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TGS thoughts chapters 29-36


It's getting harder to soldier on, partly because my head's starting to hurt from too much reading, and partly because more and more of the chapters are about Rand, and I'm thoroughly sick of the bullying little prat, and just Do Not Care about him anymore. Maybe, maybe I will again, if he ever becomes a rational human being again, but not now. And yet we still have to put up with chapters upon chapters of the wanker. Grrr.

But... I want to get this book done so that I can discuss it, and not worry about spoilers. So.

Chapter 29: Moving Day is at Hand!

Yes, more Rand already. *le sigh*

And although he's supposedly gotten over the thing about killing women, we STILL get the lovely litany of women dying that are ALL HIS FAULT, and are somehow SO MUCH WORSE than all the men he's gotten killed/intentionally had killed/killed with his own hand/whatever.

Gee, I love how Rand's just divvying up kingdoms like a pie that someone baked for him. Or not. Y'know.

Also, why is he bothering to move around, if he's not going to even remotely try to keep his location under wraps, at least for a while? I don't get it.

I guess I was wrong about the whole Darkness thing meaning that he's still using the True Power, since his viewpoint makes it apparent he doesn't plan on doing that again (yeah right)... but it's still Not Good.

I do really wonder what Cadsuane's Cunning Plan is, though.

Chapter 30: Gawyn the Gallant

Yay, more Gawyn. Well, it *is* a yay compared to dealing with Rand. Especially since he's getting much better. He's still horribly obsessed with Rand though. Annoyingly so. Maybe he can just go kill Rand and end TWO annoying problems at once!

I would like to see Gawyn and Siuan get a chance to talk though, since he might actually have a chance of getting some useful information out of her. And I thought for a minute maybe he would, since Bryne sorta kinda brought her up, but no. Boo.

Chapter 31: The Exile

Okay, I think I should probably stop with the silly chapter names, since I'm finding it harder. :p Anyhow, we get to see Cadsuane, who probably predictably hasn't just turn tail and run away.

The whole thing about a change to the balance (bad things still happening around Rand, but not the good) is definitely disturbing, and I can't help but think it's related to the whole channeling-the-True Power thing. Especially given that just a bit later, tea (or was it wine?) instantly goes bad in his presence, while Nynaeve senses that whole darkness thing. Not good. Very not good.

And I just hope, REALLY hope that Rand thinking about Lan's death being "useful" is Moridin's personality coming out in him, or something. Regardless, he is a huge bully and a prick, end of story. I care not about him for now. He can just go off to Shayol Ghul and DIE HORRIBLY on the rocks.

(Hrm, sounds like a new drink. "I'd like a Bloody Dragon On the Rocks please!")

The images are interesting... Perrin and Galad, and Mat in Caemlyn. Given what we see a couple chapters down, since Mat isn't in Caemlyn yet, either a) the timelines for each character are still off a bit, or b) the "visions" are actually possibly taking place in the future, and glimpses of the Pattern, rather than necessarily being what they're doing now.

Chapter 32:

Now back off to Nynaeve proper. After Rand's little outburst, honestly I'm a bit surprised that she's still putting up with his shit and hasn't just gone after Lan to help him. Honestly, I'd cheer her if she did. But no, she's still here.

We get to see Nynaeve be both a Healer AND an ass-kicker in this chapter. Cool! I wonder if there are going to be any ramifications though (in a good way) from her Healing work in the night. Like maybe a reward from a grateful parent, or something. It just... feels somehow like that might be the case.

Although Nynaeve's about as bad with the "men" spiel, as Mat is with the "women." *sigh*

Chapter 33: MORE Rand. Ugh.

Really... that's about all that needs to be said for the chapter in general.

Chapter 34: More Mat! Yay!

As mentioned, he's not in Caemlyn yet, despite the visions. So wonder which it is... the time is off, or the visions are future-type visions?

Apparently Mat missed his secret calling as a playwright. For crying out loud.

Also, something that's been bugging me: just HOW MANY times do they need to fix the goddamn weather? It's getting REALLY old now. Why the hell did we have that whole practically unending subplot with the Bowl of Winds if they're just going to have the weather be fucked up again, anyhow? So irritating. And sloppy. -_-

Crossbows? Did we have those mentioned before? And longbows fire further? Really? Really really? I thought the main reason behind crossbows being all important was because they're more powerful than regular bows?

And yeah, definitely looks like Mat's making cannons, called "Dragons" in this case. Fitting I guess.

And just how, um, "close" were Mat and Aludra, anyhow? Jordan always did dance around whether or not he was actually, y'know, sleeping with anyone. Except it was pretty blatant for that one Maiden. (Who obviously wasn't... wink wink nudge nudge)

And yay, Verin's back!

Chapter 35: And yet MORE Rand. ARGH!

At least it's the stupid meeting, so that can be out of the way.

I'd also like to know where this whole killing a blademaster = becoming a blademaster" thing got started. Sounds incredibly stupid to me. Not to mention it's suddenly brought up VERY abruptly, twice in the same book. But what do I know?

Hrm, so Rand's hair is the color of a "deep sunset, dark red." Have we ever had something narrow it down that much before? (It does seem like an odd analogy though, since isn't a sunset more... pinkish?)

Some interesting bits from the Seanchan prophecies, obviously slanted toward their viewpoint, although it does raise the issue of just how accurate the prophecies in *either* land are - they've been treated as pretty much sacrosanct by everyone, but there are always the problems of translation, maybe having some changes by flawed humans handing them down, and so on, much like the Bible in real life.

But since the Seanchan prophecies mention a whole "blinded" thing, and the image of him standing on his own grave and weeping, they seem to be at least somewhat true, given that we've seen many of the same types of prophecy.

Also: Tuon is just about as annoyingly arrogant as Rand. Good luck teaching Mat "the proper way of living," sweetie. You'll need it.

And we finally see the first instance of Rand's hardness backfiring, as Tuon *wants* to agree with him, apparently due to the whole ta'varen nature, but he scares the living piss out of her and she refuses. And as annoying as it is (and she is), I can't say I'm sad to see him actually thwarted in something.

Maybe he'll get a clue, though I'm not holding my breath.

Chapter 36: Death of Tuon? Really?

Well, no, not really, apparently. Because Sanderson (or perhaps Jordan) is just being all coy, and she "dies" because "Fortuona" (what a HORRIBLE name) is born. But that's getting ahead of things.

First, we get squirmy Mat! And Verin! Yay!

Finally, at least SOMEONE reacts to the whole "saidin is cleansed" thing.

Since when is ta'verenness quite THAT heavy-handed? Inns burning down to prevent her traveling? Ugh. That's just... bad storytelling, to me. "ta'veren" being the translation for "plot device" indeed. Surely there had to be some other way of directing her to the area.

I do love the expression "saidared it" though.

And I love how someone "thinks" that Verin is a servant of the Dark One and just happens to spill her guts to Verin... it really makes you wonder, again. Except that we've seen her thought processes... argh!

Anyhow, back to Tuon, since I really don't want to use that other name because it is wretched.

Looks like we finally get to see what happens with the White Tower attack. Hopefully this will bring the whole rebel vs. Elaida thing to a head, as well. Wrap that up already!

I'm a bit surprised though that the Seanchan would willingly use ter'angreal, given their thoughts on use of the One Power in general.

Anyhow, I think that's about all I have to say for this section. So. Yeah.

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Comments

( 13 Notes — Write a Footnote )
dscotton
Oct. 30th, 2009 05:49 am (UTC)
THANK YOU for saying Fortuona is a horrid name, since my reaction was exactly the same. It's one of the worst names I've ever read... in a genre that's kind of known for ridiculous names. Anyway.

Rand did annoy the heck out of me in this book. I really hope that he'll be less annoying in the last two books.

The Verin stuff seemed weird to me too. If her story is true it's just really bizarre. On top of that, the stuff about her acting different as if she didn't care that Mat noticed seemed really weird to me, Verin always seemed much too careful for that kind of thing. Although I suppose she might have done it intentionally to make Mat more curious about what's in the letter she gave him.
mikeda
Oct. 30th, 2009 12:50 pm (UTC)
On the other hand, as was pointed out in leigh's review thread at Tor.com, it is kind of fitting that Mat is now married to Lady Luck...
stormfeather
Oct. 30th, 2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
Fitting, yes, but still a painfully bad name nonetheless.
theweaselking
Oct. 30th, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC)
Crossbows? Did we have those mentioned before? And longbows fire further? Really? Really really? I thought the main reason behind crossbows being all important was because they're more powerful than regular bows?

Yes, Mat's crossbows have been mentioned before. Yes, Longbows fire further, faster, and more accurately. The main reason behind crossbows is that you don't have to be a large person, in great shape, to use them, and you can get good with one in a *week*.

Crossbows are what you give to conscripts. Longbows take a *lifetime*.
stormfeather
Oct. 30th, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC)
Huh. I knew longbows were *faster*, and probably would have figured more accurate, I just didn't think they were more powerful. Hrm.

theweaselking
Oct. 30th, 2009 01:51 pm (UTC)
I'm a bit surprised though that the Seanchan would willingly use ter'angreal, given their thoughts on use of the One Power in general.

The A'dam? The crazy-ass throne ter'angreal? Hell, the Damane themselves?

The Seanchan have no problem with The One Power. They have trouble with *unconstrained* One Power. Ter'angreal seem just about perfect for them.

And whee, you're headed for chapter 40, which is the start of what's probably my favourite part of the book.
stormfeather
Oct. 30th, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
I thought about a'dam, but I didn't think they really considered those ter'angreal, or even realized that's what they are. Ditto the crystal throne.

It just seems jarring for them to be suddenly be using ter'angreal, to me anyhow. *shrugs* But I'm obviously wrong, at least in Sanderson's view. :p
markerikson
Nov. 6th, 2009 03:27 am (UTC)
I did not like these ter'angreal simply because they did not really seem to fit in the WOTverse. They're much more like something from D&D. I suspect Sanderson made these up himself.
(Deleted comment)
pokeypenguin
Oct. 30th, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
You're not the only one with Rand. The entire series could have been subtitled The Tragedy of Rand al'Thor, the way I see it. And although I dislike him sometimes, it's hard to blame it on him very much. Like Verin said, people have been putting incredible pressures on him, plus prophecies, plus the actual insanity... it's a wonder he's still interested in saving the world, without also having to be a really awesome dude about it.
(Deleted comment)
markerikson
Nov. 6th, 2009 03:45 am (UTC)
I've really enjoyed this angle on Rand. In fact, it now seems like it would be completely unrealistic had Rand _not_ turned into a coldhearted bastard.

It's also just chillingly awesome to watch him to be this kind of badass - if only because I'm still relatively sure that he'll rediscover his humanity before the end. "A Halo of Blackness" was one of my favourite chapters is the _series_ thus far (I'm 99% certain that it was written by RJ, rather than Sanderson).

Plus, it provides some real tension for his character at the business end of the story. He isn't just the ultimate, but boring, hero you usually get at the end of a series like this. Yes, he may be the biggest badass in the world, but it comes at a serious price.
(Deleted comment)
( 13 Notes — Write a Footnote )