If you haven't read the book, or the whole series, why not join in and read along with the rest of us? This week the links to the other posts can be found at the bottom of this post.
This week we read through to the end of Chapter 2.
1. With Talene's capture, do you think we have seen the beginning of the end of the Black Ajah? Do you think the rebel moles will do more good hunting darkfriends than they did spreading dissent?
I suspect that the Black Ajah will hang around for quite some time causing mischief and mayhem. If all the sisters were in the White Tower, and therefore available for testing, it might be a very different matter, but we know that there are plenty of Black Sisters out and about on their evil missions. However, this is a good start and might disrupt the organization enough to weaken it quite significantly, which has to be an advantage.
They seem to have had some effect, but I imagine that Elaida’s obvious incompetence would be enough to make many doubt her right to rule, so there overall success may have been limited. Any Black Sisters that they uncover will be a huge help, but their actions as moles have not been mentioned so far, which makes me doubt their effectiveness.
2. Elayne expects to have to battle for the throne. Do you think so too? Are we overdue for Gawyn to come back? Where is he anyway?
I would not be surprised if her claim was opposed. It seems like several of the Houses are trying to maneuver into position to make a play for the throne, so brute force may be required eventually. I would hope that she can avoid it simply because we all know that there are more important things to worry about. However, we have not seen many nobles who are interested in the common good, so I will not be surprise if they continue to pursue their own interests.
I suppose we should really have noticed Gawyn’s absence in the last book or two, but the poor guy never seems all that important. It is not as if I had forgotten about him, just that the others seem to be doing more important things. I think the last time he was mentioned he was camped outside Tar Valon because he was not allowed into the city. That means that he is conveniently placed for some serious sexytimes with Egwene . . .
3. Elayne and Aviendha are ‘born again’ as sisters! What did you think of this birth scene? Do you expect Min to have to go through the same thing?
Mainly I felt sorry for Amys! :D
I thought that it was a rather funny but profound scene, showing the love-hate relationship that you usually find between sisters. It also showed the absurdity of their opinions of each other, which I can certainly see in my own relationship with my sister. I am not sure if Min will need to go through the same ritual, but I hope that Amys lets somebody else deliver the ‘triplets’ this time.
4. Taim added a few ‘deserters’ of his own. Can we now finally add him to the evil list? Do you think Logain might be able to do something good? Maybe Elayne will be able to help, now that she has visitor's access?
Taim has been on my evil list ever since he showed up, so I am quite happy to agree to him being there. The very fact that he has his own faction, and meets them in private, is a huge black mark against him. If he is not turning them to the Dark Side, then I will be very surprised: somehow I doubt that they are holding book group meetings.
We know that Min foresaw Logain’s greatness, so I hope that involves poking something very long and pointy into Taim’s eye. However, a split in the Black Tower is hardly what we need right now, not with all the other rebellion and upheaval going on in the world. Somehow, I doubt that Elayne will have much effect on the politics in the Black Tower, no matter how much she lifts her chin!
5. Rand has decided to leave palace life and go hunt bad guys. Are you excited? How do you even hunt someone who can travel anyway? And what do you think his idea is to cleanse Saidin?
I did not realize that he was actually going to hunt anyone: I thought that he was simply laying false trails so that he could nip off and spend some ‘quality’ time with his three ladies . . . I guess the only way to hunt someone who can Travel is to draw them into a trap or ambush. I have no idea how successful Rand will be in accomplishing this, but it will certainly lead to lots of spare time to spend with ‘relaxing’ in bed . . . To be honest, I really wish that he would just take a holiday in Caemlyn and not get out of bed for a week: I am sure that he would be a lot more relaxed afterwards! Nobody would need to know where he was, although Elayne and Aviendha might show evidence that we could all snigger about! :D
His cleansing plan seems to revolve around the two ter’angreal that he collected from Rhuidean. I assume that these are the male and female statues each holding an orb. I would guess that they are linked somehow to the massive statues that we know exist, although they are now mostly buried. Rand came across the male one when he was with Lanfear, and I believe we heard stories of the female one out on the islands to the west of the mainland. We also know that Lanfear said that a man and a woman both using these giant statues would be very powerful, so that seems to fit. Now all he needs is a very powerful female channeler who loves to fix broken things . . . Nynaeve springs to mind immediately. Removing the taint would be a massive achievement and prevent the Asha’man going mad, which seems like a very good idea to me.
6. Perrin's problems are just piling up: Masema will join him, and now he has to chase down Shaido while keeping his own Aiel safe from his other soldiers. Will this unlikely alliance ever hold together, or do you expect some spectacular blow-up sometime?
I think Perrin should be able to keep Berelain, his Aiel and the Two Rivers men at peace with Alliandre’s forces without too much trouble, but adding Masema and his lunatics to the mix seems like a recipe for disaster. I was actually rather impressed by the way that Berelain and the Two Rivers men immediately moved to protect the Aiel in their group: it was good to see that Perrin had reliable people watching his back. I could even understand the actions of Alliandre’s general, who does not have the long experience of working with the Aiel and does not realize that the Shaido are different.