Chapter 18: To the White Tower
What we have here is basically a chapter-long Break the Haughty
for Nynaeve, and it’s pretty darn fun. I said earlier that I liked how Nynaeve’s suspicions about the Aes Sedai were understandable, but after she’s clung to them as we’ve gotten a more nuanced view of the group, plus a couple chapters from Moiraine’s viewpoint that prove she really does just want what’s best for everyone, she's gotten a bit tiresome.
Siuan personally gives her and Egwene a lesson, and deals with Nynaeve’s challenging her by tightening the air around both of them, a move quite reminiscent of the wind almost throwing Rand off the tower, so now I’m thinking Liandrin was behind that. Nynaeve breaks out for a second, but Siuan quickly gets control back, and since Nynaeve is now revealed to be kind of like the Hulk, her connection to the One Power only working if she’s very angry, the rest of the training consists of putting her through more humiliation, and Siuan ends by saying that she’s only staying on because she has enough raw power to skip novice training and go right to being one of the Accepted.
They arrive in Tar Valon, with more Scenery Porn
. Some of the best yet, in fact, that again has me very interested in fanart. And it’s subtly implied that it’s on the island created by that mountain Lews Therin made when he died; I’m kind of proud of picking that up with so much stuff to remember about this world. They meet Sheriam, the novice instructor, who completes the breaking by letting them know what Siuan gave them is actually Accepted testing, and it’s Nynaeve and not Egwene who’s in for more of it. A combined Crowning Moment of Awesome
and Crowning Moment of Funny
all the way through.
So, one and a half books for two of our heroes to get to the place they were originally headed. It’s actually pretty good time considering how much longer the series goes. After the increasing darkness of the Rand story, this chapter was a ton of fun and quite a breath of fresh air. I hope it continues like this, with Egwene and Nynaeve’s story being the occasional comic relief, which Elayne and Gawyn should also help with.