Sunday, November 23, 2014

Towers of Midnight Read-Along, Week 1

Welcome to week 1 of our Towers of Midnight Read-Along! This week we read the Prologue-Chapter 4. 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. Eivind Fonn is hosting this week and will probably post his answers over at Dab of Darkness. Hop on over and check out his answers as well!

The Forsaken (Source)
1.  Everyone who thought Graendal might not be dead can pat themselves on the back.  With Aran'gar's death that leaves six.  Are there any others, thought dead, that you fear we might see again?

Well, we know the DO can bring them back, so Rand is actually right about the balefire thing, scary though it may be. Balefire seems to be the only thing that the DO cannot bring someone back from. So, anyone who wasn't balefired could feasibly return. Ugh. Seems never-ending, doesn't it?

Padan Fain (Source)
Is this the first time we've seen Padan Fain since book nine? Running around the Blight setting world records for creepiness... What role do you think he has to play in what is coming?

I remember, so I won't spoil, but yeah it's been a while since we've seen him. And note that he's no longer one man or the other, or even two. He's more like a creature of darkness. He seems to be one with the fog that follows him around, which incidentally is the same stuff that was making trollocs squeal in Shadar Logoth so long ago. Rand pretty much burnt that city off the planet, and now it's like a wandering death. *shivers* I guess it's only fitting that this...stuff, which we originally saw in book 1, would play some kind of role in the Last Battle.

Kandoran flag (Source)
The blightborder in Kandor is attacked and will probably not hold for long.  Meanwhile, Lan is in Saldaea, heading east. Will he even make it to Tarwin's Gap, or will he be caught up in the invasion?  How many followers do you expect to see before he gives up the lone wolf plan?

The border in Kandor is actually a super-cool story line for this book. I'm excited for everyone to read it. Lan is funny. Despite how loyal and stubborn and honor-ridden he is himself, he never seems to expect that from others. He doesn't understand the sway the memory of Malkier still has over Borderlanders. Because of that, he doesn't expect many--or any--followers. But we're already seeing that that probably won't be the case. I also loved that the first guy that showed up knew him from back when he was with Bukama, in New Spring. Awesome detail to bring into the book.

Yet another reunion happens as Rand reveals part of his plan to Egwene, but she is not pleased.  Rand looks quite sane but Egwene is not so sure.  Do you expect this to be a big conflict before the Last Battle?  Who do you think is right?

I totally loved this part! They do such a good job with the awkwardness of the reunions, and yet it comes off poetic. Or even prophetic. It definitely seems there will be a conflict, but Rand also "seemed" to be mad, and now he's flabbergasting everyone. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. 

Perrin Aybarra (Source)
It looks like we'll be spending a lot of time this book with Perrin and Hopper in T'A'R.  Excited?  Anything special you want to see?  Will we maybe run into Slayer again?

I think I said this before, but I love that Perrin is finally embracing his wolf-ness. It's about time! He needs to be a good padawan and learn everything about being a wolf. It's the only hope he has--in my opinion--of maybe finally defeating Slayer (who I certainly hope we'll see again--if that story line was just left fallow that would suck!) and being of use to Rand in the Last Battle.

Galad Damodred, Lord Captain
Commander of the Children of the
Light (Source)
It also looks like we'll see a confrontation between Perrin and the Whitecloaks, world champions in grudge-keeping.  How will this play out?  How do you think Galad is doing as Lord Captain Commander?

Surprisingly, Galad is being really logical about everything. He's willing to work with Aes Sedai (though I think he ought to be careful not to call them witches to their faces) and is really effective in explaining why to his men. When he spoke with the one guy about it, he told him that they were the lesser of two evils, and pointed out how the Pattern was starting to unravel. Now, I don't think the Aes Sedai are evil (obviously) but he's a good leader because he can explain it to his men in a way that they can't deny, but without being condescending. They can see the Pattern shuddering and can't deny his logic, so they trust him. While Galad, as we've seen, is far from perfect, he's way more level-headed than any of the Lords Commander since Bornhald, who died at Falme in book 2. He may just be the best thing that could have happened to the Whitecloaks. 


Favorite lines in this section:

Light, she thought. I'm wrong. I can't think of him only as the Dragon Reborn. I'm here for a reason. He's here for a reason. To me, he must be Rand. Because Rand can be trusted, while the Dragon Reborn must be feared."Which are you?" she whispered unconsciously.He heard. "I am both, Egwene. I remember him. Lews Therin. I can see his entire life, every desperate moment. I see it like a dream, but a clear dream. My own dream. It's part of me."The words were those of a madman, but they were spoken evenly. She looked at him, and remembered the youth that he had been. The earnest young man. Not solemn like Perrin, but not wild like Mat. Solid, straight-forward. The type of man you could trust with anything.Even the fate of the world. (pg. 84)

I also loved at this part that his ta'veren-ness kept the Sisters of the Hall from speaking. I remember reading it the first time and thinking that they were being surprisingly quiet. Especially as Rand and Egwene were skipping formalities for the most part and calling one another by their first names. I actually loved that they did that, but I think the Hall might have had some objections. :D Just a few. Luckily, the Pattern made them shut up and listen, witness, rather than interfering. Very cool. Pattern: 1 Hall of the Tower: 0

Also, how cool was it when Rand made that apple orchard bloom and fed the town. Loved that scene! And the man felt a pull to follow Rand, presumably to battle. I have a feeling there will be a lot more of that to follow. 

"This was a time to lift one's sword and choose a side, then spill blood to give a final color to the dying land." (pg. 54)
Cool Beans.

Also, I thought Graendal's word for the "wave of wrongness [that] washed over her, a warping of the air, the Pattern itself rippling" (pg. 32) was interesting. She said it was called a balescream. Totally creepy name. Kind of gave me chills. 

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

What did everyone else think of this section?

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