The Path of Daggers Book Tour

Report from Pam Basham Los Angeles, 22 October 1998

A little of this, a little of that. Some general stuff about the signing, self-indulgent personal impressions and Q/A. For those of you just interested in facts, RJ's answers are at the bottom.

NOTE: I've only read about half the book, so please use Spoiler Protection in any replies. Only one of my questions pertained particularly to new information in _POD_, and it may be a non-issue by the end of the book, so sorry if it's already been talked about.

As a member of the "great lurker hordes," per Aaron Bergman's NY Signing Report, I'm here to assert our existence. I kept trying to ferret out members of the 'froup by asking pointed questions like, "So... how *did* you find out about this signing?" and throwing out random bits of 'froupness such as information about the NY Signing. But no one one around us bit. I kept looking for Tony Z., Julie Kangas or Hohn Cho (sorry if I mangled the spelling), but either my memory's going and I didn't recognize them after 2-1/2 years (post-aCOS DFS) or I didn't see them. The line went up the block to the corner, but I'd guess that it was a considerably smaller crowd than in NYC.

At any rate, after getting stuck at Sta. Monica Blvd. and the 405 Fwy and wishing desperately for a gateway we could drive through, we (my husband, Kevin, and I) arrived at Flights of Fantasy at 4:30 and there were a couple dozen people in line ahead of us. As it was my first Jordan signing and I was too manic to stand still, I ended up in the store spending money. As I signed my life away to the credit company for a copy of _Legends_, RJ arrived at the back of the store. I found it extremely gratifying to find out that even store owners get nervous about such things at RJ arriving at their back door while they're finishing up a sale.

Back outside, in line, the store personnel announced that RJ would be signing only WOT books, and no personalizations, please. _Legends_, for the purposes of the signing, was considered WOT. We were not, however, obliged to buy _POD_ there, or to include it as one of the two books signed.

There seemed to be a number of people there who weren't actual fans, serving as ambulatory book holders for friends or family. So perhaps that made RJ a little more tolerant about answering questions from the people who *are* reading the books. But he seemed genuinely interested in talking about them, and was very warm and responsive.

Harriet was with him, and I was really pleased to meet her, as well. She's a lovely, elegant lady. But she sat up suddenly with a startled look several times during our chat, and the whole effect was somehow birdlike. I couldn't help but think of Verin in her "pay no attention to the little brown sister in the corner" mode.

1.) Re: Cadsuane's pointed reminiscences about the good ol' days in Far Madding, I asked, "So can we assume..." and didn't even get to finish the question before he answered...

A: "Cadsuane is from Far Madding." And followed immediately, with no prompting, with "and Verin is from Far Madding." *Arched eyebrow* (For some reason, this last elicited a Startled Moment from Harriet. I was determined not to get a RAFO, so I didn't pursue this any further. Also I was nervous and had more questions.)

2.) Re: The Dragon and The Dragon Reborn (and Graendal's thoughts about Ishy's musings)

Q: "Is this soul born in any other age, or only at the advent and (theoretically, of course) the closing of the Third Age, as The Dragon/TDR?"

A: This soul is one of the Heroes, and bound to the Wheel, spun out as the Pattern wills. "It" is born in other ages, but in a non-Dragon incarnation, to suit the pattern of that Age. In the course of this answer, he related this to why Hawkwing calls Rand "Lews Therin" at Falme--because Hawkwing recognizes this Soul. This didn't really tell me why he specifically calls him "LTT", but apparently they've been hangin' together in T'A'R and the etiquette there is to call each other by the name of your last incarnation. (My interpretation.)

3.) Re: That Whole Thing About the Horn--Hawkwing v. Moiraine

Q: Hawkwing says they follow the banner and the Dragon. Moiraine says the Heroes will follow whoever winds the horn. Was Moiraine wrong?

A: *Arch look* Moiraine doesn't know everything. She was speaking the truth as she knows it. (I took this to imply that Moir was misinformed, and the conflict resolved, until he continued.) However, she *is* correct in that whoever sounds the horn "controls the Heroes." [exact quote] (I started to get confused at this point. Is Moir right or is she wrong? What's he trying to tell me?)

Q: "Then what happens if the Dragon and the banner are on opposite sides of the conflict from whoever sounds the horn?"

A: "Then we get a [rift] in the Pattern." [1](This elicited a _pronounced_ Startled Moment from Harriet, which I took at the time to express the same reaction as me--"A *WHAT*?!?"--but which Kevin told me later he interpreted to be more along the lines of "I can't believe you're telling them that!" It could, of course, mean something entirely different.)

At this point, part of my mind was running wild down paths about the Dark One and potential entrances into the Pattern, while the rest of it remained stunned, frozen, in absolute denial: "A _WHAT_?!?"

I remain steadfastly in denial about this one. Oh, sure. He *did* say it, and if it becomes relevant, he'll work it in, no doubt. But I firmly believe he Made This Up. If the DO was aware of this, it seems to me that he'd be working a _lot_ harder on making this happen, since it would seem to represent the equivalent of a serious "crack in the door to the Pattern." It's so much less work than using up all your main players (Chosen) in inefficient, conflicting plots and setting up Rand for "easily escapable situations involving an overly elaborate and exotic Death." [2]

[1] I'm not certain if this is the exact word he used. It may have been "schism" or "breach," but it was definitely a word expressing the concept of a forced opening/rupture. Sorry. It was lost in the momentary brain freeze.

[2] Moridin, of course. He's overly elaborate and exotic even *before*he puts on his silk coats.

Still stunned, I didn't notice that the hordes behind us were breathing hard and looking like they might begin a stampede, but RJ then very politely asked us to move on.

All in all, in complete abandonment of any kind of L.A. Kewl, I was completely thrilled to meet Jim and Harriet.

Wishing everybody at the rest of the signings lots of fun and frivolity and an utter absence of RAFO's.

Thanks to everyone for the info from the other two signings.

-Pam Basham

Billboard: "Welcome to Far Madding--Birthplace of the Purple Ajah."


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