Chapter 18: The Caemlyn Road
After a couple days on the road, Nynaeve and Moiraine are constantly getting on each other’s nerves, which Jordan uses to give a handy excuse about why they’re still using the road. But before it can get too annoying, hundreds of Trollocs start coming up behind them. Lan goes back to get a look at them, letting Moiraine refer to him as “The last Lord of the Seven Towers,” which Rand thankfully is completely blank on, so we can look forward to that explanation.
There’s more ahead of them, so they’re forced off the road after all, and still run into some. The battle is pure chaos, and basically a giant Zerg Rush
, a very nice look at what it’s like in Rand’s head during this. Lan kills the Fade (as long as he’s using both words, I’ll be lazy again) which instantly incapacitates all the Trollocs, something really handy that you’d think they could have mentioned before. But there’s still a ton more, until Moiraine stops them all with an earthquake and a fire wave. I gave her getting them out of Baerlon, but using her again this way says Deus ex Machina
, and hence no CMOA distinction. At least she’s visibly weakened afterward, so there probably won’t be more of that. Also, Mat instinctively used the war cry of Maretheon, the city that became Two Rivers, and Egwene understood him. Which means…I have no idea.
Moiraine uses the last of her energy for the moment to make it look like they’re doubling back west, then they keep going north until they get to an abandoned city. And did I mention Moiraine didn’t want to go here, but Lan kept insisting it was the only place they could go to get through their current predicament? Yeah, Lan may say it’s called Shadar Logoth, but it’s Moria. Hey, I’ll stop when Jordan does.
Most of this one is the battle scene, which is very suspenseful and captures well the idea of being in that kind of fight for the first time. Shame how it ends, which really gave me the feeling that Jordan just wrote himself into a corner and brute forced his way out, despite the book making such a big deal earlier that Moiraine needs to conserve her energy. End on another obvious Lord of the Rings ripoff, and the chapter starts with a bang and ends with a whimper.