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Wicked Woodpecker of West

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About Wicked Woodpecker of West

  • Rank
    Fearful Symmetry
  • Birthday 05/23/1987

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  • Interests
    fantasty, science-fiction, horror, paleontology, biology, geology, symphonic metal
  1. Welcome in the next episode of “Hannibal Lecter’s Guide to Human Anatomy”! Unfortunately chapter’s title doesn’t refers to wicked necromantic rituals or even common cannibalism, it’s just about love and making babies, blah, blah. Anyway we stays with Moiraine and Siuan as they are collecting names of babies in Murandian camp. Murandians don’t make things easy for them, they are definitely stuck in “asshole nations” protocol. But let’s put them aside, because we’ve got two new Aes Sedai characters. And, bloody hell, they are definitely not made of straw. Meilyn belongs to White Ajah. As we already know Whites are fond of logic and philosophy, which is apparently uncommon among rest of Ajahs. Which means for example that she is able to resolve quite simple questions about human nature, or point out, against Aes Sedai savoir-vivre, that Ajahs’ traditions can be a little bit flawed. The second of Sisters, Elaida is a Red, and apparently she and our heroines have some past together. According to my notes she was an Accepted when Siuan and Moiraine were novices, and she had some kind of unhealthy obsession about them. Trying to make them her Avenger’s Initiative or something like that. Thankfully after becoming Aes Sedai she left to become advisor of Andoran Queen1. We can also confirm that Red Ajah are official Slytherin of this particular Hogwarts. They really don’t like men, they refuse (against logic and reason) to bond Warders, and Elaida choose to be one of them. But after all what should we expect from Ajah which specific purpose is to hunt male channelers2. Also apparently Moiraine’s nation, Cairhiens aren’t only pale, little evil schemers, but also puritan, pale little schemers. Moiraine is not even able to say “making babies” without losing her temper and nearly passing out3. Don’t they learn them about human anatomy and physiology in White Tower? And apparently pale, evil, stork-brought schemers are without king now, cose Aiels kinda slaughtered all Moiraine’s uncles, king and his brothers. Somehow I’m sure it is gonna to be important later. Anyway, Moiraine doesn’t give a shit about her uncles, so Merean believes that she’s traumatized. Really, Merean, I mean you know this girl for six years, and you don’t know that she loathes her family. And you’re kinda like main pedagogue of Minas Tirith? Shame on you. Lot of interesting stuff in this chapter, but now it’s time for me to make one important issue. All this “human heart” thing have some really, really big world-building holes in it. Because, let’s say it clear. There’s just no way, that all those united, medieval-like kingdoms fighting evil Bedouin-Satanists would take wives of their soldiers on a war. I mean sure there would be some kids. Kids of whores or camp followers. But really do you wanna me to believe that a noble lady would go with her husband to war, living in a camp, and giving birth to new noble goats… I mean sons. Like really? I mean what with all those internal issues. My country wasn’t a peaceful place during Dark Ages or Renaissance. Lot of wars. Moscow, Turkey, Teutonic Order, bloody hell we we’re even invaded by Sweden. Sweden, mind you! And you see, when all those noble knights or common born mercenaries went on war, fighting, burning and dying, then their wives stayed at homes and made sure that civilization wouldn’t collapse while boys are playing their games. And hell those guys in Wheelverse believe that Aielfolk are Satan’s little boytoys. It makes them kinda ultimate evil (except Hell itself of course). And they allow their women to just ride with them. It’s not even that they would fight with Aiel. They just accompany their husbands. And that’s definitely not how the Universe works. Sorry, if few last paragraphs were grammatically or orthographically imperfect. What can I say. They really make good beer in city of Warka, folks. Good night (or day) and God bless. Heyah! 1Like, really? Queen advisor? But she is barely grown up. I mean, she’s Aes Sedai just for few years and they give her political responsibility?! High level responsibility? Shouldn’t she take some probation time or something? 2Are male channelers really so common threat that you need specific Ajah just to fight them? I suppose they could be easily merged with Greens. After all Greens are currently unemployed, waiting for the Last Battle, and they seem to have much healthier relation to males. 3What advice could Cairhien women receive before her wedding night? Close your eyes and think about Daes Dae’mar?
  2. Ah, Australia. I must admit, I have no single bloody idea about your politics right now. Did you inherit the ol' British deal with labourists and tories?
  3. Yeah, I get it, I just didn't think that was important enough for Siuan personal sign.
  4. Welcome to Hitchhiker’s Guide to Tar Valon. That wasn’t really action-packed chapter. I would say even more, basically nothing happened. Accepted left White Tower and rode to army camps. That’s all. So the most interesting part was quite interesting description of Ancient and Most Noble City of Tar Valon, famous for its unique and rather pointless architecture. Antonio Gaudi would be proud of your imagination Mr. Jordan. Anyway, what’s more important all those fancy cat-like towers, bird-like inns and fish-like prisons were built by folk called Ogier1, which are Wheelverse variation of the elves. Or dwarves. Or giants. Well maybe a little bit of them all. Pointy ears, pointy beards, much bigger than a man, great stonemasons. Tar Valon is also most important business center, where you can meet all nations of known world. Some of them we’ve already known. Borderlanders, Tairens (apparently they don’t hate Aes Sedai strong enough to abandon trading here), Cairhiens. Some are new, and quite peculiar like Taraboner men who veiled their faces. Anyway I think I will have to make some kind of database for nations, as I already did for Aes Sedai and Accepted. Too many details, and it would be sad to miss some important foreshadowing. And now it’s time to meet those Murandians. Quarrelsome, prickly about their honor, men wearing curled mustachios? That’s sounds just like Polish nobility in 16-th or 17-th century. Just can’t wait, huh. 1I think I’m gonna have some serious problems reading about these Ogier-folk. Cose, you see, in Polish ogier means stallion. Welcome in My Little Pony Hell of Innuendo, brothers.
  5. Unfortunately, you're right. Damn, you human nature! But even then, I would expect something more from an acolyte of Powerful Order of Magicians. That's just principle of things ;)
  6. So, the Amyrlin Seat wants to find the Dragon Reborn through really expensive baby census. I am not sure what to think about that. Even if she manage to get Him on her lists, how is she going to recognize him? I mean, he’s just a baby, he won’t be channeling for a long, long time. And anyway Destiny is a bitch, you cannot just try to buy it, it will turn around and bite your head off. Anyway we have a lot of background information in this chapter. Seven Ajahs are Blue, White, Red, Green, Brown, Grey and Yellow. Renly Baratheon approves.As we know White are women fond of logic. Now we also get some information about Reds and Greens. Reds are hunters, cleaning the world from wretched male channelers, doomed to go mad and die. Moiraine and Siuan don’t like them very much. I suppose Red Ajah can be Slytherin of the White Tower. Probably Dragon Reborn is gonna to have serious problems with this lot. Greens are Gryffindors (interesting twist of colors), the Battle Ajah. Which means that they are basically unemployed for most of the time, since Trolloc Wars. After all this time it is wonder if they will be really useful when the real war starts. Greens are also the only Aes Sedai that bond more than one Warder1. No more specific data about other Ajahs. We met lot of Accepted, which I wrote down in my special database, because I’m quite sure, that many of them can pop out in main novels, and it will be interesting to see how they changed. Also some stuff about geography (Sea Folk, Altara, Tinkers, mysterious land of Shara) and about channeling which among Aes Sedai is called weaving. Which is pretty cool in terms of imagination, but not really precise. Now, let’s see what Siuan and Moiraine will find beyond the White Tower. PS. I really like idea of chapter icons, but I don’t get this one. Fish? What it supposed to mean? 1I really hope we would meet Alanna the Accepted in main series, as a full bad-ass Aes Sedai with twelve Warders. Go, and take it, girl!
  7. The Prophecy is fulfilled and the Dragon is Reborn! Well, that’s something I was looking forward to. And now all hell will break loose. Yay! Well, probably yay. Anyway putting Prophecy - or should I say Foretelling – aside, this chapter includes lot of interesting stuff. So, the Aes Sedai are ruled by a leader called Amyrlin Seat1, which holds almost absolute power over White Tower. Her deputy is called Keeper of Chronicles. Aes Sedai divide themselves into seven Ajahs, which are probably some kind of orders or houses. So far White, Blue, Green and Yellow Ajahs were revealed. We don’t know what makes certain Ajahs special, except that White Ajah is fond of logic2. Of course Aes Sedai lifespan is much longer than simple Muggle-folk and they never get any wrinkles, just like Hollywood actress. Moiraine failed to make any special impression. Some could think that acolyte of powerful sorceress order should have bigger problems than wearing white dress all the time. I would expect something more from one of the most promising adepts of mystical force in generations. What’s most interesting she’s Cairhien noblewoman, and her uncle is somehow responsible for invasion of Aielfolk. That should be important. Tairen forbid magic in their country, and they don’t like Aes Sedai. I suppose that’s another prove that they are assholes. Well except of Siuan Sanche, of course. And now the question is – what would Tamra Ospenya do? Well except finding herself new deputy. Dragon is Reborn, Doom is Coming. Yeah! 1That’s peculiar name. It sounds like kind of furniture. Wouldn’t Amyrlin alone sounds better? 2Someone could think that in powerful order of magic wielders fondness of logic would be condition sine qua non. Apparently not.
  8. So, obviously the kneeling man from e-book cover is Lan Mandragoran, POV of the first chapter. Lan is an archetypal prince of exile; he was saved as an infant from some unspecified doom that destroyed kingdom of Malkier, he has grumpy, old mentor Bukama and a magical sword That Cannot Be Broken. Well, that’s way of improvement since Lord of the Rings. He’s also extremely competent and efficient commander leading his own troop of soldiers during a war against folk called Aiel. However, he’s definitely too lenient and forgiving for his soldiers – he just wakes sleeping sentries up, rather than execute them for their incompetence. Tywin Lannister disapproves. Lan seems to be really promising character. Perfect soldier, keeping customs of his dead kingdom1, faithful to northern code of duty and honor (brace yourself, winter is coming!) and doomed to live without hope for peace or restoration. Apparently all northerners from Borderlands are the same – tough, dutiful warriors, born soldiers. Beyond their countries lies place called Blight, which is probably some kind of dangerous and inhospitable desolation. Beside Malkieri there are at least two other Borderland Nations: Saldaeans and Kandori, but there hasn’t been any specific information about those yet. Other nations don’t seem to be as much cool as Borderlanders. Domani are also northerners but apparently Lan doesn’t trust them completely. Anyway they are not near as bad as the southerners. Tairens apparently are rude, boastful assholes who perfume their beards, wear glittering armors and treat Borderlanders as some unwashed, unskilled barbarians. Lan would like to see Tairen messenger on a spike, but he doesn’t has enough side whiskers for cold-blooded murder, so he remains calm. Lan also doesn’t like Aes Sedai2. Apparently they are manipulative, cold-blooded schemers who doesn’t care about smallfolk. Well that’s just what I would expect from organization of powerful women who hides terrible and wonderful secrets of distant past, and wields magical powers. Aes Sedai lives in the greatest Tower on the world called White Tower, that lies on an island of Tar Valon in the shadow of volcano known as Dragonmount, which is mountain of prophecy, just like Orodruina. And there of course… Aielmen. First when I read about terrible hordes coming from East to ravage the world, I thought about Mongolians or maybe Dothraki, and how wrong I were. Running rather than riding even during hard winter, camouflage clothes, black veils like some Bedouins. They are really interesting. Why did they come? What’s their purpose? Why they didn’t attack Lan’s troop? Lan doesn’t believes that they are servants of the Dark One, then why did they start the most terrible war since thousand years? There are also some important historical stuff in this chapter. Apparently we are 3000 years after Breaking of the World, and each thousands years something really bad happens. First Trolloc Wars, and after that War of Hundred Years that destroyed empire created by King Arthur (hell, yeah!) Hawking after his death just like empire of Macedonia after Alexander’s demise. People believes that’s some kind of pattern. Maybe they’re right, because The Dragon Reborn Is Nigh! The Dark One appears to have real name which isn’t especially original – Shai’tan. It’s classic Voldemort paradox because it seems that no one speaks or even thinks this true name using The Dark One instead but somehow everybody knows it. What’s use of cursed name when every bloody peasant knows it, I ask you!? Apparently people serving TDO are called Darkfriends. Questions and predictions: 1. We will learn about true reasons of Aiel war. Maybe even within this book. There is one weird thing that I think must be important – this Aiel shouting by the Hook. Aan'allein - One Man Alone. First I thought they are trying to ask Bordermen for one to one duel, but I assume it wasn’t that. 2. Prophecy of Dragonmount. I think it should be revealed soon. 3. Are peaches in this world really poisonous? 4. I’m sure that history of Malkier isn’t over, and that Lan will have to deal with his history once more at least. It is just too interesting to be put off. OK, that’s all folks. See you soon. 1Although wearing leather cord around your head seems to be really bad idea. Imagine all those headaches. 2I assume this blue girl from cover must be one of Aes Sedai. Narrative law.
  9. Reading time! But first take a look on a cover 1. I've seen most of original covers of US (and Polish) editions and let’s just say... They are wrong. Just wrong. People riding somewhere, people riding somewhere, oh wait people standing somewhere. They look just like cinema posters before Second World War. They lack any distinct power that would say: Hey, that's a hell of an epic fantasy. Let's read it! Just look on it. It's just inappropriate. Thankfully there are some new e-book covers that are much, much cooler. That’s what I call a good cover. Time for predictions. Here’s my original assumptions written sixth months ago: “The kneeling guy take blessing from blue girl (which is obviously Aes Sedai sorceress), which means that he is going to do some really dangerous and important mission, or he is giving her his oaths of service (sword-surrender gesture). I assume we should met those two pretty soon in the book. They don’t look like some secondary characters. Maybe she sends him to find Dragon Reborn? Well I won’t bet on it, but I think it is seriously possible.” Now after reading half of the book, and forgetting half of it I’m quite sure that some of mine expectations were true, while at least one was painfully wrong. Still, I am not sure about the real meaning of this cover. Well, let’s find out. 1I have a cover thing. You won’t understand.
  10. I know, I know, this is not the proper order of reading. What can I say, I always like to read novels in chronological order, not caring about publishing order. Anyway The Strike at Shayol Ghul wasn't much surprise to me. I already knew that The Wheel of Time is about guy called Dragon, who saved the world from a local version of Big Evil1, and would be reborn in the future to fight BE once again. I knew that only women can use their mojo safely, cose The Dark One tainted male half with madness. Well, that’s the basics I suppose. The story itself, or maybe rather a letter to Wheel of Time Journal of Archaeology, shows a lot of details of Wheelverse, most of them quite enigmatic, I suppose that’s because of wrong reading order. It seems that The Dark One had been closed in some kind of prison before someone drilled a hole in it.. I really hope it don’t means that TDO was actually buried somewhere. That would be lame. Then we have short story of sex war among Aes Sedai. I have to say they really sounds more like a band of sulking teenagers than a most powerful wizards of the world. Like really, not talking to each other? Doom is coming, all hell breaks loose, and they won’t talk to each other. How possibly they survived ten years of literal End of the World. It seems to me they would be unable to cope with mere zombie!apocalypse. Anyway the Dragon had to stop TDO2 only with male power, and everything goes to hell. Again. As we already know. I don’t exactly buy this whole gender stuff, but story itself was quite interesting and full of promising details. We know that Wheelverse suffered at least three colossal cataclysms since attack at Shayol Ghul (cool name, Teddy): Breaking of the World caused by mad male sorcerers, Trolloc Wars caused probably by beings called Trollocs and War of Hundred Years. I assume we will learn about them from actual novels. Those Trollocs sounds like local variation of trolls or orcs. I hope it’s not so simple. I suppose those Forsaken are some demonic generals of The Dark One. Their names: Bel’al, Sammael, Demandred are definitely infernal. We will probably meet them again. Well, almost definitely. We will also see those magic devices those sa’angreal3 and ter’angreal and I think they can be crucial in defeating The Dark One again. So that’s it. First shortie is behind my back, I find it quite cool, but now let’s go to an actual novel. New Spring – here I come. Again. 1The Dark One doesn’t sound much originally but I have to say I really like those pseudo-gnostic visions of Anticreator, who is true antithesis of God rather than mere fallen angel. 2Maybe I should call him Teddy… 3I think that reference to Holy Grail is not accidental
  11. although I find the fact that I have two different styles of cover on my books (and that some are hardback) to be worse than covers I don't like because they don't look like 'a series' on my book shelf! :) ------------------------------ Never buy the decades-long saga until it is finished and you're sure that there is at least one complete edition of those books. That's what libraries are for - to buy all those editions that stopped in a middle of series... Am I talking with sense? It's certainly too hot to think in English here...
  12. Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Simon, I am twenty six and I came from savage, eastern wilderness known as Poland1. And truly, this is not a beginning. Once upon a time (last October I suppose), I created blog to record my journey through The Wheel of Time saga. As it quickly turned out, writing regular reviews in foreign language isn’t as easy as I thought. Especially when you are in a middle of quite interesting part of your life. So I abandoned New Spring halfway up, and my blog as well. Thankfully, bloody wheel has moved a little bit since then, and here I am with second version of my blog. I decided to start all over again, after seven months I really don’t remember much from what I read. Plan is – at least one chapter each day. Hope I won’t have to be third time lucky. Well then, see you tomorrow with The Strike at Shayol Ghul. Good night and God bless. 1Poland not Holland. Remember that if you want to survive.
  13. Or else Hello Everybody. I'm new here, and new in world of the Wheel. I'm just going through New Spring from which I begun reading of TWoT, so propably next few months I won't be really active user. So on I'm definitely optymistic, maybe middle part of Moiraine Tower action was bit slow, I would gladly read something more about end of Aiel war from Lan perspective, but magnitude of the world and problems are really, really great. And beside tWoT part, I'm 25, from Poland, Roman Catholic, paleontology student and fantasy addict. See you!
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