Sunday, June 1, 2014

Crossroads of Twilight, Week 2

Welcome to week 2 of our Crossroads of Twilight read-along. This week we read chapters 1-4. 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. Why do you think no alarm was raised when Mat kidnapped Tuon? How will this play out going forward?

They actually hinted at possible reasons for this later in the section. The Seanchan want everyone to think that they're perfect rulers and they have everything under control and nothing could possibly be wrong. While this may be worrisome, I actually think it could be an advantage. If they're hiding something as huge as the heir to the Crystal Throne being kidnapped, what else are they hiding? Obviously they aren't an empire that practices transparency, right?

Juilin Sandar Source
2. Juilin's Thera turns out to be the former panarch, Amathera. We knew Amathera had been taken by the Seanchan, but did anyone make this connection? What, if any, complications do you think this will cause for Mat and his group?

I only vaguely remembered this twist in the story. I think she could cause complications for Mat, only because he's Mat and nobles always do. But she seems really devoted to Juilin and she's been thoroughly changed by the Seanchan, perhaps even broken. If I were Mat, I wouldn't necessarily worry about anything specific either.

3. When Luca's troop gets ready to leave, the dice roll in Mat's head. They stop when he makes a bargain with Tuon. What do you think they mean in this case? How will this agreement between Mat and his future wife be fateful for him?

Well, she agrees to not try to escape. Basically they're agreeing to be civil to one another. When it comes to their relationship, this will probably facilitate relations and get them to spend more time together without trying to kill one another. So, while it's hard to pinpoint exactly what this means, it almost just seems logical that this will help their relationship.

4. The Aes Sedai with Mat can feel Rand and Nynaeve trying to cleanse the Source, even if they don't that's what they're doing. Rather than just see the swirl of colors when he thinks of Rand, he actually sees them sitting on the hillside. How do you see this ta'veren ability progressing? Will it be a help or a hindrance?

It's definitely interesting that this ability seems to be progressing. I think this could definitely be helpful if Rand (or Mat or Perrin) need to be aware at some point in the future of what the others are up to. All three of them have only complained about how distracting the colors are, but I think it's kind of cool. Rather than ignore it, I wish they would try to find a way to make use of it. It could be quite a gift.

Apparently not everyone has mixed feelings like me.
5. Tylin, it seems, is dead. Found by the gholam. How do you feel about her death, and Mat's reaction to it?

I have mixed feelings about this. I mean, I pretty much hated Tylin. She was SO annoying. So, I'm not particularly sad that she's dead. On the other hand, no one deserves to be ripped apart by a gholam. I really wouldn't wish that anyone. And of course I feel sorry for Mat, who will no doubt think it's his fault and take the responsibility for it onto his own shoulders. As if he doesn't have enough to weigh down his conscience already.

6. Furyk Karede is on a mission of sorts. What did you think of this chapter and what he's up to? How will it play out? Affect other characters and the fate of the world? Predictions?

Okay, I'll admit I didn't get through all of this chapter. It's been a crazy week and I'm a bit behind. Overall, though, Karede seems like a smart guy, but he's got all these glorified, mission-impossible type plans, and somehow, I don't think it's going to pan out the way he wants it to. I'm sure he can cause plenty of annoyance, but I'm also sure most of his grand plans will eventually come to naught.

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

What did everyone else think of this section?


  1. Good point about the Seanchan empire. If they are culturally bound to hide the disappearance of Tuon, then what else are they hiding? Very disturbing question.

    I hadn't caught on that Rand and Perrin were seeing the swirly bits too. Hmmm....Well, then that adds to my idea that these three will have their little Rainbow Messaging Service for each other.

    I love the ta'veren ponies!

    1. Ta'veren messaging service would be awesome, lol. I love the ponies too. They always make me smile. Thanks Susan! :D

  2. 1. I assume the Seanchan operate with something like the Oriental concept of ‘loss of face’. Their empire and culture is styled after China to some extent anyway, so I don't think this is a wild assumption to make. For a people who put such importance in omens and signs, it doesn't seem like a stretch that it would be a bigger problem for everyone to KNOW that Tuon has vanished, than it is for her to actually vanish. It also seems like only the Empress (may she live forever) can call out Suroth on her responsibility, and it's not going to happen very soon. The Empress (may she live forever) is hardly in the neighborhood. So it's probably life as usual for the foreseeable future.

    2. Yeah, this was a bit arbitrary. I only made the connection on account of having actually… you know, read it before. I didn't the first time. I don't think it will cause any complications, necessarily, although it makes me a bit nervous to have someone who have lived a long time with the Seanchan and who are subdued to this degree. We've heard how damane will eventually turn into willing slaves. While the freed Aes Sedai seem to be as fierce and independent as ever (thankfully, never thought I'd say that, usually they're a bother but I'm happy that these three are a bother), Amathera is the one who could potentially play the Stockholm syndrome role. But I don't think it'll come to that. Perhaps the sul'dam are a bigger risk.

    3. I'm not precisely sure, it seems the dice are rolling for every little thing these days. Surely getting Tuon's cooperation was important, but it doesn't seem to me like a thing that was very random, and Mat's dice are primarily associated with random things.

    4. This colour thing is weird. Such a potential advantage, but frankly I can't remember them ever using it for anything. The way it's been built up over so many books suggests that it would be something at least slightly significant, but… is it? Is it just me being demented?

    5. We were talking before about whether the gholam would be going after Mat or the girls, and it seems we have our answer. It's developing into a personal thing now, and presumably it will be part of Mat's list of things to do before or during Tarmon Gai'don to off this creature.

    * Mat: marry Tuon, kill gholam.
    * Perrin: rescue Faile.
    * Egwene: unite the Tower under her.
    * Elayne: become Queen.
    * Rand: yeah, who even knows.

    There are a few other responsibilities that fall on our heroes, which become clear later.

    6. I have to admit I really like Furyk Karede. We saw him last during the battle in book 8 where he killed his own officer for being a dolt (at the wrong time). So we know that he has some personal affection to Tuon and that he's another one of those people who are blessedly free of bullshit and all about getting shit done. Too bad he's not on Mat's side!

    1. I had not really noticed the rainbow swirls until recently with Mat. If it was mentioned before I missed it or just assumed the guys were missing each other in a very Care Bear way.

      And, yes, you might be demented. And it might not have anything to do with this read along. :)

      Love your list of responsibilities for each character. Seems Mat has the bulk of things to do for now.

      Yes. I can see Kadere being a man who gets shit done. And so far, our heroes have been blessed by the lack of dedicated, cooperative, organized people on the Bad Guys Team. Kadere might not be bad per se....but i he offs one of our heroes, he won't be doing the world a favor.

    2. I can't remember what, exactly--if anything--they use the color swirls for either. It seems like they continue to play a role, but I can't remember exactly what it is. And yes, compared to most other Seanchan (I won't name names because that would be indiscreet. Suroth!) I do like Karede more. :D