More Rand. And quite a... yeah, chapter.
Another new viewing... it must have been Rand's chapter, because I'm pretty sure this was the viewing about Dragonmount, and the shaft of light and everything. Yeesh, more new viewings. But luckily this viewing is fulfilled by the end of the book, so.
Non-communication is still a major problem although Sanderson is at least having some of them talk - Rand and Min have the whole "she fears me because I tried to kill her" "no, I fear you because you're fucking SCARY now" non-discussion going on.
So how CAN the Aiel hide so well in the forest, and adapt so well to the Wetlands? Pretty sure this has been asked before. Although it doesn't bother me *too* much since someone good at the general principles of concealment I guess will adapt. Still though.
And now *Min* needs a smack for thinking that Rand being a giant dick to Nynaeve is "her own fault." No, Min, no it's not, even if you're completely blindly and stupidly in love with a dangerous madman.
And a very very anti-climactic ending for Graendal, but hey, at least it's done, and without being drawn out forever. Unless she Ainen't Dead, but I'm guessing probably she is. But Min and Nynaeve really need to get the fuck away from Rand Right Now, because dude. I wouldn't even go back through the Gateway with him, I'd walk to the village like the Lord he used.
And something about Alivia is still fishy.
Egwene in the Tower again
Egwene's still an idiot for not leaving while she can. And yes, I realize it all Works Out and that she kicks MUCH ass in general (believe me, I love Egwene right now), but in this, she's still a stubborn idiot.
A bit Ironic that she compares her own punishment to Rand's because it doesn't break either of them - when it obviously DID break Rand. He's been almost unable to trust since then, he keeps harping back on it and reacting like something still trapped... it just broke him. I'm not saying that that absolves him of all blame for his actions or anything, just that this was the starting point, and that Elaida has some culpability for a lot, if not all, of the bad shit he does after.
Nice to see someone using Need in T'A'R again. I'd almost forgotten about that. Pity Egwene's so very wrong about Aram. Wonder if she'll ever find out. :/
Whee, more almost-spankings! *sigh*
At least she's doing the right thing re: Silviana. I'm curious as to what the Red Ajah will become really, as an aside, since their main purpose is gone. Some possibilities are thrown out at the end of the book, though.
And Verin! And she can lie! Oh noes!
Chapter 39: Back in Black
This chapter? Is just awesome. Period. I mean, Egwene is distilled Awesome in this book in general, but Verin? Wow. Just.... wow.
I'm *really* sad to see her go, though. But if she has to go, what a way to do it. A Brown to the end. Damn.
I almost hate to continue to discuss the chapter normally, but oh well. *sniff* *ahem* anyhow...
I really want to know what's in the paper she gave to Mat. And which other plans she left for other people (since he noticed he had a lot of other papers like the one she gave him).
What a strange loophole in the Oaths.
Mention of "You'd sooner find a Whitecloak marrying an Aes Sedai"... not sure if it's supposed to be just an offhand comment, or some ironic foreshadowing. You can never tell!
And entering the Black Ajah to STUDY them? That is so... Verin. And so Brown.
And the whole "sitting around reading an entire night with a corpse" thing... eugh. I mean, yeah, it's necessary I guess, but... eugh.
And wow, if we didn't already realize that we're definitely being sent along toward a resolution with no more dangling, here we go. A near-complete list of the damn Black Ajah. Well, that's quite a useful Legacy! Pity that we still don't know where Mesaana is, but can't have everything I guess. Also interesting that it seems to be nearly complete, given how few other BA Egwene finds after things all shake out, but I wonder who *does* manage to slip through the cracks.
I was also almost SHOCKED when Egwene waited around for Siuan in T'A'R to tell her something so important... only to have Siuan show up and be able to tell her the important stuff. Whoah. And THEN she gets yoinked out, because the Seanchan finally finally make their move.
Chapter 40: The Seanchan Attack
Finally, Siuan and Bryne and Gawyn get some action!
Very nice move on Egwene's part, using a circle and sa'angreal to amplify her powers. Very very well played.
Also wasn't expecting Gareth to get bonded so quickly, so easily, no arguments. Wow. I do notice he made no Oaths in the process or anything, though, which was... unexpected from Siuan, even if she is In Wuv.
Bela!!! Just... Bela!
And the scene in the White Tower, with Egwene coming to the rescue of the Aes Sedai, light and weaves and glory and everything streaming around her as she stands there, arms outstretched and standing proud? THAT should have been the cover. I guess it could be considered spoily, but damn.
Then again, it's probably best that it wasn't, since Sweet would have just ruined it.
Chapter 41: Breaking In
I like Gawyn's thought, "as if they were Warders".. he obviously hasn't twigged on about Bryne. Hehhheh.
And another foretelling is out of the way - the one about Siuan and Bryne both being dead without staying close to each other. I have to wonder if this is one Jordan didn't really leave notes for though, since Sanderson seems to throw it in there and the have to have Siuan hand-wave away the thought that without Siuan, Bryne wouldn't have been there to be poisoned in the first place. Of course, it's also possible that Jordan didn't think it out thoroughly and that Sanderson saw the problems and wanted to at least try to head them off at the pass. *shrugs* Guess we'll probably never know.
And Gawyn and Egwene. Awwww. Enjoy the sweet moment Gawyn. It'll be the last one for a while. Hehheh.
And am I a bad bad person for almost getting out of bed and dancing around with glee when Elaida woke up to realize she's damane now? MWahahhahaha! Although it was, as many other things, a bit anticlimactic. But hey. Couldn't happen to a
Chapter 42: Back to Rand
No! Not Rand again! Noooooo! Not after what just happened! *sniff*
I'm also not remembering what exactly happened in this section, since one of the only notes I have is "horrible." Is this when they move again, and Rand basically just flees the fact that the country is now going to starve horribly behind him, with things only made worse by his presence?
And he's planning to move to Shayol Ghul already? Still seems pretty early. Hrm. Really have to wonder how the timelines match up.
Yup, Egwene's pissed. I had some other note, that she's something else, but I can't read my own writing. Bah.
No Gawyn, it is not you-time. Hah. Although I do feel kinda bad for him - I mean, he hasn't seen her since she's been Accepted, and much less Awesome at that. And the Rebels really *did* raise her to use her as a puppet, and he hasn't seen enough of her to realize she's gone beyond that.
Now I'm all curious why Sheriam's hand *is* hurt. Probably something to do with taking the dream ter'angreal, but it worries me.
And Egwene takes the Oaths. Which I still think are blindingly stupid. *sigh* As awesome as Egwene is now, I think she's still not always right. This is one case where she's not.
And an unmasking. Finally! Man this has been LONG overdue.
Back to Rand AGAIN. Get back to the main character already! Ie: Egwene.
Whee, more braid-yanking. Ah well, guess if it just vanished, it'd be weird.
Bah, Cadsuane is SO annoying.
Also bah, we now get more easy soppy ways around the (already random) Traveling restrictions. *rolls eyes*
And yes, we see again that Rand is just Too Far Gone at the moment, as if we didn't already know.
It's nice to be told that the Pattern could just be destroyed, which would nullify all predictions, which is about the only way to still lend urgency about the final outcome to a story where accurate predictions point toward winning.
When someone important was mentioned to be with Perrin, I first thought of Morgase for some reason. Maybe because everyone thought she was dead. But why the hell didn't I think of Tam?!?
Also: How does Cadsuane KNOW this, anyhow?
And we finally see someone taking the fucking SMART OPTION - captured Black Ajah? Still and execute them. Immediately. No fuss, no muss. Well, okay, bloody muss, but still. At least Egwene can learn from her damn mistakes.
It's also nice to see Egwene feels guilty about it, and doesn't just shrug it off, but doesn't let it tear her apart inside either. Like, y'know, some people we could name.
I wonder what caused Egwene to wait, really. Maybe Dreaming is related to Foretelling or something, and she gets a hint of it even though she's awake? Or maybe it's just heavy-handed plottishness. Whatever.
And the riding across the bridge into Tar Valon could have been another nice cover scene, if not for the probable spoiliness.
More sniffing. Blah, was hoping we'd mostly gotten over that.
The fact that Egwene is in the Tower now worries me in some ways - we've still got four unaccounted-for Bloodknives, and I doubt they'd be introduced and a big deal about how they'd survive for days, causing problems, would be made for them to just be unimportant. Although I could be wrong.
Echoes back to Egwene's testing for Accepted. Man, I really wish I could remember the testings better. I probably should have done a re-read. Oh well.
I *heart* Egwene! I really do! "Thanks for raising me. Oh, by the way? You all suck. And here is why."
I do kinda wish Gawyn hadn't been totally forgotten about more or less, though. On the one hand, he's been annoying and needs some Clue Bats still forcefully applied. And he came in to rescue Egwene against her wishes. And it's understandable that he wouldn't be the important thing to deal with right at first. On the other hand, he really only had the word of the other Aes Sedai that Egwene didn't want to be rescued, and yeah, in his position I wouldn't trust it either. And he basically abandoned the men he cared about to go help her because he realized that for him, it was the Right Thing to do.
So yeah, I understand why he wouldn't be dealt with at first, but I just wish SOMETHING had been gotten to before, y'know, the end of the book. Blah.
More Rand. Argh.
But not Argh! TAM! TAM TAM TAM!!!!
Man, I was sooo waiting for this moment, and then Rand fucks it up so horribly spectacularly. With help from Cadsuane of course. They're both fucking idiots.
I do wonder which king Tam knew, though, given the quote he makes. Or which blademaster he killed, if it was anyone important.
Cadsuane - still annoying.
References to "three shall be one," which could be references to a circle to use The Sword That Ain't, or could be referring to all the personalities in Rand's brainmeats melding (Rand, Lews Therin, Moridin, although that last... ick.)
The viewing of Nynaeve grieving over a corpse is... eek. Wonder if it's Rand in his "die and live again" stage, or if it's Lan. Argh.
Trying to remember who the hell Beldeine is again, and figure out what significance a black knife might be.
And man, if I didn't already love Tam, I would now. Calling a bully a bully. You go!! Hopefully Tam and Cadsuane will be around each other for a bit and he can help show her what a self-righteous condescending idiot she can be.
And OMG, Rand starts getting Clues! That maybe he's not acting right, and the hardness thing MAY not be for the best!
The whole "Lews Therin's voice sounding more and more like his own" thing is a bit chilling, though. Although it *could* just be because the personalities are coming back together, and not necessarily because Rand is getting more mad to match him.
Very Tolkienesque... standing with the corrupting artifact of power on the lip of a volcano. Sheesh.
Love is the answer? Enh, that seemed a bit sappy to me. Sorry. Although at least the sentiment is good in general - just because things get dark isn't a reason to throw it all in and destroy the world.
Mostly I'm left wondering just what the ramifications to Rand will be though. How hard/not hard will he now be? Will he actually go APOLOGIZE to the people he's wronged? What are going to be the continuing effects of his touch of the True Power? Well, I guess we'll find out that sorta thing next book. And hopefully his sections won't be as painful to read, now.
And I'll also point out that it looks like at least two prophecies have been fulfilled: one, Rand standing over his own grave, weeping or whatever it was. (ie: him on Dragonmount, where Lews Therin once died). Also: I *think* the whole blind man prophecy thing is now done, because we have him looking a lot like that blind beggar while he's in the Domani city, and the whole point is made about Rand opening his eyes "for the first time in a long long time" or whatever it was, and the ending verse (which almost always references what just happened in the book) make a point of mentioning the blindness thing.
The one thing I have to really wonder about here is timelines. How much time passed between Egwene's raising and the Epilogue? Because it means that Egwene, at least, should pretty much be on the same timeline as Rand, if there's not much time between them, because she sees him on Dragonmount. And really, come to think of it, since *everyone* has been mentioning the dark clouds for a while, that would imply they're all at on the same time. But then Perrin has already met with Galad? And why was Rand seeing Mat in Caemlyn already, even before he met up with Verin? And...
Gah, my brain hurts now. Forget it.
Sirs Not Appearing In This Book: Loial, Galad (except that brief glimpse), Padan Fain (is he still alive?), Taim, Morgase, Berelain, Slayer, Lan
Things I want to see happen soon:
-The whole Mat/eye thing.
-Someone (hopefully Rand) telling Elayne her mother is still alive. Gawyn finding out would be nice too, but at least if he isn't told it'd be understandable, since no one really knows where he is. Rand though now knows Morgase is alive, and should damn well know enough to bother telling Elayne.
-Some sort of resolution between Egwene and Gawyn, or at least something moving forward.
-Finding out what the hell happens to Lan!
-Moiraine's rescue, already!
-The resolution of Verin's note.
There's more, I'm sure, but those are some of the things I can think of offhand.
And now, I'm actually hopeful that they might happen!
Blah, might discuss more later, but for now, I'm all bookeded out.