I really can’t put this book down, as you can probably tell by my second update in one day. Only reason I did stop reading was because I didn’t want to get too far ahead of these write ups. I’ll finish the book tonight but I doubt I’ll get another blog up until tomorrow.
Chapter 44: The Color of Trust
We jump back to Mat right after he sends Vanin back to the camp. They end up having to stay in the stables since all the Aes Sedai fill the inns. Love how Mat has to put up his banners and flags to show everyone just who is in there. Nothing like rubbing dirt in the wound. Anyway the parties continue for raising the new Amyrlin and Halima takes a lot of interest in Mat. It even appears she tries to channel at him, but for what purpose we can only guess. Myrelle even goes so far as to ask him to be her Warder. At least she asked, and he didn’t end up like Rand. It was also funny to see his reactions on seeing Siuan and Leane again.
The next day Vanin returns and reports that the camp is settled and they won’t move. Olver also shows up, and makes another great picture of him following Mat around the town. Finally, Egwene summons Mat again and reveals her plans on accompanying Elayne and Nynaeve to Ebou Dar. The next day as Mat prepares to leave he tells Talmanes to follow the Aes Sedai if they leave, and to be prepared to guard Egwene if she comes to them. Mat may have his faults, but he really does seem like a loyal guy. It’s easy to see why everyone says they like him so much. Anyway he gathers in some soldiers that will go with them, and he meets up with the rest of the group (Elayne, Nynaeve, Aviendha, Thom, Juilin, Adeleas, Vandene, their warders, and last but not least Olver). Elayne opens up a gateway and they step out about 5 days or so away from Ebou Dar.
Chapter 45: A bitter Thought
One thing I really like about this series is the small POV’s we get here and there. Like the Saldaean soldier we see at the beginning of this chapter. You see things through the eyes of the common soldier who probably will play no major role in the books, and their take on the world. At least I’m hoping this guy doesn’t turn up later, but I’m probably wrong. Watch him turn out to be the man who saves Rand, or a Forsaken in disguise. Anyway he is in charge of a patrol through Caemlyn and rides by as he sees Perrin arrive! So so pumped, I’ve been waiting forever to see him again. I also completely forgot about Faile being the daughter of Bashere! This reunion just got ten times better.
We jump to Perrin as he rides up to the gate and given the restrictions on how many men can enter the city. Aram seems to have gone the complete opposite of the Tinker way and suggests killing them. Perrin tells the rest of the people to go make camp while he and Faile ride into the city to meet with Rand. Min is there with Rand, and he’s obviously more than happy to see him again. I don’t understand the jealousy or what goes on between Min and Faile. Clearly each have their own man in the room, what’s the need for jealousy? I also don’t like Faile’s comment about him being the Dragon Reborn, not his childhood friend. It is a true comment, and I guess she has the right to be worried. I just don’t like the way she said it, almost like she wants to turn him against Rand. The girls leave and Rand and Perrin catch up on everything that has happened. Mostly Perrin relates what’s going on in the Two Rivers. It’s unfortunate that Rand feels he can’t visit the Two Rivers since it will put them in danger, but it may be for the best. It hurts even more to watch when Rand then asks Perrin to go to Tear for him. If anything you can’t see your best friend as just another tool. Yes, send him to Tear if that’s what you absolutely need, but don’t bring it up in a way as to piss him off. Ah well, I’m not the Dragon Reborn so hard to relate to the situation he’s in. At least Perrin agrees to think on it. I wonder what exactly he means to do there, maybe have Perrin take Mat’s place as the general of the attack on Sammael?
Chapter 46: Beyond the Gate
We follow Perrin as he leaves Rand’s room, and he sees Bashere. I can’t decide if Perrin’s nose is good or bad in this case. By the way, he can smell feelings too? That’s awesome. But I mean in this case he can clearly tell the mood Bashere’s is in, it would only make me more nervous. Bashere believes Perrin married Faile for the “Broken Crown” and all of the niceties that go along with the Bashere name. Luckily Perrin is able to put that down as he really had no idea about all that until they were close to being married anyway. Bashere still blames and threatens Perrin until Perrin stands up for himself and faces Bashere down. Apparently this pleases Bashere enough to take him to his wife, where the true challenge lies. Some more fighting and Perrin needing to stand up for himself goes on, but eventually Faile’s parents accept him! Again, though, we see Faile offer to spy on Rand and throw these subtle hints about Rand leaving without telling him as if to sway him away from Rand’s team. I may be reading this wrong again, but I don’t like these little hints she’s throwing around. I’m hoping it’s simply because she doesn’t want her new husband to get hurt or something. Her dad seems to be well in league with Rand after all!
The next POV is an odd one. We see an Aes Sedai by the name of Demira as she’s trying to meet her agent from the Royal Palace. She is followed by Aiel and stabbed in an alley. Now I wouldn’t have caught this if there wasn’t a point to point out the description of the men so many times, but they don’t sound like they look like the typical Aiel? Am I right here or jumping to false conclusions to figure out how this happened? I just can’t see an Aiel doing anything like this. Luckily, later in the chapter we see her wake up in the inn the rest of the Aes Sedai stay at. Apparently she was stabbed just so she would barely live to tell the tale. The message she was given was to “Tell the other witches to stay away from the Dragon Reborn”. Another thing is I’ve never heard the Aiel refer to Aes Sedai as “witches”. Regardless, they think Rand ordered this attack and try to decide what to do about it. They plan to punish Rand by ignoring him at first, haha, as if that’ll piss him off. Just stinks that as far as I know, I don’t think this was Rand’s doing.
Chapter 47: The Wandering Woman
Back to Mat as they are en route to Ebou Dar. They ladies make life hard for Mat, but the rest of the Redarms seem to have taken to Elayne. She definitely acts a little stuck up, and I had to laugh when she demanded Mat hand over his medallion as all ter’angreal "belong to the Tower". In this case I’d have to say helllll no. Mat earned that one, and in no way should ever be forced to give it up. Which I was glad when he denied her, and spent the rest of the trip having the women try to channel at him constantly. Unfortunately I think they figured out the trick, and that things can still be thrown at him with the one power. Ah well, the group eventually enters the city and the Aes Sedai head towards the Palace. Mat meanwhile randomly picks out an inn. I've noticed this dice rolling in his head too. This is at least the second or third time it's happened so it's got to be important. Maybe when they are rolling he’s having good luck?
Chapter 48: Leaning on the Knife
Nynaeve and the girls enter the palace and have their own luxurious rooms. It sounds like although they are Aes Sedai, Vandene and Adeleas don’t necessarily think of them as one and they are still treated as Accepted somewhat. Obviously this royally pisses off the girls, but I’m not sure what they can do about the situation without making it worse. They soon receive and invitation by the Queen Tylin, and Nynaeve and Elayne go to meet her. They end up acting a little out of the Aes Sedai protocol and apologize for the army in Salidar, as well as being completely honest with the Queen. Luckily it seems to work in their favor in this case, and the Queen sounds like she takes to liking them. Hopefully with the Queen on their side now it’ll help in finding the bowl.
Chapter 49: The Mirror of Mists
Finally, Loial returns! He enters while Perrin and Rand are hanging out in the courtyard, and Rand tells Loial about the news of his mother and soon to be wife Erith. Loial tries to act all upset, but I think deep down he likes Erith. He just isn’t ready to settle down just yet. Again, Rand pushes the need for the use of his “tools” and asks Loial to go and find all the waygates. This sets Perrin off again and good thing Loial was there to calm things down. There is not a whole lot of time to cool down, though, as Min comes running in saying there are seven Aes Sedai coming. Rand believes he can handle seven just with his fat man angreal! If he really could do that, I’m impressed. Anyway everyone runs about in order to prepare things so Rand isn’t caught by surprised, and he enters the Grand Hall just before them. Having all the Aiel align the wall with their veils up probably doesn’t help his case if he did not have anything to do with Demira’s attack. Anyway they enter and try to use their tricks to impress and subdue Rand. Doesn’t quite work out, and only manage to piss Rand off. So neither side really had a chance to sit down and figure out what happened. In the end Rand only says the restrictions still stand, and tells them to leave.
Min doesn’t manage to get anything useful from the audience, and gets back to the inn before the rest do. She talks to a warder who has taken to her, and partly through his advice, plus the addition of the 12 and 13th Aes Sedai, decides to leave the embassy and join Rand fully. Once Rand hears this news he enters a calm sort of rage. He announces he is leaving and taking Perrin and Min with him. Perrin sends word for the Two Rivers men to follow, and everyone else seems to have a letter to write to one person or another. Rand has the two messages I found most interesting. One was to Taim warning him about the 13 Aes Sedai. The other was to Merana Sedai, which we find out the contents in her POV.
Merana reads his letter basically stating he has gone to Cairhien, and how they can start over on equal footing there. This seems to be the breaking point in Merana’s charge, as Kiruna begins dishing out orders. A couple will bring the girls to Salidar, while the rest follow to Cairhien. Some things to note here are that Alanna tried to compel Rand through the bond but it did not work. Was this because of him being able to channel, or another reason? Also, I may have counted wrong but I think they are taking more than 6 Aes Sedai to Cairhien. Rand specifically said only 6. They already saw what Rand did when they tried to bully him, won’t they ever learn to just do as he says?
Chapter 50: Thorns
I forgot to mention in the last chapter, but I guess Rand finally gave into his exhaustion or something and passed out. He basically spends this chapter recovering a little, and getting some much needed rest. The Wise Ones check to see if he's ok, and we find out more on how they've really come to accept Min. They all pretty much know about her viewings now, and in their minds they see that as something similar to what they do. However they put it, it should help Min to feel more at home with them I guess. Rand starts receiving more letters from Elaida's embassy, but keeps refusing them. He can feel Alanna coming closer, so he knows that embassy is on it's way as well.
Rand starts to feel better and he begins practicing his sword fighting and hand to hand combat again. He also visits the School again and Herid sounds like he's starting to catch onto something. He sends a note saying "Belief and order give strenght. Have to clear rubble before you can build". If we are indeed talking about the DO's prison, I can only imagine clearing the rubble has to deal with getting rid of the old prison before you can make a new one. Who knows. Min also has some nasty viewings of several nobles, all of which will die. They were all nobles who we didn't like, though, so no real loss there.
Perrin on the other hand, has a much much harder time. Berelain has taking a liking to him, and begun stalking him around. Which sets off Faile's jealousy. Perrin does everything he can to get away from Berelain but she apparently seriously wants him. Not sure how to handle this one, and I admire his will to stay true to his wife. Having a woman like Berelain completely throw herself at him time and time again can't be easy. This situation just can't end well, and all I can do is wish Perrin the best of luck. It's really a loose/loose as he hasn't even done anything yet and we already see Faile shut him out.
Lastly, we see Rand finally accept the request from Elaida's embassy, and will meet with them the next day. He plans on giving them two more visits in order to have given both sides an equal share. Lews Therin meanwhile still mutters about killing Sammael and Demandred.
Alright, did my duty to you and I'm all caught up. I can't quite figure out what type of finale this book will have. Aside from the battle with Sammael, there really isn't much as far as epic conclusions in the works. With 6 chapters to go, we're running out of space. If I had to guess, I would think Rand finishes up playing both embassies against each other. Maybe some type of confrontation between the two groups of Aes Sedai! Either way, Rand sends one group packing, and joins with the other.