The Dragon Reborn Read Along Part III

JordanDragonReborn BannerApologies for the late posting. I spent yesterday arguing with inanimate objects (busted water pipe, raspberries, and warp threads) and my hands, back, and mental acuity were used up by these endeavors. Anyway, this week is being hosted by Sue at Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers, so make sure to stop by her place to see what everyone else thinks. This week covered Chapters 21-30. There be Spoilers throwing a party below.

1. We see Verin hoarding a collection of Corianin Sedai’s writings on Dreaming. Do you think that she should share them (or selected portions) with Egwene or do you think that blundering around in the dark is the best way to learn how to do something?

If Verin is secretly Black Ajah, then letting Egwene blunder in Dreaming is a great way for the Dark One to influence her or at least see what she is up to. If Verin is not Black, then she is a short sighted idiot in this manner. Or she was directed by someone, perhaps the Amyrlin Seat, to let Egwene blunder in order to fulfill some brainless prophecy. Either way, makes for an entertaining story and that is why I am here.

2. In her testing for becoming Accepted, we see Egwene as Amyrlin. Can you accept this as a possible future for her or is it too improbable?

Well, this is a 14 book series, and I expect the Two Rivers folks will age at least 2-5 years during the course of this adventure. Supposedly we are going to be dodging breaking the world and yet still defeat Mr. Black Supremo, so a lot can happen. You guys have seen Battlestar Galactica, right? Chain of command and all put the Secretary of Education as Head of State. So, yeah, it could happen to Egwene. I expect lots of folks would have to die to make it so.

3. Mat seems fairly nifty with a quarterstaff, even when he is half dead. Did his defeat of Galad and Gawyn seem to be based upon his skill, rather than luck, and did you find it convincing?

At first, I was like, Where the Hell did that come from !?! But I really enjoyed the scene, so I am willing to give Jordan time to build in some backstory to make it more believable. And I want to see Mat trounce some other arrogant folks again. I’m greedy that way. At this point, not too sure about the luck thing. Is Luck it’s own beast, or does it belong to one side or the other in this fantasy of Good and Evil?

4. It seems that the realm of Dreams, Tel’aran’rhiod, is very important to the Black Ajah because they have stolen many ter’angreals that were thought to be associated with Dreaming or Corianin Sedai. Why do you think they are so interested in Dreaming? 

Dreaming is a portal to places best left unmentioned, if you are a Good Guy. The Bad Guys rule in dreaming, because they can create infinite terrors there. Anyway, this seems intuitive to me. If a good Sedai can safely, and secretly, navigate these waters, they could gain lots of intelligence on the Bad Guys. But as we know, Egwene has been left to stumble around a bit on her own.

5. Now that we know that Else was definitely an impostor, it seems that Lanfear has more than one set of tactics. Do you think that she might also be the true identity of Silvie, the old woman that Egwene encounters in her Dream of the Stone of Tear and are you surprised by the way in which she approaches women? 

I was wondering how Landfear’s sex mojo would, or would not, effect women. I am a little sad that she doesn’t enrapture the women quite as well as the men. I had not really made the connection between the old woman in the dream and Lanfear. Perhaps since this is my first time reading this book, I am still trying to figure out all the side characters who later become major characters or important characters. While Lanfear has been interesting so far, she hasn’t really accomplished anything. So, I simply put her on The Watch List, rather than The Pay Attention To List.

Tofu being Shy Kitty.
Tofu being Shy Kitty.

6. We know that the Black Ajah ‘evidence’ is a trap set by Lanfear. Do you think their plan to spring the trap intentionally will work or will it lead them into some other trouble?

Well, the evidence points to Tear. And Rand is going to Tear. So, either way, the ladies have got to go to Tear. Rand is ta’veren, and secretly I believe Nynaeve, Egwene, and Elayne are too, so they pull the world around them to shape destiny, whether they like it or not. So, yes, all the good guys will end up at Tear with some heavy weight bad guys to duke it out and create lots of entertainment for the reader.

7. Suddenly, Mat has been revealed as a gambler with incredible luck. Does this fit with the young man that we met in the first two books and did you detect any unusual luck before his Healing in the White Tower?

I found this a little convenient. I have mulled over whether or not this is some left over evil from the dagger doing what it can to get what it wants – namely, to get away from the Tower full of Aes Sedai. While Mat liked to think himself lucky and clever before being hauled off to the White Tower in a sick bed, he often got caught at this pranks in Two Rivers and often had to have his butt saved by one or another of the party as they ventured forth. On the other hand, this little turn in Mat’s character has made him much more interesting.

Other Tidbits:

Does Mat judge all women on their pretty faces first, danceability second, and everything else third? If so, can I take my quarterstaff to him?

The Amyrlin, if she is Black Ajah, could have been lying abut burning the left over objects that once belonged to the Aes Sedai that fled.

We don’t know for certain that all those missing Aes Sedai are Black – some could be prisoners….or stuffed down some unused well.

The Dragon Reborn Read Along Part II

JordanDragonReborn BannerHello everyone! This week, our host if Liesel over at Musings on Fantasia. Make sure you stop by over there to leave your link and catch her savvy comments.

This week’s reading was Chapters 9-20. Spoilers roam free and eat the unwary from this point on.

1) Perrin saw Hopper in his dreams right after Moiraine warned him to be cautious of them. What do you think it means that he saw Hopper? Should he be as paranoid about his dreams as Moiraine leads him to be?

I don’t really think being paranoid is helping Perrin, just like with Rand. Moiraine and Lan keep saying to be cautious of this and that, but without the background knowledge, it is only making these boys paranoid and freaking them into poor choices. Personally, I like to think that the wolf’s spirit goes on, so seeing Hopper protecting him in his dreams by waking him the only way Hopper could is a good thing. Perrin has folks on his side, they just happen to have four legs, fur, and butt sniffing predilection.

2) Some kind of large, deadly dog was hunting Rand. What do you make of it and Rand’s plans to go to Tear?

I’m listening to the audio….and there’s a large dog hunting Rand? Hmmm….Was that a dream sequence? I always find those a bit vague. Well, if it’s a real dog, and it does catch Rand, I am sure I will make note of it. As for Rand’s plans to go to Tear, same kind of answer as I said for #1. Moiraine provides a great big serving of Be Careful, Caution, Guard Yourself, etc, but not enough background info for Rand to make real good, informed decisions. Her reasons for this are not clear to me. Perhaps she is trying to protect him. Perhaps she is trying to maneuver him. Could be both. Could be Moiraine is playing us all and is Black at heart and we will all be crushed emotionally to find out.

3) What do you think of Nynaeve and Egwene being asked to hunt the Black Ajah and the all-access passes the Amyrlin gave them? Do you think the Amyrlin is wise to trust them and Verin?

See, this section got me all paranoid. Basically, we know Min, Nynaeve, and Egwene are NOT Black Ajah. At least, not now. This is a long series. But the Amyrlin….well, we’ve heard a little of her internal monologue, but not enough to know if she herself is on the Good Guy side. Same for Verin. I really want Verin to be on the good side because I love her geeky, scientist nature. But I could see how she could be all about the knowledge gained and not so interested in good Vs. bad. Unfortunately, I can see Nynaeve becoming all about the payback and not so much about the Good Side in the future. In short, this could get very complicated very quickly.

4) Who do you think sent the Gray Man and who was he aiming to kill? (Who stabbed him, for that matter?) Nynaeve seems to suspect Sheriam of something. Do you concur?

Egwene holds great potential. So does Nynaeve. So, a simple rival for power could have wanted either of them dead. Both those ladies know what was brought to the Amyrlin – the Horn of Valere. So, someone could want them dead for their knowledge. If Verin is naughty Black Ajah, she would be logical. Supposedly, she told the Amyrlin everything about their adventures and the Seanchan. But the Amyrlin never verified that info with Egwene and Nynaeve. So, Verin could be playing both sides. If Egwene and Nynaeve know something that Verin doesn’t want the Amyrlin knowing, then they are targets again.

As for Sheriam – nah. Too damn convenient. Nynaeve suspects everyone expect Two Rivers folks. I hope this turns out to bite her in the ass. Even peaceful villages have dark friends.  I could point my little finger at some folks in my little village.

Pico is fixated on another kitty off-camera.
Pico is fixated on another kitty off-camera.

5) Elaida’s visit to the Accepted’s quarters was…interesting. What information do you think she was fishing for? Between the two, who would you more readily believe to be Black Ajah–Elaida or Sheriam?

Elaida obviously wants Rand, and not in a good way. More like in a vivisection way. But is she Black Ajah? Well, Robert Jordan already was obvious about Leandrin being a bitch and then also Black Ajah. But can we say that all the bitchy Aes Sedai are Black Ajah? I hope not – I hope Jordan wasn’t that obvious throughout the series. So, no; Elaida is not Black Ajah. Sheriam could be, but I still think it was convenient of her to walk onto the Gray Man issue. She would be in the perfect place at the perfect time to take the suspicion from someone else.

6) Once again we find Mat plotting to “get away” from all Aes Sedai. Do you think he’ll succeed this time?

Hell no! He’s Ta’veren. He sounded the Horn of Valere. There is no way the Aes Sedai will let him wander free. Heroic efforts would have to be made to free Mat from their clutches – which could happen. We still have like 11.7 books to go. But for right now, no. Mat is not savvy enough, hasn’t fully grasped the stakes, and is still weak from his near-death. Plus, there may be just a touch of evil left in Mat, which will make things complicated – and entertaining for me the reader.

7) Selene came to visit Mat and when he wasn’t as submissive as she wanted, she started doing something to him that gave him a headache. What do you think it was?

Naughty Selene. tsk, tsk. Normally it is the woman’s role to have a headache at an inopportune time, driving the man a little nuts. Perhaps since Mat was driving her a little nuts, she chose the vicious headache as a form of gender payback. I don’t know how she did it. Certain odors can do so, visual stimuli (like pulsing beams and such). But most likely, since this series is all about the mental powers, she used her enormous will to try to wake to dormant, weakened evil within him.

I know. It’s a piddly little theory.

Other Tidbits:

When Perrin went to Moiraine about his dreams, how he wants it all to stop, and she made that morose joke about being Blue, not Green, Ajah, so she could only have one Warder, I thought Perrin’s blush would last 3 chapters. hehe.

I am a bit frustrated for Egwene and Nynaeve – having nearly everyone at the Tower believe they ran off….when they actually put on their Super Hero costumes and saved the world, with no little cost to themselves.

Gawyn and Galad. Interesting pair. One a goody two-shoes to the point of being slightly evil, and the other too much of a good guy to act. It will be interesting to see what happens with them.

The Amyrlin actually considered NOT healing Mat just so the Aes Sedai could control the Horn. I wonder if Robert Jordan left room in this world for a woman to sound the Horn?

The Great Hunt Read Along Part VII

JordanGreatHuntBannerWelcome everyone to the final installment of The Great Hunt Read Along. Today, we cover Chapters 43-End. Thanks to everyone who has participated in this awesome ride. Don’t forget to leave your link in the comments so we can all jump around and visit.

1. Wow! Those a’dam are real mood changers (i.e. Nynaeve’s reaction to having all that control over another). Would you be tempted to put any of the characters we have met so far in The Wheel of Time world in an a’dam? Anyone in real life?

So far the few extremely distasteful folks we’ve met in WoT (Fain, Liandrin), I wouldn’t want to keep alive. At this point, I don’t see a need for their talents and let’s face it, Mother Nature abhors a void and would provide someone else with those talents and hopefully more sense and better personality. Now, in real life, yes, there are several folks that I wouldn’t mind using an a’dam on from time to time. Folks would just be so much happier if they would simply do what I say ;).

2. Perrin still hasn’t revealed the full extent of his wolfish powers to his friends. Do you think he’s making the right choice? Would you do the same?

Well, Mat hasn’t really gotten better at watching his tongue. So, I can see keeping it from him, or telling him and then threatening his life to keep the secret (tho that isn’t Perrin’s way). Still, rand could use some brotherly support and sharing Perrin’s secret might help him emotionally. However, Rand may very well go insane and either blab or decide Perrin’s wolfish nature is evil and kill him, so I guess that isn’t really an option wither. He could safely tell Egwene, except she wants to be part of the sisterhood who would happily dissect Perrin to figure out how the wolf communication works. Damn! I guess Perrin is making the right choice by keeping it to himself as much as possible.

3. We finally learn what has been driving Ingtar to find the Horn. Do you think his final act makes restitution for whatever ills he did as a Dark Friend?
The families of those who died back at the keep due to him letting in the Trollocs may or may not think so. But I have to go with Rand’s belief that once you no longer want to serve the dark, then that is that. Yes, you still need to do acts to follow it up, and you may never make up your past transgressions fully in this life, but I don’t think Ingtar’s soul is going to the Dark One’s Hall of Questionable Deeds and Foul Friends to be a bouncer.
Pico & Heldig don't often snuggle, so I joined them with a book.
Pico & Heldig don’t often snuggle, so I joined them with a book.

4. The Horn was sounded and warriors of old appeared and did mighty battle. How did you like the final large battle scene with Seachan, Whitecloaks, Dead Heroes, and Egwene (running amok)?

Ummm…. well, I have to say that I was really, really looking forward to seeing the Warriors of the Horn stomp some Seachan and/or Trolloc ass. Alas, Robert Jordan went all nebulous on us and kind of glossed over what must have been a very epic battle, a battle of the ages (even if it was brief). Sigh.

5. We get to see Rand in 2 sword fights – one with Turak and one with The Dark One. Which one did you find more satisfying or entertaining?

Definitely the sword fight with Turak. Turak was all smug, and I disliked him because he brought grief and woe to Egwene, Nynaeve, Min and Bela. Jerk. And we actually got to see it play out. Once again, the confrontation between Rand and the Dark One goes all dreamscape on us and, as with the ending of the first book, I did not find this very satisfying.

6. Lanfear chose to reveal her existence to Min, and gave her a message for Rand. Why do you think Min was the lucky one?

I think Min just happened to be in the awkward place at the awkward moment – Rand’s bed. Otherwise, Lanfear would have simply stopped by while Rand was still unconscious from his epic, but nebulous, battle with the the Dark One and tousled his hair, perhaps rearranged his clothing, maybe even left some monkey bite in an awkward and embarrassing place. But no, there would be a witness to this admittedly juvenile behavior. So, she goes with Plan B – looking all ethereal and badass and threatening, nay promising, to make Rand hers. Plan B was probably more effective anyway.

Other Tidbits:

At the end, Loial offers to stay with Rand and see the adventure through, because they are friends. And Lioal would be bored otherwise. Too cute.

Ouch, Min! She said the truth, but still, I could feel the sting of those words from here, a world away and decades after they were put down on paper. Poor Egwene. Still, Egwene had pretty much made her choice when she joined the aes sedai, so this is probably a good example of tinkle or get off the pot. Not that I would compare Rand to a toilet seat – that would be very wrong!

I think Egwene may have gone a little mad once her collar was removed. She definitely didn’t seem to be holding back when it came to blowing up….uh, city blocks.

What Others Think:

On Starships and Dragonwings

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The Great Hunt Read Along Part VI

JordanGreatHuntBannerHello folks. This week we cover chapters 35-42 of The Great Hunt. Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings is our host this week, so make sure to stop by her place. Next week we’ll be back here for the final installment of The Great Hunt.

This week’s questions:

1. We got to see a lot more Ogier in this section. What did you think of them and their village?
It was nice to see some Ogier women…..and Loial’s reaction. Poor dude. Hiding behind his book probably won’t be enough to keep him safe from the machinations of marriage. Also, the guest quarters were thoughtful, but in general were too large for most humans. Sounds like an interesting place to visit, and an awkward place to try to set down for a long time.
2. There were some suspicions about what the Aiel women were really doing. Do you think they are looking for Rand or that it was a coincidence?
Well, I think there are a lot of people looking for Rand, or rather their myth’s version of the Dragon Reborn, and they simply don’t know that it is Rand. So, in a way, yes, the Aiel women are looking for the answer to their prophecies. They may suspect Rand at this point, but I don’t think they will interfere with him….yet.
3. When Rand was trying to use the Portal stone, everyone got a glimpse at possible lives. What did you think of Rand’s other possibilities? What do you think were Verin and Ingtar’s?
I think being shown our possible other lives in full technicolor would be hard on anyone, but especially someone who carries the power to destroy people and reshape the world. Verin probably had some of the basics – like being a mother/grandmother, not being an Aes Sedai, choosing a different ajah. Ingtar perhaps had to face not being a warrior, or perhaps not fulfilling some vow. All of them were pretty shaken up.
My goatmilk raised kitty Chupacabra.
My goatmilk raised kitty Chupacabra.

4. Liandrin has finally shown her true colors! How do you think her betrayal will turn out for her and the rest of the Aes Sedai? Do you think she’ll get away with it?

I held out hope for this long that she was simply a prickly person, very stern, had too high of an opinion of herself. Alas, she is all those things and black ajah. Bitch. But we needed a real, non-nebulous bad guy other than Padan Fain. Now I have some one to hate on and hope that the main good guys corner her in some dark alley sometime soon. This is a really long series, so I expect she will get away with it for some few-several books and then get struck by lightning or drowned or suffocated or hit by a large horse. Any number of deaths are OK by this reader.
5. Poor Egwene! Do you think Nynaeve and Elayne can save her before the ship arrives?
I want to say yes, because good always triumphs, right? I really don’t remember how this book ends. I do remember that I don’t like the Seanchan and their collars at all. Still, Egwene is getting some pretty harsh treatment this book.
Other Tidbits:
I read this book many, many years ago and only remember the abrupt appearance of the Seachan and their advanced technology and military organization. I found it too jarring back then and gave up on the series. This time around, I still find it very jarring, but I am assured that things settle down and I just need to push through this discombobulation.
Bela, girl, what will happen to you?!?
Hehe. Loial says Ogier women make all the decisions about marriage, and then inform the involved male. Mat says humans never do it that way. Perrin begs to differ. Then we change scenes and there are the ladies planning how best to divide up rand’s time among the three of them. Lol!

The Great Hunt Read Along Part II

JordanGreatHuntBannerWelcome back everyone. This week we are dissecting Chapters 7-11 of Book 2 of The Wheel of Time series, The Great Hunt. Please stop by On Starships and Dragonwings, who is hosting this week. Next week, we’ll be back here for Chapters 12-20. If you want to see the entire schedule, it is over HERE.

1. What do you think of the potential dark prophecy the Halfman wrote on the wall? Do you think it is a prophecy or a taunt?
If it is prophecy (which is used left and right in this series), then I think the Halfman is using it as a taunt. The dark side only shares information to sow despair and breed factions among the light side. Naughty Halfman! I don’t think this is spontaneous prophecy as in the Halfman and his crew were storming the castle, made it all the way to the dungeon, and then the gift of seeing struck him stupid until he could eviscerate something and scrawl the keys phrases in gore on a hard surface.
2. We finally got to find out more of Rand’s birth and Tam’s history. Did it meet your predictions/expectations? What did you think?
While I don’t think it will happen this book, I am hoping we meet up with Tam again and then get some flashbacks to get the full stereovision version of Tam’s rise int he ranks, his learning the sword, the final battle that brought him a baby, a wife, and finally home to Two Rivers. Can you see how Tam’s earning a heron blade is kind of like Rand hopefully eventually also being heron blade quality? I’m getting wrapped up in Rand’s story, so I expect that I would get caught up in Tam’s.
3. Oo lala, Lan gave Nynaeve a ring! How are you liking the development of this romance?
A little over dramatic. Wouldn’t it just be easier to agree to have a romantic relationship with hazards? It’s not like either of them has chosen an easy, protected life. Or they could choose a friendship with benefits, when they happen to be in the same city. See if it goes anywhere from there, but without the complicated, unsatisfying, ties of deep-meaning romance that we have now.
My goatmilk raised kitty Chupacabra.
My goatmilk raised kitty Chupacabra.

4. Rand kept feeling a pair of eyes on him and given that someone shot an arrow in his vicinity, it might not be unfounded paranoia. Who/what do you think is watching him?

I am watching him! He can feel my eyes, hear my snarky comments, and wonder why the hell he keeps catching the mixed scent of sandal wood, cat dander, and mesquite firewood whenever I pick up the book to read.
But you are asking about the plot. So, I think someone who came with the Aes Sedai has malevolent intentions; not necessarily an Aes Sedai, but I am pretty sure they brought some retainers to do the laundry, brush the cat, press the veils, and provide pedicures.
5. Poor Domon! What do you think of the trouble he has gotten himself into with the heartstone? Are you happy that it seems Domon will be integrated back into the story?
Domon was a favorite side character from the first book and he left us with many, many questions. So I am glad he has returned to the story to answer some of my stories. The heartstone could very well explain why trollocs and perhaps worse would be after him. And if I ever get paid a lot of money to make a mystery trip with a sealed letter, I am going to be a nosey person too!
6. What did you think of Mat and Perrin’s reaction to Rand telling them about his channeling? Anyone else feel like they need a pamphlet in supporting your friend through difficult times?
Dorks. Yep. That sums it up. All three of them.
OK let’s break this down. 1) Rand and Mat have known Perrin has changed and is feeling awkward about it for months. AND done nothing to comfort him, help him through it, or try to understand his new self with him. Dorks.
2) I think Mat has gotten the most understanding from the group. This is probably because Moiraine was able to explain the basics to everyone, freeing up folks to be empathetic and ask questions and support Mat. So maybe Mat could reflect some of that group love back at his closest friends.
3) Perrin seemed far more interested in evaluating Rand as predator or prey item. Oddly, I was OK with this.
Other Tidbits:
I wonder when Egwene and Nynaeve will have their meetings with the Amyrlin Seat… and what those will be like.
Hehe! Looks like the overall story arc from Book 1 is being repeated here – trollocs last week, separation of the Two Rivers folks this week.

The Eye of the World Read Along Part VI

eyeoftheworldbannerWelcome back everyone! I hope everyone got an eyefull (or earfull) with this week’s reading (Chapters 34-40)! My, oh my, did some big things happen here. Definitely getting interesting. Remember that this week Anya over at On Starships and Dragonwings is hosting. So, make sure to stop by her space to read her thoughts and add your bloggy link.

Also, we had a winner in The Wheel of Time audiobook giveaway. Congrats to @mattperrin! I hope he is still doing a happy dance, as we are excited for him too.

Last bit of administrative stuff before we play: When do you want to start Book 2, The Great Hunt? Yes, we do care what you think. Read alongs are funner with friends. So, below you will find a poll to answer on this most serious question before you leave today. Or, just leave me a comment on your preference. We will most likely go with Majority Rules as there are no American Politics involved in this vote 😉 For your reference, Book 1 read along ends on Sunday Feb. 10th.

Now, onto the questions! Spoilers Abound!

1. Looks like Rand and Mat met another ally finally. What do you think of Master Gill? Do you think his hope in Thom is well placed?
I’m not done with Thom. I want to know the backstory of what he muttered to the boys just before throwing himself at the myrrdraal. And now that Master Gill hints at other tough scrapes, I want to know about those too. So, I really hope that Thom is merely suffering greatly in some sodden ditch instead of dead. I have needs that only he can fulfill by turning up again and revealing more abut himself.
2. Loial the Ogier! How adorable right? We only get a brief glimpse into this new race, but what do you think? What part do you think he’ll play in the story?
I had totally forgotten about Loial from when I read this over 10 years ago. Bad me! He is such an interesting character. I have vague memories of what he does for the rest of the book, but nothing clear on his significance. I do like how Jordan keeps pulling in more and more of the larger world, and scaring the poo out of the kids while doing it!. I think we all have some inherent prejudices and incorrect assumptions of the world and other cultures based on where and how we were raised, and the various experiences the kids have in this book reflect that (like Egwene’s initial reaction to The Tinkers, and now Rand’s response to Loial).
3. During the rescue of Perrin and Egwene, did it seem like Lan was overly concerned about Nynaeve to anyone else? >.> <.<
Ah! Do we have our first adult romance in the blooming? I hope so. Nynaeve has a stiff enough spine to be an equal to the Warder, but will Lan’s past allow him the freedom to pursue a relationship? Hmm…..
Somewhat related, the rescue was intense! Child of the Light Byar even had me believing there for a moment. I am so glad Perrin had his wits about him and thought things through. Also Nynaeve was excellent to grab the horses. Yeah Bela!
Picabuche - Just a smidge demon?
Picabuche – Just a smidge demon?

4. The Dark One has been blamed for all sorts of things lately. Do you think that the Dark One is the root of Perrin’s power like Moraine fears? How about Rand’s?

I don’t think the Dark One is the source of all the bad stuff going on. I mean, we have humans with free choices (some bad, malevolent, or just stupid) going on left and right. Then some of the things that would be labeled EVIL by aes sedai I don’t think really are, but are simply a state of being (like Perrin’s new power). As for Rand… wow. I am going to have to see how the series turns out to really weigh in on that. I have been very careful to avoid spoilers for the series, especially for the final book, so I honestly don’t know if the world is still standing.
5. Very briefly Rand encounters a beggar who is obviously determined to find him specifically. Who do you think this is? What do you think is going to happen with this beggar in the future?
I believe the beggar is Padan Fain, as his neurotic behavior in these chapters is similar to his behavior displayed before. I would guess that a) he is a Dark Friend or b) he is being compelled against his will by the Dark One to track Rand. Rand and crew are not exactly inconspicuous, so I would say sooner or later the beggar will track Rand down. I expect he will try to coerce Rand or try to kill him, just as previous Dark Friends have done.
6. We learn a whole lot about Queen Morgase in this section, including getting to meet her in person! What do you think? Do you like the tradition of sending the royal children to study with the Aes Sedai and Warders?
That was super intense, and filled with humor. I think Rand’s meeting with royal family has been one of my favorite scenes so far. The kids’ dry humor had me laughing out loud at inappropriate moments. I am glad that Queen Morgase upholds her land’s laws, otherwise Rand would be in a world of hurt – the Queen’s aes sedai is intense! I think both kids should get the basic Warder training as no matter how skilled you are in sorcery, there will come a time that tracking your next meal, or wounded enemy, through muddy forest terrain will come in handy. Also, knowing some basics of hand-to-hand combat is healthy for everyone. Once both kids have the basics, then they can go off to specialize.
7. Rand had quite an adventure in the palace there, wow! And we finally get to meet another Aes Sedai. What do you think of Elaida and her dark assessment of Rand’s future?
Fuck Elaida! she may be the most dangerous and deadly thing we have come across yet. I bet she turns up later (maybe not this book, but in the series) and there will probably be a reckoning. Rand is very lucky to have been able to get out of the palace.
And why is everyone going around predicting Rand’s future, like he has no free will, etc. It’s like he has a floating tarot deck about his head that only certain folks can read, but those inconsiderate folks go right ahead and do so, scaring the crap out of Rand with their predictions.

The Eye of the World Read Along Part IV

Welcome back everyone! This week Anya at On Starships and Dragonwings is our host and provided the questions. She’ll have a link up for bloggers participating along with her entertaining answers. And in case you haven’t heard, we are hosting an audiobook giveaway of 1 Wheel of Time book (except A Memory of Light) and you can find that over HERE. If you want to check out the schedule for The Eye of the World or want to sign up for weekly previews of the questions, you can find both over HERE. Now, without further ado, here is this week’s discussion.
1. Moraine and Lan were discussing how the Trollocs could be amassing such large numbers and other strange occurrences such as the Forsaken and possible opposition from the White Tower early in this section. What do you think about all of these revelations?
Damn! These kids could be getting into more trouble that Lan and Moiraine have let on. Add to the variety of opposition they face, Lan and Moiraine don’t seem to have all the answers, such as how the trollocs are moving about without raising cry and hew throughout the countryside. I am not sure Lan and Moiraine are wise to keep the kids in the dark. Like at spooky city, Shadar Logoth, perhaps Rand, Mat, and Perrin would have benefited from knowing a little more about why the trollocs would be hesitant to enter the city.
2. Turns out a side effect of using magic is taking foolish chances and acting giddy, sound like any boys we know? What do you think is happening to Rand? Mat?
Well, I definitely think Rand may be coming into his magic, but what brand? I mean, is Aes Sedai the only kind of magic Rand can tap into? I am not sure since we met Elyas, who doesn’t seem to be using The One Power. As for Mat, I think he is still a reckless prankster. I’m sure that will play into something serious later on and perhaps Mat will learn to reduce the magnitude and frequency of his pranks. Now Mat also has that dagger of Mordeth’s, so I have to wonder if some of his anti-social behavior is due to some malevolent influence of that dagger.
Waffles in a rare serious mood.
Waffles in a rare serious mood.

3. Egwene and Perrin end up wandering very far afield, why do you think the land is so thoroughly abandoned? Not just of people, but also of animals, if we assume that Perrin isn’t that horrible of a tracker ;-)?

I expect that both Perrin and Egwene are both reasonable trackers, having lived a chunk of their lives exploring the wilderness around Two Rivers. As for the lack of wildlife in the area, perhaps there is something afoot that scared them off… a motley crew of trollocs? Or something worse? I’m going to go with something worse because the trollocs seem to be loud and somewhat clumsy…and wouldn’t there be hoof prints?
4. Elyas and his wolves! What do you think of this new type of magic and Perrin’s new skills? How about what Elyas said about “Old things coming again” and the Aes Sedai not being happy about it?
It’s pretty obvious that Perrin is startled and perplexed by his abilities with the wolves. And I can’t say whether Elyas is really a friend per se or just in the run because of his curiosity of Perrin. Again, I get the impression that Elyas had some run in with Aes Sedai sometime back and now paints them all with the same brush. As to the ‘Old things coming again,’ I think this goes along with the references to the Wheel of Time, and some perpetual battle.
5. Rand had another dream, but we can’t be sure if the other boys did or not…. In it there was mention of the Eye of the World serving him, what do you think the Eye of the World is? Any other ideas for what this dream meant?
Even tho I read this years ago, I simply don’t remember most of it, like what the Eye of the World is. I’m going to say that it is significant as the book is named after it. I think it’s pretty obvious that Serious Bad Dude Whose Name I Can’t Spell On The Fly is focusing on Rand more than the other kids. If Serious Bad Dude is telling Rand that the Eye will not serve him, then I think there is some potential that there is and Serious Bad Dude is concerned about that.
6. Domon told many tales about fantastic sights across the land, which was your favorite? 😀
Haha! I’ve warmed up to Domon despite his all-but-required threats to throw Rand, Mat, and Thom off when they first met. I like the Tanchico animal bones story the best. I mean, I can take the bones of a turkey, an elk, and a coyote and string them all together in some fanciful beast. Wait, didn’t some folks in the 1800s do that in England and claim that dragons were real?
7. The Tinkers’ had an interesting and scary tale to tell. What do you think about this new omen about the Dark One? Why do you think the Tinkers’ thought Elyas would know more?
Couple the Tinkers’ tale with Rand’s dream, and the title of the book, obviously, the Eye of the World is pretty darn important. I like the idea of warrior women, like with society acceptance and training. The Tinkers probably know something about Elyas, more than we have been made privy to. And because of this knowledge, like perhaps Elyas travels far and wide, the Tinkers were hoping to hear more from Elyas.
Other Tidbits:
I thought Moiraine’s and Nynaeve’s conversation in Chapter 21 was amusing and enlightening. It was also good to learn more of both women.