Sunday, January 26, 2014
Crown of Swords Read-Along, Week 5
Welcome to week 5 of our Crown of Swords Read-Along. This week we reach chapters 19-24. Remember that everything in this section as well as everything that's come before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk!
|Cadsuane Sedai (Source)|
1) We got more of Cadsuane when she interviewed (grilled) the other Sisters around Rand. What did you think of how she handled them? What do you think her endgame is?
I kind of have to admire anyone who can intimidate other Aes Sedai. She has a self-possession and confidence that's obviously difficult to dent. Despite the fact that she'd be a formidable enemy (let's hope she's not that to Rand) I admire how she doesn't let anyone push her around or even influence her enough to reveal anything she doesn't want to. I also love that she's an adventurer. Despite her white hair, she talks about riding from one side of Randland to the other, seeking knowledge and information. This is my kind of woman. The last Aes Sedai we saw that was anything like her was Moiraine. Just sayin'.
|Rand and Min (Source)|
2) Rand and Min take their relationship to the next level. (Poor Elayne!) What did you think of how this happened? How will it change Min and Rand's friendship? And how will Elayne and Aviendha react?
I always thought this scene was hysterical. Rand has chosen to be all kinds of clueless about Min. With how much he resisted, he kinda raped him. If a guy did this to a gal, all the feminist claws would come out. But women can totally get away with this in Randland, apparently. Just makes me laugh.
Beyond that, I totally know how their relationship will change, so I won't say much. It seems to me that Elayne and Aviendha are going to have to accept this. Given that they've already resigned themselves to sharing him, it shouldn't be such a huge stretch. It'll definitely be interesting to get them all in the same place, though. :D
3) Sevanna and her little retinue use the call boxes to speak to a man and a woman, who we later learn are Sammael and Graendal. What do you think their plan is? And who do you think the Watcher keeping on eye on them is?
Sammael and Graendal. These two always strike me as two doofases of equal (that is to say, low) intelligence, who work together well because of it. As per usual, their plan is most likely to snare Rand somehow. (Again, the fact that they think Sevanna is an awesome, efficient way to do this reveals their collective IQ) and already things aren't looking particularly promising.
I know who the Watcher is, so I won't say, but I will point out some things to remember that will be important later. He is important. He mentions dark flecks floating across his vision, and the True Power (as opposed to the One Power). Those things are important.
Interesting lines from the Watcher: "Small increases in chaos are as important as large."
"But today's truth need not be tomorrow's. The watcher had seen the truth change a hundred times between a single sunrise and sunset. More than once he had changed it himself." (pg. 454)
4) After a (somewhat hilarious) evening of drinking with Brigitte, the dice in Mat's head stop when Elayne and Nynaeve ask him to move into the palace. Obviously it's an important event. What do you think it means? What will happen?
I totally love the image of Mat and Brigitte clinking mugs of ale and having a good time together. As well as the fact that Elayne got drunk (or at least felt the effects of it) just because Brigitte did. Very amusing. Again, I know the answer to this, so I'll just say that this move into the palace is very important and will be the beginning of some things we've been waiting for concerning Mat for a long time.
5) Nynaeve and Elayne discover a Circle of women who are either too weak to become Aes Sedai or have been kicked out of the Tower for some reason. What do you think of the Kin and their odd customs? How will they figure in the story from here on out?
This is one of those the-Tower-is-so-stupid things. If they want the Tower to be powerful, they ought to be gathering anyone and everyone who can channel. Even if they're too weak to become Aes Sedai, they ought to find positions for them, make them feel special, and then being part of the order or guild of women who Channels would be a privilege and the Tower would just be much stronger. Instead, they turn their noses up and, even women who are very strong, but simply have a minor meltdown during the testing are given the boot. And it doesn't seem to occur to them that these women might gather anywhere else in the world. *rubs bridge of nose for Aes Sedai stupidity*
I like that their customs--especially who stands where in influence--are different than the Tower. I also like that they are kind to one another--overly apologetic and such. It's so refreshing given how most Aes Sedai treat one another. And I like the fact that they've managed to keep themselves so secret, given how the Tower prides themselves on knowing everything. Given that Egwene is trying to gather anyone and everyone who might channel even a little bit to her cause, I think she might just be ecstatic at this discovery.
I also liked that, for once, about this one thing, Nynaeve seemed to be thinking more clearly than Elayne. Oh, and it was hysterical when she started crying because they were going to have to ask Mat for help after all. :D
6) Nynaeve's weather sense tells her a storm is about to break over the city, which we now know is something of a Talent. It doesn't always mean the weather, but sometimes other kinds of storms. What do you think her weather sense portends this time?
Yeah...I know the answer to this. We won't get it in it's entirety until the end of this book, but it's pretty epic.
7) While making their way back from the Kin's manor, Nynaeve and Elayne are attacked in the street. Who do you think did it and why?
I honestly don't remember who it is. I don't think it's the Kin, but this is Ebou Dar. This is exactly the reason Lan didn't want Nynaeve going to Tanchico without protection, and Ebou Dar isn't much better. The two of them were clomping through the bad part of town wearing rich silks. They were kind of asking to be mugged. I'm sure there was more to the attack than that, but I honestly don't remember who was behind it.
It's funny that Nynaeve gets irritated with Elayne and Aviendha's "toh foolishness." Toh would make her accountable for all her words, actions, and hypocrisies, so obviously it must be foolishness.
|From the Two Rivers: Lan, Moiraine, Perrin, Rand, Mat, Egwene, Nynaeve, Thom Source|
Okay, I'm gonna be a sociology geek here for a minute, but I thought the part where Setalle Anan was walking them through the city, telling everyone how they'd spent their money on clothes to appear rich and attract a man was interesting. It seemed to suggest that this really isn't done at all. Basically, they are accused of being gold diggers. Anyone in Randland who does this is taboo and looked down on. Even if a merchant has enough money to buy silks, he/she doesn't because they are merchants, not nobles. Everyone seems to accept their place and that is that. We've also seen this from the other side, with how anyone--Rand, Mat, Perrin--who is considered a lord must wear silks, embroidered coats, etc. Just kind of interesting to think about.
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