Chapter 26: Whitebridge
Randís group arrives in Whitebridge, and thereís a ton of detail about the docking procedure that I really donít care about, and is nothing that hasnít been done before. Much better is the White Bridge itself, which has a beautiful description and is the first time Iíve actually been interested in fanart. Doman orders Gelb off the ship, and he just goes without incident, though heís obviously going to cause some trouble later or the book wouldnít have spent this much time on him. At least, I hope. He also considers the work the guys did during the trip to have been payment enough, so he gives them their money back.
Thom orders Rand and Mat to pass through town as quietly as possible, but amusingly enough itís actually him who attracts all the attention dressed as a gleeman. They stop at an apparently random inn, where the owner Bartim gives them the news that Logain has been captured by an Aes Sedai army, and is being marched to Tar Valon. Theyíll pass through Caemlyn, so obviously Perrin and Egwene are going to run into him there.
Also, people from Ilian, way in the south according to the map, and where Domanís going, are searching for the Horn of Valere that will end the world according to a legend thatís received several passing mentions before. Itíll be fun if they ever run into the Tinkers. And then Thom brings up the other people theyíre looking for, causing Bartim to freak out, saying a shifty guy was asking about them a week ago. None of them know who it is, but Iím calling that itís Fain, though I have no idea why heíd be looking for them. And then Bartim mentions that a Fade is now looking for them too. Plus, Gelb walks in and starts talking about them, though Iím pretty sure this isnít the last weíll hear of him.
After a perusal of their assets (including Rand finding that Doman kept his tracking coin, so Moiraineís probably going to run into him instead soon) they escape through a back window and Thom gives more backstory: his nephew was killed by the Aes Sedai, though heís extremely vague about why or how. Theyíre instantly spotted by the Fade upon leaving the alley, giving Thom a Crowning Moment Of Awesome
as he tackles
the thing to let Rand and Mat get away. And note that I didnít call it a Dying Moment of Awesome
, as we didnít see him die, so heís not (yes, I am expecting to see Syrio Forel
again). They head toward Caemlyn, and an inn called the Queenís Blessing that Thom told them about, without explaining why they should go there. Thatís kind of becoming his thing.
A pretty nice split between infodumping and plot advancement here, as well as setting up the different storylines to cross paths in new ways. The hint at Thomís backstory is kind of irritating in its similarity to the kind of exchanges youíd get on LOST
, but unlike a lot of those itís actually justified by them not having much time to talk, so he just gives the basics. The story is now really starting to expand beyond this one trip, making it a bit clearer how this story can last 14 books.