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WoR Ch28


The betrayal of spren has brought us here.
They gave their Surges to human heirs,
But not to those who know them most dear, before us.
'Tis no surprise we turned away
Unto the gods we spent our days
And to become their molding clay, they changed us.

–From the Listener Song of Secrets, 40th stanza


Point of view: Shallan
Setting: The Shattered Plains

Progression of the Chapter:

Shallan talks with a mouth full of rocks, when she should have a mouth full of pebbles; Tyn explains the importance of unimportance and the unimportance of importance; Shallan doesn’t get it, predictably enough; eye color, class, and nationality are proven to be disguisable; stuff is immaterial for a thief; Tyn muses on jobs gone by; four riders approach on horseback, but on Roshar that isn’t ominous or metaphorical or anything; Tyn and Shallan head out to handle them; at the last minute, Shallan becomes Horneater royalty; Kaladin and Shallan lock eyes across the hills and have nothing but contempt for each other; boots.

Quote of the Chapter:

"Nah, it's more like they have pebbles in their mouths. But they talk really slow, with overemphasized sounds. Like this. 'Oi looked over the paintings that ya gave me, and they're roit nice. Roit nice indeed. Ain't never had a cloth for my backside that was so pleasant.'"

This isn't okay. Still, there were no Bavlanders harmed in the making of this chapter. However, the accent implementation is pretty lazy.

Development of the Chapter:

One of the many likeable things about Tyn is how she personifies the mutability of class and position in a way that Vorinism falls over itself trying to deny. A lighteyes can be mistaken for a darkeyes with just a few eyedrops. A servant may be armed, but as long as she/he sounds like a nobody and moves like a nobody and dresses like a nobody, her/his master will never know. A woman can be as dangerous as any man, but the expectation of helplessness will let her move silently and lethally through the world. It's really too bad she's on the wrong side of history, because it would be interesting to see her exploit the changes that are about to hit Rosharan society. Who better to take advantage of the chaos than a con woman like Tyn?

As annoying as the Bavlander accent training was, Shallan conning Kaladin out of his boots is undeniably hilarious. She wanted boots for so long, and she and Tyn so successfully turned all of Kaladin’s defenses into perceived insults, that one has to feel sorry for both of them.

"I will tell all who are to listen! When arriving, I will say, 'Kholin is stealer of boots and taker of women's virtue!'"

Kal sputtered. "Virtue!"

"Yes," Shallan said; then she glanced over to "Virtue? No, wrong word. Virtue ... No ... Vesture. Vesture! Taker of woman’s vesture! That is word I wanted."

Sprenspotting:

"Storms! She was good. She actually managed to produce angerspren with the remark."

This totally blows up everything previously thought about the effect of spren on society! During The Way of Kings, one might've speculated that the existence of spren who could detect anger, fear, and joy would make for a far more honest and far more aggressive society, but all that is off the table if skilled enough liars can conjure up simulated emotions that are realistic enough to fool spren. Think of the implications for theater! The star actors are the ones who can consistently conjure appropriate spren! That's ... that makes for terrible theater!

Heraldic Symbolism:

So, if Shalash represents Shallan and Taln represents Kaladin (as he sometimes has), they both appear in this chapter because the soldier and the con woman have finally met.

- Paraphrased from Carl Engle-Laird[1]

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