Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson

Rhythm of War Reread: Chapter One Hundred Fourteen


Well, our Cosmere Chickens, we’re nearing the end now. The Sanderlanche has passed, we’re solidly in denouement territory, and things are winding down. I’d wanted to post the link to Brandon’s Stormlight 5 Update last week but reddit was down, so here it is now. Lots of fun little tidbits in here about what to expect in the next book, just enough to whet our collective appetites for the tentative release date of Fall 2025. It seems so far away, but it will be here before we know it, and we simply can’t wait! In the meantime, let’s finish up here, shall we?

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.

There are a few wider Cosmere implications scattered throughout, but no direct spoilers for any other books.


  • Palah (Pailiah, Paliah). Truthwatchers (Progression, Illumination). Learned/Giving. Role: Scholar.
  • Battah (Battar). Elsecallers (Transformation, Transportation). Wise/Careful. Role: Counsellor.

L: Palah appears to be here for Rlain, while Battah I think is here for Taravangian, who thinks he’s being wise.

Icon: The Pattern


They should not be discarded, but helped to their potential. Their final Passions.

—Musings of El, on the first of the Final Ten Days

Chapter Recap

WHO: Rlain
WHEN: One day after the battle of Urithiru, 1175.4.10.5 (Note: For the “when” notations, we are using this wonderful timeline provided by the folks at The 17th Shard.)
WHERE: Back and forth between Urithiru, the Shattered Plains, and… wherever the heck Taravangian “is.”

RECAP: Rlain sees Venli and Leshwi off, then joins Kaladin on their way to Teft’s funeral. Taravangian begins growing accustomed to the immense power he now holds.

Spren and Shadesmar

Rlain and Venli had mistaken Tumi for a Voidspren, but he wasn’t exactly the same thing. Once an ordinary mistspren, Tumi had let Sja-anat touch him, and in so doing make him into something new. A spren of both Honor and Odium.

L: I’m deathly curious to see how these eventually come into play on the grand scheme of things.

P: We could potentially get a lot of Windrunners from spren touched by Sja-anat, if they’re willing.

Relationships and Romances

Renarin knows? Rlain thought.

He suggested you, Tumi said.

L: Oh did he now? (If you’re wondering why I’m putting this here, you may have missed that Brandon’s flat out said that Renarin’s got a wee bit of a crush on Rlain. Are there romantic rhythms in the air? Only time will tell!)

P: We’ll see what happens!!

Bruised and Broken

“I don’t deserve any of this,” she whispered to him. “I was weak, Rlain.”

“Then start doing better,” he told her, pulling back. “That is the path of Radiance, Venli. We’re both on it now.”

L: I really appreciate this. Rlain doesn’t do what most people would and offer her useless (and false) platitudes like “No, you did great!” He grants her her fault and offers her a path forward instead.

P: Rlain is nothing if not honest. He wouldn’t blow sunshine up her carapace.

Afterward, they sought a tavern to continue celebrating in a way Teft would have loved, even if he wouldn’t have let himself participate.

L: Oh Teft

P: I feel like a terrible person because Teft’s death didn’t hit me as hard as say, Elhokar’s death, which tore me up, to be honest. And shouldn’t Teft’s death have affected me more? He’s been around longer, he was Bridge Four, he was Kaladin’s sergeant. Why don’t I mourn him as much?

L: Because his character arc was over. He’d found his closure, he’d overcome his addiction (for the most part). He had found his new family and was at peace. Elhokar was just beginning his upward trend, and we mourn the potential of what he could have been more so than the person he actually was. (Take note, burgeoning authors. Want to really make that character death hit hard? Kill them before they achieve their goals!)

“We won’t stop missing him, will we?” she asked softly.

“No. But that’s all right. So long as we cling to the moments we had.”

L: An important lesson to be remembered, when we lose loved ones.

P: Which is why we need to make as many moments as we can, every day.

Oaths Spoken, Powers Awakened

Rlain felt in a stupor, despite a day having passed since his revelation. Since speaking his first Words as a Truthwatcher.

L: I’m so proud of and happy for him.

P: Aww, he’s shell shocked to be a baby Radiant.

Our bond will be strong, and you will be wondrous. We are awed by you, Rlain. The Bridger of Minds. We are honored.

L: Oh god I’m so, so happy for Rlain. He deserves this after all he’s been through.

P: He really does deserve it! And I’m so glad that Tumi tells him this.

Rlain couldn’t feel the Plate, though it was apparently always there—invisible, but ready when needed. Like a Shardblade, but made up of many spren.

L: This is incredibly cool, and so so helpful. We all know Kaladin’s not going to be out of the weeds yet, so it’s nice to know that he’s got this added layer of protection now.

P: It is awesome that the Plate is always there. I wasn’t expecting that from living Plate.

Cosmere Connections

But the power was anything but frail. It was the power of life and death, of creation and destruction.

L: And now someone competent has it. Great. Awesome.

P: I’m terrified of Taravangian with this power.

In this new role, Taravangian had two sides. On one was his knowledge: ideas, understandings, truths, lies … Thousands upon thousands of possible futures opened up to him. Millions of potentials. So numerous that even his expanded godly mind was daunted by their variety.

On the other side was his fury. The terrible fury, like an unbridled storm, churned and burned within him. It too was so overwhelming he could barely control it.

L: Yet more proof that Cultivation was grooming him for this all along.

P: Fury. Oh, yay. THAT won’t be a problem later.

A woman stepped up beside him. He recognized her full hair, black and tightly curled, along with her vibrant round face and dark skin. She had another shape as well. Many of them, but one deeper and truer than the others.

“Do you understand now?” she asked him.

“You needed someone who could tempt the power,” Taravangian said, his light gleaming like gold. “But also someone who could control it. I asked for the capacity to save the world. I thought it was the intelligence, but later wondered if it was the ability to feel. In the end, it was both. You were preparing me for this.”

L: There it is.

P: Cultivation may have had wins with Dalinar and Lift, but I’m afraid this situation is NOT a win.

L: Well, she’s not omniscient, unfortunately.

…all I could do was hope that if you succeeded, my gift would work. That I had changed you into someone who could bear this power with honor.”

L: Boy, I sure hope she’s right.

P: I don’t trust Taravangian one iota. I don’t think she’s right.

Taravangian knew the cosmere was in chaos. Ruled by fools. Presided over by broken gods.

L: I mean… he’s not entirely wrong, unfortunately. (Sorry Saze)

P: Sazed is doing his best… but this attitude is definitely worrisome.

L: Yes, he is. But the conflicting powers within him are causing him to not be able to act at all. I’d definitely argue that if he isn’t broken now he is on his way to breaking.

Oh, you wonderful creature, he thought. You have no idea what you have done.

He was finally free of the frailties of body and position that had always controlled and defined him. He finally had the freedom to do what he’d desired.

And now, Taravangian was going to save them all.

L: This just… this raises all of the red flags. All of them. He’s got good intentions, but he had good intentions before too, and look what that got him…

P: “The freedom to do what he’d desired.” That doesn’t freak me out at all.

TinFoil TheoryCrafting

He didn’t know why Tien had given the wooden horse to him, as if to prove the vision was real, only for it to immediately vanish.

L: I don’t know if this is just Brandon lampshading this, or if there’s going to be more to it later, but it’s a head-scratcher if the latter.

P: I think it was just something to comfort Kaladin in the moment. At first.

L: Yeah, but I meant why it vanishes. This could be a red herring I guess, but there could be something more to it, too. I wouldn’t put it past Brandon to have this come back later.

History, Geography and Cultures

…there was something Rlain had started to fear. Something nebulous but—once it occurred to him—persistent. If the humans had a chance to win this war, but at the expense of taking the minds of all the singers as they’d done in the past, would they take it? Would they enslave an entire people again, if given the opportunity?

L: This is a valid fear, honestly.

P: It is. But I don’t believe it would happen again.

He trusted Kaladin and his friends. But humankind? That was asking a lot.


“We fought against our own to preserve lives,” Leshwi said. “We do not wish that to continue. We will find a third option, outside this war. The path of the listeners.”

L: I do hope they manage to find it.

P: I have faith that they will. They made the right choice here.


All of Bridge Four came, except for Rock. Skar and Drehy had relayed the news after returning to the Shattered Plains—it seemed Kaladin wouldn’t be seeing Rock again.

L: Wait what? What happened with Rock? BRANDON WHAT HAPPENED WITH ROCK WE MUST KNOW

P: I expect we’ll find out once we get his novella. ::waits patiently::

Brilliant Buttresses

Tumi pulsed to a new rhythm. The Rhythm of War.

L: Ding ding ding! We have a title!

P: Didn’t Navani or Raboniel already name it? ::checks:: found it! Back in chapter 89. “The Rhythm of War vibrated through her, proof that there could be harmony.”

L: I just love pointing it out whenever it shows up, first time or no.

“I’m merely … alive. And this is part of being alive. So I’m grateful, even if part of it stinks.”

He nodded.

“Really stinks,” she added. Then for good measure, “Stinks like a human after … how long has it been since you had a bath?”

L: Classic Syl. I’d missed this so.

P: It just wasn’t the same without her snark!


We’ll be leaving further speculation and discussion to you in the comments, and hope to join you there! Next week, we’ll be back with chapter 115.

Paige resides in New Mexico, of course. She very much misses baseball and is counting the days until baseball’s Opening Day. Links to her other writing are available in her profile.

Lyndsey is kicking around the idea of making silly shirts that say “The Cosmere Chicken Coop” on them, for followers of the reread. Follow her on Facebook or TikTok!


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