Welcome 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, Eivind, our WoT encyclopedia, is our host this week and can be found in the comments. Liesel at Musings on Fantasia has cool non-spoilery fan art. Sue at Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers has tiny violins for our bad guys.
This week, we covered Chapters 8-14. Spoilers run rampant for this section and all previous books below!
1. Rand is traveling around, giving precious gifts to Elayne and Lan (so far.) Is this his way of saying goodbye, his final will? Do you think he is being unnecessarily fatalistic?
Yes, I think this is one way in which Rand is saying goodbye, and no, I don’t think he is being fatalistic. It’s the Last Battle. Any and all could die and it is a big hairy deal to everyone. For many, it will be the last thing they do – though I hope we don’t lose any of the main characters.
My fatalistic side is afraid that Perrin may be the one to fall…..but I may just be overly worried about losing my favorite character of the series.
2. Egwene stands strong in Kandor, but the other two battlefields are suffering setbacks. Do you think the Light has to do something drastic, or will they be able to weather the storm with the current plan?
I expect there will need to be something drastic, otherwise this will be a very long and boring book. 🙂 If Tarwin’s Gap falls, and if they can’t reclaim Caemlyn and close off the Waygate, then a whole lot of people will be screwed. But, at the same time, our heroes will have to realize that they can’t save everyone. They simply need to save enough and defeat the evil in order to be able to rebuild.
3. Mat joins the story, on his way to Tuon in Ebou Dar. Will the “Seanchan Question” finally be resolved? Rand seems to be hesitating, too…
The Seanchan question has to be resolved before the end of this book, and I expect that Mat will be instrumental in that. I have to wonder if the married couple need to exchange some boon or such in order to be completely wedded. Maybe Mat could ask Tuon to stop conquering and enslaving folks as his boon?
4. Rand takes his turn on the battlefield, but is turned back. Do you expect him to try again, or is this the last we see of him on the field before the invasion of Shayol Ghul?
I have a hard time seeing Rand sitting things out. While I can understand the logic – he needs to minimize the chances of being taken out by a baddie and also conserve his strength, he still has this big bleeding heart that makes him think he needs to protect everyone. Besides, it is more fun (or nerve racking) seeing him risk his neck.
5. Perrin leaves and takes the battle to the World of Dreams… in the flesh. Do you think it is as evil as it’s claimed? Did you like his speech? Was it wise to bring Gaul, untrained, to this fight?
I think Perrin has the right of it. It doesn’t smell evil to go into the Dream World in body, but it is very risky. And, obviously, it has been used by evil people for evil deeds.
Perrin’s speech was very cool. To the point and I think it crystallized some things for Rand – there are no ‘good’ choices left.
I think it was wise to take Gaul. He is good in strange circumstances and should be able to handle most things on the fly. However, I do worry that he is the Red Shirt for this adventure.
6. Lanfear makes another plea to Rand, and he lets her into his mind to prove he is over her. She then appears in the World of Dreams to pester Perrin. What game is she really playing at?
She’s looking for a protector that is also a patsy – she needs help getting out of her predicament but also wants to control/use her would-be rescuer. Since Rand is obviously not going to assist her and can’t be manipulated by her, she has to find someone else.
Of course, I think the Wheel will Weave her actions into the Pattern for the good of our heroes and Lanfear may very well end up ‘assisting’ the good guys even though that is not her intention.
7. We find out how people are turned to the Shadow. What do you think of this mechanism? Are the turned really turned, or just taken over, as Androl seems to think?
It seems that if a person is willing to be Stilled (or perhaps it is a voluntarily giving up the Power) then they can’t be turned. Now that we the readers know that Stilling can be healed to some extent, I think more folks will be able to resist this turning. Logain has been unStilled once before, so hopefully all his loyal Channelers will recall that be able to unTurn themselves. Then the healers can return some of their Channeling ability afterwards.
Or we might not have time for that and the lot of them will have to be killed, or Still en masse by Rand and left to muddle through the end of the world as best they can.
8. It appears Taim and his cronies are finally ejected from the Black Tower, although Taim is still alive. What do you think of how this went down? Will we now see the good Asha’man lend their strength to the fight? Could that turn the tide of the war?
It seemed pretty sudden to me. I think Taim must have had some place he was suppose to be and couldn’t put as much time or effort as he wanted in fighting back. In any event, it leaves our good Asha’men free to join the fight. Under Androl and Pevara, I can’t see them doing anything else.
Will the Asha’men be the thing that turns the tide? I don’t think so. We have a lot of tides to turn and a lot of people chipping in to help win this battle. No, I think the force that will change the tide one way or the other are the Seanchan. Will they continue to harrass and enslave Randland as they fight the Last Battle? Or will they see the light and come to the aid of Rand and his fellow warriors? I really hope Mat knocks some sense into Tuon…..by bedding her! 😉
Elayne gave Rand a dagger that makes him invisible to the Dark One. I wonder how it works and what’s it’s limitations are. I can’t recall where Elayne picked it up, perhaps in that stash she had Birgitte lugging around for a while.