Sunday, March 16, 2014

Path of Daggers Read-Along, Week 4


Welcome to week 4 of our Path of Daggers read-along! This week we read chapters 16-21. 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!

Egwene al'Vere (Source)
1) Egwene has shown the Salidar Aes Sedai some of her strength. Do you think they will fall into line now or continue to push for power of their own? If you could step into Egwene's shoes for a few minutes, how would you handle some of the more 'uppity' Aes Sedai? 

I know how things turn out after this, so I won't say. I was impressed with her show of power, though. At the very least, they'll be less likely to underestimate her in the future. 

Hmm. If I could step into Egwene's shoes, I know how I'd want to handle the uppidy Aes Sedai, but tripping them with the One Power so they learn a little humility/humanity probably wouldn't serve Egwene much. I think she ought to take a page out of the Cadsuane/Sorilea meeting. Because one of them shared something big, the other reciprocated. That's human nature. I think Egwene should take more of these women into her confidence in some way, even if it's not entirely legit. If she made them each believe that they knew something important no one else did, they'd be more likely to be loyal and share things with her. It wouldn't stop their scheming, but she'd be able to keep a better eye on them.

2)
Siuan + Bela (Source)
Siuan has constant advice for Egwene, telling her the Secret Histories of other Amyrlin Seats. Do you think the irritation of her constant advice will outweigh the knowledge she is passing on and Egwene will snap and tell Lord Brynne of Siuan's affections? Or do you want to know more of the Secret Histories? 

By how Siuan reacted to Egwene's threat to tell Bryne, I don't think Egwene will have to reveal the truth. Obviously Siuan's mortified about it enough that just the threats work as effective blackmail. 

And I totally want to know more about the secret histories! They'd be such fascinating stories. I love when they mention them and what Amyrlins of the past have gone through and done. I wish Robert Jordan would have written them as some kind of appendix. Sigh.

3)
Source
Roedran Almaric do Arreloa a'Naloy has a plan to use the Band to unite the Murandian nobles behind him. Do you think it is that simple and will go so easily? Should Talmanes listen to his inner heart and go fetch Mat instead? 

Under normal circumstances, I'd be worried. But the Band's leader is Mat and Mat is ta'veren. Talmanes is still feeling some of Mat's pull, even though he's too far away and convention suggests the ta'veren affect shouldn't be felt from such a distance. The instant anyone tries to use the Band for anything, I think Mat's luck or ta'veren-ness or whatever it is will kick in, he'll show up and grin at everybody, and the entire scheme will fall apart.

4)
Love this pic that show Tar Valon as small with
Dragonmount looming large in the background.
Source
War on Elaida has finally been declared and Egwene plans to have the Salidar Aes Sedai and their warriors Travel in one month. What could possibly go wrong with this plan? 

Everything! But I kind of prefer it that way. I remember reading this the first time and rubbing my hands together. I SO want an Aes Sedai war! Since Egwene is obviously shrewder and more with it than Elaida, maybe the war would end quickly in her favor. But then there's the problem of the armies. Even if Elaida is an idiot, chances are she's not commanding the armies of Tar Valon in the field. (Good for Tar Valon, bad for Egwene.) Anyway, don't expect a quick resolution. But no one will be disappointed either. :D

5)
Elayne Trakand (Source)
Elayne has been playing with the angreals. In fact, she was playing with a rod when something happened. No one will tell her what happened, though everyone grins when it is mentioned. What do you think that angreal is and what do you think Elayne did and why can't she recall? 

I can't remember if this one is ever fully explained. I kind of think it might have been some sort of Compulsion. We know people under Compulsion often forget what they've done afterward. Maybe someone realized she'd put herself in a state to do whatever anyone told her to, and all her friends decided to have some fun. I gotta say, I wish we could have seen that. Would've been hysterical! :D

6)
Jahar Narishma. Notice the bells in
his long, braided hair. (Source)
Narishma fetched something for Rand. What do you think it is? Do you think Rand was a little harsh with Narishma? What would Lews Therin say to all this?'


Yeah, I know what it is. In fact, I mentioned it in my extras last week. I think they'll reveal what it was in the next section. I always think Rand is a bit harsh with his Asha'men. I know he doesn't trust them. They might be Darkfriends or on the verge of insanity, but he's still a bit too cold to them in my book. Of course, then there's Rand's sanity to consider.

Extras:

I'm glad Randland is finally seeing some real winter weather, even if not everyone is entirely prepared for it.

I thought it was hilarious that the Windfinders started demanding to be taught, and pretty soon the Aes Sedai were looking "hunted." *Snickers* But I also think this is a good thing in the long run. Aes Sedai, Windfinders, and Wise Ones all teaching and learning from one another can only set them up for success with the Last Battle looming.

Still loving Lord Bryne for his loyalty to Egwene, even thought it may actually have more to do with Siuan than her. She's got one of the greatest military minds at her beck and call. How many nineteen-year-olds can say that? I also loved the way she handled the whole meet-the-Andoran-nobles and piss-off-the-Sitters situation. She's taking risks, breaking tradition. More power to her!

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

What did everyone else think of this section?

2 comments :

  1. Hopefully I am now back on track and able to participate fully again: fingers crossed!

    1. Your suggestion makes a lot of sense, and it could keep the prime culprits a little more off balance and easier to control. Personally, I would dog for something a little more violent than simply tripping them . . . :D

    2. I love the way that Siuan is behaving like a teenager: I almost feel as if she didn't have chance to do that when she was at the appropriate age because she was already in the Tower. I think there is a lot of detail that Mr Jordan could shave included as appendices, but this would be one that I would thoroughly enjoy perusing.

    3. I agree that I am not overly worried about the Band and their future. Only one person is going to get them all killed: Mat!

    4. To be honest, I think my cat is "shrewder and more with it than Elaida"! :D But joking apart, I doubt that the siege will be a quick and easy affair, even though I suspect that most of the Aes Sedai, on both sides, will try to pretend that it isn't happening.

    5. I like the idea of Compulsion . . . but I still think it's a sex toy! :D

    6. Assuming that it is Callandor, I think that Rand was a little sloppy in giving the poor guy all the weaves he would need to avoid, so the snippiness was a little unwarranted.

    I sincerely hope that the Windfinders and Wise Ones can beat some sense into the Aes Sedai: they all need to pool their skills and knowledge for the big fight.

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  2. I like your idea that Egwene could maybe pull a Cadsuane/Sorilea thing with at least some of the Aes Sedai. I don't think it would work with all because some of them are brats.

    I really like the pictures of Tar Valon, the one with Dragonmount in the background. Nice! And yes, an Aes Sedai war should be very interesting. Earlier in this book, Egwene chatted about not swearing on the Oath Rod because one of the Oaths forbids violent action except to protect oneself or others. Which wouldn't give you much of an edge in a battle. I expect that little tidbit to come back around when we finally get our Aes Sedai war.

    I too am glad that the Wise Ones, Windfinders, Aes Sedai, and even The Kin are all getting thrown together and having to learn from each other, and in some cases, taken down a notch on the snootiness chart.

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