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 the Chapter 20.
1. Egwene gets Nynaeve and Elayne to agree to obey her as Amyrlin. Then she slays a member of the Black Ajah and catches a glimpse of Alviarin. What do you think Alviarin is up to these days. How big a part will she continue to play? How will this turn of events change the relationship between our girls?
I have to assume that Alviarin is desperately trying to gain approval from Mesaana by killing Egwene. At the very least her spying will gain useful information, but only so long as she is unnoticed. I presume that her exposure this time will make it very unlikely that she will be able to do very much productive from now on. I suspect that her days of being an influential player are behind her, but one good shot in Tel’aran’rhiod could be all that she needs to regain her status.
Hopefully this incident will finally convince both Elayne and Nynaeve that Egwene is the Amyrlin in more than name. They have not witnessed her remarkable transformation over the last few months, so it is probably quite good that they have had the chance to see her in action. They are the ones most likely to find it difficult to accept her status, so their compliance is vital.
2. Nynaeve heals madness. Will she be able to heal Rand? Does she even need to?
I am beginning to wonder if there is anything that Nynaeve cannot Heal if she decides to, although it seems that Rand’s madness would defeat her if she tried. It is rather fortunate that the Light has somehow formed a barrier between it and his mind so that she can leave him alone without worrying.
Removing the madness from the Asha’man could be a very significant step in the preparations for the Last Battle. However, I wonder if Taim and his supporters will be cooperative . . . they have been far too quiet recently.
3. Sounds like Egwene wants to use herself as bait to capture Mesaana. Do you think this is wise? Will it work? Will she and Gawyn ever be married?
Yes and yes! :D
Mesaana is a formidable opponent and so Egwene has to outwit and outpower the Forsaken. Somehow or other she has managed to circumvent the Oath Rod test, although that could be something as simple as her not thinking of herself as a Darkfriend. We know that the Aes Sedai all seem to be able to bend the truth without breaking their oaths by being very selective about their wording, so there may have been no convoluted trick to Mesaana’s ability to pass the test.
Of course Egwene is going to trap Mesaana and burn her into a crispy crisp: at the moment she seems all powerful and becoming even more awesome every time we meet her! She will also marry Gawyn eventually, but I suspect that it will be a much longer road and more difficult that killing one of the Forsaken.
4. Ituralde seems to be in big trouble in the Borderlands. Do you think Rand will come through for him and keep his promise?
I sincerely hope so, as I like the Little Wolf. I am not sure that Rand will get there in time, but I am very disappointed that the Saldaeans in Maradon are sitting on their hands at the moment. You would think that they might be enclined to assist someone who is fighting off the massive waves of Shadowspawn heading towards their city, but obviously I am not Saldaean enough! Hopefully they will finally decide to help out and defend themselves by helping Ituralde’s forces before they are completely minced.
5. Berelain and Faile have a heart to heart. Do you think their plan will work to dispel the rumors? Can they pull it off when they hate one another so much?
As they discussed all the alternatives that I could think of and showed how none of them would work, I hope that this one will help the situation. Whilst I can understand Faile’s desire to tear off Berelain’s head and then use it as a football, it would certainly not stop the rumors from circulating. I also agree with her that the First allowed this stupidity to go on for far too long in the face of complete disinterest from her ‘prize’. I am afraid that I cannot have any sympathy for someone who decides to steal another woman’s husband just because it seems like a good idea at the time. It is very obvious that Berelain has no real romantic interest in Perrin, and her motivation for trying to tear him away from Faile is beyond me.
I know that I could never succeed in hiding my intense dislike of Berelain if I were Faile, so I hope that she is a much better actor than I am. Perhaps she will be able to give herself hope by searching for a nice gullible man to divert Berelain’s attention from Perrin. However, I am not sure where she will find a suitable candidate as nobody has proved an obvious choice in Perrin’s merry band. Perhaps she will swoon when she meets Galad . . . although the prospect of the world’s two most beautiful people falling for each other makes me want to vomit! :D
6. What do you think of Mat and Elayne's contract about Aludra's dragons. Will this work? Cause contention?
This seems like a very sensible compromise. It gives them both what the want and need so it is likely to work out quite well. I suspect that Mat will eventually become Elayne’s general once she leads the forces of both Andor and Cairhien into the Last Battle, but he will not be happy about the responsibility.
I have to say that I am really enjoying Mr Sanderson’s Mat chapters: he gives the lad a much funnier voice than the one supplied by Mr Jordan. I particularly like Mat’s constant mental womanizing: I wonder if that will continue once Tuon returns to his immediate are.
7. Share your thoughts--anything that stood out to you--on Nynaeve's testing and her finally obtaining Lan's bond.
Good grief: they really do not want much from Nynaeve do they? We already had some idea of what would happen in the testing because of New Spring, but their determination to push her harder than any other candidate proves how stupid this is as a method for testing competence. If those administering the test can alter it so dramatically then it is massively unfair and open to corruption. I was not overly surprised that Lelaine tried to prove her power by voting against Nynaeve because she did not stick strictly to the rules. Good grief: she destroyed their shield blocking her ability to channel when not in position on the symbols and then gave them a demonstration of superior weave handling. I can only assume that their negative votes are based mostly upon anger and jealousy.
I was actually expecting that Nynaeve would punch Myrelle in the face: it is ironic that she controlled her anger so well in this situation after the testing debacle. She truly is Aes Sedai and I am glad that she finally has her link to Lan. They deserve it and have waited long enough for it to become a reality.