The Shadow Rising Read Along Part III

JordanShadowRisingBannerWelcome everyone to the third week of the read along. This week, we covered Chapters 11-17. Post a link to your answers in the comments so we can all visit one another.

Spoilers are throwing a party below. There may be language, references to nude behavior, and run on sentences. You have been warned.

1) Egwene dives back into Tel’aran’rhiod to investigate Tanchico and comes out with an Aiel Wise Woman’s contact info. Egwene kicks herself for not having the knowledge and skill to interpret her dreams. Have you ever given dream interpretation a shot? Do you think Egwene’s plans to train and pass that on to Nynaeve and Elayne will work out as she plans?

I think this was the funnest trip to Tel’aran’rhiod yet! Egwene got several lessons, such as messing with another’s hunting dream can lead to all-over sunburn! I think it is great that at least one of the Supergirls is going to actively pursue some training. But will Egwene be able to pass that on? Perhaps, but I doubt it will go smoothly or as she plans. Something will crop up, and distance and time between Egwene and Elayne and Nynaeve I expect will be a factor.

I have never really dabbled with dream interpretation. In college, a friend told me that if you dreams include anything even marginally phallic, like candles, lying broken all about willy nilly, then you have ‘man issues’. Hmm…. So, what means you have ‘woman issues’ in dreams? Broken clams? *snort laugh*

2) Robert Jordan loves setting up the battle of the sexes, doesn’t he? In this section we see that Perrin and Faile are having a contest of wills. Rand versus the Aes Sedai (Moiraine in particular). Thom versus Moiraine. Even Min! What do you think of Jordan’s use of this?

In Min’s case, I found it very amusing. Her whole disguise and being a helpless airhead – and men were OK with it! But for Perrin and Faile, I found this a bit over done. While initially amusing, I sometimes do get a little tired of the underlying message that men & women are different for two reasons: 1) over done and 2) not necessarily true. So, a bit of it is amusing; too much takes away from the story line.

3) Mat, Perrin, and Rand finally hear about Whitecloaks in the Two Rivers. Perrin feels an obligation to return, tries to break some ties, and then finds out he won’t be going alone. Were you surprised at Perrin’s self-sacrificial take on this situation? Will the White Cloaks get more than they are looking for?

At first, I believed Perrin was going back to defend Two Rivers, not to put himself in a gallows tree! I was pissed at him when I figured out that was his plan. I was worried Rand would be the one to consider some form of suicide, but no, it is Perrin I must keep my eye on.

So Perrin is gathering quite the small, effective strike force to take with him. Faile alone, in her current state of pissiness, would give the White Cloaks a second thought about messing with Two Rivers. But then throw in Loial and the Aiel and now it looks like I might have to feel sorry for the White Cloaks.

I do worry that we will have some Two Rivers death to mourn before this book is over. Will this book maintain it’s PG rating, or will the shit get real and we loose some characters we care about? I don’t expect Perrin or Faile to be taken out this early in the series, but some Two Rivers parents or friends may have to die to move the plot along :(.

4) Ladies and their weapons: We saw some hand-to-hand altercations and some subtler weapons in use in this section. Who do you deem the more dangerous – Berelain or Faile?

Berelain. Hands down. She is not afraid to harm folks to get what she wants, she is driven by power not goodness, and no one expects her to be trained in hand-to-hand combat in those oh-so-sheer and skimpy clothes.

Faile is dangerous too, but she has a strong moral compass that won’t allow her to manipulate people (without very good reason) as Berelain will. She has to have a clear signal that someone needs to be taken out before she’ll take a knife to them with conviction.

5) Of course Mat goes through the doorway! But once he is done with his question and answer session and tossed out, he realizes he wasn’t the only one seeking answers. What kind of beings do you think the folk in the doorway were? What do you think Rand and Moiraine asked and had answered?

Mat, Mat, Mat! If anyone could break a ter’angreal, it would be Mat. Those beings made me think of succubi – beings that feed off the life force or emotional energy of others. Leeches, if you will.

I expect that Rand and Moiraine went into the ter’angreal with specific questions in mind, just as Mat. Rand seemed, perhaps not content, but at least set on a decision based on what he learned. Moiraine gave no hints at all. I am guessing that Rand and Moiraine got the run around same as Mat, but perhaps were asking bigger view questions that Mat.

6) Finally, Loial is back in the story. While he seems to be content as a chronicler, do you think The Wheel will let him sit in a corner with pen and ink the entire book? What do you think of Faile’s twisting his arm to visit The Ways?

It was so very good to see Loial again (chapter 16 folks!). No, I don’t think The Wheel is done with Loial and it’s set up nicely for him to have need to hit the road again – avoiding his mother and her plans to marry him off. hehe.

Faile. tsk, tsk. I think Faile has taken things too far on this one. Yes, Perrin was harsh with her. But dragging Loial into their lover’s spat, basically lying to and manipulating Loial….not cool. Poor Loial is stuck in an awkward position now. And Faile pushing Perrin to the breaking point when she knows that he is trying to get to Two Rivers swiftly, to protect his family, friends, and home town – well, kind of low of her. These two will need counseling after this if they intend to remain a couple. Should I root for them, or just for Perrin at this point?

Other Tidbits:

Moiraine had a summons for Egwene from the Aiel Wise Women…..which she received long before Egwene’s visit to tel’aran’rhiod. Spooky!

We ran into some very, very interesting side characters in this section, but I have to say I am very interested in Rhuarc and his comments to Berelain about their past conversation. I wish I knew the back story on that one!

When Perrin ran into Gaul, who told Perrin that he and some Aiel would be going along, Perrin comments about using The Ways for travel. Gaul’s response, paraphrased – ‘We all must face death sooner or later’ – had me laughing out loud. I hope we get to know Gaul better.

Gawayne and Galad – one is so sweet and one is scary in his convictions, his flirting with the White Cloak way of life.

Thom and Moiraine have a very interesting and revealing conversation about their names. I so very much want a back story on both these characters!

What Others Think:

Musings on Fantasia

Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers

10 thoughts on “The Shadow Rising Read Along Part III

  1. Eivind Fonn says:

    1. Seems like a good plan under the circumstances. Time will tell if it works out. Something tells me there are more sinister things in TAR than a hapless Accepted or two and a badass Wise One. Maybe even more sinister than the forsaken?

    2. Aye, he does. Many feel he goes way overboard with it too, so be prepared for that. I’ve kind of learned to block it out, so I can live with it, but it does degrade the experience somewhat.

    3. Well, I don’t expect Perrin to be successful in suicide at all. He’ll probably be able to thwart the Whitecloak aggression in one way or another. But, you know, even three Aiel would find a company (or batallion, or however many there are) of Whitecloaks tough going. Maybe he can spur on the local resistance.

    4. Yeeah, probably Berelain, though if it came down to hand-to-hand combat I think Faile could take her. Funny, I don’t think Berelain is driven by power, but rather by self preservation. Maybe it’s all the same in the end, but I don’t think her motivations are so heinous.

    5. Ha! Ok, so this is IMO the chapter to talk about this week. :)

    Moiraine’s questions I think remain a mystery for ever. There are theories, of course, and we also know some things that she definitely DIDN’T ask about (and of which she acts prophetic about later), so that knowledge has to be explained in another way.

    We do end up knowing two of Rand’s questions, and one of the answers. They won’t be revealed for a while.
    As for Mat’s, we found out the following: He has to go to Rhuidean (we’re working up a nice group of people who have to go to the Aiel Waste now), and his fate involves: (a) marrying the Daughter of the Nine Moons (whoever that is), (b) to die and live again, and live once more a part of what was, and (c) to give up half the light of the world to save the world. All of this is grade A++ keep-in-mind stuff. They also call him “trickster”, “gambler” and “son of battles”.

    The snakelike creatures are called Aelfinn, by the way. I don’t think that comes into the story until later, but I don’t think it’s harmful to give them that name now.

    Oh, and I don’t think Mat necessarily broke the doorway. You just can’t go through more than once.

    6. Loial, so trusting and naive and useful in other people’s schemes. Reminds me of myself in grade school. :(

    Other:

    Yeah, the Aiel are great. They call dying to “wake from the dream”, and they must all wake sooner or later.

    Re Thom and Moiraine: Yes! Not least of all, it’s implied by this conversation that Thom was the one who offed Taringail (Morgase’s less-than-stellar Cairhienin husband). If that’s true, and he also killed Galldrian, then he’s building up a decent assassination record for sure.

    • nrlymrtl says:

      Ooo! i wouldn’t be surprised if there was something worse in T’A’R. It is a dream world and I keep thinking of the badness that permeated that ruined city where Mat got his dagger.

      I am glad i am not the only one that sometimes finds the battle of the sexes a bit tiring. But, yes, I too can block it out for the goodness that remains.

      I expect that Perrin will have to call some wolves, which may mean that he has to explain some things to Faile, Loial, and perhaps his parents.

      Mat is a tricky, playful coyote in my opinion. Coyotes have teeth tho, so I hope we get to see Mat use his teeth more often on his trip to the Aiel waste.

      Yes, Thom does seem to have an assassination resume ready to hand out, doesn’t he? I’ll be keeping my eye on him.

    • Liesel Hill says:

      I don’t mind the battle of the sexes thing in WoT, even if it is a bit excessive at times. And I agree with you that Berelain is mostly about self-preservation, and much less moral than Faile, though if it came to a physical battle, I think Faile would win every time. I can’t remember what Rand’s questions/answers were. Glad you do. :D And I’d forgotten about the implication that Thom might have been responsible for Taringail’s death. Just makes Thom that much more interesting a character. Good stuff! :D

      Here’s mine

    • suecccp says:

      1. I worry that the girls are always so confident that they can handle anything when they are so ignorant and untrained. Power without training can be very dangerous, but we shall see.

      3. I also doubt that we will lose Perrin so early in the series, although I don’t think he will have an easy time with the Whitecloaks.

      6. That’s kind of sweet, although I bet it was crappy at the time! :)

      I did wonder if that was what Thom was hinting at, which would make him much more of a badass than he lets on . . . but he did take on that Fade all by himself and survive, so I guess that we shouldn’t be surprised.

  2. Liesel Hill says:

    I think you make a good point about the battle of the sexes being overdone at times, but in WoT, I always find that I enjoy it. I went with Faile for being more dangerous than Berelain. I have a feeling that will be a polarizing question. You may be right about tragedy in the two rivers, and I totally love/root for both Gaul and Rhuarc. Gotta love those Aiel warriors. :D
    Here’s mine

    • nrlymrtl says:

      I think if I had been introduced to The Wheel of Time when i was younger, and gotten past the first 2 books, I wouldn’t have minded the battle of the sexes so much. But as a woman in my 30s, well, there are many other interesting bits in this fantasy world that I can focus on.

      Oh! I asked a polarizing question? Should be fun! ;) I was just tickled pink when Jordan gave Berelain a combat skill. I had a coworker somewhat like Berelain – very flirtatious with any man, physically fit, skimpy clothes, a bit of an airhead (which isn’t like Berelain), and a black belt.

  3. suecccp says:

    1. I think snakes mean ‘man-issues’ as well . . . though it maybe depends on what the snake is doing . . . :D

    2. Faile is the one I am having the most time with because she is so pigheaded and determined to play games with Perrin.

    6. Absolutely! Poor Loial: he does not deserve to be mistreated like that . . . I could seriously go off Faile if she doesn’t stop being so mean to my favorite Ogier! :(

    • nrlymrtl says:

      Yes, Faile was pushing my buttons in this section. I didn’t like that she jumped to conclusions about Berelain and Perrin – not even giving Perrin a benefit of a doubt, and then using Loial. Perrin is taking a harsh route to try to protect Faile, but at least he is not using anyone.

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