A Crown of Swords Read Along Part I

WOT 7 BannerWelcome everyone to the first week of Book 7 of The Wheel of Time – A Crown of Swords. Liesel over at Musings on Fantasia is our host this week, so make sure to swing by her place. Coffee, Cookies, and Chili Peppers is also continuing on and you can probably catch our awesome commenter Eivind over at Liesel’s.

This week we covered the Prologue through the end of Chapter 2. Spoilers lurk below!

1) Elaida has a new office, plenty of schemes, and lots of confidence. What do you think of all this? Will she be successful? Should she be afraid of Bryne’s approaching army? Will she be the woman to ‘save humankind?’ (Totally didn’t snort while typing that.)

Hehe….well, no, she will not be successful, at least not to her standards. Yes, she should be afraid of Bryne’s army and Egwene and Rand. I did find a part of her prophecy interesting, and that is the Dragon Reborn shall know the fury of the Amyrlin Seat. So, I think Rand and Egwene will butt heads over something and Egwene will get pissed because she can’t have it her way and will stomp her little foot.

I expect that Elaida will be deeply saddened to loose her seat of supremacy at the White Tower. I’ll send flowers.

2) Sevanna seems to be planning to make use of her little boxes. What do you think she’s planning? What will she use them for? (Does anyone else want to put her and Elaida together in a really small room. Just to see what happens?)

Gosh, I missed the box reference again. That’s twice now, in two books. Am I bad listener? Hmm… Well, I know Sevanna is planning world domination through the subjugation of the Aes Sedai and Rand, so I would guess she will call upon some allied force with her little boxes. The question is, who is she allied with? I still suspect Fain or perhaps some Black Ajah.

Oh yes! I would greatly love to put Elaida and Sevanna in a little room together. Perhaps some garden tool shed. All those sharp-edged and pointy garden tools just lying about…

3) Pedron Niall is assassinated in his fortress, followed by the death of his dim-witted assassin, Omnera. What do you think the message he received said? What do you predict will happen in the wake of the assassination, both in general and more specifically concerning Morgase and her retinue?

I don’t know what the message said, but it was perhaps the same as the one Elaida received – that the bull has been ringed and it being led home (Rand is packaged in a box with a bow and chocolates and is being delivered to the White Tower).

As hard-nosed as Niall was, he did keep his men in check to some extent. That stopper has now been stabbed to death; expect more hangings, torturing, and general holier-than-thou violence.

I fear that Morgase is in great, great danger now. She needs to flee! The rumors of her death may become reality if she doesn’t.

Old, old Claudie woken for a picture.
Old, old Claudie woken for a picture.

4) Gawyn tries to get his bearings in the aftermath of the battle and seems to be aware of a plot against him and the Younglings, which we’ve already had hints of. Do you think this plot will ever reach fruition? Will he make it back to Tar Valon alive? And what do you think happened to the wounded sister who disappeared before he could rescue her?

It seems Morgase and her children are being targeted. Gawyn is also in great danger and I expect we will see this little plot against him and the Younglings come to a head, if not fruition. Perhaps if it does, it will give Gawyn something else to fear besides the Dragon Reborn and perhaps he will choose to turn aside from Tar Valon. I can only hope….But if Egwene and Bryne take the White tower, then I want Gawyn to go be her Warder and sneak kisses whenever he can.

I am not sure what happened to the wounded sister. Perhaps she was gifted enough to make a doorway out and selfish enough to not rescue others upon her nifty exit. This pints to Black Ajah or Forsaken.

5) Perrin and his companions observe all the bad blood between groups following the battle. Do you think all this animosity will blow up eventually, or will they work out their differences? What did you think of Rand’s decision to hand the Aes Sedai over to the Wise Ones and send Taim back to the farm? And how about how he handled Alanna? The fact that Rand memorized the names of 151 dead Maidens? Anything stick out to you about Perrin’s observations, or what are your other general impressions about this chapter?

First, I think I want Perrin’s nose. Of course it would take me a while to get used to it and there might be times that I wish I didn’t have it (tis the season to suck on minty candy canes and I can only imagine how that would affect sensitive noses). But I could be silent like Perrin and learn oh so much about a person just based on their smell.

I expect blood will be spilled over those differences and then Rand will have to put his foot down, perhaps by killing a few people, and they will grudgingly learn to get along.

I wanted to cheer Rand along with his decisions. They didn’t make everyone happy, but they were logical and kept the most people alive. Plus I just really relish the idea of snotty Aes Sedai running laps, sorting pebbles, and triple washing out of season clothes that no one will wear for months. And Taim’s job is to build an army, to train the men, to find them and protect them – not guard, or interrogate, or, oops!, kill Aes Sedai.

Isn’t it ironic that Alanna is not the ONLY one Rand can trust to simply heal him? Since he is already bonded to her, what more can she, will she, do? Compulsion doesn’t work. Perhaps she could inflict pain, but she would have to be desperate to do something so stupid. Hmm….I wonder if Taim guessed about Warder Rand after seeing that healing.

I think poor Perrin is so worried about Rand’s sanity because he doesn’t realize that Rand is having this ongoing dialogue/struggle with Lews Therin. So ~half the scents he picked up are probably coming from trapped, mad Lews.

Other Tidbits:

I really liked that Robert Jordan started this book off with a revisit of the big battle that ended the previous book. I got a lot out of the different takes and interpretations.

While I understand the reasons that Perrin didn’t bury the wolves, I would still like to think there would be some way to honor their deaths. Perhaps he could have carried them off the field into the some nearby woods and leave them there to return to nature.

6 thoughts on “A Crown of Swords Read Along Part I”

  1. I love the idea of sending Elaida condolence flowers, but I think you should do it now, while she’s still at the height of her power (she thinks) just to show that we know what an idiot she is. Plus it would piss her off, which would be fun. 😀 Yup, a garden shed would do just fine.

    Good point about Perrin maybe picking up on scents that are more Lews Therin than Rand. I hadn’t thought of that.

  2. 1. I love the way that we automatically assume that the Amyrlin in the Foretelling is Egwene and NOT Elaida! 😀

    3. I agree with you that Niall was possibly the only person stopping the Whitecloaks going into full-on Spanish Inquisition mode. I didn’t rate him as a useful leader because he was so quick to dismiss anything that contradicted his assumptions, but at least he was reasonable and not a raving psychopath.

    As many people believe Morgase is already dead she is in a most dangerous situation, and I hope she survives.

    4. I am a little confused about Gawyn, because we now know that Elaida knows that House Trakand will be vital in the Last Battle, so she should be desperate to keep him alive. But we know that she is very good at warping anything to fit her world view, so perhaps she has decided that it actually meant Elayne only . . . I am also hoping that Gawyn gets a massive dose of truth and switches his support to Egwene / Rand.

    I hadn’t thought of the Gateway possibility for the Aes Sedai – that opens up a whole mess of possibilities.

    5. I really wish that Rand would talk to someone about the whole Lews Therin issue, but I doubt that he will because he is scared of going mad. Perhaps Min will finally winkle it out of him. I always feel sorry for Perrin because he is such a decent bloke, but he is put in a series of horrible situations and then feels guilty about what he has to do.

    I also appreciated this revisit to the battle, although I was a little confused at first when we joined Sevanna and her posse of Wise Ones. It was interesting to see the battle from a different perspective and get some more detail. It was also a sneaky way for him to remind us of the events without doing an info-dump.

    1. I too really hope Rand talks to someone, and Min or Perrin would be good choices. They might be alarmed at first but then could support him and help distract him from Lews’s thoughts.

      And, yes, Jordan was quite clever in giving up the battle again from another POV instead of a big info dump.

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