Sunday, July 20, 2014

Knife of Dreams Read-Along, Week 1

Welcome to week 1 of our Knife of Dreams Read-Along! We've made it to book 11! 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. Our host this week is Eivind Fonn, who will be posting over at Dab of Darkness!

Galad (Source)
1. Eamon Valda finally buys it, and Galad is now (at least de jure) Lord Captain Commander. Do you think he will be able to muster the children and fight back in any meaningful way? Or is this effectively the end of the order?

I was actually super excited about this. Galad has never been my favorite character, but once again we see that our "main" characters are being maneuvered into positions of power. I don't know how well Galad will do getting them to fight, but there is a lot of power behind his name and position. Not that Rand and Galad are friends in particular (quite the opposite) but I think Galad--because he knows Nynaeve, Elayne and Egwene in particular--is more likely to help Rand in the Last Battle than Valda ever was. Or most other Whitecloaks for that matter. 

2. The Seanchan suffer some shocking defeats at the hands of Ituralde. Suroth is furious and sends away almost all the air scouts. Will this help Mat out? What do you think is in the future for Ituralde?

Again, without naming specifics, I think it's safe to say that this must be important, or it wouldn't be mentioned. So, it's either going to greatly help or greatly hinder Mat. And Tuon. It is rather refreshing, though, to see someone just go for it and attack, and with some success no less, rather than cowering. And of course anything that pisses off Suroth makes me smile, so...

3. Semirhage has been busy in Seandar, and Seanchan as we know it (or more accurately, didn't know it), has ceased to exist. Without support from their homeland, do you think the return is now doomed (in the long term)? Might this force them into accepting an alliance with Rand, once it becomes known?

The Seanchan are such a strong, together nation that I seriously doubt something like this would doom them altogether. However, it might hamstring them just enough, as the question suggests, that they'll be more amenable to an alliance, or at least a cease fire so they can get their crap together back in their homeland. Thought I know it would be yet another diversion from the main narrative, I wish we were more privy to the details of Semirhage's work in Seandar. It sounds kinda cool. And epic.

4. The Black Ajah hunters have stalled, and Pevara is now being sent away on a mission to bond Asha'aman. Talene managed to hide, but Alviarin is still on the right track. Where do you see this storyline going?

Hopefully eventually we'll see the Black Ajah hunters prevail, but obviously something big is going to have to happen to send them in the right direction. And let's hope we get to see Alviarin get her just comeuppance. 

Perrin, Galina, Aram, and Alliandra's general (Source)
5. Of all the things that could happen between Galina and Perrin, what were you wishing for? Do you suppose she succeeded in stalling him?

Eh, maybe. A little bit. But not much. We see here that Galina doesn't know nearly so much as she thinks she does. We, as the readers, know way more than her. (What a loser!) I don't know that I was necessarily wishing for anything. The way Perrin and his people--even the Two Rivers men--rolled right over her haughty expectations for how Aes Sedai ought to be treated was plenty entertaining for me. I wouldn't mind if Perrin growled at her, though. Or if maybe Hopper appeared and charged her. You know, just to make her pee her, uh, dress, or something.

Egwene al'Vere (Source)
6. Egwene has been installed as a novice again, and sees advantages in her situation. How badly do you think will Elaida regret not having her tried? Is Egwene right in refusing rescue? And do you think she will manage to hold the rebellion together by proxy (in tel'aran'rhiod)?

I'm gonna play the Elaida-is-a-dingbat card one more time. Not that I want my main girl Egwene executed or anything, but this is just another example of how much Elaida blinds herself to. Elaida is a right fighter. She dreams of the day (and we've literally seen her do this) when Egwene will weep at her feet, begging for forgiveness and saying how wrong she is and how right Elaida is. Even where the adversary are all fools, how often does that actually happen in real life? And, if Elaida would just bother to get out of her own way and look, she'd realize that any rebellion that was not a serious threat could not have made it all the way to Tar Valon with an army and one of the world's best generals at its head. That alone should make her afraid.

And a rebellion of that caliber must have a great deal of loyalty to its cause and, most likely a strong leader. Then there's the fact that Egwene was utterly calm, rather than hysterical. The Mistress of Novices (can't remember her name) noted it, but why would Elaida? She wasn't even there. If it was me, and I just captured the leader of my enemy's army, the first thing I would do was interview them to try and get a feel for what they know and where their head is at. We didn't even see Elaida in the prologue. She didn't even bother to show up! Really?

As for whether Egwene's scheme will work, I will say that, when reading it the first time, I wasn't a huge fan of this story line. I couldn't figure out where it would go, and I really wanted Egwene with the rebel army. I thought that was cooler. But in time I came around, because where this goes is pretty great. Now I'm really excited to re-read this section. :D

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

How did everyone else like this section?


  1. Yeah, if someone forced me to pick my favourite chapters of all, I would go with the Egwene storyline in this book and the next. Hnnnggg.....!!

    1. Yup, it's definitely one of my faves, too. :D

  2. While I was pleased the Seanchan homeland was thrown into turmoil, I was a little surprised that the Forsaken pulled it off. The Seanchan are super organized,militant, regimented. And the Forsaken....well, they aren't any of those things. Still, I look forward to seeing the Seanchan forced into making alliances with Randland Heroes instead of just stomping all over the place.

    I totally agree with you about Elaida - dingbat! She hasn't given the rebel army its due, even if she wants to dismiss Egwene. This large, militarized force got to the foot of Tar Valon and is holding siege on the White Tower. Not to mention the cuendillar harbor chains, Egwene's calm, and Egwene isn't even closely questioned about the rebel army.

    1. Yeah well, it's about time the Forsaken did something right. I mean, their name and reputations had to come from somewhere, right? I kind of thing it won't be too terribly hard for the Seanchan to get things back under control, though. I agree they're too disciplined to remain in chaos long. Let's just get Tuon and Mat over there to rule, and it'll all be good. :D