Thereís a few pages spent just on how hard a time Perrin and Egwene have in the wilderness; the bit about having to live entirely on bad-tasting plants particularly gets to a carnivore like me. It also doesnít help that they havenít sorted out their leadership issues, though Perrin thinks of himself as the leader, apparently just because heís a man. Nice.
After two days they smell a fire, belonging to the quite strange Elyas Machera. Heís a nature man whoís been following them all this time, and finally took pity on them and let them notice him. After the predictable bit of informing them theyíve been going the wrong way, he reveals a wolf pack who are his friends: Dapple, Burn, Hopper, and Wind. Thatís the cue for more exposition: he realized he could talk to wolves at a young age, which has led to him walking away from civilization. And the wolves say Perrin has the ability too, which he tries to deny even as he starts catching bits of what theyíre saying. Okay, that sort of thing is starting to get annoying now. They can also sniff out lies, so Perrin and Egwene give the whole story of whatís happened, and Elyas invites himself to join them and try to keep them alive. Although Burnís not too happy about it, and is kind of like Ben from Willard
, so thatíll be a problem.
Itís a daring move to spend a whole chapter just introducing a new character at this point, but luckily Elyas earns that time well. His backstory is fascinating and adds a great bit of world building, and I was quite excited when he announced that he would join them. The interplay between Perrin and Egwene also continues to be pretty fun, and Elyas should add a nice wrinkle to that.