Rand has one of the most disturbing nightmares yet, with him, Mat, and Perrin trapped in a room with Fades and Trollocs trying to get in, Mat stabbed by his dagger and Perrin having clawed out his wolf eyes. Thanks for that, right when Iím rereading The Sandman
. He wakes up and talks to Nynaeve for a bit, and we learn that Amalisaís search for him is well underway, plus Egwene went down to talk to Fain, though I doubt sheís the person from the end of the last chapter. And Iím reassured that I didnít misread the climax of the last book, as Rand is sure he killed the Dark One and is just as confused at people talking like heís still alive.
And then shit gets real.
The city is attacked by Trollocs and Fades, and itís pure chaos as Rand runs around, trying to get to the dungeons to check on Egwene. Rather amusingly, he runs into some of the Aes Sedai who want to kill him as well as Siuan, and his reaction to both is pretty much ďOh, I donít have time for this.Ē Heís saved from a Fade by Ingtar, a Fal Dara soldier I havenít mentioned before but I now think heíll become more important. This bit also features some Talking Is A Free Action
as the Fade lets them have a whole conversation about how Rand shouldnít be ashamed to run from this fight, but itís more justified than most as it was earlier noted that the Fade was in ďno hurry.Ē
Rand enters the dungeon with an Unnecessary Combat Roll
, a fun little reminder that despite everything thatís happened, he really doesnít have much fighting experience so far. And the front room has a ton of messy remains which make him throw up. More grounding him away from being the perfect hero; I like it. Thatís when Liandrin comes in and tries to kill him with a quite scary crushing spell, until Moiraine arrives and she has to stop.
They find Fain gone and Egwene and Mat unconscious, with Matís dagger gone too, so they need to separate him from it Right Now. And I get a bit of a laugh that Liandrin doesnít know about it, and the two of them completely ignore her asking about it. Not so fun on the other end of the cryptic, is it, bitch? Ingtar also survived, and lets Rand know that the Horn is gone. You people have one thing to do. Also, the Trollocs were helped by someone inside the city, and there was no order to keep everyone in, so it was probably that stableboy. And Lan lets Rand know that heís now becoming a Memetic Badass
in the city just from his randomly running around, and should leave soon before he gets too much attention.
Like I indicated with that little callback, this is very reminiscent of book one, with several slow chapters setting things up, interrupted by a sudden Trolloc attack. I hope this isnít going to be a regular thing, as it would get pretty darn tiresome. Though here it works, as thereís so much more going on than in Emondís Field, and the different warring parties make it much more than just a simple battle sequence. With the Horn stolen, I now have much less idea what will happen from here on, and Iím still looking forward to finding out.