In this installment, Rand is still trying to sway the Aiel to unite under him, hence the trip to their holy city of Rhuidean. Mat is with him, and rash Mat makes some questionable choices (much to my amusement). But out of this we have Rand showing leadership skills, and Mat just beginning to realize his potential.
Additionally, we have Elayne and Nynaeve traveling around. One of them gets a Warder! But I won’t spoil it and say who. There is also a circus involved.
Alas, this book has no Perrin and no Loial, so that makes me a little sad. And there are some lengthy scenes that focus on clothing. Sigh…..But Nynaeve turns one of those scenes around with her defiant chat with the person who founded the fanatical religious order that flies a flag in Rand’s name (without his consent).
If you’ve been following the series, then you know Lanfear. Lanfear makes some crucial decisions, and they have lasting, detrimental affects. I won’t spoil it, but one of the best scenes of the series so far lies at Lanfear’s feet.
Near the end, there is a little plot twist that didn’t sit well with me. It’s probably a minor thing in the bigger scheme of things, but it still rubbed me the wrong way. There’s a bit of a battle at the end and we are lead to believe 2-3 characters die, but then they don’t. I definitely become more invested in a series when characters can be, will be hurt, even killed. Not nearly hurt or nearly killed. Not reversed by some previously unknown mystical mechanics. Anyway, just my 2 cents on that one.
Overall, a fun installment in the series even if I did miss Perrin, wondering how things turned out in Emond’s Field.
The Narration: As always, Kate Reading and Michael Kramer did an excellent job. I really like how they attempt to do the Seanchan accent.