Greetings, everyone! My name is Dakota (or Dak for short, as most call me) Hoskins, and am overjoyed to make all of your acquaintances. I am 22, I hail from the United States (Indiana, to be specific) and the Wheel of Time series means a lot to me. I am engaged to be married (I know I'm not IRL married yet but I just love the way t'Liesinger looks in my name) and have a single daughter who is nearly 5 years old at the time of writing this. (I apologize ahead of time for the length, brevity has never been my strong suit.) I discovered the series when recommendation-hunting among my friends for a longer series that has real depth. One of my all-time favorite series to this day is The Lost Years of Merlin (and by association The Great Tree of Avalon, its sequel) by T.A. Barron. They were formative in my interests in high fantasy and fiction that touched my spirit and made me question who and what I am. One of my friends mentioned the Wheel of Time and it was buried in a pile of other recommendations I'd received. A few days later, a different friend contacted me, asking, "You like power metal, right?" I said that I did, and he sent me "Wheel of Time" by Blind Guardian. I adored the song, and because it had recently been brought up with me, I decided it would be my next series. Over the next couple years I would read the series (1-14 and then New Spring afterwards), daydream about the Westlands while not reading, and so on. I finally finished it and refused to let my interest in the series that had so fervently enraptured my being, and thus began reading again. I'm about halfway through Lord of Chaos currently, and it's embarrassing how much foreshadowing and reference I missed on my first read, but it's made reading that much more enjoyable. 1. Who is your favorite character in The Wheel of Time and why? This is such an impossible question to answer. I have two, and they might make your eyes roll as they are two "lead characters." Egwene Al'Vere — Egwene is everything I could ever hope to be, and someone I hope my daughter grows up with as a role model. I would (and have, in the past) argue that she is the strongest character in the series, and her character development is paralleled by only one other (who happens to be my other favorite). Her journey from ambitious naivete to the personification of my favorite mantra anahata ("unhurt, unstruck, and unbeaten") is complete and awe-inspiring. Rand Al'Thor — I know this also seems like a cop-out answer but I can't not say Rand. Especially reading the series for the second time, the inner conflict that he faces at every single step is so great, and though he makes many, many mistakes, he overcomes his challenges in the end. I suffer from depression personally after some traumatic events in my life, and I have learned what it means to be forced into making very impactful life choices while facing debilitating inner conflict. I've learned much from Rand's journey, and have made many of the same mistakes over the years. I identify with his tendency to push away emotion when he believes it will make "hard decisions" easier, and to distance myself from those I love as some sort of mercy. I'm grateful for the lessons I've learned from the Dragon. 2. How did you find TarValon.Net? I can't actually recall. I've followed the page on facebook for some time, but I'm not certain from where initial contact arose. I suppose my official answer is facebook. 3. What do you do? (student? job? hobbies?) I'm currently in training to be a software engineer. I'm almost done with my curriculum. It'll be a challenge entering the industry without a degree or prior experience, I think, but I have a habit of being stubborn when I set my mind to something, so I hope to be placed within a few months of graduating in February 2020. 4. Where are you from? What languages to you speak? I've lived in Indiana, US my whole life. I am fluent in English and some Spanish (and a smattering of Cherokee, but not enough to hold a conversation). 5. What is your favorite book or author other than Robert Jordan and The Wheel of Time? I'd have to go with T.A. Barron. Good fantasy is one thing, but fantasy that makes me apply its principles to my daily life and explore who I am as an individual is precious to me. T.A. Barron was the first author to bring me to that point, and I will be forever grateful to him for doing so. If you've read to the end, thanks for taking the time to get to know me. I'm very excited to embed myself in this community, and to get to know you all. If you have any questions for me or would like to say hi, please do so!