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aCoS 1-2 (FRR-2012)

 
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Rhodric
Lord of the Morning


Joined: 19 Sep 2007
Posts: 1659
Location: Shanaine, Manetheren

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:26 am
Post subject: aCoS 1-2 (FRR-2012)
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aCoS Ch 1 "High Chasaline"


One way or another, this chapter is all about Aes Sedai, but isn't it always? " 'whoever they are.' [And wherever they are], he thought dryly. [Aes Sedai...Servants of All...the Hall of the Servants is broken...broken forever...broken]" To wit:

" 'I did not mean the Warders." Aram hesitated, then shuffled closer to Perrin and lowered his voice further, to a hoarse whisper. "The Aes Sedai kidnapped the Lord Dragon. He can't trust them, not ever, but he won't do what he has to, either. If they died before he knew it--' "

and

" 'They aren't so bad," Tod protested. "I wouldn't mind being one myself." That sounded more boast and bluff than truth. Smelled it, too; without looking, Perrin was sure he was licking his lips. Likely Tod's mother had used tales of men who could channel to frighten him not so many years ago. "I mean to say, Rand--that is, the Lord Dragon--it still sounds odd, doesn't it, Rand al'Thor being the Dragon Reborn and all?" Tod laughed, a short, uneasy sound. "Well, he can channel, and it doesn't seem to--he doesn't--I mean..." He swallowed loudly. "Besides, what could we have done about all those Aes Sedai without them?" That came out in a whisper. He smelled afraid now. "Jondyn, what are we going to do? I mean, Aes Sedai [prisoners]?"
The older man spat again, louder than before. He did not bother to lower his voice, either. Jondyn always said what he thought no matter who heard, another reason for his bad repute. "Better for us if the'd all died yesterday, boy. We'll pay for that before it's done. Mark me, we'll pay large.' "

Pretty much everyone thinks that if the Aes Sedai had, say an accident in the night, everyone would be better off--but not Lord Perrin Goldeneyes, never him. This is the start of Perrin as White Knight and patron saint and protector of Aes Sedai. The irony never ceases to amuse me:

"he had grown up in the unspoken certainty that a man would put himself at risk to protect a woman as far as she allowed; whether he liked her or even knew her was beside the point."

As far as she "allowed." Given that logic he need not put himself at risk at all, for the Aes Sedai's sakes, because they certainly aren't allowing much of anything. It's certainly amusing, every time he takes it upon himself, to defend their honor, they verbally eviscerate him--but it still does not fail to be annoying.

'Tis High Chasaline, the day of reflection. Reflect upon the good in your life and offer no complaints, upon High Chasaline, lest you be spurned as the bringer of bad luck. Good luck with that Perrin. Perrin notices are the fissures and petty hatreds in the camp. Cairhienin and Aiel are a hair's breadth away from killing each other, and similar tension fills the Wise Ones, Asha'man, and Aes Sedai. Perrin thinks that Rand needs to be informed of this, as if he doesn't realize that ten times over. I think my favorite part of Perrin--or at least his "powers" is the ability to "smell" people. The ability to smell their emotions. In a way it's like getting a point of view of someone without actually getting it because Perrin can sense what they are really feeling. The fact that most of Rand's Allies hate each other, and that whatever stay of violence or grudging cooperation that exists, is contingent upon his presence, or perhaps existence, has got to be one of the greatest jokes of the series. A mirthless joke, but one, never the less.


aCoS Ch 2 "The Butcher's Yard"



The chapter icon is two ravens--the icons for Friends of the Dark--that's never good.

"Hammerstroke. Nineteen fresh graves atop a squat hill to the east; nineteen Two Rivers men who would never see home again. A blacksmith seldom had to see people die because of his decisions. At least the Two Rivers men had obeyed his orders. There would have been more graves, otherwise. Hammerstroke. Rectangles of newly turned earth blanketed the next slope over from that, as well, near to a hundred Mayeners, and more Cairhienin, who had come to Dumai's Wells to die. Never mind causes or reasons; they had followed Perrin Aybara. Hammerstroke. The ridge-face to the west seemed solid graves, maybe a thousand or more. A thousand Aiel, buried standing upright, to face each sunrise. A thousand. Some were Maidens. The men tied his stomach into knots; the women made him want to sit down and cry. He tried telling himself that they all had chosen to be here, that they had [had] to be here. Bith things were true, but he had given the orders, and that made the responsibility for those graves his. Not Rand's, not the Aes Sedai's; his.
the living Aiel had only stopped singing over their dead a short while ago, haunting songs, sung in parts, that lingered in the mind.

[Life is a dream--that knows no shade.
Life is a dream--of pain and woe.
A dream from which--we pray to wake.
A dream from which--we wake and go.]

[Who would sleep--when the new dawn waits?
Who would sleep--when the sweet winds blow?
A dream must end--when the new day comes.
This dream from which--we wake and go.]"

Considering the scope of the battle, the loses seem small. Ninteen Two Riversians out of three-hundred, half of the two-hundred Mayeners and perhaps, one-third of the five-hundred Cairhienin--one-sixth of the six thousand Aiel. That's a lot of people waking from the dream--but, it could have been a lot worse. It seems callus to put it that way, but Gawyn was right (I may never say that again), the world will forget Dumai's Wells in what is coming. Three Aes Sedai and nine Asha'man died as well.

Butcher's Yard is one long ass chapter. I guess I should become used to it though, this is the part of the series where chapters start getting really, really long. I think there's a couple in the next four books that break the thirty page mark--this one is twenty-two in hardcover. I'm not sure if it is an indication of RJ "losing control" of the series, or the series itself changing. The first half the series, most notably the first four books, is an adventure story. The main characters travel hither and you having adventures. The action is fast paced, the characters don't have a lot of baggage, the transitions are fast and easy. By this point though-- all the characters have come, or are coming into positions of power. Rand is the Dragon and deals with the reins of more than one country, Egwene is Amyrlin, Elayne will be on her way to being a queen soon, Mat with the Band, Perrin leading his own contingent--they all have more responsibilities and the politics of the situation enter into the picture, more and more often. But the dresses you say, the tea you say, the BATHS you say. Well yes, there is that--but then again, before when the characters were in Two Rivers Woolens, accepted and novice dresses, and the like, not as much attention need be made to what they were wearing.

"[To Perrin's eyes, the moon was nearly as good as the sun, but right then he wished for pitch blackness. Rand's face was drawn and twisted, the face of a man who wanted to scream, or maybe weep, and was fighting it down with every scrap of his fiber. Whatever trick the Aes Sedai knew to keep the heat from touching them, Rand and the Asha'man knew, too, but he was not using it now. The night's heat would have done for a more-than-warm summer day, and sweat slid down Rand's cheeks as much as Perrin's.
He did not look around, though Perrin's boots rustled loudly in the dead grass, yet he spoke hoarsely, still rocking. "One hundred and fifty-one, Perrin. One hundred and fifty-one Maidens died today. For me.
I promised them, you see Don't argue with me! Shut up! Go away!" Despite his sweat, Rand shivered. "Not you, Perrin; not you. I have to keep my promises; you see. Have to, no matter how it hurts. But I have to keep my promises to myself, too. No matter how it hurts."
Perrin tried not to think about the fate of men who could channel. The lucky ones died before they went mad; the unlucky died after. Whether Rand was lucky or unlucky, everything rested on him. Everything. "Rand, I don't know what to say, but--"
Rand seemed not to hear. Back and forth he rocked. Back and forth. "Isan, of the Jarra Sept of the Chareen Aiel. She died for me today. Chuonde of the Spine Ridge Miagoma. She died for me today. Agirin of the Shelan Daryne....]"
There had been nothing for it but to settle on his heels and listen to Rand recite all one hundred and fifty-one names in a voice like pain stretched to breaking, listen and hope Rand was holding on to sanity."

It seems hypocritical to me, that Perrin can feel the way he does about women, about protecting them, even Aes Sedai, but if Rand is grieving, all Perrin can think of is, I hope he's not completely bonkers so that the world can be saved. It's always the same thing, he's got to stay sane, so we can all be saved. At least when Mat is praying that Rand hasn't gone off the deep end, he still, on some level, thinks of him as a person. Back to Perrin's Aes Sedai fetish: along with protecting them, for some reason he thinks it also gives him the right to boss them around, like Rand, and such is never the case:

" 'You've been staying clear of me, but I have a few things to say to you. You disobeyed orders yesterday. If you want to call it changing the plan," he pushed on when she opened her mouth, "then call it that. If you think that makes it better." She and the other eight had been told to stay with the Wise Ones, well back from the actual fighting, guarded by the Two Rivers men and the Mayeners. Instead they had plunged right into the thick of it, wading in where men were trying to cut one another into dogmeat with swords and spears. "You took Havien Nurelle with you, and half the Mayeners died for it. You don't go our own way with no regard anymore. I won't see men die because you suddenly think you see a better way, and the Dark One take what everyone else thinks. Do you understand me?"
"Are you finished, farmboy?" Kiruna's voice was dangerously calm."

I'm not one to cheer on Aes Sedai very often, and maybe never Kiruna again, but---that was bloody excellent. No need to delve into her lecture about putting themselves in danger so they could use the Power as a weapon--Perrin thinks they wanted to get to Rand first, and that was undoubtedly part of it--but they didn't.

A tug of war between the different factions--Taim, Wise Ones, Salidar embassy ensues over who will take possession of the Aes Sedai prisoners. Rand ends it by appointing the Wise Ones and overriding any and all objections. Taim is insistent that Rand take more Asha'man--that he has picked out, and Perrin smells...

"Rand's head turned toward Taim. His face matched any Aes Sedai for giving nothing away, but his scent made Perrin's ears try to lie back. Razor-sharp rage abruptly vanished in curiosity and caution, the one thin and probing, the other foglike; then slashing, murderous fury consumed both. Rand shook his head just slightly, and his smell became stony determination. Nobody's cent changed that fast. Nobody's."

Perrin is smelling both Rand and LTT's emotions--I think RJ is trying to fool the reader into thinking LTT is real--because, he Perrin can sense the emotions so Rand isn't imagining them. They are real emotions--Rand's emotions he's just dissociated part of himself from his core personality--AoL memories, anything unexplainable, and strong emotions.

Sometimes you have to wonder about Rand's luck, the ta'veren pull--he picks out Dashiva aka Osan'gar aka Aginor. I don't see how that could possibly be planned. I don't think Taim knows who he is, at least at this moment in time. I could be wrong, but it always seemed to me that the Gars, for a time at least, were operating under the radar, and Taim isn't Forsaken (that we know of muwhaha).
" 'I hope you know what you're doing, Rand," Perrin said, shifting the axe haft so he could drop to his heels. No one was close enough to hear except for Rand and Min and the two Maidens. If Sulin or Nandera went running to the Wise Ones, so be it. Without more preamble he launched into what he had seen so far this morning. What he had smelled, too, though he did not say that. Rand was not among the few who knew about him and wolves; he made it all seem what he had seen and heard. The Asha'man and the Wise Ones. the Asha'man and the Aes Sedai. The Wise Ones and the Aes Sedai. The whole tangle of tinder that might burst into flame any moment. He did not spare the Two Rivers men. "They're worried, Rand, and if they are sweating, you can be sure some Cairhienin is thinking about doing something. Or a Tairen. Maybe just helping the prisoners escape, maybe something worse. Light, I could see Dannil and Ban and fifty more besides helping them get away, if they knew how."
"You think something else would be that much worse?" Rand said quietly, and Perrin's skin prickled.
He met Rand's gaze directly. "A thousand times," he said in just as quiet a voice. "I won't be part of murder. If you will be, I'll stand in your way." A silence stretched, unblinking blue-gray eyes meeting unblinking golden."

White Knight Perrin won't let Rand do anything. He can't use people, he can't impinge upon Aes Sedai civil rights, even if they beat him or are Black Ajah. It's really quite comical. It's somewhat bewildering how Perrin goes on and on moaning that he's not a lord and people shouldn't bow, and he should be left alone--but when he's not thinking about it, he orders people around left and right, and expects to be obeyed. I know RJ would never let it come to this but I'm still not sure what Perrin thinks he's going to do. How is he going to force Rand to do anything? If Rand doesn't channel he's still a blademaster and knows how to fight with his hands and feet like Lan and the Aiel. We'll see how long Perrin can stay on his high horse once the Ghealdanin side-story from hell starts.

" 'The problem is, what I can see is all blurry. I think it's because they're holding the Power. That often seems true with Aes Sedai, and it's worse when they're actually channeling. Kiruna and that lot have all sorts of things around them, but they stay so close together that it all...well...jumbles together most of the time. It's even muddier with the prisoners.' "

Someone asked RJ about this very thing--

"Mr Jordan, Whenever a channeler draws on the One Power, does he/she become temporarily outside the Wheel's control? I ask this because Min's viewings of Aes Sedai get fuzzy whenever they draw on the Power and in [Lord of Chaos] Egwene avoids Rand's [ta'veren] effect by drawing on [saidar]"

"[Read and find out!]"

I'll take that as a yes. So-- holding the One Power phases you partially out of reality. This is similar to the theory of why Fades cloaks don't flap and why they can jump from shadow-to-shadow, because they phased partially out of this reality. Likely a side effect of interaction between the One Power and True Power in their creation.

" ' Can you make a gateway, Dashiva?"
"Of course." Dashiva began dry-washing his hands, flicking at his lips with the tip of his tongue, and Perrin wondered whether the man was always this jittery, or just when speaking to the Dragon Reborn. "that is to say, the M'hael teaches Traveling as soon as a student shows himself strong enough."
"The M'Hael?" Rand said, blinking.
"The Lord Mazrim Taim's title, my Lord Dragon. It means 'leader.' In the Old Tongue. The fellow's smile managed to be nervous and patronizing at the same time. "I read a great deal on the farm. Every book the peddlers brought by."
"The M'Hael," Rand muttered disapprovingly. "Well, be that as it may. Make me a gateway to near Cairhien, Dashiva. It's time to see what the world has been up to while I was away, and what I have to do about it." he laughed then, in a rueful way, but the sound of it made Perrin's skin prickle."

Any old fool can make a gateway...er I mean. Dashiva is really not a very good actor. He seems to be a be mad--not from saidin but from transmigration. M'Hael is the important part of this passage though. I mentioned previously the many similarities between the Asha'man and the Nazi S.S. Adolf Hitler was called the Fuhrer, or 'leader.'
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