Sunday, August 31, 2014

Knife of Dreams Read-Along, Week 7

Welcome to week 7 of our Knife of Dreams Read-Along! This week we read chapters 27-31. 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. I'm hosting this week.

Semirhage (Source)
) Why do you think Semirhage's disguise of the Power failed? Did you see the Rand-losing-his-hand thing coming?

It's hard to say for sure, but it may just be another example of things in the world that are failing as Tarmon Gai'don draws near. Even the Forsaken aren't immune as the Dark One extends his touch throughout Randland. 

Rand's hand was foreshadowed in prophecies and dreams, but it wasn't super obvious. Most people probably wouldn't have concluded it the first time around. Or at least I didn't. :D

2) Do you think Mat's plan against the Seanchan is a good one? Will it turn the tide?

As always, Mat's battle plans are super-smart. If anyone can turn things around, battle-wise, with the Seanchan, it's Mat.

Tam al'Thor (Source)
3) Tam showed up! (Yea!) What did you think of his reaction to confirmation that Rand is the Dragon Reborn?

I thought it was kind of sad, but also kind of sweet. Tam, true to what we know of his character, didn't freak out or melt down or anything. It was fitting, I think. And I think it's awesome that Perrin immediately put him in a high military position. 

4) Masema shows up at an inconvenient time to (somewhat) ruin Perrin's plans. What do you think he's doing? What's his endgame?

Well, as Perrin often observes, Masema is totally loony. And yet, one would expect him to be a total idiot where Perrin's plans are concerned. The fact that he showed up that way, and wasn't where Perrin thought he would be, says maybe he's not as much of an idiot as he seems. He may be mad, but he's not stupid. Perrin needs to watch his back. Especially given what Aram said, it's obvious that Masema is trying to have Perrin assassinated.

Aram (Source)
5) All kinds of crazy stuff in this chapter! Aram tries to kill Perrin and dies himself. Tylee captures Sevanna. And Galina ends up in Therava's clutches, headed for the Waste. What did you think  of all these twists? Did you wish for other outcomes? How do you think they'll affect the story going forward?

Aram's story line really came to a head here. He's gotten more and more twisted as the story went along, and his ending is really quite tragic, because he allowed himself to be so thoroughly duped by Masema, and actually turned on Perrin. His death was anything but valiant or honorable. 

Oh, and Perrin killed Rolan. (Forgot to include that in the question. :/ ) I remember reading this through the first time and wondering how it would all turn out. I just couldn't figure out what would be fitting or what I would want best. Then, as soon as Perrin killed him, I realized that was the only way it could have ended. It was the only fitting way to tie up this entire story line in a way that wouldn't compromise Perrin and Faile's relationship. Well played, Robert Jordan. Well played. :D

I was SO happy that Sevanna across Tylee's saddle. Tylee's enough of a hard case that she can give Sevanna what's been coming to her for a long time!

Galina's fate was fitting as well. She's a Darkfriend, she double-crossed Faile. Yeah, maybe the Waste will be a good character-builder for her.

Overall, so much great stuff going down in this section. I couldn't have asked for better outcomes.

Elayne Trakand (Source)
6) Elayne encounters some black Sisters and, in her haste, ends up in hot water. We had a cliffhanger on this. What do you think will happen next? Were you surprised that it was actually Careanne that was Black Ajah, contrary to Elayne's suspicions?

This was something of a twist, wasn't it? I won't say anything about what happens next, but with Brigitte right outside, it's not as though Elayne is on her own, right? Of course the Black Sister would be the one Elayne didn't expect. (It always is, isn't it?) But this could be a major turning point. After all, our super girls have been after some of these particular Black sisters since book 2. Yikes!

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

What did everyone else think of this section?


  1. I hadn't even considered that the DO's touch on the world could have affected the Forsaken's disguise. I guess the Forsaken are just as likely to get trapped in a bubble of evil as the good guys (rubs hands in hopeful anticipation).

    I feel that Jordan could have kept Rolan in the story - he could have been captured by Perrin, and then according to Aiel custom, he would have to serve Perrin (and Faile) for a year and a day. I think over that amount of time, they might all have become friends....or Perrin would have sent him on some crazy missions to save the world during the Last Battle, at which point he could have died heroically.

    1. Yeah, that wouldn't have been all bad, but it would have been yet another story line cluttering up the narrative. I was kind of glad to see the Rolan story line neatly tied up. Thanks Susan! :D

    2. That's a good point. We do have a ton of side plots going on and now Rolan's is neatly tied up. We can't have everyone survive the series anyways.

  2. 1. I'm almost certain (but not 100%) that it was one of the ter'angreals in Cadsuane's hair. I don't think we've seen her together with someone we know was disguised before, so I suppose it's plausible that she has one that does this.

    Min gave a viewing of Rand back in book one that involved a bloody hand, but this battle wasn't precisely bloody, morelike fiery, so I don't know. Interestingly she also gave a viewing of Elayne that involved a severed hand (which is not her own). Also, in Lord of Chaos:

    "Trust me Min. I won't hurt you. I will cut off my arm before I hurt you."

    Precisely the kind of obscure hint Robert Jordan loved to use. :-)

    Another interesting theory is that Rand's two dragons on his arms mean something. The prophecies say that "Twice and twice shall he be marked, twice to live, and twice to die. (...) Once the Dragon for remembrance lost. Twice the dragon for the price he must pay." And then, in the dark prophecy on the walls of Fal Dara back in book two: "Two roads before him, one to death beyond dying, one to life eternal. Which will he choose? Which will he choose? What hand shelters? What hand slays?"

    So the theory goes that one of Rand's hands is for remembrance lost and the other is for the price he must pay. Additionally, one hand shelters and one hand slays. We don't know which is which, and we don't know which one he lost, either.

    It's a bit of a flimsy theory, because it doesn't have a conclusion, but it's interesting to think about...

    2. I don't think he has any choice now, other than to surrender Tuon. He doesn't want that because he knows now that the regular Seanchan armies are planted by Suroth to capture Tuon, not to save her. And he (and the world, presumably) needs Tuon, so... this is perhaps the only way forward. I feel it's great to have Mat back in his element, though. He hasn't led an army since book six!

    3. I can't imagine how I would react myself, if I was told those things about my son. Possibly a bit more extreme, but I suspect Tam already suspected the truth and had a while to prepare for the confirmation. For all I know this is how people do react when they're told their son is both the saviour and the doom of the world...

    4. I don't know what he's going for. I assume he wants to get away from Perrin, but doesn't want to risk a head-on confrontation because he knows that even though he has the numbers on his side, his army is just rabble. He was a Shienaran soldier, and while he's gone nuts he hasn't gone nuts in that way... he still knows this. So I guess he wanted to use the battle with the Shaido to break the back of Perrin's army as much as he could, and remain standing at the end of it. Clearly he failed, so now the confrontation will need to happen some other way.

    5. Aram: Has been brewing for a long time. Robert Jordan really loved to play with the idea of fanaticism in the name of good turned into evil (whitecloaks, Shadar Logoth...). Aram is just the latest example of this theme. He lost everything and so the fight against the Shadow became his whole life, and it consumed him.

    Sevanna: Good @#$%#$ riddance. What a tit. Happy to now be able to read a certifiably Sevanna-free Wheel of Time from now on.

    Therava and Galina: Also good riddance. Therava really freaks me out. As for Galina, I wouldn't wish this kind of punishment on anyone, really. I know she's evil but being imprisoned in your own mind and body in that way (with the Oath Rod), just seems... unnatural, if you know what I mean. What's so wrong with the bad guys just dying?

    6. For heavens' sakes, Elayne. Even as dumb as some of the characters in this story are, she has an unrivalled affinity for traps. I hope she's rescued all right and that this is the last time I have to read about needlessly putting herself in danger's way, but I know it won't be...

    1. Yeah that's a great theory. Thanks for explaining it. It is fun to think about and read into more than was perhaps intended. :D I enjoyed seeing Mat in battle once again as well. Poor Tam. I think most people would have acted more extremely, but Tam has lots of dignity, which is why we respect him. The fact that he takes everything in stride probably informed Rand's personality growing up. With someone of more drama, who knows what he would have been like? And I think we can all agree with you about the fate's of Sevanna, Therava, and Galina.

    2. Thanks for digging up all the Min viewings and the prophecies concerning Rand's hands. It looks like Jordan intended to maim Rand since the beginning.

      I hadn't thought that Masema was planning to use the Shaido battle to break Perrin's forces and then annihilate him. I guess we still Masema to be put down like a rabid dog.

      Yeah, the whole imprisonment by Oath Rod is severe.....and creepy. I guess the makers of those things never really thought they would be used to such extremes. Unless they were created by Forsaken and they totally meant to use them that way.

      *face palm* Elayne goes on to be captured again? Sigh.....