Sunday, May 11, 2014

Winter's Heart Read-Along, Week 6

Welcome to week 6 of our Winter's Heart read-along. This week we read chapters 24-29, and Susan over at Dab of Darkness is our host. 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!

1) Cadsuane has come home. What do you think it was like for her growing up in Far Madding and finding out she can channel? What did you think of the Counsel's reception of her? 

It gives me even greater respect for Cadsuane. Something like that must have been difficult. She's someone who was not only not welcome in her own country, but probably outright rejected. I think she handles their cold reception really well, with grace and confidence that makes them all look like idiots. But she's smart about it, too. She obviously has dirt on most of them and uses it to her advantage to keep them in line. Overall, I was very impressed with Cadsuane in this scene.
Alanna and Rand have a little heart to heart. Has your opinion of her changed? What do you think of Rand's reaction to her and the orders he issues to her? 

My opinion of her does change a little with this scene. We just get a little bit more of her humanity, which makes her seem like less of flaky meddler. I think Rand handled the situation well. Maybe he can finally start to make use of her, rather than just having to ignore her and have her in the back of his mind all the time. I was glad he didn't disclose the details of who else bonded him, though. I wanted to scream in her face that it was none of her dang business! But...I didn't.
Egwene and Elayne meet in Tel'aran'rhiod in Emond's Field. What do you think of Egwene's concerns of going home, whenever she does get around to that? Do you think Elayne's concerns about the possible threat to Andor from Emond's Field is well founded?

I really liked this chapter. It was so melancholy on Egwene's part. I think progress in Emmond's Field is a good thing, but it's also kind of sad that it's not the same small village they all came from. I understand Egwene's concerns about going home, but I also think she should have some faith in her own people. Young girls she grew up with and was probably snoody to as a teenager are one thing. Her parents and the village elders would probably act quite differently, as we've seen from when Perrin spent time there.

As for Elayne, I think she has to consider all possible threats to her country. I understand why a part of the country raising Manetheren's flag would be worrisome, but as the readers, we know it's less of a threat than she might think. I actually think it would be great if Emmond's Field because it's own country and resurrected the lost city, but it's not like they're planning a coup to take over Andor. I'm gonna play the our-characters-need-to-get-together-and-tell-their-stories card again. If she could speak with Perrin, he could probably help put her mind at rest.
4) Elayne decides to rush off to meet the Borderlanders. Mellar stays behind to 'see to his duties'. What do you think he is really up to? Do you think Elayne's suggestion to the Borderlanders to go south is wise or merely selfish? 

Mellar conveniently agreeing to stay behind smacks of him running off to his co-conspirators to tell what he's learned and scheme some more. The wisdom of this depends on how you look at it. For Elayne, it'd be great to get them out of her hair without any bloodshed. (I actually thought Elayne's plan here was rather ingenious.) It could cause problems for others, though. We'll just have to see how it all plays out.
Noal and Mat have an interesting conversation, mostly abut the gholam. Is Mat under utilizing Noal? Has the gholam met his match in an old man? 

Not gonna say much about Noal except continue to keep a close eye on him. You'll reach a point where you'll want to go back over everything he's done and said and find new meaning in it.
6) Beslan seems married to the idea of rebellion. Who else will side with Beslan? Will the possible rebellion mess up Mat's plans for escape?

This doesn't seem like a particularly great idea to me. Beslan seems like he has a good heart, and plenty of courage, but he's not a battle lord or a soldier or even much of a revolutionary. As Mat thinks, the Seanchan are all those and more. Chances are, few people would join his rebellion. The Seanchan are too iron-fisted and make it too easy for common people to exist under their rule. I sincerely hope Mat can talk Beslan out of it.
7) Bayle Domon enters the scene and whisks Mat away to meet with Egeanin. Is this going to work or will we see a slaughter? What do you think Bayle had to do in private to convince Egeanin to go along with this?

I'm glad these characters are joining forces. Each of them is a force to be reckoned with on their own, but is in over their heads. More minds working together might be the only solution at this point. I'm sure they'll hit plenty of snags along the way, but I can't wait to see what they come up with! 

In all honestly, the answer to the last question might not be as naughty as implied. We've already seen that Egeanin genuinely loves Bayle and lets him get away with things she shouldn't (by Seanchan cultural rules) so probably he just asked and then insisted. :D Besides, Egeanin can see reason when it's put in front of her. If Bayle trusts Mat and think he can help, she's in dire enough straits to listen.

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1 comment :

  1. I think Rand was very wise to not trust Alanna with the info of who else had bonded him. After all, no one expected her to force a bond on Rand, what else would she do? Is she the jealous type?

    I too think it would be great if Emond's Field became it's own country. After all, Andor hasn't exactly had a presence in that neck of the woods for some generations.

    You're rpobably right about Bayle and Egeanin in private.