Sunday, September 7, 2014

Knife of Dreams Read-Along, Week 8

Welcome to week 8 of our Knife of Dreams Read-Along! This week we read chapters 32-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. Sue of Cookies, Coffee, and Chili Peppers is hosting this week. Hop over and check out her answers as well!

1. As we predicted, Birgitte was left to rescue Elayne from certain maiming at the hands of the evil Black Sisters. Were you surprised by her solution to Elayne’s capture? What did you think of the way that she manipulated the Windfinders: do you see this causing problems for Elayne in the future?

I thought this was really smart of Brigitte. She rode away from Elayne in order to save her. I remember being confused the first time until...I wasn't. As for manipulating the Windfinders, I loved that! Everyone is always so concerned about the letter of the agreement and not having to do more than was specifically agreed to. There's this new-fangled concept, ladies, called working together; going the extra mile for the sake of an alliance. Really not rocket science! So kudos to Brigitte for dispensing with everyone's crap and forcing them to take part of the real world!

Arymilla (Source)
2. Arymilla is defeated and Elayne is suddenly alone in her claim to the Lion Throne. Did you expect a more difficult fight for the Far Madding Gate, or did you think that Arymilla’s plan was doomed to fail? What did you think of Elayne’s assessment of Sylvase Caeren: did Lord Nasin’s sudden incapacity surprise you at all?

I thought the battle was kind of cool, even if it was short lived. But really, this was more of a political battle. It didn't surprise me that the deciding factors would happen off the battlefield. We'd all kind of come to the consensus that isn't the brightest crayon in the box, so it's not surprising that her plan would be less than stellar. Slyvase was really interesting. Elayne is good enough at reading people that she's probably on the right track there. Jordan is good enough at making these characters interesting that, on the one hand, I want to know more about all these houses and their young, impressionable high seats. But on the other hand, that would take away from the main narrative, so...

Ogier Gardener in Deathwatch Guard armor (Source)
3. We finally get to really meet one of the Ogier Gardeners, who are surprisingly similar to their cousins on this side of the Sea. Were they what you expected or did you expect them to be more violent or aggressive than Loial? What do think that each group of Ogier would think of the other?

I loved reading about these guys! It's almost comforting to know that they're basically as mild-tempered as the Ogier we've already met. I mean, can you really imagine a hot-headed or homicidal ogier? It just wouldn't seem realistic. They do seem more used to fighting than Loial and the other Ogier we've met, but not necessarily more aggressive. I think the two groups of Ogier would probably get along. If they're all similar and mild-mannered, I think they'd get along swimmingly. :D

Elayne Trakkand (Source)
4. Frankly, I was amazed by the way that Luan and the others capitulated so easily, giving Elayne an uncontested path to the Throne. Were you surprised that we finally saw the resolution of a plotline? Do you think that Ellorien will cause any real trouble, or will she remain loyal to Andor?

I was glad to find this come to a resolution. Of course there had to be obstacles to Elayne's gaining the throne, but I'm glad this wasn't drawn out over three more books. I think Elayne's assessment was right: most people will follow whoever they think will win, so that's probably why everyone folded all at once. With Elayne firmly on the throne, I doubt Ellorien will be able to cause any real trouble, even if she wants to.

"Beware the man of the Red Hand, for
him you will marry and no other..." (Source)
5. Speaking of resolutions: Mat is married! We knew that it would happen, but how far did your jaw drop when Tuon made her declaration? We learn some of her reasons for saying the words, but do you think that the marriage can survive their positions on opposite sides of the Seanchan invasion?

Yeah, it was definitely sudden. It felt like it was dragged out and dragged out, and dragged out, and then suddenly it happened. But, given the circumstances, maybe that was fitting. And realistic. I hope their relationship can survive the situation. I mean, it's only an international conflict that might decide the fate of the world and the outcome of Tarmon Gai'don, right? The fact that Tuon would rather complete the marriage than be separated fro Mat is a good sign, though. All at once, now: Awwww.

Suroth (Source)
6. Suroth’s treachery is revealed and Tuon takes direct control of the Return. Did you expect Suroth to be removed so easily? Do you think that the remaining Seanchan nobility, such as Galgan, are loyal to Tuon or do you suspect that further Darkfriends are lurking in their ranks?

No, I don't think I expected her to be removed so easily, but I'm glad she was. Thank goodness, and, as Eivind said about Sevanna last week, good riddance! I think there are always Darkfriends lurking, no matter what nation or rank, but it seems that, for the time being at least, the rest of these are loyal to Tuon, or at least to the Empire and Seanchan tradition. Hopefully they will trust her enough to trust an alliance (probably through Mat) with the leaders of Randland. (In other words, with Rand.)

Mazrim Taim (Source)
7. Taim ‘welcomes’ a delegation of Reds looking to find Warders. Does Taim’s demeanor, trappings and attitude give you any hint that he might NOT be a Very Bad Man? Do you expect the Red Sisters to leave the Black Tower alive and will any asha’man agree to Bonding?

On the contrary, seeing Taim in this setting sort of freaks me out. He seems darker, more confident, and up to less good than ever. *shivers* I totally know where this leads, so I won't say anything about what happens. I do remember--and I felt this way reading it the second time too--a bit of sympathy for these Red sisters. It would have been better to approach Rand's asha'men or Logain. I feel like these sisters have no idea what they're getting themselves into. And granted, they're Reds, which traditionally has meant we don't like them much, but these Reds are the progressive ones. They want to work with the men, which means they're the ones Rand ought to be making alliances with. Guess we'll see where it goes! :D


Loved this line from Tuon and her Banner-General. 

"If I die, I will die as who I am. I have removed the veil."
"As you say, Highness."..."If we die, we will die as who we are." (pg. 738)

Next week we'll be starting the prequel, New Spring. Check out the reading schedule here if you want to join us. 

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

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  1. Elayne suspects Sylvase has a penchant for torture when it comes to questioning folks and that is a little disturbing.

    Mat & Tuon will be the test of the phrase 'love conquers all!'

    I too feel sorry for the Reds who are now in Taim's grasp. Taim's evil machinations may set the progressive sisters back several hundred years in thinking.

    1. Mat and Tuon have such a goofball relationship in so many ways that it would be really funny if they ended up being the Romeo-and-Juliet, love-conquers-all one. I don't mean that in a bad way, though. That'd actually be really awesome. But it would also make me snicker. A little. :D