Summary:Words of Radiance/Chapter 61

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Plot Summary
One and a half years ago

Shallan has become the perfect daughter. She keeps quiet now, particularly around her father, and spends most of her days in her rooms. Her father had proven several times that he wouldn't hurt shallan if she angered him, but would beat others in her name. The only time she drops her mask now is with her brothers, making jokes to try to drive back the darkness in their home.

She is also more involved in keeping House Davar's accounts, and their fortunes seem to have improved. Her father has shrewdly stopped being bullied by the other lighteyes and has started playing them off each other. New marble deposits have been discovered, which provide resources to keep up with his promises, bribes, and deals. Shallan hopes this will improve her father's temperament, but it doesn't.

Lin and Balat are arguing about who he will marry. Balat wants to marry Eylita Tavinar, but his father thinks she's of too low a status. He wants Balat to marry Sudi Valam, daughter of of Highprince Valam, who is a widow in her fifties. Their argument escalates and Balat calls his father a murderer. In response, Lin coldly orders one of his new guards to kill Balat's new axehound pups. Balat is outraged and tells his father that Helaran is back, and that they had met only two days past. They lock eyes, then Balat stalks out of the room.

Shallan finds Balat in the kennel, where his new pod of axehound pups were dead in a pool of violet blood. She'd encouraged him to breed them and he'd been making progress with his demons over the years, rarely hurting anything larger than a cremling now. They discuss fleeing their house, and balat tells her he wants to go to live in Vedenar with Eylita. Shallan says she can't go but will try to think of a way for them to escape, and returns to the house.

While passing her father's door Shallan overhears him talking to Rin, one of the house's new guards. Her father tells Rin to find Helaran, ambush him, and bring back his head. He offers Helaran's Shardblade as payment. Melise, having also apparently overheard this, is shocked that her husband would order the murder of his own son. A violent, angry argument breaks out, and Rin leaves.

  • When Lin and Balat lock eyes at the mention of Helaran, Shallan "counted ten beats of her thumping heart" before Balat looks away. This brings to mind the summoning of a Shardblade, though it doesn't appear to be related.


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