Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Crown of Swords Read-Along, Week 6

Welcome to week 6 of our Crown of Swords Read-Along. This week we read chapters 25-30. Remember that everything in this section as well as all that came before is fair game for spoilers so read at your own risk. 

Moridin (Source)
1. It would seem that we have the identity of the Watcher from last week, but Moridin is not the name of any of the Forsaken. Is he a new Forsaken, just as Shaidar Haran is a new type of Myrddraal, or is he a reincarnation of one of the dead ones? Were you surprised that Moghedien was allowed to live and do you think she will ever escape the mindtrap?

I know the answer to who Moridin is, so I won't say. We have seen some of the Forsaken be resurrected, though, so that's a viable option. Hint: We know Moridin has these weird dark spots, the sa'a over his eyes. What guy have we seen that had messed up eyes?

The question of Shaidar Haran is also an intriguing one. He seems to have been set above most of the Forsaken, yet he doesn't have the same powers they do. 

In terms of evilness and the Dark One, I'm kind of surprised Moghedien got off so easy. I would have expected things to be worse for her. But, in terms of the story, I wasn't surprised. It didn't feel like Jordan was done with her character yet, so I fully expected to see her again. 

Andoran Pride (Morgase) Source
2. So, Valda has proven to be a rapist as well as a murderer: lovely! Do you think that Morgase will successfully evade the Seanchan and do you expect her to tell anyone about her renunciation of the Lion Throne?

Again, I know how things turn out, here, so I won't say too much. Morgase is a strong woman, though. A survivor, to be sure. I definitely wouldn't write her off. Of course, I wouldn't complain if Tallanvor got a chance to kill Valda. Just saying. 

High Lady Suroth (Source)
Doesn't she seem sweet?
3. I guess we can assume that the Seanchan were that storm that Nynaeve could detect. What did you make of their attack on the Fortress of Light? Our previous impression of Suroth was that she was wildly overconfident about capturing Rand: do these latest events change your opinion?

I think Suroth is a formidable woman. She definitely has an ego, which will probably lead to her downfall, but that doesn't mean she's completely daft, either. She wouldn't be such a high, trusted leader of the Seanchan if she didn't have leadership abilities and military prowess. Mostly, I just get annoyed because she keeps popping up. As in, hasn't anyone killed this chick yet?

Rand and Perrin (Source)
4. Sneaky! Although I hate a writer doing this, I was happy to discover that the fight between Rand and Perrin was a way to distract their enemies. How successful do you think Perrin will be at finding Masema and subduing the Dragonsworn? I am getting truly sick of it, so any ideas on how and when the whole Faile / Berelain thing will be resolved?  

I'm actually not sure the fight was entirely fake. Rand has turned care of the Aes Sedai over to the Aiel Wise Ones, and Perrin believes they're being tortured. Which, they sort of are. Rand has become very hard and very biased on this issue because these women locked him in a trunk and tortured him for so many days--I can hardly blame him--but Perrin sees things very differently. Perrin is still loyal to Rand and his cause, but they are disagreeing harshly about this. I thought the whole thing was very sad, not just because of what happened, but also just the ideology of the thing. It just shows how far apart they've grown since leaving the Two Rivers. Specifically, how messed up Rand is now. 

Let's hope Perrin is successful in getting rid of Masema. The alternative will be trouble all around.

Unfortunately, the Faile/Berelain problem won't be solved any time soon. I was super-annoyed when Berelain went with them--it's like she just decided to tag along to cause drama--but we'll have to deal with this whole situation a bit longer, whether we like it or not.

5. Fancy NOT telling Loial about the subterfuge: I could hold that against certain people, even if they are the Dragon Reborn and a sexy blacksmith! The Asha’man travelling with our favorite Ogier seems mighty untrustworthy: are they all like that or am I getting paranoid?

The Asha'men are always difficult to trust. Because of the taint, they're all constantly on the road to madness one way or the other. They might be sane one day and crazy the next, so it's hard to fully trust them. Unfortunately, this problem is going to get worse before it gets better. :/

6. Tylin manages to snare her ‘little rabbit’, although it seem to scare him half to death. Was I the only one chortling away at Mat’s discomfort? It seems that the plan to use Mat’s Ta’veren luckiness has paid off, but will it be that easy to simply find the Bowl?

Last week, we talked about Min semi-raping Rand. That was nothing compared to what Tylin did to Mat. Yes, his discomfort was funny, but I think the funniest part was when started whining about him being the one that does the chasing. He started acting like he was Olver's age, muttering that under his breath. 

I doubt finding the bowl will actually be simple, but it will probably be easier with Mat's luck on their side. And since our ladies have made no headway whatsoever since coming to Ebou Dar, anything will be an improvement.

7. Can Elayne’s chin get any higher? Whilst I find the Aes Sedai totally irritating, I am amazed that Elayne managed to browbeat them so successfully. Is this the end of the super girls being treated like idiots? How will Nynaeve cope with this sudden change in their circumstances?

Our wonder girls. (Source)
That was very satisfying. It did seem somewhat unrealistic on the surface, but given that Elayne does actually stand above them in the power, it does make sense. They were being hypocrites treating her that way when they claim to follow Egwene, and she sent them. So, I was glad she put them in their place. I don't know if this will be the end of our girls' problems, but hopefully it will help. Chances are, Nynaeve will be flustered and disconcerted at first, but then take full advantage of this new found obedience on the Sisters' parts.

8. Ooooooo, Moghedien tried to totally kill someone in a little boat. Is there any doubt at all that it is Nynaeve? Will Lan get there in time to save her or will she pull her braid out trying to make the water get out of her way?

Not going to say, but SOOOO excited to read the next chapter. Notice the title of it is Mashiara. It's gonna be good! :D

What other bloggers thoughts:     Dab of Darkness     Coffee, Cookies and Chili Peppers

What did everyone else think of this section?


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  2. I can't really take Suroth seriously after seeing that picture. I also heard that their slow drawling accent is supposed to sound Texan, which I find hard to reconcile with the idae of an oriental-style almighty empire.

    Your suggestion that the staged fight had a hint of reality to it is interesting. It's definitely true that Rand is many kinds of messed up.

    Indeed, by normal Aes Sedai standards, Elayne is supposed to be in charge. She just had to make them forget the unusual circumstances of her raising.

    I like the Malkieri culture. Mashiara… ki'sain… hadori… carneira…

  3. 1. I agree that Moghedien seems too useful to waste, and I suppose that her treatment has been pretty horrendous since she was mind trapped, so she hasn't exactly got away easily.

    2. I found it interesting that this supposed paragon of virtue and leader of a holy cause should be a rapist. That is some seriously disturbing stuff.

    3. Wow! That is an amazingly unflattering picture of Suroth! :D

    I agree that she must be relatively successful and better than the other contenders for her rank, but I am not sure that she is mentally prepared for the Rand problem.

    4. Boo! I am so tired of all this teenage angst! :(

    5. Thanks for even more depressing news . . .

    6. I can't help feeling that Mat almost made things worse, but that seems a little like slut-shaming so I am genuinely conflicted about this.

    7. They look so cute and perky in that picture, even though Nynaeve is pulling her braid. :D

    I am sure that Nynaeve will take full advantage once she realizes that the Aes Sedai will jump when she tells them to . . . and I can't say that I blame her.

    8. OK, now that I've finished my comments I can dash off and read the next chapter!

  4. Maybe I am just a little demented, but I find that I want both Moghedien and Morgase to stick around, in equal measures. They are both irritating and entertaining in equal measures.

    I think Perrin might not be fully aware of what Rand went through with the trunk and the Aes Sedai. I know Rand has been very circumspect about Alanna too. But if Egwene and Nynaeve and Elayne can all live through Aiel training, then the Aes Sedai can too. If Perrin is going all chauvinistic chivalrous on us, I am going to slap him!