The Shadow Rising Read Along Part I

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JordanShadowRisingBannerWelcome everyone to Part I of The Shadow Rising read along. Sue over at Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers is hosting this week, so make sure to swing by her place for lively chitchat. This week, we covered Chapters 1-3. Spoilers are having a picnic below, complete with peppermint tea and peanutbutter cookies. You have been warned.

1. Min’s viewings when she returns to Tar Valon are enough to make anyone worried: any guesses as to what will cause the death and mayhem? Also, is anyone else curious to know the story behind the name Elmindreda?

Well, both Min and Siuan seem to think there will be some large battle. That could be Whitecloaks or the Seanchan. But we could also be looking at some sneaky and well planned attack by a small force of powerful Black Ajah/Dark Friends/Myrrdraal. I’m sure the Black Ajah have a back door or two into the White Tower, and therefore, security wouldn’t really prohibit several aes sedai dying in one night if the enemy was sneaking around the place offing folks.

Obviously, one of Min’s parents had a soft spot for silly romantics. I am betting it was her father, poring all his notions of beauty and femininity into his daughter, providing her with the perfect name for catching the boys’ eyes…..or snickering jests, is more like.

2. We now know some of Elaida’s reasons for being so fixated with Morgase, but do you think that she will actually help or hinder the fight against the Dark One?

Tough one. I am going to split hairs and say that Elaida will first hinder, maybe even help the dark side or inadvertently kill some good guys, come to her senses and help the (hopefully) winning team, the Light Side. I want to see her smug ass be saved by a male, and better yet, by a male that can channel.

3. We are introduced to Ordeith, but there is little description of him. Do you think we have met him before, using a different name, or is he yet another in the growing list of baddies? Also, how do you think Two Rivers will cope with him and the Whitecloaks and will we get to see Mistress Luhhan in action again?

I am guessing that Ordeith is what his face…. the gollum wannabe. Darn it! I need a master character list. Padan Fain. That’s who Ordeith is. He has a grudge against Rand, swore to do his family and friends harm if he didn’t show, and he is also well familiar with Two Rivers. I want Mistress Luhhan to knock his head in.

I am guessing that those few Traveling Folk who wandered off are going to warn Two Rivers. Now, whether the folk of Two Rivers pay them any mind until too late… that is another thing. Two River folks can be distrustful of outsiders and complacent in their idea of all being right with the world.

4. High Lady Suroth seems to think that she will be able to capture Rand and make him into a type of damane. Do you think this is likely, or is she underestimating him and being wildly optimistic?

Now like any other hot-blooded woman, I wouldn’t mind seeing Rand in a color on his knees, but this isn’t that type of book. So, if somehow Rand is ever collared, it won’to last for long and the jerks who collar him will be mighty sorry. In this particular case, I don’t think Lady Suroth will be the one to collar Rand in any way and I look forward to him schooling her in the ways of her ineptness.

This is Waffles. Normally she is a sweet, toothless kitty. Today, I am concerned she will burn a hole through me with the Evil Eye.
This is Waffles. Normally she is a sweet, toothless kitty. Today, I am concerned she will burn a hole through me with the Evil Eye.

5. Holy bubbles in the Pattern, Batman! Was I the only one frantically reading to see if the three lads would even survive their ‘interesting’ evening? This made a nice change from the Trolloc attack motif of the earlier books, but how long do you expect our characters to survive with things like this happening more frequently?

These boys are going to have to get use to sleeping in armor. Or taking shifts, one sleeping while the others stand guard. Yes, this is a very nice change from the trolloc thing. I am sure we will see trollocs again, but I am glad they are not the first evil & disruptive thing to rear it’s ugly head in the book. I am still looking forward to seeing Mat’s reaction to Perrin’s and Rand’s evening encounters, because he is still under the impression that it was Rand’s wandering powers that caused his near death carding.

6. Sexytimes! Last week we discussed the relationship between Perrin and Faile and it seems to have ‘progressed’ quite a bit. Do you think that they are an item now, with full sexytimes privileges, even though it seems a little unclear from the book so far? Also, what about Berelain and her ever so subtle attempt to seduce Rand: how funny was it when she thought he was just talking dirty to her? Finally, how far do you think the Maiden’s Kiss game went to keep Mat awake all night???? 😀

Haha! I loved all these bits and so much of it left up to the reader’s interpretation. First: Perrin & Faile. OK, I don’t think they are into full privileges yet because Perrin seems to be missing a lot of hints, etc. In fact, he seems down right innocent on some things.

Second: Rand & Berelain. Haha! rand had that awkward, but totally natural for a young man, dream. Then Berelain walks into his rooms with him just in his underclothes. Wow! She was offering everything with no strings attached, if that can be believed. On one hand, I applaud her for being so clear on her desires, on the other, there will always be strings attached when it comes to sleeping with the most powerful man in the world. Dorkess for thinking she could just have Rand ignore that bit while she flashes some skin.

Third: Mat & Any Woman. So Mat likes to chase the skirts, we all know that. Perfectly normal for young males and females to enjoy sport sex. But the Aiel ladies take this to a whole new level, and bless their athletic looks and pointy spears, I sure do enjoy watching them teach Mat a thing or two. I expect the Maiden’s Kiss game went beyond kissing, but not into heavy petting as Mat seemed more disgruntled by the experience than satisfied. And, let’s face it folks, by and large, ladies are better at and more enthusiastic about drawing things out, whereas men are hardwired to sew their oats as quickly as possible, again and again. So, the Maiden’s Kiss game could go on for hours at Level 1 (kissing) easily with armed ladies in charge of the game.

Other Tidbits:

Rand’s dream about Min, Elayne, and Egwene seems to point to him realizing that he has to let that dream of marrying Egwene go. Perhaps he will be happy with Elayne or Min, or both, and perhaps not.

While Mat is a flirt, i did appreciate his reaction to the Tyran (spelling?) nobleman’s drunken remarks about the commoners, especially his uses for the commoner women.

They are going to put Min in a dress, makeup, and curls. Not sure how I feel about that. On one hand, yes, a disguise is a good idea. On the other, being a practical woman myself and not inclined to makeup, curls, and skirts only on hot dates with my man, I know the feeling of a forced make over: Not Fun.

When Faile slapped Perrin, right after the mad axe incident, and Perrin caught her hand as she was preparing to slap him again and commanded her not do so again, I cheered. I get that she was deeply worried about him, that her emotions and adrenalin were pumping, and that slapping and yelling at him was her way to let off some of that. But if it had been Perrin slapping Faile for all the same reasons, it would have been a big Hell No! So, I thought Perrin’s reaction was firm, appropriate, and even restrained as he didn’t harm her.

8 thoughts on “The Shadow Rising Read Along Part I”

  1. 1. I’ll just… ignore this one, shall I? *whistles*

    2. Elaida sounds like really bad news to me. There’s no indication from riding around in her head that she’s a darkfriend, but still, she sounds like bad news. Actually, a common theme in the series is the good guys having to deal with well-meaning people who are so flamboyantly out of touch with reality you have to wonder how they get dressed in the morning. Elaida appears to be one of those.

    3. Now then, this isn’t the first time we see Ordeith. He was the mysterious person with Pedron Niall (the Whitecloak Lord Captain Commander) in the prologue of book three. There, it is mentioned that he arrived in Amadicia in the dead of winter, with unique knowledge about events on Toman Head. He also shows that he knows who Rand, Mat and Perrin are. We know he’s a small, bony man with a big nose, and that he’s probably from Lugard. He also had this to say in book four: “I promised him! He will come to me, now! He will come!” Promised what to whom?

    Now, this should be ample evidence to determine who he is. (Well, Susan got it right.)

    4. Well, I don’t know of any male a’dam… But Suroth is a certified darkfriend (she was the one who waited for Liandrin at the exit of The Ways back in book two), so she might know more than me.

    5. I was a bit miffed at the description. Really, Jordan, you couldn’t have come up with a cool-sounding Old Tongue name for this phenomenon? Bubbles of Evil… Er, well. Okay. At least the effects are varied and fun! Er… “fun”.

    6. I hope and think Perrin got some, but they don’t appear to be very easy around one another still. Seems like Faile wants to put this relationships into hyperdrive. Part of the problem with these two is that Perrin just doesn’t understand her culture. (I can’t remember if her homeland has been revealed yet, so I’ll just say no more of it for now.)

    Berelain though… you might not believe it from what you’ve read so far, but I find her a really interesting character. Not just because she’s supposed to be a jaw-dropping vixen, mind. She’s an extremely deft politician, too. These are exactly the kind of people Rand needs to work with or against. Oh, and the sign of Mayene is a hawk. And Min’s viewing of Perrin was of a falcon and a hawk… Just sayin’.

    Other nuggets.

    – Seanchan saying: “on the heights, the paths are paved with daggers.” Book eight is “The Path of Daggers”.
    – So there’s a great secret known only to Suroth, Alwhin, and two others. What could that be?

    1. I really like your description of Elaida–flamboyantly out of touch with reality. That describes her perfectly! Despite any political deftness Berelain might have, I was never able to like her. I understand why others do, but she just doesn’t ever do anything to earn my respect. I think of her almost in a comic light. She’s so set in what she believes to be the correct way of getting what she wants (which is totally different than how I would do it) that I just have to chuckle at the way she thinks. Great answers! Gotta love those mysteries Jordan sows into the plot! 😀

    2. 2. I guess Elaida and others serve the same purpose as the Mayor in Jaws: well-meaning but unwilling to accept the truth that the heroes know. It all adds to the melodrama and angst, so that is a good thing I suppose, even if it’s frustrating.

      3. I had forgotten that section from the Prologue in Book 3, but I knew that the ‘he’ that Ordeith promised must be Rand, so I was right! I am impressed that my subconscious gave me the right steer on this one! 😀

      4. Yep, forgot that bit as well: too much detail to remember it all! 🙁

      6. I guess that means that Berelain will be making some very subtle overtures to Perrin next: Faile is going to react really well to that!

      I got the impression that the secret was that the damane were not the only women who could learn to channel.

  2. I love the idea of Elaida being saved by a man! Talk about humble pie. Of course, she would probably either miss the point entirely, or become a better person, and I like to hate her more than I want her to reform herself. 😀 Great answers!

    1. Elaida is a great character to be frustrated with. I definitely don’t want her to be eliminated anytime soon as I am enjoying her character wrecking havoc.

  3. 1. Actually, I would be very surprised if all the Black Ajah have left the Tower. I bet that there are plenty left behind to cause mayhem.

    2. It would be hilarious to see Elaida saved by a man: she would probably choke to death on her own tongue! 😀

    3. I had the impression that those missing Traveling Folk had wandered over off into death, helped by Fain of course. I prefer your suggestion, and agree that they won’t get a great reception from any Two Rivers folk.

    4. Yep: she is heading for a mighty disappointment.

    6. For me the jury is out on Berelain so far. If seduction is the only weapon in her arsenal then I can feel truly sorry for her and even impressed that she is willing to go that far for her people. However, she does come over as a bit slutty.

    You are right about Mat’s reaction to the Maiden’s Kiss. I hadn’t picked up on his air of disappointment, so I guess it wasn’t ‘death by snu snu’ after all . . . Futurama FTW!

    I really like the interaction between Perrin and Faile: he is this big, powerful man and yet he is so gentle with her . . . sorry, drifted off there a minute! 😀

    1. I too will have my eye on Berelain. I have no problem with a woman expressing her desires to a man, even if that means a casual one night stand. But, since he is in such a position of power, and she is obviously willing to go to lengths for her people, and perhaps her own power, I doubt there was anything casual about that attempted seduction.

      Yes, I don’t think there was any snu snu for Mat. Not yet anyway.

      I do find myself mightily impressed with Perrin, and not just by his muscles.

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