We’re still with Egwene, and suddenly we get the reveal I called as immediately out of the Waygate they meet a group led by Suroth, a Seanchan who’s also working for the Dark One. Egwene is captured with a damane collar by a woman named Renna, who get very Evilly Affable
in her treating Egwene nicely, only because she sees her like a pet. Nynaeve and Elayne get away, and have an Offscreen Moment of Awesome
when the men sent after them return with three of them dead.
Suroth and Liandrin prove to have a very uneasy alliance, and probably the roots of an Enemy Civil War
, and then Liandrin leaves and Egwene has to take a lot of pain to save Min from the guard captain Elbar. And Renna’s easygoing enough to share how these slave collars were made, by an Aes Sedai who was quite surprised to find them turned against her. We also meet Alwhin, who’s basically the Bad Cop to Renna and will probably get killed by the end of the book, even if the rest survive to the next one.
Nynaeve and Elayne find themselves in the wilderness with little money, though they do know from the conversation they heard that they need to go to Falme. But first they need local clothes, which we can look forward to being described in detail.
Well, I asked for things to get more interesting for the girls, and this did not disappoint. The Seanchan continue to be really creepy in how most of them act like perfectly nice people who simply see nothing wrong with treating certain people like dogs. And Elayne suddenly has her character expanded a lot, with her braggadocio disappearing in the face of actual danger, and being perfectly willing to take lessons from someone more experienced with frugal living. All the book’s subplots are now on a collision course, so let’s watch the fun.