Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Memory of Light Read-Along, Week 6


Welcome to week 6 of our A Memory of Light Read-Along! This week we read Chapters 29-36. 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 over at Coffee, Cookies & Chili Peppers is hosting this week. Hop over and check out her answers as well!


Ishmael/Moridin (Source)
1. Finally, Graendal’s Compulsion of the Great Captains has been uncovered. Do you think that Mat’s medallion will protect him from her ‘advances’? It seems as if Ituralde was the only Captain to resist the Compulsion: any ideas about why that might be?

I hope Mat's medallion will protect him, but I think it really depends on whether or not Graendal was actually using channeling to do it. His foxhead protects him from weaves, but Graendal was using dreams and T'A'R', so I suppose we'll just have to wait and see. 

I don't know why Ituralde was the only one to resist. (Can't remember, specifically.) It could be that the others did resist in their own heads, but we just didn't see it. Maybe it had something to do with being close to where Perrin was (as the wolves turned up to help save his forces). I don't know. Hopefully we'll know soon. 


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2. Mat rides into battle and is suitably awesome. Do you think that Tuon is reassessing her ability to control her Prince? Could this be the end of formal Seanchan society as it has existed for thousands of years?

Let's hope so, on both counts. The fact that Tuon is calling him out less and less when he doesn't stick to protocol tells me maybe she's learning to pick her battles. I would totally love if somehow Mat Cauthon managed to undermine thousands of years of Seanchan society and single-handedly brought them into the modern world. That would be awesome. :D

3. Perrin and Slayer clash again. It seems like Perrin is still outmatched, although he is continuing to improve, but will he ever be able to dispatch his enemy? Were you surprised that Lanfear proved to be as fickle as we had suspected? Will Perrin take any further part in the Last Battle now that he has returned to the waking world?

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Something weird happened here that made it really hard for Perrin to concentrate. He seems to think it might just be because he hasn't eaten or slept in so long. I don't remember if there is more to it than that, but I'm sure we'll know soon. Whatever it was didn't affect Slayer, but then Slayer has been entering T'A'R' in this fashion for a lot longer. Perrin still needs to work out the wrinkles in his strategy, and then hopefully he'll get another shot at Slayer.

Nothing Lanfear does surprises me anymore. And given that we have another 300 pages to go, I can't imagine Perrin's down for the count.

Not as cool as Androl's lava gateways, but the
only pic I could find. :D Source
4. The battle outside Cairhien is almost lost and even the mighty Ogier are starting to fall when Androl produces a miracle. What did you think of Logain’s comment about the notes in Taim’s rooms: does he have a list of all the Shadow’s battle plans? Please comment on the epicness of Androl’s miracle! :D

That was amazing! (See, I told you you'd love Androl!) Such a great thing to do, especially from someone who can't channel much. I also liked seeing Pevara by his side. Yeah, it was totally epic! I thought it was cool that the lava came from Dragonmount. So appropriate! 

As for the plans, I'd be suspicious of them, I think. Logain mentioned that he did have to decipher them, but it's still pretty stupid for Taim to leave them lying around, especially when he knew there was a rebellious faction in the Black Tower. Still, it did serve them in this case, and we know Taim has an ego. Maybe, like so many bad guys, his arrogance will prove to be his downfall. 

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5. Tuon is taking the End Of The World in her stride, with her giant travelling throne and making full use of Min’s Talent. Are you a little disturbed by her serenity at this time? Do you think that Min’s demands will be met, or will she eventually refuse to reveal her viewings?

I don't know that her serenity disturbs me--when we see things from her POV, she definitely does have human feelings--but it might be nice to see her act a little more human in the face of the epicness of this battle. 

I'm glad Min is standing up to Tuon and not letting her misuse Min's talent. I think, like Mat, Min could have a profound affect on both Tuon and the Seanchan empire at large. If both of them keep standing up to her, they might change things more than they realize, which could only be a good thing. :D

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6. Just for a change, things go horribly wrong. Do you think that the black spikes were a deliberate attack against Faile’s group? Can you believe that Vanin and Harnan are actually Darkfriends, or were they just after the tobacco? Is there any chance that the Horn will make it back to Mat’s hands?

Yeah, nice change there. I don't know about the spikes. It seems that it would take a great deal of effort/channeling to bring this about, and somebody would have been able to pinpoint it. That said, her observation about the Aes Sedai's death does make it sound like something is rotten in the caravan. On top of that is the fact that they went to the Blight, when they were aiming for Merrilor which, according to Setalle Anan is hard to explain away, unless it's a Darkfriend at work. Faile has really landed herself in it this time.

Faile noticed Vanin acting weird, and the fact that he and Harnan grabbed the horn and then ran for it definitely looks guilty, but it also seems like the easy answer. It just always seemed to me that there must be more to it. Even that doesn't mean she's wrong, of course, but still. If she can get to Shayol Ghul, I think there's an excellent chance of Mat getting the horn, actually. One of the last things we saw of him was his feeling Rand's pull on him. Maybe Rand can bring Mat and the horn together.

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7. Red veiled Aiel infiltrate the camp in Thakan’dar and cause mayhem. Do you think that even Cadsuane and Sorilea are powerful enough to defeat Graendal? Will the Aiel ever recover from the shame of learning about the fate of their male channelers?

If Cadsuane and Sorilea can't take down stupid Graendal, who can? They're so much cooler than she is! I think it'll really come down to wits, rather than power, though. Graendal is channeling the True Source, and using a form of Traveling they are unfamiliar with. So, the epic Aes Sedai and the epic Wise One will have to put their wits together and try to trip the Forsaken up. Like I said, if anyone can do it, they can. I really liked watching Cadsuane and Aviendha work together in this section as well. I love the image of them prowling through the camp, searching for enemies and effectively burning them to a crisp. (I mean Cadsuane knows how to stop someone's heart. Just like that! Freak!) Then of course they simply must bitch at each other about toh and who's giving orders. Just awesome all the way around. :D

Yeah, the origins of the Red Veils is finally revealed, and that's some pretty epic shame on the Aiel's part. It was especially disturbing when Aviendha recognized one of them. The question is whether they are going over to the shadow willingly or being turned. I can't imagine many Aiel going willingly--and wasn't something said about the Red Veils being forced before? Can't remember. Still, the Aiel will have to accept responsibility for this particular choice.

Moridin (Source)
8. Rand is frozen in place as he battles the Dark One. Why is Moridin frozen as well? Do you think Nynaeve will be able to do anything to help Alanna before she can release Rand from his Bond? Is there any chance that Nynaeve can save the world by simply bopping Moridin on the head with a big rock?

I was glad to get something, no matter how brief, from Nynaeve's POV. Since following Rand into the Pit, we haven't seen Nynaeve or Moiraine do much. It's definitely interesting that Moridin froze when Rand did. Maybe because they were connected by their swords, it affected both of them. But that's interesting because, for the time being at least, it's keeping the Shadow from gaining the upper hand in this particular battle.

I'm sure Nynaeve will come up with something brilliant to solve this little problem of Alanna and Rand, but she'll have to think fast and be resourceful. Maybe Moiraine can jump in and help. I'd be cool with Nynaeve caving Moridin's head in. She's already bested several of the Forsaken, and Rand still has to fight the DO. He's got bigger fish to fry. Go for it, Nynaeve. (Just try not to die in the attempt. Lan is still out there!)

Extras:

It's interesting that the"wind" in the Pit is the Dark One's essence, and it's sucking everything into itself. Nynaeve thinks it not only kills the body, but the soul. *shivers*

I love how they're using the Gateways as doorways and windows, not only to observe the battle, but so that neither Egwene nor Tuon has to meet on the other's ground, but they can still talk to one another. Genius!

What was up with the wolves appearing out of the fog to take down an army of Fades (and entire army! Cool image!) and save Ituralde's forces? More explanation of that please!

Why we love Cadsuane: "Cadsuane had expected the Forsaken to be here. It was why she'd come to this battlefront." (pg. 599) She specifically takes on the worst of the worst because she's not afraid and she's confident in her own abilities. Love this woman!

Funny Stuff from Mat:

1) When he tried to get Min to tell Tuon she saw a hat around Mat's head so she wouldn't keep trying to take his away
2) When he wanted to see Karede and Lan in a staring contest. "They would be at it for years." (pg. 511)
3) When he was disappointed that men's and women's armor was the same, and the women's armor didn't emphasize certain areas.
4) "Come to think of it, an Aes Sedai would probably follow a man off a cliff, too, if only to explain to him--in detail--all thethings he was doing incorrectly in the way he went about killing himself." (pg.610)

As always, I kind want to slap him, but also can't stop laughing. :D

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

What did everyone else think of this section?

6 comments :

  1. So many funny parts with Mat! I loved it when he told Min he wanted to use her and then realized what he had said and stumbled all over himself to make it right! I thought Perrins fight with Slayer was as epic as it gets. What Perrin did with the sea was amazing and it still is awesome that he is doing it without channeling. I absolutely love Androl and Pevara. I loved the genuine affection between them when Androl created a gateway to get her some cool mountain spring water. He then at her request gatewayed some tea leaves, heated it up and then gatewayed in some honey. Her response was wonderful. "Oh Androl, you are wonderful". It is so nice to see two people who love each other amid all the hatred and death and blood.

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    1. Yeah, I loved Perrin's trick with the sea! So cool. Androl and Pevara are my faves. Wish we'd had more of them throughout the series, though I guess that wouldn't have been possible. And you gotta love Mat and his hilarious, hypocritical thoughts! :D

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  2. If any one person can cause the revamping of Seanchan society, it is Mat. :)

    Every time someone pushes back on Tuon, her eyes bulge out of her pretty bald head a little more. :)

    Yep, I am definitely concerned for the Aiel and how hard they will take the reality of their role in creating the Red Aiel. They are such a serious lot. So I hope that they don't go to extremes and have a generation of Aiel commit mass suicide by attempting some impossible feat - like crossing an ocean by walking along the sea bottom.

    While Cadsuane has sometimes come off as a bully, she is also very practical. Hence, I totally love that she goes around stopping hearts as needs be.

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    1. Yeah, it would be terrible if the Aiel did that. Aviendha is going to have her work cut out for her! I love Cadsuane. In my opinion, her, Androl, and Pevara were introduced WAY too late in the series! :D Thanks Susan!

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  3. 1. Crumbs! I hope that Graendal is too busy to try influencing Mat . . . but perhaps he is immune to Compulsion because he is so stubbornly awkward! :D

    2. Someone needs to break them of some of their traditions, such as regular assassination attempts: so wasteful!

    3. I assumed that it was his body reacting badly to his long exposure to the Dream: a form of intense exhaustion or something similar. Hopefully a good sleep will set him up to kick Slayer’s backside.

    4. Androl’s plan was so simple in its idea, and made excellent use of his abilities . . . perhaps next time he can just open a gateway under the enemy army and they all die as they drop through it?

    5. Tuon has become a lot less sympathetic since she rose to be the Empress, in my opinion, because she seems to have lost some perspective on the world around her. Hopefully, this is mostly an act and she is actually screaming on the inside.

    6. As with Tuon, I am struggling to like Faile at the moment, so I was a little offended by her suspicion of Vannin even before the whole black spike event. He may have been a horse thief in the last, but we have never seen any sign of him being a Darkfriend. She is just being paranoid and he was after the tobacco all along.

    7. Well if Sorilea and Cadsuane can’t outwit Graendal then nobody can! Her contempt for modern channelers will also give them an advantage, as she is most likely to underestimate their abilities. Plus Sorilea is just plain frightening! :D

    8. If there is anyone that would beat a Forsaken to death with a rock, it is Nynaeve! :D

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    1. LOL. Yeah I hear ya about Nynaeve. And Cadsuane and Sorilea. With Faile and Tuon, I think I can keep from hating them mostly because characters I love (Mat and Perrin) love them. You aren't wrong about them being frustrating at times, but it never bothers me that much. I figure our ta'veren will win them over. Eventually. :D

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