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Progression of the Interlude:
Narak prepares for a highstorm; Eshonai discusses her upcoming meeting with the Blackthorn; she jogs into the storm to test her sister's crazy theory; that traitor the Rider of Winds, a.k.a. Stormfather, a.k.a. Skyface, shows up to transform her; he seems annoyed and regretful about her choice of spren; Eshonai begins to transform, for what may be the last time.
Quote of the Interlude:
|“||"Seven days," Thude said. "The meeting will happen on a neutral plateau."||”|
(This interlude is light on dialogue.)
When he limits himself, Sanderson can pack a lot into a short space. In this miniscule interlude readers learn that the meeting with Dalinar is going forward, that only Warform Parshendi have the maddest of jumps, that Parshendi transform by walking face-first into a storm with nothing more than a pokeball and a prayer, and that Skyface is a traitor to their kind. With the transformation, the main plot of the book is revealed and notions of human-Parshendi peace can be put aside.
Pre-storm Eshonai might be one of the more likeable characters in the series. She’s dependable despite her wild past, willing to put the burden of her people on her shoulders. She loves the world she lives in, and has a history of traveling it to discover new lands. She cares for her mother and sister, but doesn’t let their visions of the world overwrite her own. She just ... generally has it all together, despite the pressing crush of responsibility that facing attempted genocide will put on a person.
Eshonai preferred a shield. It felt more like facing the Rider straight on. This one, the soul of the storm, was the one the humans called Stormfather - and he was not one of her people’s gods. In fact, the songs named him a traitor - a spren who had chosen to protect humans instead of the listeners.
Skyface gets all high and mighty about how Kaladin is going to betray Syl, which is pretty rich coming from some dude who betrayed all the listeners. Sounds like at least one side of this conflict is practicing extensive propaganda! If Skyface is consistent about anything, it’s his fatalistic disdain for the struggles of mortalkind. According to him, humans and Parshendi alike are going to screw up, and he isn’t going to do a thing to try to stop it.
During the storm, Eshonai thinks about how "she’d have preferred to wear her Plate, but for some reason having it on interfered with the transformation process." That’s intriguing. Shardplate must be spren-impermeable, which probably requires it to be constant between the Physical and Spiritual realms. What function might that protection have served for the Radiants? Are humans in danger of being possessed by Odium-aligned spren? The way Shardplate glows when being worn by active Radiants suggests that it’s not necessarily impermeable to Stormlight, but that might indicate a selective permeability, or a one-way permeability.
It’s Taln and Taln-alone week. Taln represents Dependable and Resourceful, and he’s also the dude who spent the longest time of all fighting Damnation. If any of the Heralds were to represent Eshonai, it might be Jezrien, so Taln’s monopoly on this chapter seems to harken to the upcoming resumption of the Desolation.
- Paraphrased from Carl Engle-Laird