Chapter 49: The Dark One Stirs
To make this go a little faster, Iíve decided to do two chapters in a day if there are two in a row that are ten pages or less, like we have here. And as it happens, this one follows quite naturally from the last one. Now that we have such a good idea of what the Blight is like, itís time for our heroes to have to fight their way across it. And itís pretty much a Crowning Moment of Awesome
for the whole group, as we get to see what each of them gets up to in turn; Rand and Mat shouting the ancient war cries theyíve learned is particularly cool. Quite creepy description of the creatures, too, like the result of Playing with Syringes
on a giant scale.
This comes to a stop when all the monsters are chased away by Worms. Unfortunately, this is just because theyíre even worse, and while we never get a look at them, itís quite scary as everyone rides for their lives with little hope, and somehow doesnít seem that repetitive so soon after the Black Wind. The promise that something still worse is waiting past the mountains helps.
But thatís not for now, because they suddenly find themselves in the world of the Green Man, andÖIím pretty torn here. Heís been mentioned several times, along with this placeís knack for appearing where people most need it, but those mentions were vague enough to still have this feel a bit Deus ex Machina
. At least thereís a rule mentioned that people typically canít get in twice, though I wouldnít be surprised if it comes to help Thom somewhere down the line. Plus, the Green Man himself is Treebeard and Tom Bombadil smashed together, for what thatís worth. Itís also where the Eye of the World is, so this close to the end of the book, itís finally time to learn what the title means.
Another chapter with a ton of great buildup let down by a weak ending, though itís not as bad as the last one. I remain impressed with just how scary Jordan can make things when he needs to, though once you have the idea of giant bugs with useless legs on their backs the work is pretty much done for you. Now, on to the title object, and I certainly hope it lives up to all this.