Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson

Rhythm of War Reread: Chapter Seventy-Four

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Here we are again, so it must be Thursday! This week, the reread returns to “present time” Venli, to show some major character progression in our favorite Willshaper. (Okay, our only Willshaper, but that makes her our favorite, right?) Now, though, Rlain is stepping forward in the narrative, along with Lirin and Hesina. 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 there are no Cosmere spoilers.

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

A: My bet is that Vedel is here mostly for the setting—the infirmary where Lirin and Hesina are caring for the unconscious Radiants. I couldn’t help noticing, though, that by contrast to the previous (flashback) chapter, Venli has come a long way in being “healed”—first, of her connection to the Voidspren and Odium, and secondly of her arrogance and egocentricity. She’s much more aware of her own faults and her responsibilities, and if she’s still fearful… well, getting caught at what she’s doing is plenty of reason!

Icon: The Singer, for a Venli POV chapter.

Epigraph:

Words.

I used to be good with words.

I used to be good at a lot of things.

A: I don’t know that it’s actually spelled out anywhere, but this series of epigraphs is apparently Kalak’s journal, or series of notes at least. It may be part of what he was writing during Adolin’s trial, even. It reveals a man who is barely even a shadow of his heroic days as a Herald; a shadow can be more definite than he is.

This week, it would seem that he’s having trouble figuring out how to say what he wants to say, and sees it as part of his general decline.

P: He’s definitely declining, as we’ll eventually see. And this epigraph speaks to that.

Chapter Recap

WHO: Venli
WHEN: 1175.4.8.3 (The 17th Shard timeline places this at three days after the events at the Well. If so, it’s out of order with some of the other chapters in this section, even the ones taking place in Urithiru.)
WHERE: Urithiru, mostly the Radiant infirmary

(Note: For the “when” notations, we are using this wonderful timeline provided by the folks at The 17th Shard. Except… um… for some reason, when you follow that link the relevant portion of the timeline has been blanked out, so I don’t know what that means.)

RECAP: Venli and Rlain nervously make their way through the halls of Urithiru, trying to look like everything is normal and he’s just a servant carrying a large crate for her. When they finally reach their destination—the Radiant infirmary—it turns out that the crate is the only surviving set of detailed maps of the Tower. Rlain hopes that hiding them from the Fused will protect Kaladin; Venli hopes she can figure out a way to escape through the lower tunnels; Lirin hopes turning them over to the Fused would gain favor. (It’s unclear what Hesina hopes, and Oroden just wants to play with the tubes.) A group of humans enter, bringing water; Lirin and Venli discover that several of them are wearing shash glyphs painted on their foreheads, in imitation of Kaladin’s brand. Lirin worries that honoring Kaladin might lead them to a foolish resistance that will make things worse; Venli sees it as a way of giving themselves much-needed hope.

Chapter Chatter—Self-Awareness

A: One of the things that seem to happen to me when I start rereading in depth: I start to sympathize with characters I’d previously disliked. (Worth noting, Amaram and Moash haven’t gained any points this way…) (P: Ditto.) I was noted for my unpopular view that Cadsuane was awesome—a view I only developed during Leigh Butler’s Wheel of Time reread when many commenters were hating on her. Here, you may have noticed that even while I hate some of the things he does, I rather like Lirin as a person. And now… well, I’m starting to have a much greater appreciation for Venli. I’m sure there will still be many times when I’d like to smack her for one reason or another, but the more we dig into her thoughts and experiences, the more I enjoy her growth. She may still have a long way to go, but her growing dislike of her own faults and failures, and her longing to be better, are starting to make me like her more.

P: For me, it’s like the Venli from the last chapter and the Venli from this chapter are two completely different people. I can read the last chapter and be angry and frustrated with her, and then turn the page to this chapter and boom, I like this character. I don’t know if that says more about Brandon’s writing or my own brain, but there it is.

A: Yes. It took a while for me, but Sanderson is definitely playing with our minds here. Back in Words of Radiance, Venli was pretty despicable, and it seemed clear that she’d been using some form of power for many years. Sometimes it’s hard to reconcile this new proto-Willshaper with the nasty piece of work she used to be.

Venli tried to attune the Rhythm of Conceit as she walked the halls of Urithiru. She kept finding the Rhythm of Anxiety instead. It was difficult to attune an emotion she didn’t feel; doing so felt like a worse kind of lie than she normally told. Not a lie to others, or to herself. A lie to Roshar.

A: As noted above, this chapter might be technically out of chronological order with, say, Navani’s chapters. Despite that, it definitely needs to be right next to the flashback. We talked last week about Venli’s moments of realization that Ulim was manipulating her; this week, we see her observing her own behavior, both present and past, and… not really liking herself very much because of it. In this opening paragraph, she acknowledges that she’s constantly lying, but feels like this is the worst kind of lie—to attune the wrong rhythm. Is that because she’s not only attuning an emotion she doesn’t feel, but also attuning a Voidish rhythm? Is that how she’s lying to the world itself?

P: “A worse kind of lie than she normally told.”  At least she can admit that she’s a liar. Only I don’t personally feel that lying to the Fused is a bad thing; she’s trying to survive and she’s trying to save some remnant of the singers, which is more than she did for her own people.

But to your question, I feel like she thinks trying to attune the wrong rhythm is a lie to Roshar.

Timbre, for all her wisdom, was wrong in this. Ulim had heightened Venli’s ambitions, her arrogance, but she’d given him the tools to work with. A part of her continued to feel some of those things. Worse, Ulim had occasionally left her gemheart during those days, and she’d still gone through with those plans, without his influence.

She might not bear full blame for what had happened. But she’d been a willing part of it.

A: Timbre thinks that Venli isn’t to blame, because of Ulim’s manipulation—and Venli notes that Timbre’s excuses for her sound a lot like what Ulim used to say. Right now, I’m having a hard time putting my finger on why Timbre’s input feels so much better than Ulim’s. Aside from Honor vs. Odium, why is it so different? Both kept a “formspren” (for lack of a better term) captive in her gemheart; both hid their presence from everyone else and insisted she also keep them secret; both spent a lot of time telling Venli that none of the bad things were her fault, and encouraging her to do the things they wanted her to do.

Okay, bear with me while I work on this with both hands for a few minutes. Ulim was lying most of the time, while Timbre is truthful according to what she knows/believes, so there’s that. He had every intention of using her to completely destroy her people in the service of bringing the Fused back to Roshar, while Timbre is hoping to give Venli the power to bring her people back to their full potential. (To be fair, Roshar was the original home of the Fused every bit as much as anyone else; I’m not sure that justifies destroying the remnants of their original race.) I think a lot of it comes down to this: Timbre is of the Shards who first came to Roshar with the (apparent) intent to build up and care for its peoples, while Odium is an interloper who came to destroy those Shards for the purpose of being the only god left standing.

P: I also believe Timbre over Ulim because Ulim used Venli for his own purposes, for his own plan. Or for Odium’s plan, rather. Timbre is on Venli’s side. Come hell or high water, she is on Venli’s side and wants what’s the best for Venli. That’s why I trust Timbre.

A: True. She’s sometimes almost willfully blind to Venli’s faults, but Timbre wants Venli to be the best she can be. Ulim just wanted an effective tool.

Now she had to do her best to make up for it. So she kept her head high, walking as if she owned the tower, trailed by Rlain, who carried the large crate as if on her orders.

P: Can I just say how much I love that Venli wants to make up for it? That she wants to do better and she wants to redeem her actions? That’s why I really like this character now: She’s realized she was wrong and she’s trying to make amends in whatever way she can.

And yay! Rlain! “As if” on her orders. Glad that was specified.

A: Wanting to make up for it is hugely important to her development, and to any chance of the reader accepting the changes in her. It’s good to know that she sees Rlain as her equal in her own thoughts, and is conscious of the pretense here. Another “lie” she’s telling—but fully justifiable for the purpose of keeping them both alive and functioning.

Head high. Hum to Conceit. Walk slowly but deliberately. By the time they reached the Radiant infirmary, Venli’s nerves were so tight she could have played a rhythm on them. She shut the door after Rlain—they’d recently had it installed by some human workers—and finally attuned Joy.

P: Joy is an odd choice. I would have expected something more akin to relief. But Joy? Is that at the prospect of finding something in the maps that Rlain carried that would help her escape the Tower with her cohort?

A: I wondered about that too. Why Joy? She clearly knows what’s in the crate generally, but she doesn’t know the specifics. I could see Hope, but not necessarily Joy. Relief at getting safely there and shutting out the rest of the world, yes… Anyone else have a thought?

Hesina breathed out in a human approximation of the Rhythm of Awe.

P: I like how Venli is able to assign a rhythm to the actions and noise that humans make. It could just be envoyform that allows her this insight, but it’s nice that she has it.

A: You know… this gets mentioned for various people from time to time. The singers and the humans really are starting to recognize one another’s reactions; it’s a subtle but strong reminder that it’s possible to be very different, and still understand each other. It bodes well for the possibilities of future coexistence, if they can manage to get the Fused to stop trying to dominate everything.

She, however, was interested in other matters. “The tunnel complex,” she said. “Is there a map here of the tunnels under the tower?”

P: Venli has her own reasons for wanting maps. They have nothing to do with Kaladin Stormblessed and everything to do with escaping the Fused.

A: Yes, while she’s willing for others to be helped, at the moment she’s far more interested in helping herself and her own group, which… Well, it’s not exactly despicable, but it’s not exactly generous either.

“Or maybe they simply need something to keep them going, surgeon. A symbol they can trust when they can’t trust their own hearts.”

A: This is right at the end of the chapter, when she’s talking with Lirin about the humans wearing the shash glyph. She’s right—which is shockingly insightful of her. Perhaps her own need for hope has enabled her to see it in others. And perhaps she’s learned a lot about not trusting her own heart, which is why she sometimes just needs to trust her spren and believe that it can work out.

P: Exactly. If you can’t trust yourself, just trust in Timbre, Venli. She won’t steer you wrong.

Spren and Shadesmar

Timbre pulsed to an unfamiliar rhythm that echoed in her mind. What was it? She could swear she’d never heard it before.

A: Help! Does anyone know if this gets addressed again? I can’t remember, and I can’t take the time to search the rest of the book right now. But I’m dying to know what that unfamiliar rhythm is. This is, again, while Venli is talking with Lirin about the shash glyph people are wearing, and he’s sure that they’ll do something stupid and bring about a massacre. Then Timbre throws in this odd rhythm. What? Why? Something to do with Willshapers?

P: I didn’t remember this either, until rereading this chapter. I’m super curious, too.

Bruised and Broken

“Every human in the tower knows about me, Lirin,” Rlain said. “The ‘tame’ Parshendi your son ‘keeps.’

P: Ouch! This punches you right in the heart, amirite? Just thinking that Rlain feels that others see him this way is hurtful. That’s not how Kaladin feels at all.

A: It’s not how Kaladin sees him… but it probably is the way some of the humans see him. Not Bridge Four, and likely not most Radiants, and certainly not the Kholin family. But others, who don’t know any more than the fact that he’s “Parshendi” and belongs to the Windrunners, most likely misunderstand what kind of “belonging” that is. They see it as “keeping a servant” when it’s really more of “being part of a family.”

“You don’t like what they’re doing,” Venli said, nodding toward the other two.

“I’m undecided,” Lirin said. “My gut says that stealing a few maps won’t hurt the occupation. But perhaps if we turned the maps in and claimed we found them in a forgotten room, there’s a good chance it would earn us favor with the Fused.

A: As Venli points out in response, this would not work at all. That’s just not the way the Fused function.

P: Yeah, it’s a far cry from how the Fused operate. Lirin, Hesina, and baby Oroden would be dead in a heartbeat if Lezian discovered who they were.

A: In case anyone wondered why I put the above under Bruised and Broken, it’s because of the follow-up:

“You really don’t want to resist, do you?” Venli said to Awe. “You truly want to live with the occupation.”

“I resist by controlling my situation,” Lirin said. “And by working with those in power, rather than giving them reason to hurt me and mine. It’s a lesson I learned very painfully.”

A: Say what you want about him, Lirin was broken by what Roshone did to him. He’d done all that dignified, subtle resistance, and in one moment Roshone very un-subtly destroyed his life. With no possibility of negotiation, Roshone gave Tien to Amaram for army service; Kaladin went with him to protect him, and that was it. Though an impartial view can see it was Roshone’s vindictiveness, greed, and pride that did the damage, Lirin spent five years convinced that his sons were both dead because he resisted. By his own lights, he gave Roshone “reason to hurt me and mine” and so he’s determined to never do it again.

I think he’s wrong, but I can understand his reasoning. Now, with a wife and toddler to protect, he really doesn’t want to risk harm to them by doing the same thing. If you look at it right, you can see why he was so angry at Kaladin: In trying to shield Teft from unknown, possible harm, he put the lives of his mother and baby brother at risk. And there’s no mistake about it: Had Venli not chanced to find out Lezian’s plan and gotten Leshwi to shield them, Oroden and Hesina would have died. Painfully, most likely. (Lirin, too, but I don’t think he cares that much about his own fate.) So… was it right to kill the Regal to keep Teft from being taken? Maybe. Did he put his family at risk in doing so? Absolutely.

Anyway. All that to say that Lirin, for all his stubbornness and apparent self-righteousness, was broken at a very deep level by Roshone’s revenge for his resistance. I honestly won’t be at all surprised if he ends up bonded—probably as an Edgedancer.

P: He may be broken, but in my opinion, that’s not an excuse to treat Kaladin the way he does. It may be a reason, but it’s not an excuse. Far from an excuse. For someone who mourned both sons for five years, he sure treats Kaladin as if he’s mud on the bottom of his shoe at times. And I don’t care how broken you are, it’s not okay to treat your child that way.

A: What do you do when one child does something that specifically places the other in harm’s way? Specifically, when the adult son chooses to do something that makes the toddler son a target for people like Lezian and his goons?

No, I’m not saying that Lirin made the best possible choices, or even particularly good ones. I’m just saying I understand his reactions, given the stresses that he’s living under.

“…Fetch me some water.”

Venli was halfway to the water station before she realized she’d done what he said, despite telling him—several times—that he needed to show her more respect. What a strange man. His attitude was so commanding andin charge, but he used it to reinforce his own subservience.

A: I’ll admit, I find this hilarious. Yes, I believe he’s still broken inside, but it hasn’t changed who he is by nature and training, and in his infirmary he simply gives orders and expects them to be obeyed.

P: I found it funny, too. And she could have refused once she realized that she was obeying, but it’s as though she realized that he wasn’t out of place in asking, not really, he was just in his element.

A: And if he did need the water, why not, right? (Seriously, I’m happy to see that she didn’t decide to insist that fetching water for the doctor was beneath her dignity. That would have been… undignified. Also, un-Radiant.)

“This isn’t the way to fight, not with how brutal the Regals in the tower have started acting. My son may have gotten himself killed resisting them. Heralds send it isn’t true, but his example is going to cause trouble. Some of these might get the terrible idea of following in his steps, and that will inevitably provoke a massacre.”

A: Again, he may be wrong about what they’ll do, but he’s seen what Lezian allows his Regals to do. True doctor that he is, he doesn’t want people getting killed—particularly when there’s zero chance they’ll win. It’ll be a minute before he concludes that sometimes, even a losing battle can be worth fighting—and sometimes it turns out not to be a losing battle after all.

P: Lirin has a long way to go to earn my respect again. He’s just treated Kaladin too poorly for me to easily forgive him.

Oaths Spoken, Powers Awakened

“The tower does feel darker now, Venli,” he said to the Rhythm of Anxiety—which didn’t help her own mood. “Ever since…”

[…]

The whole tower knew by now that Kaladin Stormblessed, Windrunner and champion, fought. That his powers still functioned. The Fused had worked hard to spread a different narrative—that he’d been faking Radiant powers with fabrials […]

A: The funny part of this is that both stories are right, of course. His powers still function… sort of… and he was faking the rest with a fabrial. It’s sad, though, that everyone can feel the difference in the Tower since that event. Or… wait a minute… Rlain can feel it, and presumably Venli does as well, given that this seems to be an ongoing conversation. Is that because Rlain is a Windrunner squire at this point? It might be only those with some level of Radiant connection. Hmm.

P: The tower is darker since the node had been destroyed. Or since Kaladin had seemingly been beat. Perhaps both are what’s causing the darkness in the tower.

A: There’s certainly a psychological effect on the humans, though they don’t seem to know for sure whether to be hopeful (Stormblessed still fights!) or hopeless (they defeated Stormblessed!). And our sample size of conscious Radiants is severely limited. I wonder, though… if the Tower is still mostly lit by Stormlight, could the suppression field be actually dimming the light? Maybe it’s all of the above.

“Didn’t the enemy collapse those tunnels?” Lirin asked.

“Yes,” Venli said. “But I might have a way around that.”

[…] but could she use her powers to form a tunnel through the stone? One that bypassed Raboniel’s workstation and the shield, then intersected with these caverns below?

P: You have to actually practice with your powers in order to learn how to use them, love. More practice than what you’ve done so far. Of course, we know that she will. But still, you can’t think of boring tunnels through the rock with Cultivation knows how many people behind you waiting to escape, and still avoid the notice of the Fused when you’re a novice Radiant. IMO.

A: Too true. She knows that her powers should make this possible, but… can she actually do it? In a few chapters we’ll see how hard that would actually be for her, when she struggles just to make an opening in a stone wall big enough for Lift to get through. At this point, there’s simply no way she could pull it off.

“It’s a shash glyph,” Lirin said.

As soon as Venli knew it was writing, her powers interpreted it.

A: That’s so bizarre and creative. She could look at the glyph all day and it would mean nothing… until she knows it’s writing, and then she can read it.

P: Her abilities with envoyform are certainly impressive.

Singers/Fused

[…] Unfortunately, the Lady of Wishes spent most of her time with her research, and instead let the Pursuer lead.

His personal troops dominated the tower. Already there had been a half dozen instances of singers beating humans near to death.

A: Much as I don’t trust Raboniel, and much as she’s willing to do pretty much anything to win, she’s not actually sadistic. Unlike Lezian, she’s not one to encourage brutality just for the fun of it. But, as we see in Navani’s chapters, Raboniel is currently very focused on researching Light, and as long as Lezian stays out of her hair, she doesn’t particularly care what he does. She’s not a very good leader, come to think of it—just very effective at getting what she wants.

P: I agree that she’s not a good leader, but she’s better than Lezian is. He’s just brutality incarnate.

A: And his attitude is the reason Lirin fears so much for people who might think of rebelling. He’s seen the consequences of standing up against those with great power and no conscience.

“After Kal and I parted,” Rlain explained, “and the queen surrendered, I realized I could go anywhere in the tower. […]”

A: I do love Rlain. Of all the things he could think of to do to undermine the invasion, he wouldn’t do any of the things that might endanger innocent people. I’m not sure I’d have thought of keeping the maps away from the Fused, but Navani certainly did, and apparently Rlain did too. His thoughts were probably confirmed when he realized Navani had had all the map room contents destroyed, so… good for Rlain. He’s been paying attention to what the Radiants and the rulers thought was important, and it’s pretty clear he understood exactly why the maps were important. Give them as little information about the Tower as possible and make them work for every bit of knowledge. The lovely thing, of course, is that it does make it easier for Kaladin to hide in the upper levels. The funny part is that his hiding place isn’t even on the map, because no one else knows about the locked doors, and he’s only on the eleventh floor.

P: Honor love our Rlain. Doing whatever he can to undermine the occupation, all the while knowing he could be caught and possibly executed. Is that not Radiant??

Rlain shrugged a human shrug. “It was shockingly easy to get in,” he continued to Resolve. “The human guards had been killed or removed, but the singers didn’t know the value of the place yet. I walked right through a checkpoint, stuffed everything I could into a sack, and wandered out. I said I was on a search detail sent to collect any form of human writing.”

P: Here Rlain is speaking of the two places in the Tower where maps were kept: the queen’s vault and the map room. The latter was burned out, but he waltzed right into the former, grabbed the goods, and left unchallenged. Nice.

“It was brave,” Lirin the surgeon said, stepping over and folding his arms. “But I don’t know how useful it will be, Rlain. There’s not much they’d want on the upper floors.”

“It might help Kaladin stay hidden,” Rlain said

P: Again… Bridge Four! Looking out for his captain. Ow, my feels.

“The tunnel complex,” she said. “Is there a map here of the tunnels under the tower?”

Rlain dug for a moment, then pulled out a map. “Here,” he said. “Why?”

Venli took it reverently. “It’s one of the few paths of escape, Rlain.”

A: This is not the first time Venli has considered using the tunnels to escape, but it would certainly be easier if they had a map! If nothing else, that would help her minimize the amount of stone-shaping she’d have to do—and once down in the tunnels, she’d only have the Stormlight she could carry with her. It’s easy to see why she’s so happy to find this!

P: It’s a solid plan, assuming they could get to the tunnels.

“Didn’t the enemy collapse those tunnels?” Lirin asked.

“Yes,” Venli said. “But I might have a way around that.”

“Even if you do,” Lirin said, “we’d have to travel through the most heavily guarded section of the tower—where the Fused are doing their research on the tower fabrials.”

A: We would have to travel…? Forgive me if I’ve forgotten, but when did it become The Plan that Venli would take humans along on her escape? And is this just supposed to be Lirin and Hesina (and Oroden, of course), or all the unconscious Radiants?

P: I find it amusing that Lirin thinks that Venli would take humans with her to escape. Maybe it’s because she’s helping them hide from Lezian. But she doesn’t correct him here, which I find interesting.

A: Exactly. Has her thinking begun to change, or does she just not bother saying anything?

He seemed to like these humans, and looked more comfortable around them than he was with her. Beyond that, the way he used human mannerisms to exaggerate his emotions—the way the rhythms were a subtle accent to his words, rather than the driving power behind them—it all seemed a little… pathetic.

A: I’m trying to understand this reaction. I get that he’s behaving differently around humans than most listeners would around one another; she’s noticed the same thing with many of the singers, who often reflect the human cultures where they grew up before regaining their self-will. Is it that he’s the only other listener left, and therefore the one who she would naturally expect to behave like her? Is it that he seems to have a habit of deliberately using human mannerisms around humans he likes? Why is this “pathetic”? Since they both know humans don’t hear the rhythms, how is this anything but a reasonable approach? Or is she seeing this as Rlain desperately trying to fit in with the humans who were their enemies for so long?

P: I didn’t like her reaction, either. She knows how long he’s been with the humans, the attachments he’s made. She’s harboring a Radiant spren yet she judges him? Not cool, Venli.

A: Back to Raboniel…

She needed to visit Raboniel for translation duty soon—there were books in Thaylen that the Lady of Wishes wanted read to her.

She doesn’t care about anything other than her research, Venli thought. What could be so important?

A: Oh, not much. Just finding a way to perma-kill spren and Cognitive Shadows. Permanently ending the war, depending on who can develop and use the technology most effectively.

P: Knowing how afraid Leshwi is of Raboniel, one would think that Venli would be a bit more wary of her. I feel that she’s grown complacent in regards to Raboniel.

A: It doesn’t actually come back to bite her, but… yeah, never underestimate Raboniel. Bad idea.

Humans

“You there,” Lirin said. “What is that on your head?”

[…] the water bearer […] had painted his forehead with some kind of ink.

“What is that?” Venli asked.

“Nothing, Brightness,” the man said, pulling out of Lirin’s grip. “Just a little reminder.”

[…]

“It’s the brand on… on the forehead of Kaladin Stormblessed.”

Ah… “He gives them hope.”

P: Yes, he gives them hope. They’re glad to see that he’s fighting, that he’s resisting. And I’m glad to see people doing this, honoring him and showing their own resistance in some small way.

A: I wanted to say something clever about this, but… I know what happens, and that colors my perspective. I think at the time I was worried about this, along with Lirin. And to tell the truth, his fears were very nearly realized. If his own near-death hadn’t given Kaladin the incentive to break through and speak the Fourth Ideal, I’m pretty sure everyone who fought back in the climax would have been killed—or at least a lot more of them, before Navani and the Sibling managed to come to an agreement and restore the Tower.

Brilliant Buttresses

“Nah, it’s my laundry,” he said to Amusement.

“Figured Venli here is so mighty and important, she might be able to get someone to wash it for me.”

Joking? Now? How could he act so indifferent?

P: This is such a Bridge Four joke! I love it! And I love that Rlain is able to joke despite the horror of the occupation. It also shows how comfortable he is with Hesina to joke with her like this.

A: The insight on Rlain in this chapter is so cool on so many levels. I love the way he is with Kaladin’s family. Ruffling Oroden’s hair in passing, joking with Hesina… And Venli’s reaction to his joking is almost as funny as Rlain saying it. She’s so tense, any sense of humor she ever had is buried right now. (She does have one, though. We’ve seen it a time or two.)

 

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 75, in which we finally find out what happened after Adolin and co. entered Lasting Integrity. Shadesmar FTW!

Alice lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two kids. It turns out to be rather distressing when one of those kids loses some of her documentation halfway around the world, but digital copies can be a good thing…

Paige resides in New Mexico, of course. And she’s so happy that baseball is back. Go, Yankees! Links to her other writing are available in her profile.

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