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Book 11 Chapters 1-5




In this entry of Knife of Dreams, the rebel Aes Sedai respond to Egwene's alarming capture, Perrin makes a shadowy alliance, and the Forsaken convene to scheme once again!


Chapter 1: When Last Sounds




Siuan awakens in the army encampment. The rebels discovered Egwene’s capsized boat, and assumed her dead. However, Siuan received her message while dreaming in Gareth Bryne’s tent. She is conflicted over her feelings with the general. Siuan borrows an uncomfortable horse and rides to the Aes Sedai tents, entering Myrelle’s tent. She reports to the Aes Sedai gathered there that Egwene and Leane are alive and presently well. Beonin is sleeping and Nisao has been shunned from Sheriam’s group. Sheriam wishes to liberate the prisoners, but Egwene ordered them not to. Lelaine enters, and learns of the news. She has Siuan walk with her outside. Lelaine reveals she discovered Faolain’s spying, keeping her confined, and then encourages Siuan to support her as Amyrlin if worst comes to worst.




Not the most eventful chapter, but I do enjoy Siuan’s perspective, her torn and irritated thoughts on Gareth (as…peculiar as that romance is) and horses often amusing. But this chapter only really established the rebels’ reactions to Egwene’s capture and then her message to Siuan, and there’re some rather dense passages here evocative of CoT. Nonetheless, I can hardly expect action in the first chapter. I can’t say I care much about Lelaine and Romanda’s petty little feud, but Sheriam’s peculiar behavior since at least TPoD continues to intrigue me. Egwene’s refusal of a rescue irritates me, rather irrationally, because her desire to prevent any and all bloodshed in this coup is rather naïve. She has an army on Tar Valon’s doorstep, does she really expect nobody to die? I really hope she has a plan in mind.


Chapter 2: The Dark One’s Touch




Beonin is awakened to learn about Egwene’s message. She watches Varilin and her company ride forward to negotiate at Darein. Beonin believes the two Aes Sedai murders are connected with Asha’man. There has been little progress over deciding how to approach the Asha’man for a pact. Beonin Travels to a grove near the White Tower with her Warder, where she sees a ghost. She sends her Warder to an inn and then enters the Tower.


Elaida speaks with King Mattin Stepaneos of Illian, having had him kidnapped. He protests over his treatment. She explains that she saved his life as Rand was seizing Illian. Elaida intends to reverse Alviarin’s deeds and demonstrate the power of the Tower. Stepaneos is escorted outside, and Tarna enters. She reports the status of the Harbors. Elaida intends to incorporate Gareth’s army into the Guard once the rebels are defeated, and believes Elayne is being attended to. Tarna details rumors of Tarabon rebelling against the Seanchan, and problems in the city sewers. The Wards protecting against rats have failed. A woman is escorted inside, who reveals herself as Beonin. She explains that she did as Elaida asked in undermining the rebels. Beonin details all of Egwene’s discovieres, particularly Traveling. Elaida orders her to reveal nothing without her permission. After learning about the moles in the Tower, Elaida has them watched. After Tarna departs, Elaida instructs Beonin to display all the new weaves.




Phew, Aes Sedai politicking can be exhausting. So Beonin’s a traitor. Yeah, I had a feeling something was up in CoT. It seems she was a mole from the beginning. Which, you know, sucks. I wonder why she chose now to return to the White Tower. I suppose she wanted to glean as much information as possible before betraying it to Elaida. Well, that’s not going to help the rebel effort! There’s more ghost madness in this chapter, but I can’t say I’m all too interested in that recent development. Apparently it’s a sign of Tarmon Gai’don. I assume that’s all there is to it.


Mattin Stepaneos is alive. I could’ve sworn he was dead. In fact, I originally thought he was Sammael, just as Lord Gaebril was Rahvin. Shows how much I remember, huh? So Stepaneos was just a figurehead, and he survived all that chaos in ACoS by getting kidnapped by Elaida. Well, I suppose Elaida could’ve chosen a worse leader to manipulate and imprison. However, I highly doubt she’ll succeed in ousting Rand for Illian, so I’m not sure where this is going. Does Elaida really think Gareth and his soldiers will want to join her once this is all over? Not too much else to discuss concerning this chapter, though. Beonin’s essentially revealing everything to Elaida, and I suppose that has some serious ramifications, but at least Elaida’s keeping those secrets, well, secret for now.


Chapter 3: At the Gardens




Aran’gar is summoned to a meeting of the Forsaken in Tel’aran’rhiod, in the image of the Ansaline Gardens. Graendal, Demandred, Mesaana, and Semirhage are already present, yet there are eleven chairs. Osan’gar has not been sighted since the cleansing. Aran’gar is certain Moridin is Ishamael. She proposes an alliance with Graendal. Mesaana is angry that Aran’gar permitted Egwene’s capture. Aran’gar assures her the rebellion will be maintained. Mesaana refuses to disclose Egwene’s location. Moridin appears with Moghedien and Cyndane, and reports that Sammael, or somebody guised as him, has dispatched a hundred Myrddraal and thousands of Trollocs into the Ways. He is unaware of their orders. Moridin intends to locate the three remaining seals. No one but he is to harm Rand. Aran’gar believes Cyndane is Lanfear despite Graendal’s suspicions. Moridin orders them to kill Mat and Perrin by displaying their images, tracking them as ta’veren. Semirhage recognizes Mat’s face from Ebou Dar. Aran’gar intends to disappoint Moridin concerning Rand.




Hell yeah, the Forsaken have returned! Okay, we glimpsed Mesaana in CoT, but that book was essentially devoid of the plotting of the Shadow I’ve come to love so much. There’s always so much to discuss and speculate when the Forsaken convene. This was a relatively brief meeting, but it’s posed some very interesting questions. Namely, what the hell’s up with Sammael? That definitely threw me off. Didn’t Robert Jordan confirm that he was, you know, totally dead? I’m going to assume it’s an impostor, but if it’s actually him… How many Forsaken can return from the dead at this point? The more pressing question, perhaps, is what an entire freaking army of trollocs has been sent through the Ways to accomplish. I mean, as I commented in CoT, the Shadow has been relatively docile for quite some time. I can’t remember the last time we’ve even seen a trolloc. And now there’s thousands of them being dispatched somewhere! Is a Forsaken trying to overwhelm a city, or worse still, assassinate Rand? Because I’m not sure even he could withstand an army by himself. Damn.


Well, in addition to that little detail I’m certain we’ll learn more of, there’s plenty else to note in this chapter. As with Asmodean (at least for a time), the Forsaken seem oblivious that Osan’gar is dead. Shouldn’t they be on top of these things, especially since they’re all united under Moridin? Speaking of alliances, I’m curious to see where this Aran’gar-Graendal alliance goes. I feel like, in general, Aran’gar’s biting off more than she can chew. I mean, what has she accomplished so far, beyond headaches for Egwene? What did she accomplish as Balthamel, except first Forsaken casualty? Now she intends to manipulate the manipulative Graendal and even defy and eventually topple Moridin? How the hell does she intend to accomplish that? She also seems to have made an enemy in Mesaana. I think I understand their respective intentions better now, though. Obviously it’s all about sowing chaos, and Egwene’s capture has clearly complicated matters.


Moridin continues to intrigue me. His actions since ACoS have established some respect, considering he just united all the previously-squabbling Forsaken under one banner, yet they haven’t exactly been successful so far. I mean, Osan’gar’s assassination attempt and then the cleansing were both dismal failures. I feel Moridin’s desire to kill Rand himself is going to lead to issues. I understood why the Forsaken never ganged up and attempted to obliterate Rand in the past, but now they’re all united, albeit forcibly, so why doesn’t Moridin just send all of them to kill Rand? Certainly they could take him with their forces combined. By intending to challenge Rand solitarily, Moridin’s leaving a lot to chance. Of course, this sort of villain stupidity is a good thing for the heroes. There’s also some clarification on the targeting of the seals in CoT that seemed so random at first. And finally, Mat and Perrin had better watch out, as they’ve now been targeted. I never expected Moridin to unleash the Forsaken upon those two, even though, in regards to Mat, it’s actually been done before, back in LoC. Moridin probably should have issued this order earlier, considering how close Semirhage was to Mat in WH.


Anyway, this was an awesome chapter that has me excited for the future. Who sent the trollocs and why? What does Aran’gar intend to do? When will Moridin challenge Rand? When will the others attempt to eliminate Mat and Perrin? So many questions.


Chapter 4: A Deal




Perrin attends the meeting with the Seanchan as negotiated by Tallanvor. Berelain is discontent that Annoura conspired with Masema without her knowledge. Aram and the Prophet believe the meeting a trap. The Seanchan arrive accompanied by Tallanvor, their two leaders being Captain Mishima and Banner-General Tylee Khirgan. The latter cites the Prophecies when noting Perrin’s eyes and hammer. As a display of strength, Perrin reveals his banners and has Grady raise into the air and burn a stick. Perrin offers to Tylee to relinquish any claims of restoring Manetheren if she helps free Faile. A sulfurous gale blows through the clearing, startling them all. Perrin reveals that the Shaido have hundreds of Wise Ones, a quantity Tylee cannot contend with. Perrin intends to contaminate the Shaido water supply with something the Seanchan utilize to contend with channelers. The deal has been made.




And we’ve thus returned to Perrin’s absolutely riveting storyline… Well, at least progress has been made, if not in the best direction. Why the Seanchan, Perrin, why? His deal indeed might as well have been made with the Dark One. I understand why so many people dislike Perrin during this section of WoT, his obsession with Faile transcends the natural. I get that he loves her, but what will he sacrifice just to rescue her? I suppose that’s the entire point of this chapter, and thus there’s not too much to comment on. Aram continues to unnerve me, he’s going to do something incredibly stupid cavorting with Masema. And just what the hell is Masema’s agenda? I’m starting to understand Perrin’s plan more now. It seems the Wise Ones are the largest concern in seizing Malden, and if Perrin can actually eliminate that concern using forkroot (I assume that’s what he refers to), then this might actually be possible. Assuming Galina doesn’t screw everything up…


Chapter 5: Something…Strange




Faile is dedicated to escaping Malden before Perrin arrives. Therava has been punishing Galina severely. Faile fears betrayal from the variety of supporters she has found in the gai’shain. Sevanna is intent on remaining in Malden and eventually marrying and controlling Rand, yet the Shaido are starting to become conflicted. As Faile leaves the tent, she feels as if ripples have distorted reality briefly. She returns to her own tent. Alliandre is starting to lose her nerve. The infamous gai’shain Alvon and his son appear outside, giving Faile the binder. Rolan drives him away, and reveals he and other Mera’din intend to return to the Aiel Waste, and offers to take her with him and then free her.




Faile’s interlude in CoT was one of the more tolerable parts of that book, and I still retain that this element of the whole Shaido storyline is more interesting than Perrin’s pursuit, although I’m not sure how that will hold up now that Perrin’s finally starting to make progress in his hunt. I’m simply interested in the conflict between Galina, Therava, and Sevanna, and hope they all get offed at one point in this storyline. I really hope Faile successfully escapes by herself, considering all she’s been forced to endure, rather than sit around waiting for Perrin to rescue her. And considering she now has the binder, escape might actually be a possibility! Not a moment too soon, as Perrin indeed is on his way to Malden, and this chapter emphasizes that Faile and companions are dangerously becoming accustomed to this horrific servitude to the Shaido. This chapter highlighted something I found alarming in CoT, when Faile was almost raped by a Shaido man, in noting this is apparently something gai’shain suffer commonly. In which case, I’m eager to see the Shaido dispersed more than ever. Whether it’s Perrin or Faile, somebody blast these Shaido back to the Waste, please?


As a sidenote, I consider Sevanna’s intentions to marry and control Rand merely delusion at this point. Back in LoC, I was concerned she was indeed going to succeed in somehow controlling Rand, which certainly would be inopportune, but Sevanna has proven herself merely as incompetent and delusional in the last few books. Seriously, she wouldn’t even be a threat to Perrin and gang if she hadn’t been so easily fooled by Sammael.



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