Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson

Rhythm of War Reread: Chapter Sixty-One

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It’s Thursday again! Time to put on your Cosmere Chicken mindset and dig into another chapter of Rhythm of War, folks. This is a long, dense chapter. Navani and Kaladin confer, which is always cool. Then Raboniel pulls some carrot-and-stick shenanigans on Navani, and while the stick is thoroughly infuriating, the carrot is awesome. Scholarly pursuits of the inner workings of Investiture always make us geek out around here. Come on in and join the discussion!

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 mention something from White Sand in the Epigraph section, so if you haven’t read it, be warned. It’s more about the way Taldain magic tools work than about the plot, if that helps.

Heralds: Battah (Battar). Elsecallers. Wise/Careful. Role: Counsellor.

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

A: Okay, this week it’s really just a guess as to why these Heralds were chosen. So far as I know, there are no Elsecallers or Lightweavers active in the chapter, but one or the other must have been involved in setting up the tower’s protections (I assume). Therefore, I’m going with the Heralds representing the person(s) who created the Soulcasting fabrial that creates the bubble of glass around the gemstone column.

P: As there’s really no indication of anything else in this chapter that might reflect an Elsecaller or a Lightweaver, I think you’re exactly right on this one.

Icon: Fabrial Gemstone, for Navani’s POV.

Epigraph: From Rhythm of War, Page 13

In other circumstances, I would be fascinated by this sand to the point of abandoning all other rational pursuits. What is it? Where did it come from?

A: Well, that’s a broad hint well in advance. We had one mention of sand earlier, when the Deepest Ones noted that it didn’t work when they were searching for the second node; here we have a further mention of really interesting sand that fascinates an artifabrian. What could it be? We’ll get to see it working, of course—probably at the point that Navani writes this journal entry-but for anyone who was wondering… (SPOILER ALERT!)… this would be “white sand” from Taldain, which reacts to the use of Investiture.

P: And now I need to go reread before we get to Navani actually using the sand.

A: Right? I so badly need to reread that.

Chapter Recap

WHO: Navani
WHEN: 1175.4.7.2 (The day after the destruction of the second node in Chapter 60)
WHERE: Urithiru

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

RECAP: Navani and Kaladin have a debriefing session via the Sibling, catching up on the events of the previous evening—not reaching the Oathgates, stealing the spanreeds, and destroying the second node. Navani mulls her plans for working toward freedom, and implements the first small step in one of them before being summoned by Raboniel. Admonishing her for the intentional delay of her scholars’ work, Raboniel puts Navani in isolation, but distracts her from the restrictions by sharing other information gained the previous evening: the means by which the Sibling is protected, the existence of both Lifelight and Towerlight, and an opportunity to understand it better.

Overall Reactions

I failed, Kaladin said.

“No,” Navani said softly, but firmly. “Highmarshal, your job is not to save the tower. Your job is to buy me time enough to reverse what has been done. You didn’t fail. You accomplished something incredible, and because of it we can still fight.”

His reply was long in coming. Thank you, he said, his voice bolstered. I needed to hear those words.

P: I think Kaladin very much needed to hear those words from Navani. Reassurance is something that’s nearly impossible to ask for sometimes; we know how often he blames himself for not being good enough or simply not doing enough. Navani said just the right thing to him here and Honor love her for it.

A: Exactly right. It’s a beautiful combination of 100% correct, and 100% what he needed to hear. He’s so quick to feel like he’s responsible for All The Things, and he needs this reminder that no, the bigger issue is something he can’t fix. He has to trust Navani with that, and just give her time to work. I love it. Partly, I love Navani coming into her own as a leader, a scholar, and a scientist all at once; partly, I love seeing Kaladin getting a much-needed break. Not that he’ll take one, really, but at least he doesn’t spend the rest of the book trying to be responsible for everything. (Just… most of it.)

We need to warn Dalinar, Kaladin said. Maybe we could get half of one of these spanreeds to him.

“I don’t know how we’d accomplish that,” Navani said.

Well, I guess it depends on how far down the tower’s defenses go. It’s possible I could leap off a ledge, fall far enough to get outside the suppression, then activate my Lashings. But that would leave you without access to a Radiant. Honestly, I’m loath to suggest it. I don’t know if I could leave, considering how things are.

P: They should both know how futile it would be to try to get a spanreed to Dalinar. They have no access to Oathgates, Kaladin doesn’t have Gravitation, and don’t even think about jumping off the Tower, young man. And yes, no leaving the Tower with Teft down as he is. He needs you. The Tower needs you.

A: Yeah, that’s got to be just about the worst idea he’s ever come up with. The only free Radiant in the Tower should not be risking a suicidal jump on the chance that he might get free of the suppression field before he hits the ground. That’s just stupid. (Hey, someone should ask Brandon sometime: When he did jump to save his father, would Kaladin have gotten out of the suppression before he hit the ground, or did he only survive because he reached the Fourth Ideal and could overcome the suppression?)

“Keep watch for Lift; the Sibling has lost track of her, but she was awake like you are.”

P: It’s interesting that there’s no discussion of how she could still be awake like Kaladin is awake. His situation is because he’s so close to the Fourth Ideal, though I don’t know if he realizes that, or if Navani does.

A: Hmm, I don’t remember if they know anything about that. Probably not, come to think of it. We can make some solid guesses, but… yeah, why don’t they talk about her?

She conversed softly with Rushu, explaining her plans for the next phase of time-wasting.

Rushu approved, but Navani felt annoyed as she moved on. I need to do more than waste time, Navani thought. I need to work toward our freedom.

She’d been formulating her plan. Step one was to continue making certain they didn’t lose ground, and Kaladin would have to handle that. Step two was getting word to Dalinar. Now that she had spanreeds, perhaps she could find a way.

It was the third step that currently concerned her.

P: Again, getting word to Dalinar is all but impossible, just wishful thinking. Though it’s good that she’s going through her wishlist, so to speak, as it helped her realize that the lift-gauntlet could be handy for Kaladin. Handy… heh…

A: Paige. That was a terrible pun.

P: I am not a master but I do try!

A: Okay, I’ll admit it. You made me laugh out loud. So… maybe not so terrible. Or it’s getting late, one of the two.

Navani felt smothered by it all. She needed to fix a problem using mechanisms she didn’t understand—and indeed had learned about only days ago.

A: I truly feel for her here. The whole weight of resistance is, at this point, on Navani and Kaladin—and Navani has to find the solutions and figure out how to implement them. They know they’ll get help and support from other people, but all the support in the world doesn’t get you to a solution; you have to work it out.

P: Exactly, you have to solve that problem first. And Navani’s got some big problems right now. She’s managing as best she can but she has to do more than just manage—she has to find a way to preserve the pillar and the integrity of the Tower. That is definitely a tall order.

A: As tall as… the tower, one might say.

Raboniel. Navani took a deep breath, composing herself and smothering her spike of anxiety. Raboniel would likely be unhappy about what had happened last night. Hopefully she didn’t suspect Navani’s part in it.

A: Since I’m pretty sure Raboniel is already having someone listen in on the Sibling’s conversations, she probably knows all about Navani’s part—but she doesn’t care. Navani is a resource, and not one Raboniel is willing to waste.

P: Though Navani didn’t really have anything to do with the events the previous night. The Sibling contacted Kaladin directly. Of course, I’m sure she means her overall involvement, but I rather think that Raboniel is more interested in than unhappy about Navani’s interactions with the Sibling and with Kaladin.

A: Raboniel definitely likes having the intel, no denying that, but I think you’re right—she’s much more interested in their interaction than unhappy they’ve found a way to communicate.

“Your scholars,” Raboniel finally noted, “do not seem to be making much progress. They were to deliver up to my people fabrials to test.”

“My scholars are frightened and unnerved, Ancient One,” Navani said. “It might take weeks before they feel up to true studies again.”

“Yes, and longer, if you continue having them repeat work in an effort to not make progress.”

She figured that out faster than I anticipated, Navani thought…

A: It’s rather fun watching these two underestimate each other. It would be more fun if Navani weren’t so much worse than Raboniel at the game. Of course, there’s more to it than that; Raboniel has nothing to lose by sitting back, watching, waiting, and using her past experience with humans to help her figure out what Navani is up to. Having someone listening in on the Sibling’s communications helps, too. Navani, on the other hand, has no prior experience with Fused to help her—and many years with those who look (sort of) like Raboniel having barely enough intelligence to speak two words together.

Even so, the number of times Navani simply amazes Raboniel with her scholarship and the progress of scientific methodology over the years… it’s fun to watch. Tense, but fun.

P: And they underestimate each other a lot! Though, as you say, Raboniel has much more experience than Navani, though it’s fun to see Navani spring something on her, like using an emulsifier to mix oil and water, which Raboniel didn’t know was possible.

Here a common singer soldier in warform was working under the direction of several Fused. With a Shardblade.

They’d known the singers had claimed some Blades from the humans they’d fought—but Navani recognized this one. It had belonged to her son. Elhokar’s Blade, Sunraiser.

Navani kept her face impassive only with great effort, though the anxietyspren faded and an agonyspren arrived instead: an upside-down face carved from stone pressing out from the wall nearby. It betrayed her true emotions. That loss ran deep.

Raboniel glanced at it, but said nothing. Navani kept her eyes forward.

A: Ouch. That hurts. And the next bit, about crying for her child again tonight… I don’t really care how you feel about Elhokar, Navani loved her son, and this is brutal. She knew his faults and weaknesses—most mothers do, whether they admit it or not—but that doesn’t make it the slightest bit easier to lose your child.

P: Yes, this harsh reminder that Elhokar is dead is a punch to the gut for Navani, for sure. This is a simple reminder that she is still mourning him. I was hoping that Raboniel would say something about the agonyspren, though she’ll understand in a moment.

“We could unravel its secrets, if we tried together,” Raboniel said, “instead of wasting our time watching one another for hidden motives.”

“This is true, Ancient One,” Navani said. “But if you want my cooperation and goodwill, perhaps you shouldn’t flaunt in front of me the Blade taken from the corpse of my son.”

A: Tell her off, Navani!

I mean… Raboniel is right, that they could do some amazing things by working together. For what it’s worth, I believe Raboniel when she says she didn’t know this was Elhokar’s Blade; at the same time, I’m a little surprised she didn’t find out things like this. She seems very thorough in general. And I’m glad Navani snapped at her.

P: I was SO GLAD she said this! This relays so much information to Raboniel. That Navani’s son is dead (which she may or may not have known), that he was a Shardbearer, and that he was killed in the singer incursion into Alethkar. This adds another layer to Navani that Raboniel will have to peel away in order to develop some kind of working relationship with her.

A: On a side note, though, I’m fascinated by this next bit. Navani wonders why the Fused give the captured Shardblades to the common soldiers instead of keeping them, and Raboniel says:

“Some Fused do keep the Blades we capture,” Raboniel said. “The ones who enjoy the pain.”

A: Does this imply what I think it does? That the Fused also hear the screams of the “dead” spren, like a Radiant would? If so… why?

P: This is precisely what I took from it, that they hear the screams of the spren. I can’t fathom why they would hear the screams, unless wielding a Blade causes them literal physical pain. But we have no explanation either way.

“Now, I fear I must make some changes in how you and your scholars operate. You are distracted, naturally, by preventing them from giving me too much information. I have unconsciously put you in a position where your obvious talents are wasted by foolish politicking.”

A: Okay, honestly, she’s not wrong. Navani can do so much more. At the same time, it’s infuriating to see her isolated and… dare I say enslaved? As much as I love reading Navani’s research, and as much as she loves making the discoveries, her first priority is still her people, and Raboniel is deliberately cutting her off from doing anything to help them. Okay, so it’s the conqueror’s prerogative to make sure the conquered leadership is rendered ineffective, but… it still makes me mad. On a first read, it was such a consolation knowing that Navani could still keep in touch through the Sibling; now, that’s just an even more painful thought, because Raboniel has access to every tiny bit of Navani’s communication.

P: Navani is capable of so much more; she just refuses to see her worth as a scholar. And yes, she is now going to be isolated from her people, and that does hurt. We’re obviously #TeamNavani here, and though I do love watching her experiment and learn, it is heartbreaking to know that Raboniel sees through everything and has so much more knowledge, in general, and regarding the goings on in the Tower and Navani’s “secret” communications.

A: Heartbreaking is the word. Some of this is worse on a reread; the first time through, there were hopeful bits (like secretly talking to Kaladin and the Sibling), but on a reread when you know it’s not secret at all, it’s painful.

I should also note that the timing of this in the beta was… really terrible. Keeping in mind that this whole thing had been outlined and written months before we saw it, we read about Navani being isolated in early March, 2020—just about the time the first round of COVID-19 lockdowns was going into effect. The isolation we were experiencing magnified Navani’s isolation in some visceral ways.

Raboniel had a long stride, and used it purposely to force Navani to hurry to match her.

A: Okay, I know this is a very minor thing, but… why? I can see why Raboniel does this, but why does Navani allow herself to be manipulated like this? Why does she not just walk at her normal pace and make Raboniel wait? What’s she going to do—pick her up and carry her? Drag her?

P: It’s just a power play. Men do that kind of thing to women all the time, whether consciously, or not. Raboniel is most definitely doing it consciously. Though I agree that Navani could have used the same tactic by walking slowly and not allowing herself to be dragged along in tow.

A: Yeah. Navani clearly sees through it-so why does she go along with it? It’s not like her. Or… maybe it is. She went along with Gavilar’s manipulation, after all; maybe she got used to it.

“Fascinating…”

Don’t get taken in, Navani. She wants you to think like a scholar, not like a queen. She wants you working for her, not against her.

A: And there’s the big dilemma of the next… forty or so chapters (or at least the ones with Navani in them). I find myself dreading some aspects of this reread.

P: And yet Navani does work for her in the end. Though the knowledge will definitely benefit both sides.

A: She does. In the end, they both benefit, and Navani even gets the visible win. It’s just hard to see her so conflicted between not helping Raboniel, and learning all she can about Light.

Music, Mechanisms, and Manifestations of Light

I did snatch some spanreeds for you. Full sets, it turns out, twelve of them. Syl has been inspecting them, and she thinks she knows the reason they work. Brightness, the spren inside have been corrupted, like Renarin’s spren. The rubies work on Voidlight now, as you suspected, and these spren must be the reason.

Navani let out a long breath. This had been one of her guesses; she hadn’t wanted it proven. If she needed to acquire corrupted spren, she was unlikely to be able to get any fabrials working without Raboniel knowing.

P: And here’s me no longer wondering if Navani ever found out about the spanreeds. I’d forgotten that Kaladin would use their gemstones to power the lift-gauntlet!

A: Heh. Yeah, I’d forgotten about that too. I couldn’t remember them ever actually using the spanreeds to communicate… because they didn’t.

What was a smaller problem she could fix? Helping Kaladin move faster up and down through the tower? Was there a hidden lift that she could…

Wait.

A way for one person to quickly get up and down, she thought. Storms.

A: It’s such a hoot to see the lift-gauntlet from clear back in Chapter 37 making an unexpected comeback. At the time, it’s the kind of thing you figure will be useful sometime, or it probably wouldn’t be there… but then all the other stuff goes down and you forget about it. Or at least I do. In any case, I’m pretty sure no one guessed Kaladin would be using it to get around in a Tower where Gravitation didn’t work.

P: When Navani was pretty much dismissing its usefulness earlier, not even we had an idea that it would become so useful to Kaladin. I look forward to talking about him using it!

“Brightness?” Tomor said. “What if I get caught?”

“You might be killed,” she whispered. “But it is a risk we must take. A Radiant still fights, Tomor, and he needs your device to climb between floors.”

Tomor’s eyes lit up. “My device… Stormblessed needs it?”

A: D’awww. How cool is that for the kid? Stormblessed himself needs that gauntlet! The initial concern is a valid one; he could get in big trouble if he’s caught. I suspect he thinks the risk is worth taking, on the whole.

P: I love Navani’s comment that he might get killed… Lord Farquaad, anyone? But yeah, Tomor getting excited about Stormblessed needing his device is a very cool moment for this young scholar. And awesome that he’s aware that Kaladin is awake and resisting! Go Team Radiant!

The warform carved off a chunk, which evaporated to nothing before it hit the floor—and the shield restored itself just as quickly. The warform tried again, attempting to dig faster. After a few minutes of watching, Navani could tell the effort was futile. The bubble regrew too quickly.

A: Um… I’m just going to let this slide on into the next section—the one that explains why the bubble regrows.

P: I still couldn’t help but be worried that this would somehow weaken the protections.

A glass globe? Yes, like the one that had been near the first node Navani had activated.

“When we discovered the node operating the field, this was connected to it,”

A: (And now we know why Kaladin couldn’t see it when he got back there. Raboniel had picked it up to take with her.)

“It’s a reproduction of the crystal pillar room,” Navani said, her eyes widening. “You don’t suppose…”

“That’s how the field is created,” Raboniel said, tapping the globe with an orange carapace fingernail. “It’s a type of Soulcasting. The fabrial is persuading the air in a sphere around the pillar to think it is solid glass. That’s why cutting off a piece accomplishes nothing.”

“That’s incredible,” Navani said. “An application of the Surge I never anticipated. It’s not a full transformation, but a half state somehow. Kept in perpetual stasis, using this globe as a model to mimic…”

A: And now I’m every bit as distracted as Navani! This is so creative, so unexpected. For all the scientific advancement of the last thousand years or so, this is an application of Soulcasting that none of us could have anticipated. To be fair, of course Navani hasn’t had trained Elsecallers or Lightweavers to work with; maybe they could have figured this out eventually.

P: NOW we know what the storming thing is for! It’s Soulcasting the pillar’s protection. So very cool!

A small diamond the size of Navani’s thumb, full of Stormlight. But… was the hue faintly off? Navani held it up, frowning, turning it over in her fingers. She couldn’t tell without a Stormlight sphere to compare it to, but it did seem this color was faintly teal.

A: First off, a small diamond the size of her thumb? How big are the big ones? More importantly, though, this is clearly the diamond Kaladin saw Raboniel filling in the previous chapter.

P: Yeah, even if it just means the last knuckle of her thumb, that’s pretty substantial to be called “small.” And it’s definitely the stone that Kaladin saw Raboniel filling… she wasn’t going to miss her chance at siphoning some Towerlight.

“The third Light. I knew it. The moment I learned about Voidlight, I wondered. Three gods. Three types of Light.”

“Ah,” Raboniel said, “but this isn’t the third Light. We call that Lifelight. Cultivation’s power, distilled. This is something different. Something unique. It is the reason I came to this tower. It is a mixing of two. Stormlight and Lifelight. Like…”

“Like the Sibling is a child of both Honor and Cultivation,” Navani said.

A: Oh, crikey. I’m having a hard time not just copying in everything they say in this next section. So much coolness here! (Okay, so much coolness for the geeks who like knowing how things work, anyway…) Right here we get the evidence that yes, there is a Light for each of the three Shards here in the Rosharan system. That in itself is pretty exciting. Beyond that, though, she throws at us the idea of mixing the Lights. Theoretically, they could create three other Lights. And the mind is boggled.

It’s always fun to watch Navani put the pieces together, and in this case she thinks about the Sibling’s statement about “their Light” not working. She’s getting hold of a lot of things here. It will be a while until she can fix it, but she’s collecting the pieces.

P: All of the infodumping that Raboniel does has to be huge for Navani. All of this knowledge just plopped right in her lap because Raboniel doesn’t see a reason to withhold it. It’s got to be mind-boggling for her. She’s completely geeking out and watching her geek out makes me geek out, too!

A: Right? It’s almost funny how much lore Navani gets dumped on her while working with Raboniel. They really are both such scholars; you have to appreciate Raboniel’s willingness to share knowledge that may lead to discoveries. Many wouldn’t do that, despite the potential.

“What could we do with this power if we truly understood it? This Towerlight is proof that Stormlight and Lifelight can mix and create something new. Can the same be done with Stormlight and Voidlight? Or will that prove impossible, since the two are opposites?”

“Are they, though?” Navani asked.

“Yes. Like night and day or oil and water. But perhaps we can find a way to put them together. If so, it could be a … model, perhaps, of our peoples. A way toward unity instead of strife. Proof that we, although opposites, can coexist.”

Navani stared at the Towerlight sphere, and she felt compelled to correct one thing. “Oil and water aren’t opposites.”

A: Bahahahaha!! I love this. I can so relate to the “compelled to correct one thing” mentality. The funny thing is, that’s where the breakthrough is going to come. Raboniel, once again, is making assumptions about the science which Navani challenges due to more recent information. The key to scientific progress is acknowledging your assumptions (a key far too many “scientists” like to ignore, to their shame), and Raboniel needs Navani’s correction in order to recognize her own incorrect assumptions. It’s one of the things I most admire about her, actually: When her assumptions are challenged, she’s willing to consider that she might be wrong. You have to prove it, of course (in this case, something Navani does very easily), but she’s smart enough to accept the correction.

P: I adore that she had to correct Raboniel about oil and water being opposites. “Actually…” That was too perfect. And, of course, sets us up for later experiments.

“I… have accepted ancient philosophy as fact for too long, I see,” Raboniel said. “I call myself a scholar, but today I feel a fool.”

“Everyone has holes in their knowledge. There is no shame in ignorance.”

A: Sometimes it makes me sad that these two are on opposite sides of the conflict. Can you imagine what they could have done together if they’d truly been working toward the same purposes?

P: They made a great team even when at odds with each other. It is sad. Though Raboniel was crazy in her own way, she did have her moments of likeability.

A: She did. And I find that coloring my perception of her in these early days.

“The various forms of Light do have opposites,” Raboniel said. “I am certain of it. Yet I must think on what you’ve shown me.”

A: Indeed. And we will learn about them, and they will change the world. (I’m honestly terrified at what might be done with the anti-Lights in the next book.)

P: Same. Terrified of how they’ll be used against humanity and our Radiants.

Spren and Shadesmar

“I need to understand more about how these various forms of Light work.”

I don’t think I can explain much, the Sibling said. For me, it all simply worked. Like a human child can breathe, so I used to make and use Light. And then… the tones went away… and the Light left me.

A: Frustrating as it is, this makes a lot of sense—and also provides a plausible explanation for why the Sibling isn’t more useful in the project at hand. The story definitely needed that.

P: It does make some sense that the Sibling didn’t quite know how Towerlight worked. It just did.

For now, you need to tell me where the other nodes are.”

No. Defend them once they are found.

“If I knew where at least one of them was, I could come up with plots to deflect the enemy’s attention.”

Come up with those plots first, the Sibling said. Then talk to me again.

A: The first time through, I was so frustrated with the Sibling for what appeared to be a childish stubbornness on this subject. Given what we learned later, though… wow. They were right to be so secretive.

P: They were so right. Though their distrust was pointed at the wrong people.

Geography, History, and Cultures

The tower regulated pressure and heat for those living inside—and it had once done a far better job of this, along with performing a host of other vital functions.

Most of that, including the tower’s protections against Fused, had ended around the Recreance. The time when the Radiants had abandoned their oaths—and the time when the ancient singers had been transformed into parshmen, their songs and forms stolen. The actions of those ancient Radiants had somehow broken the tower—and Raboniel, by filling the tower with Voidlight, was starting to repair it in a twisted way.

A: We talked about the implications of this in an earlier section, but I want to touch on the historical aspect of it (again). We know by now that the Recreance itself was a joint decision of the Radiants and their spren. We also know by now that the reason it killed the spren, along with making the singers into parshmen, was something to do with Ba-Ado-Mishram being trapped in a gemstone. (Navani doesn’t yet know that, of course; Shallan only learns some of it at the very end of the book.) What we don’t know is whether it was that entrapment that broke the Sibling’s ability to make their light, or if that was solely due to the final death of Honor—or if those two events are also tied together. What think you all?

P: All I can say to this at this point is that I can’t wait for Shallan to actually share information with both Jasnah and Navani. Scholar slumber party!

A: Oh, I can’t wait to see that! I sincerely hope they get together; they have each learned so much, and I want to see the discoveries that result when they pool the information. (At the same time, I’m a little fearful that it might not happen…)

Arresting Artwork

In case you can’t read that, it says:

Singer folios focus on how fashion augments singer forms and skin patterns. Specifically, this plate illustrates how a Fused might dress their envoyform Voice in a way that demands attention in a crowded gathering.

A: I was initially wondering if Venli has ever worn this kind of get-up, and then I realized that we really haven’t gotten much description of Venli’s clothing. I seem to recall some mention in Oathbringer where she was starting to feel a bit ragged, and I have a vague notion of practical clothing for the trek through the mountains to Urithiru. I guess she doesn’t particularly care about her clothes, so we don’t get to see much.

P: I guess I don’t much think about her clothing, since, as you say, she doesn’t focus on it. I envision her in simple clothing that I think the listeners might have worn. Though I imagine Leshwi or Raboniel might want her looking more, umm, regal, for lack of a better word! In fact, didn’t we see her in a robe in Alethkar?

A: I don’t remember for sure. Speaking of fashion, though… Navani notices things, and this was interesting. I’m not entirely sure what it’s supposed to imply, but here it is:

Raboniel wore a gown today, though of no cut Navani recognized. Loose and formless, it felt like what an Alethi woman would wear to bed. Though the Fused wore it well with her tall figure, it was strangely off-putting to see her in something that seemed more regal than martial.

A: I’m mildly amused by the conflation of “what an Alethi woman would wear to bed” and “something that seemed more regal than martial.” Umm… really?

P: I highly doubt that most Alethi women would wear to bed anything remotely resembling what a queen would wear to bed.

Brilliant Buttresses

“I am accustomed to working directly with my scholars. They are far more efficient when I am personally directing their efforts.”

“I find it difficult to imagine them being less efficient than they are currently, Navani.”

A: Oh, burn!

P: Point to Raboniel.

“If you intend to use ciphers to give hidden instructions to your scholars, kindly make them difficult ones. The spren I will use to unravel your true messages do like a challenge. It gives them more variety in existence.”

A: Umm… ::gigglesnort::

P: Give us a fun puzzle to solve, girl!

 

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 62, a flashback in which Venli presents the family elders with a trapped spren that will probably give warform, and Eshonai worries about their mother’s failing mind.

Alice lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two kids, and would like to wish you all the very best of this holiday season, whatever you celebrate. From her home to yours, Merry Christmas!

Paige resides in New Mexico, of course. She works full-time, goes to school full-time, beta reads part-time, mods/admins 3 Stormlight-themed Facebook groups part-time, and writes part-time. She wishes sleep wasn’t necessary (one day she’ll learn Brandon’s secret) because there’s just too storming much to do! Links to her other writing are available in her profile.

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