Sunday, July 27, 2014

Knife of Dreams Read-Along, Week 2

Welcome to week 2 of our Knife of Dreams Read-Along! This week we read chapters 2-7. 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. Our host this week is Susan Voss over at Dab of Darkness!

1) Beonin, Ashmanaille, & Phaedrine chat about theories on who the channeling male murderer is. Did you enjoy Beonin's logic? Do you think other Aes Sedai are drawing the same conclusions? Will such assumptions and conclusions hinder Rand's plans in preparing for the Last Battle?

It almost seems like the natural, in-style thing to do, to blame Rand for everything. I guess it's only natural that sisters would fear the Ashamen. And then I tend to wonder why it doesn't occur to them that it might be the Forsaken, but I guess most people don't automatically reason along those lines. We, as readers, as well as our main characters, have been subjected to the evil plans of the Forsaken over and over again, but these sisters probably haven't, as most people haven't. So, yes, other Aes Sedai are also probably drawing the wrong conclusion. 

I kind of doubt it will hinder Rand in the Last Battle, though. No matter who's blaming who for what, everyone's still going to have to fight, which means they'll probably have to find some way to work together. And Rand is ta'veren, which means his worst plans trump everyone else's best intentions.

Mattin Stepaneos (Source)
Elaida had thought to show the world her power by snatching a monarch in the night and she plans to show even greater power by putting that monarch back on his royal seat. Do you think Mattin Stepaneos, king of Illian, will be cooperative? What other setbacks to Elaida's plan can you predict?

Hard to say, as we don't know a whole heck of a lot about Mattin Stepaneos, but I think it's safe to say--as always--that Elaida's plans probably won't turn out the way she wants them to. Even if Stepaneos is willing to lie down and do her bidding, I doubt Rand, Egwene, or any number of our other superheroes will.
Once again the Forsaken get together for a tickle and tell dinner party. We saw some new technology on display. Do you think we will see further advanced tech and in more prominent use as the series continues? Do you think Moiridin can keep them all in line? 

Way back when Rand went through Rhuidean, we saw through flashbacks that the Age of Legends had a great deal of tech that has been lost. As all our channelers are discovering new weaves and re-discovering how to do things that up until now have been considered impossible for centuries, really new tech is just the next step. Assuming Rand wins the Last Battle (safe assumption, yeah?) they'll probably head into another Age of Legends. Let's hope all our superheroes survive to lead the world into it.

Perrin meets with the Seanchan. Were you impressed with his display of martial capability? What about that sulfur stench? Even if this plan goes off without a hitch, do you see continued friendly relationships between Perrin's forces and the Seanchan? 

We've already seen that the Seanchan know how to win battles, so it wasn't the martial capability that impressed me, so much as how calm and reasonable everyone seemed. I think the first time I read it I was expecting a lot of spitting resentment if not all-out hostility. Obviously, as we discussed last week, the Seanchan are not so dumb. They probably understand full well the situation they're in what with the crisis in their homeland, and they're choosing to be pretty reasonable. 

I don't know that Perrin and the Seanchan will ever be "friends" but I do think this is a good first step in what could become a lasting alliance. I also think it's fitting that Perrin (bestie of the Dragon Reborn) is one of the first to forge ahead with this kind of alliance. I also LOVED that Perrin was mentioned in their prophecies as the Wolf King. Perrin seemed kind of freaked out by it, but I thought it was awesome. If it was me, that sort of thing would totally puff my ego up. :D

Really Faile? (Source)
Faile has a lot of decisions to make, and soon. She is determined to escape before Perrin can attempt a rescue; she has the Oath Rod; Galina appears near breaking; and Rolan is still putting flowers in her hair. Will her actions muck up Perrin's rescue? Will Galina's duplicity be undone? Will Rolan get even one romantic night, one which will never be spoken of again?

Galina definitely seems to be losing it. If I were Faile, I'd be seriously terrified to have to trust her. I was never a fan of this whole Rolan thing. I feel over-protective of Faile for Perrin's sake. And I'm a bit disappointed that she's even entertaining the notion of giving him what he wants and just filing it under the I-do-what-I-must heading. Come on, Faile! You're an intelligent woman. You can figure this out without resorting to adultery! Okay, rant over. I know what happens so I won't say. :D

Noal (Source)
Mat has bought a new horse, razor breed, and given Tuon a pet name (Precious) to counter her little pet name for him (Toy). And then we learn that Noal is related to Jain Farstrider! Guesses as to why Noal has such strong feelings on the adventures of his cousin? 

I kind of liked listening to Mat bargaining for horse flesh. It was entertaining. I'm not a huge fan of the name Precious--a little too J.R.R. Tolkien, yeah?--but I do think Mat is finally managing to push back in an effective way, which is good. Mat has his annoying moments, but I hate it when Tuon calls him Toy. SO annoying! 

As for Noal, I'm not going to comment except to say that, weeks ago, when we first met Noal, I total everyone to pay attention to him and what he does and says. This is one of those things to remember. It will make more sense later. Much later.

Foxhead Medallian (Source)
Mat's little ter'angreal secret is out and the Aes Sedai traveling with the circus are VERY curious. Do you think this will cause a problem later? Bethamin, a former sul'dam, channeled some powerful weave, to her great distress. Could she turn out to be a powerful Aes Sedai in the future? 

Poor Mat. The cat is out of the bag and I'm thinking he's going to be totally stalked by these women so they can study the thing. As if he isn't hiding from enough people these days. Bethamin is interesting, isn't she. Amazing how someone's potential goes up when they are freed from slavery. I honestly don't remember what happens with Bethamin, but she definitely has the potential to do great things, if she can ever become independent. 


Love these passages: 

'When the Wolf King carries the hammer, thus are the final days known.When the fox marries the raven, and the trumpets of battle are blown.' (pg. 156)

"I'm a man who wants his wife back," Perrin said, "and I'll deal with the Dark One to get her." (pg. 163).

I also liked that when talking to Perrin, the Seanchan quoted the saying that inspired the title of book 8.  'On the heights, the paths are paved with daggers.' (pg. 157)

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1 comment :

  1. I can see Randland moving into an Age of Legends after the Last Battle since Rand has set up all these universities, has been bringing folks together, etc. But I wouldn't expect much of that tech to show up before or during the Last Battle.

    I wasn't aware that the Seanchan in majority knew of the disaster to their homeland yet. I thought it was just that evil Forsaken and a few of her minions in Randland that knew at this point. did I miss something?

    Great quotes. I find it so amusing that all our main men (Mat, Perrin, Rand) really balk at the prophecies, fighting them every step of the way, and yet they still come true.