Answers to the Beta-Readers’ Reactions to Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer

We’re ba-ack! It’s time to reveal the answers to the list of beta-reader reactions to Oathbringer that we posted a few weeks ago. Hopefully you’ve all had time to make some guesses as you read through the book—and hopefully some of the reactions included enough information to let you make informed guesses!

So check it out, and see how many you got right!

WARNING: DO NOT READ THIS BEFORE YOU’VE FINISHED THE BOOK!! It will be chock full of massive, soul-destroying spoilers.

As you know, I recently spent some time combing through the beta spreadsheets for a selection of amusing, teasing, insightful, or otherwise interesting reactions, with permission from the beta community in general. Some of these were originally a single comment, some were combined from multiple comments, and in many cases I simply listed a selection of the reactions to a single event. I’m pretty sure you don’t care what I have to say ABOUT the list though… you want to know the answers, already! So, here they are, with Chapter, Part, and page number identified. The reactions are reprinted here in the same order as the original list; words in green are pieces I had cut or modified so they wouldn’t give it away, but are now included for the full quote.

  1. You smug SOB. REASONABLY well? He almost beat you, Dalinar, you prideful a**! *throws hands in the air* (Sorry, I swear a lot in my head when I’m critiquing so these are my actual reader reactions.)
    HA! I HAD NO IDEA MY SWEAR WORD WOULD GET CHANGED TO CHULL THAT IS HILARIOUS.

Chapter 3, Part 1, Page 47

This one was heavily edited, or it would have been a dead giveaway. When Darci retyped it into our “quotable quotes” collection, it then auto-corrected “a**” to “chull” … which may imply that someone has been too immersed in Cosmere-specific terminology. Anyway, it was her response to:

He gestured toward the dying man, and Dym rammed a sword into the armored man’s armpit, finishing the job. The fellow had fought reasonably well; no need to extend his suffering.

 

  1. “You little whore!”
    I feel like Brandon could be taking direct comments from prior beta reads as dialogue here. :D

Interlude 2, HB Page 333

This one is obvious the moment you read it, of course, because I actually quoted the book. The second half of the reaction should make much more sense now, though; Aubree pointed out that Ellista’s reactions, as she talks to the book characters, are very reflective of the comments you’d find in a beta spreadsheet!

 

  1. At the end of [Climax 3-2], I stood up, calmly placed my laptop aside, then proceeded to pace around my living room waving my arms and swearing a blue streak. Husband, baby and dogs all stared at me like I’d gone crazy.

Chapter 84, Part 3, Page 819

This was Lyndsey’s reaction to that horrible chapter, fighting in the palace, with Elhokar trying to save his son. Moash killed him right there in front of his 3-year-old son, while he was trying to speak the First Ideal, and then had the gall to give Kaladin the Bridge Four salute. I’m not 100% sure, but I think just about every one of the beta was turning the air blue at that point.

 

  1. [LIFT] IS THE HERO WE ALL DESERVE ALSO I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT [DALINAR HAS A NICE BUTT] IS CONFIRMED IN CANON. THE ALMIGHTY IS REAL AND HE HAS BLESSED THIS CHAPTER.

Chapter 42, Part 2, Page 440

“Your butt is too nice. Old guys shouldn’t have tight butts. It means you spend waaay too much time swinging a sword or punching people. You should have an old flabby butt. Then I’d trust you.”

Y’all had some good guesses on this, but … nope. Alyx provided an excellent quote for some much-needed humor!

 

  1. This gave me goosebumps. I feel absolutely terrified at hearing this. Why don’t they speak of it? Because it was of great importance to her, but didn’t seem to be to them? I am really interested to learn more about this in the future.

Chapter 47, Part 2, Page 478

This was a combination of Darci’s and Kristy’s responses to the hint at Jasnah’s past trauma:

Something stirred deep within her. Glimmers of memory from a dark room, screaming her voice ragged. A childhood illness nobody else seemed to remember, for all it had done to her.

It had taught her that people she loved could still hurt her.

 

  1. I am so scared. I am so scared. I am so scared.

Chapter 57, Part 2, Page 550

Matt spoke for many of us in his reaction to this moment:

Odium turned to him so sharply that Dalinar jumped. “Is that,” Odium said quietly, “an offer to release me from my bonds, coming from the man holding the remnants of Honor’s name and power?”

 

  1. Every time I see his name mentioned now my heart starts beating a little faster.

Chapter 58, Part 3, Page 581

Navani held his arm, though Taravangian and Adrotagia had trailed behind on the ramp up.

The actual text was tightened up between the beta and the gamma, though the basics of the scene remain. In the beta, Jasnah was trailing behind, arm in arm with Taravangian, and… either way, he makes us all nervous, not just Kelly!

 

  1. YAY! I thought it would work like that, but I wasn’t sure. It’s always cool seeing powers manifest in different ways between different worlds.

Chapter 65, Part 3, Page 646

“Would you help me understand?” he whispered to the Stormfather.

What makes you think I can?

“Don’t be coy,” Dalinar whispered. “I’ve spoken new languages in the visions. You can make me speak Azish.”

The Stormfather rumbled in discontent. That wasn’t me, he finally said. It was you.

“How do I use it?”

Try touching one of them. With Spiritual Adhesion, you can make a Connection.

The quote was from Brandon C., but there was a fair amount of squeeing over the reference to a concept first introduced in The Bands of Mourning.

 

  1. He’s going to die, isn’t he?

Chapter 74, Part 3, Page 734

Elhokar was a good man. In his heart, at least. Shouldn’t that matter most?

This was my immediate reaction to the scene where Shallan was drawing Elhokar while they waited in Kholinar. She drew him kneeling, ragged, but unbeaten. Noble. Regal. And he reacted just like Bluth had. I… I knew then that he was going to die. I still hoped he wouldn’t—that he could save his son and live. Alas.

 

  1. Can I just note how refreshing it is to have one character who can do this, and not worry about panic attacks in tense situations?
    Dude, I’m practically having a panic attack just READING this chapter.

Chapter 83, Part 3, Page 799

Adolin joined the troops, calming his nerves by force.

They’re winding up the Kholinar stint; Kaladin fought Fused with the Wall Guard, Shallan attempted to infiltrate the Palace, and all of them struggled with their various crises of identity and whatnot. In the midst of all this drama, Mark’s reaction to Adolin’s self-discipline resonated with a lot of the beta readers. So did Paige’s response to Mark!

 

  1. WHAT??? WHAT WHAT WHAT?????? Nononononononono. (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
    Holy crap! I might be freaking out slightly. *tries to calm breathing* *fails*
    Holy f***ing s***snacks WHAT IS HAPPENING HOLY CRAP I CAN’T I CAN’T I CAN’ I had to put this down and pace around my kitchen, that is the level of freak out going on right now oh my god no I’m crying I’m so scared.

Chapter 115, Part 5, Page 1085

Jasnah put her hand to the side, then–taking a deep breath–summoned Ivory as a Shardblade.

This is the end of the scene where Jasnah finds Renarin in the temple of Pailiah-Elin. Those of us who love Renarin (which turns out to be most of us) were SO worried for him right there! This collection is a mash-up from Darci, Matt, Bao, Kristy, Paige, Nikki and Marnie. For some reason, I messed up and didn’t include the one that got the most up-votes: Ravi’s reaction was:

O___________________________________________O

 

  1. Oh no… that’s not going to be good for Teft at all. That’s going to be very bad for Teft, actually.

Interlude 14, Part 4, Page 1070

A Bridge Four officer’s coat, worn as a disguise. Teft’s coat, which he’d sold weeks ago in the market. To get a few spheres.

Alyx’s comment is representative of all the responses to this moment, as Teft realizes that the coat he’d solde was used as a disguise to get into the Bridge Four quarters, where the intruder severely injured Rock and Bisig, killed Eth, and stole the Honorblade they’d been using for training. And it wasn’t good for him…

 

  1. As much of a jerk as you’ve been, this really cut at me. I don’t think Nightwatcher gets many of this nature.
    Now I’m crying. Despite yourself, you know what you need…

Chapter 114, Part 5, Page

Dalinar blinked tears, listening to the sounds of the children dying in the distance, and whispered a single word.

“Forgiveness.”

I chose just two out of a whole list of similar reactions and up-votes (these happened to belong to Ravi and me) regarding Dalinar’s request of the Nightwatcher. The way it was not what he’d intended to ask, combined with his obvious need… well, it generated a lot of tears, right?

 

  1. It’s a little alarming when Nightblood is the voice of reason.

Chapter 106, Part 4, Page 986

That scene when Szeth is with Nale in the abandoned courthouse, Nale is giving every evidence of having rats in his attic, and Nightblood is figuratively eyeing Nale and his Honorblade very suspiciously… that was Becca’s response to Nightblood’s advice:

Fight him. I think he might be evil.

It’s even better when paired with the next lines:

“He is one of the Heralds— one of the least-evil things in the world.”

Huh. Doesn’t bode well for your world, then.

 

  1. Oh, Renarin! Oh, you make me weep! You just don’t see anything wrong about him, do you, no matter how he treats you? You are far, far too goodfor him ::sniffles::

Chapter 94, Part 4, Page 890

Renarin stepped in and hugged him. Dalinar flinched, bracing as if for a punch. The boy clung to him, not letting go.

“They talk about you,” Renarin said, “but they’re wrong. You just need to rest, after all the fighting you did. I know. And I miss her too.”

Dalinar licked his lips. “What did she tell you?” he said, voice ragged. “What did your mother say about me?”

“The only honest officer in the army,” Renarin said, “the honorable soldier. Noble, like the Heralds themselves. Our father. The greatest man in Alethkar.”

My reaction was originally for the first paragraph, but this whole conversation had the betas absolutely flailing—anger at Dalinar for repeatedly calling Renarin “the other one;” his assumptions that Evi had poisoned his sons against him, and then learning that she had only ever told them good things about him; his realization that he really was a mess and deserved to be hated, but instead he was loved—all of this had the tears flowing again.

 

  1. This makes me super, super happy that I recently did a reread of Warbreaker. Also: SQUEEEEEEEE VIVENNA!!!! What’s she doing here?

Chapter 89, Part 4, Page 862

In fact, her … her hair was fading. It was the strangest thing; Adolin watched it dim from Alethi jet-black to a faint grey as she sat down. Must be another effect of this strange place.

I left out a large chunk of Marnie’s response, since the rest of it was asking questions for which we will have no answer in Oathbringer, but this seemed to be the moment when the last hold-outs were finally convinced that Azure was really Vivenna. And yes, I’ll admit I included this partly because of the number of people arguing elsewhere that there was no need to read Warbreaker before Oathbringer. So sue me.

 

  1. I like that he’s feeling like this. It seems appropriate. There’s good reason for both emotions. Maybe neither should prevail.

Chapter 83, Part 3, Page 797

It had felt so satisfying to shove it through Sadeas’s eye. He still didn’t know whether to feel ashamed or proud.

Steve summed up pretty much everyone’s reaction, though most variations leaned toward, “if you have to choose one, choose proud. It needed to be done.”

 

  1. The manner of [Evi’s death] was one of the things that I always wanted to know but could never come up with a satisfying theory. This is something I had never considered but it is perfectly horrible. It is what it needs to be for the story, but storms is it hard to read.

Chapter 76, Part 3, Page 749

“She came to us,” Tanalan said. “To plead. How could you have missed her? Do you track your own family so poorly? The hole you burned … we don’t hide there anymore. Everyone knows about it. Now it’s a prison.”

The realization of how Evi died was a punch in the gut to all of us; Ian said it well. So hard to read.

 

  1. WHAT DO YOU MEAN SHE’S DEAD IN A DITCH?

Interlude 3, Part 1, Page

Venli felt cold. Demid solemnly lifted Eshonai’s faceplate, revealing dead eyes set in an ashen face.

Eshonai … no …

To be honest, this wasn’t technically part of the beta read. It was just a couple of weeks before the release, when the betas were chatting and Eric was looking forward to the reactions we’d soon be seeing. And we did see this reaction. Much.

 

  1. My feelings about [Szeth] have been all over the place throughout the series thus far, but this was almost a ‘WHOOP!’ moment for me. I’m… I don’t know about happy, but certainly pleased for him.
    Big WHOOP!! moment for me too! I’m loving the journey from “OMG THIS DUDE IS BAD NEWS ” to “oh wait I kind of love him??? and want him to be happy???”
    Same here. I have such mixed feelings about him. I love him and he scares me.

Chapter 92, Part 4, Page

The skies were his once again.

The series of comments were from Paige, Nikki, and Darci. After all the things he did in the first two books, it seems odd to be so happy for him, but… there we were. Happy that he was going to be a Skybreaker and be able to fly again. Huh.

 

  1. Well that’s one way to get a ride. I’m looking forward to learning more about this Princess business.

Chapter 102, Part 4, Page 960

“Sylphrena, the Ancient Daughter?” one shouted.

“That’s me!” she shouted back. “You’d better catch me before I scamper away! Wow! I’m feeling capricious today. I might just vanish again, off to where nobody can find me!”

It worked.

Credit to Deana for this one, and she was not alone in her wish! There was a whole lot of Syl-love going around up in there.

Besides, it worked.

 

  1. This is just… really beautiful. *cries*
    This!!! All day this quote. It is basically a deeper more poetic version of the life before death oath. This hit me really hard. I loved it. Another way to express my life views.

Chapter 105, Part 4, Page 981

“‘The question,’ she replied, ‘is not whether you will love, hurt, dream, and die. It is what you will love, why you will hurt, when you will dream, and how you will die. This is your choice. You cannot pick the destination, only the path.’”

Nikki and Aaron just said it all. The scene, if you don’t recognize it, is when Dalinar is flipping out after Gavilar’s funeral, seeking oblivion in drink (if he can outmaneuver his keys and get into his rooms), and he hears Jasnah’s voice, reading from “The Way of Kings.”

 

  1. Oh god, this is terrifying. Everything is happy. Everyone’s getting along. Oh no, don’t do this. I know a Hope Spot when I see one! I can feel the plot twist coming! I can feel Taravangian’s machinations about to ruin everything and everyone’s just SO HAPPY right now! AUGH!

Chapter 111, Part 4, Page

As Dalinar stepped into the temple’s main chamber, he found that he was looking forward to this meeting.

This scene, near the end of Part 4, is one of those places where, as a reader, we all know things are just going too well, and something horrible is about to happen. Alyx’s reaction captured the feeling well.

 

  1. WHAT.
    OOOH Is that Cultivation?
    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
    He really HAS met her before!
    ERRRR MAHHH GAWWWWD yessssssssss!!!!
    ^^ Not only is this reaction extremely funny, but it’s also ironically accurate. lol!
    *GASP!!!* Is this Cultivation herself?! Are we going to MEET another shard?!!!

Chapter 114, Part 5, Page 1078

We were all more than a little startled when Cultivation stepped in and took over from the Nightwatcher—and also, more than a little delighted! I re-inserted the comments I left out of the series, which would obviously have given it away completely (and been spoilerific besides); the up-votes were flying on the reactions written by Darci, Ted, Bao, Paige, Marnie, and Brandon C. My personal favorite is the “ironically accurate” nature of “ERRRR MAHHH GAWWWWD.”

 

  1. This is like something out of a Looney Tunes cartoon and I love it.
    We’re Wile E. Coyote right now.

Chapter 117, Part 5, Page 1112

She screamed as Stormlight flowed through her, raging in her veins, reaching toward something in her pocket.

A wall appeared in front of her.

Shallan gasped. A sickening smack from the other side of the wall indicated that the Fused had collided with it.

The mental image evoked by the comments from Lyndsey & Ravi… I don’t really need to be explaining this, do I? ::gigglesnort::

 

  1. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO BELIEVE/THINK ANYMORE THERE IS ONLY READING TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

Chapter 117, Part 5, Page 1130

Renarin didn’t want to die. But strangely, he found himself welcoming Jasnah’s strike.

Better to die than to live to see what was happening to his father. For he saw the future. He saw his father in black armor, a plague upon the land. He saw the Blackthorn return, a terrible scourge with nine shadows.

Odium’s champion.

“He’s going to fall,” Renarin whispered. “He’s already fallen. He belongs to the enemy now. Dalinar Kholin … is no more.”

Last we saw, Dalinar was being strongly pressed to give all the blame for his past actions to Odium, which would somehow make him become Odium’s champion. So much depends on Dalinar’s decision, and Renarin sees him as that champion. I picked Nikki’s comment out of many of a similar nature, as we all feared both what was happening to Renarin, and what was happening to Dalinar.

 

  1. What?!!! Wait… NOOOOOO!!!!
    Excuse me while I pick my jaw off the floor.
    WHAAAAAAAAAT
    ACTUALLY FREAKING OUT OMG OMG NO NO NO NO BAD BAD BAD

Chapter 115, Part 5, Page 1085

A spren rose from his back, bright red, shimmering like the heat of a mirage. A crystalline structure, like a snowflake, though it dripped light upward toward the ceiling. In her pouch, she carried a sketch of the proper spren of the Truthwatchers.

And this was something different.

I feel a little silly here; I included two pieces that are literally back to back in the book… (See #11 above.) But the reactions were intense! Deana, Brian, Darci, and Nikki were most expressive—and the first one had about sixteen up-votes. The moment was quite a shock, no matter what you had previously believed about Glys.

 

  1. I’ve been waiting for this conversation for so long and spent the entire section internally screaming and I’m sooooo glad they finally talked about things and AAHHHHHHHH

Chapter 108, Part 4, Page 1012

Many of you guessed this one, and I’m delighted that you did. It was high time, wasn’t it? Sarah referenced the entire conversation from the moment Adolin came over until Kaladin distracted them, but the highlight was right here:

“It’s confusing, being all these people. I feel like I’m presenting different faces all the time. Lying to everyone, because I’m different inside. I … That doesn’t make sense, does it?” She squeezed her eyes shut again. “I’ll pull it back together. I’ll be … someone.”

“I…” He pulled her tight again as the ship rocked. “Shallan, I killed Sadeas.”

 

  1. Pattern is a Vulcan.

Chapter 95, Part 4, Page 891

“Humans, you must stop your emotions. They are very inconvenient here.”

Again, many people correctly identified this one, although some were sidetracked by “No mating!” Pattern is funny enough on his own, but Mark’s comment had me cracking up.

 

  1. WHAT?? Why did they lock her up, the poor thing??
    That’s what I thought, soon followed by “Oh.. that’s surprisingly considerate, then.”
    This is more depressing than it really should be to me.

Chapter 101, Part 4, Page 947

Ico used keys to unlock the door, revealing the spren of Adolin’s sword sitting on a bench inside. She looked at him with those haunting scratched-out eyes, her string face void of emotion.

“I wish you hadn’t locked her in here,” Adolin said, stooping down to peer through the squat doorway.

“Can’t have them on deck,” Ico said. “They don’t watch where they’re walking and fall off. I’m not going to spend days trying to fish out a lost deadeye.”

My initial reaction here was to the first paragraph, but as Steve and Deana note, the locking-up is sort of considerate, and the reason for it is really sad. The condition of an unsummoned Blade in Shadesmar is … well, depressing.

 

  1. Oh, nice. That’s profound… more people should consider the question seriously.
    There’s ALWAYS a cost, Dalinar. You already know that.
    Dalinar, this is so simplistic of you. It sorta fits with the Vorin religion, but… it’s just not true.

Chapter 103, Part 4, Page 967

“… Tell me, my friend. You talk about your burdens and the difficulty of the decision. What is the cost of a principle?”

“The cost? There shouldn’t be a cost to being principled.”

The conversation between Nohadon and Dalinar got a few reactions from Brandon C. and me. While it’s definitely worth considering the cost of one’s principles, it’s naïve to think there shouldn’t be a cost.

 

  1. OMG Dalinar be MORE of an asshat why don’t you?

Chapter 88, Part 4, Page 851

As Dalinar goes into full alcoholic mode after the Rift debacle, trying to escape his nightmares and the weeping he hears when he sees fire… Lyndsey did not appreciate this thought:

Storms take Evi for doing this to him!

 

  1. Lump. In. Throat. I loved this moment.

Chapter 6, Part 1, Page 74

Many of you got this, so just let me give you the entirety of Brian’s reaction:

I loved this moment. It was a lump-in-throat moment for me. There were several things that made it poignant for me. First, I wasn’t sure that Lirin would recognize Kaladin. He has long hair, scars and brands on his face. He’s a mess. Nobody else recognized him. But his father did (I’m tearing up just writing this). I love that his father immediately recognized him. And then when he called for Hesina, yelled for Hesina… I don’t know why, but that hit me, too. The pure joy of discovering one’s lost son. (I’m tearing up again). Beautiful. My favorite part of the chapter. Comeuppance for Roshone doesn’t come close to this. Beautiful.

 

  1. Shudder…my stomach is in knots right now. Traps people walk into deliberately are much more suspenseful.

Chapter 78, Part 3, Page 765

“You may climb the steps to enlightenment,” the cultist in white told her. “Your guide will meet you at the top.”

Shallan, attempting to infiltrate the Cult of Moments, was nerve-wracking. Deana wasn’t the only one shuddering!

 

  1. This gave me the chills. I could envision it so clearly, and what a horrible, horrible concept.

Chapter 100, Part 4, Page 938

When Dalinar was in Vedenar, speaking with the old soldiers, and asked them what the civil war had been like, Lyndsey’s reaction spoke for several as we read this:

“Nobody would stop, Brightlord. Even when it should have been done. They just kept right on fighting. Killing because they felt like killing.”

 

  1. Powerful and well written. I’m always amazed at what you can do with the restrictions of the Ketek form.

Chapter 105, Part 4, Page 978

“You, always about dreams. My soul weeps. Farewell, weeping soul. My dreams … about, always, You.”

Navani’s ketek for Gavilar’s funeral hit Dalinar hard, and it also evoked some strong reactions among the beta readers—in this case, Mark.

 

  1. *sigh*. I’d throw my iPad across the room if it would help.

The end of Part 4, Page 1054

This was Gary’s reaction to reaching the end of this part, knowing he’d be waiting another week to find out what would happen to Dalinar after the coalition fell apart, and what would come of the multiple revelations that caused its collapse.

 

  1. I AM CRYING AND SMILING AND IT HURTS BUT IT’S AMAZING
    I knew he could do it!
    YES! YESYESYES! Whooping and laughing and crying and OMG, this character is wonderful!!
    THANK GOD/THE ALMIGHTY/THE STORMFATHER/WHATEVER omg
    RESOLUTION!!

Chapter 118, Part 5, Page 1133

What a moment. This was a small selection of the reactions, quoting Darci, Bao, Paige, Nikki, and Brandon C. re:

You cannot have my pain.

 

  1. HAHAHAHA Worldhopper jokes!

Chapter 114, Part 5, Page 1074

“You’re a little less foreign, sir.”

Raise your hand if you called it with Ross! For those who didn’t know, Felt is a worldhopper, presumably from Scadrial, where he was one of the main spies for House Venture in Mistborn Era 1.

 

  1. I really liked this completely incorrect assumption that [Eshonai] makes. Nice dramatic irony and shows how innocent/naive Eshonai used to be.

Prologue, Page 20

I found myself very much in agreement with Marnie regarding this:

When Eshonai had first met the humans, she’d seen the little listeners they had with them. A hapless tribe who were trapped in dullform. Eshonai had assumed the humans were taking care of the poor souls without songs.

 

  1. NO!! NO NO NO! THAT CANNOT BE THE END OF THE CHAPTER!!!! NO NO NO NO NO! *stomps, kicks, flails, jumps, tantrums* Darci is laughing at me and says, “”Wow! I wish I had recorded that!”” She wipes a laughter tear.

Chapter 79, Part 3, Page 779

“I’m here,” Kaladin said, resting the Sylblade on his shoulder, “on orders from King Elhokar and the Blackthorn. It’s my job to save Kholinar. And it’s time you started talking to me.”

She smiled at him. “Come with me.”

And it switches to a Shallan POV. That was Brandon C. again. Heh.

 

  1. “OH SH*T. Eeeek. Yeah Dalinar he’s super great… Oh no.”
    “Ruh roh.”
    “NO! IT’S A TRAP!”
    “OH CRAP NO”
    “Oh My God.. No…..”

Chapter 12, Part 1, Page 143

The reactions from Eric, Jory, Chris, Nikki, and Kalyani were excerpted from longer statements, in some cases, but it pretty much sums up the general reaction to:

If Dalinar failed everywhere else, at least he would have King Taravangian at his side.

 

  1. I almost broke my iPad because it stopped scrolling. Nuff said?

End of Part 3, Page 828

Some of you have already heard this story. Part 3 ends with Elhokar dead, Dalinar nearly incapacitated by memories, and Adolin’s team shunted to Shadesmar. Tense, much? Then, because of circumstances, the beta readers waited nearly three weeks to get Part 4. This was Brandon C.’s reaction to the end of part three, and then… Well, the wait was excruciating.

 

  1. Oh crap! Anti-Radiants & stormlight. Stormlight? Stormdark. Stormshadow? Everlight? Ahem. Well, that cannot possibly be good at all.

Chapter 31, Part 1, Page 319

A blackish-violet glow—like dark Stormlight—rose from the red-eyed parshman.

I can see where this reaction, compiled from those of Deana, Brian, Richard, and Eric, could be considered a spoiler, so I apologize for that. But stringing it together like this was way too much fun.

 

  1. She’s CREEPY! I wasn’t expecting her to be creepy…
    ^^ I expected creepy, just more humanoid creepy, not mist-like, incorporeal creepy.
    She’s kind of what I expected from a growy spren
    Me too. I always thought of Uma Thurman in her Poison Ivy costume for her.
    Yeah, she’s straight up Japanese Horror Ghost. Although she kind of reminds me of Wyndle (Lift’s spren)
    She’s… alien.
    Like the girl from the ring

Chapter 114, Part 5, Page 1077

In addition to the quotes from Lyndsey and Kelly, I added those from Ravi, Rahul, Richard, Steve, and Aaron, just for a little entertainment. And now you know, if you hadn’t already guessed, we were talking about the Nightwatcher:

She was a dark green mist, vaguely shaped like a crawling person. Too-long arms reached out, pulling her along as she floated above the ground. Her essence, like a tail, extended far behind her, weaving among tree trunks and disappearing into the forest.

  1. Instantly tears welled up in my eyes. I spent the next few minutes battling tears of joy.
    This was SO POWERFUL. He never ceases to amaze me, and this is just one instance of that. LOVE.
    I loved this part. SO good.
    Yeah so [Adolin] is starting to be tied with [Jasnah] as my favorite character.
    AWWWWWWWWWW! Seriously, so many have been waiting for this since the first time we saw [him duel].

Chapter 120, Part 5, Page 1163

Something tickled his mind, very faint, like a sigh. A single word: Mayalaran. A … name?

You all knew it was this moment, right? It had to be. I selected just a few of the ecstatic reactions in the spreadsheet; these were from Deana, Darci, Bao, Marnie, and Brandon C. It was such a satisfying step in Adolin’s progression, and, as noted, something we’ve been hoping to see for a lot of years.

 

Well, there you have it, my friends. The revelation of the heavily-edited selection of a few of the thousands of reactions from the beta readers. My thanks to all of them (see the full list in the acknowledgements to Oathbringer!) for allowing me to use their words, and for being an absolutely wonderful group of human beings. It took me far longer than it should have to compile the original list, as well as to put together this “solutions” post; going back into the spreadsheet was just so much fun, and then of course I had to read extended sections. What a book.

As a side note, most of the chapter titles were suggested by the beta readers. For the first time ever (or at least in my experience), we were given the opportunity to suggest quotations from the chapter that would make good titles. We had a lot of fun with this, up-voting suggestions we especially liked, and laughing our heads off at some of the suggestions. You’ll be fascinated to know that Chapter 42 was almost titled “A Thing About Butts.”

And on that note… See you in the comments!

citation

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