“He felt something . . . rumbling. A distant storm. Everything was light around him up here, the sun shining, making it difficult to believe that somewhere it was dark and tempestuous.”~ Brandon Sanderson, Rhythm of War
Rhythm of War (Part Four) by Brandon Sanderson
Published by Tor, 2020
Spoilers ahead for all of Rhythm of War
Pete: This was a bit of a mellower and more condensed climax than previous Stormlight books, but it still packed a punch. I think for me the most significant moment was Taravangian dying—and promptly taking control of Odium. *shivers*
Indiana: I had to go over that part a few times because it was just so creepy. I went back and listened to it at least two or three times. While I don’t necessarily like what Taravangian does in this book (or any of the ones before it) he’s definitely one of the most interesting characters in the series. The part that still can’t get over though is in the epilogue when Wit loses (some? all? most?) of his memories.
Pete: I’m hoping it’s only his pre-Roshar memories that vanished. We still don’t know a ton about Wit/Hoid’s history and his motives (at least I don’t, as I try to avoid too much Cosmere analysis for the sake of enjoying the mystery). But whatever happened was definitely not good. Aside from the depressing stuff, what did you think of Navani bonding the Sibling?
Indiana: That was a “Finally!” moment for me. Especially because the Sibling tells her at first “You are not worthy,” and Navani has to fight not only her self-doubt and being physically injured but the Sibling’s disapproval as well. It’s a really intense scene.
But further on, I liked the scene where she and Dalinar are talking and Dalinar is apologizing for not seeing her potential and she admits to not being able to see it either. Sanderson handled that really well. What did you think of the intense scenes with Kaladin facing his past?
Pete: Whether it was a vision given to him by the Stormfather or his own creation, his scene with Tien was powerful. I’m glad that he may finally be able to accept that he cannot save everyone—a deep pain that has plagued him for four books now. Though does this mean the end of a brooding Kaladin? We’ll see. It was a great moment for him to swear his fourth ideal, and I’m interested to see where his future leads with him deciding to put his efforts into aiding those who have experienced mental trauma.
Indiana: I doubt it will be the end of his brooding nature. He’s too stubborn to give that up completely though he may surprise us. I’m excited to see where his story goes, as well as Jasnah’s. I savor all the chapters from her perspective, probably because we get so few. If Wit has lost his memories, I’m interested to see what that means for her and for their relationship. Where does this fall in the hierarchy of your favorite to least favorite Stormlight books?
Pete: Right now I think it’s tied with Oathbringer, which is behind Words of Radiance as my favorite. I appreciate this book for giving the characters a moment to breathe and grow—not that they had an easy time of it. It’s a great point to leave off before the final book in this arc, especially with the battle between champions just 10 days away.
What did you think of Rhythm of War in comparison to the previous books? Which character’s arc was your favorite in this book?