Wheel of Time 4 : The Shadow Rising (part 1)

This is NOT a review of the Wheel of Time books. I suppose you can call it a reaction blog... For it is a collection of my live reactions and thoughts to reading the Wheel of Times series for the first time.

The thoughts were originally shared on Twitter and have now been collected here for everyone's convenience. These are my full reactions from the second Wheel of Time book, with some post-read writerly thoughts at the very end.

To gain better understanding of what this is all about and see my reactions to the other books in the series, please refer to this blog.

This time, I divided my readings up into days. For reference, I tend to read 2-3 chapters a day. Let's get on with it.

Expectations

I'm just about to start The Shadow Rising for the first time, which I know is a lot of people's favourite in the series. I'm really excited about it. But before I start, I think we should have a little talk about what to expect.


First I should make my own approach clear: A critique from me is good news, not bad. I basically come from the upside down. If I don't critique something, it's usually not a good sign.

I ONLY critique things I love/care for. So if I nit-pick, it's because I'm having a blast.

So, what do I expect from this book?


Well first off, it's 300 pages longer and there are 2 lines of text more on each page, so I think it's over 100 000 words longer than the last (many book are only 90 000 words total)... so.... I expect a hell of a journey.


I'm expecting (in no particular order):


  1. More Aiel.

  2. For Mat to have a bigger part.

  3. Lanfear needs to make a proper comeback.

  4. I hope to face a new Foresaken and not Ba'alzamon again in the final climax.

  5. Stakes are about to be higher (I'm worried for Loial's safety)

  6. On that tone. Maybe Moiraine will die..?

  7. Perrin will have to deal with the hawk Min saw.

  8. He'll have to deal with the Whitecloaks too.

  9. I'd like to understand Rand's origins better (through the Aiel perhaps?).

  10. Our 3 lads need to reunite properly.

  11. I'd also like to know more about what exactly the Dragon Reborn is destined to do.

  12. Our Accepted girls need to become Aes Sedai

  13. Black Ajah need to be dealt with (that isn't over, I haven't forgotten)

  14. Ishamael. We need more on him.

  15. Answers about Mat's luck.

  16. We need to tear down the evil people in power in all the countries (maybe not all in this one book, but we need to start that at least).

  17. Unravel the corruption in the White Tower.

  18. Gawyn and Galad need to play a bigger part

  19. We need an Elayne POV.


And finally:

There better be a shadow rising!

I also have some things that I'd like, but I don't think I'll get in this book:


  1. I'd like to go back to Two Rivers (it might still be too early for that... Around book 7/8 maybe?)

  2. The Seanchan need to make a comeback, but again, I think I'm too early.

  3. What's the deal with the names and past lives?

  4. I'm still waiting for our girls to gather at Tremalking and Break the World with Rand (maybe that won't be just yet, but I swear, it's coming)

  5. Someone we like has to be turned to the dark side.


Okay, I think that's it.

The Shadow Rising

Day 1 : prologue day

The prologue is a Min chapter??

The other times it was in the POV of someone whose POV we hadn’t seen yet. Interesting.


I’m turning a new leaf with Min in this book. Cause I love her abilities she just hasn’t been that cool lately, since half-way through book 2. In this book I hope she‘ll be cool again!

It’s not like Rand meant to pull you into this, Min. Surely he would run far away and escape it all if he could. And it could be worse than falling in love with a handsome man.


You could have been the victim of one of the many sudden ta’veren provoked weddings, or the ta'veren fires, or worse.

This name feels familiar.... is this someone we have met before, or heard about..?

Sorry, I still struggle with minor characters. Too many of them have names and similar names too. It’s not a great combo for me since I’m really weak with names to begin with.


Battle is coming to the White Tower? In this book?

Oh gosh. That’s not what I meant by tearing down the corrupt kingdoms. I didn’t mean the White Tower. I meant the evil Forsaken who seem to have taken over every court!


But oh gosh this promises both to be devastating and epic!

Captivity too? Like the Seanchan?

But seriously, now I’m expecting this book to end with an epic battle in and around the White Tower and lots of Aes Sedai being killed. Almost all of them.


Oh please save Verin, though! ...Maybe she’ll be buried in books and barely notice the battle?

SILVER COLLAR!?? Seanchan incoming!

Oh no... they’re such evil adversaries. They’re all scary and devoid of empathy. But maybe this time we will see that battle we didn’t get in TGH...?

Well we would need the Whitecloaks involved like last time for it to really compare and be a substitute.

No! Not Gawyn!!!

Well... at least he will just be wounded. I guess that’s alright. He seems like such a nice lad though. I keep asking to see more of him.

Is this the book where I get all my wishes...? Battle with the Seanchan? More Gawyn?

Well yes... isn’t what why he is learning to become a Warder...? Isn’t that part of his future job description and what the entire thought foundation the Warder ideology is founded on...?


Well I suppose it’s for their Aes Sedai but Elayne is studying to become one, so... same thing, really.


Oh so they weren’t kidding about that.

Both Gawyn and Galad genuinely like Egwene?

Good thing that she is considering becoming a Green Ajah then. Though I suppose Gawyn will follow duty and serve his sister, the sweet lad.


Okay, then let me come with an uneducated(?) guess:

I think it means that the Amyrlin Seat will be stilled....

Because Egwene at least has described the feeling of letting go of the One Power in a similar way.


This is a very good point. They have been doing this for so many centuries that getting them to realise that this one is for real won’t be easy.


There will always be Aes Sedai who won’t believe that he is the Dragon Reborn, or who won't care either way.


Ha!!! Hahaha! Oh... this is funny.


Yea our three Accepted really didn’t do a very good job at finding the Black Ajah in the Tower. They got a bit distracted by beautiful Selene’s clues to go to Tear.


Ahh... this is funny. They failed so Min was handed their task, eh?


This is a very good point. Besides, Min, I’ll be nice and tell you: he likely isn’t even in Tear any longer, and definitely won’t be by the time you could get there. You’d always be chasing behind him and not catch up.


So yes, it seems a better use of your time to stay here.

Ohhh!!! This really is the book where I get my wishes isn’t it!?

I wanted to get to see a Red Sister closer up and see what steered them that way. Oh this will be interesting.

Is she also a Black Ajah like that evil Book Burner Liandrin?

This seems like crucial information!


So... will Morgase die and Elayne will lead them to war to help Rand, or will Elayne sway her mother..?

From this Elaida seems like she acted rather selflessly. Like a proper Aes Sedai. Not a Black Ajah at all...


Aha!!! So she isn’t a Black Ajah, after all.

She is on the right side, she has just made different choices and isn’t in the know so she can only assume that bad things are happening (because they are) and end up acting like this.

Uhh... yes she is on a quest to destroy the Amyrlin Seat, and I can sort of see where she’s coming from with all of this. I can’t really fault her for wanting answers.


.....I just hope she find the actual truth and doesn’t act too quickly and destroy everything...


THAT WHITECLOAK! Again!


This reminds me... wasn’t in the prologue to the last book that we got a nice description of Whitecloaks hunting Perrin, which had no effect on the rest of the story..? Maybe I shouldn’t base too many of my expectations for the books on the prologues.

Oh no!!! They’re going to the Two Rivers and they’re close too!!


Oh boy. This is giving me “Orcs in the Shire” vibes.


Even if the Whitecloak thing didn’t pan out in the last book I do kinda like this slow escalation of other plots, building in the background.


I just hope they don’t hurt Perrin’s family or something. They’ll go straight to the smithy of course. I hope everyone stays safe.


This is not going to be fun for Perrin to learn about some day. He might not know about it for a while though. He’s so far away.

Wait! The Empress...? I remember only of one whole people who are ruled by an Empress...

Is this... the return of the SEANCHAN??

It really is. Oh boy oh boy. Much drama to come!


Oh oh! Egwene meet that one Aes Sedai who told her both her own name and that of the other captured Aes Sedai.


I assume this is one of them. Egwene was told to remember them, so Egwene would know their names.


Was she... yellow Ajah? Or White..? Why is my memory so bad..?

This was the longest prologue so far (39 pages). But goodness it’s good to be back with these characters and in this world again.

The scene has certainly been set. It’ll be fun to see how the story develops!

Day 2 : catching up with the ta’veren

Guys guys!! Sound the fanfare!!

Mat has now joined the club!!

In the first few books Rand and Perrin only thought of each other as good with girls but now Perrin actually considers Mat good with the girls.


And objectively I gotta agree that Mat is likely the best womaniser among the 3 of them...


Wasn’t standing up for himself exactly what Perrin did by asking for a room that suits his own tastes and makes him more comfortable...?

But yes. I bet Mat my lad demanded a lavish room with lots of gold

(to secretly pocket).


I think Perrin is right but it’s also possible that they have to go each their way and then find each other further along the way.


Eventually however the pattern will pull them back together again, that’s true. I think. No, I’m pretty sure.


Or a wolf trying to understand a bird...

Well no I get it. Faile is the predator in this relationship.

(No, autocorrect! It’s Faile not failed or failure...)


Also it’s almost sweet how much Perrin already loves Faile despite having know her for all of...? 2 weeks?

Okay that’s strange. The axe? On its own? Not a grey man?

What’s happening here?

I mean it’s indirectly the Dark One’s doing, obviously, but how..???

I’ve thought about this before but I gotta ask. What’s the deal with Perrin and his family? He only ever talks about mister and mistress Luhhan, but it also seems clear that they aren’t his parents.


And only Mat’s and Rand’s dad’s came to Tar Valon. Is Perrin an orphan?


This is such a Mat comment. He is such a cheeky lad and his POV is all the more awesome for it.

I am really enjoying the writing in Mat my lad's POV chapters. It feels especially fun to read.

Where does Mat my lad’s luck come from? Is it just like Perrin’s Wolfbrother thing and Rand’s channeling? Or is there a reason for it. Because it seems to come and go and not be there constantly.

...am I turning into Verin Sedai? I really want to study this phenomena.

Ahh I love that Mat is pursuing the Aiel women. I mean of course he is but still.


Even after this experience he just seems more intrigued about these women than before.


It's also nice to see that he is capable of making a joke at his own expense.


That’s Mat my lad right there! This is why he is a successful womaniser. Well, one of many reasons.


This whole section is a delight. Mat’s sections are a delight. Not only because of Mat but because interesting things happen around him. Interesting characters, conversations, etc.

Right... for the Lord Dragon, huh?

Yes... that’s totally believable. So loyal you are.


On a serious not: this is a compelling scene. The details and the characterisation of these minor characters and the conversation. Ahh... I love it.


I really hope Mat changes his mind about this whole attitude towards Rand that he has been putting up for a while. But I fear what it’ll take.


It’ll probably take what it took for Perrin. For his own ability (luck) to turn evil and scary.... so he can sympathise with Rand.

It’s very cool that this card game depict actual rulers. It got me imagining how our modern day card games would be different if real personalities were pictured and part of the popular games.


...and then I remembered that Cards Against Humanity exists.

We know how this plays out. This a power we, modern day people, do not deserve.


Uhm Mat!? I don’t think you’re just seeing things. These cards are much more terrifying now.

They’re the actual Cards Against Humanity!

And I also really don’t think this is Rand’s doing, Mat my lad, in case you’re going to follow Faile’s example and blame it on the Dragon Reborn.

Ohh Rand, so you do know that you don’t love Egwene. You’ve truly grown since we left you in book 2. I'm so proud!

So... who do you love now? Min who undressed in your dream? Or Elayne? Oh no, I know. Selene.

You left your friends and fled halfway across the map to please Selene. I remember.

Yes. Me too, actually.


Wait... was this the Hawk woman who came in weirdly at the end of the last book?

I thought she was Perrin’s hawk. What’s she doing here...?

It’s like Egwene learning to channel! Rand sees how he does things just as easily.


That’s kind of cool. It’s nice that he’s able to reverse engineer it so he will be better equipped next time and actually know what he’s doing.


Oh wow... she’s really into you Lord Rand al’Woolhead.

Time to make her leave.

She’s up to something. She’s almost as obvious about it as Selene.


Btw, where IS Selene? She said Rand would see her again if he got the sword. So where is she hiding..? Is she scared of Moiraine?

Oh no! Rand too! (See, lads? It’s most definitely NOT Rand’s doing!) Also the Robert Jordan has used the teacup thing a few times and it ALWAYS makes me think of the huge dog from the HC Anderson story. I loved that story so much as a kid.

What!?? How’d you figure that Rand?

When you don’t even know that Selene too is a Foresaken!!

It was definitely not all of them. Selene is more sly than this. Where is she?


(Yes I can’t believe it either, I’m actually hoping for Selene to show up. She’s fun, okay?)

Day 3 : learning about bubbles

I would have loved to see the Aiel make their entrance to the Stone. That would have been awesome.


I was kind of okay with it when the last book ended, but now I’m feeling sad we didn’t see it.Because these details promise that it would have been epic.


Hmm or maybe it’s something else.


Maybe they’re trying to overthrow the Dragon Reborn and you’re a liability. Or they know about Mat’s luck. Or weird things happen....

I don’t trust any of the High Lords, btw.

Oh right. Is that what Betelain was up to?

Was she trying to get inside information on Rand’s weaknesses for some High Lord..?

But why...?


What are they up to?

Haha! Okay Falcon has her moments.

That was good comedic timing.


But also, I like how sharp Perrin is at times and yet how incredibly woolheaded he is other times.

So I WAS RIGHT!

She is in bed with the High Lords. Well.... I don’t know if she’s bedding them, I mean more like, she’s on their side and acting on their behalf.


But what do they want....? Other than the Stone obviously. And rule the world.

Uh uh! This feels like a serious faux-pas, Perrin.

You do not grab a spear-maiden by the upper arms!!

Well unless you’ve been invited to play the Maiden’s Kisses I suppose... not that Falcon would approve of that.


Go Perrin! Acting all quick and good to save his friend! Well done.

Meanwhile Rand is in his moody teenage emo stage.

What is going on with Rand? I feel like he has retreated more. But maybe that’s just cause we barely saw him in the last book. I guess I miss Rand.


.....seriously Perrin?

Looking at this scene you still think Rand attacked you with your own axe...?

I tend to praise you for being the clever one Perrin, but in moments like this I wonder why I crowned Rand the lord Woolhead. When we have Lord Perrin al’Woolhead.

What is he on about? Why does he need to catch them by surprise? To escape...?


Rand has changed while we’ve been away with his friends. I feel like him and I are no longer on the same wavelength.

He can’t reach the void?? Oh no. This is bad news.

Well he is the Dragon Reborn so he can’t have burnt out right?


So he was cut off from it maybe...? Like the Seanchan did.

Or... or something bad happened.

I don’t like that. The thought of Rand not able to channel...

Hmmm okay. So we have had the sons of the High Lords gambling with Mat my lad talk about overtaking Illian and now we have this long talk about Sammael....

Is he the big bad villain in this book?

But I thought the Seanchan would be after that prologue.

That’s exactly what I said yesterday! Well.. not in so many words, but it’s what I meant. It didn’t feel like the Foresaken. So what was it..?


It doesn’t sound like the work the Dark One directly either. Or a Fade. Or Grey Men.

Black Ajah? They might be able to conjure this sort of thing. But why..?

Ah of course. Another book another threat. Somehow bubbles don’t feel as threatening..?


But we’ve seen three of them and they were pretty deadly.


Someone please ask Moiraine how long the bubbles last! Because they all sort of vanished. Not one of our lads defeated them.


Our ta’veren are always going to be in the middle of trouble.


That certainly makes Perrin’s and Mat’s individual dreams of being safe feel away from Rand seem impossible to achieve. Bad things WILL happen around them no matter what.

Stick together lads!
Oh damn. Rand is really standing up for himself!

We have a real moody emo Dragon Reborn on our hands.


And here we have Perrin being a Woolhead again. Oh Perrin....


Uhhh this promises to be good! I’d like to know more. What will he have to do?

Where is the Pattern taking him??

As long as they stick with the Aiel for a while (or forever) I’m happy. I like learning about the Aiel.

THOM!! Has now joined the party for real.

So good to have him back after he flanked out on is in book 2.

Him and Mat make a wealthy pair.
And he is playing the Game again??

He is getting roped into that again? I thought he said he wasn’t going to play the Game anymore, but he seems to take joy in this.


Almost as much as Mat takes joy in gambling.


Oh the "perceptive" title has passed from Perrin to Mat my lad. Good catch Mat, you’re not so dumb.


You remind me of Perrin in book 1 and 2. Ahh the days. I’m glad we have you Mat. Especially now that Perrin has decided to become a Woolhead and Rand is moody.

Oh Thom was doing it for Rand??

Oh that’s really sweet! I admit, I didn’t expect that.


Now I’m wondering if he had a hand in the half naked lady appearing in Rand’s quarters. If that was a result of his involvement in the Game or something he had foreseen.


Sweet Thom.

No, Mat my lad. It sounds like your luck to me.

Trust me. Trust your luck.

Stay with your friends. You’re better off facing this together.

Okay I’m 100 pages in and I think we are almost done with the catching up and it’ll start to move fast. That’s my prediction.


Right now we’re still being reintroduced to characters. That’s fair. For many people there was a long time between these books. We need reminders.


Also: the chapters are definitely longer in this book. Normally I can read 2-4 chapters in a day but here I read one and my day is gone. This is my first day reading two chapters.... At least the chapters don’t FEEL that long they just ARE a bit long.

Day 4 : our Aes Sedai pretenders

Key word is: “appeared” She is Aiel. She is most definitely armed.

And you’d not even have time to gasp before she launches into action.


That’s how I see the Aiel.

Wait what?? What did I miss?

Wait... Is this what Egwene did in the last book when she was in the dreams and tying away their abilities..???

Cause I remembered wondering if she was stopping them but I feel like that was never confirmed. Until now I suppose. Help?

Oh yes, girls. You really need to talk this out and find some kind of balance before you start channeling against each other and something major goes wrong.

Please find a middle-ground.

Egwene has become really talented. She uses air a lot. And we know from the Seanchan that she has affinity with metal as well. She’s imaginative in her use of channeling too. I look forward to see how far her powers will develop.


Right.... yes. You’re definitely being genuine. Totally genuine. So believable......


.....Who does she think she’s fooling?? Certainly not me. And not our girls either!


(The real plot twist would be if this was actually genuine...)

It is actually a very smart plan!

Ingenious almost. The book burner might have read at least one book before burning them to come up with this ploy.


(Yes, the Black Ajah evil mastermind will never be anything other than a Book Burner to me)


Ha! Now even Moiraine joins in. Yes! This Lord al’Woolhead is mule headed. Maybe it should be Lord al’Mulehead.

It’s really refreshing seeing Moiraine lose it for a small moment.

She is always so composed and good at sarcasm without ever breaking the mask. I adore this.

Uhhh its a battle of wits!!


I can’t decide if it’s brave or stupid of the Wisdom to launch into this with Moiraine.


I bet you two Andorian marks in real Mat my lad style, that Moiraine is going to come with a subtle but harsh comeback to this and win the round.

Oh!! We have a “Mat/Rand/Perrin would know how to act around girls” situation but with the girls!!

And the difference is startlingly hilarious.

While the guys envy each other’s ability with girls, the girls envy each other’s bravery.

(well just Elayne for now)

Betraying your friend...? What, Elayne? What have you done...?


What has Moiraine told you...? She can’t lie so what could she probably have made you believe? Why would you think you are betraying Egwene...?


And there is that slap across the face. Ouch. Yes. Moiraine always wins these word battles.

She is so cool and subtle about it too that it’s kind of delightful.


Wait what? Since when did you realise this Egwene...? I mean good for you.

Especially since Rand has decided the same thing and both Gawyn and Galad are mooning over you.

But.... what happened here..? Cause when we left her in the last book she was still imagining marrying Rand.


Ohh so those rumours Mat heard were more than just rumours. They were Moiraine pushing her agenda. Now I see.


It’s a fair plan. Having an army will probably come in handy.... if he can trust them.


(This makes me wonder what happened to the Shinerian they left behind in TDR)


Ufff. I thought she was done, but oh no, Moiraine has more slaps to spare. Damn.

She’s right though. Both in what she’s saying and about the Wisdom.

This might actually be the root of my disagreements with the Wisdom


Yes exactly!! This was one of my many predictions for this book. We need to deal with the Foresaken who have found power in high command!


Starting with Sammael and Illian seems like a wise idea. Both for geographical reasons and practical reasons. They KNOW he is there. He NEEDS to die.

That’s very strong. But also... if I may..?

There is a threat that you do not know about Moiraine. The Seanchan!!

I don’t think you’ve included them in your calculations?

And where have you placed the Whitecloaks...?

MAT MY LAD!!! Your friend the Dragon Reborn... I mean, your friend RAND needs your help!!!

Please come and translate this document properly for him to help set him on his path.


Please Mat my lad. Please come around and help your old friend.


Phew! I’m so relieved that Moiraine said this. Because I could imagine the girls deciding to secretly go down and use it...


They might still do that but at least now they have been warned on what not to ask.


Also how does Moiraine know about this..? Is she a history buff?


Elayne! After what we just thought about earlier with the Foresaken rising in power, HOW ARE TOU NOT CONCERNED FOR YOUR MOTHER??

Lord Gaebril is most definitely a Forsaken!!

I kind of hope Lord Gabriel is Ishamael because I don’t buy that the body we saw in the last one was Ishamael. That was much too easy of a defeat when he has been introduced to us Lanfear’s arch enemy.

There has to be more to it than that.

This is deep. It’s true, and it’s deep. I like it. What a nice note to end on. So... uplifting(?)

The tone has been set, ladies and gentlemen. The tone has been set!

Day 5 : Fish and birds

This sounds strangely familiar.... are they describing MY room?

This is actually a really sweet sentiment. Egwene always thinks fondly of Rand but seeing her act this way towards him is sweet in a completely different way.


Egwene did you catch that??

MAT MY LAD!!! Rand is in serious need of your help, still.


PLEASE get over yourself and go see your old friend!

Wow Egwene has really gotten confident, eh? It’s nice seeing her so sure of herself and her abilities and feel in her core that it’s real and proper.


First off: it’s a little creepy that she’s doing this without his knowledge.

Second off: uhhh that sound real bad!


Is he by any chance channelling to keep himself from feeling pain...?


So you do feel something Rand!


When I read about how different it is for men and women I wonder how the two kinds of channeling co existed back in the old days.

Haha! Oh it’s good to see Rand loosen up and be cheeky like this.


He has been such a brooding teenager lately. It’s lovely to see him take joy in a simple prank.


Reminds of the good old days in the Two Rivers and a prank with a poor badger.


Okay Rand...


We went from “haha, how sweet” to “please don’t accidentally murder someone!!” In a lightning flash! Wow.


Maybe everyone was right after all and Rand really is already going mad....


Ohh that is adorable! Yes! This is the sort of support Rand has needed! Friends who won’t give up on him and leave him but who will keep fighting for him. Not against him and not with him but FOR him.


Wow yes that was a bit terrifying. The amount of power Rand has is really impressive.

This is why the girls MUST learn to work together!

Only together can they match Rand’s strength.


If nothing else this really proves that he has to learn how it works.

If he suddenly stands in front of a Foresaken and can’t channel, he will turn into a fried goose in a flash.

Oh yes this makes sense and seems like a good clue to find out how Rand can learn control too. Maybe.... maybe you should tell Rand this Egwene? I don’t think he knows.


Way to let a guy down gently Egwene...

Oh poor Rand.


Even though he feels the same way this is... a bit harsh.


Some birds can swim and some fish can... fly?


Well Egwene if you’re the bird then maybe you can look down and see how the fish swims and that would help. You’ll find a way.

Her dedication to help Rand is so heartwarming!

Ahh these girls! They really care about Rand.


And Rand is adorably clumsy and sweet and playful in this scene. We haven’t seen that side of him since The Eye of the World.


I can’t tell you enough how nice it is to see again.


Haha I mean look at this Woolhead!


Isn’t he sweet and clumsy and adorable? No wonder all the girls are falling for him.


And we also have Elayne being a sweet diplomatic princess.


Oh is...? Our first kiss?!


I admit. I pulled a face and cringed but it we sweet.

Well done dear princess. That’s how you get yourself a shepherd!

This is true!! He didn’t even try any of that. It must be meant to be. That must be why.


Elayne has always shown interest in him and he has always thought she was beautiful. I’m not actually against this ship.

This ship may sail with my blessing.
Wait what?? Rand? You like Min as much!?? Since when??

We have seen ONE scene with them together over a whole book ago, and Rand was unconscious half of that scene.

Egwene!!! Did you catch that?? Rand mentioned Old Tongue and Mat speaks it! Did you catch it??

No??

Ah.... Mat my lad! Please go visit your friend Rand.

..then, why did you tell him about it Egwene??


That seems like a really bad idea and really dangerous too. I mean, you know Mat, Egwene. Why would you tell HIM of all people?


Oh no... I fear where this is going.


....oh no. He had to say that. Now something bad will happen and his life will depend on it and... *sigh*

Oh. That must be why Egwene told him. The pattern. The pattern made her!

(That is the ultimate excuse btw)

Day 6 : the Trollocs and the girl

SELENE!!

Oh poor Mat. Slimmer pickings, eh?

Mat my lad really turned quickly from thinking Rand and Perrin were good with women into the real womaniser.

Perrin and Rand successfully snog girls too, but they don’t seem to be “cuddling” as many different girls as Mat.

Wait what? Did we just change POV character from one paragraph to the next. It wasn’t a new section as it usually is. Just one paragraph to the next.


Uh uh. Is this his new thing?

Am I going to have to be extra aware either every new paragraph..?

Perrin, Perrin, Perrin... where did your smarts go?

When has Falcon EVER indicated to you that she missed home or would think about going home...?

She wasn’t whipped away to adventure like you, Perrin. She actively left to seek out adventure.


Oh head-hopping again. Okay I get it. We’re going around to all our POV characters to see what’s up. Just a quick summary of what has been going on to make time speed by fated. Gotcha. That’s fine.

It’s well done.

I was just worried I’d have to watch for this all the time.


Ahh the Aiel are great! I love reading about their culture and how different it is from everywhere else in Randland.


The differences between many of these places are more subtle but with the Aiel and also the Seanchan, the difference is more startling and I enjoy that.


THAT is indeed a surprise! What!?

Rand using his brain and trusting the advice he is given??

I’m glad to hear it though. They’re a real power couple, eh? Well... I suppose it’s not a couple since he will have two other girls. Power squared...?

Thank goodness!!


So Rand can actually have coherent thoughts around Selene now? And not just “waaw. She so beautiful. Perfect. Waaaw.” !!

Finally! Some time apart did Rand good.

Aha! At last he knows! Poor Selene (i still like the name Selene better) has to tell him herself! Because his beloved Min couldn’t figure out how to pass on such crucial information.


Well I’m glad he knows now. She’s not all bad this Selene.


Ohh she’s a jealous woman, Rand!


Wait! Is she the third woman? Uhhh that would be a powerful match!


Also: RAND TOO REMEMBERS THE PAST!! Like Mat. Well sometimes, at least.


I adore those snippets. I wonder how much of their past we will actually get to know.

Yes!! Yes, Rand! This is what I hoped would happen in book 2 when you went into that Parallel World!


This is a good idea. I mean don’t stupidly follow everything they do and say but you can definitely learn.

You NEED to learn control.

Exactly. Listen to yourself Rand. It makes no sense.

Which means that:

It wasn’t Selene!

Someone else is out to get you!


Oh goodness Rand.


When I finally want you to listen to Selene you don’t huh?


I do think Selene is out to help you though. At least for now. She has invested in you.

Trollocs! Fades!! They’re actually scary for once because THEY KILLED AIEL!!

Plus there are SO many of them!

Oh the Queen Bee plot point. This is a pet peeve of mine, because it’s in SO many sci-films. Kill the queen bee/leader and all the soldiers fall down dead too.


I’m okay with it here though because not all of them are dying and it’s not used at the big climatic scene.


I'm just saying.


Very good point Selene. Damn this girl is an ASSET!


And I get that you’re angry Rand, I mean it took me one and a half book to realise that she might actually have something cool to offer but I’d be careful.

If she thinks you are lost to her, she will turn on you SO fast!

Helpful Selene! Yes! Not only does Rand now know more about a few of the Foresaken, she also helps him save his sword.

Tsk tsk. This woolheaded boy. No wonder he needs three women to keep him out of trouble.

Wooow! Well done, Rand. I mean look at that potential! If you learned to use it maybe you could have done this from the start and saved many more lives.

This should be an indication of what you can gain by learning!

Oh goodness Rand... yes.

Perrin has this moment in the last book with the tinker lady who rode in at the beginning. Now Rand with this child.

Lan.... you’ve just spent a whole paragraph explaining to us how they got inside. But the battle JUST ended. How in the world did you know? Were you interrogating people while you were fighting...?


I don’t think it was Elayne she called pale-haired milksop. I think it was that woman from the Kinslayer prologue. Maybe Elayne is her reincarnated..?

I like the whole reincarnation narrative.

Also NOW the book is about to start for real! The last three books also really began after a Trolloc attack.


The scene is set we catch up. THEN the Trollocs attack and force the characters to move.

That has been the set up in all the books so far.

So I expect them to move now!

Day 7 : The Wise One

Okay this seems contradictory to me. Supposedly Egwene is going into the dreams because it’s assumed that she is a Dreamer..?

So why would the Wisdom and the princess need to go in when they aren’t dreamers?

Surely the meanings would be lost on them...?

Two recovered...??


What about the hedgehog thing that Perrin and Falcon fought against in the climax of the last book? Wasn’t that one of them too??


I’m pretty sure Moiraine mentioned then that it was.


I do not like the sound of Aiel fighting each other and running away. And Mat with a collar and.... Gawyn in pain and with hatred...???

Is..... Gawyn going to turn into a Darkfriend because Galad sacrifices himself and dies???

That’s the vibe I’m getting here...

Ohhh yes!! Egwene - please go to the Waste see out the Aiel and find yourself a teacher!


This is the book of teachers, eh? Egwene needs to learn. Rand too needs to learn.

They both need to find teachers STAT!

Maybe it’s pulling you towards a better path, Egwene. You did think that you could use a teacher and maybe a Wise One would be able to teach you. Maybe this Aiel woman can help you...?


I think you’re supposed to stay and talk to this woman.


Oh yes! Flying in dreams is the best!


And well, Egwene, it’s a dream so you can do what you want, I think.

You could probably transform yourself into a bird too if you really wanted!

Oh! I knew it! The woman came after Egwene. Thank goodness that the woman realised this was important when Egwene was being all woolheaded and ignoring the way the dream was pulling her.


Ohhh even better than expected!!

She IS a Dreamwalker!

Here is your teacher Egwene!!


Yaaay!!


I’m really really excited about this!


Yes the whole hunting Black Ajah does seem very premature for these girls. They have no idea what they’re up against.


I suppose their luck and the pattern has kept them safe so far, but really, they need to learn some things before they proceed.

YEEEEES!!!! Finally!! Let’s go to the Three-fold Land!!

Oh I’m so excited!


I had honestly expected it to be Rand or Mat who would end up going into the Waste, but I’m very happy with it being Egwene. She’ll be open to learn both the Aiel culture and Dreamwalking.

Ohh Aviendha knows her, huh?


Wait wait....! This is some Aes Sedai worthy speech. Her sister-mother is sister-wife to Amys...


Does that meant that... Amys is Aviendha’s mother? Or her close sister-like friend’s step-mother...? Oh... her aunt!

This is very true Princess. The fact that you’re a princess gives you some advantage over them when it comes to your schooling. You do know things about politics especially.

Okay but... none of you have asked Aviendha if she is able to and would like to lead Egwene there.

She could help her on her way at least but shouldn’t you ask before you presume...?


Aha. See? She didn’t want to go.

Wait.... somethings up. Is Amys really her mother?

Did she run away from home?

She is running from something, for sure...!

Ohhhh she has been called to become a Wise One.

She’s a Dreamer too? But then she must give up the Spear and she won’t?

Is that it!?? I think that’s it. I’m still also wondering if Amys is her mother.

I’m glad Moiraine said this.

I feel like the other characters very easily misinterpret what she says and what she wants. It’s good to remind them sometimes that all she really wants is for the prophecies to be fulfilled so the Dark One won’t take over.


Oh yes, Mat my lad. They’re coming for you and they will keep coming, because you blew the Horn of Valere.


I wonder if the horn is safe...? It was in the White Tower wasn’t it.......oh!!!

THAT’S why the White Tower is going to be attacked??? To recover the horn??

Yes that is freaky. But Rand knows what’s up, Mat my Lad. And he also has this document in the Old Tongue he could really use your help with.


Goodness you used to me friends, Mat!


If you’d just go and talk to Rand, you could help each other so much!!


Ohhh it’s Mat finding out about this? Wait so is Mat the one who will go back to Two Rivers? I expected Perrin to be the one who would head home.


Oh boy.... I hope Rand’s and Perrin’s families are going to be okay. I’m not worried about Tam since he was a blademaster with a heron sword, although he doesn't have that sword anymore.... but we know NOTHING about Perrin’s family so I worry about them. And the Blacksmith family too.

Cause it’s a long way to Two Rivers.

Ohh okay! So Mat won’t go since his family aren’t directly in danger and he probably feels like he won’t be able to leave them again id he returns.


So it IS Perrin, right? Perrin was hanging out in the taverns too. He will have heard these rumours and be on his way already.

Aww these lads! Parting ways like this. It’ll be good to see them reunite again, and properly, next time.

For now they do need some time apart on each their own journey. They have much to learn.

Huh? This really is a book of learning.

Day 8 : Three Questions Asked

Oh yes! It’s good to be back. Now let’s see what’s in store for us...


Mayene? So that means Berelain??

And it’s a Perrin chapter?

Is Perrin finally going to meet his Hawk?

Right Berelain... that’s why you’re here... because you need ornamental ironwork.


Why is she there? A new way to trap the Dragon Reborn by bribing and seducing his friends..? What is she really up to?


The Ways? That sounds dangerous. Last time that black mist was guarding the entrance. It might just have been tracking Rand. Maybe it’ll be okay but it makes me uneasy to think of Perrin going into the Ways.


Loial would have to go with him, right? But will Loial leave Rand?


Not only Loial but now they want to take Thom along too? Poor Rand is really all alone... I doubt either Loial or Thom would come though.


And is that all the Falcon cares about? Being a hero in a song..?



“These farmers” are his family and neighbours, Falcon. I think he would also know how they might react and if they can and will defend themselves or hand him over....


They would hand him over wouldn’t they...?

And that’s what he’s counting on isn’t it?

Oh Perrin that was mean. Despite all the time I spend picking on Falcon, she decided to come with you and support you without any hesitation.


I get that you’re trying to drive her away but Perrin... this hurts deeper. It might leave lasting scars, and I don't think that's what you want.

Oh! Our first Faile POV! I wonder if I’m going to like her better after this. I do want to like her I just haven’t been given much to like so far.

Ouch!! But she has a point. Although the Falcon isn’t a serving girl or a farmer she doesn’t carry herself with the tact of a well educated woman. That’s probably on purpose to reject her up-bringing but usually when people reject their up-bringing a few strange traits stay behind like reflexes.


Uhh see I like these details? But again we are just being told that she can do it instead of discovering that she can play that same game too, and do it better.


I’d love to see the falcon to strike the hawk with her fan skills or hawking poetry (oh the irony)!


Didn’t Berelain use Ogier oath correctly then? She didn’t say oathbreaker, did she?


I read the pages through again but I could only find “Ogier oath” and she seems to use that correctly so I don’t get this section. What am I missing? What’s Falcon referring to?

Oh Mat my lad! How I have missed your observations about women!

This one made me laugh because it’s so true and also such a Mat thing to remark upon. Oh I’ve missed the lad!

Okay first question gets a pass. Not bad, Mat. Let’s see the other two questions you have planned.

Although I have a feeling something is going to go wrong. Soon.


Wait what? Another? And the savor...? As in savour? Are they... planning to eat him? They sound like hungry canibals.... “let him speak first, then we feast.”


What’s the strain though...? What’s straining? Are they out of practice? Or maybe the future is elusive?


Oh yes!!! He will be going to the Waste??

So he is accompanying Egwene? That’s cool because we have seen a lot of Egwene with Rand and in book one she was with Perrin so it’ll be fun to see the dynamic between Mat and her and also...!!


Yes!!!! Mat and spear-maidens!!


I mean Mat my Lad was the one I most hoped would go to the Aiel Waste so I’m really excited about that. I hope it’ll turn out as awesome as I hope it will. And hey maybe his luck will ensure that they always find both shade and water.


NO!! Mat my lad! Don’t you see what you have done!!

In your refusal to just accept their answer and take it in, you’ve asked an incredibly useless and stupid question instead of your carefully prepared one!


Uhh the daughter of the Nine Moons? Is she and Aiel spear-maiden...?


As long as it’s not Selene I’m happy.


Although Mat doesn’t seem the marrying type. Maybe he will be marrying without realising it..? Yep.


Aiel spear-maiden. Those women have him exactly where they want. At spear point.

Oh Rand was there too? And wait... “Too”??? So Rand also went inside? Gosh the Dragon reborn. That sounds dangerous. Playing with fire, eh Al’Woolhead?


Although I understand why he would want answers.

Rand really needs some guidance.

Oh and while you lads are both here, let me do the introductions! Lord Rand al’Woolhead, here is your esteemed translator of the Old Tongue, Mat my lad.


He will easily decipher those texts you’ve been grumbling over. He might even notice something only a native speaker would.

Aha!!! So this is how the truth comes out, eh?? I might call Rand a Woolhead but he has sharp moments. He knows that Mat got some answers. He will put two and two together!


Or not..... yes.... they’re just parting ways like that. Okay then, lads. I’ll try to make the introductions again tomorrow before you go each your way.


I’m going to be sad for Rand if they part ways without Mat deciphering that text for him. Rand needs all the help he can get!

The adventure continues in PART 2

Read my reactions to the other Wheel of Time books:

1. The Eye of the World

2. The Great Hunt Part 1 and Part 2

3. The Dragon Reborn Part 1 and Part 2

4. The Shadow Rising Part 1 and Part 2 (currently reading and tweeting)

5. The Fires of Heaven

6. Lord of Chaos

7. A Crown of Swords

8. The Path of Daggers

9. Winter's Heart

10. Crossroads of Twilight

11. Knife of Dreams

12. The Gathering Storm

13. Towers of Midnight

14. A Memory of Light

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Thilde Kold Holdt

I am a novelist by profession, currently working an epic fantasy series about 7th century Korea. My epic fantasy trilogy about Vikings, the Hanged God, is currently being published. I have lived

enough different places that the most difficult question to answer is: "where are you from?" I am, quite simply, from the planet Earth, for I have yet to set foot on Mars. Someday, though...

© Thilde Kold Holdt