Sunday, June 8, 2014

Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan: Week 2

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 4.

(Yes, I know that this is a week late, but I am catching up . . . honest!)

1. Why do you think no alarm was raised when Mat kidnapped Tuon? How will this play out going forward?

I imagine that Suroth is desperately hoping that she can find Tuon and then pretend that nothing happened, because I am pretty certain that she would be punished very severely if Tuon is harmed in any way. It seems that the Deathguard are reacting in a similar way in an attempt to avoid the necessity of mass suicides. Whilst I have some sympathy with the Deathguard, I would be quite happy to see Suroth strangled for something she did not do.

As for how things will go from here: I think that Mat has quite successfully avoided detection for now, but I am not sure how easily the Deathguard will be to deceive for a prolonged period. There is also Tuon herself to consider, because I am not at all sure that she will simply accept being held captive without offering any resistance. She could make things very difficult if she decided to be awkward, although she seems to be playing along for the moment.

2. Juilin's Thera turns out to be the former panarch, Amathera. We knew Amathera had been taken by the Seanchan, but did anyone make this connection? What, if any, complications do you think this will cause for Mat and his group?

Nope! :D

I guess if I had been really paying attention I might have noticed the name Thera, but there are so many names that I have to admit that I am getting a little overwhelmed and so I do not really pay much attention to a new one unless the character does something massively significant. Is it actually possible to get “character fatigue”?

Well, Mat’s group is already a bunch of highly cooperative women, so one more should not really make any difference . . . right? She seems to be completely broken and terrified of the Seanchan, so I suspect that she will keep her head down and try to stay hidden, which should keep her out of trouble for now. I do wonder how much she is taking advantage of Juilin’s affection, but as long as she treats him decently I suppose he will be happy.

3. When Luca's troop gets read to leave, the dice roll in Mat's head. They stop when he makes a bargain with Tuon. What do you think they mean in this case? How will this agreement between Mat and his future wife be fateful for him?

We already know that Tuon will be Mat’s wife, and that her position as heir to the Empress makes her a very important potential ally for Rand, so it makes sense that anything that draws her closer to Mat will be highly significant. However, she is very headstrong and has her own agenda, which places their alliance in constant jeopardy. Presumably, every time they are in danger of moving away from their fated course, Mat’s dice start rolling, only to stop when they have reached a suitable accommodation that removes the danger of the alliance failing.

Poor Mat: he is always going to have his hands full with this woman. They will keep each other on edge and alert for the rest of their lives, I imagine . . . though I am sure that they will both find it secretly very enjoyable! :D

4. The Aes Sedai with Mat can feel Rand and Nynaeve trying to cleanse the Source, even if they don't that's what they're doing. Rather than just see the swirl of colors when he thinks of Rand ,he actually sees them sitting on the hillside. How do you see this ta'veren ability progressing? Will it be a help or a hindrance?

I can understand why the Aes Sedai are nervous: somebody is using more Power than they think is possible so it makes sense for them to assume that it is one or more of the Forsaken. That would make me wet myself if I was them!

It seems as if Mat and Rand are developing a link of some type, and I can only assume that the same is true for Perrin. In this particular case it is probably quite reassuring to know that Rand is involved with the massive Power usage, but I can imagine times when this ability would be a nuisance or down right dangerous. We have already seen Rand getting dizzy and almost fainting because of it, which would be very unfortunate during a life-threatening attack. Perhaps the ability will allow the three to communicate over great distances, but it seems more dangerous than useful at the moment.

5. Tylin, it seems, is dead. Found by the gholam. How do you feel about her death, and Mat's reaction to it?

I was not a great fan of Tylin, but that does not mean that I wanted to see her ripped to pieces by the gholam. Her death seems to be an indication that it is getting progressively less cautious in its attempts to find and kill Mat, although it is not certain that it realized whom it was killing. It will be interesting to see how Beslan handles his rise to power. We know that he was very vocal in his opposition to the Seanchan, but he might now realize that his mother made the best decision for her people in accepting the invasion as gracefully as possible.

6. Furyk Karede is on a mission of sorts. What did you think of this chapter and what he's up to? How will it play out? Affect other characters and the fate of the world? Predictions?

He seems like a decent chap, who is very attached to Tuon. It seems like he has developed a father-like devotion to her and is thoroughly loyal. Whilst he has taken all the evidence and come to a wildly wrong conclusion about the motivations and persons involved, he seems very resourceful and effective. I expect him to track down our merry band in short order, at which point all their fates will all be decided by Tuon. I just hope Mat has managed to stay on her good side for the duration of her captivity . . .

1 comment:

  1. Ah yes, I agree with you about the character fatigue. I think it started hitting me back in Book 3 or 4. Also, I have to admit that this series along with Sanderson's Stormlight Archives are narrated by the same two readers - so, sometimes, during the read alongs, I get some of the minor characters swapped.

    I am also curious to see how Beslan reacts to his mother's death. Will he assume it was the Seanchan punishing her? will he somehow know that it was the gholam or some other Dark Foe?


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