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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Rereading the books can give you a whole new perspective.


Nick Trano
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I hope I hate the Aes Sedai as much as EVERYONE else in the universe does when I next read the series. Because reading them getting treated like garbage is painful

I think that to be fair, the Aes Sedai are still respected by the majority of non-channelers (at least in nations where they're not outlawed).  At the beginning of the series the Aes Sedai are the only channelers we (and the people of Randland) know about, and part of their aura of mystery and power comes from their uniqueness.  As the reader, we then see other channeling groups begin to interact with the Aes Sedai: the Wise Ones come to the Westlands for the first time, the Windfinders leave their ships and spend prolonged periods of time on land for the first time, the Kin come out of hiding for the first time, damane and sul'dam reach the Westlands for the first time, channeling men come into the open and form their own organisation for the first time.  From the perspectives of these other channeling groups there is no reason why they should consider the Aes Sedai above them (apart from the Kin).  However, the Aes Sedai are not used to interacting with other channeling groups, and carry on as normal, e.g. expecting everyone to defer to them and act as they dictate.  Unsurprisingly this doesn't really work as the Wise Ones and Windfinders are used to having their own way.  I think the Aes Sedai would need more time than they are given in-series to adapt to this change gracefully.

 

Furthermore, for plot-related reasons, its important that the Aes Sedai don't seem too competent, particularly for Egwene's arc, but also to Elayne's at a lesser extent, and even a little for Nynaeve's Healing discoveries to be meaningful.

 

There's a difference between them not being too competent and it seeming like they couldn't walk to the bathroom without eating their own fingers.

 

and how come the Windfinders and the Wise Ones seem to come off as SUPERIOR to the aes sedai. Ok, play up the culture clash, but stop making it so disgustingly one sided.

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Because, come on, you've got to satisfy the diversity peeps somehow. Everyone knows that cultures from the far east or Africa are far superior to European/American ones. Stop being so Eurocentric you pig! :P

 

It's also probably because the Aiel culture leaves a lot more space to question authority than the wetlands. The Windfinders, same deal. And the windfinders provide a useful service whereas the Aes Sedai just sit in Tar Valon pulling strings.

Edited by Tranovious
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Aes Sedai really never struck me as being THAT bad.

 

All the Aes Sedai we SEE for a large part of the story actually ARE trying to help in their own way. All of these ineffectual Aes Sedai that we see later are so impotent that I never really had the chance to detest them. I was already sympathizing with them due to how outmatched they were. (it's how my mind works. I feel sorry for the weaker side. I can't help it.)

 

If we had seen Aes Sedai controlling everything and beign a catastrophic hinderance then maybe I'd have a reason to hate them.

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And the windfinders provide a useful service whereas the Aes Sedai just sit in Tar Valon pulling strings.

Not true. For all that the WT is a fallen institution they are out working for the greater good and are the reason most people even remember there is a DO. Just like any group there are some great ones and some terrible ones but most are mainly average. At any given time over 1/3 of the WT is out working in the world. They forge treaties, avert wars, seek out and heal outbreaks of disease, patrol the blight, take down rings of DFs etc.

 

The main issue is the culture and training has become too rigid and their numbers are dwindling. They have become too set in their own world view and superiority. Further we see some of them struggle to adapt when those things are shown to be wrong. Despite all that Egwene already has enacted a number of positive reforms(recruiting practices, channeler exchange program, etc)which has set them on the right track.

Edited by Suttree
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Tranovious, on 28 Jul 2013 - 10:32 PM, said:snapback.png

And the windfinders provide a useful service whereas the Aes Sedai just sit in Tar Valon pulling strings.

Not true. For all that the WT is a fallen institution they are out working for the greater good and are the reason most people even remember there is a DO. Just like any group there are some great ones and some terrible ones but most are mainly average. At any given time over 1/3 of the WT is out working in the world. They forge treaties, avert wars, seek out and heal outbreaks of disease, patrol the blight, take down rings of DFs etc.

I think it can sometimes be quite hard to reconcile the fact that we are shown Aes Sedai (e.g. Meidani) who have decades of years of active experience in politics, conflict resolution, fighting shadowspawn, etc., and the view we are then given of these Aes Sedai when faced with strong minded characters, e.g. Egwene and Sorilea.  Its hard to accept that Aes Sedai who fight trollocs along the blight, or get monarchs to stop wars, are so quick to crumble before Elaida, Egwene, etc.  On the one hand, we are being given concrete evidence that these are capable, self-assured women with political savvy, able to work independently and as part of delegations, and on the other we are shown them as dithering, ineffective, and incapable of organising themselves, which is difficult to believe when these are skills that any village circle has.

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You could maybe say that the flawed social hierarchy based on saidar strength is a reason we see so many ineffective Aes Sedai, especially among the sitters.

Edited by apuppet
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Tranovious, on 28 Jul 2013 - 10:32 PM, said:snapback.png

And the windfinders provide a useful service whereas the Aes Sedai just sit in Tar Valon pulling strings.

Not true. For all that the WT is a fallen institution they are out working for the greater good and are the reason most people even remember there is a DO. Just like any group there are some great ones and some terrible ones but most are mainly average. At any given time over 1/3 of the WT is out working in the world. They forge treaties, avert wars, seek out and heal outbreaks of disease, patrol the blight, take down rings of DFs etc.

I think it can sometimes be quite hard to reconcile the fact that we are shown Aes Sedai (e.g. Meidani) who have decades of years of active experience in politics, conflict resolution, fighting shadowspawn, etc., and the view we are then given of these Aes Sedai when faced with strong minded characters, e.g. Egwene and Sorilea.  Its hard to accept that Aes Sedai who fight trollocs along the blight, or get monarchs to stop wars, are so quick to crumble before Elaida, Egwene, etc.  On the one hand, we are being given concrete evidence that these are capable, self-assured women with political savvy, able to work independently and as part of delegations, and on the other we are shown them as dithering, ineffective, and incapable of organising themselves, which is difficult to believe when these are skills that any village circle has.

 

I think an interesting way to look at it is that the AS have gone so long without anyone standing up to them, they don't know what to do when someone does.

 

The Aiel are mighty, stoic warriors, but looks what happens to them when faced with a large body of water.

AS are savvy, political masterminds, yet when someone acts completely contrary to everything they're used to (tells them to go, well, you know), it throws them for a loop.

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Tranovious, on 28 Jul 2013 - 10:32 PM, said:snapback.png

And the windfinders provide a useful service whereas the Aes Sedai just sit in Tar Valon pulling strings.

Not true. For all that the WT is a fallen institution they are out working for the greater good and are the reason most people even remember there is a DO. Just like any group there are some great ones and some terrible ones but most are mainly average. At any given time over 1/3 of the WT is out working in the world. They forge treaties, avert wars, seek out and heal outbreaks of disease, patrol the blight, take down rings of DFs etc.

I think it can sometimes be quite hard to reconcile the fact that we are shown Aes Sedai (e.g. Meidani) who have decades of years of active experience in politics, conflict resolution, fighting shadowspawn, etc., and the view we are then given of these Aes Sedai when faced with strong minded characters, e.g. Egwene and Sorilea.  Its hard to accept that Aes Sedai who fight trollocs along the blight, or get monarchs to stop wars, are so quick to crumble before Elaida, Egwene, etc.  On the one hand, we are being given concrete evidence that these are capable, self-assured women with political savvy, able to work independently and as part of delegations, and on the other we are shown them as dithering, ineffective, and incapable of organising themselves, which is difficult to believe when these are skills that any village circle has.

 

I think an interesting way to look at it is that the AS have gone so long without anyone standing up to them, they don't know what to do when someone does.

 

The Aiel are mighty, stoic warriors, but looks what happens to them when faced with a large body of water.

AS are savvy, political masterminds, yet when someone acts completely contrary to everything they're used to (tells them to go, well, you know), it throws them for a loop.

 

Which is all well and good until a highly skilled grey messes up with a group of BORDERLANDERS and needs Elayne to bail her out. Did the pattern tongue tie her or what?

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Elayne frustrated me like crazy. I was and still am a big fan of Egwene. I really haven't been able to figure out why some truly despise her.

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Which is all well and good until a highly skilled grey messes up with a group of BORDERLANDERS and needs Elayne to bail her out. Did the pattern tongue tie her or what?

What does this refer to?

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Which is all well and good until a highly skilled grey messes up with a group of BORDERLANDERS and needs Elayne to bail her out. Did the pattern tongue tie her or what?

What does this refer to?

 

Must be about Elayne sending Merilille to talk with the Borderlanders in WH. Though I don't recall any bailing out. Merilille did the preliminary work as she was supposed to, Elayne arranged the deal as was the plan from the start.

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There's a scene where Elayne goes to meet with the Borderland armies with a grey/ The grey mentions that Borderlanders aren't one for subterfuge and their honesty makes them easier to negotiate with. Then the grey makes the opening statement and screws up, meaning Elayne has to salvage it.

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Elayne frustrated me like crazy. I was and still am a big fan of Egwene. I really haven't been able to figure out why some truly despise her.

In my case it's because I measure a character in how much they fail.  And egwene is too smart. No one outsmarts her until the end of Crossroads. (and even that was mostly bad luck)

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There's a scene where Elayne goes to meet with the Borderland armies with a grey/ The grey mentions that Borderlanders aren't one for subterfuge and their honesty makes them easier to negotiate with. Then the grey makes the opening statement and screws up, meaning Elayne has to salvage it.

 

That never happened...

 

WH Ch. 27

"Under the Light, Merilille Sedai," Tenobia said in a high voice, frowning, "I know you speak truth, but she looks more a child than an Aes Sedai. You did not mention she would be bringing a black-eyed Aiel."

   Easar's face never changed, but Paitar's mouth tightened, and Ethenielle went so far as to cut her eyes briefly toward Tenobia in a glance that would have suited a mother. A very irritated and displeased mother.

   "Black?" Aviendha muttered in confusion. "My eyes are not black. I never saw black eyes except on a peddler until I crossed the Dragonwall."

   "You know I can speak only the truth, Tenobia, and I assure you," Merilille began.

   Elayne silenced her with a touch on the arm. "It is enough that you know I am Aes Sedai, Tenobia. This is my sister, Aviendha, of the Nine Valleys Sept of the Taardad Aiel." Aviendha smiled at them, or at least bared her teeth. "This is my Warder, Lady Birgitte Trahelion." Birgitte made a short bow, her golden braid swaying.

   One announcement caused as many startled looks as the other—an Aiel woman was her sister? her Warder was a woman?— but Tenobia and the others ruled lands on the edge of the Blight, where nightmares truly might walk abroad in daylight and anyone who let themselves be startled too greatly was as good as dead. Elayne gave them no chance to recover fully, though. Attack before they know what you are doing, Gareth Bryne had said, and keep attacking until you rout them or break through.

   "Shall we consider the niceties completed?" she said, taking a cup that gave off the aroma of spiced wine from the tray proffered by the old soldier. A surge of caution flowed along the Warder bond, and she saw Aviendha glance sideways at the cup, but she did not mean to drink. She was just glad neither actually spoke. "Only a fool would think you have come all this way to invade Andor," she said, walking to the chairs and sitting. Rulers or not, they had no choice but to follow or stare at her back. At Birgitte's back, since she stood behind her. As usual, Aviendha folded herself to the floor and arranged her skirts in a neat fan. They followed. "The Dragon Reborn brings you," Elayne went on. "You requested this audience with me because I was at Falme. The question is, why is that important to you? Do you think I can tell you more of what happened there than you already know? The Horn of Valere was sounded, dead heroes out of legend rode against Seanchan invaders, and the Dragon Reborn fought the Shadow in the sky for all to see. If you know that much, you know as much as I."

   "Audience?" Tenobia said incredulously, pausing half-seated. The camp chair creaked as she let herself drop the rest of the way. "No one requested an audience! Even if you already held the throne of Andor—!"

   "Let us stay to the point, Tenobia," Paitar broke in mildly. Rather than sitting, he stood, occasionally sipping at his wine. Elayne was glad she could see the wrinkles on his face. That voice could confuse a woman's thoughts, otherwise.

   Ethenielle spared Tenobia another quick glance while seating herself, and murmured something under her breath. Elayne thought she heard the word "marriage," with a rueful sound, but that made no sense. In any case, she turned her attention to Elayne as soon as she was settled in her chair. "I might like your ferocity another time, Elayne Sedai, but there's little to enjoy falling into an ambush that one of your own allies has helped lay."

   Tenobia scowled, though Ethenielle did not even dart those sharp eyes in her direction. "What happened at Falme," the Queen of Kandor told Elayne, "is not so important as what came of it. No, Paitar; we must tell her what we must tell her. She already knows too much for anything else. We know that you were a companion to the Dragon Reborn at Falme, Elayne. A friend, perhaps. You are right; we have not come to invade. We have come to find the Dragon Reborn. And we have marched all this way only to find that no one knows where he is to be found. Do you know where he is?"

   Elayne hid her relief at the blunt question. It would never have been asked if they thought she was more than a companion or friend. She could be just as blunt. Attack and keep attacking. "Why do you want to find him? Emissaries or messengers could take any word you wanted to send him." Which was as good as asking why they brought vast armies.

   Easar had taken no wine, and he stood with his fists on his hips. "The war against the Shadow is fought along the Blight," he said grimly. "The Last Battle will be fought in the Blight, if not at Shayol Ghul itself. And he ignores the Borderlands and concerns himself with lands that have not seen a Myrddraal since the Trolloc Wars."

   "The Car'a'carn decides where to dance the spears, wetlander," Aviendha sneered. "If you follow him, then you fight where he says." No one looked at her. They were all looking at Elayne. No one took the opening Aviendha had offered.

   Elayne made herself breathe evenly and meet their gazes without blinking. A Borderland army was too great a trap for Elaida to lay in order to catch Elayne Trakand, but Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, might be another matter. Merilille shifted on her chair, but she had her instructions. No matter how many treaties the Gray sister had negotiated, once Elayne began, she was to keep silent. Confidence flowed along the bond with Birgitte. Rand was a stone, unreadable, and distant. "You know of the White Tower's proclamation regarding him?" she asked quietly. They must, by now.

   "The Tower calls anathema on anyone who approaches the Dragon Reborn save through the offices of the Tower," Paitar said just as quietly. Taking a seat at last, he regarded her with serious eyes. "You are Aes Sedai. Surely that counts as the same thing."

   "The Tower meddles everywhere," Tenobia muttered. "No, Ethenielle; I will say this! The whole world knows the Tower is divided. Do you follow Elaida or the rebels, Elayne?"

   "The world seldom knows what it thinks it knows," Merilille said in a voice that seemed to lower the temperature in the tent. The tiny woman who ran when Elayne ordered her and squeaked when Windfinders looked at her sat up straight and faced Tenobia as an Aes Sedai, her smooth face as frosty as her tone. "The affairs of the Tower are for initiates to know, Tenobia. If you want to learn, ask to have your name written in the novice book, and in twenty years you might learn a little."

 

Everything went according to the plan they had set up.

Edited by Suttree
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 No matter how many treaties the Gray sister had negotiated, once Elayne began, she was to keep silent.

So why was she meant to keep silent. We finally had the chance to see an aes sedai DO something.

 

and I swear I don't wholesale MAKE shit up. So where did my annoyance come from. Something annoying happened to trigger me. I may hyperbolize but I swear SOMETHING always sets it off.

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 No matter how many treaties the Gray sister had negotiated, once Elayne began, she was to keep silent.

So why was she meant to keep silent. We finally had the chance to see an aes sedai DO something.

 

and I swear I don't wholesale MAKE shit up. So where did my annoyance come from. Something annoying happened to trigger me. I may hyperbolize but I swear SOMETHING always sets it off.

 

 

Well the last couple times you've claimed something like this I've been able to show it wasn't the case. Bottom line the plan worked, the prep done pre-meeting worked and we see the Gray be quite forceful in setting Tenobia down as well. Elayne is AS, more powerful in the OP  and the daughter-heir... of course she would take the public lead in this situation.

Edited by Suttree
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 No matter how many treaties the Gray sister had negotiated, once Elayne began, she was to keep silent.

So why was she meant to keep silent. We finally had the chance to see an aes sedai DO something.

 

and I swear I don't wholesale MAKE shit up. So where did my annoyance come from. Something annoying happened to trigger me. I may hyperbolize but I swear SOMETHING always sets it off.

 

 

Well the last couple times you've claimed something like this I've been able to show it wasn't the case. Bottom line the plan worked, the prep done pre-meeting worked and we see the Gray be quite forceful in setting Tenobia down as well. Elayne is AS, more powerful in the OP  and the daughter-heir... of course she would take the public lead in this situation.

 

But that's what I mean, the anger needs to come from SOMEWHERE. Even if it's exploded out of proportion. I have no reason to make stuff up out of nowhere. Why would I WANT to hate ANYTHING about this series?

 

... sorry, Egwene Nynaeve and Elayne being ultra powerful is just wearing thin on me. I'm in a very bad mood. I'll get over it in a few hours.

Edited by EmperorAllspice
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s

 

 

 

 

 No matter how many treaties the Gray sister had negotiated, once Elayne began, she was to keep silent.

So why was she meant to keep silent. We finally had the chance to see an aes sedai DO something.

 

and I swear I don't wholesale MAKE shit up. So where did my annoyance come from. Something annoying happened to trigger me. I may hyperbolize but I swear SOMETHING always sets it off.

 

 

Well the last couple times you've claimed something like this I've been able to show it wasn't the case. Bottom line the plan worked, the prep done pre-meeting worked and we see the Gray be quite forceful in setting Tenobia down as well. Elayne is AS, more powerful in the OP  and the daughter-heir... of course she would take the public lead in this situation.

 

But that's what I mean, the anger needs to come from SOMEWHERE. Even if it's exploded out of proportion. I have no reason to make stuff up out of nowhere. Why would I WANT to hate ANYTHING about this series?

 

... sorry, Egwene Nynaeve and Elayne being ultra powerful is just wearing thin on me. I'm in a very bad mood. I'll get over it in a few hours.

 

Perhaps just from the issue that even though Merillile is in theory a better negotiator, the plot requires Elayne to be the one doing the negotiating, partly due to the Aes Sedai hierarchy (although the one place where the Aes Sedai do seem to be good at recognising the flaws with their ranking system is when they put someone in charge of a delegation/working group where they have specific skills), and partly because they are in somewhat grey area with whether this is White Tower business or Andor business. If I recall the scene correctly, Egwene chooses to go to them as an Aes Sedai, but they obviously know she is the daughter-heir and any decision regarding foreign troops in Andor would have to go through her anyway.  

 

I dislike the fact that so few of the other Aes Sedai seem to display any of the skills, common sense, etc. that we assume they have, but this particular scene didn't really bother me.

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 No matter how many treaties the Gray sister had negotiated, once Elayne began, she was to keep silent.

So why was she meant to keep silent. We finally had the chance to see an aes sedai DO something.

 

and I swear I don't wholesale MAKE shit up. So where did my annoyance come from. Something annoying happened to trigger me. I may hyperbolize but I swear SOMETHING always sets it off.

 

 

Well the last couple times you've claimed something like this I've been able to show it wasn't the case. Bottom line the plan worked, the prep done pre-meeting worked and we see the Gray be quite forceful in setting Tenobia down as well. Elayne is AS, more powerful in the OP  and the daughter-heir... of course she would take the public lead in this situation.

 

But that's what I mean, the anger needs to come from SOMEWHERE. Even if it's exploded out of proportion. I have no reason to make stuff up out of nowhere. Why would I WANT to hate ANYTHING about this series?

 

... sorry, Egwene Nynaeve and Elayne being ultra powerful is just wearing thin on me. I'm in a very bad mood. I'll get over it in a few hours.

 

This feeling you're having is called "cognitive dissonance."  You believed something strong enough to have an emotional stake in it, and then were presented with evidence that what you believe is wrong.  Cognitive dissonance is the way your brain scrambles like crazy to hold on to a belief in any way possible.  It's how...well, it's how certain groups of people get through their entire life.

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off topic (sorta) but i just want to point out some really fantastic POV's. Avihenda, when she is trying to determine which sea folk to kill first (the windfinder) was hysterical. Also Mat's concern over Olver's picking up bad habits from his "uncles" and you realize that Olver only has one father figure in his life, where he gets his bad habits from. It's quite hilarious.  :wink:

 

(don't forget Nerim: "My lord's leg is not a side of beef. I thank my lord for reminding me.")

Edited by jedman67
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Yeah, a lot of that stuff was really awesome. And I don't care what anybody says, but the Mat-Rand-Perrin women thing was funny.

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Yeah, a lot of that stuff was really awesome. And I don't care what anybody says, but the Mat-Rand-Perrin women thing was funny.

 

It was funny, but I think it was reused too much.

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Dashiva is probably one of my favorite characters because of the re-reads.  The first time though, you're just confused by why this seemingly half-mad Asha'Man is acting like he knows more about the One Power than Rand.  Could you imagine how he must have felt when Rand randomly chose him to be a part of the group that stays with Rand after Dumai's Wells.  He gets me laughing during every re-read haha.

 

This was so good. Some highlights for me where his reaction during that first meeting w/ Cads and of course this classic:

 

TPoD

"There’s something askew with saidinhere, something amiss," Dashiva said, sounding not at all vague. In fact, he sounded... precise. And testy. A teacher lecturing a particularly dense pupil. He even stabbed a finger at Rand. "I don’t know what it is. Nothing can twist saidin, and if it could be twisted, we’d have felt it back in the mountains. Well, there wassomething there, yesterday, but so small... I feel it clearly here, though. Saidinis... eager. I know; I know. Saidinis not alive. But it... pulses, here. It is difficult to control."

   Rand forced his hand to loosen its grip on the Dragon Scepter. He had always been sure Dashiva was nearly as mad as Lews Therin himself. Usually the man maintained a better hold on himself, though, however precariously. "I’ve been channeling longer than you, Dashiva. You’re just feeling the taint more." He could not soften his tone. Light, he could not go mad yet, and neither could they! "Get to your place. We’ll be moving soon." The scouts had to return soon. Even in this flatter country, even limited to no further than they could see, ten miles would not take long to cover, Traveling.

   Dashiva made no move to obey. Instead, he opened his mouth angrily, then snapped it shut. Shaking visibly, he drew a deep breath. "I am well aware how long you have channeled," he said in an icy, almost contemptuous voice, "but surely even you can feel it. Feel, man! I don’t like ‘strange’ applied to saidin, and I don’t want to die or... or be burned out because you’re blind! Look at my ward! Look at it!"

 

TPoD has so much amazing dialogue in it. On re-reads it has become one of my favs in the series. It shows just how subtle RJ can be in his writing.

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