Oathbringer Reread

Oathbringer Reread: Chapter Sixty-Seven

and

I hope you’re all ready to sit criss-cross apple sauce, because this week Uncle Hoid’s in the house and ready to regale us all with a lovely tale of arrogance, trickery, and loss. It’s always a fun time when Hoid shows up, and this week’s reread is full of theorizing, comments on the craft of story-telling (both inter-textually and meta-textually), and… you guessed it, Cosmere Connections!

Reminder: We’ll potentially be discussing spoilers for the entire novel in each reread. Since Hoid shows up in this chapter, we do a fair amount of talking about him and some aspects of the magic system from Warbreaker, so if you haven’t had a chance to read that one yet (and if you haven’t, you really should before things begin heating up in the next few chapters) you may want to sit this chapter out. There’s also a little discussion of how the White Sand sand works, but it’s not really a plot spoiler. And, it goes without saying at this point, but if you haven’t read ALL of Oathbringer, best to wait to join us until you’re done.

Chapter Recap

WHO: Shallan/Veil
WHERE: Kholinar
WHEN: 1174.1.10.3 (the day after Chapter 63)

Shallan, as Veil, goes for a walk through the marketplace. She discovers that the rich lighteyes are prioritizing giving food to the rich over the poor (surprise surprise) and runs into a familiar face telling stories to the beleaguered populace.

Truth, Love, and Defiance

 

Title: Mishim

Everyone knows that Mishim is the cleverest of the three moons.

And thus begins the story that Sigzil failed to tell. Also, I’d never noticed this, but Deana pointed out in the beta that Hoid’s storytelling chapters are usually titled for the story. So that’s cool.

Herald

Paliah, patron of Truthwatchers, the Scholar, associated with the attributes Learned and Giving.

AA: The first thing I had to notice was that, despite Wit’s appearance, we don’t have the Joker in one of the Heralds slots. This is unusual. Instead, we have Paliah in all four slots. My best guess is that Shallan is trying hard to study the city, to learn as much as she can about what’s going on and why the Cult of Moments is such hot stuff. She also gets frustrated with the way the limited free food keeps getting doled out to the (obviously) servants of noble houses, rather than to the actual poor and needy, which in retrospect is clearly a set-up for her later plan of giving food to those who need it as a means of attracting the attention of the cult.

Alternatively, the entire Learned/Giving thing could apply to Wit.

Icon

Pattern

Epigraph

This generation has had only one Bondsmith, and some blame the divisions among us upon this fact. The true problem is far deeper. I believe that Honor himself is changing.

—From drawer 24-18, smokestone

AA: The Skybreaker who left this recording seems to be an insightful sort. We don’t know the specific timing of Tanavast’s death, nor how long it took Honor to “die,” nor exactly where the Recreance fell in that sequence. We have only the Stormfather’s statement that “in the days leading to the Recreance, Honor was dying.” If we are correct in assuming that the Recreance followed fairly closely on the heels of the departure from Urithiru, he’s correct—Honor himself was not just changing; he was dying.

L: I also find it interesting that that generation only had one. Does this imply that the Bondsmith was bonded to either the Sibling or Cultivation, seeing as how Honor was changing? Or… is Honor sort of an umbrella term for all three of them, implying that the Bondmith bond itself is intrinsically linked to Honor and hence weakening?

AA: I really wish I knew the answer to that! It seems pretty solid that the Sibling is not the one bonded at this time, because of the comments in the gemstone archives about the Sibling withdrawing. Given that this Skybreaker thinks Honor is changing, and the Bondsmith doesn’t seem to have much to say about the subject, I tentatively theorize that Melishi was bonded to the Nightwatcher. It seems like that might make sense, in that a Cultivation-oriented Bondsmith might have a better understanding of the way the parsh are connected to Ba-Ado-Mishram. But… that’s totally speculative.

Thematic Thoughts

They were at war, the city was falling, but all she wanted to do was listen to the end of this story.

L: This is such a beautiful sentiment. We see it so often—the human desire for stories is so deeply ingrained in our psyches that it transcends society. All cultures have stories, and interestingly, many of them follow the same basic paths. This path—popularly dubbed The Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell, is so deeply entrenched in us that we subconsciously recognize it, and if a story isn’t quite matching up to the story beats we expect, it will feel “wrong.” How often, when watching a film or reading a book, have you noticed that the hero of the piece reaches a dark place about ¾ of the way through? Watching them claw their way back up to victory from that place is highly rewarding for us on a deep psychological level, and it’s absolutely fascinating to study. This need to relate to fictional characters and to partake of their joys and their sadnesses despite (or because of) our own personal struggles is what makes fiction so very important, whether you choose to engage with it through the written page, the movie screen, television, or plays or podcasts. Or even by listening to a street busker tell a story with different colored smoke.

Stories allow us to remove ourselves from the trials of our own lives and experience the victories of someone else, and the meta-textual nature of Wit/Hoid is pretty fascinating in this respect. In many ways he subtly breaks the fourth wall, winking to the reader even as he speaks to Shallan or Kaladin.

AA: ::applauds::

Stories & Songs

“This story takes place during the days of Tsa,” Wit continued. “The grandest queen of Natanatan, before that kingdom’s fall.”

L: Rather than quote the entire story, I’m just going to paraphrase it here (and hopefully do a better job of it than Sigzil when he tried to tell the same story back in Chapter 35). Queen Tsa was an architect and one night Mishim, the cleverest moon, passed by and spoke to her as she rested in her high tower. Mishim praised her on her buildings in an attempt to trick her into switching places, for she wished to be able to partake of human pleasures. On her fourth try, Mishim finally appealed to Queen Tsa’s vanity and convinced her to switch places. For one night, Mishim enjoyed the pleasures of mortal life. She enjoyed herself so much that she neglected to return with the dawn, and spent the day worrying that Tsa would tell Salas or Nomon (the other two moons) about her trickery. The next night, Tsa threatens to remain in the heavens, having found that she quite enjoys it, and Mishim panics. She reminds Tsa that Tsa broke their agreement, and Tsa agrees to rescind her place. Nine months later, Tsa gives birth to a child with blue skin, and Mishim realizes that this was her plan all along, to spend a night with Nomon, to mother a son born of gods.

“And that is why, to this day, the people of Natanatan have skin of a faintly blue shade. And it is why Mishim, though still crafty, has never again left her place. Most importantly, it is the story of how the moon came to know the one thing that before, mortals had only known. Loss.”

L: This seems an interesting choice of story to tell a people who are already on the brink of despair. You’d think that a story about victory or one that ends in joy would be better choices, and even Shallan questions this:

“Why that story?” she asked. “Why now?”

“I don’t give the meanings, child,” he said. “You should know that by now. I just tell the tale.”

L: Good old Hoid, always with another secret question. Maybe Hoid is trying to prepare them, in his own way, for what he suspects is coming. If even the gods can feel loss, then they’re in good company. They’re not going to be alone.

AA: I am constantly at a loss on the reason for this story. Obviously, it’s rather hilarious to see the contrast between Hoid’s telling and Sigzil’s, and for that alone I love it. But along with Hoid, Sanderson has to have a reason for this story. We get to see Hoid’s sand-storytelling, similar in materials but not in method, to what he used for Siri in Warbreaker. We get a cosmology-fairy-tale about the blue Natanatan skin, which we know is actually due to some Siah Aimian blood. We get a story about the moons as personalities… but no hint (that I can see) of what the moons really are.

As I recall, there’s some mystery to the Rosharan moons, and I wonder if there’s something hidden in the story about it, but I can’t see it if it’s there! I’ve theorized a connection between the moons and the Bondsmith spren, but I can’t make it make sense. *Sigh*

L: Maybe we’re just over-thinking it? If Hoid’s just telling the story in order to give a little escape to the people, maybe that’s really all there is to it.

AA: Me? Overthink??? Surely you jest.

L: Ha. I mean generally speaking, Sanderson does have at least one (if not more) reasons for everything he puts into his stories. But maybe this one really is more superficial, just Hoid helping out the people and simultaneously giving the reader a bit of worldbuilding. If it were me… I’d be using in-world stories to foreshadow things that happen later in the series. But I can’t think of anything that he could possibly be setting up with this one.

AA: For all the obvious reasons, I had to go look up everything we know about the moons last night. One thing that has come up is that, while we don’t know whether the moons are natural or artificial bodies, they were placed in their particular orbits artificially. One assumes that this was Adonalsium’s doing, but it could have been the Shards. Could he be going somewhere with that? I admit it’s not likely, but it’s all I’ve got.

L: We’ve delved too greedily and too deep into the theory-pool for me. I’m bowing out. I’ll stick to the character and story structure analyses! And the memes/gifs, of course. Gotta earn my GenX/Millenial creds.

Relationships & Romances

“Thanks to the Lightweaver’s excellent reconnaissance,” the king said, “it is evident my wife is being held captive by her own guards.”

AA: I don’t know whether to applaud Elhokar’s loyalty to his wife, or grind my teeth at his unwillingness to accept that she might simply be a horrible person.

L: Gotta love those rose-tinted glasses. At least he does appear to really love her.

AA: He does, and I have to like that part. Kaladin and Adolin point out some of the problems with his assumption, and he really doesn’t want to hear it. His defense of even marrying her despite familial objection is more of the same:

Aesudan was always proud, and always ambitious, but never gluttonous. … Jasnah says I shouldn’t have married her—that Aesudan was too hungry for power. Jasnah never understood. I needed Aesudan. Someone with strength…”

AA: It would be funny if it weren’t sad; it sounds like Elhokar was trying to marry someone that (many observers would say) was just like his sister—and his mother, for that matter.

L: Well, I mean… that does happen quite often in real life.

AA: In this family of outwardly strong, capable people, how did he turn out to be the weak link? Up until just recently, the only thing we’ve seen in him that might look like strength is his ability to arrogantly act like he’s right because he’s the king. From what little we know of her, it sounds like Aesudan used a similar tactic, and he mistook her apparent strong will for a strong mind.

Honestly, the more I see from Elhokar’s perspective, the more I pity him… but it only rarely makes me think more highly of him. Despite his sister’s insight, he picked a wife who saw him as a means to power, but who was never going to have any respect for him. Poor stupid princeling. What a miserable marriage. I wonder how much she undermined him, both before and after he became king.

Also, no wonder Jasnah had an assassin watching her sister-in-law. I’m betting the two of them never, ever felt like sisters…

L: And from what we now know about Alethi female relationships, it’s even less surprising.

Bruised & Broken

What lingered was that single glimpse she’d seen in the mirror: a glimmer of the Unmade’s presence, beyond the plane of the reflection.

The mirrors in the tailor’s shop didn’t show such proclivities; she had checked every one. Just in case, she’d given a drawing of the thing she’d seen to the others, and warned them to watch.

AA: We don’t really know why Shallan was able to see Sja-anat, nor whether the others would have been able to see her had they been present. My theory is that they would not have seen her, and Shallan could do so partly because of her bond with Pattern and partly because of her own messed-up head. Either way, this “spot-the-Unmade” gig seems to be Shallan’s specialty. I was impressed that, this time, she was much quicker to tell the rest of the team about it and get them watching. She’s not very good at keeping them informed about what she’s up to, but at least she’s registered that taking on an Unmade requires help!

L: Yeah, I was really happy to see that too. It always annoys the heck out of me when a character in a book ::cough Harry Potter cough:: refuses to tell other characters extremely important information that they really should have.

AA: YES. All the yes. If they aren’t going to share the information, they at least need to have a good reason, even if the reason is that “it seemed too insignificant.” That failure with no supporting validation drives me bonkers.

“I needed Aesudan. Someone with strength…”

L: I really do feel bad for Elhokar. He recognized his failings even then, but clearly didn’t know how to go about overcoming them without some kind of role model. Now that he has one (namely, Kaladin) he’s making real strides towards bettering himself.

AA: I… don’t quite know what to say about Elhokar. He recognized his character weakness and sought to correct it, which is more than many of us do. But wowsa! Did he ever spend most of his life picking terrible role models and confidants! I wonder how much more Dalinar could have helped him in that five-year stretch before Gavilar’s assassination, if he hadn’t spent most of his time drunk out of his skull. But what about Gavilar and Navani? If you had to choose between what we know of Dalinar and Evi vs. Gavilar and Navani as parents, it seems like the latter’s children should have had all the advantages, but you’d never know it by their sons. Instead, you have this:

“It’s a good plan, Elhokar,” Adolin said. “Nice work.”

A simple compliment probably should not have made a king beam like it did. Elhokar even drew a gloryspren.

AA: Did Gavilar never spend any time with his son, teaching and encouraging him? How is it that such a simple compliment from his younger cousin has such a dramatic effect? (Also, for the first time, we get to see Elhokar get a gloryspren when Dalinar isn’t around. How ‘bout that?)

L: And what does it say about Navani? Honestly, this makes me like her less. Reading between the lines, she seems like she was a pretty terrible mother to her son, which frustrates me, because she’s pretty awesome otherwise.

AA: I know, right? For all that I adore Navani, and for all the flaws I see in Evi’s “perfect paragon” approach, I have to say Evi did a better job in a harder situation.

Except… she hadn’t even been able to save her own family. She had no idea what Mraize had done with her brothers, and she refused to think about them.

L: Interesting to note that she drops out of Veil and into Shallan, here. She does so again later on, when Hoid shows up, too.

AA: Given how we ragged on those shifts in the beta, you know they were deliberate. It’s really a fascinating twist, and one that bears watching. I do love the way Hoid brings out so much truth that Shallan generally tries to hide from.

L: Well, that seems to be Hoid’s M.O. Ironic, considering how much time he spends revealing said truths through fiction.

AA: I won’t look it up, but somewhere there’s a quote from Robert Jordan about how much easier it is to talk about Truth if you do it in a fantasy tale. It ties back to the Thematic Thoughts, doesn’t it?

Squires & Sidekicks

He was dressed, strangely, in a soldier’s uniform—Sadeas’s livery, with the coat unbuttoned and a colored scarf around his neck.

The traveler. The one they called the King’s Wit.

L: Well hello there, Hoid! And what exactly are you doing here in a Sadeas uniform?

AA: My thought exactly. Sadeas??

L: Maybe it’s just because this is one of the only other names we (the readers) would recognize, other than the Kholins—and wearing a Kholin uniform in the city right now would be a Bad, Bad Idea.

Wit glanced to his side, where he’d put his pack. He started, as if surprised. Shallan cocked her head as he quickly recovered, jumping back into the story so fast that it was easy to miss his lapse. But now, as he spoke, he searched the audience with careful eyes.

L: Interesting. Did he sense Shallan here, or is there something else going on?

AA: In this case, you have to look at the end of the scene. The jar of black sand in his pack was white on the side facing Shallan; if I’m correct about that sand, this told Hoid that someone nearby in that direction was using investiture. So he knew there was someone there, doing something, and he wanted to know who, and what, and why.

He just recognized me, she realized. I’m still wearing Veil’s face. But how… how did he know?

L: How indeed? Something from Nalthis, perhaps? Fourth Heightening, granting Perfect Life Sense? I always thought that this would allow him to sense if something were living, but not necessarily the differences between living beings, but I may be wrong. Alice? You’re the Warbreaker authority.

AA: I’m not entirely sure what all is at work here. We know he was looking for a magic-user, and somehow he saw through her Lightweaving. It might be because of his own Yolish version of Lightweaving that he can see through hers, or it might be another magic he’s using. If we’d seen him drink anything, I’d be searching the Allomancy charts for hints.

L: Seventh Heightening could also be at play here, recognizing that she’s using a Lightweaving on herself…? Do we have any idea really of how many Breaths Hoid actually has?

AA: No idea. Probably a fair few, but I’m not sure he’d have tried hard enough to get that many. Still, this is Hoid. Now I want a scene where Hoid, Zahel, and Azure all come around the corners and see each other at once.

L:  I imagine it would look something like this.

Places & Peoples

“They got rules. Gotta be a certain age. And if you’re too poor, they shove ya out of line.”

“For what reason?”

The boy shrugged. “Don’t need one, I guess. They say you’ve already been through, ’cept you haven’t.”

“Many of those people … they’re servants from wealthy homes, aren’t they?”

The urchin nodded.

Storming lighteyes, Veil thought as she watched. Some of the poor were shoved out of line for one infraction or another, as the urchin had claimed. The others waited patiently, as it was their job. They’d been sent by wealthy homes to collect food. Many bore the lean, strong look of house guards, though they didn’t wear uniforms.

Storms. Velalant’s men really had no idea how to do this. Or maybe they know exactly what they’re doing, she thought. And Velalant is just keeping the local lighteyes happy and ready to support his rule, should the winds turn his way.

AA: Politics, even while the world as they know it is ending. By the end of this segment, I was coming to actively dislike the people of Kholinar. The lighteyes, at least.

L: Yeah, gotta admit, I’m with Kaladin on that one at least some of the time. The super-rich rarely seem to be able to see beyond their own wants and desires to truly empathize with those who aren’t as well off—it’s just so far from their realm of understanding that they can’t conceive of what it’s like. Unless they’re Adolin, and even then he’s got his blind spots.

Tight Butts and Coconuts

“It was beautiful.”

“Yes,” he said. Then he added, “I miss my flute.”

L: I still find it hilarious that Kaladin lost this, and I suspect Hoid’s never going to let him hear the end of it.

AA: Hey, now that Amaram’s gone, do you suppose the flute will resurface? That’d be fun to see.

L: I can’t imagine that Sanderson would have made such a big deal of it, and kept bringing it up, if it wasn’t going to resurface at some point. If it’s a Red Herring Gun on the Mantle, it’s a damn good one.

Weighty Words

King Elhokar sat at the room’s table, earnestly … writing something? No, he was drawing. … [S]he rounded to peek over the king’s shoulder. He was doing a map of the city, with the palace and the Oathgate platform. It wasn’t half bad.

AA: So… Elhokar had latent artistic skills after all. During the first two books’ discussion, I recall people finding it difficult to believe Elhokar was seeing Cryptics, because there was no indicator of any of the skills said to be common to Lightweavers. Ask and you shall receive?

Also, every time I see him starting to do something like this—something that goes outside His Assigned Role In Life—I just ache for the poor boy. He could probably have had a great life doing things he enjoyed, if only his father hadn’t decided Alethkar needed Gavilar As King. He’d probably have been perfectly happy as an ardent in a monastery.

L: Yeah. He reminds me a lot of Renarin in this way—being constrained by the roles his heritage and society have imposed on him.

AA: ::nods vigorously:: I’m sad now. I wish we could have seen Renarin and Elhokar together more. Stupid Moash anyway.

L: ::forcefully restrains self from saying it::

Cosmere Connections

“I don’t like the sound of this Azure person. See what you can find out about him and his Wall Guard.”

L: Him. Right.

AA: It’s so funny to look back now. On the first read, we all assumed—just like Elhokar—that Azure was a man. It’s not even a conscious assumption; it’s just a given in this world and this nation. I’m betting it never crossed anyone’s mind, character or reader, to wonder if maybe this could be a woman. (I’ll make an exception to that, though: Anyone who was up on the WoBs and knew they should be looking for Vivenna might have wondered when they saw the name.)

You didn’t need to prove how much you could drink in order to look tough—but that was the sort of thing you couldn’t learn without wearing the coat, living in it.

L: This reminds me a great deal of Wayne from Mistborn Era 2, and his various hats/personas. Sanderson has a lot of characters and ideas that show up again and again in his works—a lot of people have rightfully pointed out the similarities between Kelsier and Kaladin, for instance, in regards to character archetypes. Shallan/Veil and Wayne are very different, but it’s interesting to see this little aspect of their personalities that is mirrored between books.

I’d also like to point out that this isn’t a failing of Sanderson’s—it’s something that, if you read enough works by any author, you’ll begin to see. Authors tend to gravitate towards certain archetypes because either they understand them better or because there’s something about them that, subconsciously or consciously, they find of note. If you read enough Stephen King, you’ll notice a lot of writer characters that suffer from some sort of substance abuse, for instance. This doesn’t mean that they’re falling back on lazy stereotypes, just that they see something intrinsically interesting about this type of character that they need several different avenues to explore. It’s like coming at a problem from different angles to try to understand it better—or convey it better to multiple people.

AA: (I’m like… hey, look, Wayne uses hats and Shallan uses coats! Lyndsey, on the other hand, can actually evaluate what he’s doing and why. This, folks, is why we have an actual writer involved in rereading. Or, well, one of the reasons.)

L: Good to know that that expensive BA in English Lit isn’t being wasted.

Wit thrust his hand high in his smoke, drawing the line of white into the shape of a straight pillar. His other hands swirled a pocket of green above it, like a whirlpool. A tower and a moon.

That can’t be natural, can it? Shallan thought. Is he Lightweaving? Yet she saw no Stormlight. There was something more… organic about what he did.

L: So is this just his Yolish Lightweaving in effect, or is he combining several forms of investiture here? (I’ll speculate a bit more on this in the speculation section below…)

AA: I was wondering whether it was the magic system that made it seem “organic,” or if it’s just his depth of experience. He’s been doing Yolish Lightweaving for a very, very long time; it’s practically his native language. Shallan is still learning her skill, so maybe it’s no wonder Hoid’s mastery looks so different. All the same, it looks very different from anything we’ve seen done by anyone else.

L: That makes a lot of sense, actually. Sort of how Shallan’s drawing skills would seem effortless to someone who was a struggling beginner!

A Scrupulous Study of Spren

…pools of angerspren. Some looked like the normal pools of blood; others were more like tar, pitch-black. When the bubbles in these popped, they showed a burning red within, like embers.

AA: Yeah, and that’s not creepy or anything.

L: I love it.

Appealing/Arresting/Appraising/Absorbing Artwork

L: This is such a cool set of drawings. I find the painspren to be pretty unsettling either way, but the corrupted ones are definitely way creepier. They look like the hands of some haggard old crone in a Rankin/Bass movie from the 70s or the 80s. The hungerspren, on the other hand, totally look like Flying Snitches.

AA: Sanderson really came up with a lot of detail on the spren—and all of it is so quirky. Some of it is cute, and some of it is creepy, and some of it is just plain bizarre. And then in the next section we’ll see how the part that’s visible to humans in the Physical realm is just a small part of the way the same spren appears in the Cognitive. The world-building sorta blows my mind if I think about it too hard.

L: For sure. He’s put so much into this world, when so many fantasy authors fall back on the same old Tolkien-esque races and themes. Not to say that those stories are bad—I love me some elves and shape-shifting dragons, not gonna lie—but Sanderson has really put thought into everything and tried to make his world entirely unique. It’s mind-boggling to consider how much he’s got to keep in his head all at once, even with the help of personal wikis and assistants!

Back to the drawing, though. I especially love the sketch of the Fused on the bottom right. Look at that spear! It makes total sense to have a spear that long if you’re going to be engaging in aerial combat… though you’d think it would risk getting tangled up in their cloth… trail… thingies.

AA: That spear reminds me of a sarissa, though a flying Fused would use it very differently than the Macedonians did. Do you suppose the long trailing flittery-bits served any useful purpose for these folks, or is it sheer vanity? To the best of my recollection, all the flying Fused wore clothing that deliberately elongated their form. It seems not merely useless, but possibly a weakness during combat. Not only could you get your 20-foot spear tangled up in the excess fabric, someone on the ground could grab it and mess up your flight pattern pretty dramatically.

L: Well, I suppose they could be using them sort of like the Mistborn cloaks, except there’s no mist here to hide in. If their legs were more obscured, I’d say that they were counting on people attacking the strips of cloth mistaking them for viable targets, but in the drawing we can clearly see the legs, so…. Yeah. Seems more of a liability than anything, really. I guess we’re just going to have to assume that it’s Rule of Cool.

Sheer Speculation

Shallan slipped forward and glanced inside his pack, catching sight of a small jar, sealed at the top. It was mostly black, but the side pointed towards her was instead white.

L: Okay so. If we’re assuming that Hoid is at the Tenth Heightening (WHO KNOWS RIGHT), could he have been using Perfect Invocation here? Pulling colors from the black substance in this bottle to color the smoke, and leaving the remainder white? (This whole aspect of the magic system is strange though, seeing as how black is the ABSENCE of color and white is the PRESENCE of all colors, as shown through prisms, so shouldn’t drawing color out of something turn it black and not white…? But I digress.) Am I totally misreading how Perfect Invocation is supposed to work? I just feel like there’s got to be something to this black and white bottle. Otherwise, why would Sanderson have put it in here?!

AA: I have to admit that it would be awesome to have him using black sand to pull color for Awakening, but I’m reasonably sure that’s not what he’s doing. Now, I have no idea how he could have gotten hold of a bottle of sand from Taldain, since the planet is supposed to be very difficult to access. Still, there it is.

L: I knew I should have gotten around to reading those White Sand comics I’ve had lying around… Please tell me what I’m missing here, Alice!

AA: The sand of Taldain is naturally black, but in the presence of active investiture (which includes their sun, oddly enough), a microorganism in the sand makes it turn white. (FWIW, I’m pretty sure this is WoB information, and you wouldn’t actually get it from reading the story.) In this case, I’m pretty sure Shallan’s Lightweaving was what turned it white. If you recall, when Shallan first met Mraize in the warcamp where he had all those odd off-world artifacts, one was a vial of pale sand. We have a WoB that it wasn’t being charged by Shallan’s illusion in that case, but I think we’re supposed to register that the sand was already pale when she walked in, meaning it had been in the presence of active investiture already. Anyway, here the sand is white only on the side facing Shallan, so I think we’re supposed to recognize that detail.

L: That makes a lot more sense than my crazy Heightening speculations.

Quality Quotations

Someone needed to do something. Veil needed to do something. Infiltrating the Cult of Moments suddenly seemed too abstract. Couldn’t she do something directly for these poor people?

AA: Gee, can you spell “foreshadowing”?

 

Next week we’ll be delving into chapter 68, when Hoid and Shallan actually talk for a while. As always, feel free to join in the conversation in the comments below!

Alice is just happy to see signs of approaching spring. Yes, she’s still looking at unmelted snow piles from three weeks ago. Come on, sun!

Lyndsey is nearing completion on one of seven (yes you read that right) costumes she’s making for Anime Boston this year, because clearly she’s a raving lunatic. If you’re an aspiring author, a cosplayer, or just like geeky content, follow her work on Facebook or her website.

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