Reading the Wheel of Time: The Rise of the Evil Bubbles in Robert Jordan’s The Shadow Rising (Part 4)


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Reading The Wheel of Time on Tor.com: The Shadow Rising

Perrin and Faile find the halls of the Stone surprisingly busy with both off-duty Defenders as well as servants making their way to and fro. Perrin keeps his head down unless he is right in the light of a torch, not wanting people to observe his eyes glowing gold in the dim parts of the hall. No one has mentioned his eyes, of course, not now as servants bow as they pass or at other times—not even Faile has asked him about them—but Perrin still feels uneasy whenever someone seems to notice his golden gaze, and when they don’t say anything, it reminds him of how apart he is from other people.

The Defenders mostly bow when Perrin and Faile pass, but they also start or give them suspicious looks before hurrying away as if they are afraid of Perrin, which puts him on edge. He wonders aloud to Faile ...

Reading the Wheel of Time: The Boys Confront Themselves (Kind of) in Robert Jordan’s The Shadow Rising (Part 3)


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Reading The Wheel of Time on Tor.com: The Shadow Rising

Welcome, everyone, to chapter two and week 3 of The Shadow Rising.

I loved this chapter. It might be one of my favorite chapters to date, in fact. Meeting up with Perrin, Mat, and Rand both serves to remind us where they are and also show us how they’ve grown since the end of The Dragon Reborn (looking at you, Perrin). And then of course there’s the attacks, which are beautifully imaginative and described in perfect, vivid detail. It’s very cinematic, this chapter, and I could picture everything as though I were watching it on a big screen.

I have a lot of feelings and compassion for all three of our Emond’s Field boys this week, and I am so curious as to what could have caused these strange occurrences. Perrin and Mat believe it was Rand, while Rand thinks it was an attack by one of the Forsaken. Perhaps ...

Reading the Wheel of Time: Death, Love, and Fate in Robert Jordan’s The Shadow Rising (Part 1)


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Reading The Wheel of Time on Tor.com: The Shadow Rising

Hello hello, and welcome back to Reading the Wheel of Time. This week is the very first week of the fourth book in the series, The Shadow Rising, and I am tremendously excited about it. Chapter one manages to hit a really good stride where it simultaneously repeats all the information readers might need to be reminded of since they read The Dragon Reborn, but also gives us lots of new information in each section. The narrative is tight and exciting, and it serves as a pretty good reminder of everything I love about the series so far.

The title of chapter one is “Seeds of Shadow” and it is so long that I had to break this post up into two and I am sorry but everything in the Min and Amyrlin section seemed so important and I had to cover it all. So this week will ...

Reading the Wheel of Time: What it Means to Be Ta’veren


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Reading The Wheel of Time Dragon Reborn

So the question on everyone’s mind—and by that I mean, the question that has been on my mind—is just what it means to be ta’veren in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time. Though the first three books in the series are no doubt just a drop in the bucket compared to the complex development that is to come, these three novels have laid out for us a basic understanding of what the Wheel of Time is, what the Pattern is, and the role of ta’veren within the Pattern. As Rand, Perrin, and Mat are slowly learning what it means to be ta’veren, we the readers are confronting many of the same questions. So even though I imagine I’ll need to revisit this question in a few more books-worth of time, it still seemed a good moment to sit down and ask, just what is a ta’veren, anwyay?

The concept ...

Reading the Wheel of Time: What it Means to Be Ta’veren


This post is by Sylas K Barrett from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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Reading The Wheel of Time Dragon Reborn

So the question on everyone’s mind—and by that I mean, the question that has been on my mind—is just what it means to be ta’veren in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time. Though the first three books in the series are no doubt just a drop in the bucket compared to the complex development that is to come, these three novels have laid out for us a basic understanding of what the Wheel of Time is, what the Pattern is, and the role of ta’veren within the Pattern. As Rand, Perrin, and Mat are slowly learning what it means to be ta’veren, we the readers are confronting many of the same questions. So even though I imagine I’ll need to revisit this question in a few more books-worth of time, it still seemed a good moment to sit down and ask, just what is a ta’veren, anwyay?

The concept ...

Reading the Wheel of Time: The Sword in the Stone Declares the King in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 23)


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Reading The Wheel of Time Dragon Reborn

Oh my, what a journey we have had this week. My dear fellow travelers, we have done it. This is the last recap post for The Dragon Reborn. It’s been an interesting ride! I apologize for the length of the recap portion as well. I tried to be brief but it was a very tricky set of chapters to sum up, with lots of details in lots of different places, and we kept switching rapidly between different scenes and different povs. It did give the whole thing a rather cinematic feel, though, and it also contributed to the sense of just how fast everything was happening.

Shout out to Stefan Raets for doing all the editing for this piece (as he has done for every other, and excellently too!) which was late coming in and probably riddled with spelling errors and unfinished sentences, as I am more sick this ...

Reading the Wheel of Time: Mat Discovers a Trap, and So Does Faile in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 21)


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Reading The Wheel of Time Dragon Reborn

Good morning and welcome to week 21 of the Read of The Dragon Reborn. This week, Thom is a stubborn ass for no reason, Mat seeks a remedy and finds the thing he was searching for all along, and Perrin starts to make some choices about his abilities and what they can be used for.

Chapter 52 opens with Mat making the decision to take Thom to a Wise Woman, as the gleeman’s cough has gotten so bad that he can barely get out of bed. Mat feels a little guilty for not noticing how bad Thom was getting during their search, and covers the feeling by giving Thom, who is resisting the suggestion that he needs any kind of medicine or help, a hard time.

“So I am supposed to do all the work while you take your ease?” Mat said lightly. “How can I find anything without ...

Reading the Wheel of Time: Hammers, Balefire and Persuasion in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 21)


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Reading The Wheel of Time Dragon Reborn

Hello dear readers and welcome back to week 21 of the read of The Dragon Reborn. This week the strands of the wheel are drawing our protagonists ever closer to the Heart of the Stone and the climax of the long-building drama of The Dragon Reborn. I’ve been noticing that, somehow, this book seems slower than the previous two, although I can’t quite put my finger on why. It feels, though, that there have been fewer side quests and stand-alone adventures for everyone—more focus has been put on learning information, conversations, and world building than on, say, getting lost in Shadar Logoth or mirror worlds. I’m not sure if it would feel as slow if I was reading straight through without stopping every few paragraphs, but doing things this way, it certainly does.

We get a nice little reprieve this week as Perrin goes back to smithing, at least for ...

Reading the Wheel of Time: Of Herbs and Luck in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 20)


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Reading The Wheel of Time Dragon Reborn

Welcome back to Week 20 of our read of The Dragon Reborn. It was July 4th this past week, and while I didn’t personally feel like celebrating the U.S. and its ridiculous, over-the-top birthday, I did see a lot of fireworks. Which got me thinking—as so many things do, these days—about the Wheel of Time, and what I think is going to come of the Chehkov’s gun that is Mat’s roll of fireworks. What important plot point will it serve? As a distraction? An impromptu weapon? Something else? I know they are going to be important, but I don’t yet know how. It was sure fun to speculate though, as everyone at the barbecue oohed an aahed over the red white and blue blossoms in the sky and drank entirely too much beer.

Which I feel like Mat might also approve of.

But first, we must check in with ...

Reading the Wheel of Time: Climbing Adventures with Matrim Cauthon in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 19)


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Reading The Wheel of Time Dragon Reborn

My dears, my lovelies, it is already Week 19 in our read of The Dragon Reborn. It’s a quick post this week, covering Chapters 45-47, which were a breeze to read through and also quite fun to boot. I also loved to climb as a kid, and I find myself growing ever closer to, and more fond of, our dear Mat, as I predicted I would earlier in the book. It’s funny how much of a difference knowing someone’s internal monologue makes to understanding them and connecting with them as a person. I kind of love having so many different switches in the Wheel of Time, although it took me a bit to get used to. (I remember reading The Two Towers and The Return of the King as a kid and being mad when the book switched halfway through to tell you what the other half of the Fellowship ...

Reading the Wheel of Time: Darkhounds, the Forsaken, and Fireworks in Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time (Part 18)


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Reading The Wheel of Time Dragon Reborn

Good morning, my darlings, and welcome all to Week 18 of this Read of The Dragon Reborn. This week we’re covering Chapters 41-44, and I do my best to keep the recap a reasonable size. I find it a bit nerve-wracking, trying to cut down on the lengths of the recaps, because there are so many little bits in the narration that seem important, even if I don’t know why they are important yet. That says very good things about the complexity and depth of Jordan’s writing, however, so it’s not at all a bad thing!

In my recaps I generally try to refer to characters and things with the same names and descriptions as the narration gives them in the relevant chapters; in a Nynaeve chapter I would always refer to Siuan as the Amyrlin because that’s what Nynaeve calls her, and I continued to refer to Lanfear as ...

Reading The Wheel of Time: Is It Luck or Ta’veren Power in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn? (Part 17)


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Reading The Wheel of Time Dragon Reborn

Hello friends and readers and readerfriends! Bit of a heads up, we’re only covering one chapter this week, so we can get back on a better rhythm that matches the thematic sections of The Dragon Reborn. Thus, this week will only cover Chapter 40, and next week will cover all of Perrin’s adventures in chapters 41-44.

Fortunately for us, Chapter 40, A Hero in the Night, is both fun and really interesting. It’s strange that we’re still getting to know Mat for the first time, despite all the history we have from The Eye of The World and The Great Hunt. I was particularly struck this week by Mat’s need to insist that he’s not as kind as he is, and the way he impulsively wants to help other people. If you had asked me before this chapter, I would certainly have said that Mat is the most selfish, or ...

Reading The Wheel of Time: Is It Luck or Ta’veren Power in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn? (Part 17)


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Reading The Wheel of Time Dragon Reborn

Hello friends and readers and readerfriends! Bit of a heads up, we’re only covering one chapter this week, so we can get back on a better rhythm that matches the thematic sections of The Dragon Reborn. Thus, this week will only cover Chapter 40, and next week will cover all of Perrin’s adventures in chapters 41-44.

Fortunately for us, Chapter 40, A Hero in the Night, is both fun and really interesting. It’s strange that we’re still getting to know Mat for the first time, despite all the history we have from The Eye of The World and The Great Hunt. I was particularly struck this week by Mat’s need to insist that he’s not as kind as he is, and the way he impulsively wants to help other people. If you had asked me before this chapter, I would certainly have said that Mat is the most selfish, or ...

Reading The Wheel of Time: Lost Queens and Exiled Aiel in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 16)


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Reading The Wheel of Time Dragon Reborn

Welcome back to the Read, dear friends! This week, Nynaeve, Egwene, and Elayne have a sort of side-adventure, which proved difficult to summarize but contains a lot of tidbits of information and foreshadowing that, I can tell, are going to be important later. We meet some more Aiel, including Aviendha, who I have rather a suspicion will end up being an important character, and learn a little bit more about their cultural identity too. We see a bit of a power struggle between Nynaeve and Egwene, as well, and I try to make sense of some casually-dropped tidbits like “the Dragonwall” and someone named “Tigraine,” who Rand apparently looks like? More on that later (I confess I had to go back through the glossaries) but first, let’s get to the recap.

Chapter 37 opens with Egwene standing on the deck of a ship called the Blue Crane, watching the ...

Reading The Wheel of Time: Lost Queens and Exiled Aiel in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 16)


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Reading The Wheel of Time Dragon Reborn

Welcome back to the Read, dear friends! This week, Nynaeve, Egwene, and Elayne have a sort of side-adventure, which proved difficult to summarize but contains a lot of tidbits of information and foreshadowing that, I can tell, are going to be important later. We meet some more Aiel, including Aviendha, who I have rather a suspicion will end up being an important character, and learn a little bit more about their cultural identity too. We see a bit of a power struggle between Nynaeve and Egwene, as well, and I try to make sense of some casually-dropped tidbits like “the Dragonwall” and someone named “Tigraine,” who Rand apparently looks like? More on that later (I confess I had to go back through the glossaries) but first, let’s get to the recap.

Chapter 37 opens with Egwene standing on the deck of a ship called the Blue Crane, watching the ...

Reading the Wheel of Time: A Falcon That Doesn’t Fly and a Wolf that Does in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 15)


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Reading The Wheel of Time Dragon Reborn

This week in Reading the Wheel of Time, we’re covering Chapters 35 and 36 of The Dragon Reborn, in which there is a girl who calls herself Falcon and a woman who calls herself Daughter of the Night. Perrin learns that he can (at least sometimes) dream without Dreaming, and we return to a dreamscape we saw once before, long ago in the early days of The Wheel of Time. Will Perrin decide to trust Faile? What does Moiraine think of Perrin’s Dreaming? And can a wolf learn to fly? Read on to find out.

Lan and Perrin make their way back to the inn, careful to move normally as they pass through the common room. Orban is still telling and retelling his story of the Aiel encounter. Perrin avoids hearing whatever Lan is telling Moiriane in her room and hurries on to Loial’s. He is struck by ...

Reading the Wheel of Time: Good, Evil, and the Choices We Make in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 14)


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Reading The Wheel of Time Dragon Reborn

Good morrow to you, fair readers, here on this lovely week 14 of our read of The Dragon Reborn. We’re doing two more chapters this week, Chapters 33 and 34, in which Perrin grapples with questions about the nature of the Pattern and meets an Aielman in a cage, just as Min promised. But why is this stranger important for Perrin? We’ll have to read on to find out.

Chapter 33 opens with Perrin studying a strange mark, like a giant dog’s footprints, in a stone. There are no other marks in the softer ground, not the scent of a dog’s trail, although Perrin catches something sulfurous, like the distant scent of fireworks.

They are pushing hard towards Jarra, even Loial yawning in his saddle. The Ogier is perplexed by Perrin’s inability to sleep, given how worn they all are from the traveling, but even besides the danger of Perrin’s ...

Reading the Wheel of Time: The Power of the Ta’veren in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 13)


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Reading The Wheel of Time Dragon Reborn

Hello, good morning, and welcome back to week 13 of Reading The Dragon Reborn! Although traditionally an unlucky number in the western world, thirteen has always been a lucky one for me—I was even born on a Friday the 13th. And it seems to be a lucky number for Mat, too, although in a rather alarming sort of way, which may foreshadow some pretty strange and dangerous consequences for the grabbiest of heroes. Also Thom comes back (you all know my feelings about Thom) and we learn some more creepy things about the High Lords of Tear.

In other news, I’m going to try to really shorten the recap sections of the posts. As the books get longer and more complicated, so too do the recaps! You’ve all read the books, so you know what happens—so I’m going to try to cover only the broad strokes in the recap portion, ...

Reading the Wheel of Time: The Amyrlin’s Plots Backfire in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 12)


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Reading The Wheel of Time Dragon Reborn

Welcome back, dear readers, to week 12 of Reading The Dragon Reborn! This week sets ups up to finally have our heroes getting out of the Tower and back into the wide world, and I am quite ready for it. We also get to see Tel’aran’rhiod and Egwene has some interesting adventures that leave her, and me, with more questions than answers. Also, Lanfear’s plots turn out to be a bit more twisty than I had guessed.

Egwene, Nynaeve, and Elayne assemble in Egwene’s room after two more shifts in the kitchens. In between work they tried to puzzle out the meaning of the things they found in the storeroom, whether it was a trap, whether the Amyrlin knew about the belongings, and if so, why she didn’t say anything about it. In their shifts in the kitchens they were visited by Verin, who used the cover of her usual ...

Reading the Wheel of Time: Farmer’s Weapons and Library Secrets in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 11)


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Reading The Wheel of Time Dragon Reborn

Welcome back to week eleven of Reading the Dragon Reborn! This is a fun, adventurey week, with Robin Hood-style antics from Mat, sneaking and disguises from Lanfear, and some Indiana Jones beneath-a-library spelunking with Nynaeve, Egwene, and Elayne.

Also, both Mat and and the girls have some strange encounters with Else Grinwell, who may or may not be who she seems. But then again, who inside Tar Valon is, really?

Mat wakes to sunlight and cheery servants bringing him food and telling him how much better he looks, but he remains hostile to the idea of the Aes Sedai’s control over him and is determined to find a way out of Tar Valon. Still, he’s happy enough to have the food.

After breakfast, he decides to have a look around, bringing his dicing cups along with him. It takes some wandering to find his way out of the tower, but ...