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 7.
1) What did everyone make of the Shaido's treatment of Faile, Maighdin, Alliandre, Bain, Chiad, Lacile, and Arrela during the march through the snow? Harsh? As expected?
It was pretty much what I expected, considering what we saw of Egwene’s training and the way they treat the ‘loyal’ Aes Sedai. Of course, the added aspect of Sevanna’s craziness could have made a huge difference, but even she cannot help acting like an Aiel for most of the time. However, it makes me wonder how many prisoners die before they can even make it into their white robes.
I was very disappointed with Alliandre, but more so with Morghase: they showed a remarkable amount of stupidity in their display of queenly arrogance and richly deserved the beatings that they received. Considering that Morghase is trying to hide her identity, she is doing a very bad job of it without Lini to keep an eye on her. I am a little concerned about how the group has been split up, with Faile, Alliandre and Morghase becoming Sevanna’s personal slaves. I know that Bain and Chiad will not make any effort to escape, but I would still feel happier knowing that they were close at hand.
2) Faile and crew meet the Shaido Wise Ones (Therava & Someryn) and also the Aes Sedai Galina. What do you think of the Wise Ones speaking so openly of Sevanna's orders? Will Galina be of any help to Faile?
Oh no, there is unhappiness with Sevanna’s leadership! Hang on a minute while I take out the world’s smallest violin to play a sad song for her! :D
I guess my only confusion is over the fact that Sevanna is still alive and not buried in a snowdrift after conveniently ‘falling off her horse’. I am not sure why Therava is waiting, but I suppose it has something to do with the way Aiel society works and the fact that Wise Ones are not really supposed to assassinate their Clan Leaders. As for Galina, I think I can safely say that she has only one person that she is trying to help: herself. She is desperately trying to find a way of breaking the oath that she was forced to swear and then take her revenge on Sevanna and the others. She may help Faile inadvertently, but not intentionally.
3) It seems that Berelain is taking advantage of Faile's absence and Perrin's fatigue. Where do you think her flirtations will take her? Given the chance, what would you do with her at this point?
I would very much like her flirtations to bring her into a rapid meeting with my open palm, because she really needs a good slap across the face. Perrin’s wife has been kidnapped and she is still talking as if they will have some sort of liaison: what a total slut!
I have no idea what Perrin can do to stop her behavior, but I am disgusted by her attempts to make everyone in the camp think that they are sleeping together. When Faile was present it was possible to argue that Berelain was simply enjoying how much she could irritate Faile, but that is no longer the case and her behavior is just sad and despicable.
4) They are on the hunt! Talanvor left on his own to pursue the Shaido hours ahead of Perrin and crew. Perrin had to chastise the Cha Faile for their spying activities. The Asha'men want to lead the charge. Add to that, Masema offering to assist. Will Perrin's anger explode? How can this hunt possibly be derailed?
I think that Perrin is doing rather well, given the situation and all the bad behavior that he has to deal with. I think that he worked out a lot of his despair in Tel’aran’rhiod, so he should be a little more sensible after his encounter with Hopper.
Including Masema in the hunt is a terrible idea, but perhaps better than letting him travel on his own. I am quite sure that we will see treachery from him and his men at some point, but at least they are badly equipped and untrained. In many ways I am more concerned about the Seanchan and the possibility that there is yet another army in the area. All those angry people in a small space can only lead to trouble.
5) The men escorting Naean and Elenia were ambushed and killed outside Caemlyn. What do you think this portends? Will Elayne be able to unite the houses behind her or is this move the first of several by houses against her? Should the ladies be more concerned about defenses instead of clothing?
The political situation here makes my head hurt: I would definitely be no good at Daes Dae’mar. Fortunately, Elayne has a fair idea of what this means so I do not need to worry about her being caught off guard. I assume it means that she has lost some potential support, but they were hardly people she could rely on even if they did swear allegiance to her, so it might be no great loss.
Whilst I doubt that Elayne will suddenly be able to persuade all the Houses to support her claim, I am equally sure that she can mobilize a good enough defense to neutralize their opposition. She seems to have a good grasp on what is needed to protect the city and Birgitte will certainly do what is needed to recruit the necessary forces. We know that there are Darkfriends working against her in the city, and who knows what all those Aes Sedai are up to, but I have faith in Elayne and Birgitte.