Rhythm of War

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<Rhythm of War>
RoW US cover.jpg
The Stormlight Archive
Follows Oathbringer
Precedes Wind and Truth
Setting Roshar, Cosmere
Released November 17, 2020
Publisher Tor Books, Gollancz
ISBN 978-0-7653-2638-6
Page Count 1,232
Word Count 455,891

Rhythm of War is the fourth book in the The Stormlight Archive. It was released on November 17, 2020.[1]


There are secrets we have kept for so long. Watching. Sleepless. Eternal. And soon, they will no longer be ours.

The One Who Is Three seeks the captured soul, but does not know it. The imprisoned spren, so long ago forgotten. Can she free her own soul in time to find knowledge? The knowledge that damns all people of Roshar?

The Fallen Soldier caresses and loves the spear even as it gouges his own flesh. He steps ever forward, ever into darkness, without light. He can bring none with him, but that which he can kindle himself.

The Broken Sister sees her mistakes, and thinks she is one herself. She seems so far from her ancestors, but does not realize they carry her upon their shoulders. Toward victory, and toward that most important silence.

And the Mother of Machines, most important of them all, dances with liars at a grand ball. She must unmask them, find their hidden truths, and present them to the world. She must admit that the worst lies have been the ones she tells herself.

If she does, our secrets will finally become truths instead.

Cover Flap[edit]

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, and the threat of a betrayal by Dalinar's crafty ally Taravangian looms over every strategic move.

Now, as new technological discoveries by Navani Kholin's scholars 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.[2]


The book is set on Roshar one year after the Battle of Thaylen Field and follows the stories of Shallan Davar, Kaladin, Venli, and Navani Kholin. There are also several other characters who receive viewpoints; Adolin Kholin, Lirin, Dalinar Kholin, Renarin Kholin, Jasnah Kholin, Rlain, Dabbid, Teft, Moash, Adin, Taravangian, Lezian, and Wit in the main text, Venli and Eshonai in flashbacks, and several others in the Interludes.


Brandon began writing Stormlight Archive 4 in January 2019, with publication planned for 2020.[3][4] The original working title was The Song of Changes, which Brandon said was never meant to be the final title, and he later said the tentative title was The Rhythm of War.[5][6] Eventually, it was announced that the book would be released on November 17th, 2020, although the final title was still unknown at that time.[1] Rhythm of War was finally made the official title in February 2020, and the writing process ended in July 2020.[7]

Initially, the book was to feature Eshonai's flashbacks, with Venli taking center stage in the present-day timeline.[8] Eventually, Brandon began to waver on the former, wondering if Venli's flashbacks wouldn't work better for expanding on greater cosmere mysteries.[9] Ultimately, he decided on mixed flashbacks, with part set from Eshonai's perspective, while the other part set from Venli's.[10]

The present-day story takes place approximately one year after the events of Oathbringer.[8] While the title suggests greater focus on singer characters, the remaining protagonists, including Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar, and Szeth, also feature prominently.[8] The prologue is written from the perspective of Navani.[11][12]

Wit's epilogue in Rhythm of War is something that Brandon had been particularly looking forward to for a long time.[13]

Pre-Publication Content[edit]

Brandon has shared several fragments of Rhythm of War over the course of writing it, though it must be remembered that those come from the first draft, and as such are subject to change.

  • Two versions of a Lirin point-of-view section: the first, in which he's walking through town looking for the Herdazian general, and the second, in which he's examining refugees coming to Hearthstone from Herdaz, while keeping an eye out for the same man. The fragment turned out to be the opening of chapter one,[12] the first draft of which was included in Brandon's November 2019 newsletter.
  • A recorded reading of a Venli point-of-view section, which can be listened to here, as Venli is getting ready to receive lady Leshwi in the conquered Kholinar.
  • A fragment of the Navani prologue, which can be found here, in which Navani tries to keep the party under control while searching for her suspiciously absent husband, and another version here, which continues for a little longer after the first reading ends and features a conversation between the two.
  • A very early version of an Eshonai flashback scene, found here, in which she explores the area around the Shattered Plains and finds humans.
  • A Lift interlude, which can be read and listened to here, in which she steals food, sneaks through the ventilation shafts of Urithiru, and discusses her visit to the Nightwatcher with Wyndle.
  • A Syl interlude, released in July 2020 Newsletter, in which she asks Dalinar to help her understand Kaladin's depression better
  • Chapters 7 and 8, which can be listened to here, regarding Kaladin and Moash, as well as new fabrials used by the Fused.

Additionally, Tor.com publicly released full part 1 of the book, including the prologue; it, and the accompanying discussion threads, can be found here.

Cover Gallery[edit]

Interior Art[edit]

See also[edit]


Statistical Analysis[edit]

Rhythm of War consists of one prologue, one hundred and seventeen chapters, twelve of which are reserved for flashbacks of the focus character of the book, twelve interludes and one epilogue, reaching a total 455,891 word count. There are twenty-four different unique point-of-view characters in a total of 226 POVs.

Word Count 455,891
Page Count 1,232 Tor hardback
Chapter Count 131 Including prologue, 12 interludes, and epilogue.
PoV Characters 24
PoV Count 226


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