A Memory of Light, Part II

WOT 14Welcome everyone to Book 14 of The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and the final week of this read along. Here is the schedule for A Memory of Light if you want to join us.

This week,  Sue at Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers is our host this week. Eivind, our WoT encyclopedia, can be found in the comments at Sue’s. Liesel at Musings on Fantasia has cool non-spoilery fan art.

This week, we covered Chapters 2-7. Spoilers run rampant for this section and all previous books below!

1) Pevara and Androl have done some mutual Bonding, which seems to have created a rather uniquely intimate link between the two. Do you think that the other Aes Sedai /Asha’man pairs could create something similar, or do we have an example of mushy, romantic specialness in this case? Have you been surprised by the Red’s ability to work with male Channelers, or do you think that she is unusual for her Ajah?

I expect that other Aes Sedai/Asha’men bonds will happen – perhaps not in this book, but after the big battle is won and folks have a chance to get back to normal lives.

I think there are other Reds like Pevara that will be able to overcome their squeamishness towards male Channelers, if for no other reason than they don’t want to look weak and silly in front of other Aes Sedai.

I have to say that when Pevara had her little panic attack and Bonded Androl, without his permission, I wanted to slap her. Aes Sedai are such bullies. I did cheer a little when Androl turned around and Bonded her so that she could experience it first hand. I think this is nearly the only way the Aes Sedai can learn.

2) I was beginning to worry that Aviendha’s quadruplets would need to be the product of some sort of bizarre ‘virgin’ birth scenario, but now there is at least a biological chance that they could be created in the normal way! Yay! Do you really think that it was necessary for her to use sexytimes as a way to persuade Rand to grant her a boon? Were you disappointed or relieved not to have more details of what was obviously a rather extended night of baby-making?

I expect that Elayne will become injured in some fashion, perhaps end up in a coma, and Aviendha will have to raise her kids along with Elayne’s.

No, I think Rand would have granted her a boon just for getting a look at her tits. Though I am sure he is grateful for the sexytimes. Plus, the three ladies had to gather and discuss how they were going to handle Rand. I wonder what Min and Elayne did to distract themselves from the night of bedroom gymnastics they surely sensed through the bond.

Well, I think you all know me by now. I like the sexytimes to be as descriptive as the rest of the book, so, yeah, I would have enjoyed seeing how Aveidnah (who is super athletic) put Rand through his paces.

3) Apparently, being Turned to the Dark Side does not improve your intellect very much. Do you think that we will ever see a truly intelligent Darkfriend? Did the sequence with Dobser make you more hopeful of Androl and his party surviving against Taim’s attack?

No, I don’t think we will ever have a truly intelligent Darkfriend or Forsaken…. well, not one that can work with others. Cyndane/Lanfear has some cunning to her, but she despises everyone and has difficulty playing nice on Team Dark One.

Yes, I expect that Androl and Pevara will do some major ass kicking before this book is through and one of those asses may very well be Taim. Up until this week’s reading, I had expected that Logain (maybe with Rand’s help) would be the one to take out Taim. But now I suspect that Androl and Pevara will take out Taim, perhaps with Logain’s help (though he is merely a bit of a drool monkey right now due to his long imprisonment and ill treatment).

4) Rand is beginning to manifest some startling new powers and can now manipulate the Dream more successfully than Moridin. Do you think this will cause the Nae’blis to alter his plans and be more aggressive in his pursuit of Rand? It seems that Lanfear is managing to somehow slip away from his control via the mindtrap: or was that all staged for Rand’s benefit?

I think Rand’s new abilities within the Dream will irritate Moridin and while making him more aggressive, it will also make him more careless. Basically, I don’t think Rand is in increased danger on account of this.

I think Lanfear is indeed managing to escape Moridin’s complete control and this will also make him more aggressive and more careless. I don’t think he is cautious enough to have staged the whole Lanfear crying for help thing. Plus, Lanfear is not really a team player (and there are suspicions she was giving Slayer/Luc/Issam orders to kill Rand, which is in direct contradiction to Moridin’s orders).

5) And, yay verily, there will be much politicking and arguing and then Moiraine will appear and quote the Prophecy, thus creating peace and harmony amongst the leaders of the World. Did anyone else expect her to wink at Perrin in a conspiratorial way as she walked past him? Do you think that the new and improved Dragon’s Peace will hold and also stop the future we saw in Aviendha’s visions? Who do you think Rand expected Roedran to be?

So much to say here! First, I don’t know why Rand suspected Roedran. I expect that is something I will pick up on a reread.

1) Egwene almost cost the world not only peace, but existence with her inflated sense of importance. I am so glad Moiraine pointed it out (and in such a way that Egwene could swallow it).

2) Yes, Moiraine is extra awesome, and I definitely could see her and Perrin trading nudges and winks back and forth. They were the two even-headed ones on scene.

3) Aviendha was right to demand the Aiel be included in the Peace and Perrin was great to point out that they needed a job. The Aiel can not meet toh nor generate honor unless they have a task before them, be it small or large.

4) I think rand left out some folks and that may or may not cause issues later – like the Dark Tower and the Traveling Folk (though since they follow the Way of the Leaf, it may not be such a big deal for them). Perhaps even the Ogier should be allowed to sign the Peace and guarantee their rights in this new United Nations of Randland. And the newly risen Malkier, will they sign?

5) Here is my biggest criticism of the Peace – Elayne will lead the armies! At first, I thought it was a joke or some sort of subterfuge by Rand. But, nope, he meant it. Sigh….OK, Elayne is an entertaining character and she has her moments. But she is entertaining because she keeps messing up and she has her shining moments because she has dug herself into yet another trap. The entire series, she has walked into one trap or another, acted on impulse and feelings instead of logic. In fact, just last book (like 300 pages ago) she was threatening to execute Perrin. So I am guessing that this is a plot point that Sanderson was committed to via Jordan and he hasn’t had a whole lot of time to make Elayne look competent. But I also expect that Elayne will be competent the rest of the book and this will be a huge character change for her with little reason/time to make it happen. I expect this point will continue to bother me. Some people believe that beauty = competence. Alas, that is not one of the magical qualities of this world.

You know who would make a good leader of the united armies? Someone who has a lifetime of training and experience? Someone who’s culture and training allows them to absorb new tactics and use them immediately? Someone who has Channelers and flying beasts to sends swift messages? Tuon/Fortunata, Empress of the Seanchan. So, I am quite surprised that Rand didn’t try to bring them into the fold by offering the Seanchan this chance to prove that they are worthy leaders to the folks of Randland.

6) Great Trees and a singing Ogier army, then Gateways bringing aid to Lan’s final charge. Discuss, with specific dimensions for the size of your grin and/or the number of tears shed! 😀

This was pretty fricking awesome. I really enjoyed the whole scene of Lan’s final charge. He rallied the men, but didn’t lie to them about their odds. He had Nynaeve in his thoughts (but somehow couldn’t sense her exuberation at finding out Rand meant to go to his aid). The charge beginning and then suddenly being joined by 4,000 extra men. Then another gateway, and another, and another. Yes, that was great. I had dramatic theme music rolling in my head for the entire scene.

It was nice to see Loial and his mum too.

7) Mat is off in Ebou Dar doing something mysterious. Can we hope that he is trying to talk some sense into Tuon? Will he accept the Horn from Faile or run away screaming?

So Perrin knows that Mat is married to the Seanchan empress, right? Has he mentioned that to anyone? that could be a very important and useful piece of intel right now. I expect Mat is either trying to get some sexytimes with his wife (and he needs some after the Tower of Ghenjei) or arguing with her about how slavery is basically evil and she really needs to saddle up and ride with the White Hats on this one.

I think Mat will accept the Horn readily enough. He might not like it, but he already knows the necessity of it. I expect grumbling and perhaps a badger to mysteriously appear in Elayne’s sleeping quarters at some point (for ordering Mat to blow the Horn).

Other Tidbits:

Aviendha sneaking into Elayne’s tent was awesome! And she was just trying not to be a bother to the guards. But this also has me worried about the capability of the evil Aiel and the inability of Elayne’s guards and scouts to detect them.

Rand comes up with the first shower this Age has seen! Hooray! Maybe Aviendha will tell Elayne and Elayne will commission some castle engineers to make it possible for the royalty. And in perhaps 200 years, the middle class will have showers. Then all will smell better.

Androl! Gosh, this late-to-the-party side character is turning out to be pretty interesting. I could definitely enjoy a book (or trilogy) just about Androl and his adventures prior to the Dark Tower.

(Ooops! I read a chapter too far and this little comment is actually from Chapter 8). Elayne finally announces who the father of her twins is (though Bashere had to show her the logic in it). It was overdue and I am glad that whole Evil Mellar Daddy rumor can be put to bed for good.

I did like that Elayne was direct with Aiel, making it clear that they simply couldn’t run off and do their own thing, no matter how competent they believed themselves to be.

 

8 thoughts on “A Memory of Light, Part II”

  1. Good point about Lan not feeling Nynaeve’s happiness when Rand went to his aid. Lots of people were bothered by Rand wanting Elayne to direct things, but it never bothered me much. Not that I think Elayne is the best supreme leader as her individual self–as Sue pointed out, her role probably won’t me military as she’ll rely on the four generals for that, but rather logistic–but I do think it’s fitting that specifically Andor direct things. Not only politically, as it seems to have been the largest and most together nation for most of the series, but also because it’s Rand’s homeland. Anyway, this never bothered me much, but I’m seeing lots of comments on it this week. I mentioned Aviendha sneaking into Elayne’s tent, too. Hysterical! And I love Androl. His character reminds me a bit of Tam. A smaller, side character–though Androl is much more eleventh-hour than Tam is–but despite his relatively small screen time, you just can’t help but kind of fall in love with him! 😀

    1. Yes, we are all very lucky that Elayne has this awesome collection of competent people surrounding her. So, yeah, I expect it will go OK. Now that you mention it, I think Androl and Tam probably have some stories to tell each other and I wouldn’t be surprised if their paths came close to crossing at one point.

  2. 1. We know that Bonding was not known in the Age of Legends, otherwise I would have thought that Lews Therin and the other Good Guys would have used this intense linkage to improve their ability to fight the Forsaken.

    Yep, Aes Sedai are such control freaks, and I was also annoyed by Pevara’s ‘rape’ of Androl and I agree that I was rather happy that he simply turned round and did the same to her. In her case I can understand how her advanced age makes it very difficult for her to overcome a lot of ingrained thinking, but it still left me frustrated. However, the overall effect seems to be very positive, so it might prove to be a happy accident.

    2. Good grief – SIX Randlings dashing about and channeling everywhere? Poor Aviendha! 😀

    I’m afraid that I did rather wonder about why they were worrying about how to conduct their polygamous relationship . . . Rand is obviously going to die in the Last Battle, so it is really rather irrelevant just like the politicking about the Dragon’s Peace.

    3. I guess that Lanfear is cunning, but her massive character flaws do rather blind her to her obvious mistakes . . . oh dear, what a shame! 😀

    I will be slightly disappointed if we spend so much time with Pevara and Androl and then they vanish into the background now that Logain has reappeared. I can’t help thinking that Androl’s Gateway ability will be crucial somehow or another.

    4. It seems that Rand is so far in advance of Moridin now that he is won’t near to worry about him too much at all. The fact that Lanfear is slipping out from under Moridin’s control is guaranteed to increase his frustration and, hopefully, cause him to make mistakes.

    5. I also wondered why nobody mentioned the Black Tower, but I suppose Rand presumes to speak for it. I would hope that the two Towers can merge into a single institution after the war and return to something similar to the old Aes Sedai order.

    I suppose the only good thing about Elayne’s appointment is that she is really just in charge of organization and coordination. She is not a military genius, unlike some people we can think of, and is far too rash to be a good tactician. Fortunately, she has an abundance of Great Captains to keep her in check . . . and she will probably be replaced by Mat when he gets back, although I like your idea of putting Tuon in command . . .

    7. Oh, I am quite sure that whatever he does it will be accompanied by lots of grumbling, and possibly badgers, but Mat will do what is necessary.

    Other

    Androl seems like a second Jain Farstrider to me.

    1. Yes, that is true Lanfear has some major flaws, and they totally undo her cunning.

      And, yep, we are lucky that Elayne is not in charge of the actual fighting, but more of making sure everyone stays fed and has Channelers for healing.

      I like the idea of Androl and Jain being able to have a mug of ale some day and swap stories.

  3. Concerning the Roedran thing on Point 5.

    There was much speculation among fans before AMoL was released aboout which ruler Demandred was and what army he would be commanding. A lot of the fans thought that he was masquerading as Roedran. I think Sanderson built on that tension and that he reasoned that Rand probably also would suspect Roedran being Demandred. (He was the only one of the forsaken that the characters hadn’t met up to that point).

    1. Yep. I can totally see why Rand thought Roedran to be Demandred. Just a little later, we have Demandred burst onto the scene and I, as the reader, felt just a touch cheated when he did show up (discussed in a later read along post). I still need to read that short story about him in the anthology Unfettered to explain it all.

Comments are always appreciated, so don't be shy!