Barthanes’ party brings out more Discworld
comparisons, with the upper class fashions in that “so complicated they’re grotesque” level. It doesn’t go as far as The Hunger Games
, but it’s the same spirit. Rand is stuck talking to Barthanes himself for a while, and his attempts to deflect any questions leave Barthanes thinking he’s actually Gawyn. When did this story turn into a Faydeau play?
This feeling continues with a Crowning Moment of Funny
as Rand is ambushed by three cougars at once, and finally has to run to talk to Thom, who’s performing, and explains everything but still respects Thom not wanting to get involved. That’s when Hurin drags him off to see something. Kind of an odd place to end the chapter, when we’ve had a few as long as this and the next one combined.
Jordan’s in full-blown social satire mode here, and it feels a bit jarring, though I guess it makes a certain amount of sense given what we’ve already seen of Cairhien. Mostly it just makes me want to see what comes next, though there’s enough funny bits to make it worthwhile on its own.