Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Fires of Heaven Read-Along, Week 4

Welcome to week 4 of The Fires of Heaven Read-Along. Remember that this section and everything leading up to it are fair game for spoilers so read at your own risk.

*I'm ridiculously busy this week and behind on everything, so my answers will probably be shorter than usual.*

1. The menagerie reads like a sitcom on wheels. What are your impressions? Will Cerandin play a role? Do you recognize someone else we haven't seen for a while?

I always liked the menagerie. It's kind of a ragtag group of eccentric misfits. Always reminded me of the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer film, you know. I don't think Jordan would make a point of Nynaeve noticing Cerandin so much unless she was going to play a role, so chances are we'll see more of her. I'm assuming the last questions is talking about Aludra. We haven't seen her since Mat--or was it Rand?--knocked over some fireworks in the chapter house a couple of books ago. Obviously this woman is a survivor. She's always around somewhere.

2. Moghedien recruits the rogue Black Ajah. Speculations on the orders they were given? Just how much danger are Nynaeve and Elayne in, now?

This scene reminded me a lot of the preface to book 2--the Darkfriend social involving Bors. There were similar demonstrations of evil power and then orders were given discreetly. The major difference was that this was more feminine than masculine, which meant there was more PMS than testosterone. Not sure what orders she gave, but chances are they're lame. The fact that she's already wasting resources in a personal vendetta against Nynave, just because Nynaeve is so much cooler than she is, shows how dim-witted she is.

Not my favorite image of Morgase. Maybe this is
supposed to be how Gaebril had her dressed up,
but to me she looks like a Forsaken version
of Elizabeth I of England. Thoughts?
3. Morgase finally escapes Gaebril, with some other old friends 
returning to the story. Will she ever be back in power? Was Lini as expected?

Glad that Morgase finally got away from him. We always heard about how strong-willed she was, but the first time we see her since book 1...yeah not so much. But it does take a strong will to overcome the Compulsion of a Forsaken, so we gotta give her points for that. Whether she'll return to the throne remains to be seen. I totally love Lini, though. She's so great. So true to life as well. I've known lots of elderly people who are just too old to care what people think, and just say it like it is. Lini's that way. Of course, she seems to have been that way since she was young, but still. And I'm glad to see Master Gill again as well. He reminds me of some of the lovable guys in my family, so I'm always a fan of his.

Rand al'Thor
4. Rand seems to be having a brewing identity crisis. Is this a 
manifestation of the madness, genuine memories from a past life surfacing, or maybe both? Do you think his insistence on being himself only will work?

I think it's both. Given who he is, I don't think he can escape his past identities, not fully. A few weeks ago, someone made the comment that perhaps his reluctance to kill women stems from the fact that, as Lews Therin, he killed his beloved wife. I thought that was really interesting. In keeping with that, his past is probably affecting him, even if only subconsciously at this point. But I think it's also important that he try to remain try to himself and who he was raised to be. Whether he can do it or not may be, in my opinion, irrelevant. The combination of the two will shape who he will eventually become.

This just wins on SO many levels!
5. The Rand-Aviendha plot seems about ready to explode, don't you think? Is there a resolution in sight?

It's got to come to a head at some point. The longer it takes, the bigger explosion they'll be. Guess we'll find out. :D

6. Our heroes turn back another attack out of nowhere seemingly doomed to fail. Moiraine says not to think the Forsaken simple, but I'm having a hard time not to. Thoughts?

I think yes and no about her advice. I think she's right in that the Forsaken can be intelligent and are likely to implement multi-tiered attacks and strategies. But, I totally know what you mean, too. They're not only human, but relatively closed-minded humans, which makes them actually quite predictable. It's one of those things: good, forward thinking people are original and creative in their own ways; they'll always surprise you. But evil people...they're pretty much all evil in exactly the same ways. So...why would you become a dark friend again?


I loved the bit about how Tallanvor took Gaebril's oath to stay near Morgase, but secretly cut himself and promised to be true to me. It was just so...Lord of the Rings. I don't even know why it made me think of LOTR, but it just sounds like something Tolkien would have written. And, you know, I'm a hopeless romantic too. :D Before that part, Tallavor was just another side character Jordan was using to move the story along. After reading that bit, yeah I REALLY like him. :D

I also loved the cat fight between Nynaeve and Latelle. It would have been better if we could have actually seen it, but even so. Hysterical. Very classy, Nynaeve Sedai. Very classy. :D

Oh! And Egwene saw Brigitte. I love the parts of stories where someone has a secret, and then someone else finds out. It makes me rub my hands together and read faster.

How did everyone else like this section?


  1. Ah, thank you for the pic of the jousting raptors. Now I must clean hot tea off the keyboard.

    You're right, that image of Morgase does look like an evil Forsaken British monarch. In these chapters I pictured her in something sleek, royal, and revealing, not poofed up and just showing a little cleavage.

    I also liked Tallanvor and his secret oath to remain true to Morgase. It makes his frustration & anger towards her so much more understandable.

  2. Yeah: I thought that as well, especially because everyone was present but deaf for most of the time. I love you point about Moghedien being side-tracked by her embarrassment - again, you are so right. I think the Forsakens' over-sized egos are the biggest assets for the side of Light at the moment.

    I always imagine Morgase being rather simple in her dress because she has so much inner beauty and strength, so I agree that this is a strange image of her. At least we know that it is her own hair, unlike Elizabeth, who wore a wig.

    I love the Rand/Aviendha image . . . it helps that I am a massive GoT fan! :D

  3. The whole interaction between Moghedien and Nynaeve really points out how evil turns people into idiots. The Forsaken don't seem to be able to grasp the idea that together the light doesn't have much of a chance. They are too focused on personal gain and glory and spend ALL of their time bringing each other down to further their own purposes. When the do finally face the light they are unprepared for the humility and goodness and fail. I also loved the Latell/Nynaeve fist fights!

    1. I forgot to comment on the Morgase image. I think someone accidentally used this image as Morgase. There is no way she has the puffy face with forehead eyebrows and too much lipstick. Also, the cleavage looks like it's part of the costume.