We’ve skipped the whole process of Mat being healed, so I guess there wasn’t anything important there we couldn’t surmise anyway. But it’s clarified that they’ve only bought him a few months, and they need the dagger back to fully separate him, which of course would entail someone else having to carry it back.
But for now Moiraine and Siuan have a chat about a prophecy left on the dungeon wall, along with another Aes Sedai they let help, Verin, an extremely old Brown and The Spock
. The high points are that Lanfear, another of the Forsaken and Lews Therin’s girlfriend before he met his wife, is now wandering around, and the Watchers, who I’m pretty sure we heard about in book one but I may be remembering something else, are coming back. In either case, Jordan is nice enough to give us a recap that they’re the descendants of the army Artur Hawkwing led across the ocean that never returned. And one thing I need to compliment is that while book one had a couple bad pieces of As You Know
, that problem is solved here; much like Chloe O’Brien
or Walter Bishop
, it’s fully believable that the quasi-autistic Verin would prattle on like this about things everyone in the room already knows.
Then things get a lot more interesting when Verin reveals that she’s figured out one of the three guys is the Dragon. And she’s not going to tell anyone…because she wants to study his breakdown from the One Power. I’m really liking this woman now.
Perrin sees that Mat is okay, and we learn he was hanging out in the garden during the whole attack, right before which one of Amalisa’s flunkies was about to call the Aes Sedai on him. So, Liandrin also wants any handy bargaining chips, I guess. He meets Rand, and to my surprise and gratitude they actually have a real conversation about Rand’s jerky behavior, and he explains it as much as he can. It ends on a bad note when Rand says he still can’t stay with them, but it’s more than I was expecting at this point.
Lan comes in next, and informs Rand that Siuan wants to see him. Again. And this time there’s really, truly no getting out of it. But we still have to endure a quite long sequence of Lan telling him how to act, and getting dressed in a whole new outfit (which I’ve gathered is a big thing in this series I’ll have to get used to), the one important part of which is the armband with the symbol of Manetheren, which Lan had made for him. And now can we please be done with the stalling on this? How much else can possibly get in the way?
More infodump to start out with, and this one widens the story’s scope substantially, making it a bit more clear how this series lasted so long. And I really hope we see more of Verin, as she really tied the whole scene together and made what might have been clunky exposition actually work. The rest of the chapter is less interesting, though Rand and Perrin’s talk is much appreciated. And it doesn’t hurt that it ends with a promise that Rand is finally going in to see Siuan.