Chapter 38: A Sudden Chill
Now after all that with Egwene that just happened, it made things get a lot more interesting for Mat’s arrival in Salidar. We start back up with him as he’s closing in on the town. Vanin returns and says two of the scouts were captured by Warders, and that there are close to 300 Aes Sedai in Salidar. I didn’t realize there were that many, even without POV’s from the girls and such who were already there. Also, we find out that Bryne’s army has gotten huge, and is twice the size of the Band. Mat has his men set up camp and defenses, and leaves for Salidar himself with a few men. He enters the town, and sees Birgitte but doesn’t recognize her. I think I’ve asked this before, but how do they not remember her from Falme, when they recognize and remember so many other less Heroic people. Granted there were over a 100 heroes for the horn that came out, so maybe he just didn’t really see her. Anyway he is led to the Amrylin’s office, and doesn’t believe Egwene is it at first. I had to laugh at this a little. It seems everyone is starting to see Egwene as the Amrylin, and not so much as the young female. Yet I doubt Mat will ever seriously see her in that light. It’s always good to have someone bring you down a little I guess. It also helps when he has that medallion to stop them from retaliating with the one power. Lucky dog. Mat tells them the reason he is there, but I could see it going bad for him as soon as he started demanding them to do this and that. It isn’t until a novice enters and addresses Egwene as “Mother”, does he realize what’s going on and is just about as shocked as I was.
Chapter 39: Possibilities
We jump to Egwene’s POV for the rest of the conversation, and she wonders how Mat knew so much. I’m a little confused by Nynaeve’s whole attitude for at least the next couple chapters. I’ll address it now before I forget but why is she so angry at him, and then acts so afraid and avoids him? Maybe not exactly angry, but she definitely acts scared in some ways and definitely avoids him. If it’s something big then don’t bother answering the question, but if it’s something I just missed then go ahead and catch me up to date. In the end he leaves, and Egwene seems to have come up with this plan that involves Mat and his Army. She realizes Mat made a promise to Rand about him staying close to Elayne, and he always keeps his promises. Therefore he can go with Elayne and Nynaeve as they travel to Ebou Dar and provide some type of extra protection. It also gives Elayne a chance to study his ter’angreal. They leave as Sheriam enters and we find out Egwene will also use Mat’s army as an extra push to help the rest of the Sisters into agreeing on leaving Salidar. Looks like everyone is about to split ways again.
Chapter 40: Unexpected Laughter
After Mat leaves his audience with Egwene, he finds Thom and gives him the letter. Go figure but it’s just a teaser and we don’t actually see what it says. You’re killing me here. Thom tells him a story about trying to understand Women, which just leaves you realizing you’ll never understand them. He also says Mat should come with them to Ebou Dar to keep the girls safe. Mat then meets up with Vanin and the other guys that came with him, and says they may be here for a while. He sends Vanin back to camp to make sure Talmanes doesn’t do anything stupid.
We also see the long awaited reunion of Elayne and Aviendha. They head back to Elayne’s room where Aviendha surprisingly announces what she did with Rand and offers the knife or a stick to use against her. The Aiel really are crazy. If it wasn’t for the pre-knowledge of Min’s viewing and her having to share Rand, I doubt Elayne would have been able to hold back. She does, though, and Aviendha says they will have to become first-sisters. Ironic how these two come together just about the same time Min arrives to Rand.
Chapter 41: A Threat
Min and the embassy finally arrive in Caemlyn, and have settled into a nice inn. Then, they send Min to the Palace to announce themselves to Rand. Along the way we find a little more out about Min’s past and how she came about to wearing pants all the time. All this talk about her wearing boys clothes has thrown me off a little on how I’m picturing her in my head, but all this talk about tight pants just make me think of her wearing something similar to tight jeans. It’s definitely more attractive, just maybe not at that time. She finally makes her way to Rand, and he’s clearly happy to see her.
Rand sends everyone else away and they catch up a little. Min gives him Elayne’s letter which just confuses him, and he opens up to Min a little about it. Obviously he sees her as a friend, more like a tomboy rather than a girl. This just ticks her off and she makes it clear she’s determined to make him see her as a girl. Can't say I feel bad for Rand at this point. She then tells him about the Embassy and some viewings she has seen and what they mean. Melaine enters and it seems at first that she, as well as most of the other Aiel we have seen so far, dislike Min. I would guess mainly because they all want Rand to go with Aviendha. Anyway this all changes with her viewings, as she says Melaine will have twin daughters.
Chapter 42: The Black Tower
Rand offers to bring Min to the “farm”, but she freaks out and says she must go back to the inn. So he travels there alone and we can definitely see a huge difference in the place. There is a great deal of students now, and the farm has expanded to hold them all. It’s cool to see that an Aiel has also been brought in to teach them hand to hand combat. Taim comes up and the farm has now been named the Black Tower, which seems fitting. Rand isn’t happy with it but he lets it slide. He then addresses all the students and announces his new names and ranks. They will all be called Asha’man, which means guardian or defender in the old tongue. Not sure if I’m pronouncing it right in my head, but it sounds sweet the way I do. There will also be ranks similar to the white tower. You’ll start off as soldier, followed up by dedicated, and finally a full Asha’man is the final rank. The Dedicated rank will have a sword pin, followed up by adding the dragon pin when you reach Asha’man. Rand has a little spell of insanity in which Taim responds you must hold on. Really brings everything they are doing here into perspective. I mean what if they all go mad? We aren’t talking about half trained men who are on their own. We have hundreds of men trained to blow crap up and kill. It may very well take twice their number in Sisters to take them out! Especially if what you guys have said in men being traditionally stronger then females. It’s not like all Aes Sedai are taught to blow stuff up and take another person’s life either. Anyway it’s clear that Rand still has little trust in Aes Sedai, and intends to teach them to dance to his flute. Not a good omen if I do say so myself. Don't push it Rand
Chapter 43: The Crown of Roses
Lastly, we see Merana Sedai after their meeting with Rand. It’s clear to them that Min is in love with him, so they make a mental note to be careful of what they say around her. It seems like Alanna and Verin have sided with the Salidar group, but it seems they could prove a problem with this embassy as they weren’t specifically sent to be under Merana’s rule. We really see a lot on how Aes Sedai establish their order of obedience among each other, but it did get a little bit confusing dealing with how Verin could take precedence if she wanted too. No matter how you spin it, they all need to be on the same page if they expect to make an influence on Rand. They still don’t believe he is able to sense them channeling, let’s just hope they aren’t stupid enough to test it. So far I like this embassy far more than Elaida’s, but the end of this chapter scares me a little. We see a couple different nobles meeting with various Aes Sedai, and it sounded like they are trying to get them to turn against Rand. Something similar to what we see going on in Caihrien with Elaida's group. What’s the deal there? I thought they were on the same side, or are they just trying to get the nobles to support Elayne when she comes back?
Look at that, 3 days in a row of blogs. You guys are getting spoiled. I'm going to go a day without posting and get my head chewed off.