Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Gathering Storm Read-Along, Week 3

Welcome to week 3 of our The Gathering Storm Read-Along! This week we read Chapters 14-21. 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. Susan over at Dab of Darkness is hosting this week. Hop over to see her answers too! :D

Awesome fan art, no? And no, it isn't
mine, but if I ever tried to do fan art, it
would probably look a lot like this. :D
1) When get a little more quality time with Semirhage. Cadsuane seems to have come up with a way to get under her skin. Do you think it will be enough to get answers from Semirhage? Cadsuane believes it is important to keep Semirhage alive in order to learn useful weaves from her. Do you agree with this logic? Or are you all for killing her?

Lots of really satisfying stuff in this section. Obviously the spanking was enough to put a dent in Semirhage's stoic Forsaken armor, but whether it will actually get her to show them weaves, only time will tell. Moghedien did it, but she was under the compulsion of the a'dam. I can't remember what, if any, new weaves they get from her, but at least Cadsuane is make some headway. Finally. It's nice to see one of the Forsaken get a taste of her own medicine. 

This kill 'em or learn from 'em debate is one I have trouble with. The Forsaken are like wild animals. Caging them can have it's uses, but the second they get the upper hand, everyone's toast. The one thing that I would add in this case is that the Forsaken don't seem to be staying dead unless they're balefired. So, unless they're willing to balefire Semirhage, why even bother?

A pic of Rand skimming to Shadar Logoth, where he first
saw Moridin, though he didn't know who he was then. The
two of them crossed streams of balefire, which is
presumably when their strange connection began. Source
2) Moridin and Rand have a heart to heart. Rand seems to understand the two of them are connected somehow. Do you think he will make use of this information? Upon waking from this chat, Rand confesses to Min about Lews Therin. Will Min tell others as she told others about Rand's time in the box? And would that be a good or bad thing?

I loved this chapter! Jordan/Sanderson at their best. Just the right mix of mysticism and prophecy and tragedy, but also angst and rivalry. It was super-interesting when Rand learned that Moridin hadn't brought him there. This is the same place he and Mat and Perrin were brought by Ba'alzamon in the early books. At that time, he brought them into the dream to terrorize them. Now, Rand went there on his own, even if he didn't do it consciously. And Moridin was the one caught by surprise. It shows how far Rand has come. Moridin obviously regards him as an equal, but Rand is actually more powerful than Moridin is. 

I also think this served as things coming full circle from the Dragonmount prologue in book 1. In this chapter, they weren't 'Rand' and 'Moridin'. They were 'Lews Therin' and 'Elan.' In the Prologue, Elan/Ishmael/Moridin had the upper hand. He had to heal Lews Therin just so he could flaunt his own victory. Now, Rand is more powerful. After Dragonmount was formed, Elan said, "It is not done between will not be done until the end of time." Now, they're actually heading into the Last Battle. We're seeing the tables turned and prophecies coming to a head.

"Is that what made you turn to his side?" Rand asked. "You were always so full of thoughts, Elan. Your logic destroyed you, didn't it?""There is no path to victory," Moridin said. "The only path is to follow the Great Lord and rule for a time before all things end. The others are fools. They look for grand rewards in the eternities, but there will be no eternities. Only the now, the last days."

Just such great stuff. Evil has no hope. But Rand and all our super-heroes do.

I don't remember if Min tells anyone, but I don't think it will matter one way or the other. There are plenty of people who already think Rand is mad and still people follow him. 

3) Egwene matches wits with three White Sisters (Ferane, Miyasi, & Tesan). And then she is forced to match wits wits with Elaida in front of the Sitters. Will there be harsh punishment for Egwene, beyond the beating Elaida gave her? How will the Sitters react to this? Or will we still have to wait for the Seanchan to invade before the Aes Sedai get their act together?

Best. Chapter. Ever. Best line: "Coward...I dare the truth, Elaida," Egwene said quietly. "You are a coward and a tyrant. I'd name you Darkfriend as well, but I suspect that the Dark One would perhaps be embarrassed to associate with you."

Oh snap!

 Elaida will probably try to punish Egwene harshly, but I think Egwene might have won her war in this scene. Too many of the Sitters were yelling at Elaida to calm the hell down to go back to the way things were. Of course, we know how bull-headed Aes Sedai can be, so it might take the Seanchan invasion to cement all their loyalty behind Egwene. 

4) The rebel Aes Sedai have word that the White Tower now has the art of Traveling. Do you believe Elaida is aware of this weave? Or is it just a handful of Red Aes Sedai testing it out? And what do you make of Lelaine's latest actions? What can Siuan do from this point on in holding the Aes Sedai together?

You'd think I remember more of the details of these last three books because they are the most recent ones, but I honestly can't remember if they have Travelling. I think not, though. We haven't heard any talk of it on Egwene's end from the Tower sisters, and that would be a huge deal. Besides after Halima's failure with the rebels, other Forsaken might be trying to undermine their effort, and making them feel hopeless in this way would be a great way to do it. 

Tuon (Source)
5) Tuon holds court in Ebou Dar. Did you find her offer to Beslan fair? Now that she has seen the heads of trollocs, creatures she believed to be of myth, do you think she will be more open to listening to Randlanders?

I thought she handled the situation well. And the fact that Beslan was so quick to accept shows that it was probably the best thing. Beslan seems like a sweet guy, but I don't know that he's up to full-scale revolution. As we've seen, the Seanchan are often fair to their subjects as long as they don't revolt. I can see them ruling Altara very well. After all, they can't be any worse than the Whitecloaks in Amadacia. And if Tuon has Mat by her side, it will probably be far better. 

I think she'll listen better now about trollocs. "So Matrim was not mistaken about this..." (pg. 308). It's nice to see that, when confronted with proof, Tuon isn't one of those idiots who stubbornly refuses to change her beliefs. She's showing sings of being a wise and noble ruler. Hopefully this proof will get her on board with following Rand at the Last Battle more quickly and completely.

Oh, and I totally loved this: "But she could thank her long conversations with Mistress Anan for allowing her to understand them." It seems Setalle Anan had more of an impact on the world than anyone realized. By always talking with Tuon, she was trying to make Tuon understand the people she was trying to conquer in a compassionate way. And it seems she's succeeded. It will make Tuon a better ruler, and perhaps bring peace. Go Mistress Anan!

Thought this was funny. Source
6) Mat opens by comparing women to goats. Did you find his behavior to be 'husbandly'? Was his own ta'veren-ness working against him in keeping the Aes Sedai with him or was it his own goat-like behavior?

Okay, as much of a sexist pig as Mat can be sometimes, I was laughing at this. I thought it was hysterical. Chauvinistic, perpetuating a stereotype? Yes. But still funny. Mat genuinely feels that he's picked on, and I just have to chuckle and shake my head.

I did think his worry about Tuon was husbandly, but it was Mat's own special kind of husbandly. I think his friendship with Talmanes is good for him. At least Talmanes says it like it is and can keep Mat from getting too puffed up. For the most part. 

As for the Aes Sedai, it was probably a little of both. Part ta'veren, part his own stubbornness, and I also think he may be starting to genuinely care for these women. If though they're a pain in the neck, they've all been traveling together for a long time. And Mat, under all his sexist crap, is a decent guy. He probably can't help it. :D

7) Perrin returns to the dream-wolf world, promptly insults the wolves, and is tossed out. Will he be able to conquer his own fears? And if he does, what will he do with the wolves then? Faile has yet more secrets from Perrin. Do you find this good or bad? 

Oh I'm so excited for this. I wish Perrin would have figured out he needed to do this much earlier. He did get kicked out of the dream, but he's finally getting to the point where he realizes has to put aside his fears and learn to really use the wolf dream to his advantage. He asks Hopper to teach him, and Hopper will. The last time he faced down Slayer, back in the Two Rivers, the main reason he couldn't win was that Slayer was way more familiar with the World of Dreams than Perrin. If he can learn, he can become a total badass in his own right. (Even more than he already is, anyway.) So excited for this part!


Poor Aviendha is still having a rough time. I liked that she stood up to that other maiden, though. That was pretty cool. I was reading something in Encyclopedia WOT and it said we'd find out what she's being punished for in chapter 22. That's next section. (Yea!)

Laras Source
Min seems to have figured out Herid Fel's message. I love that she had to read until her eyes fell out to get it. But she did. And it's important. Rand will have to clear away the old patch--the one that failed--before he can re-seal the Bore. Min having her nose in a book may have saved the entire world. Just sayin'. :D

I love that Laras tries to sneak Egwene out. I knew I always liked that many-chinned cook! :D

Other lines I loved:

"There was a time for logic, true, but there was also a time for emotion." (pg. 252)

"The past was a field of embers and ash...the remnants of the fire that was the present." (pg. 337)

"Do you not know that many dreams are more truthful than the waking world?" (pg. 236)

So much great stuff in this section!

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

What did everyone else think of this section?


  1. That's a good point about balefire being the only way to permanently remove a Forsaken. However, killing them can temporarily remove them...but then you don't know where & when they will turn up again.

    Egwene did give the best insult - the Dark One might be embarrassed to associate with you. Ouch!

    While I agree that the Seanchan are capable rulers, and not overly harsh unless crossed, I totally disagree with their belief that they have the right to rule in Randland. Of course, they are currently blind to this possibility.

    I too loved that Min's late night reading may have brought us the key to saving the world. Of course, folks will take convincing, but Min and Rand together can be very convincing.

  2. 1. I suspect that Moghedien and Semirhage are rather different personalities. The Spider always had a reputation for cowardice, whereas our favorite spanked Forsaken is renowned for being a totally fearless psychopath.

    2. I suspect that one reason that Moridin is hesitant to attack Rand is because he is not sure of success, so I find it interesting that you say that Rand is much more powerful. Moridin is certainly the most thoughtful and well rounded of the Forsaken as far as I can see. He seems to be much less delusional and incompetent than the others, which is probably why he is Nae’blis.

    3. Egwene is truly the most badass character at this point in the series – I think even Sorilea would quake before her! :D

    5. I think that Beslan is all talk and bluster – he could never organize a successful resistance and would simply get a lot of people killed for no good reason. It is unfortunate that is mother died before he had become mature enough to step into her role. I was actually quite pleased that he did the wisest thing and swore allegiance.

    I wonder if Mistress Anan is related to Cadsuane somehow?? :D

    6. I got the feeling that Mat was almost saying what he thinks married men are supposed to say. It was a case of him trying to appear uncaring whilst being worried sick! Bless! :D

    7. Any excuse for more Hopper is fine with me – he is one of my favorite characters. My only concern is that this means that Perrin will be hunting after Slayer in the Dream, which could be spectacularly dangerous for him.

    Min’s discovery makes a lot of sense – if you want to repair a patch you clear away all the rubbish and rubble first . . . but letting the Dark One out is a going to be a major risk.

  3. It'd be awesome if Mistres Anan and Cadsuane turned out to be distant cousins or something. That family would totally rule the world! :D Thanks Sue! :D