But before I do that… I have finished reading the book. And it is good. Later parts – indeed, parts that start to get discussed here – of the book are a… little more gripping, shall we say, and the idea of stopping after 6 chapters was blown out of the water. So here’s a few extra chapters of action from Randland…
Chapter 19 – 28
- Tuon and the Seanchan give me the utter shits. The level of ritual and formality in that society, it’s a wonder their army can do anything for all the bowing and scraping they must do to those “above their station”.
- … on the other hand, we’re finally seeing the White-Tower-gets-hit-by-Seanchan prophecy come together, and in a reasonably sensible way (i.e. Seanchan don’t have to magically conquer everything between where they are now to TV.
- MAAAAAAAAT! Mat is back!
- This makes me Happy.
- Apparently there’s a bunch of people out there unhappy with Mat’s new funny bone. I say bollocks, I love a character who can say “Saidared,” and cause raised eyebrows. Freaking brilliant.
- Err, nothing much happens when he’s first introduced, save a mention of Ogier that reminds me how long it’s been since we’ve seen Loial or other Ogier…
- Perrin and Faile re-appear but do nothing but angst. Time to get a move on!
- Semi is freed by Shaidar Haran, and then goes nutso on Rand…
- … fucking him up good and proper…
- … and now he’s done what?! Well, Semi is out of the picture at least.
- I suppose you could see this coming if you were reading the right hints, but that doesn’t make it any better.
- Yes that’s right, I won’t spoil exactly what he did here, because this really is one of the most powerful scenes in the book.
- In terms of Rand’s character, this is a major Fuck. moment… in terms of the book, it’s a logical progression.
- Rand promptly tells Cadsuane he’s sick of her and that he “will kill her the next time he sees her face.” Minor cheer for comeuppance for most uppity Aes Sedai character ever.
- Gawyn reaches the Rebel camp, gets sat down by Bryne
- While he’s wandering in he discovers the Aes Sedai who was stripped of the shawl amongst the washer women, and they bring her to the Aes Sedai later.
- You’ve got to wonder though, with a camp full of Aes Sedai keen on signing up whoever they can get to the novice book why they didn’t ‘feel’ this lady already, and why it took Gawyn to discover her?
- Sheriam is going to get pwnd.
- Egwene manages to be a prisoner with dignity, and is still in a position of influence. This bodes well for her fight.
- Avi finally, finally gets the guts up to ask why she’s being forced to do useless stuff. The reason? Wise Ones don’t get pushed around by nobody.
- And how do you instil that lesson? By, uh, pushing around the apprentices until they push back. Uh, good learning strategy that.
- Mat chapter again! Mat wanders into a small town for supplies. Hmm, any bells being rung re a certain Perrin-in-a-small-town scenario?
- Here’s why: The townsfolk turn into madmen by night, ripping each other limb from limb. But! They wake safe in their beds the next morning. Bubbles of EVIIIILLLL.
- No I still don’t know why we’re being shown these sequences proving the existence of bubbles of evil dammit.
And so we get to the thick of the book, and the plot is definitely in gear in more than one spot – Egwene is past the point of no return, and Rand appears to be approaching his own quite rapidly. Tune in next week to find out more!