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 fourth Wheel of Time book, with some post-read writerly thoughts at the very end.
To gain better understanding of what this is all about and see my reactions to the other books in the series, please refer to this blog.
This is part two of WOT4. For part one, click here.
Day 8 : Three Questions Asked
Oh yes! It’s good to be back. Now let’s see what’s in store for us...
Mayene? So that means Berelain??
And it’s a Perrin chapter?
Is Perrin finally going to meet his Hawk?
Right Berelain... that’s why you’re here... because you need ornamental ironwork.
Why is she there? A new way to trap the Dragon Reborn by bribing and seducing his friends..? What is she really up to?
The Ways? That sounds dangerous. Last time that black mist was guarding the entrance. It might just have been tracking Rand. Maybe it’ll be okay but it makes me uneasy to think of Perrin going into the Ways.
Loial would have to go with him, right? But will Loial leave Rand?
Not only Loial but now they want to take Thom along too? Poor Rand is really all alone... I doubt either Loial or Thom would come though.
And is that all the Falcon cares about? Being a hero in a song..?
“These farmers” are his family and neighbours, Falcon. I think he would also know how they might react and if they can and will defend themselves or hand him over....
They would hand him over wouldn’t they...?
And that’s what he’s counting on isn’t it?
Oh Perrin that was mean. Despite all the time I spend picking on Falcon, she decided to come with you and support you without any hesitation.
I get that you’re trying to drive her away but Perrin... this hurts deeper. It might leave lasting scars, and I don't think that's what you want.
Oh! Our first Faile POV! I wonder if I’m going to like her better after this. I do want to like her I just haven’t been given much to like so far.
Ouch!! But she has a point. Although the Falcon isn’t a serving girl or a farmer she doesn’t carry herself with the tact of a well educated woman. That’s probably on purpose to reject her up-bringing but usually when people reject their up-bringing a few strange traits stay behind like reflexes.
Uhh see I like these details? But again we are just being told that she can do it instead of discovering that she can play that same game too, and do it better.
I’d love to see the falcon to strike the hawk with her fan skills or hawking poetry (oh the irony)!
Didn’t Berelain use Ogier oath correctly then? She didn’t say oathbreaker, did she?
I read the pages through again but I could only find “Ogier oath” and she seems to use that correctly so I don’t get this section. What am I missing? What’s Falcon referring to?
Oh Mat my lad! How I have missed your observations about women!
This one made me laugh because it’s so true and also such a Mat thing to remark upon. Oh I’ve missed the lad!
Okay first question gets a pass. Not bad, Mat. Let’s see the other two questions you have planned.
Although I have a feeling something is going to go wrong. Soon.
Wait what? Another? And the savor...? As in savour? Are they... planning to eat him? They sound like hungry canibals.... “let him speak first, then we feast.”
What’s the strain though...? What’s straining? Are they out of practice? Or maybe the future is elusive?
Oh yes!!! He will be going to the Waste??
So he is accompanying Egwene? That’s cool because we have seen a lot of Egwene with Rand and in book one she was with Perrin so it’ll be fun to see the dynamic between Mat and her and also...!!
Yes!!!! Mat and spear-maidens!!
I mean Mat my Lad was the one I most hoped would go to the Aiel Waste so I’m really excited about that. I hope it’ll turn out as awesome as I hope it will. And hey maybe his luck will ensure that they always find both shade and water.
NO!! Mat my lad! Don’t you see what you have done!!
In your refusal to just accept their answer and take it in, you’ve asked an incredibly useless and stupid question instead of your carefully prepared one!
Uhh the daughter of the Nine Moons? Is she and Aiel spear-maiden...?
As long as it’s not Selene I’m happy.
Although Mat doesn’t seem the marrying type. Maybe he will be marrying without realising it..? Yep.
Aiel spear-maiden. Those women have him exactly where they want. At spear point.
Oh Rand was there too? And wait... “Too”??? So Rand also went inside? Gosh the Dragon reborn. That sounds dangerous. Playing with fire, eh Al’Woolhead?
Although I understand why he would want answers.
Rand really needs some guidance.
Oh and while you lads are both here, let me do the introductions! Lord Rand al’Woolhead, here is your esteemed translator of the Old Tongue, Mat my lad.
He will easily decipher those texts you’ve been grumbling over. He might even notice something only a native speaker would.
Aha!!! So this is how the truth comes out, eh?? I might call Rand a Woolhead but he has sharp moments. He knows that Mat got some answers. He will put two and two together!
Or not..... yes.... they’re just parting ways like that. Okay then, lads. I’ll try to make the introductions again tomorrow before you go each your way.
I’m going to be sad for Rand if they part ways without Mat deciphering that text for him. Rand needs all the help he can get!
Day 9 : Black Ajah
Changes to format incoming. While I really liked the format I was going with so far, transcribing everything onto my blog has become a format that's holding me back because it takes me so long to do. Especially to upload the photos. As I am starting to have a lot more to say for each chapter, it's impossible to continue this way, at least for now.
Instead, I've decided to include the tweets directly here in the order of appearance. Hopefully it should still be easy to read, but you will now be privy to my terrible typos. I might add a note here or there after a tweet to give some context or to clarify.
My hope is is that this way the conversations happening on twitter can also easily be accessed. Since by clicking a tweet you can go over to join the discussion.
Please let me know how this new format works for you.
Day 10 : The journey begins
Chapter 20 : the Princess and the Gleeman
I will now be dividing my reading sections chapter by chapter since I have too many thoughts to share on each part of the text. Sometimes taking a few chapters at a time, depending on how much I have to share. Lately... there's a lot to share though.
I was going to keep reading but that was such a nice chapter and chapter ending that I’ll let that feeling of calm nostalgia and warmth carry me for a little while.
After all, I did decide to take my time with the remaining Wheel of Time to fully enjoy every step along the way.
Chapter 21 : Rand’s decision
Chapter 22 : Into the Waste!
To clarify I don’t mind the way he found it. That’s Ta’veren. What I’m having issue with is the concept of angreals and teangreals in general. Especially the ones to enhance powers. It feels too convenient.
An extraordinary use of his natural power would feel more satisfying to me.
Chapter 23 : Land of the dead?
I LOVE this header image. I suspect it means Aiel and so that I will see it a lot in this book. All the more reason to love it.
Chapter 24: Rhuidean
We finally reached Rhuidean - oh how I’ve waited for this day!
Chapter 25 : I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR THIS!
Chapter 26 : the Aiel history part 2
I am in two minds about this chapter.... really in two minds.
To clarify my issue with this section is not that it's taking pieces directly from Norse myths. Not even that it's taking so many things from the same myth.
My issue is that all of these references are given to us in SUCH a short time. In the space of 3 pages!
If Robert Jordan had sprinkled a bit of here and there, over the course of a few chapters I think I would have been okay but this all happens in the span of 3 pages... It's too many references to the same myth in so few pages.
Previous references to other myths have been added a bit at a time. A few details here, another reference over there some chapters later. I haven't noticed Jordan doing that much all at once at any point during the story so far, so it feels out of place for this story in the way it's done.
Had it been dropped in over the course of a book I think it would have been very cool.
Chapter 27 + 28 Coming Soon
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