Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Path of Daggers - Chapters 5-7

In this section, the heroines make a desperate escape while plotlines converge around Perrin.

Both Aviendha and Nynaeve apologize for their recent behaviour, though neither is warranted in Elayne’s view. Elayne is the leader in the group for now. She will hide it when they arrange for Nynaeve to do the demonstrations of linking, but her leadership is what keeps the Sea Folk in line when they need to flee the hilltop.

Participation in the circle using the Bowl of the Winds is based on strength, which provides a handy list of who is on par with our heroines. Sea folk include Talaan, Metarra, Rainyn, Naime, Rysael, Tebreille and Caire. Kin include Garenia, Reanne, and Kirstian. The use of circles and linking and bonding will be important in future battles, so this is an opportunity to present everything the reader needs to know on the topic.

There is some funny sexual imagery as Elayne and the others are abruptly dropped from the circle: She felt tired, if not anywhere near what she would have felt had she done anything beyond serve as a conduit, but what she felt most was loss. Letting go of saidar was bad enough; having it simply vanish out of you went beyond thinking about.  

Nynaeve has spent too much time trying to assert her worth over that of Alise, who has already organized the escape from the Farm. Aviendha is simply no good at making Gateways. So it falls to Elayne to weave, and then unweave the Gateway.

Aviendha uses a novel tactic, launching fireballs from a point of origin in front of the Gateway without being in that spot herself. As soon as she tires, the Seanchan erupt from the Gateway and shield Elayne, which abruptly ends the unraveling of the Gateway. The collapse of the weave causes a shockwave which devastates both ends of the Gateway. Having shared the risks Elayne took, Elayne realizes she is ready to embrace Aviendha as a near-sister, sister-wife or in any other relationship. Aviendha has now also seen Elayne in battle, and has a good opinion of her. Their bond may now be stronger than their romantic interest in Rand.

Rolling like a gambling wheel, they fell. This is when the raken is tumbling out of the sky. All kinds of objects roll, but choosing one that conjures luck, poor odds and uncertainty is brilliant.

Before his name appears, you can tell it’s Perrin’s point of view, as we see the forested hills hammered by a fierce morning sun. Perrin has a chance encounter with Morgase and her little group. These two converging plotlines should streamline the plot. Perrin’s simple approach to defending right and ending wrong can’t help but win readers over, despite that he is setting up future trouble for himself. The author chooses to understate the horror of what the Prophet’s men do, saving the revelation  for the very last: At first, Perrin did not know what he was looking at, a long loop of rawhide thickly strung with what appeared to be tags of shriveled leather. Then he did know, and his teeth bared in a snarl. “The Prophet would have our ears you said.”

Perrin’s current problem is approaching Queen Alliandre without putting Faile in danger nor offending her by sending her rival. Perrin reminds us that nothing is more important to him than Faile’s life and her perception of him. That’s twice that a blatant statement to this effect has shown up in the early part of a book.

His other objective is to deal with the Prophet, but more on that in the next post.

Writing Lessons:

When crafting your similes and metaphors, use terms that convey strong imagery and associated ideas.

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