Lord of the Morning
Joined: 19 Sep 2007
Location: Shanaine, Manetheren
|Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:07 am
Post subject: LoC 52-53 (FRR)
|LoC Ch. 52 "Weaves of the Power"
RJ really knows how to string you along--dangle the reader on the hook, so to speak. "The Taking" immediately followed by a switch in scenery to Ebou Dar.
" 'Blood and ashes,' Mat muttered. "Next, the Daughter of the Nine Moons is going to walk in and claim me." The blue-eyed fellow choked on his celebratory drink. "Do you know the name?" Mat asked"
That's a nice little bit of sneaky foreshadowing. The man is a Seeker for Truth, I think, or at least a Seanchan spy.
One of my favorite parts of the series is all the inside jokes/gags, and if I like one more than 'I'll never understand women, not like Rand/Mat/Perrin...," then it's this:
"Shaking his head, Mat started up the stairs. He had to speak to the boy. He could not just grin like that at every woman he saw. And telling a woman she had beautiful eyes! At his age! Mat did not know where Olver got it."
I don't know, it's probably Olver's dissolute "uncles." Hehe.
The girls are sneaking out of the palace and Mat and Thom can't figure out how they are doing it. (using Illusion to alter appearance) Hmmm...Elayne's ten day wager is officially debunked since this is day number eleven. Mat posts lookouts on all palace exits and patrols the town every day looking for the girls. Elayne and Birgitte run into an Ebou Dari Wise Woman channeling but think little of it. Ironically, but perhaps predictably, Mat and Nalesean pass Birgitte and Elayne on the street:
" 'It never struck me before, Birgitte murmured, "but I think Mat is the more dangerous of those two. A N'Shar in Mameris. I wonder what they're doing this side of the Eldar.' "
"Egwene's suggestion that it be tied off has been met with close to shock and not far from scorn; no one was willing to counterance it, particularly now, o soon after she had raised four women Aes Sedai without texting or Oat Rod, and perhaps not ever. Siuan had said they would not. Custom said six, though if he was as much reduced as Siuan and Leane, any three sisters in the camp could surely have held him, and custom said the shield on a man must be maintained, not tied."
"another custom; you must use every bit of your strength to shield a man."
Emphasis must be placed on the fact that these rules are only custom, only tradition, they don't know why. Obviously the shield can't be tied because tied shields are vulnerable. Six is an interesting number, I imagine six is the minimum number found to safely shield any many once he's been cut off from saidin. Not long after Logain was healed he tried to break through the shield and it was thought if only held by five, he would have. You'd think someone would have mentioned that to Egwene, since she thinks that any three could hold him if he was as much reduced as Siuan and Leane. Shielding can be considered a talent, some people are better at holding shields on people. Conversely some people are better at breaking through a shield. It's also a gender issue. It is easier to hold saidar on saidar--two Black Ajah "pussies" can shield Nynaeve where it takes six to shield Rand, and when three are shielding him, he just severs them. Rand seems to be able to shield women very easier, but it is unclear whether saidin on saidar is an advantage, or if he has an affinity/talent for shields (buffers).
Egwene is interviewing Logain, maybe trying to influence or manipulate him a little (ensure that if he does "escape" he will go to Rand). She professes no fear of him, which is no surprise considering it's seven-on-one, though comically, when the shoe is on the other foot, Aes Sedai generally pee their pants. She thinks of The Band as the 'so-called Band of the Red Hand.' Egwene is getting pretty conceited in her old age. She does arrange for Logain to escape by drugging Aes Sedai and Warders though, so that's one good deed, though I doubt Egwene thinks of it that way--The political ramifications if he is severed or murdered while in Salidar are quite extreme--alienating Rand in that way is something she wants to avoid.
"This time the horse came forward, and the man swung down to stride the last paces, a tall man, moonshadows making his angular face seem carved of stone. Then he was standing in front of her, standing over her, and as she stared up into Lan Mandragoran's cold blue eyes, she saw death. The Light help her. How was she ever to keep him alive long enough?"
Awesome. Shades of Moiraine's hand moving from beyond the "grave." I wonder how many events she will influence from beyond the pale.
LoC Ch. 53 "The Feast of Lights"
The Feast of Lights, as celebrated in Cairhien, is very bacchanalian in nature, in short, it seems like a bloody good time. Though I must say, it shocks the tender sensibilities of the main characters, the poor dears. I think RJ has every bit as much sex, debauchery, backstabbing, and murder as other...prominent fantasy authors, in his writing, it is just much less graphic. Which is fine with me, I don’t need realistic descriptions of human bodily fluids, feces, and genitalia.
Rand has been gone six days and the Aes Sedai three, and Perrin is getting worried. He visits Rand’s school but finds out nothing. After mentally cursing Rand a bit and not quite enjoying the Feast of Lights (drunk naked women throwing themselves on you is such a drag), Perrin heads back to the Sun Palace, where unbeknownst to him, something monumental is about to take place. Coincidentally, Sorilea tells him to tend his wife and mind his own business and Perrin wonders how she could possibly know about the troubles between he and Faile, which I find hilarious. Bro, everyone knows.
“ ‘A man who has a wife he can trust, Lord Aybara, is favored of grace beyond wealth.” Still, Dobraine eyed her a moment before going on. “Today Cairhien has suffered two misfortunes. This morning, Lord Maringil was found dead in his bed, of poison it appears. And only a short while later, High Lord Meilan apparently, fell victim to a footpad’s blade in the streets. Most unusual during the Feast of Lights.”
Dobraine has just entered and asked to talk to Perrin alone. Perrin says he has no secrets from Faile, and as he says this, Failes “loving” scent increases dramatically. Perrin is about to send everyone, including Dobraine away so he can patch things up with Faile. Perrin really is clue impaired. Dobraine is too fast for him though and is already sitting by the time Perrin’s thought process is lumbering alone. Have I mentioned how awesome Dobraine is? I don’t think Perrin really understands what Dobraine is getting at. Then again, Perrin doesn’t really practice Daes Dae’Mar, which makes him an anomaly of sorts.
Everyone does it--Rand, Egwene, heck even Mat between his natural wit, memories, and propensity for parallel truths. It’s not so much that Perrin can’t politic but rather, he chooses not to. I’m not sure if that makes him the last person on earth to stick to his natural principles or the last person with the luxury to do so.
“ ’Why are you telling me this?” Perrin said slowly.
Dobraine spread his hands. “You are the Lord Dragon’s friend, and he is not here.” He hesitated, and when he went on, it seemed he was forcing words. “Last night, Colavaere dined with guests from a number of the smaller Houses. Daganred, Chuliendred, Annallin, Osiellin, others. Small themselves, but numerous. The subject was alliance with House Saighan and support for Colavaere for the Sun Throne. She made little effort to hide the meeting.” Again he paused, weighing Perrin with his eyes. Whatever Dobraine saw; he seemed to think it called for more explanation.
“This is most strange, because both Maringil and Meilan wanted the throne, and either would have had her smothered with her own pillows had they learned of it.’ “
I love how Dobraine realizes Perrin isn’t getting it and forces himself to speak more clearly. Perrin still doesn’t understand why Dobraine has to “beat around the bush.” Perrin finally just tells him to go to --Ber...Rhuarc. Dobraine says even Berelain would be better than “the savage,” but that Colavaere would “have her sliced and cooked with peppers....” At which point Berelain enters and Perrin Bellows, like an oaf, at her. Every time Perrin stands up to Berelain, Faile gets a very strong smell of “hurt/disappointment,” but for some reason he keeps doing it. He’s telling Faile that Berelain is strong and Faile is weak. Saldaean culture, and it’s not his fault he doesn’t understand, but frustrating none the less. All that in the moments it takes Perrin to notice what Berelain has dropped:
“Suddenly Perrin saw what Berelain had dropped. The blanket had fallen away to reveal Rand’s sword and the belt with the Dragon buckle. Would Rand have left that behind? Perrin liked to think things through; when you were hasty, you could hurt people without meaning to. But that sword lying there was like a strike of lightning. Fast was foolish, and sloppy in forge work, but Perrin’s hacles rose, and a growl rumbled deep in his throat.”
Oh hell yes. Do they realize? Do they realize?
“ ’They have taken him!” Sulin wailed suddenly, shockingly. Head thrown back, eyes squeezed shut, she moaned at the ceiling, and the sound of her voice was enough to make Perrin shiver. “The Aes Sedai have taken my first-brother!” Her cheeks glistened with tears.”
I think before this moment I didn’t know/think/believe that Sulin *loved* Rand. First-brother, that’s like her blood brother--maybe stronger than blood. I do think it is rather nonsensical that both Dobraine and Berelain think she is some hysterical maid and Perrin doesn’t realize she is Aiel either.
“Striding to the door, Sulin had flung it open before anyone could move; Dobraine at least started to, but a yellow-haired young Maiden passing by saw her and grinned in amusement. “Wipe your face, Luaine,” Sulin snapped. Her hands seemed to be moving, hidden from the room by her body. Luaine’s grin was indeed wiped away. “Tell Nandera she must comoe here at once. And Rhuarc. And bring me cadin’sor, and scissors to cut my hair properly. Run, woman! Are you Far Dareis Mai or Shae’en M’taal?” The yellow-haired Maiden darted away, and Sulin turned back to the room with a satisfied nod, slamming the door. Faile was gaping.”
Haha I love Sulin so much--maybe even as much as Patrick Hayse does. Perrin’s heart knows the truth but he has to convince his mind.
“ ’I went searching in the Lord Dragon’s apartments because I was afraid. Everyone knew the Aes Sedai had come toe scort him to Tar Valon, and I could not understand why they had given up. I myself received no fewer than ten visits from various sisters, advising me on what I should do when he returned to the Tower with them. They seemed very certain.’ “ .....
“ ‘I received the strong impression that I should return to Mayne, and that if I did not, I might well be escorted there.’ “
The Tower Aes Sedai visited Berelain ten times, hammering away at her. They only visited Dobraine once after he “made clear” that he had sworn fealthy to the Dragon Reborn. Pretty amazing that the two nobles who didn’t bend under Aes Sedai pressure were Berelain and Dobraine. He, the one noble, who didn’t try to ingratiate himself with RAnd--the one true Cairhienin noble. As for Berelain--she’s considered, by many, a whore, soft, weak. I really like her here. Without both Dobraine and Berelain maybe nobody realizes Rand’s plight until it is far too late.
“ ‘Well, Elayne Trakand or Elayne Damodred, she has as strong a claim to the throne as any, stronger than Colavaere’s by far, yet I am convinced Colavaere had Maringil and Meilan killed to make her own way to the throne safe. She would never have dared had she thought the Lord Dragon would ever return.”
“So that is why.” A small vexed frown creased Berelain’s forehead.
“I have proof she had a servant put poison in Maringil’s wine--she was careless, and I brought two good thief-catchers with me--but I did not know why.” She bowed her head slightly, acknowledging Dobraine’s admiring look. “She will hang for that. If there is any way to get the Lord Dragon back. If not, I fear we must all look to how we are to stay alive.’ “
Well to remember, the stakes aren’t just Rand, the Dragon Reborn, imprisoned, but also their very lives. Without Rand, no White Tower sanctioned noble, and others, will suffer to see them live.
“Perrin’s hand tightened on the boarhide scabbard. “I will get him back,” he growled. Dannil and the other Two Rivers men could not be more than halfway to Cairhien yet, burdened with the wagons. But there were the wolves.
“If I have to go alone, I’ll get him back.”
“Not alone,” Loial said, as grimly as stone grinding. “Never alone while I am here, Perrin’ “
I think I’m going to cry, my eyes are welling up. That scene always gets me. Loial has these moments that make your heart swell up in your chest, at least mine does. Loyalty, thy name is Loial.
“ ‘You will not go alone, Ogier.” Dobraine said. “I can have five hundred men I trust by tomorrow. What we can do against six Aes Sedai, I do not know, but I keep my oaths.”
Aw shucks Dobraine, you bloody honourable teddy bear. Dobraine and Loial aren’t alone either as Sorilea, Amys, Nandera, and Rhuarc arrive. Perrin wants 100,000 Aiel but so many are not possible. The Shaido are striking into the heart of Cairhien, to which Perrin thinks:
“What did it matter how much land had to be reconquered--or even how many people died, though that thought came reluctantly, painfully--stacked against Rand, the Dragon Reborn, being taken prisoner to Tar Valon?”
I feel for Perrin here, though later on, he seems plenty willing to sacrifice plenty for less lofty goals. As the great Moraine Damodred once opined, ‘A thimble full of hope and a cup of despair:
“ ‘I can take only Maidens and siswai’aman.” By his tone and his smell, he would rather lose an arm than speak those words. “Too many of the others will not dance the spears with Aes Sedai’ “
Six Aes Sedai and nothing but steel. “Sis’whatevers,” (thank you Perrin for that highly technical term), Maidens, and wetlanders. Dobraine stoutly says he will fight and would if there were sixty Aes Sedai (love him!).
“Even Sorilea’s cackle was leathery. “Do not fear the Aes Sedai, treekiller.” Suddenly, shockingly, a tiny flame danced in the air before her. She could channel!
She let the flame vanish as they began planning, but it remained in Perrin’s thoughts. Small, flickering weakly, somehow it had seemed a declaration of war stronger that trumpets, war to the knife.”
Wise Ones *never* take part in battle. They are over and above and take no part, no matter the consequences. This will change the world, though perhaps the Shaido changed it first with their intention to attack Galina’s party. Still, Sorilea and the others’ resolve will pit Wise One against Wise One, something perhaps worse than even Wise Ones taking part in battle. Perrin has a chance now, Rand has a chance now, if only they can overcome Galina’s four day head start, and if only there are only six Aes Sedai waiting for them...
“Not for the first time, she wondered about this Min, or Elmindreda, or whatever her real name was. The first time Galina had seen her, she had been garbed like a boy, keeping company with Nynaeve al’Meara and Egwene al’Vere. And Elayne Trakand as well, but the other two were tied to al’Thor. The second time, Elmindreda had been the sort of woman Galina hated, frilly and sighing, and as near under the personel protection of Siuan Sanche as made no difference. HOw Elaida had ever been fool enough to allow her to leave the Tower, Galina could not imagine. What knowledge was in the girl’s head? Perhaps Elaida would not have her right away. Properly used in the Tower, the girl might enable Galina to net Elaida like a swallow. For all of Alviarin, Elaida had become one of those strong, capable Amyrlins who took every rein firmly into their own hands; caging her would surely weaken Alviarin. Properly used right now...”
I love Siuan, but I really think she was a bit of a fool with Min. That disguise fooled *no one.* It seems like everyone knew. I think that the Wonder Girls and their close associates were more widely noticed than anybody on the inside would have believed. White Tower celebrities--as it were. Though Galina knowing, could have had something to do with her being 2nd in command of the Supreme Council of the Black Ajah.
I think Galina is one of those characters with no redeeming qualities, she’s not even fun to read, she’s just hateful.
“Thirty-three Aes Sedai added to the original six, with their servants--and Warders; nine were Green, only thirteen Red, and the rest White, Alviarin’s former Ajah--made a considerable encampment even without counting Gawyn and his soldiers.”
Now isn’t that a kicker, everyone thinks there are only six Aes Sedai but in reality there are thirty-nine. I remember being scared pretty sh*tless when I first read that. Assaulting them, their Warders, and the Younglings with whatever force Perrin, Rhuarc, and the Wise Ones can patch together might best be termed an assault against superior forces, and at worst--suicide.
“The entire incident had begun because al’Thor discovered Min was in the camp, after one of the Warders carelessly allowed her to walk in the darkness instead of keeping her confined in her tent. Who would have thought that al’Thor, shielded and surrounded, would have gone mad that way? Not just trying to break through the shield, but killing a Warder with his bare hands, and severely wounding another with the dead man’s sword, to such an extent that the second died in the Healing. All that in the moments required for the sisters to overcome their shock and bind him with the power.”
The only person I can really imagine killing a Warder with his bare hands is Lan, he almost kills two of Myrelle’s Warders before he knows who they are. Rand has been practicing the sword and self-defense since the beginning of the series, with the question often asked, just how good is he? Lan tells him in tFoHthat he was “good” with a blade. High praise indeed from someone like Lan, but does that mean he is a blademaster? I think those questions were answered here today. All the more impressive because he was completely surrounded by both Aes Sedai and Warders, shielded, and physically abused. Oh, Harriet’s son, Will, once said that RJ told him that Lan and Rand are second to know with the sword, so take from that what you will. Gawyn has also killed Warders, but when pressed, Brandon has said, he’s not as good as you might think, just luckier than he has any right to be. Hammar and Coulin probably slipped on some blood or had the runs that day.
Both dead Warders belong to Erian and she wants to make Rand pay. He’s been locked in a brass-bound chest, placed in the sun, doubled over on himself with the Power. He’s let out twice a day to be watered, fed, and tortured with the One Power. Getting beaten with flows of Air doesn’t sound THAT bad, until you consider, it’s like being whipped by the strongest man in the world over and over again.
“Rand had is own litany. Pain flailing his chest. [This comes of trusting Aes Sedai.] Fire striping his back. [Never again, not an inch; not a hair.] Like a razor’s lash. [This comes of trusting Aes Sedai.]
They thought they could break him. They thought they could make him crawl to Elaida! He made himself do the hardest thing he had ever done in his life. He smiled. Certainly it touched nothing but his lips, yet he looked Erian in the eye, and he smiled. Her eyes widened, and she hissed. The scourges began to come from everywhere at once.
The world was pain and fire. He could not see, only feel. Agony and inferno. For some reason he was aware of his hand trembling uncontrollably in their invisible bonds, but he concentrated on holding is teeth shut. [This comes of--Won’t cry out! I will not cry out! Never again’ not an in--! Not an inch; not a hair! Never agi--! I will not! Never a--! Never! Never! NEVER!]”
Rand sure has an iron pair. Erian is already beating him within an inch of his life and he smiles. ‘He b*tch I just killed two of your boys and you can’t break me.’ Sevanna and a group of Shaido Wise Ones are watching the beating. Afterwards, sevanna draws a finger across Rand’s throat. The Shaido have a “deal” with Galina/Coiren. The Aes Sedai will allow them to witness Rand captured and punished, and in return the Shaido will wipe out Gawyn and his Younglings. On the Shaido’s side, seeing Rand does several things. A “strange wetlander” has given Sevanna an intricately carved cube she is to use when she sees him, captive. I think this is the original plan created by Mesaana and Demandred or whoever. Sevanna uses the cube and the Forsaken pick Rand up either to the White Tower or Shayol Ghul and there is no chance at rescue and Dumai’s Wells never happens. Unfortunately for the real bad guys, Sevanna is a tad too greedy for her own good. On seeing him, she decides to capture him herself, marry him, and use him to control all the clans of the Aiel. The visit, the the Aes Sedai camp, serves to show the Shaido Wise Ones, who can channel, the means used to shield Rand. They are confident they can duplicate the shields. After the visit they murder the Wise One, Desaine, with the One Power--a vocal critic of Sevanna. The murder will be pinned on the Aes Sedai, and used as impetus to goad the clan, the society leaders, and other Wise Ones, into attacking the Aes Sedai camp, because just capturing Rand would never be enough on its own. Most would rather just see him dead.
“[Soft] Lews Therin said, panting. [Because they are there. Sustaining the buffer. Hard when they knot. Nothing to be done when they are soft, but I can unravel the web if they knot it. With time.] He paused so long Rand thought he was gone again, then he whispered, [Are you real?] And then he was really gone.”
A tied off shield is vunerable. Notice the AoL terminology. “Buffer” not shield (a ‘shield’ is a protective barrier, such as a shield of air to protect against shrapnel), “web” not weave. The words harken back to a more advanced Age but they also seem ore precise too. “Are you real” is incredibly sneaky. Rand is so close to the edge that he is half accepting the memories. In a very real way, LTT is real and Rand is not. LTT is sane and Rand insane. Rand is going to try to dupe the Aes Sedai. He will pretend to be broken. He’ll try to break through the shield again, then beg for water, then slightly brush it, then act completely broken.
“A wretch they could safely let out of the chest. More importantly, a wretch they did not need to guard so closely. And then, perhaps, they would decide they did not need six to hold the shield, or that they could tie it off, or...or something. He needed a crack. Something! It was a desperate thought, but he realized that he was laughing, and he could not stop. He could not stop feeling at the barrier, either, a blind man sliding his fingers desperately across a piece of smooth glass.”
“ ‘Come to my tent,” Galina said soothingly. “I have some nice blueberry tea, and I will put a cool, damp cloth on your brow.”
Erian smiled through her tears. “Thank you, Galina, but I cannot. Roshan and Bertol will be waiting for me. They do suffer worse than I, I fear. They do not only feel my suffering, but do suffer because they know I do. I must comfort them.” One grateful squeeze of Galina’s hand, and she glided away.”
Just a small taste of Galina’s uh...lesbian proclivities. She’s a bit of a sexual predator. She’s hit upon at least Erian, Katerine, and Tarna Feir, and evidence suggests she at least approaches all new Red Ajah sisters. Galina decides to try to break Rand completely before they reach Tar Valon by keeping him in the chest and beating him at sundown and sun rise, whether Erian wills it or not.
Carai an Caldazar! Carai an Ellisande! Al Ellisande!