Probably one of the coolest chapters I’ve read yet. Based off the chapter name, and the visions we see, it appears that somehow as Rand tries to travel everyone to the other stone, they go through all these worlds and see what “might be”. Every little detail, every choice that could go one way or another, Rand seems to experience. What would have happened if Moiraine never came? What would have happened if Rand went mad in the Two Rivers? I was really moved by some of the scenes, and extremely happy it did not turn out that way. Great stuff, though I wish we could have seen some of the views the others went through. Regardless, I was very impressed with this bit of writing. Though, in all his visions, they end with “I have won again, Lews Therin”. Not sure what exactly to make of this aside from maybe these are all visions of “what might be” gone in the wrong way. Meaning if it wasn’t for the path Rand has taken so far, the Dark One would have won. So as bad as it looked the first time through, I feel like Rand must be on the right track! Again, great great chapter. Oh, and they end up making it safely to Toman Head, though it appears many months have passed in the process.
We then jump back to Egwene, who has been in training in the White Tower for a couple months now. They having some girl talk in Egwene’s room with Nynaeve and Min. Elayne comes in and says King Galldrian is dead. Thatta boy Thom! Now as of where I’m at, we don’t know this for sure that it was Thom. But from the way Thom was looking when we last left him and the lack of motive by anyone else we have met or heard about, who else could it have been? Unless Thom hired someone to do it for him, but I doubt it. Anyway some more chit chat, Nynaeve hasn’t made friends; Egwene hasn’t dreamt about Rand in a while, etc etc. Not nearly as cool as the chapter before, but then again it would be very hard to follow that. Liandrin then shows up and says a bunch of stuff about how the boys are in trouble, and somewhat mentioning she and Moiraine may not hate each other as much as appears. I don’t buy it. I still dislike her, and I don’t see how Egwene and them are so trusting so quick. Though, they don’t have the third person advantage as I do. When I really thought about it, If I were in their shoes I probably would have little to do but trust Liandrin. It seems like Elayne and Min heard everything from the next room and is set on going with the two. Seems like one big great adventure to them. So they prepare to meet Liandrin by the stables.
Now how they manage to get out as easy as they do is beyond me. Yet the girls dress up in the nice clothes they came with, and manage to get out of the Tower without getting caught at all. Can’t the others sense those who can channel? With as powerful as the girls will be too, I would figure it would be like a beacon to all the Aes Sedai around them. Anyway they make it to the stables, and Liandrin says she had “made arrangements for Elayne and Min, making more suspicious of her. So it was no surprise when they manage the trip through the Ways, that she had betrayed them all, and is about to hand them over to the Seanchan. Now, plenty of thoughts on this. So clearly the Seanchan want to collar all women who can channel. So why the heck would Liandrin even be in contact with these people? My only conclusion is straight up Darkfriends, and it is some part of a bigger plot. High Lady Suroth seems to want to get out of their quick, and they both talk about some higher master. They seem to especially want Egwene and Nynaeve to be shipped back to Seanchan, but for what reason eludes me.
These girls won’t be taken that easy though! Egwene is unfortunate enough to get collared, and Min is captured as she helps to get Nynaeve out. They put up a fight, and the troops are recalled without finding Elayne or Nynaeve. We know get our first hand experienced with these Seanchan and their damane. All I can say is sucks to be them. Seems like their sul’dam are in complete and absolute control over them, and they are treated like a dog they are training for one purpose. Seems that the collars won’t work on men, yet they go mad anyway so they probably just kill/gentle them like they do here. Anyway don’t tell the Whitecloaks about these things, I figure they would be best friends with the Seanchan. We then jump to the two girls who escape, and they sound like they are going to head to Falme and see what they can do about helping Min and Egwene get out.
Back to Rand, and it appears they have been on Toman Head for a couple days as they try to pick up Fain’s trail. The others are still not set on him being here, so the going is slow. It seems like the Seanchan are pretty brutal in a lot of the villages, killing a lot of the people. Or could it be the Whitecloaks who were in the area? Anyway the group is split, with Verin wanting to go right to Falme, while Ingtar wants to still search the whole area for Fain’s trail. Rand is feeling drawn to Falme by something, his “destiny” type of thing? He is ta’veren after all; I believe it said at one point that although things form around him, the pattern still pushes him along the right path so to speak. I could just remember it wrong though. Anyway Rand gets another nightly visit from Ba’alzamon who seems to be alive, but clear injuries that seem to have been healed (their previous fight at the eye of the world?). Rand manages to channel to fight him, but Ba’alzamon fends it off with ease it seems like. He offers to teach Rand, but Rand stands his ground and Ba’alzamon disappears, though leaving burnt marks on the chair. So again, are these dreams or real life? Seems like a mixture of both.
The last two chapters deal with a mix of Nynaeve’s, Egwene’s, and Min’s POV. We find out that Nynaeve and Elayne have managed to get into the city, and have been hiding out as they learn more about the Seanchan, and try to figure out where exactly the other two girls are. They find out the area all the damane are kept, yet have not been able to spot either of the two. We also see a little more into the “training” Egwene is receiving. I’m starting to feel terrible for her here. She’s being treated like a dog, training to destroy stuff, when all a sudden they find out she can detect minerals. She is then given a treat and told how she will be considered a huge honor to own. Yet she continues to hold her resistance a little, and tries to figure out a way to escape. It seems like these Seanchan really have covered all the loose ends, though, and there really is no way for a damane to get away on her own. Renna comes back as Min is in for her visit, and realizes Egwene has been channeling. Seems like it is the last straw on her leniency, and decides to give her a new name. I can only imagine how I’d react. To me it seems like this could be the last straw for Egwene, and she’s now pretty much broken.
Not so fast. As Min rushes out all in tears, she manages to stumble on Nynaeve and Elayne. They exchange their stories of what’s going on, and manage to come up with a rough new plan. Mainly involving our unlucky captain, Bayle Domon. Lord knows what trouble he’s being dragged into now. Nynaeve pretends to be a full Aes Sedai in order to convince him that he stands a chance against damane if they were to sail. They hear about two other Aes Sedai that have also been captured, though we have no knowledge or sightings of them yet.
Things are starting to get crazy in here!