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WoR Ch32


The spren betrayed us, it's often felt.
Our minds are too close to their realm
That gives us our forms, but more is then
Demanded by the smartest spren,
We can't provide what the humans lend,
Though broth we are, their meat is men.

–From the Listener Song of Spren, 9th stanza


Point of view: Kaladin, Shallan
Setting: A storm, Elhokar's warcamp, Shallan’s carriage

Progression of the Chapter:

Dreaming, Kaladin is a storm; Skyvoice interrogates him about his intentions towards Syl; Kaladin denies that he will betray and kill her; a second storm rises on the horizon, and Skyvoice announces that HE COMES; Kaladin wakes up, still on guard duty; ominous feelings cause him to open the shutter to the storm. In her carriage, Shallan watches Pattern, who is whimpering of bad things; Syl runs into the storm, and announces that he’s coming, the one who hates is watching; Kaladin demands to relocate the King; Dalinar trusts his captain’s intuition, for now. Half of Kaladin’s advance squad dies, and the Alethi confront the Assassin in White; Elhokar escapes, and battle is joined, but the Assassin is here for Dalinar. Ceilings are trod upon in most undignified fashion; despite his magical speed and strength, things get out of hand for Kaladin when he takes a Shardblade to the arm; Szeth swings to kill Dalinar, but the Highprince catches the blade between his hands; Kaladin tackles Szeth, and they both tumble out a hole in the castle, into open air.

Quote of the Chapter:

''Syl spun around, twisting this way, then that. Her small eyes opened wide. "He’s coming."

"Who? The storm?"

"The one who hates," she whispered. "The darkness inside. Kaladin, he’s watching. Something’s going to happen. Something bad."

Commentary:

Dalinar puts a great deal of faith in Kaladin's instincts. He doesn’t know much about the young soldier, but he must have heard that his men call him Stormblessed, and they do happen to be in the middle of a storm. If there’s ever a time to trust a guy named Stormblessed, well, this might be it. Also, if there’s anyone who ought to forgive Kaladin for snoozing on the job during a highstorm, it’s Dalinar.

Speaking of Dalinar, how awesome is it that he caught that Blade in mid-air? Will his list of amazing things caught between his hands continue to grow, book by book? In The Way of Kings he caught a falling chasmfiend claw, and now he’s nabbing Honorblades that want to kill him. What’s more, he’s doing so bare-handed! This fantastic ability to intercept blows may be part of his Radiant skillset, along with his preternatural capacity with Plate and Blade.

This chapter marks a turning point in Adolin's paranoia about surgebinders. Seeing Szeth in action, and seeing Kaladin come way closer to kicking his ass than any non-Shardbearer should, cements his belief that there’s something really spooky going on with the 'bridge boy'. Meanwhile, he continues to ignore magical developments in his kid brother. Typical.

So ... pour one for Beld. Who's Beld? His name is mentioned twice before this chapter, once as "other bridgeman without slave mark." It seems like a lot of previously-unnamed members of Bridge Four showed up to pad the ranks after The Way of Kings, and that’s all well and good, but what reader can care for a character the reader doesn't know when that character is killed?

Stormwatch:

Kaladin lays eyes on the Everstorm in his dream. (Same day as the precious chapter.)

Sprenspotting:

There aren't any spren in orbit around Szeth, because he’s not bonded with one. The voice of Skyface can be heard, the spren of a being just a face in the sky. The red-eyed Spren aren't seen, but their malice is heavy in the air.

Ars Arcanum:

Kaladin's Stormlight makes him strong, fast, agile, and preternaturally intuitive about battle, but it isn’t yet enough to match Szeth, who has full control of the Lashings. Faced with the as-yet-superior Windrunner, Kaladin finds himself losing access to his arm.

Heraldic Symbolism:

Chanarach, Brave and Obedient, is an odd match for this chapter. Szeth is pretty obedient, although not by choice, and is in fact mostly driven to obedience by moral cowardice. Jezrien is equally an unsure presence. Maybe he’s here because Skyface is here?

- Paraphrased from Alice Arneson[1]

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