Chapter 8: The Figurehead
If anything, this chapter title makes it pretty clear exactly what Egwene’s role was “meant” to be. It looks like the Salidar Aes Sedai are well on the way on their travels north. Someone mentioned this in the last blog, but why don’t they just travel? It would save on a hell of a lot of supplies and time. Anyway, Egwene is meeting with Sheriam and Siuan in her study. They are going over some random reports of supplies and such, and trying to figure out what to do about it all. Sheriam is still attempting to keep Egwene as a figurehead, but with the help of Siuan’s teachings, Egwene is slowly gaining her power. The biggest trouble lies with Romanda and Lelaine, but luckily for Egwene they fight each other as much as they fight Egwene. I didn’t realize those two were also the next two strongest after Egwene. That, along with their age, definitely makes them a dangerous opponent.
As the conversation is diverted, Egwene is able to force the information out of Sheriam on why ten sisters left Salidar soon after its forming. They were sent back to the White Tower as spies! Their main goal is to keep the story about the Red Ajah and Logain circulating around. It’s during this conversation when the thing we’ve been fearing would happen, happened. Technically we did already saw this happen, just from a different POV. Egwene feels the jolt of pain from a male channeler, as he (or she in this case) breaks the necklace off Moghedien’s neck! Egwene frantically leaves and goes to her tent, only to find it empty. She really did run headstrong into this. Egwene could have been torn up by just one of those two forsaken, not to mention both of them. So in the end, I’m glad Moghedien was forced to leave so quickly. It doesn’t make me feel any better about Halima, and I’m curious to know what exactly her plans are now.
Chapter 9: A Pair of Silverpike
Egwene meets with Siuan and Leane, and tells them the news. Naturally, they freak out a little. Egwene has Leane ask around the tent and see if any males were seen entering. Of course they won’t, Halima is a chick! That resurrection into a chick’s body is really turning out to be a huge advantage. Leane leaves and Egwene offers to intervene with Bryne for Siuan. She declines – are we starting to see a possible relationship between those two? From what I remember, Bryne appeared to have the “hots” for her when he decided to leave his manor and chase after her. For as much as Siuan acts like she hates him, RJ keeps throwing these subtle hints of her slowing starting to like him.
As Egwene then takes a walk around camp, we see the traveling station that has been opened up. Before Moghedien escaped, Egwene was able to figure out skimming from her, which makes it possible for the Sisters to travel back to Salidar every night. Again, this leads me to ask why they don’t travel to their destination? Does it have something to do with the Sisters dragging their feet? Anyway, Egwene ponders over not hearing more word from Merana in Caemlyn. It’ll be interesting to see her reaction to the news of Rand’s capture/escape.
Lastly, we see Nicola and Areina try to blackmail Egwene! The two try to use the leverage of overhearing Elayne and Nynaeve acting as full Aes Sedai (before Salidar) to get a little promotion themselves. I really like how Egwene reacted to this, and puts the fear of God into the two. She could have reacted different, or gotten nervous, and we may have seen some bad results. I’ll tell you all, I really like the recent developments in Egwene. She certainly appears to be growing into this Amyrlin role, and isn’t backing down like a normal 20 year old would. I have to take a step back and remember that she is barely out of her teens, or is she in them? She acts and seems so much older sometimes.