I’m a terrible person. Can’t believe I’ve gone so long without another blog, sorry! How about I just give you one big juicy one? So in my defense, I had written another blog, but I guess I hit the “save” button instead of “publish”. So I just added on to what I had written and reviewed it to make sure it was right.
I’m hoping to get another big blog update in tomorrow, so if you don’t see one by tomorrow night, feel free to harass me.
Chapter 16: An Unexpected Offer
Nynaeve wakes up the next day, and updates Elayne on everything she learned. After some discussion they decide that they need to make their way to Tear. At least until maybe Nynaeve remembers the town name of the gathering. Unfortunately for them, Galad has other ideas in mind. He surprises them at breakfast, and suddenly shows up at their table. He offers to take them to Caemlyn, now that would have been a bad idea. Anyway the girls refuse, and after leaving his site, they plan to ditch Galad and go with Luca’s circus. Not a bad plan, but will be curious to see how they fit in with a circus. Especially with how Nynaeve treated him last time they saw each other.
Chapter 17: Heading West
The group manages to sneak out of the inn and past Galad. Thom finds out some news about the Whitecloaks and it sounds like Pedron Niall’s plan to unite the nations against Rand is starting to take shape. At least the word is out, we don’t really find out if he’s really gathered in anyone strong. Finally, they catch up to Luca, and the offer of 100 gold marks is enough to erase any anger he had previously of them. Funny how money works, though I guess Luca was still about to turn them down until he saw all their performances. Thom obviously has enough skill with performing, but I was curious as to what the others would do. I was surprised to see Elayne as the one who offered to do the high rope. I’m assuming she used channeled to make it easier, but still, takes some nerve there. After they are accepted, they take a quick tour of the menagerie and we see the different trainers and performers. There is the one Seanchan, and Nynaeve and Elayne confront her about it when they get her alone. We find out that she was indeed left behind from Falme, but is not a sul’dam. Once Cerandin finds out Elayne is a lady, she pretty much submits to her as a High Lady or something. They then begin their journey, and Elayne starts to teach the Seanchan how to behave properly so she fits in better.
Chapter 18: A Hound of Darkness
Now to the dark side of the force. Liandrin is in Amador, and disguised as a rich merchant along with the other Black Ajah. As Liandrin enters the house to find the rest all gathered in a room around a woman who turns out to be Moghedien! At this point I don’t care for Moghedien one way or another, but I loved how easily she put Liandrin in her place. Moghedien then sends out the other sisters on various missions that we don’t really find out about yet. With the 5 sisters remaining, she tells them that they are to stay close to her, and are to find Nynaeve and capture her alive. It sounds like Moghedien has a rough idea where Nynaeve was before she vanished with Luca’s show? I wonder how she knew this, and if she was there, why not take revenge already? Regardless, as bad as this could be for Nyaneve, at least it sounds like she will get a fighting chance. If Moghedien was to just send an assassin, or take Nynaeve out by surprise, I doubt she would stand a chance. Who knows, a trap may easily be able to shield her too and take her away before anyone notices. Anyway it ends with Liandrin thinking about staying loyal for this, but waiting for a chance to strike back. Interesting to see how that ends up. It’s a win/win for us. Maybe they'll take each other out.
Chapter 19: Memories
We then jump to Morgase. I’m not positive, but it looks like she is fighting whatever it is that Gaebril is doing to her to make her obey. Tallanvor brings her news of the banner of Manetheren being raised in the Two Rivers (Perrin’s Work?), and she goes to Gaebril to speak about it. He is meeting with several different Lords and Ladies, and the ones she recognizes where ones that opposed her when she took the crown. Unfortunately, she is still no match for Gaebril and he dismisses her. She is halfway back to her room before she realizes what happened. She wonders around the palace and eventually makes it down to Lini’s house. Lini really helps to bring her out of the daze, and informs her on everything has happened, and the things Gaebril has forced her to do. At last, Morgase sees sense, and decides to leave the palace. Lini gathers up Tallanvor, and they meet at the Queen’s Blessing. Looks like Old Basel Gill isn’t out of this story, and he along with Lamgwin and Breane escape Caemlyn with their Queen. I guess their plan is to find Gareth Bryne. I wonder what will happen when they find out he is out chasing Siuan..
We also get caught up on Padan Fain. He is in the White Tower still, and breaks into the storeroom to recapture the ruby dagger. He mentions he now feels whole again, I’m curious as to what kind of power this gives him now and how opposite of a reaction to it he has versus Mat. Anyway Alviarin enters, and looks like we found another Black Ajah in the Tower! Worse that she is the Keeper too, I wonder what this says about Elaida? Anyway she lets Fain go, and they both leave. Luckily Fain left without finding the Horn of Valere.
Chapter 20: Jangai Pass
Finally, back to Rand! He’s leading the Aiel through the Jangai Pass, and still is a bit behind Couladin. Moiraine finally tells him the news of events in the White Tower, or rather that Elaida is now Amyrilin and to not trust any Aes Sedai besides her. Full Aes Sedai I should say, as well as the other girls who have been with them. Rand then arrives at the city of Taien, and it’s pretty clear Couladin has been through already. The Town is in ruins, and there are bodies everywhere being eaten by ravens. There are survivors, though, and we learn that Couladin came through 6 days ago. The town pretty much had no chance, and Couladin kidnapped just about everyone they did not kill. He also said to leave the bodies lying about (obviously a display for Rand to find). The Aiel then appear, and this spooks out the survivors, sending them running in all directions. Rand sends some people out to bring back all the survivors, and sends others out to scout ahead. The maidens don’t seem too happy about this, and are starting to get a bit annoyed with Rand.
Chapter 21: The Gift of a Blade
Camps are then set up, and Mat talks about the Town a little and better ways to defend it. Rand then sets up wards around the entire camp to alert everyone if Shadowspawn were to come close. It’s pretty cool to see how much better Rand is getting with channeling. Once inside his tent, Aviendha follows and gives him King Laman’s sword. It’s a pretty sweet gift, though it sounds like it was more for show than anything else. Rand recognizes the blade as being made with the one power, so he takes that, but gives back all the jewels. Aviendha made out big time with all these jewels now, but is still upset that Rand didn’t accept them all.
Afterword’s, we find out a little more of Aiel custom, and about Melaine’s and Bael’s wedding. Of course, even their weddings can be brutal. Bael had to fight his way through a hundred of Melaine’s relatives, and fight off Melaine before he carried her off. That’s super intense. Wonder what happens if he doesn’t make it, or how hard the relatives actually try. I would think it would be more of a play fight then anything, but knowing these Aiel, I wouldn’t be surprised if they literally tried to keep Bael from making it. Rand also asks about who gave Aviendha her necklace but she refuses. Wonder who did give it to her, it doesn’t sound like she spends her time being around anyone besides Rand or the Wise Ones?
Chapter 22: Birdcalls by Night
Meanwhile, Mat is chilling in his tent getting a massage from Melindhra. Not surprised there. I could definitely go for one myself. Unfortunately his massage is cut short as he hears birdcalls. Apparently this was the warning Rand set up, as they were calls from birds not normal in the area. They both run out into the fight, and pretty easily take out the attacking darkfriends and trollocs. Looks like Sammael is behind the attack.
Rand also wakes up from the birdcalls. As he runs outside, his maiden guards have run off to join the fighting. Although that attack most likely was a distraction for another attack on Rand. He barely takes out the Draghkar before it kills Aviendha, and she returns the favor in killing one that was sneaking up on Rand. The Maidens then return, and are pretty ashamed of running off. Rightly so, great guards they are to run off like that. Rand then goes off to Asmodean’s tent and he talks to him about Draghkar and the Forsaken. Rand is starting to have these weird memories or thoughts from Lews Therin. Is this part of the madness or simply Rand becoming more in tune with “The Dragon”.
Chapter 23: The Fifth, I Give You
We jump to Egwene’s POV the next day as they ride through the Jangai Pass. The Aiel have started entering into Cairhien. They pass near the town of Selean, and a similar fate appears to have happened here. All the people are either dead or captured. Rand meets with the Chiefs, and I have to say these meetings just sound sweet; seven or eight of the leaders of the deadliest fighters in the world, talking about business, then sitting around smoking and talking of drinking, women, and other nonsense. Rand also announces that the Aiel are granted their “Fifth”, but it cannot include food. Rand definitely seems to becoming harder and more brutal. Not the same village boy anymore.
Chapter 24: A Message Sent
That night, Egwene falls asleep early and enters TAR before the scheduled time. She catches Elayne talking to Birgitte, but before she can talk to them, the Wise Ones appear also. When they turn back around to meet with Elayne, Birgitte is gone. They exchange news again, and not a whole lot new or interesting happens here. Some speculation on things, and Egwene gets a bit upset learning that they are becoming friends with this Seanchan. Though, it will definitely be helpful to learn what they can from this woman, if the Seanchan were ever to attack again.
Chapter 25: Dreams of Galad
After the meeting, instead of returning to her body, she goes to the White Tower where she meets Elayne. Elayne refuses to say anything about Birgitte, if she was real or not. The girls share some more news, talking about Rand mostly and their current opinion of him. Which doesn’t ever seem to change from being a stubborn wool headed sheepherder with an oversized head. Give the man a break. Anyway Elayne then leaves and Egwene goes to explore a little more. She doesn’t find anything extremely useful aside from stuff we have heard through other various POV’s. That is until Egwene is momentarily trapped in this illusion type thing. I was confused at first until this happened again when she fled to Emond’s Field. Egwene manages to escape both traps and leaves TAR. Seems Moghedien isn’t so far behind in catching them, and may use TAR to catch Nynaeve when she isn’t ready. Bad news is she now knows about Egwene and Birgitte. She plans to use them to help her catch Nynaeve, and take revenge on all of them. Starting to not like this woman.
Chapter 26: Sallie Daera
I’m almost glad there are no scenes from Perrin so far, I don’t know if I’d be able to keep track of them all. Honestly wouldn’t be surprised for him to show up somewhere randomly. Anyway Min and company are still riding along, but at last they seem to have found the place Siuan was looking for. They ride into this decent size village full of Aes Sedai and Warders. The reception wasn’t quite what I expected, and it was almost as if them showing up was a bad thing. Now that I think about it, though, it makes a little sense. I guess all these Aes Sedai didn’t necessarily leave strictly because of Siuan. It may have been more the case of how it happened, and opposing Elaida. I doubt many people know the true story. Regardless, the Aes Sedai question Siuan and Leane, and they prove their identity. The two are then dragged into another room while Min is told to wait over in the corner with Logain. I really feel bad for her, being dragged all over the place and not given much importance besides the fact that she can see the future somewhat. All she wants to do is go back to Rand.
Chapter 27: The Practice of Diffidence
With Siuan and Leane stilled, it seems a bit awkward between the two groups on how to act. They can’t treat them like sisters still, yet as Siuan points out, they still have their brains and the knowledge. Siuan points out how useful she can still be, and pleads for them to let her stay involved; mainly dealing with the network of information. She also lies about Logain, and plants the seed for them to rival against the White Tower. Very interesting plan, basically proclaiming that the Reds set up Logain, and that their group is indeed the true White Tower, just in exile. They discuss Rand, and that he may be found in the Waste, so a sister is sent there to try and make contact. Unfortunately for Siuan, she isn’t out of the woods yet as Gareth Bryne has entered the town also. Probably not the best of timing for him to show up..
Chapter 28: Trapped
Bryne clearly knows what he is riding into, yet still rides in seemingly without a care in the world. He’s another guy I’d like to see more. From the way everyone talks about him, he’s one bad dude. Once inside the town, he is taken to the inn where the Aes Sedai in charge are assembled. Bryne tells his version of the story, and finally finds out the true identities of those he was chasing after. We then have a surprising turn of events. Bryne agrees to stay in Salidar and have Siuan as a servant to work off her debt, but the Aes Sedai give him a proposition to join them as well. In the end, he is going to build an army for them, and lead it against the White Tower if need be. Can’t be good if things actually come to an open war between these two groups, but having Bryne leading your army definitely seems like a great place to start at. Crazy how things are shaping out to be here. The world really is in shambles, it will be interesting to see what Rand does when he comes back out of the Waste.
Chapter 29: Memories of Saldaea
Nasty little chapter here. We finally get a little action inside Kadere’s head, and see what he’s been thinking. He doesn’t know exactly who Keille and Natal were, only that they were high ranking darkfriends. He also has a note that was slipped under his door saying he is not alone. Must mean there is a darkfriend among the Aiel? Not a good thought there, but would make sense with darkfriends being everywhere. Isendre then enters, and we find out Kadere has been sending her to try and sleep with Rand in hopes of him confiding in her his plans. She has failed miserably, though, but not because of her looks, which sound like just another beautiful woman throwing herself at his feet. Unlucky that she also has to deal with the Maidens and Aviendha, but with the amount of times she has been beaten, she definitely has some determination. Alas, she finally broke, and comes crying to Kadere saying she can’t do it anymore. Kadere notices the defeat, and decides it’s safer to take her out, rather than risk her spilling the beans on him and everyone else. Not many places to hide a body there I would think, but butchering a body can’t be a pretty site.
Chapter 30: A Wager
Once again, Rand is avoiding Moiraine. I would have thought he had gotten over that now. Sounds like some good ta’veren effects have been going on. Everyone is lucky at dice, and a blood feud has been ended between the Shaarad and Goshien. We are also brought some bad news, though. A group of Tairens and Cairhienin arrive with word that Couladin has attacked Cairhien, and that it is under siege. Groups have somehow managed to get out to try and get aid, and it is determined that the Aiel can make it there in 7 days. I’m feeling a showdown finally coming here, getting excited. It's about time we dealt with this Couladin dude. Scouts are then sent out, and once again Rand doesn’t choose the Maidens. I’m starting to get why they are getting so annoyed with him, he never picks them to do anything.
Chapter 31: The Far Snows
Rand then walks back to his room, and walks in on Aviendha naked. She freaks out and makes this gateway type thing that opens up to some snowstorm somewhere. Is this like Rands traveling thing, but females can make one quicker? Rand follows and saves her as she falls into this creek. You kind of saw where this was going, but none the less I was fist pumping when they finally got over the bs about hating each other and made some love in the igloo. Didn’t want to say a whole lot before, because I was never certain, but you could definitely see this coming for ages now that I look back on it. Of course things couldn’t end like this, and she says he still belongs to Elayne. She says this basically can’t happen again, as if that’ll stick, we’ll see how long Aviendha can manage to hold up this charade.
Chapter 32: A Short Spear
Afterword, as the two make their way back to the gateway, they come across some woman and soldiers. By their descriptions this is either Seanchan lands, or the Seanchan are moving in again in secret. By the amount of snow, though, it doesn’t seem like this is in the mainland. So Aviendha shields the two damane and sul’dam, while Rand takes care of everything else. We get some conversation from the Seanchan that doesn’t really make sense, but it’s obvious that they figured out who Rand is. Regardless, it doesn’t do them much good as Rand and Aviendha make it back through the gateway and close it just as a spear comes through. To make matters worse, it doesn’t sound like it will be kept a secret what the two of them did all the way on the other side of the world. As Aviendha leaves, Rand goes off on Asmodean for not teaching him everything.
You guys weren't kidding, this series really does beef up. We haven't even heard from Perrin at all this book. I can only hope that these groups don't split up even more. If Egwene and Moiraine go their own way here soon too, I may just go crazy. Mat could easily leave too, but with the way he's been kept from leaving somehow, I feel like he'll stay close to Rand.