Chapter 4: Summoned
Hey, a Moiraine viewpoint! Awesome. She’s from a city called Cairhien, pretty near to Tar Valon, conveniently enough, and has gotten a lot of mileage out of making a reputation for being able to do spells that she really can’t. Already, I’m far more invested in her. We also meet two other Aes Sedai, Anaiya, who’s kind of like Captain Carrot
, getting by due to people assuming her Lawful Good
personality is an act, and Liandrin, who’s from the Red Ajah and is therefore a huge bitch. And she’s also from Tarabon; Bors will probably figure into that somehow.
Now that we’re done being reminded of what’s already happened, it’s time for a giant infodump of new information. And boy is that refreshing. Three more false Dragons have popped up at the same time, there are riots in Caemlyn even with the winter ended, Elayne and Gawyn have made it to Tar Valon (hey, score one half for me), people called the Sea Folk who I’m guessing are from those islands on the map are looking for their own Chosen One the Coramoor, and Tarabon and Arad Doman are arguing over the land between them, right to the west of Two Rivers. I’m assuming this is Bors’ handiwork.
Also of note: they run into Agelmar’s sister Amalisa, who is rumored to be an Action Girl
, and Liandrin is oddly friendly with her. Plus, we learn there’s seven Ajahs, which threw me as I’d been assuming there were only two. Browns are scholars who keep out of everyone else’s way, Greens have typically been allied with Blues but are now changing their minds, and there’s Yellows and Whites who we learn nothing about here. With one more to be revealed.
After we meet the Aemerlyn Seat’s assistant Leane, Moiraine talks with the woman herself, Siuan Sanche, from a poor fishing family in Tear. She lets Moiraine know that Elaida came to Tar Valon too because she’s just that determined to screw with Rand, and that everything that’s been happening is enough to seriously destabilize the Aes Sedai power structure for the first time in thousands of years. But then, a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming
as she orders Leane out and casts a silence spell just so they can hug, and talk like old schoolfriends. This is more like it.
After the book’s rather slow start, this chapter gives it a huge shot in the arm. Moiraine’s perspective sheds a new light on everything, and we get a ton of useful information about the Aes Sedai and what’s been going on in the world. And the reveal that Siuan is a Reasonable Authority Figure
lends more credence to my thinking that Rand has been making a big deal over nothing. We even learn what the book’s title refers to, as a couple characters explicitly bring up the Great Hunt for the Horn of Valere, which for some reason Moiraine elects to keep under wraps. That mystery, as well as what Liandrin is up to, also make things much more engaging than before. Hopefully this signals the start of the book taking off.