Rand has a dream that includes what’s clearly the mountain from the end of the prologue, then going through a city until the Myrddraal greets him inside a building. Except it takes much longer than that, dragging the Padding
out just enough to be irritating. I’d heard that was an issue with these books, and this is the first time I really noticed it.
Rand has a last conversation with Tam, where he keeps delaying bringing up the story about finding him after a battle until Lan drags him out of the room right when he’s about to get to it. Oh, for god’s sake. We know it’s true. It wouldn’t be in the book if it wasn’t. So what the hell is the point of dragging out the confirmation like this, especially as Rand has spent the last couple chapters wanting to ask Tam about it as soon as he could? On the plus side, we learn that Warders are people given enhanced physical abilities by the Aes Sedai, in exchange for something no one really knows.
And things really improve from there, as the people of Emond’s Field have been stirred into a “post hoc ergo propter hoc” mob to get Moiraine out of town as the one who brought the Trollocs. Even though she’s about to leave anyway. This results in a Crowning Moment of Awesome
when Bran steps up to Shame The Mob
with how Moiraine did so much healing for them afterwards. And Moiraine picks it up by illustrating how far these people have fallen; they’re descendants of a great city that was destroyed in an epic battle with the Dark One’s forces which ended in both sides being wiped out. That gets everyone to go home…so Moiraine can still do what they wanted. Well, if it gets this story moving I’m all for it.
The chapter’s first half is quite problematic with my being reminded uncomfortably of LOST
: a dream sequence that just offers some Padding
, though the Scenery Porn
can be nice at times, followed by a horrible case of Cannot Spit It Out
that completely goes against Rand’s previous characterization, to no purpose. But Moiraine’s story really lets it end with a bang. I was riveted the whole way through, even though it was all about people who have nothing to do with what’s going on. It makes me look forward to what Jordan can do when his actual protagonists get into battle.