Chapter 34 He Who Comes With the Dawn
Not going to lie, with a chapter title like this, and me basically figuring out beforehand this was where Rand was going to come back and proclaim himself to the Aiel, I was shocked at the reaction by everyone. I guess in the grand scheme of things, especially taking in how the Aiel usually react to anything, I shouldn’t be surprised. Still, there was very little positive reaction aside from a sigh of relief from the wise ones. Couladin believes that Rand killed his brother, and attempts to kill Rand, but is stopped in time. Once Rand shows the dragon tattoos, one on each arm, do they finally go away. So Rand is now officially the Car’a’carn, chief of chiefs, earn it boy. Too bad that seems to mean very little as far as being able to control the Aiel. Everyone then disperses, while Mat and Rand follow the wise ones into the tents to be healed and discuss what to do next.
Rand pretty much forces Rhuarc to answer some questions about Rhuidean, and what exactly went on. Rhuarc talks about the Cairhienin scene (there ya go trench, made the connection now) and then Rand asks about his mother. Actually it was his father that was the Aiel, his mother traveled into the waste based off a fortelling of some kind, and became a Maiden of the spear. It’s crazy how everything snapped into place then. If the Cairhienin had not offered water, it would never lead to the Aiel War, and if Rand’s mother didn’t head the Aes Sedai’s vision, she would have never left with the Aiel, to give birth to Rand outside the waste. Seems his father is dead too, being killed in the blight by someone that looked like his mother? Not sure who that could have been, but the fact he looked like her makes me think of a relative of some type. Though we now know Rand has or had a half-brother (the son she left behind). I wonder if he’s still alive? In the end he commands the wise ones to send messages to all the clan chiefs and have them gathered in this place called Alcair Dal. It is there Rand will be able to proclaim himself to all the clan chiefs, and hopefully get more of them to support him. As of now it just looks like Rhuarc’s clan will follow, while the Shaido don’t seem like they will. Aviendha and Moiraine also return, but we don’t learn much of what they saw.
Chapter 35 Sharp Lessons
Egwene is back in TAR, and is meeting with Elayne to share news. Elayne lets it slip that the sea folk can channel, and Egwene says the Aiel wise ones can. Elayne is GOOD at keeping secrets. Anyway it appears the sea folk have accepted Rand as their Coramoor. Surprised there, with as hard as it was for Rand to get people to accept he is the Dragon Reborn, and Aiel as their chief of chiefs, these people seem to just accept him based off stories and assuming they are true. Their ship is traveling fast, though, and Elayne and Nynaeve will arrive in Tanchico pretty soon.
It is then that Egwene is pulled back to the waking world, and scolded by Amys, only to figure out it was still another dream, and is woken up again. This time Amys is truly there, and begins to scold her and threatens not to teach her. Crazy what they can do there, almost like the movie “Inception” and having a dream within a dream. Though, it may have simply been Amys pulled her into a different dream instead of going up or down a level. Regardless, Egwene promises to keep her word and obey, and is told to put her hair into braids like a little girl! Yes, I love these people. They then travel to this sweat tent. From what I can gather it seems like this is how they clean themselves. Very interesting, but I guess if you lack the use of a lot of water, you make do with what you have. It's like they are in a hot tub, just without water. They discuss different ways to try and make Rand do what they want, no surprise there, though it seems the wise ones are more interested in saving as many of the Aiel as they can. Doesn’t seem too bad, and they end up sending Aviendha to follow him. She takes this like she is sentenced to death. Not sure why she hates him so much, especially when she is friends with Elayne and Egwene. You’d think this would just help Elayne to keep an eye on him, and maybe even teach him some Aiel ways.
Chapter 36 Misdirections
The next day, everyone packs up and heads out. I’m not going to lie; I’m super confused on how to organize these guys. You have the Taardad, Jindo, Shaido, Stone dogs, Maidens. Where do they all stack up with each other? I think the Maidens simply refer to all female warriors, regardless of clan, but clueless on the rest.
EDIT: So I found this nifty site that has cleared it up a little for me. So there are 12 Aiel Clans, and each clan has different septs. The different septs refer to the different groups of Aiel within that clan that live together. So the Jindo are a sept in the Taardad clan, and have a hold in Cold Rocks? So is Rhuarc leader of the sept or the entire clan? Now the warrior societies still confuse me. I think I remember the Maidens of the Spear saying they never fight each other, but what about the rest. Could there be members of stone dogs in each clan, and if they are at war, they still fight each other? In modern terms, lets suppose the Americans and the Canadians both had a similar Army. Within the Army there was a "warrior society" called the Rangers. Each country has these Rangers, which are trained and act similar, but they still fight against each other if it came to it? Anyway that’s one big mess of a situation to try to figure out there.
Back to the story. So Rand notices Aviendha and figures she’s just there to spy for the Wise Ones. He ends up thinking of Min, surprising there. Of all the attractive ladies throwing themselves at him, he thinks of the one that dresses like a boy. We then jump to Mat, and he’s complaining as usual. He’s trying to talk himself into leaving, but he’s still being pulled towards Rand. They then come upon a peddler who has been traveling without a guide. Pisses Rhuarc off, but he agrees for them to follow the Aiel to their hold. Rand acts a little crazy, saying Kadere has evil eyes and is a dangerous man, and that they are now traveling with evil. Is he just suspicious or does he know something we don’t? I guess when you become the most powerful/dangerous man in the world; you become suspicious of anything odd.
Chapter 37 Imre Stand
Rand is riding with the others when word comes that there is trouble at Imre Stand. The Aiel think it could be a raid of some sort, but it turns out to be a trolloc attack. Everyone eventually settles down and Kadere talks to Rand, and flaunts this beautiful girl named Isendre at him. This in turn just pisses Aviendha off more, saying that he belongs to Elayne. Rand ends up practicing the sword with Lan, and then learns to fight the Aiel way from Rhuarc.
Mat meanwhile is wondering why anyone would bother working out in the heat, as he’s lying in some shade drinking. We also learn a little more about his answers and what he got this second time into the doorway. He has this foxhead medallion thing, though not sure what it does yet. He was always complaining about holes in his head, and it appears they have all been filled with memories now. He can apparently remember battles long gone, and is constantly thinking about battle. Later that night, the camp is attacked by trollocs, more attacking the Jindo then the Shaido. No surprise there, but how the heck did these trollocs get close with all the Aiel around. The waste isn’t exactly the best place to try and hide, and I’m sure the Aiel had scouts out. Maybe some type of waygate is nearby. Not sure if this attack and the one at Imre Stand are connected at all, but could be. Maybe they had found some place to hide out, but needed to take the Aiel out at Imre Stand first so they couldn’t alert everyone. In the end they take out all the Trollocs without any major deaths or injuries.
Chapter 38 Hidden Faces
Interesting chapter here, get a lot of POV’s we haven’t seen in a while. First, we start with some Egeanin chick, though. From the end it appears she is some type of seanchan woman who I thought was a spy at first. It seems like she is on some mission by the High Lady Suroth to capture all the women who escaped Falme. Or at least the sul’dam and damane I think. She’s using Gelb to help and find these women. Where have we seen Gelb before? At first I got him mistaken for my boy Bayle Domon, but he appears in the next chapter so it obviously wasn’t him. Ah well, Egeanin goes back to her room and faces the questions of some dude with the title Seeker. They sound like some sort of secret service for the Seanchan Empress. Not really sure what he was getting at, but Egeanin was able to keep quiet the sul’dam she has in her basement. Looks like the truth about them is starting to get out, though Suroth told Egeanin to have all of them killed.
Next we get a look at Carridin. Not sure if he is doing a whole lot to kill Rand or keep him alive, despite having news of his relatives being killed. He is doing some work in Tanchico, and sounds like he is trying to secure it for Pedron Nial and the Whitecloaks. We also see the reappearance of Liandrin at this point. The black sister prisoners must have been telling the truth, and something must be going on here. We also figure out Carridin is “Bors” from that darkfriend meeting, meaning Liandrin must have been one of the black sisters there? I wonder how she found out about Bors, especially considering how careful he was not to let it be known who he was. Anyway, Liandrin now pretty much controls him, and has him start to set in motion her plans. Still not quite sure what their plan is, but it sounds like it has something to do to hurt Rand.
Finally we follow Liandrin as she goes back to the house with the remaining Black Ajah sisters. They talk about possible dissension among the Forsaken, and how they could maybe take them out. Ha, I’d almost wish they would try. But, it may explain why Rand isn’t being bombarded by every angle from all these Forsaken. That and it appears the DO can’t decide if he wants Rand alive to try and turn him, or just to kill him and make it easier.
Chapter 39 A cup of Wine
We then join Elayne and Nynaeve as they arrive in Tanchico. Seems Elayne has learned a little more about weaving, I’m assuming Nynaeve too. Anyway they see Bale Domon and head off to an inn to have a chat with him. He begins to freak out that Falme is going to happen all over again, and I don’t blame him. He’s had nothing but terrible luck since we first met him back in the first book. They catch up a little, and Bayle agrees to have some of his men look out for the Black Ajah. Juilin also heads out to learn what he can from the underworld. Elayne follows Thom to watch him perform, and ends up getting a tad bit tipsy. After she follows Thom back, they talk and it spills out that he was her mother’s lover for a little, and he sends her away hoping she forgets it all in the morning. It appears she does for the moment, though it’ll probably come out again soon if they keep traveling together for a while.
After Nynaeve dumps Elayne in some water to clear her hangover, she lies down to try and enter TAR. She searches for a little but doesn’t find Egwene, and somehow ends up in what is probably Rhuidean. She watches a man walk around it but can’t get in, why? What exactly is stopping people from entering, and why can the Aiel as well as Rand/Mat get in their fine? Anyway it is Birgitte that keeps appearing, and she tells her to leave. Is this where all the hero of the horns went? Nynaeve jumps to Emond’s Field and most likely ran into Slayer, as he keeps hunting the area around there.
You guys were right, loving this book so far. So much going on and so much info getting thrown at us.