We begin with Hurin having successfully found Fain’s trail, yet as they leave the village, Whitecloaks show up. It appears they get away unnoticed, but later in the chapter it appears Perrin was seen rounding the corner. He must be like Rand and his ta’veren affect. As far as Bornhald being able to remember him. I mean, he is one darkfriend that only killed two children of the light. If that is the worst they have seen in the past however many months, they suck. Bornhald himself seems to be quietly moving his troops towards Falme. They have had some skirmishes with the Seanchan, including one with a damane. He believes the Aes Sedai are now in league with the Seanchan and feels he must push back these invaders. He tells Byar about Perrin, and also to stay back and watch the upcoming fight. That he needs to carry word to his son, Dain Bornhald as well as this guy named Pedron Niall of everything that has happened. I know I’ve said this before, but for being a whitecloak, I like Geofram Bornhald. Just a solid guy all around.
Back in camp with Rand and company, the start planning how to go about getting the Horn from Falme. Verin says only five can go. Why, five? I understand the concept of having too many or too few, but 5 just seems like a random number drawn from nowhere. The "Five will ride forth" seems familiar from somewhere, but I can't remember what exactly. Anyway it turns out to be Rand, Perrin, Mat, Ingtar, and Hurin. If you are going to only have 5, seems like a solid group there. Meanwhile the rest will follow behind them, but most likely camp outside the city.
Meanwhile in Falme, Nynaeve springs her plan, and manage to capture a damane and sul’dam. Well rather they free the damane who punches the sul’dam and runs. Good for her. They also find out that the collar works on the sul’dam as well. From stuff said later in the chapter, it seems like damane are those who are born with the spark in them, while sul’dam are those who can be taught? Now my question is those who can be taught, don’t they eventually channel on their own anyway? Or is this not the case, only those with the spark born in them are the ones that will eventually channel? Those who can be taught will never know the difference without someone who knows what to look for. Regardless, they manage to sneak into Egwene’s room, and free her. Egwene flips out when Renna enters the room, and they collar her as well. It doesn’t end there as instead of trying to sneak away quietly, Egwene attacks a group of soldiers walking by. All hell starts to break loose and we get a quick POV of Bayle Domon desperately trying to hold off leaving, with all the madness growing.
The five who ride forth have entered Falme as well, and manage to locate the Horn/Dagger inside Turak’s house. Rand recognizes the grolm, how the heck did they end up here? So was it not an alternate world that Rand traveled to earlier, rather a place in Seanchan? Anyway they manage to sneak in the back, and as they get their hands on the horn, Turak appears with some guards. The rest take care of the guards while Rand has his first true test at the sword, against a blade master no less. It seems without the void, Rand could easily have been beaten, but once it holds the void it appears he is unstoppable. His training with Lan pays off and it seems like he can finally earn the right to have the herons on his sword. We then witness some more oddness out of the Seanchan as the servant begin to kill themselves, rather than fight back or raise the alarm. Rand seems to see Egwene, and is determined to help her out.
By this point the city is in chaos. It appears this is the timing around when Egwene has escaped, and the city is on high alert. The five seem to be in an alley way, with the soldiers closing in. Ingtar, oh Ingtar. I don’t care what he may have done or regardless of him being a Darkfriend, which for the record caught me completely by surprise. Regardless, he redeemed himself in my eyes by holding off the Seanchan so the rest could escape. Raises many questions on what exactly he was planning to do with the Horn, and why he fights trollocs so much, yet apparently has been working for the same masters. It matters not now though, or at least it appears not too with his death. I hope he did go out this way, and I don’t see him later, working for the Seanchan or something. That would straight up piss me off.
Now, The Grave Is No Bar to My Call. Man, hands down best chapter I have read in this series so far. Not one really even comes close to it. With everything that has been building up to this moment, I was not disappointed in the slightest. All the emotions you are feeling as the story unfolds the last 200 pages, all the betrayals and fights. This just captures it all and ends it in a way I really don’t have the words or ability to describe. When he blows the horn, the heroes come, the charge down the hill. The fight with Ba’alzamon. Finally ending with Rand using the form Sheathing the Sword. It simply just worked, beyond perfect. I really don’t know what more to say besides that. I got all fired up reading about it, and get goose bumps reading it again. It reminds me of the feeling I got in the Return of the King, as the Rohirrim appear blowing their horns as Gondor was about to fall and that whole charge. A big part of that was the whole visual as well as the story, but I did not have the same experience as I read the Return of the King book. Now how I got a similar feeling just by reading the book, is beyond me. I can only imagine what a "The Great Hunt" movie would be like with this scene.
Back to the story a little, though, and some nonrelated badass thoughts on it. So Matt blew the horn, seems like he has found his calling after all. Now does this mean they always follow him around, or can he blow the Horn whenever he needs them? Also, it seems like channeling does not affect the heroes. Can they even be killed? They seem a little like the Army of the Dead in LoTR as far as their abilities in battle. Min ends up being the one to find Rand, who appears to be in pretty bad shape, barely surviving his battle. As she gets in bed with him to keep him warm, Egwene walks in. Uh ohh girl fight. Seems like Egwene is starting to drop out of the fight for him, and it is between Min and Elayne fighting for his affections. Wonder what he even thinks of the two girls. Of the two it has seemed like he really only is attracted to Elayne. Anyway, so we finally find out a little more about the mysterious Selene, or I think so, she’s Lanfear? They are described pretty much the same, how many of the most beautiful females you’ve ever seen can we meet? So she’s obviously bad, but at the same time she seems different than the other forsaken. Don’t know what I think about her yet.
So it ends with Rand waking up to discover that Elayne and Nynaeve left with Mat and Verin to go back to Tar Valon with the Horn and dagger. Moiraine ends up being in Falme, how the heck did she get there, and why couldn't she have appeared earlier. She also says she never sent Verin. Hmm. So who’s lying here? Maybe Verin just assumed Moiraine wanted her to go, or maybe she worded it different so it seems like that’s what she said. Not sure on how the three oaths works just yet so who knows. With Moiraine’s connection to her cousin Barthanes she could be a darkfriend, I just find it hard to believe though. I never saw Ingtar coming either, so my head is ten types of confused. Regardless, Rand finally accepts being the Dragon Reborn, and seems like the Shienarans pledge themselves to him. Time for Rand to start kickin some butt.
After book 2, my top characters are
Rest I'm just neutral about or not sure on yet. Perrin I probably should put in like, yet he's not in the same league as the ones there just yet. Mat is growing on me, but again I feel like he was just sick or grouchy half the time. The girls I am indifferent about for the most part. I don't dislike them, but with all the stuff with chasing after the Horn in this book, I was just not as interested in their story as much. Moiraine I would say I like, but I'm afraid to put her in my "like" section if she turns out to be a darkfriend. I think she's just acting how most Aes Sedai do though, and I think someone had commented in the last post that although she was related to Barthanes, she had cut off her connections to her family since coming to the White Tower. So if that is the case, put her in my top 4. I don't know what it is about Min, I usually don't dislike many characters, but she just rubs me off in the wrong way for some reason.
With 12 books left yet to go, I have no idea where this book is even about to go. Rand obviously has to learn to control his power, and maybe build up some supporters. Besides that, I have no idea. Excited to keep it going.
Hopefully people are still enjoying the blog posts, I'll try to keep em coming pretty frequent.