Sunday, July 6, 2014

Crossroads of Twilight, Week 7

Welcome to week 5 of our Crossroads of Twilight read-along. This week we read chapters 13-16. 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! 

Mesaana (Source)
1. I am sure that we are all so sorry for Alviarin, now that she is about to be outed as Black Ajah by Elaida and has seen Mesaana reduced to a terrified wreak by Shaidar Haran . . . or perhaps not! Do you think that Elaida actually has any evidence to use against Alviarin, or is it all bluff and self-delusion from the Amyrlin we love to hate? Has Alviarin got any hope of uncovering the Black Hunters, even with her newly minted ‘Mark’?

This is one of those things that I feel both ways about. It was nice to see Alviarin get a taste of her own medicine; be on the receiving end of the cat and mouse game. And yet, it sort of irritated me to see Elaida so smug. Elaida certainly thinks she has something over Alviarin. I don't thing she's cool enough or smart enough for a bluff of this magnitude if she doesn't. If she'd had the backbone to this earlier, she could have been rid of Alviarin long ago. It was convincing enough to make Alviarin run to Mesaana. 

While it's kind of interesting that Alviarin now works for Shaidar Haran--and it's always nice to see that the Forsaken are oh-so-very-human--at the same time, it kind of falls under the heading of, "I don't care."

Elaida (Source)
2. Last week we were thinking about what the Reds might do now that male channelers will not go mad, and now we have some actively talking about Bonding Asha’man! Do you think Elaida would have a fit strong enough to bring on a stroke if this idea was suggested to her? Or will we need to wait until she hears the news from Toviene?

Yeah, Elaida is entirely too narrow-minded to consider something like this. I don't know that it would have a stroke-affect on her, though. She's too arrogant for that. She still thinks she's going to bring the Dragon Reborn to heel, save humanity and be made queen of the world. Chances are that, somehow, this suggestion would just cement her confidence due to a logic that only she understands.

Verin (Source)
3. Life seems to be throwing a lot of surprises at Cadsuane at the moment. What do you make of her distrust of Verin, an Aes Sedai who seems to have been a whole-hearted supporter from the very beginning? Were you surprised that she almost lost her cool when she discovered that the Asha’man had Bonded some Sisters?

The fact that she distrusts Verin is very interesting to me, but only because of how something turns out in the end that is a complete spoiler. So I won't say. The fact that Cadsuane almost lost her cool just serves to show that she is, in fact, human. No much throws her, but this is pretty radical considering how things have always been. She adapted quickly, though, which I respect her for.

Loial (Source)
4. Loial has returned, but with mixed news. Were you surprised that not all the steddings were willing to listen to his advice? What do you think will be discussed at the Great Stump and will Loial’s mother be there to force him into marriage?

We all like to think of the Ogier as wise and infallible, but they're just like all other people, with lots of different views and agendas, so it's to be expected that not everyone would be as level-headed and quick to action as Loial. I totally see the Great Stump as the Randland equivalent of the Ent Moot. They'll probably discuss the Last Battle and what their role in it will be. (Let's hope they get out their axes and we get to see some real Ogier fighting skills!) And Loial is still running from marriage, which still cracks me up. If his mother possibly can be there, I'm sure she will be. 

I did think it was interesting that Loial kind of laid out his criteria for marrying Erith, in a round about way. He said he didn't want to settle down. He wanted the freedom to travel so he could witness Rand's deeds and write his story. So maybe, if Erith promised to let him proceed with his travels... Just saying.

Logain Ablar (Source)
5. Logain has finally decided to warn Rand about Taim. Do you think that Taim’s influence has gone too far, or can Rand save the Black Tower from becoming a center of Darkfriend recruitment? Also, were you surprised that Rand had decided to seek a compromise with the Seanchan?

It's about time Logain stepped up. And I think it's very telling that all those who are loyal to Rand--who are with him at all, rather than at the Black Tower with Taim--are being called traitors. Obviously Taim is letting his power go to his head and actively recruiting against Rand. Time for someone (Rand!) to deal with him. 

I wasn't surprised he wants to compromise. The Seanchan don't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, and if he keeps having to use up men and resources to fight them, that's just taking away from his attention toward the Last Battle.

6. Elza is revealed as Black Ajah. Were you surprised and who do you think she will send her evil Warder to kill?

I honestly can't remember who she wants to kill, but it was definitely creepy to get this small section from her POV. I was especially disturbed when her warder felt a surge of pleasure at the thought of being able to kill. Warders are formidable enough as it is. To have one that's downright sadistic is just...ughhh. *shivers*

7. So Harbor: I have to admit that I was expecting trouble because Masema sent Perrin to the town, which seemed unusually helpful of him. Please discuss how freaky and spooky the place is: what stood out to you as the most chilling aspect? Do you think that the Seanchan have had a good look at it and decided to stay away?

It almost felt like a bubble-of-evil thing to me. Like something is passing through or settled around it that makes the whole place twisted and "skewed" as Perrin put it. It's especially telling that animals like stray dogs won't go near it. It would be interesting if the Seanchan saw it and decided to stay away. That would make them very smart. :D


I thought this line from Alviarin was interesting: "She would have prayed if the Dark Lord listened to prayers." (pg. 614) Why would you serve/worship someone you knew didn't answer prayers. I don't get the Forsaken!

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  1. I too found it nice to see Cadsuane irritated (and human). Rand seems to have that affect on people. ;)

    I think we are thinking the same thing about Erith - if she travels with Loial or lets him continue to do so, then she is a mighty fine Ogier lass indeed!

    I bet you are right about the bubble of evil thing concerning Harbor. That is a pretty messed up place right now.