Wheel of Time Marathon – Book 10: Crossroads of Twilight

Started: 9/10/2015
Finished: 9/28/2015

Crossroads of Twilight continues Perrin’s search for his wife Faile. Perrin and his followers have located the Shaido camp, but are stumped at how to rescue Faile and the other captives, due to the sheer number of Shaido in the camp and the large number of Shaido Wise Ones who can channel that are with them. In his desperation, Perrin resorts to torturing Shaido prisoners, but they revealed little information of value and Perrin is so disgusted with himself, he hurls his ax away and leaves it stuck in a tree. Meanwhile, Faile and her followers are trying to work on an escape plan of their own, but it doesn’t go according to plan, due in large part to being betrayed by the captured Black Ajah Aes Sedai, Galina, who is attempting to blackmail Faile into stealing the oath rod from the Shaido. Faile does locate an unexpected potential source of help, in the form of an Aiel warrior who takes a romantic interest in Faile. In his desperation, Perrin begins to consider attempting an alliance with the Seanchan, in an attempt to drive the Shaido out.

Matt and his companions, including his future wife Tuon, are on the road with Luca’s traveling show, attempting to flee Seanchan controlled territory. Though he professes to not be ready for marriage, Matt begins to attempt to court Tuon, only to learn he had unintentionally initiated the process of actually making her his wife back in Ebou Dar when he spoke that she was his wife three times in front of witnesses. If Tuon declares Matt to be her husband in the same manner within a year and a day, they will be considered married by Seanchan custom. While Matt was away from the show with Tuon, one of the Sul’dam Egeanin blackmailed into helping them escape Ebou Dar stabbed Egeanin and then fled towards a nearby encampment of Seanchan. Egeanin revealed to Matt and Tuon that she had learned that the Sul’dam were all women who could learn to channel, a fact that disturbed Matt, because Tuon had revealed that one of her hobbies was training damane, which meant she probably also could learn to channel. Fearing that she intended to betray their location to the Seanchan, Matt pursued the Sul’dam and one of his men killed her. When Matt returned to the camp, he found that Tuon had bought Luca off with a letter placing him under her protection.

Back in Camelyn, Elayne continued to work at securing the Lion Throne, while the Black Ajah and her rivals continued to plot against her. It is also revealed that Elayne is pregnant with twins, though she keeps the indentity of the father a secret from all but her closest friends.

Rand learns that Logain has joined the Asha’man and Logain warns him about a potentially dangerous split in the Black Tower with Mazram Taim’s followers being set against Logain’s. Rand decides that he can not possibly deal with everything he has on his plate and fight the Seanchan too, so he sends Logain, Bashere and Loial to negotiate a truce with the Seanchan. Logain returns and informs Rand that the Seanchan have accepted, but they demand Rand appear before the “Daughter of the Nine Moons” first.

Egwene and the rebel Aes Sedai have begun their siege of Tar Valon, but are not making much progress. The rebels decide that they should attempt to negotiate with Elaida and also that they need to make a pact with the Black Tower. To make matters worse, the camp is on edge, due to sisters having been murdered by someone using Saidin. Egwene contrives a plan, which involves her ability to turn metal into cuendillar, but while she is attempting to put that plan into motion, she is captured by the White Tower, the result of an apparent betrayal by one of Egwene’s followers. Before she is captured, Egwene sees a bat like creature flying across the moon, which foreshadows an attack on the White Tower by the Seanchan, which Egwene has seen in one of her visions.

Inside the White Tower, Elaida has managed to wrest control away from Alviarin and in her desperation, Alviarin seeks help from Mesaana, only to find that Mesaana is on the outs with Shaidar Haran, who Alviarin believes to be the Dark Lord himself, taking on the form of a too tall myrddraal. Shaidar Haran marked Alviarin as his own and charged her with rooting out the sisters in the tower who were attempting to expose the Black Ajah.

All of the various groups begin to experience difficulty in finding food to eat, since the grain stores have become infested with weevils. Rats and other vermin are also on the rise, even in places formerly protected by Aes Sedai wards. In addition to the increase in vermin, strange happenings, like people thinking they see the dead walking also seem to be in the rise.

 

Wheel of Time Marathon – Book 9: Winter’s Heart

Started: 8/25/2015
Finished: 9/10/2015

Winter’s Heart begins with Perrin, Berelein and his other followers pursuing the Shaido Aiel who kidnapped Faile, Morgase and several others. Meanwhile, Faile and Morgase are plotting to arrange their own escape and receive an unexpected offer of help from the captive Aes Sedai, and unknown to them, member of the Black Ajah, Galina. Perrin also receives a potentially dangerous offer of help from Masema, AKA “The Profit.”

Elayne is working to secure her spot on the throne of Andor, while also dealing with the challenges of the bargain she and Nynaeve made with the Sea Folk and narrowly escaping an attempt on her life. As a result of the assassination attempt, Elayne agrees to allow her warder Birgitte to hire and train bodyguards. Elayne also consummates her relationship with Rand, after she, Min and Aviendha all bond him as a Warder. Min reveals that she has had a viewing that Elayne would become pregnant as a result. As part of her plan to secure Andor, Elayne met with the Borderlands army that was searching for Rand and reached an agreement with them that would send them into Murandy, however shortly after dealing with that army, she learns there are four armies approaching Camelyn and begins planning for war.

Mat has been living as Queen Tylin’s “toy” in Ebou Dar, while recovering from the injuries he suffered when a building fell on him, while he was searching for Olver during the Seanchan invasion. The Seanchan have captured the city and made Tylin one of the Blood. Darkfriend and High Lady Suroth, is in charge of the city, but is soon joined by a higher ranking member of the blood, Tuon, who is a daughter of the Empress. Tuon seems to take an interest in Matt and even offers to buy him from Tylin. When Suroth takes Tylin away to show her the lands she will rule in the Empress’ name, Matt plots to escape the city, but his plans are complicated by a request to smuggle two damane captives and an Aes Sedai who had not been captured out of Ebou Dar. Matt’s plans are further complicated by Egeanin, the Seanchan who assisted Elayne and Nynaeve in Tanchico, and Bayle Domon asking Matt to assist in getting them out of Ebou Dar before the Seekers arrest Egeanin for her activities in Tanchico. Matt decides to use Egeanin to assist him in freeing the damane and Aes Sedai and along with Thom Merrlin, Juilin, Olver and the surviving Redarms, the group attempts to flee the city. While attempting to get out of the palace, Matt encounters both Tylin and Tuon. Tylin agrees to allow Matt to tie her up and hide her under the bed, so that he can escape without getting her in trouble, but Tuon attempts to stop him from leaving. Matt manages to subdue Tuon and tie her up, but when he learns that she is the Daughter of the Nine Moons that he was fated to marry, he decides to take her with them instead of leaving her behind.

Rand is still focused on two things, hunting down and killing the Asha’man who tried to kill him in Cairhien and cleansing Saidin of the Dark One’s taint. Rand approached Nynaeve and asked her to assist him with cleansing the source, by linking with him and using the female Sa’Angreal that was one of the two most powerful ever made. Nynaeve agrees, but first Rand wants to take out the Asha’man, so he leaves for Far Madding with Nynaeve, a former damane named Alivia, who is even more powerful than Nynaeve, and Lan in tow. Cadsuane, along with a group of Aes Sedai, Seafolk and Asha’man follow Rand to Far Madding. Rand succeeds in killing one of the Asha’man, but a second escapes and then unknown to Rand is killed by Padan Fain. Fain sets a trap for Rand and kills two more of the Asha’man in the process. Rand springs the trap and confronts Fain, but he escapes, while Rand and Lan are injured in a fall and then captured by the guards in Far Madding. Cadsuane manages to arrange for their release and Rand moves on to his plan to cleanse the source.

Given the idea by the way the evil in the wound from Fain’s dagger seems to war with the evil in the wound he received during his battle with Ishamael, Rand travels to Shadar Logoth with Nynaeve, Lan, Cadsuane and their companions. Rand and Nynaeve link through the sa’angreal and Rand makes his attempt to cleanse the source, while Cadsuane organizes a defense against attacks by the Forsaken, who are drawn to Shadar Logoth by the massive amounts of the One Power being used by Rand and Nynaeve. Osan’gar, in the guise of Dashiva, one of the rogue Asha’man who attacked Rand, is killed by an Aes Sedai, who is actually a member of the Black Ajah, during the battle. The fate of the other Forsaken who joined the battle is not revealed, though it is strongly suggested that one of the Forsaken is Lanfear, returned from captivity with the Aelfinn and Eelfinn, though either her apperance is changed or she is in a new body like Osan’gar and she has been made a prisoner of Moridin. Rand’s companions suffer some losses, but manage to defeat the Forsaken and the Asha’man believe that Rand was successful in cleansing the source, since they can no longer feel the taint, though Cadsuane remains skeptical.