Reviews for To Walk in the Light
Topomouse chapter 1 . 12/5/2013
Nice story, very well written. I had actually been pretty quick at dismissing Taim as an evil basterd when I read the books, so it's nice to see an alternative viewpoint on him.
Terahlyanwe chapter 19 . 11/15/2013
How very interesting! I quite enjoyed this tale.
annarien chapter 19 . 11/13/2013
First, let me thank you for writing Mazrim Taim and doing it so well. At the end of the whole WoT epic, I think he's probably my most favorite character in the entire series and I wish he had spent more time onscreen before he turned into a generic villain.

I had some doubts about a redemption story, especially one that involved an original female character, but you walked a fine line in this tale and did it well. Not going for the obvious romance (unless the two are meant to eventually walk into the sunset together and live happily ever after) was the right thing. I also loved that Mazrim Taim remained himself through and through. Even at his most cornered, he remained the same wry, sarcastic, full-of-dark humor and pride Mazrim Taim that caught my eye from the multitude of WoT characters. It was very refreshing to see that nothing could cow him or break him out of his habits and demeanor. Well, perhaps being cleansed of the madness and relieved of that burden did change him at the end there, but I do hope he's still perfectly himself after that.

I loved every bit of Mazrim/Logain interaction and if it were up to me, the story would have probably put Taim in Logain's lap from the go. But I can see how that could have made the story tragically shorter. Still, anything with those two in it gets my happy gears moving.

Also, I LOVED Rand's appearances. While a total cop-out by Robert Jordan, it's also a delicious irony that Rand is at large wearing Moridin's pretty face. And to see him from the perspective of someone who mucked up things for Rand AND got tangled with the real Moridin... that was fun. Rand also had the best line in the story, I think. I giggled quite loudly when he told Taim that he could have done less dramatic things to get Rand's attention. I definitely think that if Rand had paid more attention to his Black Tower and been less hateful of Taim (curse you Lwes Therin for all your murderous mutterings at the time), things would have been quite different for our beloved Asha'man.

All in all, great story! I sat up well into the night to read it all in one go and am now bleary eyed at work, but it was more than worth it.
Guest chapter 19 . 10/29/2013
Great job! I like the madness thing at the end. Great work.
Dobraine chapter 19 . 9/4/2013
Wow, as Tony the Tiger says, Grrrreeat! Very satisfying. I wasn't sure how you would handle it. Part of me wanted Taim to die, because having your protagonist live seems too convenient. But killing him was the second easiest option. Ultimately, you chose well, and bringing Rand back for the surprise ending made the decision work very well. I do have a few questions. But as the author I almost think you should take them to your grave. But they are fanboy questions so here I go: Taim's madness made him into the psycho we know and love? That was sort of brilliant. At first, I thought hmm too convenient? But it's a real mental illness, something that effects ordinary people, why shouldn't it be his madness?
And of course, who does Taim remind Rand of? Someone from Lews Therin's life but who?

Overall a very pleasing and well done story that very infrequently takes the easy route. Finally I can move on to your Logain story!
Sarkat chapter 19 . 8/27/2013
Excellent story. Very thoughtful exploration into the psychology of a (former) evil bastard. The character of the amnesiac villain is a really interesting one and I'm wondering now why I haven't seen that done before. Kudos.

Also, I am a sucker for a strange and complicated character relationship:)

I loved Erin's lecture about why Taim was not allowed to resent Logain for not having him executed.

I'm not sure how I feel about the ending. The revelation that Taim's numbness (and presumably thus some of his sociopathic nature) was the result of damage from channeling tainted saidin is certainly an interesting twist. I am not sure whether I think it strengthens or weakens the story as an exploration of the human nature of evil. On the one hand, it seems like a little bit of a cop-out to suggest that his being a sociopath was not the result of his inherent nature or even of his experiences but of magical damage. But, on the the other hand, isn't anyone who is evil evil because they're damaged in some way? Probably.

I realize that this may be a more philosophical level than you ever considered the story on, but it was interesting to me.
Dobraine chapter 18 . 8/23/2013
There is so much to love about this chapter I don't even know where to begin. Lots of great details:
Paragraph for paragraph. Logain really came together for me in this chapter. I think you finally really nailed him. And it fits well with all his other appearances. I love his questing with Taim, looking for a chink in the armor. I love that inspire of himself he searches for redeeming characteristics. I love that Taim deflects him as a matter of course, he doesn't even really know why he does it. Your "guy-guy" convo was spot on. I love the memory about shouting matches at the Black Tower and demand that you rewrite each chapter carefully inserting one more memory.

I love the details about his confinement, the loss of appetite, losing track of time, preference for Darkness. Reminds me a bit of Theon post Bastard.

Interesting to see Mishraile again. For a story done without an outline, it is really coming together. That said, the subtle interplay between them is still lost on me.

I also must say that Erin is very well drawn, she fits the RJ mold without fitting into the RJ stereotypes. She is subtle and intelligent, and while she lacks a certain strength, it is the actknowledment of that lack that makes her convincing as a person.

I also like where Erin talks with Logain. I like that she doesn't proselytize, and she doesn't fight with Logain directly.
Between the beer, pasta and general exhaustion lets just say, the chapter gets even better

I also wanted to write to you briefly. I'm sad you haven't written back as yet, but I totally understand when life intervenes. And if I said anything off color or offensive in my last post Ever hear the term CYA ? It means cover your assà
Dobraine chapter 17 . 8/20/2013
And you say this chapter has nothing in it? It might possibly be the best one! Ok. Last chapter was action packed, so a chapter to calm down and explain things was needed. And there was much to explain. You mentioned a trial, which was good, but I doubt Tar Valon wouldn't want a part of that. In fact, you could use that to buyout advantage to delay or remove it altogether. Don't forget, he must be arraigned and formally charged. This could be a dramatic interlude if you choose to proceed with the trial.

As usual, great dialogue and great details. The talk between Taim and Logain was excellent and set the stage for clemency. The talk between Erin and Logain also good. One thing I feel I must sAy: I think you continually nail Taim, but Logain is a harder fit. And I don't know why. We know much more about him, but as a character he feels less compelling. I look forward to starting your next story.

And I'm still waiting for some memories!
Dobraine chapter 16 . 8/17/2013
Thoroughly excited by this chapter. Lots of good stuff going on and the arc works well. One thing in retrospect, that I would have done, was I would have heightened the drama by bringing the old Taim bAck in full. You do sort of go there, but you could fill it in with some details: how it felt Turning those men, how it felt to order others murdered. Then do what you did with his conflicted feelings re Erin. Added to that that his creation, the Black Tower is no longer his. The shame of choosing he loosing side, etc. anyway, don't rewrite, you did an excellent job!

And I really liked how the chapter ended. The uncontrollable sobbing. The very last line, in its ordinariness was particularly tough. " a long time before she could drag herself to bed". Full of understatement.
Dobraine chapter 15 . 8/15/2013
Thoughts about food in the borderlands: great detail, major concern of mine. Don't forget the steam wagons. Thoughts that Asha'man would be better at logistics: sexist. Erin is sort of a traditionalist, so it is not beyond her purview, but make sure it's in her voice. RJ provides many examples of women logistic masters Faile, Aravine, Berelain.

Taim looked more a warder than a husband. Oh me laugh, a light hearted answer to a central story question. I also love the transition, peaceful camp, all is well, BANG, there is Taim contemplating murder. Also, nice touch with the line about Damer Flinn, that's an RJ thing and it fits.

Good traveling details, muddy track, etc. something to think about, RJ doesn't mention it much, but Sanderson did in MoL. Westland is a world in decline. The nations have at best a two or three cities. Illian, Tear, and Far madding only have capital cities. Tons of land is completely empty. This was all before the war. Add to that the fact that massive wars like this see a massive baby boom, and Rand al'Thors sacrifice, it could mean a massive blood transfusion to a dying continent.

Brigands. A bit unexpected but very well done. I like Taim's ethical dilemmas and decisions. You are making his chance to choose the Light very plausible. I confess that I'm curious though. Did the desire to expose Taim come before you wrote the brigands in? What I'm getting at is that the encounter was very unexpected, that's not necessarily bad, but it did make me wonder if you added the scene simply to provide Taim with the ethical dilemma.
Dobraine chapter 14 . 8/11/2013
I like the scene of every day Tower life that leads. Nice details. Would love it if Bode appeared again, would love it if we learned more about her personality. She must have Mat's sense of humor.

It's not worth going back and changing this, but shady, used in that sense is An urban dictionary term. unless this story took palace on our times, in our world, a shady tavern is simply a tavern with a large tree over it. ( a la the Inn of the Last Home) should have a better description, try seedy.

Love the part with Taim thinking about the slowing and having to pretend for centuries. This is something that always bothered me about wot. No one wire age particularly well, now near immortality would, inevitably make people less likely to mature at the same rate. After all, part of growing up is realizing the limits of ones sack of skin. Still, RJ never demonstrated what that sheer amount of time would do to someone.

Love the Flinn Corele scene. As we've discussed sex is barely ever referenced in the canon, and certainly it seems something far beneath Aes Sedai dignity. Also, sex aside, it was just a nicely done scene. I will note that your use of English, and particularly American idioms is becoming more prevalent, such as "and all that" tha sort of phrasing is not common in adult fantasy, (though certainly in teen, or joke fantasy (Neil Gaman)). Just be careful, you can describe Corele efficiently without resorting to idiom.

Love the conversation with Flinn and Taim, I think you've created a very viable human out of Flinn from what little there was in the canon. That said, normal people refer to earlier moments in their lives. You have a great opportunity for both of these characters to have real lives. They should have memories. Both of the war and before it. You should create them and use them to expand their characters and illustrate motivation. For example, we really don't know why Flinn cares for Taim, maybe there was some moment in the black tower when he wasn't an asshat.
Dobraine chapter 13 . 8/7/2013
I love that Taim's use of the sword is a now a vector of personality change. Really, that is how one changes one's personality. You change your habits, your friends, your interests. Other awesome details: he doesn't believe in redemption. Good. Also two swords at once? That gave me a tiny frisson. The way you just casually threw in the lack of father, etc. and the fact that he doesn't care! You're hitting your stride now. Too many great details to list. The paintings, the awkward bit with calendril. A neat spin on the process whereby an Aes Sedai bonds an Asha'man as a warder. I was so expecting that caress to turn into something more, how do former Forsaken have sex? Disappointed, but I respect your reasons. This is one of the best written chapters so far, elegant, informative and entirely uncliched.
Dobraine chapter 12 . 8/5/2013
I love the line "no, he had played dangerous games before... " I also like the Ajah discussion, and clever thought re green Ajah. I like howghechapterends, both silent and wrapped i thought. I'm wondering if Taim remembers everything. You haven't quite made that clear, though the meting with Demandred was a nice touch. If he does, does he remember the hard, and contempt he has for others? Very curious. And sorry for the long break. Will read more quickly now!
AbbieNormal1 chapter 19 . 7/29/2013
So Taim was mad, but rather than paranoia or schizophrenia, he basically got sociopathy?

...That does sound like a reasonable explanation for the lack of *apparent* insanity after channeling for so long.

I'm guessing this takes place after Rand has had his ears boxed by Nynaeve. *cough*sidestory*cough*

I usually hate endings on general principle since they mean the story's over. BUT... this is definitely a good one. And, love the character interaction!
Zara08 chapter 19 . 7/27/2013
Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! Oh what an intensive chapter :-) beautiful tale, gorgeous writing...but I feel this is not the end... You just can't leave them at the travelling grounds ;-)
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