The cliffhanger is resolved just by them having to take a longer way around. Kind of a letdown, but then, what else could it be? Then Loial asks Rand if he thinks this whole thing will ever end, which is either Hilarious in Hindsight
or Harsher in Hindsight
depending on your point of view. Yes, thatís me having a laugh at all of you who have been waiting more than two decades for the end of this story, and still have almost a year to go, while Iíll be able to move right on to it when the time comes.
Thereís a pretty weird sequence where Egwene gets upset that Rand so much as talked to Min, only for Perrin to bring up her time with Aram. It serves no purpose except making Egwene look randomly petty and hypocritical, and even Mat bringing up the randy farmerís daughter doesnít help, since Rand never reciprocated her advances. Boo to the whole exchange.
Lan senses someone behind them, and Mat immediately fires an arrow, like an idiot. And to think I was hoping heíd get better without the dagger. Though this quite amusingly makes Loial into The Eeyore
and he keeps interrupting everyone elseís lines to complain about the situation. Thatís cut short too when they find a guidepost defaced by Trollocs, which answers how theyíve been getting around undetected. Iíd actually forgotten that was a question that needed answering, but itís great that it happened within the first book.
It gets worse when Lan finds some Trollocs that have been turned to stone, in terrible pain. And thereís no time to worry about that, as Rand hears the Black Wind, an Eldritch Abomination
thatís part of the Way, or something ancient that got trapped in it, and now just wants to steal peopleís souls. And you know, I could complain that itís a ripoff of the Balrog, but the race to get out is so intense that I didnít notice at all until I thought back on it. Iím also very impressed that what we have here is essentially the premise of The Happening
, and Jordan actually makes it scary.
Everyone does make it out, but Moiraineís You Shall Not Pass
ruins her staff. But she at least makes it herself, so we wonít be getting anything about Moiraine the White. And of course, now the problem becomes, where the hell are they? Well, thereís a map right afterwards (with an unfortunately screwy compass layout) that should help with that.
It seems Jordan got all the boredom of the Way out of his system last chapter, so this one could just be freaking terrifying. I was genuinely worried that some of these guys might not make it, and not at all because of the Balrog similarities, which as I noted I was too wrapped up to notice while reading. Though there is the unfortunate bit with Egwene, that might be the seriesí supposed sexism rearing its head. Iíll have to wait and see.