Sunday, August 17, 2014

Knife of Dreams Read-Along, Week 5



Welcome to week 5 of our Knife of Dreams Read-Along! This week we read chapters 19-23. 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. Eivind Fonn is our host this week and will probably post over at dabdabofdarkness.com! Make sure to check out his answers too! 


Ogier Elder Source
1. Our favorite Ogier bachelor is finally married.  Any wise words for the newlyweds?  The Ogier are torn on whether to leave this world or help humanity out.  Do you think Loial will be able to sway them?

I've said this before, but I think Loial is greatly underestimating his new wife's loyalty to him. He's afraid she won't let him do what he wants and finish his book, but she's obviously protective of him, especially around his mother. So, if he can just play them off each other a bit, he can probably get everything he wants.

I think it's awesome that Loial is going to speak to Ent Moot--er, Great Stump. If anyone can sway them, he can. He's Loial, after all. And he's seen more of the world since meeting Rand in book 1 than most Ogier have seen in decades. He knows what's really going on. I totally loved his litany about previous wars throughout history and what role the Ogier played. Don't know if the Stump will be entranced, but I certainly was! :D

2.
Trolloc (Source)
It's been a while since the last surprise trolloc attack.  Who could have been behind this one?  Why now, and why so incredibly many?  Lews Therin took control of Rand's channeling.  Will we see that again, and what kind of consequences might it have?


I don't remember exactly who it was, but I hardly think it's important. Any of the Forsaken might have done it. I think it's just proof that the Shadow is getting desperate to kill Rand. Despite all they've done--all those they've killed, resurrected, and turned to their cause--Rand is still getting stronger and more and more people are following him. They saw what they thought was an opportunity to kill him and decided to take it. 

Yeah it was kind of creepy when Lews Therin took control. We've seen him try before, but I don't think we've seen him succeed to this extent. It just goes to show that Rand needs to find some way to keep him reined in. If he pulls that stunt during Tarmon Gai'don, while Rand is battling the Dark One, it could mean the death of the entire world. 

3.
Nynaeve and Lan -- Awww! (Source)
Lan departs to fight his own war, but Nynaeve won't let him do it alone.  Any thoughts on the actions of either?  Any chills during the scene in the inn?


Yeah. Totally. I remember reading this scene for the first time and getting SO psyched up for what's to come. Ever since book 1 we've been hearing about murdered Malkier and how Lan is it's uncrowned king who will never wear a crown, sit a throne, or lead men into battle. We had to all know this was coming at some point, right? 

Nynaeve, sneaky little diva that she is, took him to World's End so he'd have to ride the entire length of the Borderlands, with plenty of time to amass followers. I love that people were practically bowing to her, just because she's Lan's wife. I love that she visited inns throughout the Borderlands, leaving men chanting war cries in her wake. I kind of feel like this was the culmination of everything we've been set up for in the Lan/Nynaeve relationship from the beginning, and we haven't even arrived at the Last Battle yet! This is yet another piece--another of our main characters--that Jordan is maneuvering into place for the Last Battle. And--oh good heavens!--it's going to be epic!

4.
Darlin Sisnera (Source)
Rand again works his ta'veren magic and the rebellion in Tear is no more.  Darlin, who was a rebel not four books ago, is king.  Do you think he has sufficiently demonstrated his loyalty, or are you worried?  Rand is focusing on Arad Doman.  What do you think his plan there is?


I can't remember what I thought about Darlin early on, but as I know what happens, I won't say anything now. I do think the bit about Moiraine's cousin looking and sounding enough like her to through Rand through a loop was an interesting bit. Especially in light of what Mat, Thom, and Noal are planning. 

I won't say much about Arad Doman either--partly because I don't entirely remember what his plan is. (Obviously it involves ships and the Athan Miere.) But it seems to me that this country is always a wild card. Unlike places like Caemlyn, Cairhien, and Tear, there's never a super-strong monarchy or obvious allegiances there. In other words, his plan could be just about anything.

5.
"The Time of Illusions was at an end..." (Source)
The Sea Folk have chosen a new Mistress of the Ships and are being conscripted for the Arad Doman plan.  Meanwhile, a whole race of islanders commit suicide!  Where on Earth did that come from? Will it have any impact at all or is it just one of those... things?


We saw part of this around the time Rand and Nynaeve cleansed the Source. There was talk by a random character of the "Time of Illusions" being at an end. Now we're seeing the result of that as news of it spreads across Randland. I don't know that this will necessarily have much impact on the plot, but it does serve a couple of purposes here. It's part tragedy, part ta'veren-ness, part foreshadowing as the end of the world draws nigh. But it's also Jordan's statement on the cult-types in our own world who do this kind of thing as the world around them darkens. I don't know. It's definitely interesting. And tragic. And it falls into that same category of Rand's coming ripping people apart and creating chaos. 

I loved the final line of that chapter, spoken by Logain (who gets more bada** as he goes along, btw): "Mourn if you must," he said, "but mourn on the march for Tarmon Gai'don." *mind blown*

6.
Hall of the Tower, inside White Tower (Source)
An important sitting is called and the rebel Aes Sedai finally learn some important news (Saidin is clean, and they've been harboring a Saidin-channeling female forsaken for six books).  Are you happy that Halima was rooted out?  Sad that they weren't caught?  Will they rethink their Asha'man policy now?


Even though I'd love to see Halima take a pretentious butt-kicking from the Hall, I'm not sure this was the best time for it. Egwene's not in the camp, Siuan is diminished substantially in the power, and none of our other super-girls are present. Granted, some of these Sisters are strong in the Power, but they're all about politicking. I don't know that they would have known what to do with the Forsaken if they'd caught her. I think there'll be a major confrontation with Halima at some point, but especially as Egwene was the most direct object of her torture (via headache) maybe Egwene should be allowed the first kick?

I don't think most of these sisters will rethink their Asha'man policy overnight, but we know that during the Age of Legends, male and female channelers worked together and did wondrous things. I think this is the first baby step in the direction that will make such things possible again. 

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2 comments :

  1. I'm really hoping we get to see Loial talk at the Stump, but I know sometimes Jordan lets things happen behind the curtain in order to write about other happenings in Randland.

    And I am super excited to see what Lan does in the Borderlands and fighting for Malkier. I really feel that this could be as epic as (or maybe even more so, considering some of the past battle scenes we have seen) Rand taking out the Dark One and saving the world.

    I too also enjoyed that Logain could remain focused on the end game even upon hearing such a tragedy. He is becoming one of my favorite characters just because he is so darn practical.

    I couldn't help thinking about that Asha'man healer several books back and how the aes sedai was very interested in learning his technique and even offered to have his child. So perhaps the Browns, in their never ending quest for knowledge, will be the first to really embrace working with the Asha'men as a whole.

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    1. Yup, Lan's awesome. So is Logain. I think those two ought to become friends, don't you? :D Yeah, the browns (or perhaps yellows) could be the gateway to an alliance between the Black and White Towers. (No one was really holding their breaths about the Reds. :D) Thanks Susan!

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