New Spring, Part III

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JordanNewSpringBannerWelcome everyone to Book 0 of The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan which is a prequel to the series set several years before Book 1. You can find the schedule to New Spring over HERE. Everyone is welcome to join us!

This week, Liesel at Musings on Fantasia is the host. You can catch Eivind, our WoT encyclopedia, in the comments.  Stop by Sue’s at Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers, a place for deft reasoning.

This week, we covered Chapters 17-END. Spoilers run rampant for this section and all previous books below!

1. What do you think of the fact that Moiraine met Cadsuane. I don’t think we knew that before. What’s Cadsuane up to? Do you think Moiraine’s eventual conclusion that she’s Black Ajah is valid? Logical?

I think that most of the Sisters eventually meet Cadsuane, so it was a nice touch that Jordan tossed her in this book. As usual, I think Cadsuane is searching for false Dragons, and perhaps even searching for the real Dragon.

No, I don’t think Cadsuane is Black Ajah and I think Moiraine’s reasoning is faulty. She and Siuan are both real new to the Shawl, but also to the reality of the Black Ajah. I think that both of them are still in ‘aghast, reaction’ mode and haven’t had time and opportunity to collect enough facts about the Black Ajah at this point.

Though to call Cadsuane blunt is to be kind. So I can see how Moiraine, who is still attached to being treated with the deference due a high born lady, would find Cadsuane rude and crude and may think vile thoughts about her.

2. Do you think Tamra was killed by a Darkfriend? Do you think the new amyrlin, Sierin, is Black Ajah? If so, why, and what do you think will happen next?

Since we don’t know how Tamra was killed (did she die of a fall or illness or a knife to the chest?), I waver between Darkfriend and Black Ajah offing her. If it looks like she died peacefully in her bed, then I would be inclined to say someone with the power killed her.

I don’t think Sierin is Black Ajah simply because the Blacks seem to use nitwits in power and control things from the shadows. Also, we learned from Eivind last week that Sierin doesn’t last many years before suddenly dieing. And we all know that eventually Siuan is raised to the Amyrlin Seat.

3. We saw the scene with Lan, Moiraine, and the lake that was mentioned briefly clear back in book 2. What was your reaction to it? Did it play out the way you’d imagined?

This was a great scene! I was laughing out loud. Of course, Moiraine is suspicious of the three men for her own reasons, but then so obviously following them, and then Lan alone, into the woods – I wanted to slap her upside the head! But then she tried to take Lan’s sword away, the simpleton! So I was quite happy to see her flying through the air and splashing down into the lake. But then she tries to pull Lan in! This is one of those times where Moiraine’s tenacity was not working in her favor. I loved the imagery of Moiraine dangling in the air from Lan’s arm.

4. Someone tried to assassinate Lan. He was an idiot who was told to kill Moiraine first, but didn’t. Who do you think the attack was aimed at and who was responsible for it?

This scene confused me a little bit. Lan, Bukama, and Rhyne recognized the dying would-be assassin. But this man also had been told that Moiraine was an Aes Sedai. Now Moiraine is still new to traveling the world and new to keeping her identity secret. So I am sure she did reveal her Aes Sedai nature 101 ways to the observant person. So this means that at least some of those asses trying to kill Lan could have ordered their minions to kill the Aes Sedai first.

At least, that is what sense I could make out of it.

5. What did you think of the Lan-Edeyn relationship, and all of Edeyn’s plans for Lan?

Fucked up. But I shall elaborate. Lan is bound by custom (because he is an idiot) and Edeyn is taking great advantage of that custom. If the roles were reversed and Lan was taking such advantage of his position over Edeyn, we would be cheering on those would-be assassins. But Lan is a full-grown man and has a lot of choice about where he puts his penis. I can see custom dictating that he show Edeyn some affection. But later on, we see him without his shirt and will all sorts of crazy monkey sex love marks on his back. So if he isn’t into Edeyn, and seems actually repulsed by her plans for him to marry her daughter, than why would he put on such a stunning performance in her bed? Does he have such pride in his sexual prowess that even in such a situation he feels he must perform to the utmost of his ability?

I was not looking forward to Lan marrying Edeyn’s daughter. I feared we would see one of those most awkward threesomes down the road consisting of Lan, Edeyn, and her daughter. *shudder*

6. In the end, a Black sister is revealed, and several innocents die. The fight scene was pretty epic. Thoughts? Feelings? Regrets?

Wow! I wasn’t expecting such death in this book. I think New Spring may be my favorite Jordan book just because there are so many intense scenes. It was hard to lose Bukama, and so suddenly. Then to have the Black sister tossing hosts over the railing was pretty awful. While Moiraine says she is just as guilty of Edyen’s daughter’s death as Meren (spelling?), I think she is wrong. Moiraine needs to realize that her actions, while they failed, were noble.

7. What did you think of final scene that led to Moiraine bonding Lan? Did you like it? Want more? Think it was legit?

I am very, very glad that Lan did not run away from a stupid marriage via the Warder way. Instead, Moiraine had to humble herself by chasing after him, and then had to be genuine by telling Lan the entire truth. I was very satisfied with how this all came about.

Other Tidbits:

I think, from numerous hints tossed around in this section (especially by Cadsuane), that Moiraine and Siuan were casual lovers while in training.

Moiraine used her super secret Blue Ajah powers to coax ants into Lan’s small clothes! If I was Blue Ajah, I would be in constant trouble from pulling such pranks.

Is Lan a minor ta’veren? Moiraine & Siuan speak of the Black Ajah systematically taking out any male who shows any hint of being able to Channel. But I don’t think Lan is a Channeler.

That evil inn keeper with her special spiced wine got a harsh kind of justice indeed.

7 thoughts on “New Spring, Part III”

  1. Yeah, I shuddered at the Lan/Edeyn relationship as well. I hadn’t thought of a threesome, but you’re probably right. Ugh. You know, the first time I read this, I didn’t pick up on the lesbian undertones but I thought that more than once while reading this. I kind of don’t like it. Maybe that’s why I blew past it the first time. LOL.

    1. I am glad that Edeyn and Iselle are not successful in their plans, either in political domination nor in Lan sexytimes manipulation.

      The lesbian undertones didn’t bother me. In fact, in either book 10 or book 11, we have Elaida talking about her former pillowmate, and that brought a raised eyebrow for me. And then Eivind brought up that Therava may have been taking advantage of Galina in a sexual way. Plus we have Faile listing gai’shan who had sought safety by bedding their captors (both heterosexual and homosexual relations). So, we’ve had all these hints but I found them the strongest in this book and I am glad that Jordan included non-heterosexual couplings in his writings, as that reflects the breadth of human nature.

      1. OMG! You are right! I’d forgotten that about Elaida . . . I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit! 😀

        I think Therava has definitely made Galina into her very own sex slave, which I don’t find particularly upsetting because she is an evil woman who deserves to be miserable. However, I always regret an author using homosexual sex as a form of punishment.

        1. I too was concerned that the hinted at homosexual sex was being portrayed as manipulative (Elaida) or as punishment (Therava). But now we have Siuan and Moiraine in a very caring relationship. So I am OK with it all.

    2. I think the references to pillow-friends are fairly oblique, so it would be easy to miss the significance if you were reading at a normal speed and not dissecting everything. I can’t say that it bothers me, and seems more than likely in an all-girl institution where any men caught philandering would probably have their bits burnt off! 😀

  2. 1. Yep – I agree that Moiraine is allowing her emotions to drive her thinking about Cadsuane, though I think she also shows her immaturity in assuming that anyone who is not for her is against her. It is pretty obvious that Cadsuane has no idea what Moiraine is doing in the Borderlands, but sees a headstrong young woman who is likely to get herself eaten by Trollocs or something else equally horrible.

    2. I think Tamra is supposed to have ‘died in her sleep’ which seems very suspicious to me. I agree about Sierin, though, she is far too obviously horrible to be Black! 😀

    3. I have spent quite a lot of time in this book wanting to slap some sense into Moiraine, and this was one of many times when she created a problem by being thoughtless and stubborn. I suppose it is nice to know that she managed to overcome these personality defects, but it has made her a little frustrating to read!

    5. Agreed! Why does Lan have such a problem NOT having sex with women? I have to admit that I hadn’t thought of the threesome solution . . . yikes!

    6. Yet again, I agree with you. I was stunned by Bukama’s sudden demise, and rather saddened because I liked the grumpy old fart. Again, I think Moiraine shows her immaturity for assuming that she is responsible for saving everyone, including the entire world and the whole of creation by finding the infant Dragon. I think she has a bit of an overinflated sense of her own importance! 😀

    I had already come to conclusion that ‘pillow-friends’ were a little more than young girls sharing a bed and giggling under the covers . . .

    I suspect that Lan could very well be ta’veren of some type, although we meet someone who can see them, I think and I don’t remember if she has seen him. He certainly seems to live a very exciting life for a ‘normal’ person!

    1. If I were Cadsuane, I too would be concerned that Moiraine was headed for some nasty injuries at the least and brutal death at the worst.

      I still have my panties in a knot about Lan bedding Edeyn, and doing it well. I would be better with it if he just met the letter of the custom, sort to speak, with a quick, unemotional effort, or even angry sex. But know, it appears he went all out showing off his prowess between the sheets.

      We need a new term for the not quite ta’veren folks in the series such as Lan and even Min, with their speical abilities that influence people and actions around them.

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