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 8.
(Whew! I am now officially caught up. Hurray!)
1. We learn a lot about Darkhounds from Masuri and Elyas. Do you expect that this will be the wolves' role in the last battle? Whom could this large pack be after, if it's not Perrin?
I am one of those people who gets much more upset about a dog dying in a film than a whole bus load of humans, so I really hope that we do not see any more wolf deaths. Having said that, I guess it is inevitable both that they will take part in the fight against the Dark One and that they will not all sail through miraculously unscathed. Unfortunately, it sounds as if they would not be able to stand up to Darkhounds particularly well, which makes me even more worried for them.
I automatically assumed that they were hunting Perrin when he first found the tracks, but that theory was proved wrong. It seems unlikely that they are looking for Mat, because he is not in the area, and the same is true of Rand. However, the person commanding the hounds might not know that, so the two lads might still be possible targets. I find it very worrying that there is an unusual absence of wolves from the area: perhaps the Darkhounds are busy “recruiting” from their bretheren.
2. Perrin has no goal other than freeing Faile. Could he be fixating on her to the degree of endangering the actual mission at hand? Does he need a wake up call?
As far as I remember, Perrin’s current mission is to bring Masema to Rand. Whilst it could be argued that his pursuit of the Shaido is delaying this task, I am not sure that he would be any further along even if Faile was still by his side. Masema seems remarkably unwilling to run into Rand’s waiting arms, so I cannot imagine that he would volunteer to head east. I am pretty sure that it would end in a pitched battle and Masema’s greater numbers could prove very difficult for Perrin to overcome.
I am not sure if he needs a wake up call or not. Faile is probably going to be vitally important to Perrin’s success later in the series and I guess that it is a good idea to free Alliandre, what with her being a queen and all that. Anything that crushes the Shaido once and for all is certainly worthwhile, especially if it involves Sevanna being totally humiliated, and the whole pursuit is a great bonding experience for the disparate groups involved. I also have to believe that the Pattern should be helping Faile to escape if that was what was ‘meant’ to happen, so I will be content to see how Perrin decides to mince the Shaido.
3. Masuri and Annoura have been meeting with Masema, and so, it seems, have Suroth. What are all these characters planning?
I am pretty certain that Suroth is simply trying to deflect Masema from attacking her troops. I suspect that her plan is to use him to harass Perrin, or at least reduce his numbers, so that she can remove one opponent with the minimum of Seanchan blood shed. Once Masema has done all that she considers useful I am quite sure that he will meet a very swift end.
As for the Aes Sedai, I am really not at all sure what they are planning. Perhaps they are simply trying to understand his motives and predict his intentions. However, it seems as if he is as mad as a bag of ferrets, so I doubt that they will be able to get anything useful from him. I get the impression that Mr Jordan is trying to make us doubt these Sisters, especially Annoura, and to perhaps think that they are Black. Either that or I am just overly sensitive to Perrin’s paranoia! :D
4. Masema's letter from Suroth conveniently does not mention his name or description, so Perrin could potentially use it himself. What would be on your wishlist?
I noticed that as well. Suroth is too clever and too careful to put anything more explicit in the letter so that she can always deny whatever it is eventually used for. I am surprised that Masema would be taken in by such an obvious ploy, but perhaps he sees precisely what she has done and is simply aiming to use her for his own ends. He is certainly devious enough to sell Perrin to Suroth in a heartbeat.
In the context of the story so far, I would use it to kill Suroth and escape punishment for her murder. Removing her would make it much more likely that a non-Darkfriend will take charge of the Return and see the sense of allying with Rand.
5. Everyone in camp believes Perrin was unfaithful with Berelain, and she's not too concerned with denying it. Could she be endangering morale? Do you really believe that she's as concerned with rescuing Faile as she seems to be?
This whole thing with Berelain is really, really irritating. It was bad enough when she was flirting with Perrin in front of Faile, but at least I could understand that she was doing that to provoke a reaction and have a good giggle. Now she seems to genuinely think that she is doing him some sort of favor by maintaining this illusion: assuming that his nose is detecting her true feelings. This makes no sense to me at all, but I am not a beautiful woman used to wrapping men around her little finger, so I might not be the best person to try to understand the
blatant strumpet woman.
I think that there is a good chance that her behavior is losing Perrin a lot of respect and possible support from the men in his group, which is hardly a good thing. I am also not sure that he will be able to walk once Faile learns about the rumors . . . However, Faile herself is another woman that I do not understand, so it could be that she will see this as confirmation that Perrin is desirable or something stupid like that. I have given up trying to understand either of these women and their crazy behavior: they are as incomprehensible as Aiel jokes!
6. Mat is heading north from Ebou Dar at the exact same time as Perrin finds the Shaido in northern Altara. Could we… could we have a meeting?
Somehow I doubt it. One thing I have come to realize about Randland is that it is rather large, so there could still be many miles between the two parties even if they are relatively ‘close’ to each other on the map. Also, neither party is advertising their presence, so they could pass by each other relatively closely without realizing.
Of course, all that is moot given that they are both ta’veren . . .