Here's another entry in my read-through of Lord of Chaos, in which Egwene gets some big news, and trouble builds in Amador.
Chapter 31: Red Wax
Eamon Valda and his soldiers arrive in Amador from Tar Valon. Valda is irritated that he was recalled, rather than allowed to confront Rand in Tear before he became too strong. Valda considers Niall a weak and inefficient leader. After confirming that Morgase is the Fortress from a drunken Dain Bornhald, Valda receives a message from a Questioner encouraging him to visit the Dome of Truth. There, he finds leader Rhadam Asunawa examining a portrait. Asunawa implores that Niall must not be allowed to destroy the Children. Valda decides to listen.
Pedron watches the conversation between Valda and Dain with hesitance, before receiving a message from Balwer. Pedron is irritated that Omerna would not deliver him letters directly. He opens it to find yet another message from his spy in Tanchico, continuing to rant about the Seanchan. On a hunch, Pedron writes a letter to be delivered to Tanchico.
Morgase is exhilarated that Paitr’s uncle will help the group escape Amador through different routes. Paitr believes he is making up for a past failure in ensuring their escape. A Questioner escorts her to Pedron, however. Along the way, she witnesses Darkfriends hanged, amongst them Paitr and his uncle. Her escape plan crushed, Morgase has no choice but to consent to Pedron’s treaty. Upon doing so, however, Pedron tells her he will not move on Andor immediately, and she decides to make the best of a prolonged stay in Amador.
Asunawa interrogates the Questioner who escorted Morgase about whether she was possibly a Darkfriend. He plans to see her hanged through an elaborate trial, and hopes for her continued resistance against Pedron.
Oh shit. I have really been enjoying these Amador chapters, as there’s been some serious developments. Damn, Morgase, this isn’t going to end well. I mean, she really doesn’t have much of a choice, though, right? And Paitr a Darkfriend? I totally forgot about that, ha-ha. I remember seeing him in an earlier book, but that was about it. I suppose it’s fortunate for Morgase that Paitr was hanged.
And now she’s signed Pedron’s little treaty. I still can’t resist liking Pedron, because he looks like a very competent commander. At least he’s addressing the Seanchan, sort of. And he got Morgase to sign the treaty, so that’s definitely good for the Whitecloaks, and definitely bad for Andor. If Elayne ever gets to her throne, she’ll have this to contend with.
But, of course, that’s assuming Pedron lives to move on Andor, considering he’s waiting to deal with Tarabon. I mean, there’s some serious dissension in the Children. As smart as his decisions so far seem to have been, Valda and Asunawa are going to try to kill Pedron, mark my words. It’s just a matter of when. We can assume Asunawa’s crazy scheme to hang Morgase will happen then as well. This is very exciting…
Chapter 32: Summoned in Haste
Egwene’s life has been miserable with the presence of Shaido Wise Ones and her having very little to do. But finally, her meeting with the Aes Sedai in Tel’aran’rhiod approaches. However, the possibility of their revealing her as an Accepted suddenly occurs to her. Egwene nonetheless prepares to dream and accompanies the Wise Ones into Tel’aran’rhiod.
Egwene is immediately confronted by Sheriam and the other 5 Aes Sedai, as well as a young woman she recognizes from Tel’aran’rhiod, who she is alarmed to hear addressed Siuan. The Aes Sedai demand that Egwene come to Salidar immediately, and detail its location on a map. In order to arrive quickly, they advise she find how to Travel Tel’aran’rhiod in the flesh. The Wise Ones believe this evil.
However, Egwene reveals to have learned how to do it, much to the Wise One’s indignation. Satisfied, the Aes Sedai vanish, as does Egwene after a time. After everybody leaves, Rand emerges from behind a pillar, on one of his occasional visits to Callandor. Examining the map, he is now familiar with the location of the Salidar Aes Sedai, as well as where Elayne is and where Egwene is going.
Yay, Egwene’s leaving the Wise Ones. I’ve been eager for her storyline to kick into gear after her meandering with the Aiel. I mean, her lessons in Tel’aran’rhiod were interesting, but little has happened for a while. And now she’s been summoned to Salidar. I wonder what for? Actually, I have a very good idea what for, but we’ll get to that later. At least the Aes Sedai didn’t outright reveal she was an Accepted. Still, Wise Ones are gonna be pissed.
And also important, Rand finally knows where Elayne is. And where Salidar is, too. Hmm. There’ll be repercussions, me thinks.
Chapter 33: Courage to Strengthen
Egwene writes to Gawyn explaining her disappearance after packing, and then is confronted by the Wise Ones. After realizing her wrongness in lying to them about Traveling in Tel’aran’rhiod, she confesses everything, including traveling on her own, and that she is Accepted. She asks them to help her meet her toh.
After a game of Snakes and Foxes with Olver, Mat sends him away when Daerid announces Rand’s arrival. He is accompanied by Aviendha and several Aiel. Rand, Mat, and Aviendha converse privately in a tent. Rand orders Mat to bring the Band of the Red Hand to Salidar via gateway and escort Elayne to Caemlyn, gathering supporters (including Aes Sedai, Altarans, and Murandians) along the way. Aviendha will accompany him as well.
Mat is horrified, commenting their proximity to Tear and Weiramon’s soldiers. He fears for how Sammael will react to this. Rand believes their passage will be inconspicuous enough, and also reveals Bodewhin and the Two Rivers girls in Caemlyn. Mat reluctantly promises to deliver Elayne safely to Caemlyn.
Various Wise Ones finish strapping Egwene, and they assure her that she no longer has toh. Bair promises to inform her about events in Cairhien through Tel’aran’rhiod. She also offers to continue teaching Egwene if she returns from Salidar, which relieves Egwene. However, Amys reminds her that she has toh to Rhuarc, Melaine, and Aviendha, which Egwene vows to fulfill in the future. She continues packing.
Ugh, this chapter frustrated me. Okay, first Egwene. I know you’re an honorable Aiel now, but was it really necessary to confess everything to slow down your very important journey to Salidar? I mean, it’s not a huge deal, but I seriously feel she could’ve saved herself the ass torture, as well as some esteem with the Wise Ones (although I’m sure they would’ve known something was up regardless). Well, at least she’s off. We’ll see what happens shortly.
But Rand. Seriously. I really don’t think this is smart. Mat and his huge army have had a very deliberate purpose here in the battle against the only enemy Rand’s actually paying attention to. And now Rand wants to teleport them to Salidar so he can escort his girlfriend. Sure, he would have an opportunity to get some Aes Sedai support, as well as handle the crises in Murandy and Altara, but why Mat? And why his entire freaking army? What’s his plan for Sammael now? I mean, seriously, this sounds insane. And you expect Mat to get along well with Elayne, let alone the Aes Sedai? The Supergirls are never gonna cooperate with Mat, and especially not oh-so-efficient Sheriam and friends. Ugh.
Chapter 34: Journey to Salidar
Still pained from her encounter with the Wise Ones, Egwene finishes packing and attempts to enter Tel’aran’rhiod in the flesh. She then proceeds to ride Bela at a ridiculously rapid speed into Altara, where she materializes out of Tel’aran’rhiod into Salidar. She is hastily greeted by the Aes Sedai and dragged before Sheriam and other Sitters. Egwene is shocked to find Siuan present and no longer stilled, and the Sitters reveal Nynaeve’s great discovery. Egwene is fearful of her fate, but then Sheriam announces she is to be the next Amyrlin Seat.
And there’s the big reveal. Okay, I admit it, I sort of knew about it beforehand. The book-jacket on TPoD kind of gave it away, and then my spoiler masochism revealed a few more details. Still, that’s a huge development right there, although there was plenty of foreshadowing here and there. Nothing else happened in this chapter other than travel, though, so not much else to comment on. At least the rebel Aes Sedai have been doing something! I suppose they do need a leader, but Egwene is an…interesting choice.