After forming a coalition of human resistance against the enemy invasion, Dalinar Kholin and his Knights Radiant have spent a year fighting a protracted, brutal war. Neither side has gained an advantage.
Now, as new technological discoveries begin to change the face of the war, the enemy prepares a bold and dangerous operation. The arms race that follows will challenge the very core of the Radiant ideals, and potentially reveal the secrets of the ancient tower that was once the heart of their strength.
At the same time that Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with his changing role within the Knights Radiant, his Windrunners face their own problem: As more and more deadly enemy Fused awaken to wage war, no more honorspren are willing to bond with humans to increase the number of Radiants. Adolin and Shallan must lead the coalition’s envoy to the honorspren stronghold of Lasting Integrity and either convince the spren to join the cause against the evil god Odium, or personally face the storm of failure.
Every character I was excited to know more about seems to have been pushed to the side, and everyone I can’t stand is front and centre in Rhythm of War. As a total narcissist, I feel like Sanderson has it out for me personally.
Urithiru What I wanted: the Sibling / Rlain / Rysn What we got: Navani’s journey of self-discovery / Kaladin’s trials of gloom / Every thought Venli has ever had
There was just so. much. Venli. I guess her story was important to the overall narrative, but it was so incredibly dull. Then we switch over to Kaladin and the party continues. Once again, it’s critical to the overall narrative, but his depression really made the story drag. This is clearly a testament to the realism of Sanderson’s writing, but reading about someone struggling with depression was difficult. Navani did contribute some valuable information to the development of this world but the constant self-criticism was difficult to stomach.
Battlefront What I wanted: Bridge Four / Jasnah / Wit What we got: Dalinar’s theological musings / Taravangian’s descent into stupidity
Honestly, Dalinar just thinks in circles these days. He’s so careful to consider every angle and opinion that he never actually goes anywhere. It goes incredibly well with Taravangian’s neverending narrative about his intellect. We get it. His intelligence changes day by day and is trending downwards. The moments when we did get to check in with Jasnah or Wit were such a relief from these dreary, repetitive perspectives.
"That's why I'm so fond of you," he said. "You are poised, you are smart, and you are always ready with a ploy; but when each of those things fails you, Jasnah, you are—above all else—paranoid."
Shadesmar What I wanted: Adolin’s reckoning with his father’s past actions as he searches for his own path and purpose What we got: Shallan’s multiple personalities and incredible ability to hide from the truth
This is the most interesting Adolin has been so far in this series, and he kept being overshadowed by his wife during her spiral into avoidance and denial.
It felt like the entire book was written in flashbacks when I just wanted to stay in the present. It does look like Rhythm of War is building up to an exciting finale, but it took a lot of effort to get through this one.