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An Accountability of Virtue

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An Accountability of Virtue
Type Romance
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive
This page or section contains spoilers for Oathbringer!
This information has the ability to potentially ruin elements of the plot for the reader. Proceed with caution if you have not read this book.

An Accountability of Virtue is an Alethi epic romance novel about Wema's love triangle with Brightlords Vadam and Sterling.[1]


Wema received the attentions of two Brightlords, Brightlord Sterling, an officer, and Brightlord Vadam, a man given land by the highprince. Initially, Wema only desires Sterling despite Vadam being the more financially prosperous of the two men. Her uncle, however, advocates for her to choose Vadam despite the fact that Vadam locked away her father. This leads her to doubt her choice when Sterling makes his affection for her clear.

Wema's hesitation in responding to Sterling's affection nearly causes her to lose him for good. He tells her he will leave for the Shattered Plains, and she realizes both the vulnerability and respect in his regard for her. She tells him to wait and rushes to him, choosing Sterling over Vadam in the end.[1]


In the sequel, Wema's mousy sister has to choose between a naval officer, a Thaylen banker, and the King's Wit after she receives attention at court.[1]


Wema spun away from Brightlord Sterling’s forward advances, tucking her safehand to her breast and lowering her gaze from his comely locks. Such affection as to excite the unsavory mind could surely not satisfy her for an extended period, as though his attentions had at one time been fanciful delights to entertain her leisure hours, they now seemed to manifest his utmost impudence and greatest faults of character.

How could she accept this wanton justification of her once single-minded desires? Should she not, instead, select the more prudent choice, as advocated by the undeviating will of her uncle? Brightlord Vadam had an endowment of land upon the highprince’s grace, and would have means to provide far beyond the satisfactions available to a simple officer, no matter how well regarded or what winds had graced his temperament, features, and gentle touch.

“Wema,” Brightlord Sterling intoned, “it seems I have gravely misjudged your attentions. In this, I find myself deposited deep within an embarrassment of folly. I shall be away, to the Shattered Plains, and you shall not again suffer the torment of my presence.”

He bowed a true gentleman’s bow, possessed of all proper refinement and deference. It was a supplication beyond what even a monarch could rightly demand, and in it Wema ascertained the true nature of Brightlord Sterling’s regard. Simple, yet passionate. Respectful in deed. It lent great context to his earlier advance, which now appeared all at once to be a righteous division in otherwise sure armor, a window of vulnerability, rather than a model of avarice.

As he lifted the door’s latch to forever make his exodus from her life, Wema surged with unrivaled shame and longing, twisted together not unlike two threads winding in a loom to construct a grand tapestry of desire.

“Wait!” Wema cried. “Dear Sterling, wait upon my words.”

Decorum seemed a vain thing to her now, lost upon the sea that was her need to feel Sterling’s touch. She rushed to him, and upon his arm pressed her ensleeved hand, which then she lifted to caress his sturdy jaw.

—Excerpts from An Accountability of Virtue[1]


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