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Just finished KoD, and...

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Just finished Knife of Dreams, and I'm impressed. The series has been going downhill since Lord of Chaos and reached its lowest point with Crossroads of Twilight. But Knife of Dream redeemed it. But my question is: Is it liked because it's the closest to reach the levels of Lord of Chaos since that book, or is it liked because after CoT, it just seems so good? I think it's liked because it finally ties up the overbearing Perrin/Faile storyline, and seems to do so with Mat's as well, and Elayne's is obviously making progress now that she has the throne secured, and even Egwene's small chapter in the book is interesting because it's laying the foundation for what is to come. Also, after Rand was reduced to a cameo in the last book, it's great to have him in for about 6 chapters, and his encounter with Semirhage added an element that hasn't been around for a while: Rand versus a Forsaken. But it was a kind of tame encounter. The Forsaken have indeed been getting defeated too easily, which is annoying me now, too, as I had held them in higher esteem than this, and Semirhage's attempt here was so obviously flawed that it makes no sense that it came from one of the Forsaken.

 

But overall, it is a great book and the best the franchise has seen since Lord of Chaos. Do you [all] agree that this is the final turning point in the franchise? For me, it's going to be RAFO from here, but this is the most obvious sign of Tarmon Gaidon's imminence thus far.

 

One question: what is the title alluding to?

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I agree that things definitely picked up. There were some bits I didn't like, but most of it I did. I actually started to like Egwene in this book. Unfortunately that changed again in the next lol...

 

And I never got the title. Always thought it was a bit daft. Same with most of the books though.

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opening epigram of the book - The sweetness of victory and the bitterness of defeat are alike a knife of dreams - From Fog and Steel by Madoc Comadrin

 

 

i left the caps in so you could see i just copied and pasted that from ideal seek. :smile:

Edited by cindy

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I disagree with you on Semirhage's plan. It would have worked perfectly without Cadsuane's ter'angreal. Without that, Rand doesn't know who she is and he is collared right there.

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^

So was the ter'angreal the cause of the Illusian waxing on and off? I didn't really read into what was causing it and thought it was strangely malfunctory for a supposedly powerful channeler. Semirhage's capture was a good part in the novel because it returned us to some of the earlier books when Rand and the Forsaken went head-to-head, but it also showed how flawed the plan was. Others have said the Forsaken are weak villains because they're defeated too easily. I have enjoyed the Forsaken myself, but I do agree that they're being captured or killed much too easily by people who haven't been able to channel as long or as powerfully. Lanfear's death was justifiable to me, though, since she was distracted by outright rage and didn't see Moiraine sneaking up on her. Rahvin's I can understand because he was also distracted by Nynaeve. Asmodean's capture and death are also understandable as Lanfear cut him off and later some mystery man murdered him. But Moghedian's capture felt kind of too convenient, although I suppose she was also taken by surprise when Nynaeve collered her in TAR.

 

Well, overall, I don't really have a major quibble with how the Forsaken have been defeated. For instance, Sammael possibly could have killed Rand, but he was killed by Mashadar, an evil greater than him. Be'lal's death was attributed to balefire, also. Ishamael's defeat can be attributed to overconfidence, and it seemed he was just toying with Rand anyways. And the only other ones who died were Aginor and Balthamel, and they were just cast out too early. Osan'gar's death is also justifiable.

 

So actually the comments that the Forsaken are just plain dumb are themselves irritating. The Forsaken are flawed because they don't trust each other. If they did, they could attack Rand together. Instead, those who haven't struck yet (Mesaana, Demandred, Moridin (minus Ishamael), Graendal, Aran'gar (minus Balthamel), Cynande (even Lanfear technically never attacked him)) have been plotting other ways. Mesaana is bringing down the White Tower from within, Aran'gar has some things of her own, juding by her interactions with Egwene. Demandred is apparently off doing mad stuff that no one yet knows about but will apparently have some big effect in AMoL. Semirhage was actually pretty calculating herself because she waited this long to execute her plan to collar Rand, only she failed. I guess that was attributed to the ter'angreal, right?

 

I think the Forsaken are due more credit than given. They've been working in the shadows more often than in the front. The only ones who really openly attacked where Ishamael, Sammael, Rahvin, and Semirhage (and I guess Be'lal). I wouldn't say Lanfear was really trying to attack Rand, nor was Asmodean (he seemed more like a spy, IMO), and Balthamel/Aginor were just cast out of the Bore too early, hence their oldness.

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I forgot to mention: the Epilogue was amazing. Mazrim Taim is a very interesting character, his line (Let the Lord of Chaos rule) was greatly delivered. There's definitely something to this character. I do wish in a way that he was Demandred. It would give more credence to Demandred, make it seem like he really is doing something, and thus would make him a more convincing villain rather than a lurker. Or if not Demandred, then Moridin in disguise.

 

But in other ways, it does add character to Demandred without being Demandred. Taim's jealousy of Rand and his inner workings show us how Demandred could have responded to his jealousy of Lews Therin, thus making him a more complex character.

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The title refers to the quote at the beginning of the book, which is talking about the fact that all the characters in this book have what they consider to be major victories (Elayne, Perrin, Egwene, Mat, etc.) and defeats (Rand, the Seanchan, Ituralde, etc.) but none of it really matters because the Last Battle approaches and all these petty successes and failures will PALE in importance to the DO ripping the Pattern to shreds.

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Yes, it was one of Cadsuane's ter'angreal that made the Mask of Mirrors malfunction. Thought it was right there in KoD?

I know they had ter'angreal. I recall that's how they knew there were others channeling or were able to hide their own channeling (I believe the latter) and I figure that had to be why Semirhage's Illusion sucked so much (it kept "flickering").

 

I didn't realize Semirhage was so tall, either. But she kept being described as this really tall woman.

 

I'm glad the black a'dam collar came back into use. Egeanin last had it in TSR, but I had a feeling it would be coming back.

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KoD is actually in my top 5 books for the series. Really enjoyed all the Mat sections and LTT's new weaves fighting the trollocs was pretty cool. Finally it wrapped up the Faile story line and for that alone deserves to be given high praise. To me it is proof that RJ was moving in the right direction in terms of pace to wrap things up.

 

btw it was Cads Paralis-Net that disrupted the weaves.

Edited by Suttree

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Moridin didn't order Semirhage to attack, he ordered all the Forsaken not to harm Rand. Notice Moridin's left hand during the scene. He's now punishing Semirhage by NOT mounting a rescue.

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Page 39, The Gathering Storm:

 

"Of course she intended to capture him!" Moridin roared, causing Mesaana to flinch. "That was what she was ordered to do. And she failed at it, Mesaana. ..."

 

 

Capture but not harm...tossing fireballs around wasn't part of the plan.

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Once Cadsuane knew they were channeling she send webs of spirit to see where they touched the weaves (which she expected to be incoming attacks, not a disguise).

If i hide my weaves from another, if they know where to expect those weaves to be, they whip around a strand of spirit until it comes in contact with a hidden weave and then they can observe the interactions to predict what is actually being done against them.

Disguises are inherently delicate and any action taken against them disrupts, even a regular person can reach out a touch a person with a disguise and disrupt it.

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regarding Semirhage's attempt, I think she simply underestimated Rand and his allies. in WH Tuon recalled that Anath had been her new 'truth speaker' (or whatever) for the past two years, ever since her first one (who she liked much more) died mysteriously in a fall down some stairs or something. this indicates she'd been spending the majority of the time since the forsaken were released in Seanchan with Tuon, excepting the scene where she questions Cabriana Mecandes and her warder shortly before Aran'gar shows up in Salidar. she also during the prologue tells Suroth about events in Seandar before anyone else knows of them and I got the impression she was responsible for them. therefore all she really had to go on when it came to Rand and friends was what the other chosen said of them at their T'A'R meetings (ie things like, he's an ignorant shepherd with no memory of the age of legends; all the 'so-called' Aes Sedai of the present day are so much half-trained chlidren; etc) therefore I believe she was just fatally overconfident. unless it turns out her whole attempt to collar Rand was some other type of ploy...who knows, KoD is as far as I've gotten also. I loved that scene though, I was SURE Rand was going to be captured AGAIN, and I'd gotten really tired of all the heroes constantly losing / getting captured. thats why KoD was such a better volume IMO than the previous 3...the entire 2nd half was a string of completely unprecedented resounding victories for the heroes. my personal most triumphant was Romanda's chapter.

 

and the "Knife of Dreams" quote, someone said it best already, but this is from wot.wikia:

 

Madoc Comadrin was a famous general who lived some six hundred years before Artur Hawkwing. He wrote a book on military strategy called Fog and Steel. Centuries later Matrim Cauthon often quotes Comadrin, from his book and from his own memories of actually meeting him.

 

specifically in KoD the book is referenced on page 604 and 816 (depending on your version)

 

a last (and maybe silly) thought: we know the series has quite a few blatent homages to Lord of the Rings. did anyone else wonder could Rand losing his hand be an homage to the next greatest epic fantasy, Star Wars?? lol

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Haha, now you mention the fact regarding Rands hand, I actually just saw The Empire Strikes Back the other day, and that exact thought occurred to me. A man prophecies to save the galaxy(world) who's strong with the lightsaber(sword) and in the force(One Power) loses his hand, could very well be a homage to Star Wars.

Edited by Manscher

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I felt that before KoD the last two books were really really really hard to get through. I never stopped reading but it took me the amount of time it took me to read the previous books to read just these two. When i started reading KoD i finally felt like i was able to understand some of the things that were happening. I was so excited for the next three, then i realized Jordan had died and now were left with Brandon, no disrespect but so far ive gotten about 400 pages into The Gathering Storm and it feels really weird not having Jordan writing it. sigh

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It is a shame that Jordan was unable to finish it, and Sanderson will not do the same job that Jordan would have. However, Sanderson still did an excellent job. Not perfect, but excellent nonetheless.

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