Sunday, January 12, 2014

Crown of Swords Read-Along, Week 3

Welcome to week 3 of our Crown of Swords Read-Along! This week, we read chapters 9-12. Remember that everything in this section as well as everything that's come before (6 books worth) are fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk!

Myrelle Sedai
1. Nicola and Areina are trying to blackmail both Egwene and Myrelle. What do you think of their motivations? Did Egwene do the right thing in rejecting them? Could this damage her for real?

Nicola may just be a very ambitious, somewhat foolish woman, but it should also be remembered that she joined up with Elayne and Nynaeve on their way to Salidar at the same time that "Marigan" did. So, there are other possibilities as well. 

Egwene was very right in rejecting them. Yes, it could possibly damage her down the road, but I'm a firm believer that you should never let anyone hold anything over your head. Even if the consequences are dire, you'll still be in a better position than when someone is holding you hostage over something. We'll just have to wait and see if Nicola and Areina are bright enough or brave enough to follow through on their threats.

2. Egwene has lots of dreams, about Gawyn, Mat, Logain and herself. Any comments or crazy theories?

I can't say much about the dreams because I know what most of them turn out to be, though I'll admit there are a few I'm not sure about. Obviously Gawyn and Egwene have a lot of obstacles in the future. The ones about Mat and the Illuminator display, and about Logain were both interesting. Keep an eye on both of those. I don't remember what the significance of the one about the female eagle touching Egwene is, though. I have an inkling of what it might pertain to, but can't remember for certain. Anyway, I always love the dream sections. Always so interesting. :D

Egwene al'Vere  Source
3. Egwene's circle of trust is growing, with Faolain, Theodrin and Myrelle, soon also to include the rest of the Salidar six it seems. While not sitters, these are some powerful names. Will this finally be the tipping point, or do you expect she will need something more?

I think this will be the tipping point one way or the other. Even if things don't actually "tip" yet, these powerful names will draw and sway others, which can only work in Egwene's favor. Though not sitters, the six were pretty much running things before Egwene was raised Amyrlin. Obviously the Hall, as well as other sisters, trust them. So this is a big deal.

Despite the amount of time it takes to read these books, Egwene is actually moving pretty quickly. The way she talked in the past about "one day" being the Amyrlin in reality as well as name made it sound like it might be years. Of course, finding the sisters doing things against Tower law certainly speeds up the process. Egwene's smart enough to use such things to her advantage. Go her!

4. It looks like Lan will meet Nynaeve pretty soon, and in Ebou Dar no less. This is growing into quite the mishmash of characters. What sort of amusing scenarios do you see in the future? Lan is no longer a King (sort of)… could he be the key to finding the bowl?

Yeah! Okay, time to fangirl about Lan and Nynaeve. When I first read the series, I pretty much lived for their romantic scenes. As soon as Moiraine died at the end of book 5, I was very excited to see how this story line would play out. I wanted to throw book 6 against the wall--despite how awesome it was--because Lan wasn't in it at all except for that 1.5 page scene where he comes to Myrelle. So, I'm just gonna tell you that we will get some Lan/Nynaeve action in this book, albeit not for a few more weeks, and it's awesome. Kind of a famous/infamous WoT scene, actually. Very excited over here!

Is it just me or is the
creepiest picture EVER?
5. Halima/Aran'gar/Balthamel is earning Egwene's trust. Do you think the headaches are her design? Are they just headaches or something more sinister? Compulsion? With her channeling saidin and Logain gone, how could she ever be found out?

Yeah, I think the headaches must be Halima's doing. How could they not, knowing that she's secretly Balthamel? I never thought about them being Compulsion. Scary as that would be, it would also be kind of cool. It would mean that Egwene is somehow resisting it without even realizing it. But the Forsaken could also just be ingratiating him/herself to Egwene so s/he can manipulate things with the Tower in some way. 

I gotta say, this is actually a pretty smart scheme for Balthamel. Because he was one of the first Forsaken to die, I never think of him as the brightest crayon in the box, but this is pretty smart. Of course, given the whole second-chance-resurrection-in-a-woman's-body thing, he's probably doing the DO's bidding, rather than his own, which means it wasn't exactly his idea. But we've already seen Egwene defending Halima, even if it's just in her own head, so it seems to be working well for the Forsaken.

I don't see how Egwene could ever figure out Halima's true identity on her own. They'll need a male channeler--Rand, or one of his Ashaman?--to realize it. 


Loved the whole scene where Egwene and Siuan confronted Myrelle and Niaso. I loved how freaked out they were, and seeing them put in their place. I loved that Lan managed to make everyone's jaw drop, somehow or other. Even among Aes Sedai and other Gaidin, he's something of a legend. I really loved that he gave Egwene advice and told her not to take any more crap from any of the sisters, and that he accepted her so readily as Amyrlin. And that he wasn't freaked out by Skimming. Totally love Lan!

This has nothing to do with the actual story, but has everyone heard about the whole HUGO award thing that's going on right now? They've found a loophole that might allow the Wheel of Time series as a whole to be nominated for the prestigious award. It has to do with the fact that no single installment has ever been nominated or won, so they can present it as all one story in many parts. I haven't looked into it more than reading a few articles, but I think you can vote for it once the nominations come out, so we should all keep an eye on it. This is one of the most influential fantasy series since J.R.R. Tolkien was writing, so I really hope they give it the award. More information at THIS LINK.

How did everyone else like this section?


  1. Ooo! So are you hinting that Nicola is a Darkfriend? Or possibly she hunts Darkfriends and the Forsaken and something about Marigan tipped her off. Hmm.....Now I will have to pay closer attention to her.

    I can see you jumping up and down about Lan and Nynaeve from over here! Now I just want to speed ahead with the reading to see what all the fuss is about.

    Very interesting about tWoT and the Hugos. I wonder how that will turn out, and if it will reshape the Hugos a bit concerning lengthy series in which the books don't stand individually.

    1. Somehow I can't imagine Nicola hunting Darkfriends: she strikes me as full of bluff rather than real courage.

      I wouldn't get your hopes up for a steamy love scene - a bet it will be much like the one between Rand and Aviendha and fade to black far too soon! :D

  2. 1. Somehow I can't see them as Darkfriends: I'm not sure why but I don't get that vibe from them. I also doubt that they have the courage to actually carry out their threats, and they would probably be shot down in flames (possibly literally) if they tried.

    2. The repeated use of minor characters is one of the aspects that really impresses me about this series. I love how they pop back up when you least expect it.

    3. I have been seriously impressed by Egwene as Amyrlin, but I agree that she seems to have matured very quickly. I had expected a much longer period where she was basically a puppet for the other Sisters.

    4. I am expecting much braid yanking and stony faced gazing before they head off to have a very prolonged session of frantic sexytimes! :D

    5. That Halima drawing does not have big enough boobs! I have to agree that I don't think of him/her as terribly bright: look at how he tried to channel at Mat. However, s/he is certainly sneaky, so I suspect that s/he will be around for quite some time to come.

    Agreed: Lan is the epitome of coolness and I am glad to see him back.