Sunday, January 19, 2014

Crown of Swords Read-Along, Week 4

Welcome to week 4 of our Crown of Swords Read-Along. This week we read chapters 13-18. 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!

1) Bravery comes up more than once in Chapter 13. Aviendha on the water, Elayne offering to discuss Rand....What do you think about how the ladies measure bravery?

Interesting, how people measure it differently. I was glad to get a section from Aviendha's POV. I don't think we had one before (?) but she has her own unique voice. Nice to know that even the fearless Aiel have fears (like water) but Aviendha is always brave, and that makes me love her. 

2) Within this section, we see Nynaeve and Elayne beginning negotiations with the Sea Folk for info on the Bowl of Winds, and yet Rand is still ignoring the Sea Folk. When the ladies find out Rand ignored the Sea Folk for so long, what do you think they will do? Why are the Sea Folk so interested in Rand? And if they find out the connection between Rand and the ladies, what do you think the Sea Folk will do? 

Atha'an Miere Windfinder
I actually think using the Sea Folk to help find the Bowl was a smart move for the ladies. They've had no luck finding it themselves, so they went to the resident "experts" when it comes to the weather. This is really smart. Of course, it's bound to be more complicated than just that. We've heard that Rand is the Sea Folk's Coramoor, but they aren't very forward moving when it comes to following him, declaring for him, or otherwise seeking him out. I suppose some interaction was inevitable, and maybe it's good that it's come in the form of an agreement involving our ladies, whom Rand can trust, even if he's not sure of that anymore. I think these agreements, though they're bound to be fraught with politics and drama, can only be helpful to Rand.

Jaichim Carridin--Just looks like a
douchebag, doesn't he? Source
3) Mat recognized Darkfriend Shiaine and followed her to White Cloak Inquisitor Carridin. In turn, Carridin recognizes Mat, and then tells Sammael. Do you think this will change Sammael's plans at all? 
It sounded to me like he was taking it under consideration, but not prepared to actually change his plans much. Not sure whether this was smart or foolish on Sammael's part. On the one hand, you'd think he'd want to get a hold of Mat, because he's so close to Rand. But, on the other hand, if he'd abandoned a long-held plan to lash out at Mat (and it probably wouldn't have worked given Mat's ta'veren-ness) that would have been foolish, too. But, he knows where Mat is, now, and those dice are rolling in Mat's head, so we may not have seen the end of this particular interaction yet.

4) Mat and women and the example they set for Olver. What did you think of Mat's reaction to Queen Tylin's straight-forward interest? Were you amused by Olver imitating Mat in his interactions with women? Foresee Mat changing his ways?

Yeah this is hysterical. It's always nice to see the tables turned on someone as arrogant as Mat. Very amusing. And Mat always thinks someone other than him is influencing Olver in bad ways. Much as I love Mat, the dude seriously needs to take a look in the mirror sometimes. :D
5) Why do you think Mat was attacked at the inn and who do you think sent the men? 

Well, there is the Sammael discussion from the earlier question. Maybe it was him deciding to take a crack at Mat, despite what he led Carridan to believe. But really, it could have been anyone. Mat has plenty of enemies, and then there's the fact that he's about as connected to Rand as it's possible to be, so without more information, it's anyone's guess. I will say that this won't be the last time someone (or something) comes after Mat in Ebou Dar.
Don't mess with Nynaeve! Source
6) Moghedien seems to be back in the game, at least directing folks from the sidelines. Falion doesn't believe there to be a cache of angreal, but Ispan is ready to search for it. However, Fallion has another plan. How do you think that will fare? 

Going after Nynaeve actually does show Falion's intellect. She can read Moghedien, and she's got little enough fear to see the Forsaken as real people, rather than gods. The fact that she picked up on how much Moghedien hates Nynaeve is very perceptive and, normally, might be a good way to ingratiate herself to her angry mistress. But... it's Nynaeve. She's probably the most powerful and perpetually pissed off female channeler alive. And then there's the fact that she's with Elayne and Aviendha, and Lan is on his way to her. Yeah, Falion will squashed. Just like grape.
7) Rand has women problems, and not because he is bedding too many (at least not yet). Between Berelain demanding she stay, Rand's 'tame' Aes Sedai, and now Cadsuane Sedai, he may need a holiday. Why do you think Cadsuane has appeared and has chosen to show the Dragon Reborn such cheek? 

When I first read the series, I didn't think much of Cadsuane. Didn't hate her or anything, but she was just another Aes Sedai pushing herself into Rand's life. I kind of just dismissed her. But, she actually grows on you. I came to respect her and what her overall agenda is. Plus, let's just say she will end up being very important later on, and she's not going anywhere. I won't say more than that. 


Gotta love the Ebou Dari fashions!

Had to laugh when poor Mat got caught in the middle of an Aes Sedai tug-of-war. Must've been terrifying for him. But very amusing for us. :D


  1. 1. One of the great thing about the choice to use multiple POVs is that we get to learn so much more about the characters. I hope that we will get more Aviendha chapters, because she is so different in her head from how she tries to appear.

    2. Although I am sure that the wind finders will be necessary to using the Bowl, I am not sure if they will actually be able to help in finding it - I still think Mat holds the key to that problem.

    3. I assume that Mat's sudden move to Ebu Dar simply shows Sammael that someone, probably Rand, has learnt how to Travel and send people great distances. This means that Mat could still be outside Illian with the army when he is needed, so it does not fundamentally alter that plan at all.

    4. Yeah, because Mat is such an angel and treats women with SUCH respect! :D

    6. Yep 10/10 for understanding the crazy Forsaken lady, but -100 for thinking you can trap Nynaeve easily. It should deb fun to watch them try though . . .

    7. I get the suspicion that Cadsuane has a real idea about the need to get everyone to the Last Battle in fighting shape, which makes me respect her much more than many of the other Aes Sedai that we have encountered.

  2. Even though Eivind has warned us that the Sea Folk are annoying, I am mighty curious to see how they work with the Ladies and what they want with Rand.

    I keep hoping that Mat will click on why Olver has certain attitudes towards women. But I fear that may be far in the future in the series.

    I'll have to give Cadsuane the benefit of a doubt. Plus, she does have style.

    I love the Ebou Dar fashion too! So bold!