Oathbringer Reread

Oathbringer Reread: Parts 1-3 Review

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We’ve finished Part Three (::sob::), so we’re going to do something different with the Oathbringer Reread to celebrate the occasion. We’ll take a look back at what we’ve covered so far, starting with the “recap” parts in the beginning and then going on to discuss the epigraphs in depth, major themes, unanswered questions and theories, and interesting tidbits we came across. Batten down the hatches, folks. It’s about to get intense up in here!

Reminder: We’ll potentially be discussing spoilers for the entire novel in each reread. If you haven’t read ALL of Oathbringer, best to wait to join us until you’re done.

In this week’s reread we also discuss a lot of things from all over the Cosmere. There will be spoilers for all of Sanderson’s works scattered throughout the reread this week, so proceed with caution.

Book Recap

Part One

Part One technically starts after the Prologue, in which we got Eshonai’s terrified view of Gavilar’s assassination and the reason behind it. For Part One, we go up through Chapter 32, and include the first three Interludes. Part One has three primary arcs. The first, as we encountered it, was Dalinar’s need to create a coalition of nations to deal with the incipient threat of the Everstorm’s transformation of the quiet parshmen into Voidbringers. The second arc was Kaladin’s return to Hearthstone, his search for the restored parsh, and his discoveries while travelling with them. The third was Shallan’s attempt to practice her powers and then to figure out—and correct—whatever was wrong with Urithiru. We also saw the beginning of a fourth arc, that being Dalinar’s flashback sequence. In the Interludes, we see some effects of the Everstorm, catch the early stages of the translation that will eventually cause such problems for the alliance, and learn that Eshonai is indeed dead.

Part Two

We begin part two with Chapter 33, and end with Chapter 57. Jasnah’s back, Shallan’s scared off the Midnight Mother, and Dalinar is finally making strides in his quest to unite the people. He’s also starting to relive his forgotten memories of Evi. We see the progress of Bridge 4 in a series of chapters from their points of view, as Kaladin trains them (and some new recruits) as squires. We learn that Shallan’s brother was becoming a Skybreaker before Kaladin killed him, and that the motivations of the Sons on Honor were to bring about a new Desolation in order to return the Knights Radiant and the Vorin Church. And we begin planning for what’s about to happen in Part Three: the infiltration of Kholinar. Part Two ends with the discussion Dalinar has with Odium. In the interludes that follow, we take a little side-trip to Aimia, Taravangian plots to overthrow Dalinar, and Venli realizes that perhaps she’s made the wrong choice.

Part Three

Once again we have two completely separate plots going on.

Dalinar continues to work on forging an alliance, and begins to learn what his Bondsmith powers can do. He starts with physical restoration of buildings, but soon moves to forming Connections so he can speak other languages. Having formed at least a tentative alliance with Queen Fen, he makes good progress with the Azish bureaucracy, right up until his returning memories disable him with the knowledge of what really happened to Evi.

Meanwhile, Kaladin flies the Infiltration Team to Kholinar, where they enter the city in disguise and set up their base of operations with Adolin’s tailor. Using Lightwoven disguises, they seek intelligence about the city’s situation: Shallan steals food to help the refugees and infiltrate the Cult of Moments, which is centered on the Heart of the Revel inhabiting the Oathgate platform. Elhokar and Adolin recruit a few of the highlords (and their soldiers) to aid in an assault on the palace to either regain control or at least rescue Queen Aesudan and the heir, Gavinor. Kaladin gains the trust of the Wall Guard commander, “Highmarshal Azure,” and brings a goodly portion of them along to help with the assault. Then everything goes wrong. The queen is bonding with an Unmade, Kaladin’s parshmen friends kill his Wall Guard friends, Moash kills Elhokar, and the Oathgate is booby-trapped. When activated, it leaves everyone outside the control room to their fate, and dumps Kaladin, Shallan, Adolin, Azure, and their spren into Shadesmar.

By the end of Part Three, Dalinar is virtually incapacitated by his memories, Navani and Taravangian are trying to fill the gap and continue the Alliance Effort, and the Infiltration Team is stuck in Shadesmar with no visible way home.

Epigraphs

A: The Part One epigraphs are excerpts from the preface to Dalinar’s book, the eponymous Archive entry titled “Oathbringer.” We get the full text at the end of the book; in part one, there are only hints to make us guess at the author. In fact, early theories leaned toward Jasnah—but mostly because at the time, we didn’t know any of the crazy things that would happen to Dalinar over the course of the next thousand pages.

L: The epigraphs for Part Two are the letters to Hoid, which are cool to look back on in their entirety rather than piecemeal. So, here goes:

Dearest Cephandrius, I received your communication, of course. I noticed its arrival immediately, just as I noticed your many intrusions into my land. You think yourself so clever, but my eyes are not those of some petty noble, to be clouded by a false nose and some dirt on the cheeks. You mustn’t worry yourself about Rayse. It is a pity about Aona and Skai, but they were foolish—violating our pact from the very beginning. Your skills are admirable, but you are merely a man. You had your chance to be more, and refused it. No good can come of two Shards settling in one location. It was agreed that we would not interfere with one another, and it disappoints me that so few of the Shards have kept to this original agreement.

As for Uli Da, it was obvious from the outset that she was going to be a problem. Good riddance. Regardless, this is not your concern. You turned your back on divinity. If Rayse becomes an issue, he will be dealt with.

And so will you.

L: The part about Uli Da is from Dragonsteel, which has never been published. The Shard of Ambition was held by Uli Da until she was destroyed by Odium not long after the Shattering. Edgli (from Nalthis, who holds the Shard of Endowment) is the authoress. Of note here is the “don’t worry about Rayse” bit. Either Edgli is severely underestimating Rayse/Odium, or (my personal headcanon) he’s not the Big Bad and there’s something worse on the horizon.

Cephandrius, bearer of the First Gem,

You must know better than to approach us by relying upon presumption of past relationship. You have spoken to one who cannot respond. We, instead, will take your communication to us—though we know not how you located us upon this world. We are indeed intrigued, for we thought it well hidden. Insignificant among our many realms. As the waves of the sea must continue to surge, so must our will continue resolute. Alone. Did you expect anything else from us? We need not suffer the interference of another. Rayse is contained, and we care not for his prison. Indeed, we admire his initiative. Perhaps if you had approached the correct one of us with your plea, it would have found favorable audience. But we stand in the sea, pleased with our domains. Leave us alone. We also instruct that you should not return to Obrodai. We have claimed that world, and a new avatar of our being is beginning to manifest there. She is young yet, and—as a precaution—she has been instilled with an intense and overpowering dislike of you. This is all we will say at this time. If you wish more, seek these waters in person and overcome the tests we have created. Only in this will you earn our respect.

L: Bavadin/Autonomy (from White Sand) is the author of this one. As for Obrodai, all we know is that it’s a Shardworld. Brandon’s been very tight-lipped on this one. Interesting that Bavadin seems to be forming some sort of… team. They’re claiming to have “instilled” a dislike of Hoid in the new holder of the Shard, and I’m left wondering if that’s supernatural in nature (like some sort of geas) or if they’ve just told this kid a bunch of awful stories about him… As for the tests, I really hope that someday we see this. I envision a cool quest type of story with Hoid having to undergo Herculean tasks (or, knowing Hoid, cleverly circumnavigating them) in order to prove himself.

Friend,

Your letter is most intriguing, even revelatory. I would have thought, before attaining my current station, that a deity could not be surprised. Obviously, this is not true. I can be surprised. I can perhaps even be naive, I think. I am the least equipped, of all, to aid you in this endeavor. I am finding that the powers I hold are in such conflict that the most simple of actions can be difficult. I am also made uncertain by your subterfuge. Why have you not made yourself known to me before this? How is it you can hide? Who are you truly, and how do you know so much about Adonalsium? If you would speak to me further, I request open honesty. Return to my lands, approach my servants, and I will see what I can do for your quest.

L: This one’s from the scholar-formerly-known-as-Sazed (from the Mistborn series, in case you forgot)! It’s interesting to note that even though he holds two shards and hence is probably more powerful than most, those Shards are in direct conflict with one another and it appears to be taking most of his energy to keep them contained. Also, I find it adorable that Sazed is so flabbergasted by Hoid’s subterfuge. You’d think that after having worked with Kelsier, he’d be more accustomed to this…

A: The Part Three epigraphs are a sampling of recordings found in the basement of Urithiru, left by the Knights Radiant before they abandoned the apparently failing tower. We went over these in detail a while back; while they did answer some questions, they opened up many more. It seems clear that, well before the Recreance happened, the Sibling (well known to them all) was withdrawing or being pushed away; it seems… less clear, but indicated, that this is why the tower seemed to be powering down and leaving only the most basic functions in place. While we don’t know where they all went, it seems obvious that the majority of the Knights Radiant would continue the ongoing defense of humans against the Singers, who through the power of an Unmade were able to access the “forms of power.” Meanwhile, a plan was being developed to try to end (what we now call) the False Desolation; this is, presumably, what resulted in the “slaveform” parshmen—those who could not connect a spren to their gemheart and take on any of the forms, normal or Odium-related.

Major Themes

Part One

If there was one major theme to Part One, it was this: “Who are you?”

A: Dalinar is fighting with his past reputation and his present values. Among the Alethi he’s often viewed with worry or contempt, since he no longer lives up to their image of the Blackthorn. Among the other nations he’s viewed with deep mistrust, because they know their history and assume he’s still the Blackthorn who is just waiting for an opportunity to expand his territory. There are plenty of hints along the way that some people know things about his past that he’s not taking into account, and it leaves both Dalinar and the reader wondering… who was he? What did he do? His flashbacks, paralleling the slow return of his memories, just add layers of questions. Because of planet-wide mistrust of the Blackthorn, by the end of Part One only King Taravangian has assured him of support. Queen Fen of Thaylenah and Emperor Yanagawn of Azir have turned him down flat, while the triple monarchy of Iri accuse him of theft and “Tezim the Great” of Tukar demands that they surrender to him. The remaining lesser powers refuse to commit, and seem likely to follow the lead of Azir. This arc ends with learning that the Stormfather can bring other people into his visions, setting up a new method of persuasion to be used in Part Two.

Kaladin has questions of his own. He starts well, finding Hearthstone demolished but its people mostly safe, and discovers that he once again is an older brother. However… working beside his father, the recurring conflict between the soldier and the surgeon arises yet again, now further complicated by his Knight Radiant status. By the time he leaves, no one is quite sure what to make of him—including himself. Finding the parsh introduces a new set of questions, as he ends up teaching them “escaped-slave survival skills” and develops a deep sympathy for them. So… is he an escaped slave? Is he a surgeon who helps? Is he a soldier who will fight them? Is he a Windrunner who will fight them with even more deadly skills? In the end (of this section) he decides he’s a Windrunner, but focuses only on protecting who/what he can without hurting anyone else; he gets a few humans to (relative) safety before riding the storm back to Urithiru to report. This divided loyalty to different groups of people is not going away, however, and will come back around several times.

Then there’s Shallan, who specializes in being anyone but herself… She’s overwhelmed by her sudden importance as a Knight Radiant, unknowingly complicated by the (extremely disturbing) presence of the Unmade Re-Shephir. The conflict between her desire to hide and her sudden prominence, and the direct connection of her past trauma to her current abilities, leads her to some unhealthy attempts to cope. Under the pretense of Lightweaving practice, she begins turning her disguises into alternate personalities—which, as we know, is going to be painful for all of us later. By the end of Part One, she has firmly established the characters of Veil and Radiant as alternates to Shallan, and thinks of them as different people. They do have at least one benefit, though: Her disguise escapades lead to the realization that there’s a copycat killer in Urithiru, which she is eventually able to follow. With Adolin, Renarin, and most of Bridge Four, she confronts the Midnight Mother as a Knight Radiant, driving her away and freeing the tower from her distortions.

Others have struggles as well. Is Adolin an honorable Alethi or a murderer? (Or both?) Are Shallan’s team of deserters going to be soldiers, or squires, or traitors? Is Elhokar a king or a puppet? Can he make Dalinar be “highking” and have more freedom to be King of Alethkar? Is Jasnah dead or alive? Heh. Alive, obviously—she returns at the end of Chapter 32—but I had to ask, right?

The first set of Interludes introduces another big identity-issue character: Venli. She finds Eshonai’s body, and suddenly finds herself at odds with the spren who has been “helping” her all this time. She retrieves Eshonai’s Shardblade and Plate… and her spren. She works hard to maintain her defiance, but she’s already beginning to question the wisdom of her gods.

Part Two

LGBTQ inclusion—Drehy, Shallan (maybe), Jasnah (also maybe), Azir and their paperwork for social reassignment

L: I wanted to take a moment to appreciate this in particular. We’re starting to see more and more inclusion and diversity in all forms of media (books, TV, movies) but it’s still slow going. While Sanderson hasn’t featured an LGBTQ protagonist yet, this is still really nice to see. And, for the most part, he’s handling it well. Though it would be nice to have some WoB clarification on whether or not Jasnah is actually Ace, and he’s still being wishy-washy on Shallan’s bisexuality or lack thereof.

Bridge Four as “The Other/Outsider”

L: On a related note, let’s talk for a moment about how Sanderson is utilizing Bridge Four. Each member of the team starts out as an outsider in some way—a drug addict, a foreigner, a pacifist in a warrior culture, a gay man, a woman, a person who is disabled, or neurodivergent. But they find community and acceptance within the group, and while sometimes the members are clumsy about it or downright fail (their overtures towards Rlain for instance), they keep trying to better themselves and their reactions once they realize that they’ve failed. Kaladin is, of course, the leader and best example of this. He consistently tries to create a family and to protect said family, and when he messes up, he doesn’t get defensive. He simply adjusts his outlook and reactions and does his best to accept everyone as they are.

The Parshmen and the morality of war

L: This is the big one, and if I were to point out one specific theme as being integral to the book as a whole, I think this would be it. Who are the “bad guys?” In every war, someone believes that they’re right. They have iron-clad reasons for fighting the battles they do. The Singers are fighting because their land was taken from them and they were enslaved. The humans are fighting because they don’t have the same length of memory that the Singers do, and hence they view the land as their home. Atrocities have been committed by both sides, and when you stand far enough back, it becomes difficult to see which side is right and which is wrong. This is the issue that Kaladin is struggling with throughout this novel. Dalinar hasn’t been struggling as much, but I don’t expect that to last. The old Dalinar, the Blackthorn, wouldn’t have cared. He’d have killed anyone he was pointed at, with little to no reason. But present!Dalinar is a different story. After the truth of the Recreance is revealed, it will be interesting to see whether or not Dalinar’s views on the war he’s waging change.

Redemption and character growth—Bridge 4, Dalinar, Moash, Venli

L: Redemption is one of the main driving stories of humankind. We, as a people, tend to love these stories. We want to see someone change their ways and become a better person. We want to see them overcome trials and tribulations, face their demons both inside and out, and emerge triumphant. It’s the basis of almost every story that’s ever been told. So the fact that we’re looking for redemption arcs within this narrative isn’t surprising. We could find them in any number of places—Kaladin and Shallan overcoming the trials of their pasts and their own minds, Szeth and Dalinar overcoming the guilt of their own past actions, Bridge Four overcoming their various problems to come together as a family. But of course, the one huge one that has become a dividing issue amongst the fans is Moash. We’ve even seen it within this very reread, with Aubree staunchly defending him while Alice and I stand on the side of #noredemption. But Aubree is completely right about one thing—Moash is the hero of his own story. Much as noted in the previous theme of war, he believes, fully and completely, that his actions are justified. Does he deserve redemption? Can he redeem himself after the actions he’s taken? Time will tell.

Part Three

An unwinnable fight, and following orders blindly vs questioning them/their ethics, necessary casualties

L: We’ve done a lot of talking about both over the course of the reread, so I don’t think it needs to be addressed more here. We could probably just sum it all up as “the horrors of war” and note that it’s a major theme that gets brought up time and again, and probably will continue to be a major theme moving onward.

Who am I, again?

A: I find it a little odd, in retrospect, that by the end of Part Three, Shallan is (however reluctantly) on the road to recombining her selves, while Kaladin is finally facing how much he’s fractured. Shallan has been forced, vehemently against her will, to face the fact that her multiple identities aren’t really what she pretended they were; in particular, Veil knows only what Shallan knows, no matter how different she makes their personalities and motivations. With Wit’s help, she’s beginning to see that she doesn’t have to be someone else in order to function, and to succeed. Kaladin, meanwhile, is having an existential crisis—not between the soldier and the surgeon, which is an old and comfortable dilemma for him, but between his sympathy for different groups of friends. He’s the center of the Venn diagram of Bridge Four, the Wall Guard, and the Hearthstone-area escaped parshmen, and when all three collide in the middle of a battle, he falls apart.

Interestingly enough, Dalinar is falling apart at the same time as Kaladin. He’s considered himself to be reasonably honorable; sure, he was a nasty piece of work when he was younger, but that’s what it took to reforge Alethkar as a kingdom, right? It was all in service to Gavilar’s goal of unification, and in later years he’s worked hard to follow the Codes and be worthy of Gavilar’s ideals. Now, just as he’s taken the next step beyond Gavilar and become a Bondsmith, his memories return… and it turns out that he really was a horrible, horrible person. In his willing submission to the Thrill, he not only killed thousands of innocent people, but he also—however unintentionally—killed his wife. Unintentional, but still his fault, in that he dismissed her concerns and her presence, failed to consider what she might do, and broke the rule that says you don’t kill people flying a flag of parley.

Unanswered Questions & Theories

L: So, we have a lot of these. If you happen to find a WoB that answers one that we may have missed, OR if you ask at a signing/AMA session and get an answer, report back here and I’ll update the article with the answer and who found it! Just make sure that it’s a clear, definitive answer and not speculation.

Part One

  • Evi: How did Evi end up with the Shardplate? What’s the backstory to that, or will we ever know? The Iriali clearly still hold it against her, and against Dalinar by extension. Also, what ever happened to Toh, besides going to live in Herdaz?
  • Heralds: Who were the Heralds before the Oathpact? What happened between the humans and the native Singers when the humans arrived on Roshar? How did the conflict really develop? And what in the stormy wastelands is that crazy windbag Ishar doing?
  • Hearthstone: What’s happening in Hearthstone now? Have the Fused driven the parsh to take over the entire countryside? How is baby Oroden?
  • Kaladin: What was that thing he did with the windspren? Will he be able to do it again? Will it relate to the formation of his Shardplate, if he ever manages to speak his fourth Ideal?
  • Shallan: Is it possible for her to create alternate personas for disguise in healthy way, or will that always be a bad thing? Is she ever going to be mentally stable?
  • Re-Shephir: Where did she go? When and where will she crop up again, and will she be stronger or weaker when she does?

Part Two

  • Lift: What are her “extra” powers anyway? How can she insert herself into Dalinar’s visions? See into the Cognitive Realm? See the following quotes: “That child is tainted by the Nightwatcher.” “Technically, so am I.” This is different. This is unnatural. She goes too far.” She also manages to HIDE HERSELF from Odium himself in one of the visions! What is going on with this child, and how long are we going to have to wait to find out an answer? (We do know that she will be one of the POV characters for the back five set of novels.)
  • Did the Heralds retain some sort of similar physical form in their rebirths? Did they look the same each time, or different? We theorize that maybe they “became how they thought they should look,” much as how Kaladin views himself is directly reflective of his appearance (ie, his slave brands). This would be consistent with the appearance of Cognitive Shadows in Warbreaker, too.
  • Humans hearing the Rhythms—is this only when they have parsh blood in their heritage, or is it because they have been here so long that they’re starting to evolve? Or both, and those with parsh blood are getting there faster?
  • Are we to assume that the Bondsmiths of old were more powerful (because they had a living Shard to draw power from)? Or is Dalinar going to be more powerful because the splintered remnants of Honor are now directly tied to the Stormfather instead of being separated? Alice’s guess is that the Stormfather is now more powerful, as he holds more of Honor’s essence than he did when Tanavast was alive.
  • What lies in Jasnah’s past: “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.”
  • Shardplate. In Dalinar’s vision in Chapter 34, one of the Radiants notes that if someone is having trouble with their plate, they should “Talk to Harkaylain then, or to your spren.” So, we get the spren part, but who’s this other person? Were there armor-smiths of some sort, or is he the head of the Order? And speaking of Shardplate, is the Shardplate people are using in the “present day” the same sets as were abandoned in the Recreance? If so, why doesn’t it disappear/reappear like the Shardblades do? We are about 95% certain that the Plate for Knights Radiant was “made” of non-sapient spren forming together. Are those spren still “alive” in present-day Plate?
  • What exactly needs to happen for proto-Knights Radiant to be considered? Is there a similar thing to “snapping” on Scadrial, where the Radiant needs to undergo some sort of traumatic event first?
  • Squires: Do some stay squires forever, or do they all have the potential to eventually become Radiants of their own?
  • What are non-sapient spren “made” of, really? “I’ve always wondered,” Dalinar said. “Are they made of fire themselves? And what of gloryspren? Made of glory? What is glory? Could gloryspren appear around someone who is delusional, or perhaps very drunk—who only thinks they’ve accomplished something great, while everyone else is standing around mocking them?”
  • (Interludes) Aimia. What the heck is going on there, anyway? What’s with the storms there that “seek out and destroy approaching ships”?
  • (Interludes) What’s with the second sun in Shadesmar?
  • (Interludes) I’m not convinced that there are actually more than nine Fused, as we surmised in the Venli Interlude. We see them in very small groups; it’s possible that maybe there are only nine being reborn and that they are trying to mimic the Heralds, in a way.

Part Three

  • What exactly is the deal with Malata? Is she going to emulate the Skybreakers and serve Odium, despite her bond to a spren of Honor & Cultivation?
  • Are Drehy and Skar really still squires? At this point, they seem to be, but by the end of the book I have to wonder. Will we find out in the next book that one or both of them bonded spren in the days after they escaped Kholinar?
  • Do all Unmade have an “area effect” that gives the surroundings a weird look? Nergaoul has that red mist, Re-Shephir distorted the tower (at least to some eyes), Ashertmarn (and/or Sja-anat, and/or Yelig-Nar) create a darkness/wrongness around Kholinar and especially the palace. Something to watch for, I guess.
  • Why does Shallan’s Surgebinding take so much less Stormlight than Kaladin’s?
  • Does Sja-anat’s effect on the spren affect anything else? Does it harm the spren? Does it affect the meaning of the spren? E.g. is pain any different when it brings corrupted vs. uncorrupted spren?
  • If Shallan uses her Lightweaving to mimic a real, living person, is there any sort of supernatural connection between them that gives her a better understanding of their personality? Or is it entirely based on her perceptions?
  • How many Breaths does Hoid hold as of his appearance in Oathbringer?
  • Pattern notes that Wit feels more like “one of us” than a human. Is this because he spends so much time in the Cognitive Realm, or is it because he deals with Invested Items so much?
  • Do Shallan’s illusions, even when attached to a gemstone, have any sort of proximity limitations? Will they disappear if they get far enough away from Shallan?
  • Did Syl notice something strange about Azure when she first saw her, causing her to gasp?
  • What protections did Urithiru have in place against the Unmade, and what caused them to fail?
  • Is Nergaoul (the Unmade that grants The Thrill) feeding Dalinar Voidlight or Stormlight to help give him more energy?
  • Why does Sja-Anat specifically seek out Children of Honor and Cultivation?
  • Are Pattern’s vibrations that are counteracting the Unmade’s influence supernatural (ie does something about their bond protect her), or is it just giving Shallan something else to concentrate on?
  • Do Knights Radiant require a “breaking” incident similar to that of “Snapping” on Scadrial?
  • Is there any way to keep the souls of the Singers from getting reincarnated?
  • What’s up with Azure’s sword? Where did she get it, and what exactly does it do? (Relevant quote: “Remarkably, his eyes didn’t burn, though his skin did go a strange ashen grey as he died.”)
  • Is this time dilation happening in Alethkar something that happens around all Unmade, or just one specific one? If the latter, which one?
  • How many Perfect Gems are there, anyway? And why were the Elsecallers the ones to be the keepers of them, when it appears as if Bondsmiths are required in some way to trap Unmade within them?
  • Were the Unmade created by Odium specifically to counteract Shardblades? And how were they UNmade‽
  • Who is Sja-Anat’s son, and why does she seem to think that Shallan should know him? (Of special note here is the artwork from the Mythica, in which it says “her twisted creations are her beloved children.” This would fit with the fan theory that Glys is the child she speaks of.)
  • Do Voidspren correlate to specific emotions/ideas the way regular spren do?
  • Can spren really be killed entirely, as Kaladin does to the one that was torturing little Gavinor? Or do they just disincorporate back to Shadesmar (or somewhere else)?
  • Are humans starting to be able to hear the Rosharan rhythms? If so, is this some sort of supernatural occurrence, or simple evolution? (It’s worth noting that music in general seems to be very important to the world. The Alethi language looks like waveforms, and rhythm/meter is deemed important to certain written forms of communication, such as Jasnah’s essay to the Azish.)
  • What’s so significant about Feverstone Keep, and why does it keep coming up‽
  • Is Sja-Anat really betraying Odium’s side, or is it a ruse? If she is, why and how?

Overall

  • The Sibling. What is/was it? Did it have a Bondsmith? How was it connected to Urithiru? Is it still alive somewhere, and if so, where? The gemstone records indicate that Their departure was not by choice.

Interesting Tidbits

Part One

  • The Stormfather has started to become a source of information about the Heralds, and the Knights Radiant of long ago, but he’s obviously still hiding things. We can hope for more!
  • Shallan seems to be able to interpret the strata of Urithiru in a way others cannot. All we have are theories as to why, since we don’t yet know how Urithiru was made or how it’s supposed to function.

Part Two

  • We theorize that there are different orders of Fused, similar to the orders of Knight Radiant. It is confirmed that the marbling of the skin carries over on the Fused reincarnations, though their features do not.
  • Drehy inherently understanding the exact amount of the lashings he uses. I’m not sure how important this might wind up being, but it’s definitely interesting…
  • Regarding Ivory: “He could change his size at will, but not his shape, except when fully in this realm, manifesting as a Shardblade.” So this means that whenever the sapient spren are appearing on this side, they’re not All The Way Here. Interesting tidbit.
  • (Interludes) Apparently the Soulcasters originated in Akinah (where the Aimians are from).

Part Three

  • Tezim (aka Ishar), one of the Heralds, is currently serving as a king of Tukar and waging war with Emul.
  • This is worth re-quoting: “Yours [Dalinar] is the power Ishar once held. Before he was Herald of Luck, they called him Binder of Gods. He was the founder of the Oathpact. No Radiant is capable of more than you. Yours is the power of Connection, of joining men and worlds, minds and souls. Your Surges are the greatest of all, though they will be impotent if you seek to wield them for mere battle.”

Unresolved Mysteries

These things are still questions, but we won’t be addressing them until the end-of-book recap:

  • Renarin and Glys—though I will point out this little tidbit just so we remember it for the future: “What of the Truthwatchers? Jasnah wrote. Oh! I found a reference to those, Jochi wrote. The spren reportedly looked like light on a surface after it reflects through something crystalline.
  • Social hierarchy of spren
  • How did the Heralds originally get their powers?
  • The Truth of the Recreance

 

This set of interludes coming up is pretty short – the second and third ones are only a few pages. So let’s say that we’ll do Envoy, Mem, and True Labor Begins.

Alice is momentarily not on the road, but that’s sure to change soon.

Lyndsey had a cosplay photoshoot this past weekend at an ice rink, and is so so so excited to see how the final photos come out (in four to six weeks). If you’re an aspiring author, a cosplayer, or just like geeky content, follow her work on Facebook or Instagram.

citation

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