Answers to the Beta-Readers’ Reactions to Brandon Sanderson’s Rhythm of War

And we’re back at long last, with the solution to the teasers posed a few weeks ago in the Spoiler-Free Reactions to Beta Reading Brandon Sanderson’s Rhythm of War. We hope you had fun with it all!

Well, here it is. The answer key, as it were. How did you do? [Obviously, there are tons of spoilers below—if you haven’t finished the book yet, you may want to save this post for later!]

 

Part One

  • Woooow, way to make Gavilar instantly unlikeable in this one.

Prologue: Gavilar had invited one of the world’s most prominent artifabrians to visit Kholinar, and he hadn’t bothered to tell Navani?

Yeah, that was seriously uncool.

 * * *

  • GET HIM, BOYS

Chapter 6: Moash. The man who had killed Navani’s son.

 * * *

  • I’m already disoriented by the time jump. And the ______________ has fallen. That’s… disheartening.
    • the time skip, and the entire chapter’s setting being predicated on an offscreen war that happened in the meantime, really left me scrambling to catch up, and not in a “ooh is this a tasty plot hint” way.
    • I’m glad that we get this established so formally here, so quickly, to help lessen the disorientation we are feeling.

Chapter 1: It had been over a year since the coming of the Everstorm and the fall of Alethkar.

 * * *

  • Ooooh, does he have Breath?

Chapter 13:she knew he’d sense her coming. He seemed to be able to do that no matter how little sound she made.

Mraize can always tell when Shallan is coming. This is the scene where they meet in the garden area at Urithiru.

 * * *

  • I KNEW IT! You can’t keep catching spren with pokeballs without consequences!

Chapter 9: You capture spren, the strange person had said to her via spanreed. You imprison them. Hundreds of them. You are a monster. You must stop.

 * * *

  • Hoo boy, I wonder who this feller is?!

Chapter 1: “Tall for a human, with wavy black hair worn to the shoulders. Clean shaven, he has a slave’s brand on his forehead. Including the glyph shash.”

No idea who that might be. Nope. None at all.

 * * *

  • Congrats again, you rapscallion.

Chapter 12: “Wedding party?” Adolin said, waving toward the room of festive people. “For Jor?”

In case you hadn’t heard the story, Jor is a tuckerization of one of the beta readers. He was the bouncer in Oathbringer, and between release of the books he got married, so… Jor & Kryst, the newlyweds.

 * * *

  • This is amazing. I might be tearing up a little bit right now. <3

Chapter 19: “I could give it a try, sir,” said Godeke, a shorter Edgedancer who had once been an ardent. “I have some experience with these matters.”

Godeke is also a tuckerization, and one with great depth of meaning for the beta readers.

 * * *

  • Also a big depression mood. You feel like an utter Moash for burdening anyone with your needs, but you desperately crave support.

Chapter 12: Nobody pushed him, though he wished that one of them would. But these days, they had their own lives.

Kaladin, giving his men the “run along, I have important stuff to do” nod, because he’s devastated by being relieved of duty.

 * * *

  • Navani has impostor syndrome. I think this really adds to her character… to know that she has these kinds of doubts. I love this.

Prologue: Today, she’d do her job—though a part of her felt like an impostor.

 * * *

  • I love ______ the lore dump master so much for this.

Fill in the blank with Vasher.

Chapter 15: But I’m also a Type Two Invested entity.

 * * *

  • Adolin seems like just what Kaladin needs right now. Bridge Four are good for Kaladin, usually, but they listen to him. Hopefully Adolin can get past the nonsense the others can’t.

Chapter 12: Adolin pushed his way in, a treasonous Syl on his shoulder. That was where she had gone? To fetch Adolin storming Kholin?

 * * *

  • If that isn’t some Nick Fury helicarrier crap then I don’t know what is. Now THAT is how you close a chapter!

Chapter 2: “You’ve made it quite clear,” Kaladin said, “that you and Mother won’t abandon the people of Hearthstone. So I arranged to bring them with us.”

 * * *

  • Well, now… hand that boy a spear and he’ll SHOW you what he is.

Chapter 7: The Fused laughed and spoke in Alethi. “Radiants! You rely too much on your powers. Without them, what are you? A peasant child with no real training in the art of warfare or—”

The Pursuer thinking he can taunt Kaladin because of his suppressor fabrial, and about to learn better.

 * * *

  • Bridge Four Salute! This makes me happy.
    • Actual tears are being shed. <3
    • I sobbed while reading this.
    • I took a moment here. That is really awesome.
    • What a wonderful gift this is. Tai’shar, Godecke *B4 salute*
    • I knew this was coming, because of a comment Brandon made on one of his AMAs. VERY satisfying to see it.
    • OH MY HEART. Thank you for this. Thank you. (And yes, I’m crying.)

Chapter 5: Her recklessness almost cost her as she buzzed a group under the protection of Godeke the Edgedancer.

 * * *

  • Brightly colored for now. Lol

Chapter 15: Here, at the outermost of the drying lines, Zahel was carefully hanging up a series of brightly colored scarves.

 * * *

  • The full set of what now they found where?

Chapter 5: He waved to his older children—including Cord, who carried Amaram’s old Shardbow strapped to her back and wore the full set of Shardplate she’d found in Aimia.

Heh.

 * * *

  • That’s a nice detail. Growing up in an Asian household, my parents weren’t really fans of me being so Americanized, not being more in line with their culture.

Chapter 11: The change in the femalen’s attitude made Venli sick. She was so . . . human. From her curses to her way of gesturing when she spoke.

Venli’s newest recruit, in the first chapter we see her again, is a little too like the culture where she was raised.

 * * *

  • People are gonna LOVE that ____ is at least passingly interested in women. I hope Brandon expands on this some.

Chapter 12: “Is there really anyone who doesn’t like smart girls?” Kaladin said.

“Me,” Veil said, raising her hand. “Give me dumb ones, please. They’re so easy to impress.”

 * * *

  • At least Shallan is well enough to recognize that she needs help.

Chapter 13: She’d buckled down and forced herself to read studies on other people with fragmented personas.

 * * *

  • I SWEAR UPON ALL THINGS UNHOLY THAT I WILL SET THIS BOOK ON FIRE

Chapter 7: Godeke the Edgedancer. His Stormlight had apparently run out. Storms send he was still alive.

On a bet, someone was ever so slightly worried that Godeke would die like all the tuckerizations in certain authors’ works.

 

Part Two

  • Mic drop. Haha I can just see him saying this, all fired up. :)

Chapter 36: I am a highprince of Alethkar and the son of the Bondsmith. I will stand in the place of those humans whom you say betrayed you. You wish to reject us because of what they did? Prove, through judgment, that I deserve this treatment.

Adolin was just not going to turn around and go home; he was going to get into Lasting Integrity somehow!

 * * *

  • Am I the only one who couldn’t get the image of the infinity gauntlet out of my head? :)

Chapter 37: Made of stiff leather, it was almost more a gauntlet than a glove. The gemstones were hidden in a compartment at the side, affixed with metal caging that could be covered over with another piece of leather.

Introduction of the single-person lift device. So much use to come!

 * * *

  • I love seeing how excited ______ is to see ____ again. It makes my heart happy.

Fill in the blanks with Adolin and Maya.

Chapter 22: All of the Radiant spren were there, but where was she?

The moment the envoy entered Shadesmar, he started looking for her.

 * * *

  • Made me immediately think of unseelie _____.
    • Honestly I just started rolling my eyes at how Extra these kids are. The ______________ sounds like vampire wannabes. Does Roshar have a Hot Topic?
    • At least they didn’t go the “obvious” route and call themselves “The Eyeless”
    • I like how extra and dramatic they are.

Fill in the blanks with court and Unseen Court.

Chapter 20: Together, they’d begun calling themselves the Unseen Court.

Shallan and her Lightweavers, obviously.

 * * *

  • I suddenly don’t like this ardent.
    • Oh, the irony.

Chapter 25:With all due respect, Brightlord, you should leave medical issues to those trained in them.”

The ardent in the Devotary of Mercy, speaking to Kaladin as he and Teft are trying to find Noril. This is, of course, before he figures out who they are…

 * * *

  • Lol Legolas moment anyone?

Chapter 35: Adolin did an odd running hop, then hoisted himself into the saddle behind Maya, a maneuver that a part of Radiant’s brain refused to believe was possible.

This is, of course, in Shadesmar—that bit where Adolin figures out what happened to the other caravan that was following them, and chases them down to protect Notum.

 * * *

  • Next thing you know, the back 5 prologues are all Dalinar’s assasination. :P

Chapter 27: Yet here she found herself doing the same things as before. Running a kingdom for a man who was too grand to be contained by simple day-to-day tasks.

Navani, queen of Urithiru.

 * * *

  • Hi, Isaac!

Chapter 22: Isasik the mapmaker thought the place was incredible for reasons Adolin hadn’t been able to grasp, despite having it explained to him three times.

Isasik is a tuckerization of Sanderson’s art director and mapmaker extraordinaire, Isaac Stewart.

 * * *

  • OMG, COULD SHE?

Interlude 1: Had they grown out of these, their cousins? She felt so much kinship with them, though they were clearly different. Not as smart. Could she help them become smart?

 * * *

  • dog_in_house_on_fire.jpg

Chapter 26: (beta) She was fine. Everything was fine.

This is one that didn’t come across from the beta to the gamma version intact. The direct quote from the beta is no longer there, but it’s that whole scene with Shallan on the boat in Shadesmar, refusing to admit that she’s completely panicking when all the Cryptics lean in over her to watch her draw.

 * * *

  • God, it’s just so freakin’ obvious to EVERYONE, isn’t it?

Chapter 27: “So,” he said to Navani. “We taking bets on how long it takes Taravangian to knife us in the back?”

Sebarial to Navani, as the expedition to Emul prepares to leave.

 * * *

  • So touching, _______ you are Radiant, you are healed.

Fill in the blank with Godecke.

Chapter 22: Godeke shook his head. “All my life I lived with a deformity—and then in an instant I was transformed and healed.

You’ve probably heard the story of Godeke the Edgedancer by now, so I won’t repeat it again. Suffice to say that this tuckerization is particularly dear to the hearts of the beta readers, all of JordanCon, and Team Dragonsteel.

 * * *

  • Well, Adolin has a knack for helping friends deal with trauma. So storm off.

Chapter 29: “She’s a deadeye,” Ua’pam said. “She was killed thousands of years ago. She doesn’t think. The trauma of her Radiant betraying her broke her mind.”

 * * *

  • THAT. WAS. LEGIT.

Chapter 35—the whole fight between Adolin and the Tukari. Because… yeah. Wow!

 * * *

  • Yes you will. And you’ll reach it soon, because I say so.

Chapter 23: Though she didn’t show it off, she’d plainly sworn the Fourth Ideal. The one Kaladin would never reach.

Yes, Jasnah has sworn her Fourth Ideal. And it probably wasn’t easy for her, either. This is as Kaladin and Syl are watching the troops leaving for Emul.

 * * *

  • Oh, no. Not Adolin. Please no. (face clutching moment)

Chapter 35: Jeopardize the mission, or go save Notum on his own?

Jeopardize it how? he thought. You barely know what you’re doing here. The others can deliver some letters.

You’re nothing but a uniform and sword, Adolin. Use them.

Clearly someone was concerned that Adolin would sacrifice himself right here…

 * * *

  • Fireshadowing!

Chapter 21: Adolin nodded. “Right, then. Kal, don’t let anyone burn the tower down while I’m away.”

 * * *

  • Haha! I suddenly imagined the two of them playing rock, paper, scissors to see who had to do it.

Chapter 25: “You do it,” Kaladin said. “Syl’s out for her morning flight, and she’ll snap at me if I call her back early.”

Kaladin and Teft, deciding which one of them would summon their sprenspear and show the ardent at the Devotary of Mercy who they were, and why he should release Noril to their care.

 

Part Three

  • Wow, so the Rosharan magic is based on light AND _____?

Fill in the blank with music.

Chapter 69: The Stormlight had followed her finger just as it did a tuning fork.

 * * *

  • Oh my gosh, this entire scene is wonderful.

Chapter 50: And so, Jasnah stabbed him straight through the throat.

Welp. That was… a thing. What a scene!

 * * *

  • Hissssssss

Interlude 4: Moash

That name was enough…

 * * *

  • Dang it, Brandon! Stop making me feel sympathy for the bad guys!

Chapter 65: Navani thought for sure she could read pain in Raboniel’s expression—a wince—as the daughter continued to ask for her mother.

 * * *

  • Oho. So THAT’S what happens when you fake it. Serves her right.

Chapter 60: These words, it said, are not accepted.

Venli thought for sure that freeing Lift would be enough for her second Ideal. She was, apparently, wrong.

 * * *

  • NO REDEMPTION!!!

Interlude 4: This one is a little unfair, because in the beta, there was a whole paragraph with Moash thinking about Kaladin & Elhokar, and being frustrated that his mind kept going there. In the final, though, there’s this, which is every bit as bad—and as suitable for this reaction:

Poor Kaladin. There was freedom available for his old friend. Two freedoms, in fact. But he doubted Kaladin would ever accept the same freedom as Vyre, so he offered the other one. The sweet peace of nonexistence.

 * * *

  • Oh, he is totally going to Spiderman this up!

Chapter 55: Instead, he wanted to try climbing along the outside of the tower. Before he’d learned to fly, he’d stuck rocks to the chasm wall and climbed them. He figured he could do something similar now.

Spidey up, dude!

 * * *

  • So much for getting a happy viewpoint anytime soon.

Chapter 44: Kaladin

The first word of Part Three elicited this reaction. LOL.

 * * *

  • MAGELLAN GETS A CAMEO?!

Interlude 5: It was bigger than she’d thought, at least a foot tall, with a vivid red body and head. It had bright blue wings that went red at the ends, like fire.

In case you were unaware, Sanderson has a large parrot named Magellan. The colors don’t quite match, but otherwise…

 * * *

  • This must be a world-hopper. And doesn’t he know that going back in time does weird things to the continuum?

This one is totally unfair, but funny. At the beginning of Chapter 46 in the beta version, there was a note that began, “Hey, beta readers! Brandon here.” He needed to explain that he’d made a change to something in part two, which would look like a massive continuity error when we read the upcoming chapter. So you had zero chance of guessing this one, but the comment was too much fun not to share.

 * * *

  • Oh no. No no no, Dangit this is the middle of the book, isn’t it? THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET REALLY BAD I CAN’T WATCH.

Chapter 70: She stepped back, her eyes widening as the terrible implications struck her. Kaladin was in serious danger.

This is where Navani realizes that somehow, the Fused had known all about her communication with Kaladin, and their desperate plan for Kaladin to somehow stop the Fused from accessing the third node.

 * * *

  • Admiral Ackbar: “It’s a trap!”

Chapter 59: “See?” the femalen said in Alethi as they spotted Kaladin. “I told you he’d come. I keep my promises, Pursuer. He’s yours.”

Backing up a bit, this is the scene where Kaladin tries to stop Raboniel from corrupting the Sibling through the second node.

 * * *

  • You can go perform an anatomical impossibility, _____.

Chapter 46: Moash. He stood on the edge of the chasm near Kaladin. The man turned, and Kaladin saw his eyes—black pits. “People think you were merciful to us. But we both know the truth, don’t we? You did it for you. Not us. If you were truly merciful, you’d have given us easy deaths.”

One of the many nightmares…

 * * *

  • WOW. WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW. Oh, my stars and little fishies. WOW. I’m so amazed and delighted that Dalinar can control _____________ like this!

Fill in the blank with the stormwind.

Chapter 71: Dalinar gathered the winds, and with a surge of strength, used them to hurl Kaladin up and over the ledge of the balcony, onto the eighth floor of the tower.

Dalinar rides the storm, part one. (My apologies, I think these two sentences were separated in the original teaser post when they were one reaction.)

 * * *

  • Awww… Kaladin gets to do the Superman pose up the Tower. :-D giggle

Chapter 61: “That glove you made,” she said. “The one that you wanted to use as a single-person lift. Where is it?”

 * * *

  • [Wit] only has one gear. BURN BABY BURN

Chapter 50: “That bastard!” Ruthar croaked. “That traitorous bastard!”
“Not yours then, is he?” Wit said. “That explains why I like him.”

 * * *

  • He’s just looking to see if his crush is watching him do cool stuff.

Chapter 70: His fall certainly drew attention. … He wasn’t certain if Leshwi was among them or not, as he passed too quickly.

Heading down to the fight at the Well—in a hurry!

 * * *

  • WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP! I actually guessed right on this!! _________ FTW.

Fill in the blank with Lifelight.

Chapter 60: …if your master does happen to ever locate Cultivation, suggest that he ask her precisely why she made an Edgedancer who is fueled by Lifelight and not Stormlight.”

I’ll claim this one personally. We had a few hints along the way that Stormlight and Voidlight might not be the only sources of Investiture, and that perhaps there was a Cultivation version of power-light. Somewhere in Part Two, I decided I was going to call it Lifelight until we were given a different official name for it—if only because I didn’t feel like typing Cultivationlight every time it came up. It was pretty fun to see the name right there on thee page!

 

Part Four

  • I laughed, and then was grateful being locked up didn’t break her.
    • Alice & Lyndsey, I think you have the new “tight butts and coconuts” section heading.

Chapter 83: “Say ‘buttress,’” she told him. “It’s my favorite word.”

LOL. Lift, upon being rescued and sent with Dabbid to heal Kaladin, discovers that Dabbid actually can talk… and promptly tells him to say “buttress.” Oy. (And yes, we should definitely make use of this in the reread!)

 * * *

  • Oh, the poor child. Everyone overreacted, didn’t they? No one had any idea why he would do such a “horrible” thing, but it made perfect sense to him.

Chapter 85: He hadn’t tried to die. He’d just tightened it a little, so he could know what baby Dabbid had felt.

It was so heart-breaking to be inside Dabbid’s head. The poor child.

 * * *

  • Okay. I’ve got to admit it. This reveal is /brilliant/
    • Doh! Right in front of us the whole time!
    • SON OF A CHULL
    • Didn’t like the reveal overall, but this line was FANTASTIC.
    • Ugh. I feel horrible for not noticing this before! Very clever.
    • D A M N A T I O N

Chapter 93: “Of course I am,” Veil said. “I’m your veil, Shallan.”

 * * *

  • Oh my gosh, so crafty!
    • Mind. Blown. I can’t believe _______ did this!! It’s so smart, but at the same time I’m still a bit sad for ______. I’m so conflicted!
    • OH YOU LITTLE MINX

Fill in the blanks with Navani and Raboniel.

Chapter 97: She braced herself. Expecting . . . An explosion.

Keep in mind that our expectation was for Raboniel to be killed (or at least severely injured) by this explosion. That’s what happened to the scientists experimenting with Szeth’s sphere, so much earlier in the book.

 * * *

  • That sounds very disorienting! Another nice touch of flair!
    • Sounds a very Escher-like place!

Chapter 75: You could walk on the interior walls. Indeed, to reach the top, Adolin had strolled vertically up the inside of the fortress wall. His body thought he had been walking on the ground.

Lasting Integrity is a weird place—suitable to a race of spren who give access to the surges of gravitation and adhesion, though. They built a fortress where Lashings are simply part of the construction.

 * * *

  • I love how, in true scientific fashion, she made this discovery by complete accident while trying to do something entirely different.

Chapter 84: Too far. Much too far. She’d moved the dagger half a foot, while the tandem ruby had moved three times as far.

Yep, all the science geeks among us cracked up over the true-to-live method of breakthrough—completely accidental.

 * * *

  • “Oooooh crap. This is definitely _________
    • ^^That makes so much sense… I don’t like how much sense that makes…”

Chapter 90: Today she led a Cryptic—one with a broken pattern, the head wilted.

This is definitely Shallan’s first spren. A couple of people predicted this, and the logic was hard to deny—much as some of us hoped it would not be true.

 * * *

  • I wonder if there are any sort of long term implications here?
    • I don’t know why, but this made me tear up.
    • I hate that I want to like her so much and just KNOW that I shouldn’t.
    • Oh that is lovely. I don’t know what she means by it, but it is lovely.

Chapter 89: “By this music,” Raboniel said, “I give you the title Voice of Lights, Navani Kholin. As is my right.”

Navani has earned the respect of the Fused, so much so that Raboniel gives her a formal title… but what does it mean?

 * * *

  • Oh, that’s *dirty*
    • No no no nope. I hate it. I hate it a lot.
    • Clever plan! Not too sure it’ll work, but clever nonetheless!

Chapter 82: “Hmm . . .” Mraize said. “If only there were a way that someone— having locked away Kelek’s soul—could take his place. Wear his face. Pass judgment, vindicating your husband and commanding the honorspren to join the war again….”

Mraize is just way too good at manipulating Shallan. Give her a task she kind of wants but kind of knows she shouldn’t, and then drive it with an obvious-good outcome (assuming it works, but he doesn’t mention that), and she’ll do whatever you ask.

 * * *

  • Literally the last thing I expected. But beautiful.

Chapter 80: As it stepped back, the figure drew in color, the light fading away, revealing . . .

Wit.

Heh. A bunch of us were expecting Syl, or maybe Cultivation or something. Wit? Definitely unexpected, but also perfect.

 * * *

  • I loved this so much that I laughed out loud! Perfect story for Kaladin.
    • I LAUGHED UNTIL I CRIED. OH MY STORMS

Chapter 80: And as he did, the dog sadly thought to himself, ‘I could not become a dragon. I am an utter and complete failure.’

Wit’s story in Kaladin’s coma/vision was such a good one for Kaladin. The abrupt ending, with the dog declaring himself a failure despite all the amazing things he’d accomplished—yes, it was a story Kaladin needed to hear. The second ending is the part he needs to understand, but he really needed to hear this one first.

 * * *

  • YES YES YES YES YES. (I quite literally fist-pumped several times here.)
    • Wow. This was unexpectedly emotional. It’s probably because we know how hard it is for her to commit to an action, especially a dangerous one.
    • I can feel her terror at admitting this, and it’s fantastic.

Chapter 83: “What if,” she said, “I knew about an Edgedancer whose powers still seem to work? One that I think we can rescue?”

Venli, finally taking a huge step outside her comfortable secrecy, is going to rescue Lift by using her Willshaper powers??? As it turns out, she doesn’t actually let anyone else know what she’s doing, except what Lift observes—and Venli swears her to secrecy. Still, it was a big step forward.

 * * *

  • There is not enough profanity in the world for you right now.
    • Yeah, I’m upset at him… but I kind of already saw this coming. Vichy France in a person.

Chapter 83: “You would give him up for execution!”
“If that’s what is required, then so be it. I’ll do my job as a surgeon, then let Kaladin deal with the consequences of his actions.”

This read a little differently in the beta, when Lirin specifically said he thought they should turn the comatose Kaladin in to the authorities. In the final, it’s less a matter of turning him in, than bringing him to the infirmary despite the knowledge that he will almost certainly be identified. In either case, the edict that any hidden Radiant would be executed is still in effect; since Kaladin had been hiding, he would certainly fall under that order.

 * * *

  • HURK. That was a whiplash. I kind of expected her to kill a Regal.
    • Excuse me, but WHAT THE ACTUAL @#$%!?
    • WHOA WHOA I did not see that coming :(
    • I’M SORRY, WHAT????

Chapter 97: Then she turned, walked across the room, and stabbed her daughter in the chest.

SAY WHAT AGAIN? I don’t believe anyone saw that coming. After the fact, it was understandable, but… yeah. Even on multiple rereads, that one is a shock.

 * * *

  • Ho. Ly. Balls.
    • Storm it, you were played again!
    • Table flipped. Screams and curses to the skies. I really hate this book and _____ right now.
    • I feel sick inside
    • NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!

Chapter 97: “Today is a momentous day‚” Raboniel said, letting go and walking after the servants carrying Navani’s equipment. “Today is the day we discovered a way to destroy Radiant spren. I will let you know the results of the test.”

All this time, Navani thought they were working on a way to kill Odium. It’s not until this scene—the very end of Part Four—that she realized Raboniel was always planning to use their discovery as a means to kill the Radiant spren.

 * * *

  • Wait………..
    • Holy. Shit.
    • I got goosebumps reading this (also, called it)
    • I actually sobbed out loud at this. My husband was worried for a bit.
    • The feels! This was so awesome! And what a reveal!
    • YEEEEEESSSSSSSSS I’ve been saying this for ages!! … I knew it!

Chapter 94: We! CHOSE!

Y’all are probably sick of hearing me say I was sure the spren were partners in the Recreance. But the manner of the revelation was just brilliant. So glorious.

 

Part Five

  • This person is immediately terrifying.

Chapter 116: El. The one with no title.

Um… I have nothing to add. This person is immediately terrifying.

 * * *

  • This is a terrible deal that will come back to bite Dalinar right in his too-firm butt.

Chapter 112: “We have a contest of champions on the tenth of next month,” Odium said.

It had to be adjusted by one day due to timing issues, but in the beta this read “Ten days.” Abrupt, and to the point, and… yikes‽

 * * *

  • DON’T START THAT AGAIN!!! Oh, that’s just painful, reflecting that back at us. She’s certainly made mistakes, but… why?
    • What a horrible way to end this scene :(

Chapter 109: You aren’t worthy, Navani.

The way this reflected Gavilar’s refusal to include Navani in his scheming because she “wasn’t worthy,” and the way that impostor syndrome has followed her all through the book, made the Sibling’s rejection of her excruciatingly painful. Navani is dying from a knife thrown by Moash, who is now hacking at Raboniel for trying to slow him down, the Sibling’s protections are all down, and the only way either of them will survive is if they bond—and the Sibling refuses because she’s “not worthy.” And then it cuts to Rlain, who the Sibling had expressed interest in bonding.

 * * *

  • Oh bless you, indignant, stubborn, WONDERFUL Dalinar.

Chapter 107: I am a storm, the Stormfather said. I chose the ways of a storm.
Choose better, then!

Dalinar, admonishing the essence of a Shard, because the Stormfather was all “Just respect Kaladin’s right to die for jumping into a storm with no hope of rescuing his father.” Dalinar’s tenacious insistence on giving Kaladin more time was… well, we all saw how well it worked, eh?

 * * *

  • Okay okay, still scared of nightblood, okay okay.

Chapter 111: There was a chip in its unearthly steel where it had met the black sword.

Well, by the end of the book you see Nightblood do more than just chip an Honorblade, but… just chip an Honorblade

 * * *

  • It is unexpected, but I adore how this whole arc played out. The give-and-take, the mutual respect, and the constant revelations between these two have been one of the biggest highlights of the book so far.
    • I’m just sad we won’t get to see more of her. At least we don’t have to watch her Return as a madfemalen. …. I loved her send-off.

Chapter 113: Navani pressed her forehead against Raboniel’s as the Fused had done for her daughter.

By the time you got this far, you should have been able to recognized the set-up—but I’m betting that for those of you who read the teaser post before you read the book, you expected this to be Kaladin and Leshwi, rather than Navani and Raboniel. Am I right?

 * * *

  • What’s that supposed to mean?
    • Angsty-Grumpy with Unhinged-Grumpy who carries Enthusiastic-Death

Chapter 116: “All I need from you now is an agreement to help. And a willingness to travel to Shinovar in somewhat . . . odd company.”

Dalinar, asking Kaladin to help in his preparations for The Battle of Champions by going to meet Ishar in Shinovar. He doesn’t say it here, but it’s indicated earlier that the Shinovar expedition will include Szeth and Nightblood. So… Kaladin with Szeth who carries Nightblood.

 * * *

  • It’s always nice to see that she isn’t perfect. She does worry about things, she gets paranoid.
    • I wouldn’t say it’s paranoid if they’re really out to get you.

Chapter 99: She would never again be caught unaware.

This is the scene where Jasnah is thinking of her preparations in case an assassin should come for her again. Fabrial alarm system, a boat waiting in Shadesmar, stores of Stormlight in all her clothing, she’s not going to be vulnerable. Even though no assassins came (yet), she’s still right to be prepared. They are out to get her.

 * * *

  • That would be delightfully twisted. *Brandon cackles evilly and rubs his hands together*
    • I’m reduced to incoherent screaming. There are no words foul enough for this.

Chapter 102: I ruin Stormblessed, leave him unable to interfere, and you deliver me the queen.

What a foul bargain Moash proposed here. And Raboniel accepted it. (Of course, later she deliberately gives Navani the chance to escape, so there’s that in her favor…)

 * * *

  • SO awesome!
    • I LOVE the way _______ is messing with ______’s mind! (what’s left of it, anyway…)
    • The more weak taunts he speaks, the less scary he becomes.
    • That’s a really nice, clever, and almost sinister twist to his whole schtick.
    • Ohohoh, I am a BIG fan of sinister _____ here.

Chapter 103: “I’m not afraid of you,” Kaladin said. “But you’re going to be afraid of me.”
“Madness,” the Pursuer said. “Your inevitable fate has caused madness in your frail mind.” …
“I killed you,” Kaladin said. “And I’ll kill you now. Then every time you return for me, I’ll kill you again.”

Kaladin is messing with the Pursuer’s mind, and it was fun to watch. Also, it worked superbly.

 * * *

  • Awww. I like how vulnerable she sounds here. How very. . .human of her.

Chapter 101:Thank you, Uncle. For your trust.”

This is the scene where Dalinar asked Jasnah to write the undertext for Oathbringer. The entire conversation has a level of vulnerability between the two that really was heartwarming.

 * * *

  • I felt goosebumps reading this.
    • In fact, I felt goosebumps just reading my notes about how I had goosebumps when I was reading this.

Chapter 107: Yes, the Stormfather said. But you must have Connection for a vision. You must have a reason for it. A meaning. It cannot be anything.
GOOD, Dalinar said, forging a Bond.
What are you doing?

CONNECTING HIM, Dalinar said. UNITING HIM.
The Stormfather rumbled. With what?

Dalinar’s powers, and his creative thinking… Just… Wow.

 * * *

  • OH FRICK. I really didn’t think [that was going to happen]. Uhhh… This is real bad. Also really sad. Aaah. I’m panicked and devastated at the same time! Oh no!
    • Aaahhhhh. @##$#$# I did not want to be right!!!!! #$$% you _____! You are irredeemable!!!
    • I was still for a long moment after reading this. Then, I teared up. But you know what? He’s right… I feel that he won…
    • I’m back here crying my eyes out again. I almost hope we get to see a moment with him in Shadesmar, though that was one of the best exit lines I’ve ever seen.
    • I’ve NEVER HATED A CHARACTER MORE IN ANY BOOK!!!

Chapter 104: Then [Moash] stabbed Teft directly through the neck with his Shardblade. Confident, and somehow still full of hope, Teft died.

Yeah, pretty much everyone hates Moash now. First Phendorana, and then Teft? While I personally wasn’t surprised to find that Teft died in this book, and in fact was kinda expecting it, the actual event was still a brutal shock. If Sanderson gives Moash a redemption arc, I’m going to be so mad. I mean… I know I’ll believe it, because that’s what Sanderson does, but I’ll still be mad.

 * * *

  • Oh hey, that means Amaram actually did keep his promise … Minus one rat bastard point for Amaram, I guess.

Chapter 108: “I’ll go with them, sir,” Tien said.

It’s not much to say in favor of Amaram, but at least he didn’t entirely fail his promise not to let Tien be sent into the fighting. It was Tien’s own choice, to go with the other two messenger boys out onto the battlefield, knowing he would probably be killed.

 * * *

  • Wow. If you are gonna kill an enemy this is the one I least want dead :(

Chapter 106: [Navani] lost control of her legs, but managed to crawl forward and plunge the dagger into Raboniel’s chest.

Strange, isn’t it, that by this time we’d gone from loathing Raboniel, to finding her deeply sympathetic. It seems to be a Sanderson thing.

 * * *

  • Whoa, I swear I could hear it. That was an incredible description.

Chapter 106: Kaladin Stormblessed looked up and let loose a howl that seemed to vibrate with a hundred discordant rhythms.

Nothing further need be said.

 * * *

  • That’s right. So glad her Light is making you FEEL something. SUFFER.
    • That’s right you’d better run you storming bastard.
    • Good. Suffer, you bastard. #NoRedemption.

Chapter 111: He’d. Killed. TEFT. … But the pain, the shame, the anger at himself was worse than the fear.

Okay, so #NoRedemption might have given away the fact that this was related to Moash. Just maybe. But there was a whole lot of schadenfreude going on up in there, when Navani’s light and the Sibling’s cleansed/reactivated protections blocked Odium’s shield from Moash. For a few brief moments, he had to feel what he had done. We … were not, as a rule, big fans of Moash at this time.

 * * *

  • NO FREAKING WAY
    • Hands down, one of the craziest Brandon twists I think I’ve experienced. If someone had spoiled me on this going into the series, I wouldn’t have believed it.

Chapter 113: Taravangian rammed it up into Odium’s chest.

Taravangian. Killed. Odium. With. Nightblood. Wimpy, barely-staying-coherent, doddering, emotional old Taravangian, stronger in the other realms, just … drew Nightblood and stabbed Odium. Gulp.

 * * *

  • EXCUSE ME FOR A BRIEF MINUTE, _______ IS THE LEADER OF THE ________?!
    • (Also, my exact original comment was “Dsadasdsadad” but I felt like I should explain myself better here.)

Chapter 115: We removed this from the original post because someone thought it was a spoiler, but… here’s the thing. From what I could see, this could have been any of three situations:

THUDE IS THE LEADER OF THE LISTENERS ! I.e., he and the other exiles from Narak survived!! I may have been in the minority, or it may have just gotten overwhelmed in all the other avalanche bits for a lot of people, but it was such a joy to discover that yes, indeed, that group of people out east of the Plains included not only the elders and children sent away before the war started, it also included Thude, Jaxlim, and all the others who refused stormform before the battle of Narak.

KELEK IS THE LEADER OF THE SONS OF HONOR! This was bit shocking, considering that he was in the consultations with Gavilar in the Prologue. It’s not clear whether Gavilar knew the man in the meeting was Kelek, nor that any of the humans knew Kelek was Restares. The giveaway on this teaser, at least once you’re in the book, is that we learn about Kelek/Restares in Part Four, so that can’t be it.

KELSIER IS THE LEADER OF THE GHOSTBLOODS! This is the actual reaction from the beta reader, and has apparently been a fondly-held theory among some of the fandom. The text doesn’t specifically confirm that Thaidakar is Kelsier, but it’s pretty strongly implied. “Lord of Scars” sounds a lot like the Survivor. Wit’s message, “Deal with your own stupid planet, you idiot. Don’t make me come over there and slap you around again” sure sounds like a reference to something we’ve seen, so… while still a theory, this is pretty strong evidence.

 * * *

  • HOLY
    • Are… You… F*&(&(&… kidding… MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
    • I screamed internally (would have been out loud but I had a baby sleeping on me). He’s not bound by any oaths or pacts is he? Is he free?
    • I screamed internally and externally. Good god what a great development.

Chapter 113: And ascended to godhood, becoming Odium.

Come on, did you see that coming more than a page ahead? Stunning.

 * * *

  • So it is, in the end, ______. Also, this is a wonderful line.
    • I am glad I was wrong. It feels awesome and what a line
    • OMG this is wonderful. Such an awesome line!
    • I can’t remember a time when I have exulted, shouted in joy so loudly EVER before…..and that sentence belongs on a t-shirt

Chapter 105:Navani. This was, specifically, in response to her statement: “Journey before destination, you bastard.” Many of the beta readers had either hoped or predicted that the Sibling would bond someone else—Rlain being the top contender by this point, but most of us also felt she earned this.

 * * *

  • Okay, the fact that THIS is the last chapter of the book is immediately fascinating. After everything that just happened—THIS is the end? What the heck is gonna blindside us next?

Chapter 117: Yeah, that was a gimme… but that last chapter, when we suddenly reverted to Eshonai’s POV in the Battle of Narak—that was unexpected. To say the least. (Also, that whole chapter was beautiful.)

Alice hails from the Pacific Northwest, and is now preparing to hibernate.

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