Sunday, July 13, 2014

Crossroads of Twilight, Week 8 (Final)

Welcome to week 8 of our Crossroads of Twilight read-along. This week we read chapters 27-the end. 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. After letting himself go with the Shaido prisoners, Perrin abandons his axe in the forest, as predicted by Elyas. What do you think of his way of breaking the Aiel? Is this a defining moment for him, and in what ways?

I'll admit that when I first read this, I was not very happy that he left his ax behind. His ax has defined him since book 1, and him being without it feels like his character is suddenly incomplete. That said, I do understand his rationale for throwing it away, based on what Elyas told him long ago. It was interesting, though, that Elyas didn't agree with his assessment. He kind of wanted Perrin to keep the ax.

Also, I will say that what happens with Perrin here on out, as concerns his weapons, is pretty cool. So don't cry too many tears over the loss of his ax, even if, like me, you really want to. 

I thought how he broke the Aiel was smart. This particular group is too smart and too tough to trifle with. If he had to break them, this was probably the only effective way. Perrin's doing what he feels he has to. Brutal or not, I personally can't and don't fault him for it.

2. Tallanvor suggests to team up with Seanchan to defeat the Shaido. Should Perrin agree? Will he just end up having to rescue people from the Seanchan instead?

This tactic probably isn't as crazy as it sounds, much as Jordan has trained us thus far to distrust the Seanchan. It's the whole "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." Will Perrin have to rescue people from the Seanchan? Maybe. But we're seeing a real shift in this book with how the characters (really everyone in Randland) view the Seanchan. They've established themselves not just as formidable enemies, but capable rulers. More and more people are considering an alliance with them. This seems very real to me. Even in everyday life, when you first meet the new kids on the block, whether on the social scene or at work, what have you, you tend to dislike and/or distrust them. But after a while, you either get to know them or just realize they aren't going anywhere and make your peace with it. It would be interesting if, despite all the battles, Rand actually ended up needed the Seanchan to defeat the Dark One.
Mat and Tuon (Source)

3. From the female or male viewpoint, what do you make of Mat's courtship strategy, and Tuon's response? Bewildered? (I am!)

LOL. I laugh a lot at Mat's expense over this courtship. I don't particularly like how Tuon is handling things, or anything, but I just have to shake my head at Mat. Rather than actually paying attention and trying to figure out what makes Tuon tick, he lumps her into this overarching, somewhat sexist view he has that all women can be bought or just want to cuddle. (Basically he believes all women are a lot like him!) 

The only time he actually did something was right was in his observation that she likes to win at stones. That was something true about her that he learned through observation. If he could just keep doing that, he might actually get to know her and have a real relationship, rather than the, ahem, little-girl-toy thing they have going on right now.

4. Renna betrays our heroes and Mat is presumably forced to leave the circus. Were you surprised? How happy are you to be rid of Valan Luca?

No, not surprised. No one in Luca's show is particularly lovable or trustworthy. Besides, at some point they were going to have to break away from Luca. This was as good a way as any. While I didn't mind the traveling show nearly as much as some readers (many hated it with the fire of a thousand suns!) I was still glad to be rid of it. It'll just be nice for Mat to get out on his own and move forward.

5. Egwene's plan is revealed, and the harbor chains of Tar Valon is now cuendillar. How will this change the siege?

I thought this was awesome! What a great plan. This will allow anyone (a.k.a. Egwene and Bode--how 'bout those Two Rivers girls, eh) who can make and unmake cuendillar to control the siege. I also think it ramps up Egwene's prestige. After all, who are more people going to be afraid of, the Amyrlin who hides in her study and no one ever sees, or the one laying siege to the city and who is displaying knowledge of all these lost talents? 

Of course, no one will be more freaked out by the cuendillar chains that Elaida and the Tower Aes Sedai. (Brownie points for anything that freaks Elaida out!)

6. Egwene is captured! Should she have sent Bode after all? Is she stupid for having risked herself? Never mind the harbor chains... how will THIS change the war?

Can't say much here without revealing what comes next, but either way I definitely don't think she should have sent Bode. Was she stupid to risk herself? Yeah, probably. But Bode wouldn't have any idea what to do in this situation. She'd probably reveal all kinds of things out of fear. Egwene can be much more in control, and maybe she can help her rebels from inside the Tower? 

7. Rand will meet the Daughter of the Nine Moons, but we know she's nowhere to be found (by Suroth, anyway). An obvious trap or just a really obvious trap? What do you expect to happen?

Who knows what Suroth is thinking? We've established that she's very power hungry, so chances are she's trying to trick Rand into letting his guard down. If she actually tries to pass some ringer off as Tuon, she'd be presuming to speak for the royal family, which would be a dangerous game for her. I honestly don't remember what she does, but I kind of hope it's something that will get her in trouble. I'm so sick of Suroth!

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

What did everyone else think of this section?


  1. I think Rand is going to need everyone to defeat the DO - Two Rivers, the White Tower, the Asha'men, Ogier, wolves, and even the Seanchan. Hence, he has to make or force all these alliances before the End of the World arrives fashionably late.

    So true about Mat! He does lump all women together in the jewelry and a cuddle group. Sigh....But maybe that will change as has his fashion sense (lace, really!).

    I am so looking forward to seeing the White Tower's reaction to the cuendillar chains (both the Tower crew and the new White Tower crew).

    1. Yeah, I've always liked that this is an epic about how pretty much the entire world has to pull together to help defeat the DO. Rand is definitely paramount, but he can't do it alone. (And somehow, someone from the Two Rivers seems to be in place to lead people from nearly every corner, which is really cool. :D) Thanks Susan!