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. You can find part 1 here.
Let's get on with it.
The Dragon Reborn
Day 7 : the day Mat fought two soon to be Warders with a quarterstaff
Well, Mat, you really blew that one. Now you’ve alerted them all.
Certainly no one will let you pass now.
Also this sounds like Domon’s accent so he is a native of Illian..? I don’t know why I didn’t pick up on that sooner.
That’s really odd. How would she know?
And why is she being all suspicious? And wasn’t Else sent out of the White Tower? Why do I feel like I remember someone talking about that...?
Warders?? Ohhh! Mat is about to meet Gawyn and Galad, isn’t he??
Go on, Mat my lad, make friends with the Warders.
I bet Gawyn will make a good friend especially for Mat and Galad... well he is Galad and not that much fun. Though I suppose it’s fun to pick on him.
Aha! Told ya so!
And Gawyn really makes everything so easy. He is really friendly and easy to get along with. Thoughtful but forthcoming.
I like Gawyn. Can we get more of Gawyn, please?
Oh. Oops. Sorry, Galad. Here I was saying you’re only fun because I can mock you...
I suppose I’m not as morally black and white as you. I’d be much better friends with the other two lads here.
(Also it’s fun that Galad is intimidated by the Wisdom)
Oh it’s on! They’re going to get their asses kicked by a sickly boy, aren’t they?
Because that old time-y person he had some memories of was some sort of warrior.
If Mat can channel (pun intended) that man, he will come out victorious.
That’s my guess.
Uhhh, shivers. This is good!
He is so going to win with the spirit of a warrior who has been dead for centuries.
I readily admit, I’ve very quickly become very invested in Mat my lad’s journey. His POVs are engaging.
You weren’t thinking. Instinct, reflexes only. Well done my lad!
He really did channel that old timey person, didn’t he? I wonder who that guy really is.
Also guys... I think this is the first real fight where we have had actual description of movements.
Shivers again. Awesome!!
Is the person Mat can remember this person who defeated Jearom, then?
Because that would be awesome. I look forward to see how this will unfold.
Huh? Then that’s not it then. It runs in the old blood. Moiraine did say something about the bloodlines being strong and how they haven’t lost the old spirit.
Mat’s and Rand’s fathers are pretty badass.
I never really knew until this book.
A bit about Tam but not like this.
Ha! Poor Galad fighting for himself against accepted and Green Ajah on a daily basis to stay unclaimed as a Warder.
I do almost feel bad for the guy, with all of these girls scratching each other’s eyes out to be next in line to touch him.
Ehhh Mat my lad, don’t you ignore what’s happening to you.
You’re not as dumb as you look and as we were led to believe from your actions in WoT 1. Please don’t ignore this. Please pursue this to find out whatever it is that’s happening to you.
Even Rand is not this mad... yet.
Not Selene! Not now! Stay away Lanfear!!
Huh? It’s an Egwene chapter... what?
Don’t be so quick to dismiss these dreams, Egwene. I think what you do is glimpse the future.
Sometimes the present but often the future, at least as it could be.
That could be very useful. So you better be careful with Whitecloaks!
Uh so it’s like Min’s abilities, except in dreams so somewhat harder to control but also with more information.
Perrin is that hawk and falcon two girls? Please tell me one of them isn’t Lanfear. Anyone else! Anyone!
Hm, I don’t know how I feel about the Odin connection for Mat.
Well that’s a hell of a coincidence. And highly unlikely.
Why does the Dark One specifically need these Aes Sedai who are so different from one another?
Oh yes, her daughter... gosh this one really linger on her.
Also: I like that two characters are allowed to have the same name.
Because that happen in real life. I know many people with the same names, but in fantasy it rarely ever happens that two characters share a name.
Ohh I suppose that could be a reason, yes. Personally I was just wondering why they needed so many different women.
I suppose it could be a show of power: "look, we can convert anyone."
I think there’s more to it, though. There is another reason.
This is a very good point.
But, I happen to know that she was a BOOK BURNER, and therefore evil.
But yes, there could be someone worse than her, I suppose. There could be a library burner or a puppy killer.
Who is this Corianin Nedeal? A black Ajah? Someone unlucky whose notes a black Ajah happened to get their fingers on?
Why don’t I hear Egwene wondering who she is? Am I already supposed to know?
(I was promptly aided my twitter folks to find out who she was)
Ohhh that’s what Egwene mentioned she might use against the 13 Aes Sedai and fades when she went through her accepted trials!!
So we know Egwene is going to use this and learn to control it, even.
How..? In a dream? That sounds like it’ll be very dangerous.
Well done for standing up for yourself Egwene! The Wisdom was way out of line. It’s not her ring. It was given to Egwene because of unique abilities only she possesses.
Sorry, Wisdom, you're not the only person in the world who is special. And Egwene’s right. You have no control.
This is SO odd! Using a novice isn’t a bad idea exactly, but Else? Of all people. I don’t believe that.
Is Else a Darkfriend?
Was she recruited by the Black Ajah? She is off. Somethings wrong with her.
Oh no! Of course it was you! What game are you playing at?
Hiding in your dark night and impersonating Else like this. Why are you still in the White Tower and what are you up to...?
Day 8 : the day we entered the scary World of Dreams
Who so desperately wants these things locked away? And why would Selene point them to it...? Did she plant it there?
Did she put this lock there to make it seem more difficult and like a conspiracy??
I don’t trust Selene.
(I prefer Selene to Lanfear—Lan isn’t afraid of anyone)
Egwene truly learnt a lot about her own abilities from the Seanchan experience.
And why can’t the Wisdom ever take the calm road or let someone else try?
Egwene had it!
Yes, I know you all like her and she’ll evolve, but I still don’t vibe well with the Wisdom.
I’m beginning to think that maybe they’re all like Mat, and Rand...
Are they all connected to some past version of themselves and pulling from that past??
And Mat just happens to be more in tune with his part so far..? That’s my working theory.
Because this stuff is both cool and creepy!
What are you talking about?? A half torn map isn’t a clue?? What!!?
Girls! Open your eyes!! It’s raining with clues that will lead you to Tear.
Trust me, that’s where it’s happening.
Yes that is suspicious but also: Why did Selene want you to find this all? Why did she point you this way?
What is she plotting? Why does she even need you? No offence, Girls, but she is super powerful, I’d think she didn’t need anyone other than Rand.
Finally we will use the ring! For once I’m actually feeling okay about getting a long dream sequence.
I wonder if using the ring will be as immersive as those tests to become accepted were or if it really will just be like jumbled dreams.
I hope it’s the former.
Egwene is really starting to suspect everyone. It’s sad that it has come to this but it has.
And why is Verin acting suspiciously? Why didn’t she point them to the belongings of those 13 sisters when it was right by the library? I don’t like to suspect Verin.
I like Verin.
Uhh Egwene intruding on Perrin’s Wolf dream. Is it really him, I wonder? Will he be able to remember this encounter when we see things from his perspective again?
(On that note: we haven’t had a Perrin chapter in an awful long time which is odd because his POV started the book)
We haven’t seen Rand in so long that this could very real be him now. Fighting in his dreams and knowing how to channel fire. Poor Rand.
I do hope he is okay.
This book is called The Dragon Reborn, so when will we see the Dragon Reborn?
Could have been called Detective Witches.
SELENE!! That is Selene!
I am certain. She never quite appears... human. She is always too perfect. In this case too perfect in imperfections.
Stay back Egwene and leave NOW! You can’t possibly know what she might do.
Ah yes of course. So is this Selene’s plan for Rand? Disguise him as a servant, using Egwene as a messenger..?
Hm no it doesn’t sound like her. She’d be trying to force him into it directly talking about glory and how good it feels to channel.
See? See??? It’s definitely Selene! Hearing her talk, one would think that Ishamael and her were arch-enemies but I don’t know who he really is and why they would be.
Did Ishamael betray her or something? And is he free if his bonds yet...? Have we met him...?
Hmm... I wonder.
So is this book supposed to end with Rand getting the sword after Egwene and the friend lead shin to it and proclaim him the Dragon Reborn...?
Is that what the title is all about. Because I’m seeing very little here to warrant a title focused on Rand whom we barely see.
Get her AWAY! Don’t touch Selene!
...oh she sent Egwene back. But still. I did not like that.
That was invasive.
I think there should be a warning sing above Selene that reads:
Extremely dangerous Forsaken.
Might do anything.
Keep 10 feet away.
Do not feed.
Eh... Egwene? It’s good you keep Perrin’s stuff to yourself, but did you forget that Elayne doesn’t know that Rand can channel!? Or that he is the Dragon Reborn??
I know she’s not the brightest, but how can you risk telling her about that dream and revealing those secrets??
Ohh Elayne... that is the most princess-like thing she has said in this book.
And that doesn’t seem super smart but at the same time, maybe it is a good idea after all.
Uhm, Girls... you have really followed the example set forward by the boys lately. It seems you have all turned into complete woolheads.
Once it’s known that all 3 of you are gone, you don’t think anyone will put 2 and 2 together and realise you left TOGETHER?
And I bet that person is my lad Mat. So girls, are you going to break him out of his whiter tower prison?
Also poor Mat has been there for a while but they haven’t gone to visit him yet despite how sick he was before.
Oh well. So.. how are you going to get him out of the city?
Well Mat my lad certainly likes to dance. It’s sweet.
When he sees a sweet girl he always thinks about asking her to dance.
And here’s Elayne being a total princess again. She’s lucky that she’s cute or those tactics would not have gotten her far anywhere.
That’s what I’ve been saying!! He has never done anything for anyone else at any point during these books.
It’ll be a real interesting day, when Mat my lad decides to do something truly selfless. How many books down the line will that be..? 5...? 8...?
Oh well of course, yes. When you put it like that, Mat, it’s obvious how the girls will get you out!
So much happened that I forgot about that paper the Amyrlin Seat gave them when she handed them their mission. You’ll leave with no problems.
Your luck is good, Mat.
I like Mat’s whole gambling persona, but here’s my issue:
He did not gamble in book 1. We hardly heard mention of gambling in book 2, and now suddenly every character who thinks of Mat immediately only thinks of gambling..? Everyone.
It seems to be his defining characteristic now.
I get why it has happened this way. It’s tough to plan for such a long series such as this and it’s only now that we see Mat’s POV and he needs a strong character trait that is something other than: “likes treasures and his precious dagger”.
But we could have eased into it instead of suddenly having every character constantly say: Mat=gambling.
On another note, I adore Mat’s continued and constant observations about women and how little he feels like he understands.
He hasn’t been acting like the irresponsible jokester since book 1, but he certainly is a fun lad to read about now that he has his own POV chapters!
Day 9 : the day Mat filled his pockets and then got attacked.
Wisdom! That’s no way to talk about another women!
She certainly does have a temper this one.
Little less. Mostly temper.
Ah yes it was good timing. Good that you girls decided to give it another half a day before you left.
At least now you get to report first.
Oh Egwene you woolheaded girl... no tact, no tact.
The lads were just starting to learn but now it’s like I’m starting the “survival for woolheads” training program all over again for the girls.
Please, no more.
Aha! I knew the other one would be a women. But something tells me this is not the end of it. This is also very odd. Dead how? Who killed her? And why there? How?
.....Selene? Did you have a hand in this?
Aha! I knew I remembered something about Else being sent away.
It’s good that the Wisdom mentioned Else so that they could get this information.
Selene really did plant all of that there. Why? What is she out to do?
Wow.... how is she speaking like this to the Amyrlin Seat? And why is the Amyrlin taking it and not severely punishing the Wisdom...?
The Wisdom needs to calm down and learn to control her emotions.
Ahh that makes sense. But then, in that case, if the princess’ letter gets delivered, the Queen will be truly furious.
This will surely sever the little trust that remains between the Queen and Aes Sedai.
Oh goodness, Rand. There’s a worthy weapon. And two others she says... more powerful.... that’s...
3 weapons. And we have 3 ta’veren.
I’m just saying...
Ouch. I quite like it when the Wisdom is put in her place like this. She so often jumps to conclusions and is quick to anger without fully assessing the situation.
It isn’t a smart battle strategy. Sooner or later that’s going to her, and likely also others, into a lot of trouble.
Ohh Mat my lad.
This a good example of what it is that I adore in his POV chapters.
I’m starting to get why so many people favour Mat if he stays consistent with this.
Oh yes I was wondering what would happen to that when he walked away with it. Good! Now you have a weapon, Mat my lad.
You’re as ready as you’ll ever be, then.
Seriously never knew that Mat had this much Wisdom.
Where was all of that wisdom before he took the dagger in book one?
He had charm back then but little to no wisdom. In fact he was very foolish, especially at the thought of a certain great treasure.
It might, Mat my lad. It might.
Be careful. This whole endeavour could get you killed en route, or even upon arrival.
The Queen strikes me as someone who might decide to have the messenger killers just to send the message that she isn’t pleased.
Wow Mat’s luck is good!
He is going to fill his pockets until he has no more pockets to fill. Plenty of money for him to travel and stay at the expensive inns and get hot meal every night.
He is going to be clinking as he walks down the road.
Everything is always about gambling or dancing with Mat these days.
I do like those characteristics, but I’d like to know more too. Like:
Why does he like those things so much?
And when did he start gambling?
Some... pretty hefty powers there, Mat. Care to dial it down a tone before someone takes offense?
Is this the old timey person’s strength or how is he able to do this?