Chapter 4: A Sense of Humor
Alright, we start back up with Rand and the Maidens leaving the farm, and traveling to this place near the border of Tear and Illian. A huge army is gathering there full of Tariens, Aiel, and Cairhienin. All signs are pointing towards taking Illian, and risking nothing in gathering an army large enough to take it over twice. Unfortunately the Tairens and Cairhienin still despise the Aiel and are unwilling to really work with them. The High Lords have been meeting without the clan chiefs, but at least they are working together with the Cairhienin. As well as one would expect at least. Lord Weiramon still is convinced he can take over the world with a charge, and begs Rand to let him lead the attack now. The rest of the High Lords seem convinced they have enough to win the war now, but Rand forces them to agree on waiting for Mat to arrive and take command. They discuss some more about Illian and the defenses there before he leaves and then sits with the Aiel chiefs. He finally leaves and heads back to Caemlyn. What’s the deal with Aviendha, their relationship is so confusing? First she makes Rand chase her, then they seem good, then she says she can’t have him, now Rand tries to avoid her (I get “why” this is happening but I just want them to be together already!).
Chapter 5: A Different Dance
I could really sum this chapter up in two seconds. Mat sits drinking at a tavern, wins over a pretty maid, and dances the night away. Well not exactly just like that. It was cool to see the dancing take over Mat in a sense and his memories took him to places long ago. It definitely makes it more glamorous than a simple bar dance. Duty eventually takes him away, and we really see how large the Red Band has grown, and the order Mat has been able to instill in it. All the fun ends when Mat suddenly announces that they are to leave in the morning. There is some plan that Mat and Rand have come up with but I’m not positive what it is yet. It definitely seems like Mat arriving in Tear with all those other troops is supposed to be a diversion of some kind, even though that army “should” easily be able to take over Illian. Bashere is also in on it, so maybe it involves the Saldaeans too? I don’t think we’ve heard any more on this plan from Rand aside from him also saying the huge army is a diversion. Maybe Rand leading a surprise strike?
Chapter 6: Threads Woven of Shadow
We get another big Forsaken chapter here. We are starting to get more and more POVs from their end which I like. Good to see what both sides are up too. Anyway Sammael meets with Graendal in here palace. She tells him a little about the other meeting she attended where we heard Demandred’s orders to let the Lord of Chaos rule. This chapter really confused me, though. There seemed to be some subtle hints here and there to them scheming against each other, but I didn’t understand a lot of the names thrown out. From what I got, it sounded like Graendal lied to Sammael and told him that he was still allowed to kill Rand? She was almost egging him on, maybe in hopes that he himself gets killed? She also wanted to try and distract Sammael to think she had interest in Shara, but based off his POV I don’t think it worked. In the end it seems like these two have a loose alliance and some sort of plan worked out between them, but also two separate secret plans that help themselves.
We also see Semirhage as she has been summoned somewhere by this Shaidar Haran to question an Aes Sedai. Why doesn’t Shaidar Haran just do it himself? He or it certainly seems to scare the forsaken enough. Anyway Semirhage really does find pleasure in this torture and knows how to go about it. The Aes Sedai is Cabrianna Mecandes, and her warder is also captured. We haven’t met this Aes Sedai yet have we? I don’t recognize the name. Regardless, it doesn’t turn out well for the warder as he is killed during the torture, and I assume this then broke the Aes Sedai into giving the information needed before being killed herself. We don't find out which information was so important to get, though.
Chapter 7: A Matter of Thought
Next up is Elayne as her and Nynaeve are still in Salidar and preparing to enter TAR. Once there, they meet with Siuan and the others on the Salidar Aes Sedai council thing. They keep trying to learn in order to be able to compete with the Aiel, but they really stand no chance. Especially since they are terrible learners, which we see as they managed to almost get killed in a nightmare. Before that, though, they try to find out some more information from Elaida’s study. There are some odd and end tidbits we get, but nothing really stood out to me. At least stuff that I understood and recognized the names. We already knew about the Embassy sent to Rand from Elaida, but at least this group knows it now too. Anyway the all mighty and all-knowing Aes Sedai manage to get themselves into a nightmare, and Elayne barely is able to make them realize it’s a nightmare and to work together to get out. Lucky to be alive here, if I were Elayne I don't know if I would have risked my neck for them by going into the nightmare myself.
We quickly see Demandred as he was spying on Elayne’s little trip to Caemlyn. I’m not sure what to think of this guy yet. I feel like of all the Forsaken, he’s gotten the least action and even when we get his POV’s, we don’t really find out anything that helps.
Chapter 8: The Storm Gathers
We jump back to Nynaeve as she spent the whole night trying to find Leane with no luck. The next day we here Logains “story” about how he was used by the White Tower. I’m assuming this is still a complete lie; he’s just going along with it? Anyway the nobles brought it to see him seem to be accepting the story, and word is getting out. Nynaeve leaves and we see some familiar faces as she walks down the street in Uno and Bryne and Elayne teaching her class. Apparently Thom and Juilin have been gone a while, out scouting. She eventually runs into Theodrin who has been raised to an almost Aes Sedai state, and is in charge of getting rid of Nynaeve’s block. If only it were as easy to get rid of as hers was. We also see the arrival of an emissary from the White Tower, a red by the name of Tarna Feir.
Chapter 9: Plans
Enough of all that, as we catch up on Pedron Niall's plans. I know I've said it before, but still like this guy. Seems different then the rest of the Whitecloaks. Even though his current plan is to unite the rest of the world against Rand. At least he plans on fighting the DO so isn't a Darkfriend. Anyway he has a fake spymaster, great idea there, give him his version of different news and rumors going around. He is simply a cover up for the true spy, his secretary Sebban Balwer. Balwer seems to have a knack for finding the truth, and relates his version of the news and rumors. As much as Rand has been able to do, the rest of the world really is in shambles. Everything seems to be split, The White Tower, Borderlands, etc. Also news has reached here about the Salidar Aes Sedai and Logain's story. This sets Niall to make it announced or start rumors that the White Tower is broken and that the Black Ajah now rule, while the Salidar Aes Sedai are asking for forgiveness. Interesting how this (essentially) is somewhat of the Truth. Obviously I doubt the Salidar group will ask for forgiveness, but maybe they'll get some unknown help from the Whitecloaks? At the least we know they will be left alone, which is probably the best thing we could hope for.
We also see Morgase here, and she has moved to the Fortress of the Light. Essentially a prisoner there, things aren't looking good. Still no update on an escape plan, and she still hasn't accepted Whitecloak aid. She mentions making Rand pay for the trouble caused in Andor. If only she knew the truth, and realized half the trouble was started by her. At least that which Rahvin forced her to do.
One final thought, but how cool is it Rand being able to travel. I feel like this is such a huge advantage for him. Obviously the other forsaken can, but none of the Aes Sedai know how. Makes it ten times easier for Rand to manage all his countries and keep all the rulers in hand. I definitely see this traveling start playing a huge role in his conquests. How big exactly can a traveling portal thing get? If it can go decent size, he could easily get the Aiel to get from one place to the next in seconds (Kind of like what he did when he attacked Caemlyn, only instantly and not having a limit on the amount of Aiel to get through).
Anyway also my bad on once again waiting a week to have a new blog up. Football practices begin today so was focused on getting my practice schedules and everything else involved with that ready to go. I should be able to get back to every 2-3 days, but bear with me if it takes a couple days longer for the next couple weeks. These early practices, especially two a days, take a lot out of you even with just being a coach. Enjoy!