A Crown of Swords Read Along Part VI

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WOT 7 BannerWelcome back everyone! This week Sue is our host over at Coffee, Cookies, and Chili Peppers. And don’t miss Liesel’s Musing on Fantasia. Eivind, our awesome commenter should be at Sue’s.

This week we covered Chapters 25-30. Spoilers Below!!!

1. It would seem that we have the identity of the Watcher from last week, but Moridin is not the name of any of the Forsaken. Is he a new Forsaken, just as Shaidar Haran is a new type of Myrddraal, or is he a reincarnation of one of the dead ones? Were you surprised that Moghedien was allowed to live and do you think she will ever escape the mindtrap?

I wonder if Moiridin is a vessel for the Dark One to go on walk about. He does have that dark fleck in his eyes that seems to move around of it’s own accord and he does seem to be pretty bad ass. So I am thinking he is something we haven’t seen before and held in higher regard than most if not all the other baddies we’ve seen so far.

Moghedien is a tool, and still useful, and Robert Jordan doesn’t seem to kill off the personable baddies very often and not for too long. So, no, I wasn’t surprised that she lived. Will she escape the mind trap? I kind of hope she does, because I think her plotline will be more fascinating if she is free to cause grief & consternation, yet also be on the run from the baddies.

2. So, Valda has proven to be a rapist as well as a murderer: lovely! Do you think that Morgase will successfully evade the Seanchan and do you expect her to tell anyone about her renunciation of the Lion Throne?

I think we just need to leave Valda alone in a room with Elayne and he will no longer be a problem. To anyone. Ever. 🙂

I do expect Morgase to evade the Seanchan and hopefully, fingers crossed, make it to some safe harbor. I think Morgase has learned enough by now to be able to keep a low profile and not order everyone else around like she’s a queen and they are servants. Surely, she wouldn’t do something as asinine as that, which would give her away? Yeah, all fingers crossed on that one.

To me, her renunciation of the throne seemed to have some magic to it. In fact, I have expected Elayne to magically know that the throne had passed to her…but of course, if that was possible, she would know that her mom wasn’t dead, since the throne hadn’t magically passed to her. Anyway, I expect sooner or later, she will have to tell someone – maybe just Elayne. Maybe that lad with the fine legs when she beds him. 🙂

3. I guess we can assume that the Seanchan were that storm that Nynaeve could detect. What did you make of their attack on the Fortress of Light? Our previous impression of Suroth was that she was wildly overconfident about capturing Rand: do these latest events change your opinion?

The Fortress of Light was full of arrogant White Cloaks. Now it is full of arrogant Seanchan. I thought the attack was quite the light show – pretty fun to watch as long as you don’t have to be involved. Honestly, I wasn’t sure who to root for. White Cloaks? Seanchan? Pretty much, I was just hoping they created enough chaos for Morgase & crew to escape. Alas, she chose to stay, thinking it was Aes Sedai coming to the rescue.

It seems the Seanchan put a lot of faith? honor? in giving their word to obey the Empress. But not everyone is going to play by their rules. I think the Seanchan, including Suroth, are still pretty self-assured that their way is the best way and can’t really imagine anyone going against it. Should be spectacular when Rand gets a hold of them. 🙂

4. Sneaky! Although I hate a writer doing this, I was happy to discover that the fight between Rand and Perrin was a way to distract their enemies. How successful do you think Perrin will be at finding Masema and subduing the Dragonsworn? I am getting truly sick of it, so any ideas on how and when the whole Faile / Berelain thing will be resolved?

Yeah, that Perrin – Rand fight was faked…at least until Rand threw Perrin into a wall! Rand gets so passionate sometimes and loses his sense of balance in things. Perrin so far has gotten the job done every time he has committed himself. And I expect that tracking down Masema and subduing him will be far easier than returning to Two Rivers to discover his family wipes out. Got a tough job? Get a Perrin & wolf crew!

I think that if Faile and Berelain were to bed each other, that would resolve all the tension and silliness between the two. Alas, The Wheel of Time doesn’t appear to be that type of series. So I think we are stuck with their annoying behaviors until one of them dies. At this point, I am not sure I have a preference.

5. Fancy NOT telling Loial about the subterfuge: I could hold that against certain people, even if they are the Dragon Reborn and a sexy blacksmith! The Asha’man traveling with our favorite Ogier seems mighty untrustworthy: are they all like that or am I getting paranoid?

Sexy blacksmith, indeed! Let me just take a moment…..

OK, back to the question. It seems that many of the Asha’men have chips on their shoulders. To some extent, this is totally understandable as they have been told all their lives that they are not worthy of compassion and should be exiled, stilled, or killed. But I think Mazrim Taim has definitely encouraged this chip on the shoulder to a weighty arrogant boulder that requires both shoulders to carry. I do think the Asha’men have loyalty to Taim first, Rand second (hopefully), and no one beyond that. So, should Perrin and crew be worried? Hell, yes!

6. Tylin manages to snare her ‘little rabbit’, although it seem to scare him half to death. Was I the only one chortling away at Mat’s discomfort? It seems that the plan to use Mat’s Ta’veren luckiness has paid off, but will it be that easy to simply find the Bowl?

I keep going back and forth on Tylin and Mat. On one hand, Mat is being treated like a bed toy, kind of like he has treated a number of women. They were objects, yes, always willing, looking for some fun, but nothing beyond that to Mat. So I giggle at Mat being irritated, even angry, at being seen as a walking sex toy.

But then I swing the other way. Tylin held a knife to his throat as she used another knife to remove his clothes. Reverse the rolls and if Mat had held a woman at knife point for even part of the sexy times, I would have to put Mat on the Predator List.

So my man (who reads the books along with us but almost never comments) and I had this big discussion on this. Now, we both enjoy our sexytimes together. So I asked how he would feel about me using a butter knife at his throat while I peeled his clothes off (just to spice things up), and the answer was a flat NO! Which, of course, put an end to the sexytimes that night, so we chatted about Tylin and Mat in depth. After all that, I think I have to put Tylin on the Predator List.

But your real question is about the Bowl. No, it won’t be easy because both Nynaeve and Mat are involved and those two will butt heads until one walks away with a flattened face. Does Nynaeve’s stubbornness cancel out Mat’s luck? I am starting to think so.

7. Can Elayne’s chin get any higher? Whilst I find the Aes Sedai totally irritating, I am amazed that Elayne managed to browbeat them so successfully. Is this the end of the super girls being treated like idiots? How will Nynaeve cope with this sudden change in their circumstances?

Once Elayne takes the throne of Andor, her chin will go higher. That’s in the job description.

No, it is not the end of the Supergirls being treated as idiots….because I will continue to think of them that way for some time to come! Now, I expect Robert Jordan will continue to throw in new characters and from time to time some of those characters will treat the ladies with scorn, indifference, or as idiots.

I hope that Nynaeve will follow Elayne’s lead for a little while at least. I think that is the safest way for her until they get out of Ebou Dar.

8. Ooooooo, Moghedien tried to totally kill someone in a little boat. Is there any doubt at all that it is Nynaeve? Will Lan get there in time to save her or will she pull her braid out trying to make the water get out of her way?

Yeah, I think it is Nynaeve too. Moghedien probably wouldn’t risk breaking so many Dark Side rules for anyone else.

Will Lan save Nynaeve? I think Nynaeve will save herself just in time for Lan to have stripped out of most of his clothes and dived in. At least, this reader can hope there is a lack of clothing in the upcoming rescue. 😉 I am so looking forward to these two getting together. I wonder if it will be all kisses, or if there will be some Nynaeve shouting? At any rate, should be entertaining.

Other Tidbits:

The mindtrap seems to very delicate. How does the holder keep from inadvertently squishing it? Like when they sleep, or lean forward against a table, or get slammed against a stone wall by a good guy?

One of Morgase’s men saw a large winged beastie of some sort. And then another landed, for Morgase & crew to seem just before the Seanchan attacking. I suspect Dark Friends escaping, or at least sending messages out. I wonder how they contacted the beasties and their riders? Instead of the Pony Express mail service, we have the Winged Beast Express – special rates for all Dark Friend messages!

Loial and his story! He is so cute and so focused on writing his history of events. Sometimes I feel like the tale we are reading is Loial’s completed works. I know, we already discussed that possibility, and it is unlikely. Still, the idea has a certain charm.

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

  1. I think how delicate the mindtrap is is part of the point. There’s always the terror that, you know, Rand will attack Moridin or something and Moghedien will be collateral damage. Stroking it is psychological torture on Moridin’s part. And you gotta love Loial. Every time he shows up, I smile. He gets so stressed out when people don’t get along, you just want to give him a hug! The next chapter we read–first one of the next session–will tell what happened Nynaeve (she was indeed the woman Moghedien attacked) and it’s going to be awesome! One of my favorite scenes in this part of the saga! 😀 Can’t wait!

    1. I think you would only do the mindtrap to a resource that you wouldn’t mind losing, since it is so fragile. Oops, did I roll on that pesky little thing in my sleep? Darn! So Moghedien is smart enough to realize this. I wonder if she will escape the mindtrap.

  2. Yes the Seanchan faith in people’s word is rather puzzling, especially since they spend half their breath berating everyone in Randland for being different varieties of honourless.

    Chip on the shoulder is exactly the phrase. Thank you for that. (Increasing my vocabulary, here.)

    I don’t know if the winged beasts have been described before, but the Seanchan employ a number of exotic animals which are unknown to the Randlanders. They’re called raken and/or to’raken. (Try saying the last one out loud quickly… I’m sure RJ is playing around with story decay again here regarding the word “dragon” which in the story does not refer to a winged fire-breathing beast at all. Not that the Seanchan animals breathe fire, that is.)

    The books aren’t supposed to be Loial’s works, but I feel like Sanderson used Loial to make some soft homages to RJ in the final trilogy. “By the Light, he had a book to finish before he went!”

    1. OK, the winged beasts now make more sense. I thought they were Darkfriends ferry service. But it makes more sense that they were the first vanguard of the Seanchan attackers.

  3. 1. I never even thought that the Dark One might be prowling around: yikes!

    I agree that Moghedien is quite good fun because she is not massively competent, but so determined.

    2. Elayne or perhaps Thom with a pair of sharp knives . . .

    Morgase is so going to bed Tallanvor, isn’t she? Everyone else can see it, so I wish she would just get it over and done with! 😀

    3. I also thought that she might use the attack as a chance to escape, but I suppose it might have been dangerous with all the flying beasties and magic explosions.

    I want to see Rand turn Suroth into a small pile of oily ash ASAP.

    4. I wasn’t sure if the wall smash was prearranged or not, but I can sympathize with poor Perrin: he always gets the crappy jobs.

    OK . . . I would never have thought of sexual tension between the 2 warring idiot women as the problem . . . though I suspect that some of those sister-wives indulge in a little non-husband related sexytimes! 😀

    5. I have yet to notice a single redeeming thing about Taim, so I mostly blame him for the grumpy Asha’man.

    6. Sorry to hear about your sexytimes related issues. I was finding it quite funny until the knife came out and it became very clear that she really wasn’t going to take “NO!” for an answer. At that point it got very uncomfortable to read, especially as it is clear that Mat didn’t really enjoy the whole thing. Disturbing!

    7. In some ways I almost can’t trust that the Aes Sedai are really being so submissive . . . it was almost too easy to defeat them.

    8. Yes, I think Lan should take his sweet time to remove as much clothing as possible before he dives in . . . 😀

    I thought that the winged beasties were dropping Seanchan troops behind enemy defenses so that they could open the gates, etc.

    1. I was thinking that perhaps the Dark One is slowly gaining enough strength to venture into the world, but at first he might need some sort of living vessel to act through. But I could be completely wrong on that.

      Yes, Perrin always does seem to get the crappy jobs, doesn’t he? 🙁

      Well, if my man doesn’t want butter knives in the bedroom, i can’t fault him. He’s plenty good company just as he is. 😉

      Haha! Yes, Lan could go into professional stripping if he ever tires of the way of the sword.

      And Eivind seconds your idea that the winged beasties were dropping Seanchan into the keep. Which makes more sense than my Darkfriend Emergency Evac idea.

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