Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson

Rhythm of War Reread: Chapter Thirty-Four

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Happy Thursday, Cosmere Chickens, and welcome to yet another episode of the Stormlight Archive reread! Last time we walked with Kaladin as he navigated the new ways he’s trying to come up with to combat PTSD and depression… Today, we’re with Shallan and Adolin as they navigate their own mental landscapes (as well as the physical landscape of Shadesmar). Weird flora, beautiful fauna, and daddy issues abound in today’s episode, so buckle in and prepare yourselves for deep conversations, missed innuendoes, and Adolin being the perfect husband (as usual). Won’t you join us?

Reminder: We’ll be discussing spoilers for the entirety of the series up until now. If you haven’t read ALL of the published entries of the Stormlight Archive (this includes Edgedancer and Dawnshard as well as the entirety of Rhythm of War), best to wait to join us until you’re done.

In this week’s discussion we also discuss something from Mistborn with one tiny mention of Warbreaker in the Relationships and Romances section, and Mistborn: Secret History in Cosmere Connections, so if you haven’t read those, best to give those sections a pass.

Heralds: Vedeledev (Vedel). Edgedancers. Loving/Healing. Role: Healer.

Shalash (Ash), Herald of Beauty. Lightweavers. Creative/Honest. Role: Artist.

A: It’s obvious that Vev represents Adolin and his efforts to help Shallan; in that regard, Veil might even be a contributor. However, it’s also one of those chapters where we see Adolin’s Edgedancer-Ideals character shining out, so she might be doing double duty.

Shalash is equally obvious, with both Shallan and Beryl in their specific activities as Lightweavers, and (even more obviously, perhaps) her role as Artist, when Shallan finds the denizens of Shadesmar irresistible and finally emerges to do some real drawing.

Icon: Pattern, for a Shallan-PoV chapter.

Epigraph:

To combine powers would change and distort who Odium is. So instead of absorbing others, he destroys them. Since we are all essentially infinite, he needs no more power. Destroying and Splintering the other Shards would leave Odium as the sole god, unchanged and uncorrupted by other influences.

L: What a selfish bastard he is.

A: Isn’t he though? “I’m perfect as I am, I don’t want to change—and all you others can die to make sure no one can change or challenge me.” He’s one of those nightmare-fodder characters who totally believes that what he wants is the ultimate “best” no matter what effect it has on the rest of the universe.

L: Hmm. How apropos to real life issues, lately. Anyway. I still think we’re going to eventually see someone forge the Shards all back together. It’s my theory that this is going to be the eventual end of the Cosmere Cycle. I expect that powers like this can’t truly be destroyed… Brandon deals a lot with natural laws of the universe, and energy cannot be destroyed, only redirected or transformed. So… I’d wager that the energy of those Shards is still out there somewhere, just not in a form that may be recognizable.

A: I tend to agree with you. We’ve gotten hints that pre-Shattering Investiture is still linked to the various Intents of the Shards (sorry, I can’t find that WoB at the moment…), so I’m betting it carries forward to what happens after a Shard is splintered. The power, with the Intent, is still there somewhere, in some form. I wonder if the end-game of the Cosmere will be different people fighting to be The One who reforges it. (I also wonder if Taravanian will continue the “destroy rather than absorb” approach, or if he’ll take a different tack.)

L: The One, you say?

Chapter Recap

WHO: Shallan
WHERE: Shadesmar, still on the road to Lasting Integrity
WHEN: 1175.4.7.5 (three days after Chapter 32)

(Note: For the “when” notations, we are using this wonderful timeline provided by the folks at The 17th Shard.)

Veil and Radiant are increasingly worried about Shallan refusing to come out and play. As it turns out, so is Adolin. He convinces the Three to go for a little walk, and just as he planned, Shallan finally emerges to draw the beauty she sees around her.

Overall Reactions

A: The chapter opens with a very frustrating discussion, as Adolin tries to work his way around Notum’s conviction that the honorspren at Lasting Integrity won’t listen to anything he says. Between the various Radiants, they’re shooting down all the ideas. The arguments from Jasnah and Dalinar are good, but the honorspren probably won’t listen; they only cover approaches the honorspren have already considered and refused for hundreds of years. Threatening to go to the inkspren is a joke, since they’re even more stand-offish than the honorspren. And a guilty conscience would require them to consider themselves guilty. What to do? It really hurts to read this:

Adolin looked down, seeming to wilt. He’d spent a good long time coming up with these plans, and Veil had helped him with some. Unfortunately, he hadn’t shown much confidence in the ideas, and the reactions of the others were further confirmation.

A: Seeing Adolin wilt in front of everyone is just… painful. But what else can you do? The brightest and most powerful people in the world put this plan together, and yet the entire group here knows that it won’t work. At the same time, failure is kind of not an option; never mind the personal-failure issue (which we’ll talk about below), the fate of the human race may rest on getting the honorspren to help. In the end, they only come to the conclusion that he needs to find some way to appeal to their honor. What that way might be, they can’t quite reach, but it’s the only hope they can find.

L: He’s got to think completely outside of the box, which, thankfully, is Adolin’s forte.

Spren and Shadesmar

“That spren you ride. It’s strikingly similar to a horse.”

“Is that odd?” he asked.

“Most spren appear nothing like creatures from our world.”

Notum smiled, a rare expression on the spren’s face, then gestured to himself. “Do we not?”

“The humanoid ones, yes,” Adolin said. “I’ve never seen one in the shape of a horse.”

“Not all spren were imagined by men, Adolin Kholin,”

A: It’s not confirmed in the text, and no one seems to have asked about it yet, but I’m convinced this is a musicspren. We first saw them described as “spinning translucent ribbons” in the prologue to The Way of Kings. In Oathbringer, Dalinar saw them “trailing after [the Ryshadium] in the air.” Combine that with the description here, where “its hair waved in a phantom wind, like long glowing ribbons,” and I’m absolutely sure of it. I can’t help but wonder why horses imagined musicspren, but… I’m willing to accept it!

L: That’s a cool theory, and I could buy it. Remember that Ryshadium have gemhearts? I bet they’re tuned into the innate Rhythms of Roshar. That would explain why they’re drawing musicspren.

A: Oh, that would make so much sense! I’d never thought of that aspect. Good insight! ::applauds:: At first it seems a little odd that the singers never imagined musicspren, but it could be that they never really thought of “music” as a whole entity. They had the different Rhythms, but those each have their own kind of spren. I love the idea that the Ryshadium, as they developed their affinity for Roshar, began to hear the pure tones, and imagined the spren of pure music. I don’t know, but I hope that’s it.

Plants grew like frost here, coating much of the obsidian—and they crackled wherever she and Adolin stepped, breaking and tinkling to dust. Larger plants grew like cones, with spirals of color in their translucent skin, as if crafted by a master glassblower.

A: While it’s not a perfect match, I’m betting this is one of the major descriptive sections that went into the creation of the cover art. Shallan looking around at the beauty, Adolin on a promontory (with a sword! lol), and crystalline plants all around…

Then, overhead, the strange Shadesmar clouds began to churn. She gasped as something emerged from them high above: an incredible beast with an ashen carapace and a long neck. It resembled a greatshell, faintly echoing the sinuous look of a chasmfiend, but flew somehow on enormous insect wings—seven sets of them. It trailed clouds behind it, emerging as if from a shroud of dust. Others clung to its chin, giving it a beard made of clouds.

L: Beautiful! I hope that we get some official artwork of this moment eventually.

A: I would love to see this artwork, though I don’t blame Team Dragonsteel for not trying to include it. Imagination is a wonderful thing, too. Oh, also (in case anyone cares), I now refuse to believe that starspren are the “cousin spren who form Shardplate” for the Skybreakers. I cannot imagine this glorious creature following Ki around the way the windspren follow Kaladin. (I suppose it would explain why it’s so hard to gain Plate in that order, but I don’t believe it. Of course, the only reason it was a theory was the hinted similarity to highspren with their “human-shaped voids through which stars can be seen” description, so…)

“Spren notice when they’re being watched. Recent scholarly reports indicate spren will change based on direct individual perception. Like, you can be in another room and think about the spren, and it will respond.”

L: I’m with Adolin, this is so weird. Cool, but weird.

Relationships and Romances

“I thought we’d take a walk,” he said. “While the others eat breakfast. It feels strange to say this, but I feel like we haven’t had any time together since the boat ride.”

L: Awwww. Poor Adolin…

A: The more so because he’s not wrong. Not only are there a lot of other people around all the time, which makes time alone a rarity—on top of that, Shallan has been hiding and making Veil or Radiant take over.

Adolin reached down to take her hand and help her up onto a ridge. Touching her freehand to his skin made something spark.

His touch is a flame never extinguished. Bright and alive, and the only smoke is in his eyes

L: Hi, I’m a total romantic sap and I love everything about this.

A: Likewise—even though certain other beta readers think I have a heart of stone. (Long story for another time…) This is such a beautiful visual for their relationship. We don’t often do this, but… the title of this chapter, “A Flame Never Extinguished,” was my suggestion, and probably the one in RoW I’m most pleased to have had selected.

“Veil says you feel like you need to hide from me. But you don’t. I won’t leave, no matter what you’ve done.”

L: Oh god I love him so much. He’s such an amazing cinnamon roll.

A: You can see why Shallan is so afraid, though. He’s so perfect (no, but you know what I mean), and she feels like the scum of the earth for the truth she’s hiding (about her first spren), it’s just not possible that someone so wonderful could still accept someone so horrible. And yet, as we’ll see in the end, he’s right about this, too. Even when he knows the very worst of her, his response is to try to help heal the damage to both woman and spren. No rejection, no leaving. Not from Adolin.

“Adolin, it’s a starspren. That’s a starspren!”

He grinned, taking in its majesty.

“Holy halls!” Shallan said, scrambling to get out her sketchbook. “I have to draw it. Hold this.”

L: For all his assertions that “I don’t know the right words,” he sure knew exactly how to draw her out.

A: Heh. Guaranteed 100% effective.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I just … I’m dealing with some difficult things.”

He nodded and didn’t push her. Wonderful man.

L: He’s giving her space to deal with her own baggage. She’s right; he is a wonderful man.

The way Adolin had been pacing so much, he could probably use a nice diverting evening in her arms.

L: I often criticize Brandon for his lack of romantic chemistry between characters (hey, we’ve all got flaws, no one’s perfect… and yes, I do so to his face, too) so I’m happy to see this, honestly. No one’s expecting lurid sex scenes from him; that wouldn’t be his style at all. But admitting that there is chemistry and attraction between characters is really gratifying to see.

A: Agreed! While I’ve always understood his long-ago WoB about another couple—“They’re married, of course they’re having sex”—it is nice to have them be aware of their enjoyment of one another.

L: Pretty sure this was in regards to Vin and Elend from Mistborn, who had no chemistry whatsoever post-book-one.

A: Heh. You’re correct, that was the context. (And he made sure it wasn’t left as a question in Warbreaker.) See, this is where people say I’m just not romantic enough; I was fine with their relationship as it was, and didn’t see any need to be in the bedroom with them. I assumed, like Brandon, that he didn’t have to tell us about that side of things, and the important part was the bit that directly affected the plot. I’ll grant, though, that he could have written their personal interaction in a way that showed their attraction along with the plot-advancement conversations. Which… well, he’s gotten a lot better at that, eh?

L: Yeah, that’s what I mean by chemistry. I have no need to be in the bedroom with them, but showing romantic chemistry between two characters is a lot more than that. I’d even go so far as to say that that’s the least effective way of showing it. That’s beating you over the head with it, and it’s simply not as effective as showing things like holding hands or little smiles!

A: Very true. It’s definitely an area where he needed growth, even if some nerds ::cough:: didn’t see it at the time.

As soon as she put charcoal to paper, however, she found herself drawing Adolin as he stared up at the sky.

L: ::wistful sigh:: I’m such a hopeless romantic, I swear. I love things like this in fantasy books.

“How in the world,” she said, “did I get lucky enough to grab you, Adolin Kholin? Someone should have snatched you up years ago.”

He grinned. “They tried. I ruined it quite spectacularly each time.”

L: I really do wonder what he was doing wrong in those other cases. He doesn’t seem to make a lot of the usual “relationship mistakes” with Shallan. Maybe it was just that none of those other ladies were the right ones for him, and deep down, he knew it and was self-sabotaging them.

A: That’s always been my assumption. (Also worth noting, it seems they usually pursued him, rather than the other way round. That matters.) We’ll talk later about his first crush, but I can’t help thinking that in many of his relationships, their reaction to Renarin was a litmus test. But there’s another thing, if you look back at his initial reaction to Shallan: I think he was always looking for someone different. Someone not “the Alethi Ideal Woman” with the black hair and statuesque figure, you know? Perhaps it’s because his beloved mother was so different, and he appreciated her uniqueness. Or, you know, he just has a taste for the “exotic?”

L: I think personality matters a lot more to Adolin than looks, and let’s be honest: Most of the Alethi women in upper class society we’ve seen have been kind of snooty and full of themselves. It seems to be a societal expectation, and one that their specific society imprints on them. (At least in upper class society.) I can understand why Adolin wouldn’t be drawn to that, and would prefer someone a little more down to earth.

A: I’d bet that’s a large part of why the attraction lasted, for sure. Shallan is unexpected; for all her Lightweaver disguises and alternate personas, she’s still more genuine than many women. I mean… no Alethi lighteyes would ever ask how you poop in Shardplate!

He reached over, putting his hand on her knee, and met her gaze—almost teary-eyed. Because she understood. And storms, she did.

L: ::sniff:: It’s so beautiful.

A: It’s not exactly the best basis for a relationship (which is why I’m glad it’s not the actual basis), but they do have certain parent-problems in common, don’t they?

Bruised and Broken

Radiant tapped the top of Shallan’s sketchpad with her pencil, trying to judge whether this woman was lying. But this was Veil’s area of expertise. She’d spent over a decade being a spy.

Be careful, Shallan thought. Remember that decade of experience is imagined.

L: Interesting that it’s Shallan who points this out. Usually she’s sort of in denial over that. She is making progress, albeit slow progress.

A: Yeah, that was… odd. It seems like the sort of thing Radiant ought to be pointing out! Veil and Shallan both tend to avoid that line of thought. But now it’s Shallan reminding them. It’s good, though, at least as far as it goes.

Shallan thought she had never in her life seen something so graceful.

L: Note the name shift. It took something like this to bring Shallan forward, out of her self-imposed internal exile.

A: Funny how much I’m used to that shift by now. When Sanderson first started throwing this name-shift thing in, it felt really confusing. Now it’s a vital part of not only knowing which persona is at the forefront, it’s helping the reader see both the positive and negative effect of her three personas.

L: It’s rare that we get to talk about Adolin in this section, but:

Adolin had an unrealistic view of Dalinar. The Blackthorn had an enviable reputation, yes, but he’d clearly suffered his own failures—not the least of which had been letting his brother be assassinated. He’d certainly done less to help in that attack than Adolin had in trying to get Elhokar out of Kholinar as it fell.

Arguing was, of course, useless. Adolin should know his father’s failings better than anyone.

A: Truly, this is Adolin’s “broken piece.” Shallan is absolutely correct in the contrast between Adolin and Dalinar when Elhokar and Gavilar were killed. (Odd to note that both events happened in the Kholinar palace, not more than a matter of yards apart.) Nonetheless, Adolin has spent his entire life believing that Dalinar was the very best, despite any personal impact for himself; his mother made certain of that. I sometimes wonder if part of the reason Adolin refuses to let go of his view of Dalinar is the feeling that it would dishonor Evi—who clearly knew more of Dalinar’s failings than Adolin.

L: …clearly.

A: But he still ensured that her sons would honor their father no matter what.

L: I’m not entirely sure if raising her sons to think that he was the best thing on the planet was such a great idea. In retrospect, yeah, he turned out to be a good guy. But that’s really only because of supernatural intervention. If he’d never visited the Nightwatcher, would he have continued to be an alcoholic with anger issues? Probably.

A: I’m… torn. While I think it’s truly admirable that she never let her own frustrations show to her sons, and raised them to respect Dalinar anyway, “the best” is… a bit much! It might have been healthier to acknowledge his imperfections—but then, we got that quotation from Renarin, who was only 9 when she died, and she may have shielded him more. Probably not, though, because Adolin doesn’t seem to have any concept that his father had flaws.

Whether Adolin is aware of that aspect of his feelings (or if it even exists), we don’t know, but if true, it creates a problem. On the one hand, Evi wanted him to view his father as the “only honest officer in the army, the honorable soldier. Noble, like the Heralds themselves. The greatest man in Alethkar.” On the other hand, Dalinar’s Thrill-influenced behavior at Rathalas resulted in Evi’s death; even though he had no idea she was in harm’s way, he was ruthless and brutal in his effort to destroy Tanalan’s family, and Evi got caught in the storm. How does he best honor her memory? By honoring her desire, or by anger at Dalinar for her death? He’s going to have to work it out eventually and find a balance.

Veil normally reviled such poetic nonsense, but sometimes she could see the world as Shallan did. And it became a brighter place.

L: This is a really interesting passage. Veil is definitely a pessimist.

A: She’d probably call herself a realist, but they come down to the same thing most of the time. It’s fascinating that she can see the value in Shallan’s way of looking at the world, even though she can only rarely share it.

Out here in the caravan, rather than cooped up on the barge, she should be able to make the opportunity extremely appealing. She could perhaps pretend to get drunk. As she had the evening before the last time she knew for certain the spy had moved the device.

L: Was she really pretending? This seems like a convenient excuse for alcoholism, honestly. And we see another red flag of that here:

Maybe she ought to break out the last of the wine and force some relaxation into their stomach.

L: I’m all for a little booze here and there, but using it as a crutch like this, and as often as she is, is troublesome.

A: VERY.

“We all have reasons why we fail to live up to what we should be…”

L: Oh, Adolin.

A: He’s not wrong, but at the same time, yikes. If there’s anyone who is living up to all reasonable expectations, it’s Adolin—but he still feels guilty for not being able to do things beyond the capacity of human endeavor.

L: The grass is always greener, isn’t it? While we should always strive to be better and improve ourselves, it’s also important to be able to recognize your own strengths. Adolin certainly needs to work on that in regards to himself.

“We accomplish great things by reaching toward who we could become.”

“As long as it’s what you want to become. Not what someone else thinks you should become.”

L: Surprisingly wise words from the woman who is so afraid of others judging her actions that she’s created two/three alternate personalities in order to deal with that fear…

A: Heh. That’s our girl. Consistency is not her middle name.

“He has this misguided notion that I’ve always been better than him.

“To Father, I’m some pristine remnant of my mother—this noble little statue who got all of her goodness and none of his coarseness. He doesn’t want me to be me, or even him. He wants me to be this imagined perfect child who was born better than he ever could be.”

L: I feel like many of us have to deal, in some way, with the idea that we didn’t turn out to be who our parents wanted us to be. Sometimes it’s unfounded fear based in insecurity, and sometimes it’s true and parents do treat their children differently because they wished they had turned out differently. In this case, I think it might be a little of both. I don’t think that Dalinar has quite the “perfect vision of his son and grand expectations” that Adolin thinks he does… but is he layering some unrealistic burdens on his son? Yeah. I think so. It is possible to do emotional harm without intending to… as we see quite clearly in Urithiru, with Kaladin and Lirin. Lots of daddy issues in this book…

A: Tons of daddy issues. Speaking as a parent whose kids are reaching adulthood, there’s a strong desire for your children to “stand on your shoulders,” so to speak—to learn from your mistakes rather than repeating them, so they can go farther and do better. At the same time, it’s vital to remember that they have to make some mistakes themselves in order to learn from them; even more, you have to communicate to them in a way that allows them to comprehend the lessons you learned. In my opinion, Dalinar fails in the first of those, and Lirin fails in the second. Dalinar wants Adolin to be all the goodness Evi saw in himself, and is (in my opinion, somewhat unreasonably) disappointed every time Adolin doesn’t live up to that high ideal. (Shallan’s father had… other problems, of course, but one similar effect: an unreasonable expectation of behavior enforced by soul-killing pressure.)

L: For once, you and I are in agreement on Lirin. He absolutely fails in allowing Kaladin to make his own mistakes. The most important part there is for the parent figure to remain supportive after those mistakes are made. And hoo boy does Lirin not do that.

Cosmere Connections

…this manifested fire gave very little heat. It could be packed up and carried in your pocket. All you had to do was grab the bead. It was more like a painting of a fire that flickered and crackled like the real thing.

A: Mistborn: Secret History spoilers ahoy! I couldn’t help remarking on the similarity between this description of fire, and what Kelsier saw when Khriss and Nazh packed up to leave:

Nazh bent down and picked up the fire, making it vanish. The oversized flame just folded up upon itself in his palm, and Kelsier thought he saw a puff of mist when it did so.

A: In both cases, the fire is just an Investiture reflection of the Physical version, which Kelsier later proved to himself by also manifesting a fire, which he could then pick up and carry with him. It’s not a big deal in Rhythm of War, but I liked the callback.

Geography, History and Cultures

“What is a girl going to do with a sword? A real one, mind you.

L: ::looks at the five real ones she has hanging on the wall, whistles, looks away:: Honestly, Shallan. You’re Jasnah’s ward, or you were, at least. Maaaaaybe try not to adhere quite so tightly to the societal gender norms, eh?

A: Heh. It’s not like Shallan hasn’t been training in swordplay for the last year or so, or used a sword to good effect several times on her own… but I suppose in her mind there’s a large gap between her Shardblade and an ordinary steel sword. It’s not like lighteyed women (or 14-year-old girls) generally even want to know much about them.

L: We do see some evidence that there are women in Alethi society who struggle against this (namely, Lyn and Kara) but they’re not lighteyed. Yet more evidence that the women in upper class Alethi society just… weren’t a good match for our boy Adolin.

A: Also, love that sly dig—”A real one, mind you.”

Humans

To them this woman—as exemplified by her nickname [Stump]—would be defined by how old she was.

Veil saw more. The way Arshqqam kept her silver hair carefully braided. The engraved ring she wore on her right hand was her only jewelry, and it bore no valuable gemstone, just some milky white quartz. She argued with Adolin—one of the most powerful men in the world—as easily as she might have argued with a water bearer. There was so much to this woman, and yet they barely knew her.

A: Can I just say how much I love the Stump? There’s always been more to her than was visible on the surface, and I’d really love to know her story. From her affection for the nickname given her by the children, to her quiet confidence, to her willingness to point out the flaws in a plan put together by the most powerful people in the world, she’s an enigma.

“Zu?” Adolin asked the final Radiant.

The golden-haired woman leaned back and shrugged. “I’m not one for politics. I’ll tell them they’re being storming stupid if they think they can ride this.”

L: Storms, I love her.

A: Totally! And her response when Godeke points out that her own people are also trying to ride it? “My people are storming stupid.” And she just shrugs. Maybe becoming a Radiant tends to make people less worried about what the rest of the world thinks of them! (That would actually make a lot of sense; as a Radiant, you’ve got a bonded spren whose opinion of you matters way more than a bunch of muggles.)

L: I think having a great deal of power and being nearly invincible helps with that, too. Why care about how someone views you, when you could literally fly over their head, or make yourself look however you want, or heal someone from the brink of death?

“I overheard her making fun of Renarin to her friends,” Adolin said. “She said some … nasty things. That ruined something in me. She was gorgeous, Shallan. At the time, my little mind figured she must be the most divine thing that ever walked the land.

“Then I heard her saying those things. I don’t think I’d ever realized, until that moment, that a person could be beautiful and ugly at the same time.”

L: Some people never realize this, or just… don’t care. It says a lot about Adolin that he does care about whether or not someone’s beautiful on the inside. And I love that Shallan points this out, too:

“It’s a lesson a lot of people never learn, Adolin.”

L: But following this is the thing that I find most endearing and lovely about Adolin’s character:

“Thing is, there’s more to it. She was newly moved into the city, and was desperate to find a place.”

L: Adolin shows so much empathy towards others! He’s proof that it’s possible to hate what someone is doing, but sympathize with why they’re doing it, and give them some grace.

A: Adolin is such an Edgedancer in spirit. As I mentioned above, I think it’s entirely possible that a number of his relationships failed simply because the woman in question either reacted badly to Renarin himself, or displayed characteristics that indicated she would not be sympathetic or understanding toward anyone “different.” He’d be too kind to blaze up at them and tell them they’re behaving badly (especially since it’s such an Alethi thing to do), but once it came out, he would lose interest and find an excuse to make her dump him. At least that’s my theory!

Brilliant Buttresses

“Storms!” she said. “It’s posing. Vainglorious spren monster.

L: This is so utterly charming to me on a few different levels.

A: That whole scene just has me gushing every time I reread it. It’s priceless and hilarious and beautiful.

“Well, she kept talking about how she loved swords. And how I was supposed to have a great sword. And how she wanted to see me wield my sword. And…”

“And what?”

“I bought her a sword,” he said, shrugging. “As a gift.”

L: Adolin, you sweet innocent summer child, I adore you. Also, this entire interaction has me rolling on the floor laughing. Sword, indeed!

 

We’ll be leaving further speculation and discussion to you in the comments, so have fun and remember to be respectful of the opinions of others! Next week, we’ll be back with chapter 35, in which Adolin picks a fight, and wins against all odds.

Alice is having a lovely beta year, and hopes you all are having a good time as well. Also, the rhododendrons are beautiful this time of year.

Lyndsey has been a Sanderson beta reader since Words of Radiance and is also a fantasy author herself. She’s been doing weekly tie-in videos to the reread and silly cosmere cosplay vids on TikTok, or you can follow her on Facebook or Instagram.

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