Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Fires of Heaven, Week 2



Welcome to week 2 of the Fires of Heaven Read-Along. This week we read chapters 4-9. Remember that everything in this section as well as anything that came before are fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk!
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1. The Wise Ones want Aviendha to sleep in Rand's chambers. Do you see this leading to any kind of change in her and Rand's relationship? If so, what?
This is the kind of thing that makes me smile. If she really disliked Rand as much as she claims, sleeping close to him wouldn't worry her at all. In this case, the lady doth protest too much. Which means that forcing them together will probably lead to things they both claim not to want. Pa-hah.


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2. Our buddies the Darkhounds make an appearance in Rhuidean. Lanfear claims they were sent by Rahvin and reveals to Rand that the Forsaken is Morgase's manipulative lover. Do you think she's being truthful?
It's always hard to tell with Lanfear. She gleefully told Rand that Rahvin was in Caemlyn, but that makes sense because exposing the plans of her competition is in her best interest. But if sicking Rand on Rahvin would be helpful to her, she'd tell him he sent the darkhounds, even if he didn't. Maybe it doesn't matter, though. It's safe to assume that one of Rand's evil sociopathic enemies sent the shadowspawn. Does it really matter which?
3. Moiraine cautions Rand about balefire and promises not to try and manipulate him. What do you think of balefire? Is it worth its consequences? Should Rand use it to take out the Forsaken? What do you think of Moiraine's promises? Will they work out the way she hopes?
SUCH a great depiction of this scene!
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Balefire is scary, but also kind of bada**, you have to admit. I get all the philosophical stuff about messing with the Pattern, but personally I wouldn't mind if Rand took a couple of the Forsaken out this way. I'd be cheering and, let's face it, if something went wrong, well, that just makes for more awesome fiction. :D I remember not liking this new, diplomatic Moiraine the first time I read this. Her being docile just...kind of rubs me the wrong way, you know? At the same time, though, I think she's being smart, learning from her failures. Trying to manipulate him obviously isn't working anymore (or at least not openly manipulating him) so she's doing what she can to keep him close. Only time will tell how much she can influence him this way. In the mean time, it is kind of gratifying to see him put her in her place after so many pages of puppeteering on her part.
4. Rand's making lots of changes--his new arrangement with Moiraine, sending for Ogier to help rebuild Rhuidean, making the fountains flow again in the city. What do you think of all these changes?
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I LOVE the idea of getting the Ogier to help rebuild Rhuidean. Awesome call, Rand. Awesome call. Although I think someone needs to inform Loial. This is exactly the kind of thing he'd get really excited about. And I think it's cool that he made the fountains run again. It will help ensure that the city actually is and an be rebuilt, though it's perhaps a little sad that it will never again be as it once was. Rand is having a little too much fun talking down to Moiraine, but can you really blame him? 
Egwene Al'Vere
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5. Egwene is "rummaging" around in lots of people's dreams and finding disturbing things there. Do you think this is a good idea? Would you do it, in her position? Do you think it could backfire, and if so, how?
Obviously it's not a smart idea, but that really wouldn't keep me from trying it if I could. You know at some point something's going to happen--she'll get trapped or hear the wrong thing in someone's dream, get caught by the Wise Ones or otherwise get herself into trouble. But that's what makes it interesting. I totally want to be a Dreamwalker! :D


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6. Moiraine muses on Lan and Nynaeve's relationship. She says she's already "taken care" of certain things. What do you think she means by that? On the other side of the world, Nynaeve and Elayne are drugged by Mistress Macura. What do you think this woman's intentions are?
This is an example of how Moiraine always thinks she knows what's best for everyone. But, whatever she's done, she's doing it out of concern for Lan and--being a fan of Lan myself--I can't hate her for it. As for Mistress Macura, it seems obvious that she's somebody's spy. They know the Black Ajah is after them and not as dumb as Nynaeve assumes (they've covered other routes than just the ships) so what are the chances Macura works for someone else? 
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7. Fun bonus! Now that Rand, according to Lan, is practically a blademaster in his own right, he moves quite naturally through the sword forms. There are whole online communities dedicated to these sword forms that love to come up with new, interesting, often comical ones. (i.e. cat and bird in a nap sack, sparrow blinks uncertainly, cheetah runs and trips, etc. You get the drift.) Come up with one or two sword forms you'd love to see Rand perform! Just 'cause. 
How about Girl leaves boy with mouth hanging open,
                    Maiden giggles at white knight,                        and
                    Zombie devours victim.

Those should look pretty graceful. :D

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Extras:
Couladin's making a move which means Rand is making a move. Looks like we might get some more battle action before long. At least, we can hope, right?

I really love the idea of Rand waiting to face the darkhounds atop the ancient symbol of the Aes Sedai. That was a cool image.

And the whole Mat-getting-slobbered-on thing was interesting too. Such great scenes!

Finally, I found this picture this week. It's SO funny! See if you can identify all the characters. I laughed for like ten minutes.


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How did everyone else like this section?

P.S. I'm being featured in a giveaway on Heidi Cullinin's blog today, giving away a copy of my book. The links are below if you're interested! 

Rafflecopter Giveaway Heidi's Facebook Page

3 comments :

  1. Here I Am: http://dabofdarkness.com/2013/08/18/the-fires-of-heaven-read-along-part-ii/

    First, your pic of My Little Wheel of Time was hilarious! I'm going to have to be careful about drinking my hot tea while reading your blog from now on, I laughed so suddenly!

    I don't trust the diplomatic Moiraine anymore than I did the domineering Moiraine, and it is nice to see that Rand doesn't either.

    Rhuidean use to be a living, thriving city and then became this broken mist of a myth that gets used occasionally for educational purposes. Now it will be a thriving community again.

    Yep, I'm pretty sure Zombie Devours Victim will be exceedingly graceful ;).

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  2. Here's my link, sorry it's late, but life has been rather hectic!

    http://coffeecookiesandchilipeppers.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-fires-of-heaven-by-robert-jordan_19.html

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  3. 2. I agree with you - it is almost irrelevant who actually sent the Darkhounds because Rand has other priorities at the moment.

    3. I find that Moiraine's new demeanor emphasizes how desperate she is to influence Rand's decisions: I am just surprised that nobody, other than Lan, has questioned why she has changed her approach.

    6. I am not sure if I agree with you about this being an example of Moiraine's need to control everything. I think that it shows her deep knowledge of, and affection for, Lan. She knows that his first instinct will be to die trying to avenge her death and so she has made arrangements that should stop that from happening. she will place him in all kinds of danger, but she does not want him to die needlessly, which is rather noble of her in my opinion.

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