Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Gathering Storm Read-Along, Week 1


Welcome to week 1 of our The Gathering Storm Read-Along! This week we read Prologue - Chapter 6. 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 Coffee, Cookies and Chili Peppers is hosting this week. Hop over to see her answers too! :D

Rand with Seanchan Spear (Source)
1. Rand has sent a message to Tuon via a released damane, but it seems that it might be some time before she hears of his invitation. Do you think that this delay will make a difference? Will the Seanchan be too distracted by the newly arrived Trolloc hordes and Rodel Ituralde’s army?

I won't give any spoilers--and honestly I don't remember all the details--but it seems to me that the Seanchan might be kept busy by Ituralde and the trollocs, which could be a good thing. It might give the message time to reach Tuon.


Demandred - Is it just me or does he look
like Goran Visnjic? (Source)
2. We had only a short glimpse of the Forsaken in this section, but there were some tantalizing hints. Given Graendal’s thoughts about Demandred, where do you think he has made his base of operations? What do you make of Moridin’s issues with his left hand?

Demandred is interesting because he keeps himself more aloof than the others do. We've seen things from each of their points of view, seen their oh-so-human flaws, but we don't know much about what's going on with Demandred. He may just outsmart them all. Especially the dumb ones. Like Graendal. 

The left hand thing was interesting too. Maybe he's having some sort of twisted sympathy pains for Rand, or something? :D

3. The Prophet finally met his end, but not before we got to spend a little time inside his highly disturbing mind. What do you make of his vision of the Dragon? Do you think that his death will remove the Dragonsworn as an organized force?

Um...well he's obviously delusional. Rand appeared to him?  Got news for you, dude, Rand is not a ghost. He also waffled a lot between being happy with his followers and wanting to kill them. It was like a multiple personality. I also thought it was very fitting that Faile got to do him in, what with him wanting to off her man and everything. I doubt the Dragonsworn will completely disband, but it may send them into chaos for a while, which might be enough for Rand or someone else to capitalize on. Let's hope they choose their next leader a bit better. Perhaps someone who isn't stark raving psycho?

Egwene al'Vere (Source)
4. We see Egwene go through some serious changes this week, as she realizes why the Aiel laugh at pain. Do you think that she is correct to think that Elaida’s rule would come to an end soon even without her own efforts? What do you make of the severe disruptions that are occurring in Tar Valon: are they worse than the ones we are seeing elsewhere?

Yeah, this is back to the Elaida is a dingbat thing. Before, Egwene just wouldn't have thought it of any sister. Even if she disagreed with Elaida, she still respected her as Aes Sedai. Not so much anymore. She's realizing that Elaida is going off the rails more and more each day. I do think she's right about Elaida digging her own grave.

The disruptions are so creepy! And they do seem to be worse than elsewhere, though there's no obvious reason they should be. Tar Valon has been a hot seat for Channelling for thousands of years because of the White Tower. Maybe that has something to do with it?

Aviendha showing some leg.
(Source)
5. Poor Aviendha is off counting tiny seeds whilst running across country. Can you offer any suggestions about what she has done wrong in the eyes of the Wise Ones?

Okay, I honestly don't remember, so I hope I don't inadvertently give spoilers, but I keep thinking that she hasn't done anything wrong. They're trying to prove a point, or teach her something important. She jumped to the conclusion that she's done something wrong (and perhaps rightly so because that's the only reason in the past that this sort of thing every would have happened) but I think she needs to look beyond her past the conventional Wise One methods if she wants to find the answer.

Gawyn Trakand (Source)
6. We finally touch base with Gawyn in his efforts to disrupt the rebel siege. Can you think of anything that might make him finally see sense and join the rebel cause?

I think he's finally heading in that direction, and seeing either Egwene or Elayne will give him the final push he needs. It's easy to justify things with words like "honor" when you're isolated and away from those you love who might make you see sense. 

Source
7. Cadsuane and a few other Sisters are trying to get information out of Semirhage. Do you think they have any hope at all of succeeding, or will we have to endure many more creepy stories about how she can do truly diabolical things to peoples’ bodies?

I actually think the a'dam idea is a good one. It may be the only way to get her to talk. Because it's Semirhage, she may just be the hardest of the Forsaken to crack, so chances are we'll hear more stories until Rand agrees to let them use torture, or Cadsuane comes up with something brilliant.

Extras:

We're getting into lots of good stuff. I'm so excited to begin the first of the final three books!

Note how different Rand is from when we first saw him. He sees himself as a king and expects to be obeyed, and he is. He has also learned a lot about diplomacy. 

Merise Haindehl (Source)
Lines I liked:
"The safety of the world might depend on the memories of a dead madman." (pg. 103) 
"Anyone who claimed that old age had brought them patience was either lying or senile." (pg. 109) 
"They would lose, but their children would always know that their fathers had resisted. That resistance would be important in a hundred years, when a rebellion came." (pg. 115) 
"Being in control wasn't so much about the power you had, but the power you implied you had." (116)

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

What did everyone else think of this section?

4 comments :

  1. Somehow I doubt Demandred is capable of sympathy pains, but more testing is needed to prove this conclusively. For instance, he very well might miss his own head. I say we cut it off and see if he feels the loss. ;)

    While I liked that Faile got to kill Masema, I think it is silly of her to try to keep this info from her husband. In some ways, Faile is as much of a dingbat as Elaida.

    I'm very excited to be in the final 3 books. My man was so enamored of the ending of this series he has raced ahead without me and is in the last book, though we started Book 12 at the same time.

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    1. Cut off Demandred's head? Second the motion and move to vote! I agree that Faile really should have learned not to keep secrets from her hubby by now. Hooray for the final three books! They're gonna be epic! :D

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  2. 1. I can’t decide whether the message should be delivered straight away or if it can wait a little. However, once the news of the Semirhage disaster gets back to Tuon, she will be very wary of any offer to meet Rand in person.

    2. That picture looks Exactly like Goran Visnjic . . . which is no bad thing, in my opinion! :D

    Considering how ineffective the others have been, I am not sure if we can expect Demandred to be equally useless: surely one of the Forsaken is actually competent!

    3. There have been times when I have wanted to quietly ‘take care’ of people who have been obnoxious to my husband, so I was totally behind Faile in her decision here. Plus, it gave Perrin the ability to honestly state that he had nothing to do with Masema’s death.

    4. It will be quite interesting to go back and read some of Egwene’s early chapters when she is a total airhead and massively immature: it is difficult to think of her as not years older than Elayne and Nynaeve at the moment.

    5. I can understand why she has to grow and gain her own wisdom and all that jazz, but the End Of The World is coming, and this does seem to be a giant waste of time at the moment! :D

    6. Honor is one thing, but it is so obvious that Elaida sent him out there to die! Wake up, Gawyn, you numpty!

    7. I agree: the a’dam would remove her sense of self-control and power. However, I would be a little worried about joining my consciousness to something that evil.

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    Replies
    1. I'm a Goran Visnjic fangirl too. :D Yeah, re-reading the series is definitely very informative. So much different than reading it the first time through. And while I agree about Aviendha, her storyline in the final book is one of my faves. Don't worry. She won't disappoint. (When does she ever?) And yes, Gawyn is being a bit blond at the moment. It bugs me, but I love him anyway. And you're right, advantageous though an a'dam might be with Semirhage, I wouldn't want to be on the other end of it either. :D

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