Chapter 53: Fading Words
The aftermath of the fight culminating in Moiraine and Lanfear’s death was pretty intense and emotional. Was hoping that although the door was burnt, there was still a way to go and get her. Maybe there is, or maybe Lanfear killed her as they got through. She is a tad bit more powerful after all, why didn’t Moiraine just balefire? If she had the time to get close enough to tackle her.. I don’t know. Regardless, Lan makes it pretty clear that the bond was broken, and he can’t sense Moiraine anymore. Luckily the rest seem relatively unhurt, though Egwene got the brunt of the attack and is the most injured. It continues to get worse as Lan prepares to leave. Not cool at all, so upset. I really like the way he leaves, and the little talk that goes on between Rand and Lan. This better not be the last we see of him, I wonder who his new Aes Sedai is? He says he feels her to the West somewhere, which makes it not seem like in Tar Valon. Possible with the Salidar group?
In his grief Rand finds a place to be alone and reads Moiraine’s letter, which just makes me like her more. She willingly knew what her choices where, and still decided to sacrifice herself for the better good. She also reveals she knows who Natael really is. I think we had figured this out already, but good to find out for sure, and that she still let him do it his own way. Lastly, she warns him of Alviarin and Verin. Verin? I had also liked her a little, but is she black ajah too? She doesn’t seem to fit the same mold as Alviarin and the others, but I’ve been fooled before.
The maidens then pick the worst timing to be little girls about their honor and begin to break their spears until Rand finally agrees to let them come into battle. It’s hinted that the third and last spear is broken in their body aka killing themselves? I’d say it was a good choice to let them come. I have a feeling he’d feel a lot worse having hundreds of maidens kill themselves vs them dying in battle. Yet this book keeps on going, and it’s time to gather everyone to attack Caemlyn!
Chapter 54: To Caemlyn
Rand gathers all the Aiel in the Sun Palace, and opens his gateway. Not sure how big of a platform he makes, but he is able to gather in a whole bunch of Aiel. After a short travel, he opens another gateway and they arrive outside the wall of the Royal Palace in Caemlyn. A lot has changed, or so it seems, since we last came here and Rahvin is clearly expecting an attack as Trollocs pour out of everywhere and lightning strikes through the sky. Rand tries to counter, but not before Asmodean, Aviendha, and Mat are killed. Not going to lie, I almost threw the book at this point. Glad it ended up better for at least two of them, more on that later. Rand somehow figures out or remembers that direct way of traveling, and travels right into the throne room. I’m kind of surprised that he was able to surprise Rahvin here, I figured he was the one who was throwing the lightning and fire at him, so he’d be somewhere in the battle, not chilling with some soldiers and lords.
Anddd of course RJ has to cut me off there and send me from high intense heart pounding battle to Nynaeve being all moody about how rough life is for her now. The little Aes Sedai council has worked both Nynaeve and Elayne hard in teaching them about TAR, as well as their other studies. Nynaeve has been trying to get over her block, which probably would be a good thing to figure out here soon. She has also been studying Siuan and Logain in attempt to heal stilling. I thought that wasn’t possible? Anyway she is in TAR with Siuan on a secret session, when none other than Moghedien shows up! She was about to have her way with Nynaeve when Birgitte shows up somehow and saves the day. Nynaeve does some quick thinking and manages to trap Moghedien in an a’dam! Through some conversation, they discover that Rand has indeed attacked Rahvin today. I guess Rand’s plan of trying to keep it secret was not too effective. Also explains a lot dealing with the Trollocs and the other traps woven for Rand when he entered the area. Things just got a lot better as Nynaeve forces Moghedien to travel with her to the Palace in Caemlyn to help Rand. Wasn’t sure at first how she could do any good in TAR, and if Rand never entered it directly with Rahvin, could she have even done anything?
Chapter 55: The Threads Burn
Once again back to Rand as he chases Rahvin through the palace. Rand takes out some darkfriends and manages to fend off Rahvin’s attempts at balefire. He finds traces of another gateway and copies it which leads him to entering TAR. So from what I gather, he now can enter it in the flesh, and is more powerful there in some ways? All I know is whatever I had managed to reason out about how TAR works, it all just went out the window with the addition of this bit of news. How do you physically enter a dream world? Mind blowing. Anyway, this just leads to some more intense battle between the two men, and Rand seems to be lost in this place and is barely surviving. We get a lot of jumping back and forth here between Nynaeve and Rand, so I’ll just do my best to summarize it all up.
Basically as Nynaeve is sneaking around trying to find Rand, she comes up on Rahvin as he has Rand caught in some trap. She throws every bit of power she has into a firewall that envelopes Rahvin. Unfortunately it doesn’t kill him, and he manages to put a shield up around him. You could almost feel the end for Nynaeve, and if this happened I really would have thrown the book. But, as we all know, Rand is able to come out of the trap and balefire the hell out of Rahvin. Now this just isn’t any old balefire, Rand puts every ounce of strength he has into this one. Good thing we did, as we find out that by doing so he reversed the death of Mat, Aviendha, and Asmodean! Rand then orders Bael to hunt the rest of the Trollocs down, as he assumes command of Caemlyn!
Oh yeah, Nynaeve pulls a fast one on Moghedien and makes her drink some forkroot which puts her into a deep sleep. She now knows Moghedien is in Salidar with them, and plans on capturing her when she wakes up! That will definitely create a buzz. Lastly, can’t forget about Rand taking Lan’s advice in trying to push away his lovers. From Nynaeve’s reaction we know she won’t let it end just like that, and I’d imagine Elayne will have the same reaction. Especially now that she knows she has to share him with at least Min.
Chapter 56: Glowing Embers
So FINALLY I think we have an ending. Rand is hanging out in the throne room in the aftermath of the battle when a man by the name of Davram Bashere enters. He was in charge of hunting down Taim after he escaped the white tower group. Nice little back and forth goes on, but what’s important is that in the end I think Bashere agrees to follow him, as well his fairly large army.
Poor Asmodean, it isn’t enough that he is killed once, brought back to life, then is snuck up on and killed again! They would not tell me who killed him, Common, you can’t leave a guy hanging like that. It doesn’t even mention it in the prologue for the next book! Either it’s someone important since they never give a name or face, or RJ simply wants us to worry over this minor death for the rest of our lives with no answer. I personally have a feeling its some type of Darkfriend working for Rand that we just can’t know about yet. Another thought that just came to me is what if it’s like Lanfear come back or another Forsaken. Based on his reaction it had to be someone who knows, but the last he’d except to see.
Lastly, we see Morgase still on the run. Obviously they had no luck finding Bryne, and seem to be heading towards Amadicia now. Poor woman, if only she knew she could go back to Caemlyn now. It may have been good she was not in the city during the attack, she may not have lived.
We really get into some good stuff here, and Rand seems to be well on his way to dominating the world. The Aiel are well in hand (aside from the remaining Shaido), he has control of three major countries (Tear, Cairhien, Caemlyn), and he's even started to gather in some Borderlanders. To top all that, he even manages to take out 3 Forksaken! I am a little upset we didn't see any more from Perrin in the Two Rivers, but I hear we see him in the next book? (You're allowed to answer that question)
Anyway there's too many characters to try and think of to make a list of who I like and don't like. I'm sure you guys have a rough idea of that, though. Rand and Mat are probably my favorites. Still love Lan, but we just don't really see much action out of him in this book which kind of stinks. There aren't really any characters that I dislike at this point. Most of the Aes Sedai aside from Moiraine border that line between neutral and dislike. Oh, there is Elaida, don't think I can ever like her.
Well that's it, done with book 5. I'm not even halfway through the series yet. Things are going way to good for Rand at this point, I have a bad feeling it's about to hit the fan..