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JORDAN: ToM Chapters 1-4 (spoilers)

Wow, I must be getting old. I've had a Wheel of Time book in my grubby hands for about a day, and only gotten 100 pages into it so far.


The wind blows, the wheel turns, blabbity yawn. Does anyone really read this beginning very in-depth anymore? Although granted, it just wouldn't feel right to not have it.

I was thrown by the unmanned 13 towers, but we're apparently in Seanchan! The Towers of Midnight, one assumes? Yet more places and concepts being introduced, with one book left to go after this. Yeesh.

And yet more new people! Although these seem to be a stand-in for the Every Man, for Rand to help out in his new shinier persona. And apparently we HAVE seen the farmer before - in that cart scene that EVERYONE fucking remembers because it was so confusing a flashback sequence and everyone was all like "wait, why the hell are two different farmers giving them a scarf"? And why does the farmer remember two scrubby farm boys he gave a ride that long ago, anyhow? If I happened to see one guy like two years ago on one day, and didn't see him again after that, I wouldn't remember him now! I guess it's the power of the plot deviceTa'veren.

Anyhow, Rand is saving The People with food. Yay! Pity that what Elaida said is still true - that it's just basically one village that's being saved (well, and maybe a bit of extra food for some others nearby)... but at the same time, I'm more leaning toward Rand's side here. Better to save even that one orchard/village than to do nothing (or just keep the flowers in the castle blooming without actually, y'know, helping any farms at all).

Anyhow. On to Perrin. And my first thought is "if they can make Gateways, why are they mired down in the mud?" Although this is at least explained later on. Perrin is still being an idiot though with the wolf thing and the leadership thing, in both trying to basically close the barn door after the cows have escaped.

We also get quite a... quick end to Asunawa. And a pretty damn anticlimactic one. I guess I understand why - Sanderson is rushing as it is to tie up everything in the remaining books, so some sub-plots pretty much need to get the unceremonious chop. It's pruning something that shouldn't have been left to grow so out of control in the first place. But it's still jarring!

And back to Egwene (go Egwene), and... more dream-prophecies. Yes, the unmanned towers in Seanchan are obviously going to be important, as if the fairly obvious tie to the title of the book wasn't suggestive enough! The snake among the eagles seems interesting, but Egwene seems to have that nicely interpreted... why eagles, though? And the sphere we find out soon is apparently Rand and the seals. So... yeah, somewhat anticlimactic prophecies, when you think about it. A nice point though that Dreaming != Foretelling, though. Although I don't think we've ever been told the distinction that Dreaming just shows what "could" happen rather than what will - is this a bit of a retcon?

Siuan's fishing talk is also getting very clunky. No, srsly. Not every word out of her mouth has to be fishing related, honest!

And we find out here that it has been two years since Siuan last saw Rand, which would be... in the Borderlands, yes? It seems in some ways like it should be longer, but then in other ways it seemed like the books were taking up smaller chunks of time. Then again, I guess it has been a ton of books...

Now I'm all curious what that letter is! WTF? Did we see it before?

And it looks like rather Rand's little epiphany or whatever at the end of the last book was really his multiple personalities integrating, or whatever you want to consider it. Probably healthier for him and for Randland, but confusing!

And Egwene is being stubborn (since we "know" that Rand's right in clearing away the old seals first, or at least strongly suspect it), but at least she's not plotting on how to stop Rand come hell or high water - it sounds like she's going to try to be reasonable about it, and try to convince him.

And was this the "The Dragon Reborn will be before the Amyrlin and feel her anger" thing Foretold by Elaida? Because if so, it's seriously seriously lacking.

And.. the Blight way in the south? Oh this can't be good. It just can't be. So I wonder what's causing it - was the mysteriously appearing village sucked out of the Blight and into the south, and it's spreading the Blight around it now? Or is it appearing because Rand screwed up the Pattern with his massive balefiring? Hrm...

And more prophecies via the Wolf Dream. Alright, we've got this book and one more (supposedly) left, why are we getting yet more prophecies heaped on at this point? Yeesh. Mat fighting himself, with someone with a bloody dagger sneaking up? Gonna just have to wait to see what that's about, I guess. The warped wolves are interesting - maybe they'll be warped by the Shadow somehow?

And Gill and Galad meeting up, and the Whitecloaks learning of Perrin's army... THIS should be interesting. I am expecting the whole Galad/Berelain thing to come to pass, now. (He's too good for her!)

And... Hello! My name is Inigo Bornhald. You kill my father. Prepare to die! Are you the six-fingered yellow-eyed man?


Again, no spoiling further in the book plsthnx!

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( 3 Notes — Write a Footnote )
silmaril
Nov. 4th, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC)
And was this the "The Dragon Reborn will be before the Amyrlin and feel her anger" thing Foretold by Elaida? Because if so, it's seriously seriously lacking.

The chapter title certainly suggest so (so much so that I was enthused when I saw the title) but I thought the same re: lacking, too.

My theory is that the Blight in the south is just another example of the intensifying-frequency Bubbles of Evil that were all over the place in the previous two books too. Apocalypse is nigh and alla that.


Edited at 2010-11-04 06:04 pm (UTC)
pokeypenguin
Nov. 4th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
Thing 1) I'm pretty sure the towers in Eqwene's dream were the forsaken, falling, and living again, and falling again, and I even think she thought so too, as I'd have missed it otherwise. Whether that should therefore tie into the ones in Seanchan is beyond me, though I expect it not to.

Thing 2) I doubt the village moving around is due to any one thing Rand or anyone else did, and is more generally about the Pattern getting weak enough for things to I guess fall through it and end up where they shouldn't? And though the village may have come from the Blight, I was thinking more along the lines of Shayol Ghul, where the Pattern being that severely damaged is the *cause* of the Blight.

Thing 3) Yeah, the Amyrlin didn't seem very angry to me either. Then again, the actual foretelling may be from this meeting in a month that Rand requested?, despite the chapter title.
dscotton
Nov. 4th, 2010 09:41 pm (UTC)
Almen Bunt was actually not the guy who in the super confusing flashback sequence, but a different farmer who gave them a ride right in the same part of the book. I thought it was the flashback guy too but I didn't remember him having a name, so I went back and looked it up. Either way, it was pretty random for him to show up but kinda cool at the same time.
( 3 Notes — Write a Footnote )