Ones Above (who seem like they might be Scadrians), especially since the Skybreakers had no problem working with Odium. 

 

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