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. I tend to read 2-3 chapters a day. This is part 2 of book 3. You can find part one here. Let's get on with it.
Day 11 : the day Perrin met Falcon
I love these fairytale snippets that are left behind on Rand’s trail.
Okay the burning village was less lovely, I admit, but overall I adore them.
They give me a certain nostalgia for childhood, and yet also add such a lovely and warm feeling to this world.
Hmm I wonder what that smell is.
Is it a trace of Rand?
A grey man...?
I wonder what role this Aielman will have to play in the pattern, and why he is so integral to Perrin’s future that Min fixated on him.
Well Perrin, there is no way to avoid your future, you better make sure this Aielman isn’t killed.
20 years?? I thought this was ages ago! It hasn’t even been a century. Hardly even a generation! That’s so recent!
No wonder people don’t like them when it’s so recent.
Isn’t Rand about 20 years old..? There's a connection here, isn’t there?
Hm... this hunter... we’re going to see him again aren’t we?
It seems dangerous to be around these Hunters. They’re adventurers, and they sniff where they're not supposed to. Well, technically they're sniffing the right way, because this group certainly does know where the Horn is.
Uh no, Whitecloaks. I hope they don’t recognise Perrin.
There is certainly some beef there that needs to be resolved some day.
And on this I actually agree with the Horn Hunter.
Ohh Loial is always so sweet. Sung wood!
I knew he would be happy when the inn owner said they had a real Ogier bed they would bring up. But I did not imagine sung wood.
I bet that bed would offer good sleep.
Well maybe he has learned to travel, except, do remember that he is self-taught so he might not know exactly what he can do with it.
He has likely discovered it by chance.
Haha yes they’re handsome our three lads. But.... Moiraine, you should learn to take him seriously. Because I fear that this is worse.
I worried when we first saw her. Initially I suspected Selene, but she wasn’t perfect enough to be. I fear she is something similar, though.
Oh Perrin. Especially after that last wolfbrother, eh?
I’m glad Perrin listened to the call of destiny (and the moral call within himself) and freed this Aielman. It feels... important.
A Stone Dog meeting a Wolfbrother. They were fated to me. I’m liking this developing friendship and mutual respect. For once I’m actually okay with Perrin sharing the truth.
...I don’t know why I trust the Aiel. Maybe because they remind me of Rand?
Normally I would have been screaming “Woolhead!!!” at Perrin, but no, I actually think this is wise.
The Aielmen are part of this.
What was theirs and lost..? Rand?
Oh great, NOW the Whitecloaks decide to show up.
Well, Perrin, I don’t think you’re going to be popular with these guys either after you kill this group...
You thought what Lan?? At this point everything is important! Perrin smelled something off in this place and that girl was watching him.
Whatever you thought, it was important.
Who is this girl anyways?
THE FALCON?? So soon after the Aielman!?
So... the Falcon was supposed to be a girl right...?
So is that girl who was watching Perrin?
Hmm... is this some ancient past...?
Like with Mat? Some old instincts?
Or is it a wolf thing?
Old or new?
Okay, what is she up to?
She is not nearly as smooth as Selene. I take back my earlier suspicions.
If it was her giving off the strange smell Perrin would have commented on it now, so it wasn’t.
Oh Perrin. I haven’t seen him relax this much with some in ages. Well actually, possibly ever.
I am uncertain about this girl. She seems.... too trusting? Too eager?
I don't think she's a darkfriend, but I still don't have to like her.
That, I can understand, but why is she telling him everything so openly? And why is she trying to sound smart...?
And talking so much?
I’m undecided about this girl. I’d like to like her from that last line but talks a bit too much for my liking.
Hm. That seems out of character for Perrin. Usually he would scold himself for saying that out loud. Rand may say it and mean it but Perrin second guesses himself and tends to be a bit more... progressive. At least from what we’ve seen in book 1 and 2.
I suppose it does account for her being condescending towards him, though.
How does SHE know of Manetheren? Because even our Two Rivers folk didn’t know of it before Moiraine told them.
Ha! I knew that name sounded familiar! Oh that’s funny. Feels like a bit of payback after she has been talking down to Perrin like that.
First off, girl: he is a blacksmith, and if you’d looked twice at his arms you’d know that.
Second off: farmboy isn’t an insult.
Oh yes, of course she is the falcon.
I don’t think she a Forsaken or even evil. She doesn’t seem nearly smart enough.
She’s just someone who got caught up with a ta’veren, for some reason.
I’m a bit worried I won’t like her.
She’s giving me Min vibes. But I guess we’ll see.
Day 12 : the day Perrin uncovered the truth about Selene
A Selene chapter.... oh no....! Do we have to..? I really don’t like her.
I hope she doesn’t do something exceptionally evil or try to frame our lovable characters for something.
Play nice, Selene, or you can’t go the playground anymore.
Blessedly, you say, Perrin.
I happen to have a different opinion. I’m over here worried sick that you’re going to go to sleep and not have the help of the wolves in your dreams.
I worry that all that’s keeping you safe in your dreams are those wolves.
It’s so nice to see Hopper here.
Our connection to him in life was so short lived, but his dying moments were epic and it’s nice to see Perrin’s connection to him, even if it is in the dream world.
...has this man never had a dream before?
Or am I the weird one out?
I often have strange dreams that feel completely real, especially when I’m in them, but oftentimes also after waking.
If having dreams that feel real is a sign of madness then.... send urgent help!
Uhh the Dark One! Wouldn’t want to meet him, even in an unrealistic dream.
Also, how and why is Perrin seeing this? Who put him there to watch...?
SELENE ALERT!! Lock your doors, close your windows! Selene is in town!
In a way her perfection is very useful. She becomes very easy to spot. If something is a little too shiny or perfect you can be certain Selene is behind it.
Ah good. Now at least Perrin knows the truth and hopefully he won’t be as dumb as Min and KEEP IT TO HIMSELF. Come on, this is important stuff. They all need to know. Especially Rand.
Also, Selene controls dreams? Is she the one who planted Perrin there..?
Huh? It was Hopper. But Hopper is dead. Are we sure it wasn’t an intended trick by Selene?
Oh what is she up to?
Interestingly, she is not afraid of the Dark One, and that only makes her more terrifying.
Me too, Perrin, me too. Crying like a girl.
Oh Hopper. Accomplishing his dreams of flying! Isn’t that beautiful?
Hopper became my favourite wolf in that one paragraph right when he died. It was terrible. And I can’t even blame that one on Selene.
Yes, good Perrin! Tell her of annoying Selene! At least now Selene can’t fool any of you guys.
Seriously, why didn’t Min tell them all about this?
Seems like really dangerous information to keep to yourself.
You had us worried for a moment there, Moiraine. So... are you telling him to be careful not to tell anyone else this?
You do realise that he likely never would have, right? Only you, because you’re helping them and there has to be some mutual trust there for this thing to work.
Well done Perrin. You’re always very good at getting straight to the truth. That’s a very neat skill. You’re also very good at listening to your instincts, another good skill.
Please remember this next time you meet an incredibly beautiful Woman... Or a hawk.
Okay, Moiraine. See, this is why no one trusts you.
That is not cool. If you want them to tell you important stuff then you gotta keep them in the loop. From what I’ve learnt about Aes Sedai, this seems like a Blue Ajah thing.
After how Moiraine just dismissed you, Perrin, I don’t even blame you for holding stuff back anymore. As long as it’s not important stuff.
But then again, who is to say what is important and what isn’t? Lanfear being loose is incredibly important but Moiraine barely blinked.
Is this Grey man, possibly? Trying to get close to Rand to assassinate him. Thinking he will be an easy target since he has no weapon... not realising that
Rand can now CONJURE A SWORD FROM FLAMES!?!!
Yes, that’s badass.
We’ve met the falcon, so who is the hawk? Two women yes? And fighting...? Over Perrin? Over something else?
Reading about Perrin jumping from a cliff I’m glad we at least know that Hopper can fly.
It is technically possible, then. At least in the world of dreams.
So a grey man for Mat, surprise, surprise. Of course there would be more assassins.
As for the woman with fireworks, I don’t know, but that seems interesting.
I trust that’s not Selene..? Or it would have been “perfectly beautiful woman”
Egwene is really becoming an Aes Sedai now, thinking like that.
She even sounds a bit like a Blue Ajah. I had really hoped she would decide to become a Green battle Ajah, because that’s super cool.
I wonder what the princess would choose.
Aha I remember being told about this when I was on an earlier book but this is the first time the sentiment really lands with me.
The princess seems to have visited very little of her kingdom. One would think that visiting the entire kingdom would be mandatory training.
Okay, we get it. The Wisdom has a braid and when she’s angry she tugs on it. It was a nice detail the first three times it was brought up.
Now it’s every time we see the Wisdom.
I get it. She is basically the hulk. She is angry ALL THE TIME.
Oh dear princess... If your goal is to make these two girls stop their tug of war for power, then I suggest you stop.
The Wisdom does need to be challenged. She doesn’t do well with power and Egwene does need to assert herself.
I’m only sorry that you’re caught in the middle, princess.
Yes. The Wisdom need to learn to make decisions with the others instead of deciding for everyone and wanting to do everything on her own.
Wisdom. This was Moiraine mistake.
You’re turning into Moiraine, Wisdom.
I assume that’s the last thing you’d want.
Day 13 : the day our girls met Spear maidens
Egwene is really growing to be a proper Aes Sedai.
She has come so far! She started out as a girl studying to be Wisdom and dreaming of leaving Two Rivers, someday.
(Also I ADORE reading about the Aiel, so I’m excited about this development)
Hmm that sounds about right although that really depends on the type of bow.
Traditional Korean bows are shot at a 145 meter range which would be about 190 paces. Obviously those bows can shoot further but the targets are placed at 145m for a regular training session. That is highly unusual for traditional archery worldwide. So yes. A different bow might not shoot quite as far.
Long memories...? 20 years...?? Even I remember things from 20 years ago.
Do people die THAT young in this world...?
In other news: the princess is BOLD.
It’s in moments like these that the truly Wisdom shines!
She is very condescending generally but it’s fun to read when she is being condescending to others and not the princess and Egwene.
Haha ohh this is good. I love this. Of course the Aiel would be unfamiliar with these things and find it scary. At least if they’re 20 years old or younger and don’t remember what the rest of the world looks like.
It’s remarkable that they have come so far, actually, considering how strange this world must be to them. Green and water everywhere. Cold too, I would assume.
Interesting. I wonder what sin that is.
Losing Rand? The Dragon Reborn?
No, it can’t be...
Did they... side with the Dark One? Or support men who can channel..?
What else can one do to incur the rage of the White Tower.
Forgotten much, or, covered up their war crimes.
Balefire sounds really dangerous but I wonder what it actually looks like and when Egwene will learn to conjure it.
Is it an unspoken crime for an Aes Sedai to conjure Balefire?
A blood debt, you say?
Even if the Wisdom refuses, that has got to come in handy.
It seems like it would be a great thing to be owed a debt by Aiel.
Shadowrunners is a good name for them! I like that way better.
Although... would that refer to darkfirends or Fades?
Are these Aiel going to follow our girls like the Falcon follows Perrin?
Oh... you had to go and ruin it, Wisdom. You girls were having a nice moment there.
This whole Wisdom vs. Egwene thing is going to end really badly if they don’t talk about it and come to an understanding soon.
With two channelling women, there’s no telling how it’ll unfold.
Should have done your research, guys. Sometimes things are exactly as they seem. A sleepwell really does just make you sleep well, not longer.
We haven’t seen this mentor student relationship between these two since... well book 1. It's nice to see a glimpse of it again. It seems to be the root of their issues with each other.
Ah yes, I know, things are complicated.
Ohh so they’re actively hunting the girls too? Not just Mat and Rand and Perrin anymore.
So the girls are so tightly woven into the pattern that they may topple the whole thing if they aren’t around.
Good to know.
Ohhh Egwene, the Wisdom beat you to it and you don’t even know how to replicate it.
This is going to fuel the issues between these two, isn’t it?
The Wisdom has so much natural talent that it’s a little annoying.
That’s a nice saying. I feel like the Aielmen have a nice way of speaking and formulating themselves.
I really like the Aiel and would like to see more of them. Can’t they join the quest, please?
See? They have answers!
Oh come on, we have to go see the Wise Ones now!
I’ll take any excuse I can to see more of the Aiel!
Huh, I read just as much as usual but these pages just flew by. I think it’s because there was so much of the Aiel. I think they’re my favourites kinds of people to read about.
Day 14 : the day Mat met the Illuminator
It’s fun that they’re all this concerned about not being part of the Queendom.
The Queen really ought to make frequent visits to all of her lands if she intends to call them hers.
Yes. Right. The letter no one but the three girls and Thom know you have is the reason Grey Men are eager to murder you. Right.
Mat my lad. Sooner or later you’ll realise that the pattern’s pull on you is strong.
Congratulations Mat my lad!! You’re fully healed!!!
I did enjoy reading about his compulsive eating and struggling not to lick the crumbs, but I’m glad that he seems to have recovered and have his full strength now.
Hey hey, Thom! Are you looking down on horses? Horse meat tastes delicious. Nothing desperate about it.
In fact back in the Viking Age the Swedes refused to become a Christian unless they were still allowed to eat horse meat.
Great, I'm hungry now. I seem to have inherited Mat’s hunger.
Aha. It almost sounds like you’re going to have to accompany Mat and meet Morgase, Thom, to figure out what this is all about.
Is she okay..? Or has she been silenced by darkfriends? Or turned?
Word of advice: if someone offers you a crazy bet like this, as confidently as Mat my lad here, do NOT take the bet. You WILL lose.
Good going for Mat though, seems like have just got them some sweet rides.
Ohhh the Illuminator Egwene saw in her dream! Already?
Hmm I wonder why she will be important. And I did feel like the names were familiar. So these were the Illuminator we saw in the last book, no? Arguing while Selene was being all... mysterious and beautiful and distracting.
Ohh this makes me feel warm and nostalgic.
This is how it began. With Mat my lad being really excited ah the prospect of seeing Fireworks and Beltine.
Ahh... back in the day before the lads knew that Trollocs were for real and the Dark Lord was hunting them.
Mat my lad really has a soft heart.
Always wanting to help and make sure beautiful women he might want to dance with sonny go hungry.
I wonder how this will play out for him. Please don’t let yourself be corrupted to abandon this soft heart, Mat.
Oh yes, me too! I would love to see what Loial has written about his journey and what he will write about his three ta’veren friends.
Ohh that diss!
Moiraine feels quite harsh sometimes but there’s a lot of similarities between the Wisdom and Moiraine. More and more as I go along, it would seem.
On another note, I’m not wild about the Falcon. I’d be quite happy for her to leave.
Me neither, Perrin. I didn’t ask her to come either, and I don’t really want her there.
Can’t we just tie her up and leave?
I suppose the pattern wouldn’t let us, eh? She’s part of the pattern now.
She isn’t a very good listener. Asks questions although she took an oath not to do so. And she expect others to call her by her chosen name but refuses to give Perrin the same curtesy.
Oh no. Oh no. I see what’s going on here.
There’s going to be a love story here, isn’t there?
Oh no... I think I’d even prefer a relationship between Rand and Selene to this.
Tammaz. Wasn’t that what the male Illuminator in the last chapter was called..?
....I really don’t want this romance to happen, but I swear the signs are there. It’s in the works.
I hope I’m wrong.
Oh no, Loial, that does not sound good.
Of course, his stedding is nearby. So he is almost travelling homewards.
Does this mean that Loial won’t stay with us for much longer? Oh no, please don’t let him leave.
Well... Only if it’s dangerous. Loial needs to live.
Sweet sweet Loial. We have to ensure that he survives.
He MUST not die.
So, if he needs to go back to the stedding for that to happen, okay then.
Darkfriend alert! This sounds really suspicious!
Something dark and dangerous has been happening here and I do believe that Lord Brend is at the centre of it all.
Uhh shared dreams! Is this Verin’s Dreamworld or something else?
Is Selene involved? She controls dreams, doesn’t she? Has she taken control over this city...?
No.... glory would be in everyone’s minds if it was Selene, wouldn’t it?
Is the king still alive or is he dead..? This sounds suspicious.
And cut off from Tear... strangely convenient with everyone heading towards Tear. Why though..? Is it really Selene’s doing?
Hmm that is odd indeed.
We might learn a lot by your returning to your stedding, Loial.
The Builders must know something of what’s going on.
Ah. Do you see now, Moiraine? Perrin is a strong ta’veren and he is part of this.
One leg of the tripod and you must protect him as surely as you would protect Rand.
....I didn’t mean for you to go and die, Moiraine. Just to take Perrin more seriously.
And wow Perrin’s wolf senses are really strengthening. I like the slow build of his superpowers. It’s always nice to see a hero in the making.
Day 15 : the day Mat delivered the letter
That doesn’t sound good.
We’re discovering an awful lot of different servants to the Dark One.
Will there be a new reveal in each book?
Ohh no. Is that where Mat’s luck comes from?
Because I’m really worried about where his luck comes from. But if it was from Ba’alzamon, why would he also send Grey Men after Mat..?
Maybe it’s more of a metaphor..?
Creepy! How did she get into his room and why is she watching him sleep? ...Is she actually a sparkly vampire called Edward?
In other thoughts: how come Perrin can see so much in his dreams? He seems to be a dreamer just like Egwene. But I thought that was a rare skill...?
My point exactly! How does he have those skills?
And the Foresaken ARE?? So more than Lanfear is free. Ishamael..? Are all of them loose or just several of them? How did they all get free?
Oh no Perrin... you’re usually more careful than this. Usually you think things through, but that seems to have stopped in this book. Why...?
It was one of the things I really liked about Perrin.
Okay so Sammael rules Illian. Where does Ishamael rule? My guess is on Tear.
And was that bale fire??? So it IS forbidden just like I thought.
Oh no... another Foresaken here too, I take it. They’ve assumed command all throughout the lands.
This guard is so going to regret treating Mat like this when Mat follows in Rand’s footsteps and climbs over the wall. I assume that's how he will get in. If that’s doesn’t work for Mat, there’s always Thom. He probably know a thing or two.
Good point Mat my lad. He is very self-aware. In fact, I would argue that in this book, Mat is self aware in the same way that Perrin was in the first two books. Careful and thoughtful.
Mat has many other nice qualities why couldn’t Perrin keep this one..?
Definitely dealing with a Darkfriend or Foresaken here! Servant of the Dark One.
Are they all beautiful and charming like Selene?
Is that how they’ve managed this? The power of beauty and seduction..?
See? Mat is fun and I adore the way he keeps bringing up things from home.
It’s something I always wished the other characters did. I expected for it to happen with Egwene but it only happened twice and then she seemed to forget about home. It’s nice to see someone who remembers what it was like to grow up in the Tw oRivers and let their childhood influence their current-day decisions.
See?? See?? Definitely a Darkfriend, at the very least.
Possibly a Foresaken planning to rule alone.
There were 12 Foresaken more, weren’t there...? So they could successfully rule each kingdom and queendom... rule all of the lands.
It’s interesting that he would assume it would be so easy to get a personal audience with the Queen. Actually, everyone seem to assume it's easy to get a private audience with the queen. What's up with that?
And Mat my lad seems to be really lucky, again.
This Tallanvor seems to be a decent guy who is the right side and not under the control of a Foresaken.
Hahaha! I had forgotten about the flower he put into his hair. That is funny and classic Mat.
Uhm, you’re getting a bit bold with your wagers here, Mat my lad.
And how do you plan to tell her? Do you think you’ll be alone with her? Or will you just blurt it out and be prisoned or killed..?
I like the fondness in her voice here even if ultimately the Princess is still in trouble.
It’s nice to see the Queen be proud of her daughter.
Uh uh see?? This guy seems to be using Whitecloak techniques. I’ll readily admit it: I’m not super fond of this. I don’t like this Gaebril person. I wonder which of the Foresaken he is.
He has to be a Foresaken or... a former Whitecloak.
Oh no. That does not sound good. What happens if he kills Elayne, Lady Dyelin disappears mysteriously and Morgase dies after their wedding...?
Who would rule then...?
I reckon he would, at least until they might find another candidate. And by then it would be too late.
So you’ve decided to help them, then. Mat really is soft-hearted. It’s nice to see him bravely take on a mission like this.
Wait... Is this... the first time Mat is stepping up for someone else, and not for his own sake..?
That’s a smart way to get the word to her. But will it be enough for her to get rid of him?
And will she even be able to?
Or will she simply be killed if she tries to get rid of him?
This game. It’s a version of Go isn’t it?
Every time we hear of it, I end up imagining a baduk/go board.
But the games seem to be over too quickly.
I suppose that could just indicate less skilled players..?
Oh congratulations, Thom, for realising that you’ve moved on.
The heart is difficult to change and while time may heal wounds, the question is always: how much time?
As Tablo's lyrics go:
“They say that time flies,
But you keep breaking its wings.”
Ha! I love these generalisations. There have been a few of them, especially in this book and while I tend to fall on the male side of these observations, they’re still fun.
Epic ending. Mat the gambler, confident and with a mission, now. A self-chosen mission to help others.
How you’ve grown in this book, Mat my lad.
But there is still growing to do, and pages to read.
125 in this book to be exact.
Close to the end. Again.
Day 16 : the day everyone arrived in Tear
Okay I gotta ask. I get how these three girls are using fake names, they’re only accepted at this point and haven’t taken oaths.
But... Moiraine has been going by a false name before. Is she able to do this by having Lan introduce her? Never say her one name. So she doesn’t lie?
Bad dream here too. Like in Illian.
Is this Selene, or do all Foresaken have the ability to manipulate dreams?
Wow. Calm down Princess. I think Egwene is right. But I get that you don’t want her to say it aloud.
But is the Wisdom going to realise if she isn’t told?
I doubt she would like becoming more and more like Moiraine and not even realise it until it’s too late.
Wow, dude. Good guess! Yes you do that. Pretend that they’re Black Ajah. That sounds like a good idea, good sir.
FYI though, there are a lot of Aes Sedai in Tear. At least right now. Especially if Accepted also count.
Uh! Scary! The book burner knows that they’re coming!
I suppose it’s good that Egwene now knows that they know (that's a tongue twister).
This way our girls can be more prepared.
That is the most Mat thing ever.
Notice how this quest was technically a selfless quest to begin with but now Mat has made it a selfish one by making it into a wager..?
Little do you know, Mat, that if anyone can actually go home at this point, it would be you.
But you’re all three ta’veren and all of you have been woven into the pattern. There is no going back anymore.
And as you say, you’ve tasted adventure now.
Would you even want to return?
Mat’s luck is really insane.
I like reading about it but I’m also really suspicious. Especially since Perrin dreamt about Mat growing dice with Ba’alzamon.
Can he truly rely on his luck? And where does it stem from?
This is true. In that past that is definitely what has gotten you in trouble.
I think I definitely screamed “Woolhead!” At you once or twice in book 1.
Good that Mat uses a quarterstaff, then, and not a sword or other noticeable weapon.
So you can tell a lord or a merchant easily on the street, if he wears a weapon. But this man is not a merchant and considering what he is here to do, I reckon he isn’t a nice man either.
I don’t think that’s why he is winning, Mat my lad. No one has your luck.
No, I think we’re dealing with loaded dice. But I bet your luck can win even against loaded dice.
(Bold bet, I know. Reading about Mat is making me into a gambling woman)
Oh wow. His luck can even spin loaded dice! That’s incredible.
Is that the pattern pulling?
Did Mat just feel the Pattyern like Rand did at the end of book 2? (Well like I think Rand did at the end of book 2)
Your luck truly is good, Mat my lad. You found him before he could find the girls and do any real damage.
Now that you’ve revealed yourself to him, how will you deal with him? I suspect you’re going to be using your quarterstaff. You ought to interrogate him with a little torture. He knows stuff.
Oh. You killed him? Okay then. Did you really think that he was alone Mat my lad...?
There was much you could have learnt from him. Like: exactly why does the Princess need to die? What plan did he have of finding them? Who does he serve? But it’s too late now.
Good observation, Mat my lad. Now you can capitalise on your luck.
Well... as long as you can trust your luck, at least.
As long as it doesn’t come from Ba’alzamon.
Are Mat’s dreams as accurate as Egwene’s, Perrin’s and Rand's dreams?
Is it a ta’veren thing? And Egwene just happens to be able to do it as well. Or it’s because she is so closely tied to these three ta’veren...? And that’s why there hasn’t been a Dreamer in ages. because there haven't been this strong ta'veren.
This is a lovely sequence.
It’s nice to actually see Perrin be a blacksmith and show off his skills. Something he is good at.
Is he going to stay in Tear? Surely this is going to lead to a job offer?
Oh well fair enough.
At least you get to use a hammer and forget your troubles for a while.
Cleanse your mind by returning to something familiar.
Be’lal. Okay. So not Ishamael.
So we know the names of four different Foresaken, now:
Be’lal who rules Tear
Sammael who rules Illian
Ishamael (no idea where he is)
Lanfear (no idea where she is either)
I’m with you, Perrin. She is being annoying.
Oh I really don’t like her.
Please stop falling in love with her, Perrin
I don’t like this match. I can see you falling and I don’t like it because I don’t like this character.
That is... quite the plan and does not sound good for Rand. You guys better find him soon!
This book is called the Dragon Reborn and that title still does not seem to represent this book. So at the very least you guys can save him so he can pronounce himself the Dragon Reborn at the end.
Okay so the two strongest are fighting against each other. Have they split up into two factions or something?
The Foresaken sound really strong. Selene certainly is strong. She has proven that many times. They will not be easy to defeat, will they?
(They better not be. I don't really want a Seanchan battle repeat.)
Day 17 : the day I finished the book
Wisdom. By now, you ought to know that Dreams are important. It is definitely Rand.
Please tell the others that he is there.
Also have a good think about this: why are the Black Ajah in Tear if not to capture Rand? If not then why muddy Tear of all places?
Yes Wisdom, you ought to show patience. And these people aren’t odd, they’re just different from you. You’re just as odd to them.
Great. Another reason for me not to like the Wisdom. A willingness to accept and understand different cultures is kind of important to me given my... life.
That sounds suspicious. “The others”?? That’s an odd phrasing. Yes, Wisdom. Don’t trust him.
(To clarify my earlier statements: I don’t hate the Wisdom. 90% of the time I just don’t connect with her, and she tends to annoy me)
See? Egwene is hella fierce! You’re not the only one who will fight, Wisdom. And I hope you’re going to ascend beyond that sometime soon.
It’s frustrating that you girls can’t just get along and compliment each other because you have abilities. Together you could be unstoppable.
Now, THIS is one of the things I really do like about the Wisdom.
She doesn’t give up hope and she has a lot of resilience.
If someone has wronged her, you can be certain they will pay for it.
Girls... do you really think that these Black Ajah will be as easily fooled as you would have been...?
No way are they going to fall for this.
And besides, it wouldn’t matter to them. I don’t think they’d be worried even if the Amyrlin Seat was there.
Oh, just you trust your luck, Mat.
Seriously it’s an insane amount of luck that this lad has. As ever, I’m worried about where it originates from. Unless it‘s just the pull of the Pattern that Mat calls luck because he is a gambler and luck is important to him.
Oh yes it can, Mat. Your luck is crazy.
Now you know where to go and maybe you’ll end up teaming up with the other people, since everyone is in Tear.
Yes. That is not something a High Lord would do.
That’s because this dude isn’t a High Lord but a Foresaken!
Mat, I know you’re a Woolhead at times, but... please tell me you’re hearing this so you’ll know to be careful.
Mat is such a soft-hearted lad.
....It’s going to get him into trouble, isn’t it? Sooner or later. Next book, I wager.
I do hope that he continues to be kindhearted even if it causes him downfall.
I think this book should just be called “The World of Dreams” at this point.
Or “the Scars of Dreams” or something like that.
Because we’ve seen under 20 pages of the Dragon Reborn but half of the book has been about dreams.
Aha! Finally one of those objects the Book Burner and her followers stole!
So they have clearly figured out what they do. At least this one.
And more importantly: they know that this party has arrived in Tear. There will be no surprise. Their arrival is expected.
Yes, Mat. All three of you Two Rivers lads are fools and Woolheads at time. But I find it funny that you’d judge this guy (Rand, clearly) for doing the exact same thing as you’re trying to do.
Ahh Mat’s wonderful contradictions.
How does Moiraine know who studied this one?
That is Brown Ajah level knowledge.
Moiraine hasn’t been to the White Tower since the Book Burner left.
Loial is so sweet and loyal that he ALMOST makes me care about that falcon.
But I really don’t. Is it just me, though...? Does anyone like the falcon? Is it just me who doesn’t like her? Is she a fan favourite like the Wisdom?
This is really epic!
But... because I really don’t care about the falcon and I’m not worried that Perrin will come out of this, it does nothing for me.
In this book, at least, the falcon has been presented as someone we're supposed to be intrested in purely because she's a female hunter.
So far, she has given NO contribution to the party, other than constantly giving people calling names and asking questions when she promised that she wouldn't.
I am given no reason to care about her.
Oh the Aiel!!
I’d like all three of our lads to go with the Aiel.
I’m interested to see how each one of them would fit in/react to the Aiel way of life.
Preferably is like them to go with the Aiel each on their own, instead of the trio going together.
Ha! Mat my lad would like that. He loves dancing. Although he probably means it a little different from how this spear-maiden does.
We need Mat to go and be among the Aiel. It would be great.
It’s the effect of the Dragon Reborn, Mat my lad.
People get married and killed and follow him to the roofs without even knowing what compels them to take that path.
Sandar was good after all! The book burner clearly overestimated her power of persuasion, or alternatively severely underestimated Sandar’s strength.
It might have something to do with the pattern too. But everything does.
(My autocorrect keeps insisting that he is really called Sandra..)
....why doesn’t he trust his own luck and follow Sandar and make a distraction once he is inside the Stone and needs to escape?
That seems like it would be a better use of that firework since he has already been offered a way inside.
Unless Sandar really isn’t all that good and the fact that he does this is part of Mat’s luck.
Or if this way will get him inside without a fight, although that seems doubtful to me.
So Sandar WAS good, like he said earlier.
So there was really no need to make this big of a splash entrance and attract all of the guards, was there?
Unless this means that Rand is able to enter easily? In that case I suppose it would the Pattern interfering, again.
Oh that is very smart! Okay, I’m okay with dreams when they have real world consequences and can help with current affairs. So yes, you go Egwene.
(This book should really have been called The World of Dreams or something like that)
Egwene is really skilled at this. It’s cool to see how quickly she is able to pick up on how something is done and copy it.
Elayne seems to be good at it as well, but honestly we see very little of Elayne other than when she tries to get the other two to stop fighting.
Very good, Egwene.
I like seeing her in control, considering how hard she has had to fight to get there.
I reckon that if the Wisdom ever learns to channel without anger and control herself, I’d enjoy her more.
Haha Mat my lad! Yes, being a hero is hard work.
Apparently another thing that no one told you was that treasures couple be dangerous. If they had told you that and you had listened maybe you wouldn’t have been incapacitated for 2 books.
Wooow! Now THAT’s a cool head image!!
It’s the Dragon’s banner!!!
While we're on the topic: where is that banner now? We heard of it at the beginning and then Rand left but did he take it with him or is it with Moiraine?
Fair point, Rand. You’ve grown while we’ve been away from each other, eh? Well done!
(Why did we need 3 accounts of characters arriving in Tear in 3 consecutive chapters, but only get 1 account of someone entering the Stone, which is much more difficult to do! Why couldn’t we see Rand’s POV too?)
Aiel to the rescue!
So the Stone isn’t all that impenetrable after all.
(I still really want to knowing how Rand got inside because for Mat it was mainly luck.)
Now Moraine's here too, and we don’t know how she did it either??
Why was it more important to have the mud in Tear described 3 times in roughly the same way...?
But, Moiriane’s right, Rand. It’s prophecy.
It might be dangerous, but we’re beyond that at this point.
Very epic, but I think I’m not feeling it as much we the first two books because this is the third time we see this exact fight. I don’t think anything more is going to come of it this time either.
But Rand, now you can’t possibly deny that you’re the Dragon Reborn! Right?
Into the world of dreams for a fight? Or one of those parallel universes?
Rand is a natural.
He isn’t figuring out how to do it like Egwene can see how something is done and copy it. He just... sort of does it.
Ahh yes, of course. The "magic" still holds, like Egwene could make her weave stay even when walking away and waking from the dream...
Wait.... did Egwene unknowingly still that woman by tying her up and leaving her? Or could someone else undo that...? No, stilling is more difficult than that.
Goodness. Mat my lad’s kindhearted nature nearly got them killed.
Phew. That was a close call.
You better learn to carry yourself with a little suspicion, Mat. You’re not going to go far if you keep treating women like this. They’re going to kill you so fast.
Hahah Mat my lad. Yea I don’t know what you were thinking to convince yourself that these women would thank you for “saving them”.
That’s just going to make them shake their heads saying: “Men.”
Is this going to leave a lasting mark on you, Mat? A reminder not to take women too lightly because they might be spear-maidens or Aes Sedai, or worse.
Your own mother, if she were here, would have had you by the ear by now, Mat my lad.
This would be really emotional... if I had any emotional attachment to this girl at all. But I don’t.
And I never doubted Perrin. I guess I’m happy if he is happy but gosh he could have fallen for a nicer girl.
Uhm Rand.... not to dampen the mood here, but I really doubt that you killed him. Because you’ve said that twice before and he didn’t die either time...
But yes!!! You finally see???
You are the DRAGON REBORN!!! Please don’t deny it again!
Yes!!! Say it! Shout it! Own it!!! And please don’t give us the same treatment as last when you decided to accept that you’re the Dragon Reborn at the end ikr the last book and went back on that at the beginning of this book. Please stand by this!
You and me both, Mat. But Perrin hasn’t been wise all throughout this book. Even before the Falcon appeared. And he has been swept away by the falcon and has different priorities now.
That’s fine, but I would have liked for that to be tied in too. So he could have taken part now.
Ohh nice twist!!
And now I think “The People of the Dragon” would have been a great title since we have been with anyone but Rand in this book. We have been with his mates and not him.
Oh of course The People of the Dragon are the Aiel, since he is a born Aielman.
As I was saying. It wouldn’t be that easy to kill the Dark One.
Well, I’d hope not.
But the important thing is this: Rand has gained a sword again. An AWESOME sword!
Oh no, please don’t let this be true.
I was so excited to figure out who Ishamael was from how Selene talks about him.
And it’s more exciting to face a guy straight on than to be told later: oh that cool villain we’ve been talking about? well you’ve already defeated him.
It’s Perrin’s hawk!!!
Oh Perrin should have been there and seen that. I would have loved to hear his commentary here.
I hope I like the hawk better than I like the falcon. Time will tell. Maybe I’ll know in the next book.
Oh yes. The pattern is not done with you yet, Mat. And it won’t be for a great many books! Buckle up and prepare for more adventure!
Let’s see where the pattern sweeps you off to next.
(Off with the Aiel, hopefully?)
Thus, I turned the last page and finished the Dragon Reborn.
Only time will tell what shadows will rise in the next adventure. Whatever the shadows may be, may the adventure continue to be grand.
Final Thoughts on the Dragon Reborn
What really struck me about this book, is how clear it was to see Robert Jordan evolving as a writer and also that the series was evolving along a slightly different path than the one initially lain out.
Some new descriptions of characters appeared which really coloured both characters and their world.
Many of the characters were assigned defining descriptions (a neat writing trick especially for books with many characters). For example, the Wisdom tugging at her braid and Mat had a few different ones; mainly everyone suddenly referred to him as a gambler, and he thought of dancing each time he saw a girl.
On the surface these were great additions to the characters and helped create a strong vision of who they were, but when repeated more than a dozen times, it quickly became old and I found myself wishing to get another description of them.
On the topic of repetition in the second half of the book we had three consecutive chapters that involved characters arriving in Tear with similar descriptions of the city and its people.
And then there's the obvious repetition of the main conflict at the end being Rand going up against Ba'alzamon, which is how each of the previous instalments have ended as well.
Hopefully with ten books to go, there will be new villains for us to face (like the Foresaken) in future book finales, and that will give some fresh air to the conflict.
However, aside from these instances of repetition, the narrative flowed much nicer in this book.
More attention seems to have been paid to pacing and frequent progress was made along the way.
There were much less travel chapters for the sake of moving characters from point A to B. Characters still had to move across the map but in this book it was handled much better, because plot devices were interlaced along the journey in a satisfying way.
Moving characters across a map in a satisfying way is very difficult to do well.
It's one of the constant obstacles fantasy authors especially tend to run into, because there are only so many ways in which you can travel in a fantasy setting and neither readers nor writers typically like being stuck in one setting the entire time.
We want to explore the world. So a round of applause to Robert Jordan for inventing new ways to deal with this issue in each book. From the Ways in book 1 to Parallel worlds in book 3 to the constant development along a more traditional travel road that we have now.
Mat's POV has been a great addition to this book and it seems that a lot of effort went into it.
His chapters are engaging to read. Nothing much needs to happen because it's a joy to explore Mat's inner world a little more.
Which brings us to another subtle change: we're a lot deeper into the heads of our characters in this book, especially Mat. I like this change.
On the flip side, Perrin seems to have lost his clear POV voice which was established in book 1 and 2. A few chapters into the book his POV shifted to a different focus, rendering him a lot more like Rand than he was in the first instalments.
I still think that "The Dragon Reborn" is a great title, but also that it was wasted on this book.
This book might show us the moment Rand calls himself the Dragon Reborn, but it is not about the Dragon Reborn, so to me that title sends the wrong message.
Overall, the quality of writing in this book feels higher than the first two, and it's really exciting to see the progress both the story and writer make from book to book.
There was a lot of very exciting development in this one, and surprisingly, a proper ending too. Often in long series you might not get a proper wrap up and ending in each book, but this one certainly provided.
I'm really excited to see what's in store for the rest of the series!
Experience the collection of my live tweets about the Wheel of Time series here:
5. The Fires of Heaven
6. Lord of Chaos
7. A Crown of Swords
8. The Path of Daggers
9. Winter's Heart
10. Crossroads of Twilight
11. Knife of Dreams
12. The Gathering Storm
13. Towers of Midnight
14. A Memory of Light