The storms rarely reached this high.
Today they had.
Today, Kaladin reached the winds.
And like everything else today, they tried their best to kill him.
~Brandon Sanderson, Rhythm of War
Rhythm of War (Part Three) by Brandon Sanderson
Published by Tor, 2020
Rhythm of War is the fourth entry in the massive epic fantasy series The Stormlight Archive. As we did with Oathbringer, we’ll be doing part-by-part reviews so you can read along and discuss with us. You can read our previous discussions here: Part One – Part Two
Spoilers ahead for Rhythm of War Part Three!
Pete: This part mostly focused on Kaladin and Navani struggling to reclaim Urithiru from the fused, and it was one of the most hopeless parts of Stormlight so far to me. While I’m not a huge fan of “the magic is gone” as a plot element, I think it worked well here, and we saw Kaladin in some of his most desperate moments.
Indiana: Right, it seemed like every time something could go wrong it did. We’ve been through so much with Kaladin over the course of the series but this time felt a bit more dramatic than some of his other fights, perhaps because it’s a hopeless one. Despite the situation, I enjoyed learning more about Navani’s research into how different light types work.
Pete: I love that she is a scientist in a fantasy setting treating the magic like science instead of vague mysteries. It’s a very Sanderson thing to do, and it fits well here. I wish we’d gotten more of Lift’s story and learned how she’s doing in captivity. But I’m sure we’ll see more of her in the next two parts.
Indiana: Same here. I also wish we had gotten more of Jasnah and Wit’s stories. I loved the section where she’s fighting for the first time on the battlefield. It also left on a big cliff hanger and I feel like the book might not return to their perspectives for a while. Sigh.
Pete: There’s never enough Jasnah, but he’s maybe saving most of her story for the second five-book arc. Her “duel” with Ruthar was one of my favorite scenes yet. I do hope we get to see even more Cosmere overlap. This has been the most we’ve seen of worldhoppers and intermingling magic systems, and it has me excited for where the series (and the rest of the Cosmere) is headed.
Indiana: Right. One part that surprised me was Dalinar’s reprimand of the Stormfather. It felt like a build-up to a really intense fight between these two figures but the Stormfather didn’t really argue with Dalinar too much. What did you think of that section?
Pete: I thought it was great—and honestly fairly in-line with their relationship. Dalinar argued the Stormfather into bonding with him to make him a Radiant, so it’s believable that he would call him a coward for not saving a couple of random fishermen. But it could be a sign of growing tension between them. But it was interesting to see Dalinar’s powers expanding. And hopefully we get to meet this other Bondsmith in the next part!