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 third 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.
The Dragon Reborn
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.