Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Shadow Rising Read-Along, Week 1

Welcome to The Shadow Rising Read-Along, Week 1!

Remember, the following may contain spoilers for books 1-3, up through Chapter 3 in book 4. Read at your own peril! ;D

1. Min’s viewings when she returns to Tar Valon are enough to make anyone worried: any guesses as to what will cause the death and mayhem? Also, is anyone else curious to know the story behind the name Elmindreda?

Well, it's gotta be something no one sees coming, and enough to devastate the tower. (I totally already know what it is, but I won't say. :D) I do think Siuan Sanche ought to be a bit more worried. I suppose I understand not fretting over something that may or may not happen for years, but you'd think she'd put extra soldiers on watch or something, if for no other reason than to make sure such terrible things don't happen on her watch.  And yes, totally would love to know more about the name Elmindreda. Is sounds so fearsome!

2. We now know some of Elaida’s reasons for being so fixated with Morgase, but do you think that she will actually help or hinder the fight against the Dark One?

Elaida = Dingbat. Just sayin'.
I gotta say hinder. Elaida is ambitious, but she's obviously not the brightest crayon in the box. I get why she attached herself to Andor, and perhaps if she hadn't pissed off Morgase (or rather if Elayne/Siuan Sanche hadn't) it might have done her good. But in all that time, she never bothered to dig for any more information about the Dragon or the prophecies? Moiraine has been looking for him for just as long, and she's obviously had way more luck and has way more idea of what's going on at large than Elaida does. She showed some insight by going to Andor to begin with, but anyone who fixates on one thing they believe will bring them power and prestige, then plunks themselves down to wait for it, not bothering to open their eyes to the world at large, is a bit of a dingbat in my book. Digbattery can't possibly help Rand defeat the Dark One, right?

3. We are introduced to Ordeith, but there is little description of him. Do you think we have met him before, using a different name, or is he yet another in the growing list of baddies? Also, how do you think Two Rivers will cope with him and the Whitecloaks and will we get to see Mistress Luhhan in action again? 

Yes, we've met him before. (Again, a question I totally know the answer to, but Jordan doesn't keep it a secret for long.) As for how the Two Rivers will cope, let's just say Book 4 has some really awesome stuff in it--one of my favorite books by far--and I can't wait to get into the nitty gritty of it. I can't remember if we get to see Mistress Luhan in action, but I really hope so. She sounds like my kind of woman! :D

4. High Lady Suroth seems to think that she will be able to capture Rand and make him into a type of damane. Do you think this is likely, or is she underestimating him and being wildly optimistic?

Yikes! I mean... Source
Yeah, I'm going to go with wildly optimistic. Let's just single-handedly take on a man who can channel, his loyal friends, the Aes Sedai, three thousand years of prophecy, and the Creator himself. No arrogance there at all! The High Lord Turak was cool, but his flaw was over-confidence. I gotta say, Suroth seems bound and determined to make the same mistakes. I'm sure she sees Rand as a country youth, which might be understandable at this point, if it weren't for what happened at Falme. He fought Ba'alzomon in the sky with a sword of fire...but the stance we're taking after seeing that is that he's a backward country bumpkin who can be easily controlled? Really? 

Creepier Bubble of Evil
5. Holy bubbles in the Pattern, Batman! Was I the only one frantically reading to see if the three lads would even survive their ‘interesting’ evening? This made a nice change from the Trolloc attack motif of the earlier books, but how long do you expect our characters to survive with things like this happening more frequently?

Yeah that part was freakin' awesome! I think this was a great way to start the book, not only because it starts off with a bang (lots of them, actually) but it also ups the ante. At least Trollocs can be seen and predicted. Your poker cards coming alive and trying to kill you...not so much! Or your reflection, for that matter. *shivers* Not sure how they'll deal with it, except that they'll have to be much more on their toes. And there's bound to be more angst which always makes for a fun read. :D

6. Sexytimes! Last week we discussed the relationship between Perrin and Faile and it seems to have ‘progressed’ quite a bit. Do you think that they are an item now, with full sexytimes privileges, even though it seems a little unclear from the book so far? Also, what about Berelain and her ever so subtle attempt to seduce Rand: how funny was it when she thought he was just talking dirty to her? Finally, how far do you think the Maiden’s Kiss game went to keep Mat awake all night???? :D
Creepy Bubble of Evil

It is unclear what their relationship is at this juncture, but the fact that Perrin is so comfortable with her, as opposed to his thoughts before he saved her at the end of TDR, makes me think they've already had a sexy time or two. If they hadn't, there would still be a level of uncertainty about where the relationship would eventually go. And just so everyone knows, Berelain is and always will be a bit of a skank. I never warmed up to her reading the series the first time. I know lots of fans did, but I just never found any respect or liking for her. Sometimes there's some comedy as she tries to seduce various people as we move along, but mostly I just want to smack her and tell her to find some a spine and some self-respect. As for Maiden's Kiss, Jordan is never clear about whether "kissing" is all the farther it goes, but knowing Mat and how playful the Maidens can be, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if it had gone further. There are (and have been!) volumes of jokes cracked about this game. Just google it and you'll see. You gotta love when someone gets the better of smug Mat, though, even if it's just for a night. :D

Holy Freakin' Psycho Bubble of Evil

I think we've covered just about everything. I really liked the scene where Min talked to Gawyn. I love that he's loyal and looking both for Elayne and Egwene. I love that he's hot (the novice making calf-eyes at him was pretty funny) and totally doesn't know it. I love how he treats Min--with respect--even though he's a bit mad at her and burdened with his own problems. I've said this before: he's a minor character, but I'd totally marry him. :D

How is everyone else liking the start of Book 4?


  1. I love your dingbat cartoon! Haha! Elaida Dingbat, here to muddle the situation, control everything and don't you dare confuse me with the facts!

    Also, loved your answer on Lady Suroth. Yes, she has balls, but they are not located anywhere that can possibly help her or keep her from hanging herself with her own rope.

    Whoever survives to the end of this series will need lengthy therapy, if for nothing more than the creepy bubbles.

  2. 1. I imagine that Siuan is stuck with a difficult decision. If she suddenly increases security the other Aes Sedai will demand to know why she is doing it and she won't want to reveal Min's secret. Also, some Sisters, such as Elaida, might see it as her trying to strengthen her grip on the Tower, so it might precipitate a violent response and cause the very event that she is trying to avoid. It seems like this is a no-win situation for her, and anything she does will probably not help in the long run.

    2. I think we have to officially re-name Elaida as The Dingbat, which sounds rather good! :D

    3. I was rather suspicious that we didn't hear from Fain in Book 3 at all as he is not the kind of character to simply wander off into the sunset.

    4. She must be related to Elaida the Dingbat in some way: they are both so single-mindedly stupid.

    6. Skank is such a weighted term . . . and yet I find myself agreeing with you. I know that we haven't had much background on her and this could be the only way she sees to control the fate of her people, but even so she doesn't show much dignity.

    Gawyn is a character I would like to learn more about, so I hope he plays a bigger roles in the later books. He seems like a really good man and his devotion to Elayne is very touching.