This is NOT a review of the Wheel of Time books. I suppose you can call it a reaction blog... For it is a collection of my live reactions and thoughts to reading the Wheel of Times series for the first time.
The thoughts were originally shared on Twitter and have now been collected here for everyone's convenience. These are my full reactions from the second Wheel of Time book, with some post-read writerly thoughts at the very end.
To gain better understanding of what this is all about, please refer to this blog.
This time, I divided my readings up into days. For reference, I tend to read 2-3 chapters a day. Let's get on with it.
The Dragon Reborn
Day 1 : the day it all began again
Oh no, Perrin.
The last book may have been called the Great Hunt but it sounds like another Hunt is about to begin.
A Whitecloak Hunt for you, Perrin.
Stay safe Perrin, even Trollocs and Fades might be safer to meet along your way. You’ve really angered these guys.
Both of these are lovely (accurate) descriptions of Whitecloaks.
From that description this Carridin figure sounds like he will make an untimely entrance later in the book or maybe even later in the series.
Since he can outwait a stone, I'm inclined to go with: later in the series.
Run Perrin. Run!
Uhm, beg to differ.
The Dark One, Ba’alzamon himself, has said that he can control Rand if he dies.
The Dark One wants him dead, so yes, a corpse can most certainly be dangerous to not just anyone but EVERYONE!
Please don’t kill Rand. It’s not his fault.
Oh wow! That was easy! So all I have to do to get my way is just ask nicely and use the magic word? Understood.
In that case, I’ll be really bold here:
Please do not pursue Perrin again! And please only apprehend ACTUAL darkfriends.
Fain? It has got to be the Peddler.
Wormwood is a strange name to choose but it’s gotta be. Oh and he knows the names of all three of our lads! It’s definitely Fain!
RAND! RAND!! I found your nemesis!!
Oh no. Fain finally convinced someone to target Two Rivers as he warned Rand he would do.
Let them all be safe, especially Tam!
RAAAAND! You need to go home now and save your father! Right now!
(And NO, I will not hear it, he is still your father. He raised you!)
Of course he is a Darkfriend too!! Fain and now this Stone-like Whitecloak!
The Whitecloaks seem to be heavily infested with Darkfriends hiding in the light.
Also: this fade’s confession.... They move in the shadows and the night. Does this mean that fades are vampires?
Oh good question, Darkfriend! Yes, didn’t he want Rand alive? Well he did say he could still use Rand even if he was dead, being alive was only a preference, not requirement.
Does this mean that even Ba’alzamon knows it’s too late to turn Rand to the dark side?
We start with a Perrin chapter?!?
Most surprising, but I’m not complaining, I love Perrin!
(I say like anyone was in doubt)
Where the last book pulled us west to Toman’s Head this one seems to pull us to Tarabon.
The man who calls himself Bors in the prologue of the Great Hunt also mentioned Tarabon, and then we never got to go. So I reckon it's time.
I still want to go to Illian and... Tremalking... and... other places!
Oh phew! Very good to know! I was wondering about this too. I suppose they would have no chance if it didn’t need to report.
Did Elyas tell us this in book 1? I don't recall, but when I saw that raven in this chapter, I wondered the same as Perrin and I'm glad to get an answer.
Very intriguing. So Moiraine reaches out to women to report to her. How? Are these women who can mildly channel?
Otherwise they wouldn’t hear the call, would they?
What could they possibly report?
Oh no. It is as I feared.
This is going to be a dark and bleak winter. A scary winter.
Oh Loial! Still as wonderful as always, I see. Still as loyal!
(I suspect that’s where your name comes from, my loyal Ogier)
May your journey with your three ta’veren friends continue to be a good fortune!
And may you live long enough to write about it too!
First sighting of Rand.
Is this why we’re only seeing Perrin for now? Because Rand is distancing himself even from us?
In the first two books we were always with Rand unless we absolutely couldn’t be. The first time we transitioned out of his POV, it was when the party got split up and we got a Perrin section and then a Wisdom section. It was Rand's journey, then. So we stayed with him. It could even be argued that we did not see the final epic battle in the last book because we are following Rand and seeing his journey.
Now it feels more like Perrin’s journey.
It's good that I love Perrin! I likely won't have complaints over this.
Okay. So in this book he needs to be marked twice by the Dragon to truly become the Dragon Reborn..?
By the Dragon... so, by Kinslayer??
Uhhh that smells like some epic scenes.
Real dragons are super cool too though. Can we get one of each, please?
Oh no Perrin. You better not be starting this in Rand’s stead. You were the cool one who accepted your fate even if you wouldn’t have chosen it and still aren’t proud of it. Please don’t give me this stuff.
I’ve had enough of all of the denying from Rand. Please don’t join in.
Perceptive Perrin truly is a good friend!
Also Rand is going mad just sitting around doing nothing. That has never been fit for his character. It’s a wonder he held onto being a shepherd for so long.
Time to move on now, before the Dragon inadvertently hurts someone!
Wisely said, Min! And Perrin’s response is priceless!
He truly has no clue about women. He needs advice, but Perrin, it won’t be from Rand that you get it.
Not only is Rand too busy being a moody chosen one, he is as clueless as you, Perrin.
Hence why he earned the name Lord al’Woolhead.
Soulless.... that sounds like someone even the Wisdom can't negotiate with. That does not sound good.
I wish you had asked Perrin, because I’m worried to find out exactly what it is. Sounds scary!
So... the Dark One’s hierarchy:
Trolloc < Fade < Soulless < Forsaken
Oh no... we’re about to see Trollocs, aren’t we?
There’s a fight coming. The Dark One is moving his pawns across the field. Both those hidden in shadows and those cloaked in white.
Please don’t get captured when Whitecloaks show up this time Perrin!
Oh no....! I know that voice and description.
Hello, Selene. Bye now. Please go.
No no no!! Even Perrin isn’t safe from Selene! Even in dreams she appears!!
Is there no escape from this terribly dangerous Forsaken?
Hold up! What was that? Perrin’s lover and DESTROYER?? It better not be Lanfear.
Who was up ahead? Egwene was. Min. Elayne. The Wisdom. The only one Perrin knew about though was Egwene. So, is that the answer?
....I don’t want Perrin to be destroyed....
Brother! He is a real wolf brother!
It’s so nice to them to warn him that danger is headed his way!
(I bet it’s creeping Trollocs, btw)
And did we just have an 8 page long dream? It used to only be Rand who had those long dreams. I was okay with that arrangement.
Day 2 : the day we saw a lost wolfbrother
Now this is very good to know.
So we need all three of our ta’veren friends in order to succeed.
The tripod analogy is dear to me as it reminds me of Kaesomun of Goguryeo who used the analogy to refer to Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism (commonly known as the three teachings). At the time Taoism wasn't widespread in Goguryeo, so under Kaesomun's advisement, the king sent for Taoist monks to come into the kingdom and teach. At the time Buddhism was setting a strong foothold in the country and this was an effective way to ensure that no one religion gained too much power. Very long tangent there, sorry, back to the scheduled broadcast.
I adore it when Perrin acknowledges his wolf-ish urges and doesn’t resist what he is.
I know it scares him, but I enjoy it when he lets go of the fear and just becomes a raging Young Bull of a Wolf.
Wow Perrin is really going at it with the wolf fight! Hunting like a wolf, killing like a wolf.
He is one of the pack.
In this book the wolves don’t seem to question him as a two-legged one anymore. They just seem to be there for him. I like that.
Perrin.... now you’re starting to sound like Rand with Saidin.
First the blacksmith vs. Shepherd
Now the wolf vs. Saidin
Perrin... it seems that you’re not actually turning into a wolf, but turning into Rand!
Wow Rand has really become bitter in this book. Maybe that’s why we don’t see it from his perspective because with the monologues he goes on here... it would be insufferable to hear his inner monologue too. His spoken monologue is enough self-pity for me.
Oh Rand has left? That’s actually a good idea Rand. You aren’t made to stand still and let others make decisions for you.
If it’ll give you the peace of mind to accomplish what you need to as the Dragon Reborn, then go for it!
Wait... Do you mean to tell me that Min hasn’t told anyone that Lanfear is free?!!
Selene came to see an unconscious Rand for no reason other than to tell a stranger (Min) that she is Lanfear and Min keeps that information to herself??
Uhh yes this sounds promising because currently Rand has no sword and honestly that’s a bit of a problem.
The lad needs a sword and after carrying a heron sword, any old weapon just isn’t going to do the trick.
We need a weaponised Dragon Reborn again.
About the breaking of the world... We figured out a way that can happen in the last book (the two statues).
As to the leaf and peace I have a theory. We met those tinkers in book 1 who followed the Way of the Leaf.
That has got to be it.
Nine moons..? I don’t know about that one.
Alternate realities, maybe?
Oh yes! This reminds me!
I wish we had seen everyone's flicker flicker flicker storylines. I really want to know exactly what they experienced.
Were you a wolf either in all of them, Perrin?
Did you become a real wolf in some?
Remain a blacksmith in others?
That's what I'm imagining.
I agree with Perrin here. I like to know what to expect, or get some hints. Preferably I like discovering things instead of being told though.
So maybe I don’t agree with him after all. Don’t tell us. Give us hints so we can guess. That’s more satisfying.
An Aielman. So not Rand or she would have said Rand. And a cage...?
Oh no. Is Perrin going to be locked up by Whitecloaks?
Are falcon and hawk wolf names or is Perrin going to befriend more than wolves?
Can’t you just tell him everything, Min?
So... she really didn’t tell them about Selene/Lanfear??? That seem really irresponsible!
Our poor lads are going into the world about to be tricked by a forsaken (again) and with no warning!
Uff! That seems harsh Moiraine! But Lan, seriously, you might want to take her up on that offer sometime soon. The Wisdom’s in training, remember?
If she doesn’t chose the Green and picks a Warder before you get there... then you’ll have blown your chance at blissful love.
Uh! A ta’veren passed through here!
But wow that’s an extreme reaction. Is Rand getting a stronger hold on the pattern? And why weddings? Was he in a lovesick mood or something? Brooding over Selene because a certain someone didn’t tell him her real name?
It feels so strange to have shifted POVs this much.
We have seen Rand do this enough times for it to not be that exciting of a sight, so I’m fine with not seeing it. It’s just strange to only hear about it when we’re so used to follow Rand’s entire journey.
Ogier smalltalk is the best in the world.
I feel like I would have a really nice and fun chat with this Ogier. We would first talk about trees and I'd learn lots about them and I'd connect it to history and mythology relating to trees and we would have a smash of a conversation. It would be great.
Oh no... well I suppose this works instead of knowing what you saw in the flicker flicker flicker realities. Oh Perrin. We will figure this out together. I promise you. I will not have you go mad.
Run, Perrin, run! (I’m going to be saying that a lot this book, aren’t I?)
Oh I worry so much about the day the Whitecloaks catch up to him again.
It’s a storyline that definitely needs to be resolved, and I doubt that an escape will be as easy as the first time.
Ohh sweet Perrin. We will figure something out for you. You keep seeing the best in other people. Actually, no.
You keep seeing the truth in others, and framing it in a good light.
We WILL do everything we can for you. Maybe you’re different because you're ta’veren too..?
Uh our first Rand POV at page 128! And the strangest thing: it’s short just like Perrin’s POV chapters began in the first time Rand focused books.
This is definitely a wolfbrother book. The title is a little misleading, but I’m super ready for some wolfbrother action!
Day 3 : the day our girls became top secret investigators!
Oh no! We have Whitecloaks! And it’s not a Perrin chapter, but Egwene!
(Those two keep getting paired off)
Will the Whitecloaks recognise her...?
I hope not. I think not.
They were more focused on Perrin back then.
“The waiting!” As Perrin called it.
It seems that bad things are bound to happen near ta’veren. Lying there all pacified by a dagger it’s easy to forget but Mat too is a ta’veren.
Maybe Wisdom. Or maybe it is as the Aes Sedai say and you have just been incredibly lucky not to do serious harm by mistake.
Imagine if something went wrong. To think she would risk it on Mat’s life when there is another to heal him.
The arrogance is strong in this one.
Yes I often wonder about that too, Egwene. The Wisdom seems like she wants to be strong but doesn’t want to listen to any advice. And certainly won’t trust anyone.
How did she ever become a Wisdom? Someone must have had to teach her then? Yet, I can’t imagine her as a student.
A storm, but I don’t think this is quite it.
A storm would be worse than this, I would think.
I doubt these Whitecloaks are going to be very successful in their quest so close to the White Tower and face to face with a cool and collected Aes Sedai like Verin.
Oh it’s that dude. My sympathies about your dad, mate, but I don’t really care about you and you certainly won’t be burning any of my girls.
I suppose we will have to run into you in the future again though. *sigh*
We have a map!! That looks like an eye! This is pretty cool. Well pretty and cool, actually.
I like the round shape of the harbours too. That’s cool.
[No matter what anyone says, that is an eye. I shall insist until the end of days]
Oh my goodness.
These girls are just as woolheaded as the boys.
How do they have so little trust and patience? How do any Aes Sedai take them seriously when they act like this? Well, I suppose that most don’t take them seriously. Not yet.
Uh and this is our first chapter from the POV of the Amyrlin seat. I don’t know that I necessarily needed a chapter form her POV. I think I would have preferred Verin. But either way I’m happy to have a closer look at what they’re plotting for our ta’veren and those entangled with them.
It’s interesting that the girls are stilled but the men gentled. I wonder when and why that distinction came about, as I’m assuming it’s a similar if not the same process.
Stilled sounds like a punishment and gentled like a service.
It really reflects the Aes Sedai view well.
Ohh that was a complication I did not think about at the end of the last book.
Now, Verin Sedai, Mother, let me tell you about the tripod.
You see.... we need all three ta’veren or this isn’t going to go down well for any of us.
Now this is Verin as we were first introduced to her!
I don’t understand why she acted like Moiraine when she was with the group through half of the last book. This is the Verin I like. Thank you for bringing her back.
And the Seanchan... yes I expected as much. *shudders*
Did you? I don’t feel like that is confirmed. She could just have allied with the Seanchan. It doesn’t necessarily make her a Black Ajah and servant to the Dark Lord.
Heroes you were never going to be, Egwene. You let yourself be fooled, you woolheaded girls.
I doubt Elayne would be ready for it, but I do like that she thinks of it. She is willing to take chances. So while she still has lots to learn I like that about her.
On that note, Elayne is another character who seems very now different from how she was when we first met her in book one.
Oh okay, so it was official. Or as close as we can get.
Oh. I would much have preferred if she hadn’t fled so I could see the panic wash over the BOOK BURNER (yes we’re never going to forget that) when the girls returned and she was forced away.
So Egwene has been affected by this Seanchan business. She seemed relatively untouched by it but it presents itself sometimes.
I had expected it to leave a deeper scar on her, but apparently not.
It could certainly be worse. Egwene would know.
Finally! I thought that would be happening soon. Especially with everything Egwene has learned by being chained.
I’m excited to see what their three fears are.
For Egwene being collared again ought to be one.
Rand the second.
Let me think about the third one. Being Stilled, maybe?
Finally someone said it. She is so angry with Galad all the time, but we don’t know why she hates him so much. Why...?
Overall the girls really have no respect for authority though. I get it with Elayne. She’s a princess. What excuse do the other two have...?