Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Memory of Light Read-Along, Week 1

Welcome to week 1 of our A Memory of Light Read-Along! This week we read the Prologue-Chapter 1. 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. I'm hosting this week.

Looks like Mordor, doesn't it? (Source)
1. We get a terribly interesting chapter from Isam's POV in the Town below Thakandar. So many things we could talk about here, including the pointy-toothed Aiel. What stood out to you? What did you think? What do you want to know more about?

I want to know more about EVERYTHING!!! All we've really known about Luc/Isam is that they were pretty much raised in the Blight. Now we know where. Why haven't we heard anything about this Town before. You could write an entire book based around it. It sounds terribly sinister, and I can only imagine how twisted a child raised her would turn out to be. In that respect, it makes a lot of sense. But how did these corrupted Aiel come to be? How did Luc/Isam meld and become the hunters they are? (Histories, Man! I need histories!)

Talmanes (Source)
2. Talmanes becomes a freaking hero in his own right. Will Nynaeve's healing be enough to save him? What did you think of his antics against the trollocs in Camelyn?

This part made me freakin' love Talmanes. He was only meh before. A loyal friend of Mat's which made him okay in my book, but after this I thought he was awesome. He was not only a hero, but a genius. He almost single-handedly saved the refugees, the dragons, and kept parts of the city going that should have been overrun long before. I won't say whether Nynaeve's healing will work, because I don't want to spoil. But let's hope so. We just got to know Talmanes a bit. Don't want to lose him yet. Might could use a dude like him in the Last Battle!

Oh, and I loved that Melten called him Dreadsbane, slayer of Fades. Totally loved that! (pg. 41)

Leilwin Shipless (Source)
3. Leilwin offers her services to Egwene. What do you think will come of this? Will Egwene be accepting of a Seanchan servant?

I actually think this is a super-interesting story line, even though it's a small one near the end of the series. This was actually foretold in one of Egwene's dreams not long ago. Something about a Seanchan woman bowing to her or something. I won't say what happens, because this I remember, but it's pretty good. :D

Amys, Bair, Melaine (Source)
4. Bair goes to Rhuidean after hearing Aviendha's account. Do you think she'll see what Aviendha saw, or something different? Do you think she was wise to send herself?

I thought Bair going to Rhuidean was a fantastic idea. Might as well find out what others see when they duplicate Aviendha's little experiment. Plus, having the testimony from the mouth of more than one witness, especially someone like Bair who's a slightly older and more respected Wise One, would be a good thing. Chances are Aviendha is going to need help saving her people. She'll need the Wise Ones behind her. Plus I thought it was kind of heroic for Bair to send herself. She saw the need, but didn't pass it on to someone else, instead taking things into her own hands. Go her.

I also liked seeing the Wise Ones treat Aviendha as an equal. They didn't condescend or not believe her. It was kinda cool. 

Mazrim Taim (Source)
5. Evil Mofo Meeting! Taim is raised to the level of Chosen and Moghedien is commanded to "help" Demandred. What disasters do you see arising from these decisions, if any.

Well, I don't think there's a worse idea out there than promoting Taim to the level of the Forsaken. Granted, it's interesting. Lots of people thought he was actually Demandred in disguise, but we know for sure now that's not true. He's just a random, ridiculously ambitious male channeler, who's thrown his heart to the Dark One. And now he's obtained unbelievable power. 

It was subtly implied that it had a lot to do with whatever he's doing at the Black Tower. He's seized power there and whatever he's doing in the shadows (that Androl is trying to learn about) is making Moridin and the DO happy, which means we (and Rand) should be very afraid. Obviously Rand's not dealing with Taim earlier was a big mistake!

That said, I don't know if "disasters" is the right word where the Forsaken is concerned. They never seem to be able to pull off their evil schemes. Let's just hope that, somehow, this ends up being advantageous for all our heroes. 

6. What do you think of Egwene's argument about when to break the Seals? Is she right?

My opinion hasn't really changed about this. I understand her argument--it's only logical--but she doesn't understand the situation like Rand does. Maybe she's right and the breaking of the seals will have to wait for the very end, but really she just needs to trust Rand's judgement on this. I'm sure she'll try to convince him she's right, but I'm not sure she'll be successful.

The Field of Merrilor (Source)

7. Rand says it is the last night of peace they will know before the end, and on the morrow he will meet with every leader of the known world to forge an alliance. Predictions?

Oh it's gonna be so epic! I don't think there's a single scene/chapter in the entire rest of this book that I don't LOVE. The way things play out at Merrilor is really interesting, and then the Last Battle will begin in earnest. Can't wait! :D

Our ta'veren boys (Source)

I loved how Rand and Perrin got to hang out together and reminisce about old times. I loved how it showed how far they've come. How different they are, and yet how much the same. I loved that they are getting along so well, now that Rand has calmed the heck down. It's as it should be.

Lines I loved:

"He had spent many months fearing this day. Ever since Trollocs had come in the night, ever since Lan and Moiraine had dragged him from the Two Rivers, he had feared what was to come. 
The Last Battle. The end. He found himself unafraid now that it had come. Worried, but not afraid." (pg. 80)

I love this because it ties this final book all the way back to the first chapters of the first book. Masterful writing here.

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

What did everyone else think of this section?


  1. A Luc/Isam book would be great. In fact, I bet there could be an entire trilogy about him, he's so fascinating.

    If I remember correctly, a Seanchan woman in Egwene's dream offered her hand in assistance. So, perhaps Leilwin is there to give her a hand instead of assassinating her. I had totally forgotten about that part of the dream.

    I like the quote you share at the end. Rand has done his best, faced his demons, and is about to undertake the greatest task set before him. It is good to see him unafraid and ready for what may come.

    1. I would LOVE a Luc/Isam book. Of course I would have read anything and everything Jordan would have cared to write that had even an oblique connection to Randland. :D

  2. 1. Yes, this PoV reveals a great number of things about the nature of Slayer, as well as how the Samma'n'sei operate. It's interesting how Slayer is a blend of Isam and Luc, but their individual personalities have been perserved and don't interfere with each other. It's also interesting just how little Isam (at least) cares for the general aim of the Shadow, and just wants to play his own game. It feels very un-evil-like to be concerned about a child.

    I just have to say again how much I like the Slayer character. He's one of the best antagonists I've ever read.

    The comment about the captured guy hints about the nature of the Samma'n'sei, as well as what is going on at the Black Tower. More about that in a week or two. :-)

    2. Yes, this was certainly Talmanes' crowning moment of awesome. I'm happy he got one, and that he was able to joke around to boot. Set the table… heh.

    3. It is likely that Leilwin was the Seanchan who Egwene saw in her dream back in book 10:

    Egwene walks a ledge on a cliff. The ledge collapses leaving her hanging by her fingertips. A Seanchan woman climbs down the cliff and offers to help.

    The cliff walking, which is presumably metaphorical, must not have happened yet. So it is symbolically as well as genuinely important for Egwene to overcome her feelings about the Seanchan quite quickly.

    4. Yes, I think she was wise to do it herself. I was just concerned that apparently they forgot to agree on a return gateway, and Bair can't channel… A pretty glaring oversight, but I can look past it. :-)

    I think the standing theory is that they will see something different but which carries the same meaning. I believe that was how it worked for the viewings of the past (Rhuarc said something to the effect that he believed he watched through the eyes of his own ancestors, while Rand watched through the eyes of his---nevermind that 3000 years is long enough that essentially all Aiel alive today must have precisely the same ancestors back then.)

    5. The Taimandred theory was so persistent until Robert Jordan had to confirm at a signing that Demandred was not Taim. Finally we have an in-unverse sighting of them both that confirm they are not the same person.

    In fact there's a persistent theory nowadays that Robert Jordan had intended Taim to be Demandred in disguise, but the fans found out so easily that he reverted that while he still could.

    So if Demandred is not Taim, the question remains what army is under his command. The prevailing theories before the release of aMoL was that he was either King Roedran of Murandy or somewhere over in Shara. It was confirmed that his alter ego had NOT been sighted on screen in any book prior to 11, and there aren't that many large armies left unaccounted for.

    6. I understand her reasoning, but in this day and age of prophecy and what not, and being the genre savvy people we are, it's clear that Rand's plan must be followed.

    7. The only thing I want to predict is that there'll be a ton of decisions made next week, and we will know much more then. :-)


    1. Good point about most Aiel having the same ancestors if you go back far enough. I never thought of it that way. :D Yeah, I often wonder if authors do stuff like that: realize their "big reveal" wasn't that big and change it so it's cooler. :D I've heard TV writers admit that outright. It's their job to keep the audience guessing, right?

    2. Slayer is an awesome antagonist! Complicated and mysterious and deadly!

      Yep, I expect Bair will see something similar that will give basically the same message.

      I am hoping Egwene gets on board with the plan and doesn't embarrass herself too much by being stubborn.

    3. Agreed on all counts. Thanks Susan! :D