Excerpts from Navani's journal constitute the epigraphs for Part One, Alight, of Words of Radiance. They are filled with portent, Navani's hindsight, and her feelings of regret and sorrow.

To be perfectly frank, what has happened these last two months is upon my head. The death, destruction, loss, and pain are my burden. I should have seen it coming. And I should have stopped it.

–From the personal journal of Navani Kholin, Jeseses 1174[1]

Our first clue was the Parshendi. Even weeks before they abandoned their pursuit of the gemhearts, their pattern of fighting changed. They lingered on the plateaus after battles, as if waiting for something.

–From the personal journal of Navani Kholin, Jeseses 1174[2]

Soldiers reported being watched from afar by an unnerving number of Parshendi scouts. Then we noticed a new pattern of their penetrating close to the camps in the night and then quickly retreating. I can only surmise that our enemies were even then preparing their stratagem to end this war.

–From the personal journal of Navani Kholin, Jeseses 1174[3]

The next clue came on the walls. I did not ignore this sign, but neither did I grasp its full implications.

–From the journal of Navani Kholin, Jeseses 1174[4]

The sign on the wall proposed a greater danger, even, than its deadline. To forsee the future is of the Voidbringers.

–From the journal of Navani Kholin, Jeseses 1174[5]

We had never considered that there might be Parshendi spies hiding among our slaves. This is something else I should have seen.

–From the journal of Navani Kholin, Jesesan 1174[6]

I was unprepared for the grief my loss brought - like an unexpected rain - breaking from a clear sky and crashing down upon me. Gavilar's death years ago was overwhelming, but this ... This nearly crushed me.

–From the journal of Navani Kholin, Jesesach 1174[7]

I seek not to use my grief as an excuse, but it is an explanation. People act strangely soon after encountering an unexpected loss. Though Jasnah had been away for some time, her loss was unexpected. I, like many, assumed her to be immortal.

–From the journal of Navani Kholin, Jesesach 1174[8]

I wish to think that had I not been under sorrow's thumb, I would have seen earlier the approaching dangers. Yet in all honesty, I'm not certain anything could have been done.

–From the journal of Navani Kholin, Jesesach 1174[9]

But, understandably, we were focused on Sadeas. His betrayal was still fresh, and I saw its signs each day as I passed empty barracks and grieving widows. We knew that Sadeas would not simply rest upon his slaughters in pride. More was coming.

–From the journal of Navani Kholin, Jesesach 1174[10]

Unfortunately, we fixated upon Sadeas's plotting so much that we did not take note of the changed pattern of our enemies, the murderers of my husband, the true danger. I would like to know what wind brought about their sudden, inexplicable transformation.

–From the journal of Navani Kholin, Jesesach 1174[11]


In the first three chapters of Part One, the epigraphs come from Navani's personal journal. In the ensuing chapters, the epigraphs come from Navani's journal. Is this a many times repeated typo in chapters 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, and 12 (chapter 10 is Shallan's flashback), or is this deliberate? Does Navani maintain two distinct journals?.

Due to the difference in their titles and each their content, it can be inferred that Navani's personal journal/Navani's journal and Navani's notebook are separate documents; one kept private and the other made more public.


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