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Because I haven't posted enough yet today!

I'm finding it odd both how much I'm remembering now that I'm back in the setting so to speak, and how much I've forgotten. I really probably should have done a re-read, but I just honestly couldn't bring myself to drudge through some of the slower sections to revisit the good (or important, quite often not the same thing) stuff.

Also, coming back to it from a long absence, I'm realizing just how I feel about some of the characters (or at least their current storylines) compared to one another. For instance I really got into chapter 2, about Egwene in the White Tower, even while rolling eyes at some bits, while on the other hand I really found it hard to then proceed into chapter 3, because I just don't give as much of a damn about Aviendha and the Aiel in comparison.

Anyhow, Prologue first. I'm also realizing that as we're getting into this current almost-800-page brick monstrosity, I'm pretty much begrudging the existence of ANY new character that gets anything beyond a brief, passing, one-sentence mention or so. Setting moods and so on is one thing, but with as many damn characters that we have so far, and as much looking askance to try to figure out if a "new character" is a Forsaken in disguise/someone we've seen before/whatever... AARRRRGH! Just tie all the loose ends up already, stop introducing more people! (And if farmer-geezer turns out to be a new Someone, and not just a way to help show that even normal people are starting to realize that Tarmon Gaidon is coming and acting accordingly, I will be pissed.)

And wow, what an offhanded and quick way to wrap up the problem of the Prophet. This, at least, I can approve of. Even if it means seeing more Faile, because here she's actually tolerable. Probably because the appearance is so brief.

Also even in the Prologue it's apparent that Sanderson is doing a pretty good job in not really departing from Jordan's voice. He doesn't seem to be *copying* it exactly (very little sniffing or clothes description, for instance), but he's not stomping in and setting his own mark blatantly on things either. It feels... whole, rather than a jarring break between halves of the work. Nice.

Chapter one, we get to see more of Rand the Bland. Honestly, main character or not, I could go without him, at least until/unless he because an actual human being again. Not to mention a complete fucking idiot. I can see the not wanting to torture, and maybe even agree with it, but just execute the bitch already before she manages to break loose/become a problem, and don't expect your allies to get something from her in such hampered conditions. Stupid stupid stupid. Gah.

And when did Min become a simpering little milksop, again? I mean, I know it's been happening bit by bit but... blah.

And personally, I want to slap both Rand AND Cadsuane around in regards to their little power struggle. A lot. Repeatedly.

Chapter two though is a bit refreshing. Egwene in the Tower. She's handling herself very well, and has become very mature very quickly. (Is that enough "very"s in one sentence?) And now that she's drawn my attention to it, Elaida HAS changed a lot. I mean, I guess I realized it before, but it's becoming clear here just how completely and thoroughly it's been. I'm trying to think back and remember if maybe there's some way that she and Alviarin switched places, for instance. (Also, someone remind me, as of previous books, was Alviarin just Black Ajah, or actually Mesaana? I'm thinking the former, but not positive. And don't spoil for later in this one, please. :p Just trying to remember what I should already know.)

I'm finding it hopeful that Egwene is showing such signs of making progress, and also already thinking of ways to keep the Tower from fracturing further, and mending what's already been broken. A little more worrisome that she's thinking such thoughts of "counseling" Rand almost as if he's her puppet to manipulate. But in general, I'm pleased with this section.

Although it does make me roll my eyes to think of someone just so easily shoving aside such serious pain. Psssh.

And on to chapter 3, which made me sigh again. Honestly, I liked the Aiel at first, but trying to go too deeply into their whole "ji'e'toh" system makes them look like a bunch of children playing at being honorable warriors, or something. For fuck's sake, stop playing games and just tell Aviendha whatever she did wrong already, and get past it. And stop being such a little timid kitten and taking it, Aviendha. And also stop thinking of the world in such black and white strokes, or deciding just what you're going to do about Rand and Min without bringing their own opinions into the matter.

There also seems to still be some Jordan leaking through here (the book so far as a whole, not just the Prologue), which I guess is fair enough, since, y'know. Basically the idea that deep down, all women like pretty clothes and baths and jewelry and things even if they're hardened warriors, that they can only be strong individuals in charge of their own destiny until they get around Their Man, and the whole "a spanking! A spanking!" vibe.

*rolls eyes*

Ah well, what can you do? That said, I'm not hating the book or anything, just finding some parts of it better than others, already. And kinda wishing that at almost 100 pages in, I had more than a teeny tiny mere fraction already read.



( 8 Notes — Write a Footnote )
Oct. 28th, 2009 09:51 pm (UTC)
The spanking thing? I am 99% certain that the continuation of that as a frequent plot element is what gave Leigh her book-throwing urges.

Also, I haven't gotten to the point where it's revealed yet, but my guess is that the Wise Ones are punishing Aviendha for not realizing she's one of them and standing up for herself. Just so as that's on the record somewhere.
Oct. 28th, 2009 10:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Your last point, yeah, that's the very same thing I was thinking. Which is another thing that just pissed me the fuck off. So they're punishing her for being patient and concerned with honor and basically everything that she's supposed to be as a Wise One/Aiel in the first place. Gah! *flail*
Oct. 29th, 2009 12:21 am (UTC)
That was the same thought I had too.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 29th, 2009 04:10 am (UTC)
But her answers to the questions are, IMO, clearly showing that she has achieved that!

I actually think this is almost the weakest part of the book for me, so far. I mean, here's this girl, raised in this complicated and alien (to us) culture. She lived as an exemplar of that culture as a Maiden, and after that has (theoretically) been trained as an expert in all aspects of that culture and how it might best meet its destiny.

And yet this conclusion that we all here have reached is opaque to her. How we are supposed to believe that and not believe she is a complete idiot is a very weak plot point.
Oct. 28th, 2009 11:36 pm (UTC)
I'm also realizing that as we're getting into this current almost-800-page brick monstrosity, I'm pretty much begrudging the existence of ANY new character that gets anything beyond a brief, passing, one-sentence mention or so. [...]

That is *totally* how I felt about the last book I read. Which was the 2nd-to-last Original Jordan one, I think. No More New Characters.
Oct. 29th, 2009 04:02 am (UTC)
Also, someone remind me, as of previous books, was Alviarin just Black Ajah, or actually Mesaana?

We've had an Alviarin POV in which she meets Mesaana - she remarks on the bronze hem of Mesaana's dress, and realises that she can't sense Mesaana's ability to channel, which leads her to conclude that
1) hiding the ability is possible

At least, I'm 90% sure that was Alviarin's POV.

But also:
We've had Alviarin POV where she's complaining that being in the Black Ajah sucks, and in the last couple of books Elaida's been humiliating and punishing Alviarin, so she's *probably* not Mesaana, even if I'm misremembering the POV thing.
Oct. 29th, 2009 04:12 am (UTC)
There have been at least two Alvy POVs that feature her meeting Mesaana.
Oct. 29th, 2009 04:13 am (UTC)
No misremembering has occurred here.
( 8 Notes — Write a Footnote )