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Sylas K Barrett

Reading The Wheel of Time: A Question of Authority in Robert Jordan’s Lord of Chaos (Part 26)

Welcome back to Reading The Wheel of Time. Last week I incorrectly read the title of Chapter 43 as “The Color of Roses” but it is, in fact, “The Crown of Roses.” My brain definitely grabbed the word “color” from Chapter 44, “The Color of Trust,” and while I wish I could say it was a fluke, it is actually a thing my brain does rather a lot.

However, be they “Crown” or “Color,” we are forging on ahead to the recaps of Chapter 43 and 44. Let’s go!

[Trust is the taste of death.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Reading The Wheel of Time: Min, Melaine, and Mazrim in Robert Jordan’s Lord of Chaos (Part 25)

Hello friends! I’ve missed you all. Not as much as Rand has missed Min, though!

In this week’s read we are covering Chapters 41 and 42, in which Min arrives at the Royal Palace to deliver Elayne’s letter and some ultimatums of her own, makes unexpected friends with Melaine, and sits in Rand’s lap a lot. Afterwards, Rand goes to the farm to organize ranks within his students, and finds that they have already picked a name for themselves. Lews Therin continues to be threatened by Aes Sedai and to want to murder Taim. It’s all good fun. Let’s go!

[You cannot tell a man he has the power to make the earth shake, then expect him to walk small.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Reading The Wheel of Time: Conversations About Intent in Robert Jordan’s Lord of Chaos (Part 24)

Welcome back to this week’s edition of Reading The Wheel of Time! After a short delay we have returned for Chapters 39 and 40, in which Egwene makes some plans and Elayne has some good conversations with her warrior lady friends. Also, Thom tries to teach Mat about how to support and care for women who won’t let him make their choices for them. Let’s get to recapping!

[Only what you expect when old friends meet after a long time.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Reading The Wheel of Time: The Amyrlin Seat is Aes Sedai in Robert Jordan’s Lord of Chaos (Part 22)

Welcome back to Reading The Wheel of Time! This week we are covering Chapters 34-36 of Lord of Chaos, though we’ll be stopping a little short of the end of Chapter 36, just before Nynaeve and Elayne come to see Egwene—the chapter breaks up their conversation in a weird place, so I’m going to lump that entire exchange into next week’s analysis rather than doing part here and part later.

Chapter 34 is a light, breezy chapter before we get into some nitty gritty aspects of Aes Sedai politics and Egwene grappling with a very extreme and sudden change in her circumstances. Even having called this a long time ago, I’m fascinated to see how the Aes Sedai are handling this very unusual and custom-breaking move they are making, and how Egwene is going to defy all their expectations. Whatever else happens, I think the Wise Ones are going to be very proud.

[One who comes obediently, in the Light.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Reading The Wheel of Time: Rand Plans and Egwene Meets Her Toh in Robert Jordan’s Lord of Chaos (Part 21)

This week in Reading The Wheel of Time, Egwene reveals some secrets intentionally, while others are revealed by accident. Both Egwene and Mat are given new assignments, and Aviendha gets closer to addressing her toh towards Elayne. It’s time for Chapters 32 and 33 of Lord of Chaos.

It’s time to recap!

[There were no excuses in ji’e’toh.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Reading The Wheel of Time: The Whitecloaks Scheme in Robert Jordan’s Lord of Chaos (Part 20)

Welcome friends to this week’s episode of Reading The Wheel of Time. Today we are tackling only Chapter 31, because it turns out I have a lot of things to say about it. And I’ll start with this; before I began this chapter, I never would have imagined I’d enjoy reading a chapter that’s mostly about what the Whitecloaks are up to! Never mind actually be invested in their politics. But this might have been one of my favorite chapters so far.

You all know I’m obsessed with Jordan’s execution of dramatic irony. He just uses it so well, and as a reader I find it either incredibly vexing, incredibly enjoyable, or both. What happens with Morgase in this chapter is one of the enjoyable moments, and I really loved how complex the sequence of events was. If Rand was in the same city, I’d be tempted to think it was his ta’veren power at work. Makes you wonder what paths the Wheel is spinning out for everyone, and if coincidence really exists in this world.

In any case, as an aspiring author myself, I am taking notes right now. If I could pull off a plot moment like this one day, I would be incredibly pleased with myself. In the meantime, standby for the recap, and then we’ll get back to talking about how Morgase’s seeming bad luck is actually good luck, and how every time I think we’ve met the worst Whitecloak, someone else shows up to make that guy seem kind of okay after all.

[If this has unhinged your knees, I suppose we can wait until you find your strength again.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Reading The Wheel of Time: Nynaeve Makes a Discovery in Robert Jordan’s Lord of Chaos (Part 19)

Welcome back to Reading The Wheel of Time. I’ve missed the column, and it’s great to be back at it. It’s a big week too, because we have finally gotten to one of the things I’ve been waiting for since basically the beginning: Nynaeve has figured out how to Heal stilling and gentling.

Other than being able to reverse the madness brought about by the taint and/or remove the taint from saidin all together, healing gentling is the biggest game changer for how the One Power is understood in Rand’s time. Granted, most men who are gentled tend to die before too long, but if even a few of them could be restored that would make a big difference for Rand, especially someone like Logain who is both powerful and experienced in wielding saidin. And of course there is also Siuan and Leane, who are characters I care for very much and with whom we’ve spent a lot of time. We’ve watched how they both tried to find something else to sustain them in the loss of such an intrinsic piece of themselves, the way they tried to pretend they weren’t hurting, the way Siuan sacrificed everything to continue doing the work she and Moiraine began so long ago. It’s a really wonderful moment when Nynaeve is able to give that piece back to them, even though the whole thing hasn’t gone quite to plan.

But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. First, let’s do the recap.

[Squaring her shoulders, she went below to do battle with the Hall.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Reading The Wheel of Time: Rand Struggles to Understand in Robert Jordan’s Lord of Chaos (Part 18)

This week in Reading The Wheel of Time, we’re catching up with the rest of Chapter 27 and continuing on into Chapter 28. I’m going to keep the preamble short this week and get right down to business.  I do apologize in advance for all the quoted sections this week. They’re all just so good! I’m not great at self-editing.

[Where are you hiding, burn you? I know you’re there!]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Reading The Wheel of Time: Death, Heritage, and Aes Sedai Gold in Robert Jordan’s Lord of Chaos (Part 17)

Welcome back to Reading The Wheel of Time! It was nice to have a little break. I bet Rand wishes he could have one right about now. We’re covering Chapters 26 and 27 this week, but since I greatly underestimated how long Chapter 27 is, I’m going to cut off my recap a little early, right after Coiren, Galina, and Nesune leave the room. We’ll leave Egwene and Rand’s talk and the embassy’s debrief for next week.

My analysis is all over the place this week, there’s so much to consider! Let’s get to it.

[I can always find a use for gold.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Reading The Wheel of Time: An Embassy and a Youngling Arrive in Robert Jordan’s Lord of Chaos (Part 16)

This week on Reading The Wheel of Time, we have Aiel stubbornness, Dream-born romance, and Aes Sedai trickery, although I have no idea what the Tower embassy is actually up to right now. But I’m pleased for Egwene, who has finally made a full recovery from Lanfear’s attack, and I really enjoyed the detailed setting Jordan described for us in these chapters. Also, I loved the mental image of Rhuarc acting sort of like a Warder for Berelain as she faces the Aes Sedai.

It’s Chapters 24 and 25 today. Let’s get started.

[My Lady Aiel Egwene Aes Sedai,” he said, “I love you, and I cannot wait for you to bond me.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Reading The Wheel of Time: Pure Mat Cauthon and Unusual Sammael in Robert Jordan’s Lord of Chaos (Part 15)

Welcome back to week 15 of Reading The Wheel of Time. We have a really fun chapter this week (although I feel bad calling it that given how a whole bunch of Tua’tha’an get brutally murdered) in which Mat does some juggling and some generaling, then officially unofficially adopts a son. Also there’s a curious meeting between Graendal and an uncharacteristically self-composed Sammael. It’s Chapters 22 and 23—let’s ride!

[A man needs a little gold in his pocket.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Reading The Wheel of Time: A Maiden’s Toh and an Ogier’s Longing in Robert Jordan’s Lord of Chaos (Part 14)

Welcome back to Reading the Wheel of Time! I’ve missed you all.

It’s Chapters 19 through 21 today, and we’ll deal with some dreams, Aviendha’s weird guilt complex, maiden handtalk, Ogier, maps, and our old, nearly-forgotten friend, Shadar Logoth.

Recap time!

[What I love, I destroy, Lews Therin laughed. What I destroy, I love.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Reading The Wheel of Time: Philosophy and Misunderstandings in Robert Jordan’s Lord of Chaos (Part 13)

Hello friends, welcome once more to Reading The Wheel of Time! We are traveling to Cairhien this week, to hang with Berelain and Rhuarc, and so that Rand can have a very disappointing catch up with Egwene. His school in the city is very cool, though, and I’m very curious to see the first hints of steam power and industrialized farming showing up in this world.

But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. First, let’s get to recapping Chapters 17 and 18 of Lord of Chaos. Off we go!

[Break the seals. Break the seals, and end it. Let me die forever.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

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