Chapter 53: The Wheel Turns
Everyone makes their way out of the Blight, seeing that its territory has receded, possibly away from Lanís country, and get all the way back to Fal Daran, where spring has finally come. Moiraine insists on talking to Agelmar, and shows him the Horn of Valere, which his men will have to escort to Illian, probably with at least one of our heroes.
A week later, Rand has progressed a bit in his sword training (though we still donít know what the heron mark on Tamís sword means) and Egwene comes in so we can get a look at what to expect in book two. Everyone else is going to Tar Valon, Egwene and Nynaeve for training with the One Power, Mat to get the daggerís hold removed permanently, and Perrin just as a tourist. But Rand is too freaked out by his own use of it, and is going into isolation for a while so he wonít hurt anyone if he goes insane. And Moiraine is listening to the whole conversation and muses on how this is all as it should be, and ďthe Dragon is Reborn.Ē What that means, will also have to wait for future books.
Just a bit of tidying up here, and nothing more really worth talking about. So Iíll just move straight into my thoughts on the whole book. Itís definitely a flawed work, and I got the sense at times that Jordan hadnít quite nailed down everything he wanted the series to be while he was writing it. Thereís a few weird character inconsistencies, the middle section is pretty heavy on Wacky Wayside Tribes
, and the obvious Lord of the Rings inspirations could get pretty annoying. But what does work, works very well. Every area we see has its own identity and sense of history, when it could have easily just seemed like a jumble of clichťs. Each of the main characters has their own personalities that interact in different but equally interesting ways, so that by the end I was truly invested in all of them. And Jordan is able to keep up a constant level of danger, with most of the book after the first third essentially being one long chase scene, without it becoming tedious, with the different character groups helping a lot. And finally, there are a couple odd moments with the female characters, but so far Iím seeing little justification for the sexism people say the series is full of. Moiraine, Egwene, and Nynaeve are all strong, well-developed characters, and Elayne is easily the most interesting of the people our heroes meet along the way. So, Iíd say thereís more good here than bad, and I look forward to continuing with The Great Hunt, starting tomorrow.