Sunday, September 14, 2014

New Spring Read-Along, Week 1

Welcome to week 1 of our New Spring Read-Along! This week we read chapters 1-6. Remember that everything in this section as well as everything that's come before (in the main series) is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk. Eivind Fonn is hosting this week and will probably post his answers over at Dab of Darkness. Hop over and check out his answers as well!

Tam and Rand (Source)
1. We find ourselves back at the end of the Aiel war, with a long-lost friend. Are there any other time periods you would have liked to see instead? Other characters you would have liked to follow?

I was actually really excited to see Lan and Moiraine as their younger selves, so I don't think there's anything else I would rather have read about. That said, it was rumored that Jordan was planning to do more prequels, perhaps one about Tam going off to fight in the Aiel war, and maybe him meeting Rand's (step) mother and finding Rand as a baby. That would have been really awesome too. I wish Jordan had lived to write it.

Gitara Moroso's Fortelling (Source)
Gitara Moroso foretells Rand's birth. If you recall, she was also the one who told Tigraine (Rand's mother) to leave and go to the waste. What do you think about one person having such an impact on history?

I guess you start to understand why Foretelling is such a revered Talent. It's rare and very powerful. If Foretellings are always true, then it's something that definitely could change history. And in a way it makes sense--since Gitara had the foretelling for Tigraine, which resulted in Rand's birth, even if Gitara couldn't know it would--that she would then have the foretelling about when he was born. She just probably didn't have any inkling that the two events were connected.

And talk about drama! A Foretelling and she falls over dead! Don't get me wrong, I think it's fitting, but...whoa.

Tamra Ospenya (Source)
Tamra Ospenya hopes to catch the Dragon Reborn in a big list of names. What do you think of this idea? Knowing what we know about Rand, do you find it likely that he'll be in the lists somewhere?

Naw, probably not. We know Moiraine searched for him for the better part of twenty years. If he'd been on one of the lists, I think she'd have found him much sooner. Plus, Tam found him. There is no mother to give a bounty to. Tam isn't one to wait around in some war camp for gold. He probably never was in one anyway. Once the Aiel began to retreat, and he found the baby in the snow, he probably just set off for the Two Rivers right away, wanting to put the horrors of the war behind him. 

The White Tower is assuming there is a mother and no father. It hasn't even occurred to them that there might be a father and no mother.

Young Elaida (Source)
Elaida has apparently never been nice in her entire life. Was she even at this point seeing herself as a future Amyrlin, or has she just gotten ambitious later?

She strikes me as someone who was always ambitious. We know the reason she attached herself to the queen of Andor was because of these ambitions. I don't know that she was actively planning her road to Amyrlin at this point--she seems to be focusing on other goals, even at this early point--but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if it had crossed her mind. 

5. Am I the only one who can't help drawing comparisons with Hogwarts? Do you have any funny ones?

I never drew many comparisons to Hogwarts. Of course, I started this series long before I read Harry Potter, so maybe that's why they always stayed distinctive to me. I suppose they're both "schools" where one goes to learn a certain kind of power, but beyond that, they don't seem very similar to me. This book mentions that meals are eaten mostly in quiet dignity, where the kids at Hogwarts were usually quite boisterous during meals. Ages are different. There are no men learning at the Tower. Well, Warders, but not learning the power part. And yes, the Amyrlin might be paralleled with Dumbledore, but all Amyrlins we've seen are much colder than Dumbledore ever was. I'd be interested to see what parallels others draw, though. :D

Both Moiraine and Siuan are close to being raised to the shawl. Will we see that in this book? What do you think the testing will be like, and what new might we learn about Moiraine and Siuan from it? Lan is around also... will we see a warder bonding?

I know the answer to all these, so I won't spoil. It'll be good, though. :D


The one chapter we got from Lan's POV was really interesting. Getting his POV was one of my favorite aspects of this book, as we never get to ride around in his head in the main series. We already see a deeply-ingrained sense of honor and duty from him. We can see that Moiraine is young and less mature in her wisdom, but Lan is already older emotionally than his physical years account for. 

It's pretty cool to see him in open battle. And I loved that the Aiel sort of gave him their name for him on the battlefield. That was awesome!

Also, anyone else seeing personality parallels between Siuan and Egwene? How about Moiraine and Nynaeve. They're strikingly similar, which is why it makes sense that both Siuan and Egwene end up as leaders, while Moiraine and Nynaeve are more the wandering type. I don't think it's a coincidence that Moiraine and Nynaeve are alike; that Lan ends up attaching himself to Moiraine, and then falls for a woman with the same personality type, albeit a bit more hot-headed. :D

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

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  1. I felt sorry for Moiraine trying to juggle a tea cup and a dying Gitara falling on her. She is so little and a dead body, of any size, weighs quite a bit. One can be hurt by falling dead bodies. Not that I know from experience.

    I really like your first image of Tam & Rand. Such a moment! I wonder what was going through Tam's head?

    Being able to get Lan's thoughts on things is great. I am really enjoying that part of the book. And I look forward to seeing how he goes from "Aes Sedai witches!' to a Warder. Moiraine must make a very compelling argument for it, or possibly Lan gets himself badly injured and Bonding him is the only way to safely heal him.

    1. The image of Tam finding Rand is one of my faves as well, Susan. Guess we'll see about Lan. :D Thanks for stopping by! :D