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The Shadow Rising Audiobook Update 4: Reminiscing about Rhuidean

I have been so focused on having the blog catch up to my progress in the audiobook that I actually think I overshot it. The plan was to write about the entire Rhuidean adventure, buttttttt I have not even got close to finishing it. So I guess this leaves me no choice but to work with what I got.

I think to many it may be obvious, but I am not sure that Rand is all there mentally. I am not ready to call him the r word, as I still have a professional job and no way to sustain myself, but the dude is certainly not the brightest. So this jabroni is with our hero of the tale and they are heading into ghost town just dying of thirst when he realizes he can just magic them some water. When he finally does get some water he barely even realizes he needs to drink the stuff. I mean this guy is a grade A idiot. A Pat Shurmer type guy.

Shoutout to Mat. No surprise here but when him and Rand are on the border of entering the creepy ass fog ridden Rhuidean he says that they should go in together. Rand pulls some nasty trick where he makes the coin flip the way he wants, basically barring Mat from really being there for his friend. Mat decides that it might be nice to take a little stroll through another ter’angreal (I abhor typing that word out, I have to look it up everytime) door since he has some time to kill and gets himself back in another world, this time with some fox homies instead of I quote “snaky people.”

Instead of answering questions though, they ignore him until he asks for the holes in his memory to be filled. Then they ignore him until he asks for a way to be free of Aes Sedai and the Power. Last he asks to be away from the fox homies and get back to Rueidien. They just go “done” and start chirping him for being a fool. Those fox homies are annoying as shit.

Listen I do not think Mat handled the fox homies too well, he left a lot on the table. To be fair he didn’t exactly know the rules but I remember him actually coming out pretty ahead in the exchange. That end quote is pretty dope though. To end off this much delayed blog, a little excerpt from Chapter 24.

“Wise to ask leavetaking, when you set no price, no terms.”

“Yet fool not to first agree on price.”

I have no idea what the fuck that means but it sounds cool.

Journey around the Wheel of Time

The Shadow Rising Audiobook Update 3: Aiel, Aiel, and more . . . Aiel

After the lovely trip into the world of weirdo snakes the gang decides that some decisions have to be made. Fuckboy Rand makes a bunch of pointless proclamations but the main point is finally everybody gets to split up and go there own separate ways. Unfortunately Rand accompanies the hero of our story to lovely top vacation destination theeeeee Aiel Waste!

In other news, the Perrin possee make their way over to the Two Rivers to deal with the Whitecloaks, with Faile naturally bitching. There has never been a character in all of time that nags their man more then Faile Bashere. I mean this dude Perrin is yokkkkked and quite frankly a big pussy, I mean a nice guy, and all this girl does is get mad at him. Granted she found him shirtless in a room with smokeshow Berelain, which in most instances would be the end of any solid relationship so she kind of has some ground to stand on, but in typical whiny girl fashion instead of taking action she just nags him to death. That was a massive sentence. She also tricks my homie Loial into scheming to accompany Perrin, whatever they are doing shit in The Ways.

The queen of mean, Nynaeve, and her lackey ol’ Elayne decide to go to Tanchico based on some crackpot dream Egwene has. Shit pops off for them eventually, but right now we get bored to death with Elayne and Thom’s rekindling of their semi-parental relationship. To be honest that whole thing gets pretty weird.

But lets talk Mat and Moiraine. Listen say what you want about Moiraine but I am more and more thinking that she might be a top female character in all of fantasy. She is fucking hardddddd.

So an illustrious crew of Rand, Mat, Lan, Egwene, Aviendha, and some other Aiel all take the stone thing to teleport to the Aiel waste. Apparently everyone has to go to Rhuidean and become clan chiefs and wise women and stuff. But the Aiel Waste does not lack for entertainment, instantly we get a scene where Mat, and I guess Rand, get threatned by some loser wannabe Aiel Chief and Mat is ready to lay down the law.

I am going to save the trip into Rhuidean for next week, mainly because we haven’t got there, but I wanted to mention one thing. Robert Jordan is the most subtle horndog in the world. At this point the amount of women who have had to strip down and get naked to go do some task or other is crazy. In this part not only does Aviendha get naked to go run to Rhuidean, but Moiraine also whips em out. I don’t think WoT actually has any sex scenes, but Jordan sure does talk about titties a whole bunch, without ever actually saying tits. He is a master of his craft.

To be fair this did not have much talk of the Aiel, so I guess the subtitle was a little misleading. Fuck you. But also have a great weekend!

Final Notes: Say what you want about Miles Garret but him getting kicked on the ground was hysterical. All that matters is they crushed the spread.

Journey around the Wheel of Time

The Shadow Rising Audiobook Update 2: An attempted catch up

Man I have really let this weekly series fall to the wayside. As a no self blame blog, I refuse to blame myself for this, so I am forced to blame external factors. Either way, I am going to try and cover some of the wild ass events that have occurred. Try and keep in mind, much like the entire Giants season, I am coming at this from a deficit so some stuff has to be glossed over.

The battle of the Stone of Tear is something that is worthy of it’s own blog, as I believe while the battle itself is actually pretty boring, the stuff surrounding it was way more interesting. Lanfear, which I am now realizing that clearly Jordan just ran out of character names and took Lan’s name and added fear, tries once again to unsuccessfully fuck Rand. Since Rand is mostly into children, Lanfear being immortal and shit was never going to succeed. Apparently she can change her form, so if she really wanted to succeed maybe she should change her appearance to a teenager and sing some Billie Eilish while crying about her self-diagnosed depression. See I get what kids are into these days.

Whatever she doesn’t, instead she basically ruins the whole surprise attack on the Stone. What a narc. If you are team trolloc, which for the record I am not as I find them pretty boring, you would hate this move. She basically is Leonard Williams, but unlike Leonard Williams her giving away of her old team secrets didn’t lead to getting carved up by a QB who still is suffering from PTSD after watching the remake of Ghostbusters. Instead the trollocs get zapped to death by Rand. We are now approaching the part of the series where every major confrontation with trolloc’s end with them getting murked by the one power. Kinda like when a dude playing COD on a PC in commie china is going up against us free folk on xbox. The most interesting part of this was that this surprise attack might have worked, if Lanfear didn’t actively use her trolloc’s to save everyone than Rand would hopefully be dead.

Like I said, I really wanted to go into all this stuff but I am way too behind at this point so I have to pick a few things to go over. I promise to right this ship by Friday’s edition.

To end it I want to talk about Mat’s wild ride in the doorway ter’angreal. So Mat is craving for some answers to life’s biggest questions and goes into weirdo world to get some answers. The guy knows he only gets to ask three questions, so he has to play it cool. But he is NOT happy with the shit this Aelfinn pull. Here is how the thing basically goes:

  1. “Should I go home to help my people?” “You must go to Rhuidean.”
  2. “Why should I [go to Rhuidean]?” “If you do not go to Rhuidean, you will die.”
  3. “Why will I die if I do not go to Rhuidean?” “You will have sidestepped the thread of fate, left your fate to drift on the winds of time, and you will be killed by those who do not want that fate fulfilled.”

So Mat starts flipping out that they are trying to get him out of there and start rapid fires questions at them. This for some reason proves an effective strategy, as this losers actually answer him. It continues:

“What fate are you talking about? (…) What fate?” “To marry the Daughter of the Nine Moons!”

“To die and live again, and live once more a part of what was!” “To give up half the light of the world to save the world!”

“Go to Rhuidean, son of battles! Go to Rhuidean, trickster! Go, gambler! Go!”

Possible book review coming this week as well.

Book Reviews

New Spring Wrap-up: Springing me deeper into the Wheel of Time

Trash subtitle, not a trash book. New Spring is a Wheel of Time novel and serves as a prequel to the Wheel of Time series. One may question what would posses a man who has spent 100+ hours listening to the WoT audiobook series and writing about it weekly to also pick up a prequel book to the series and to that I have a simple answer. I am not a wealthy man and this book was offered by Tor as a free e-book. Being a man that quite enjoys both the WoT and free things, this was a match made in heaven.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that it was quite the mindfuck listening to the audiobooks during my run, I think I was listening to the second or third book when I read this, and later on reading about events that transpired 20ish years prior to the start of the series. Felt like things were hopping around a lot.

So this book follows some of the best characters in the WoT series, Moiraine (I think I actually spelled her name right on the first try) and ya boyyyyyyy Lan Mandragoran. Set twenty years before we are introduced to fuckwad Rand, the book opens up with the oft mentioned Aiel War wrapping up. It’s funny I just listened to a part of The Shadow Rising where both Gaul and Lan are in the same room and they both have a mutual dislike for each other and it is obvious that the Aiel remember Lan whipping their asses in the war. We rarely see Lan as an actual battlefield commandeer so him strategizing and leading men was a great opener. There is a part where some lord requests for Lan to be the anvil in a hammer and anvil type trap on a group of Aiel and Lan agrees, despite having a feeling that the hammer is never going to show. So when questioned about it Lan says something along the lines of “I gave my word so I will stick to it.” Badass. I should go look for the quote but I won’t, read the book if you want it.

We get introduced to Moiraine and Siuan when they are Accepted. They are serving as cup bearers to the current Amyrlin, Tamra, when Gitara, who is the Keeper of the Stole, has a god damn seizure and croaks out a prophesy that the Dragon has been reborn. She then abruptly dies, which is kind of funny. Moiraine and Siuan vow to find and protect the Dragon without letting anyone know what they are doing. The Amyrlin tries to track down the Dragon by offering money to anyone who pushed out a kid in the last week, and the two collect all the possible candidates in a list. This list becomes their own personal quest. They wind up getting raised to Aes Sedai and set out to start tracking down kids.

Lan on the other hand is in a little bit of a pickle. Returning from war, he realizes this old milf he used to sleep with has tried to raise the Golden Crane while he has been gone. Not pleased with this he decides to track her down. He meets, you guessed it, Moiraine on the way and the two begin an adveserial relationship.

When they get to the city of Chachin some stuff happens with the Black Ajah and stuff. Having spoiled 60% of the book I won’t ruin the ending.

Many lovely people of Reddit question if this book should be read before one begins the WoT. While that would make it a nice number of 15 books, the answer is an emphatic NO. Reading this book contains massive spoilers for the series as you know the driving forces behind Lan and Moiraine’s actions. This severely takes away from the mystery and intrigue of those two characters, as well as spoiling a whole bunch of stuff about the Dragon. If you go into book one having read this, it takes away a lot of the fun. Save this for after, as a nice reminder of how great the series is. If the idea of reading a prequel novel after reading a masssssive 14 book series is too much for you, give it some time and come back to it.

I rate this book:

Journey around the Wheel of Time

The Dragon Reborn Audiobook Wrap-up

Feels like years ago but I have reached the end of The Dragon Reborn. In truth I reached the end of the audiobook one day after my last write up, which makes remembering all this stuff quite the challenge. No challenge is too great for the number one audiobook fantasy blogger of The Wheel of Time so lets get after it.

I would like to talk about the ending because it is super boring. As you can guess since their are other books in this series, the good guys win. Though I deeply question at this point if Rand al’Chore is even a good guy. I call him Rand al’Chore because I feel like it is a chore to have to listen to anything involving him. Cue the joke drums.

Rand seizes Callandor and defeats one of the foresaken. Honestly it is kind of unclear who he actually defeats because he believes he smoked Ba’alzamon but he is of course a dumbass and is wrong. The giant magic fights at the end of the books are easily the most boring part. Through this second run of the Wheel of Time I have a much greater appreciation for Moiraine. She is ruthless, her entire plan was basically to just run up on Be’lal and use this crippling balefire that she knows the consequences of using and hope that she gets him. If not than shes fucked and will die. And you know what, it works.

As for the book overall, I found the third book to be much better than the previous two. We are done with kind of creating the world and developing the the basics of the characters, instead we get to actually work on the story. The lack of Rand chapters is also a major plus. But on a more serious note these books are best when the characters are less focused on the intricacies of the one power and are interacting with the world around them. Jordan does such an excellent job of introducing characters and people that make these interactions so enjoyable.

Some of the hightlights of this book I have talked about at length, though if I had to pick a favorite it would be when Perrin and Gaul massacre all those whitecloaks. Such a solid read, you can go back to my blog on that if you want a deep dive into it. Actually thinking about it, it seems like a majority of my favorite parts of these books involve the Aiel. I kind of remember them getting super annoying later on but for now I enjoy them. Also Mat coming back to basically life is amazing. On to The Shadow Rising!

Final Notes: So I think that I have to cancel Mat’s Money Makers blog series because it clearly is a curse. Took the Chiefs last night at -3 and they covered. It seems like destiny

Journey around the Wheel of Time

The Dragon Reborn Audiobook Update 4: All roads lead to Tear

Today is Friday and everyone knows Fridays are for updating the world on an audiobook I exclusively listen to while exercising. The journey around the Wheel of Time has been quite the thrill, the sweet sounds of Michael Kramer and Kate Reading have blessed my eardrums with nothing but the highest quality fantasy this forlorn world has to offer.

That opening paragraph was the blogging version of repeating the question to stall for time. The problem with doing all those Mat quotes last week was I kind of forgot where I left off so this recap is without a doubt going to be out-of-order with a heavy focus on recency.

Lets start with ya boy Perrin. Perrin is not what we would call your traditional ladies man. Sure the boy is a good looking meat monster, but his soft ass beta attitude directly impacts his ability to capitalize. He rolls in on Moraine half dressed and the dude just wants to talk. She even goes so far as to drop a hint, saying something along the lines of “you are a good looking man” or some other coy Aes Sedai flirting technique and the dude is just stuck in his own head. O well Zarine Bashere enters the picture, so Perrin’s non-player days are pretty much over at this point anyway.

I would like to talk about Perrin’s clear highlight of the book. Look Perrin puts in that fucking work, no one would ever call the guy a bitch, and there are a few times in this book in particular when he goes green-eggs-and-ham on some fucking clowns. The first was when he smoked that Myrddraal with the ax, sure the woman he was trying to protect died but that is irrelevant, the actual fight was hardddddd.

So in Remen two hunters of the horn have captured an Aiel man, later revealed as Gaul, and left him in a cage in the town square. Perrin springs the dude from the trap when they encounter a group of whitecloaks. I fucking love the Aiel sometimes, that whole wrapping the black cloth around their faces thing and dropping dope one-liners gets me every time. True to form Gaul drops an all timer “Do you like to dance, Perrin Aybara” and then the two of them absolutely slaughter the whitecloaks. I know Perrin hates killing but damn that is a fun read.

This is getting long so I guess I will have to do some highlights. Nynaeve, Elayne and Egwene meet the maidens of the spear and we get introduced to Aviendha (no way I will ever remember how to spell that). Unsurprisingly get nabbed again and are being sold to a couple of Myrddraal when the Aiel come and save them. At this point the Aiel have completely massacred all the dark friends, and they have the two Myrddraal surrounded. Now it’s mentioned 9,000,000 times how Myrddraal scare the shit out of everyone, but the Aiel are taunting them with classic barbs and completely humiliating these evil ghost ghoul things.

As they circled, the Aiel drummed their spears against their small hide bucklers. Thrum-thrum-THRUM-thrum . . . thrum-thrum-THRUM-thrum . . . thrum-thrum-THRUM-thrum. The Myrddraal turned with them, and their eyeless faces seemed uncertain, uneasy that the fear their gaze struck into every human heart did not seem to touch these.
“Dance with me, Shadowman,” one of the Aiel called suddenly, tauntingly. He sounded like a young man.

So fucking badass. Aiel are awesome.

I want to close this with an update on the hero of the story. Mat delivers a letter to Morgase, who he thinks about dancing with just thought it was important to add that the man has the confidence to try and get with the Queen, and is mad at Gaebril for kind of demeaning him and planning to kill Elayne, Egwene and Nynaeve and drops a classic.

“What’s this, lad? Coin?” “Stakes.”Gaebril doesn’t know it, but he and I have a wager.” The cat jumped down as Mat picked up the wooden dive cup and spun the dice out on the table. Five sixes. “And I always win.”

Happy Friday!

Final Notes: This is going to seem like bullshit, but I actually bet the Rams at +1.5 last night and of course didn’t write about it. Proof is here:

Journey around the Wheel of Time

The Dragon Reborn Audiobook Update 2: A wolf and a white tower

Fresh off of losing even more money on the illustrious FanDuel app (sponsor me por favor) is the Friday Wheel of Time Audiobook update. Having put in some hefty mileage since last week there is plenty to talk about. First though, I know that title makes it seem like Perrin had some crossover with Tar Valon. He didn’t, it is just a much better subtitle.

BUT that doesn’t mean that there was no Perrin. In fact I thought this entire book was Perrin. Which is not a bad thing, he has a lot of action happening around him. He is at the point now where he is being bombarded by this wolf life and he is being a little bitch about embracing it. Like your boy Hopper, a true OG, is basically telling Perrin to stop being a baby and the guy can’t get out of his own head.

So essentially Trollocs run up on the little winter Dragonsworn camp and Perrin gives them the fucking business. A little weird that he fights with the wolves, but I get hyped up when Robert Jordan does a battle scene without magic. Young Bull, Perrin’s alter ego, is a legend of the fight game. He just runs around barefoot chopping trollocs and fades with a giant fucking ax. His fight with the fade is dope, Perrin is an awesome undisciplined brawler. You know who is a wack fighter? You guessed it! RAND. When Perrin goes to find him Rand is crying about how he did nothing. Good job bro. Pathetic.

So post battle your boy Perrin, Lan, Loial and Moraine start following Rand. They roll up to this village, where everyone is busy fucking because Rand came through and basically started up a giant orgy. Not exactly true, as these people were getting married first, but what is marriage but an excuse? Some would say Rand shares many tendencies with Lucifer himself. This innkeeper asks Moraine to heal his brother, but when she and Perrin go to see the brother, they can’t do anything as the brother has basically become a wolf. This chapter shows the depth of Moraine’s character. It is so easy to see her as uncaring and cold, but in actuality the way she talks to Perrin and shows sympathy just makes her continuously more likeable.

On to the White Tower. The hero of our tale is unfortunately incapacitated at the start of this book, he has come down with a case of evil magic sickness. So Verin, Egwene, Nynaeve, Elayne, and Hurin the crime watchdog sniffing out crime from Tear to the Two Rivers get accosted by these White Cloak goons while trying to get Mat to the White Tower. I lovvvvve this part of the book because I find it so funny. This scene reminds me of like getting mugged by people with knives, when all of you are holding guns. Verin is diplomatically trying to get shit done while Egwene the whole time is getting more and more impatient until finally she pulls out the uzi and starts blasting those clowns with the one power. Elayne and Nynaeve are so relieved to not have to listen to Verin’s terrible attempts at diplomacy and start popping off as well. They absolutely body the White Cloaks in like three seconds. Then as Verin is trying to discipline them, she is just resigned to the fact that it worked. OOOOO WELL.

When they finally get to Tar Valon, we are treated with an Amyrlin Seat chapter. Of course this means stupid fisherman expressions but looking past that I enjoy Siuan as a POV. My time with the audiobook ended with rain blasting me at about mile 5 yesterday, so until next week that is all.

Final Notes: God damn it Cam.