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Caemlyn (FULL PROLOGUE SPOILERS)


claireducky
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Wow. So, we got a lot more of this story than the other parts, and a ton happened.

 

Questions it raised for me:

 

How in the world did the Palace not figure out a fricking INVASION was happening before an assassin killed 2 of the Kin? And why in the world would Elayne leave so few to guard?

 

I thought Rand had the waygates permanently locked by Karldin and Loial; surely this included the one in Caemlyn?

 

How many soldiers were with Talmanes when they reached Caemlyn? It seems like he only had a handful left by the end.

 

The last line kind of read like a eulogy to me. Anybody else thinking that's probably it for mr. long, tall and stoic?

 

Also, serious props to Talmanes for some total bad-assery throughout the whole thing. Killing TWO fades, getting the mercenaries back in to fight, and managing to function while being killed from slow poison-- wow.

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Yes, highly enjoyable for the most part.

 

The title said full prologue spoilers, so I'm assuming non-Caemlyn/BT stuff is OK here?

 

Loved the Isam POV. Speculation on whom it was that came to him? She was described as slim and pretty. That seems to rule out everyone. Graendal is no longer pretty. He would likely have recognized Moggy (and she seems interested in righting matters, not disobeying again, from her POV), and Cyndane is usually described as buxom, and isn't likely to be out wandering around anyway. Hmmm. My money is on Cyndane somehow.

 

Androl's POV was great, but I wanted more BT. I thought they were FAR behind chronologically.

 

Liked Egeanin's POV as well. Nice to see Nynaeve is doing something to help Lan (too bad Egwene and Rand haven't). One of the more non-believeable things in the series is brough up again here. Why on earth didn't Domon and Egeanin just throw the bloody bracelets over the side when they saw another ship approaching? Who cares if it isn't in the DEEPEST part of the sea? Just get rid of it.

 

Loved Aviendha's POV. A room full of people acting intelligently. Though, if we are correct that either Bair or Sorilea is a DF, Bair going back to Rhuidean by herself doesn't bode well for the columns.

 

Which brings me to the part I didn't like. Elayne only leaving 4 channelrs behind, and weak ones at that? One of the dumbest things in the series, really. Along with her not realizing KIn could link and therefore she didn't need the Windfinders, the bracelet in the sea thing, and the overall lack of communication. Anyway, at least it was explained. I understand it had to be, else Caemlyn doesn't burn. But wouldn't it have made more sense for the Dreamspike to be blocking things, and then you could not make a character look so stupid?

 

Speaking of stupid characters, where is Myrelle and the bloody AS outside the BT? What, they can't tell the city is burning? And they just sit there? Waiting for the umpteenth day in a row, hoping this will be the day they are allowed in? Jeez!

 

Anyway, on the whole, very enjoyable.

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Already addressed this in another post, but might as well reiterate, this was not very enjoyable for me. Here is what I said in the other thread:

 

Frankly, I was underwhelmed. Talmanes is a funny character who is competent, wry, stoic, and a nice foil to Mat. Reading this through his POV completely killed the tension for me. The only time where I felt anything close to danger was when the Band was marching to the city and the rest of the mercenaries were just watching them, which I initially thought was indicative of imminent attack. Instead, the entire battle read for me like this:

 

Welp, I got cut by a Myrdraal, so I am dead. Hey mercenaries, lets go fight Trollocs. Weep woop, at the Palace now, hey Guybon, lets go get the Dragons. Weep woop, hey Aludra, lets get out of here. Weep woop, blast a hole in the wall to escape. Hey I am probably dead now. The end.

 

It just read like a list of things happening instead of a character in a horrible situation trying to salvage something.

 

For a comparison, read Ituraldes battle at Maradon and then come back and read the Battle of Caemlyn. Night and day difference.

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So in Maradon Rand had to kill around 100,000 trollocs

Lan is going up against 127,000 trollocs or around that

Perrin fought probably around 50,000 (complete guess) trollocs saving the white cloaks

And it seems like there isnt even close to those number attacking Caemlyn. I mean taking Caemlyn this early is huge and would be a total blow to the Light, but shouldnt there have been a bigger force? Like why not send in 70,000 trollocs and utterly destroy Caemlyn.

To me, there does not seem like a lot of Trollocs in Caemlyn.

 

Also, who do you guys think was behind the Caemlyn raid?

Is Moridin in complete control of the Darks armies? or is Daemadrad allowed to control them as well. From what we read of Daemadrad this wasn't him because to me this battle was poorly planned on both parts.

 

Then again I could be wrong

 

Let me know what you think

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Already addressed this in another post, but might as well reiterate, this was not very enjoyable for me. Here is what I said in the other thread:

 

Frankly, I was underwhelmed. Talmanes is a funny character who is competent, wry, stoic, and a nice foil to Mat. Reading this through his POV completely killed the tension for me. The only time where I felt anything close to danger was when the Band was marching to the city and the rest of the mercenaries were just watching them, which I initially thought was indicative of imminent attack. Instead, the entire battle read for me like this:

 

Welp, I got cut by a Myrdraal, so I am dead. Hey mercenaries, lets go fight Trollocs. Weep woop, at the Palace now, hey Guybon, lets go get the Dragons. Weep woop, hey Aludra, lets get out of here. Weep woop, blast a hole in the wall to escape. Hey I am probably dead now. The end.

 

It just read like a list of things happening instead of a character in a horrible situation trying to salvage something.

 

For a comparison, read Ituraldes battle at Maradon and then come back and read the Battle of Caemlyn. Night and day difference.

 

I completely disagree with you.

To me it was the Pattern really playing a joke on Talmanes with the ups and downs of his fate, and my emotions as well. First you have the part where it's mentioned that he got cut by the Fade, and I knew he was a dead man. But then there is this Borderlander applying some kind of poltice on his wound, I think maybe, just maybe. But then Talmanes is barely on his feet and his troops are surrounded only to be rescued by Guybon, and we hear that the last two Kinswomen are on the way and now there really seems to be hope for Talmanes, but alas, no, because only one kinswoman is left and she does not the skill for such a wound, but in Talmanes still does his job and the end leaves a small hope, because he probably died, but maybe someone shows up right then to save him.

So no, I am not underwhelmed at all, and besides all this I thought it was effective to the whole story to have what is probably the majority of the battle of Caemlyn in the prologue.

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I thought the battle at Caemlyn could have been better written. It was a let down compared to Maradon. Not much happened and it was a short timeline. Aludra couldnt think to blow the wall down? Duh. It crossed my mind a couple times before it happened.....of course a good writer allows the reader to feel smart by catching on to things before they happen....

 

I think Talmanes survives, though his story line has ended. He seemed to be getting better at the end, and stronger after each black out he had. It was good to have this battle take place in the prologue so other battles and issues can be addressed in more detail later in the book.

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Elayne took half the band with her right? Wasnt the band 20.000 man? So Talmanes should have 10k at the least...

Why does it look like he only had 1000 and left 500 at the gates and took 500 with him to the palace and the dragons?

 

The Kin probably havent even tried if the gateways work because they know they dont have the power for it. So probably its still not possible to travel there with the black tower so near...

 

It was fun to read, but there was something slow and not tense in it as mentioned before. It just did not make me really anxious to read further. Strange..

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The scene just smells of the Min viewing from ToM..

 

Two dead men on the ground, surrounded by ranks and ranks of Trollocs, a pipe with smoke curling from it.

 

One could argue that those are 2 separate viewings, but in context, it seems like one (semantics, sentence structure).

 

But Min had that vision of Rand.. what on earth does that have to do with him in this context?

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I've got to say it's a good thing that Caemlyn is getting wiped off the map. I never liked the city.

 

Elayne took half the band with her right? Wasnt the band 20.000 man? So Talmanes should have 10k at the least...

Why does it look like he only had 1000 and left 500 at the gates and took 500 with him to the palace and the dragons?

 

What makes me wonder is how Elayne could just take half the Band with her to Merrilor. She wanted their help for claiming the Sunthrone, but what authority does she have to demand this? And just as important why would she? She has been busy creating her own army of loyal Andormen, why would she take half the Band to Merrilor? I don't see any reason why she would take them. If Mat wanted half his Band at Merrilor wouldn't he have sent them with Perrin? And he wouldn't have left Estean in charge of the half either.

 

As for the numbers I just assumed that Talmanes only took a fraction of the Band, because he didn't want to win the city back, he wanted to get information from the palace and recover the Dragons and considered 1k or however much he took enough to accomplish the job. The others under command of Daerid are probably busy outside the walls preparing to cover the retreat.

 

The Kin probably havent even tried if the gateways work because they know they dont have the power for it. So probably its still not possible to travel there with the black tower so near...

 

It was fun to read, but there was something slow and not tense in it as mentioned before. It just did not make me really anxious to read further. Strange..

 

If Caemlyn was covered by the dreamspike there would have been no need to assassinate the kin.

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I'll be honest, I'm still just on a high over the fact that it was destroyed.

 

Yeah, though it's rather horrifying that most of the inhabitant were most likely slaughtered. I don't have the prologue but it sounds like it was pretty much a massacre.

 

Andor was having a too easy time. Even during their succession. So now it's payback time.

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Has there been any speculation on army sizes for each side? that is if you include the Seanchan on the Light side and consider the Dark side mostly all Shadowspawn.

 

Thats the one thing that irked me about the Caemlyn battle. We have no mention of the size of the force that is invading. Despite all of the scouts he sends out.

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I thought the battle at Caemlyn could have been better written. It was a let down compared to Maradon. Not much happened and it was a short timeline. Aludra couldnt think to blow the wall down? Duh. It crossed my mind a couple times before it happened.....of course a good writer allows the reader to feel smart by catching on to things before they happen....

 

I think Talmanes survives, though his story line has ended. He seemed to be getting better at the end, and stronger after each black out he had. It was good to have this battle take place in the prologue so other battles and issues can be addressed in more detail later in the book.

 

Has there ever been a battle in a Prologue before? Not that I can remember. To me, the writing style fit with the way all WoT prologues have been written. We only catch brief glimpses of things happening in minor characters' plotlines. We know Brandon can write good battle scenes (though not as good as RJ), I don't think he ever intended to make the Battle of Caemlyn take up a lot of page space like Maradon.

 

In addition, remember that a well-written PoV reflects the personality, mindset, and condition of the character. Talmanes was in-and-out of pain and dizziness and dying...hence it makes sense that we wouldn't have an accurate idea of how many Trollocs there were and obvious solutions like blasting down the wall with the Dragons wouldn't come to mind right away

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Has there been any speculation on army sizes for each side? that is if you include the Seanchan on the Light side and consider the Dark side mostly all Shadowspawn.

 

Thats the one thing that irked me about the Caemlyn battle. We have no mention of the size of the force that is invading. Despite all of the scouts he sends out.

 

Right here.

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I thought the battle at Caemlyn could have been better written. It was a let down compared to Maradon. Not much happened and it was a short timeline. Aludra couldnt think to blow the wall down? Duh. It crossed my mind a couple times before it happened.....of course a good writer allows the reader to feel smart by catching on to things before they happen....

 

I think Talmanes survives, though his story line has ended. He seemed to be getting better at the end, and stronger after each black out he had. It was good to have this battle take place in the prologue so other battles and issues can be addressed in more detail later in the book.

 

Has there ever been a battle in a Prologue before? Not that I can remember. To me, the writing style fit with the way all WoT prologues have been written. We only catch brief glimpses of things happening in minor characters' plotlines. We know Brandon can write good battle scenes (though not as good as RJ), I don't think he ever intended to make the Battle of Caemlyn take up a lot of page space like Maradon.

 

In addition, remember that a well-written PoV reflects the personality, mindset, and condition of the character. Talmanes was in-and-out of pain and dizziness and dying...hence it makes sense that we wouldn't have an accurate idea of how many Trollocs there were and obvious solutions like blasting down the wall with the Dragons wouldn't come to mind right away

 

The prologue to KoD has Rodel Ituralde directing a battle against the Seanchan. The prologue of TGS has more Ituralde fighting and the beginning of a battle against Trollocs for Tylee Khirgan. The prologue of ToM has the beginning of the battle for Heeth Tower. But I think this is the most extensively battle-dedicated prologue we've seen.

 

Except, of course, for the prologue of The Shadow Rising. That was nothing but one huge battle! :myrddraal:

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