Read Every Stephen King Novel – Book List

Here is a list of every Stephen King novel that has been published to date:

1974 Carrie
1975 ‘Salem’s Lot
1977 The Shining
1977 Rage
1978 The Stand
1979 The Long Walk
1979 The Dead Zone
1980 Firestarter
1981 Roadwork
1981 Cujo
1982 The Running Man
1982 The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger
1983 Christine
1983 Pet Sematary
1983 Cycle of the Werewolf Land of Enchantment
1984 The Talisman
1984 Thinner
1986 It
1987 The Eyes of the Dragon
1987 The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three
1987 Misery
1987 The Tommyknockers
1989 The Dark Half
1991 The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands
1991 Needful Things
1992 Gerald’s Game
1992 Dolores Claiborne
1994 Insomnia
1995 Rose Madder
1996 The Green Mile
1996 Desperation
1996 The Regulators
1997 The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass
1998 Bag of Bones
1999 The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
2000 The Plant
2001 Dreamcatcher
2001 Black House
2002 From a Buick 8
2003 The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla
2004 The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah
2004 The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower
2005 The Colorado Kid Hard Case Crime
2006 Cell
2006 Lisey’s Story
2007 Blaze
2008 Duma Key
2009 Under the Dome
2011 11/22/63
2012 The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole
2013 Joyland Hard Case Crime
2013 Doctor Sleep
2014 Mr. Mercedes
2014 Revival
2015 Finders Keepers
2016 End of Watch
2017 Sleeping Beauties

Here is a list of the collections of short stories he has written:

1978 Night Shift
1982 Different Seasons
1985 Skeleton Crew
1985 The Bachman Books
1990 Four Past Midnight
1993 Nightmares & Dreamscapes
1999 Hearts in Atlantis
2002 Everything’s Eventual
2008 Just After Sunset
2010 Full Dark, No Stars
2015 The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

The Hobbit – Lord of the Rings – 100 Best Books

The Hobbit

Started: 5/2/2016

Finished: 7/15/2016

The Hobbit is the prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. I have included this series as a whole, as one entry on my list of the 100 Best Books of All Time and on my list of the 100 Best Sci Fi and Fantasy Books.

The Hobbit Plot Summary (Spoilers):

A wizard, named Gandalf, arranges a surprise meeting between a Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins and a company of Dwarves, lead by Thorin Oakenshield, who are on a quest to recover their lost home and treasure from the clutches of a dragon named Smaug.

Bilbo is reluctant to join the Dwarves’ quest, in spite of Gandalf nominating him as the Dwarves’ burglar, but eventually he is persuaded/manipulated into joining the expedition.

The company must traverse The Wild on their way to The Lonely Mountain, where Thorin’s people once ruled. Along the way, they confront Goblins, Spiders and Elves. With some help from Gandalf, the Eagles and a shapeshifter named Beorn, the company manages to overcome these obstacles and reach their destination.

While lost in the Goblin tunnels, Bilbo finds a magic ring, which renders its wearer invisible. Bilbo encounters a strange creature named Gollum,  who challenges him to a game of riddles. Bilbo wins the game, but when Gollum discovers he has lost his precious ring and begins to suspect Bilbo of taking it, Gollum flies into a rage and attempts to kill Bilbo and take the ring. Bilbo uses the ring to turn invisible and escape Gollum and the tunnels.

Bilbo, who is thought of as something of a joke at the outset of the expedition, earns the respect of the Dwarves on the quest by using his magic ring to assist them in escaping first from the Spiders and then from the Wood Elves’ dungeon.

Bilbo is also instrumental in figuring out how to unlock the door to get into The Lonely Mountain and confront Smaug. Once inside, Bilbo uses his ring to scout out the Dragon’s treasure hoard. Bilbo discovers a gem called the Arkenstone, which he steals and then hides, and the dragon Smaug’s weak spot while scouting the treasure hoard. Bilbo shares the dragon’s weakness with the Dwarves, which an old Thrush overhears, but he keeps his possession of the Arkenstone, which Thorin has been searching for, a secret.

When Smaug discovers some of his treasure missing, he is enraged and having learned of the lakemen’s assistance to the dwarves from Bilbo, during his scouting mission, Smaug leaves the mountain and attacks the lake-town. The old Thrush shares the dragon’s weak spot with Bard, who leads the defense for the lakemen. Bard exploits the dragon’s weakness and kills him with an arrow.

The lakemen and a company of Wood Elves march on The Lonely Mountain and demand a share of the treasure as compensation for the destruction of the Lake-Town and Bard’s slaying of Smaug, but Thorin refuses and summons the aid of his relatives to fight Bard’s men and the Elves.

In an effort to avoid a war, Bilbo gives Bard the Arkenstone, so that Bard may  use it to bargain with Thorin. Thorin is enraged and casts Bilbo out. War seems imminent between the Dwarves and the coalition of men and elves, but Gandalf arrives warning of an attack by a large force of Goblins.

The Dwarves band together with Bard’s forces, but are nearly defeated. The Eagles and the shapeshifter Beorn join the battle just in time to fend off the Goblins, but Thorin is fatally wounded in the fighting. Before Thorin dies, he reconciles with Bilbo. Bard buries Thorin with the Arkenstone and Thorin’s successor, Dain, awards Bard his promised share of the treasure.

Bard offers Bilbo his fair share of the treasure, but Bilbo refuses. However, thanks to the treasure they hid after confronting the Trolls, Bilbo still returns home a wealthy man. Bilbo learns that while Gandalf was separated from the Dwarves, he had been meeting with other wizards and organizing a force to drive an evil being called The Necromancer out of the The Wild.

Bilbo is forced to deal with some legal issues and loss of reputation upon his return, having been presumed dead and become considered a bit reckless and foolish for running off on his adventure with Gandalf and the Dwarves. However, Bilbo lives quite happily, enjoys friendship with Dwarves, Men and Elves and often tells the tale of his adventures, and eventually records them in a book. Bilbo gifts most of his wealth to his nieces and nephews, making him a very popular uncle. However, he keeps his magic ring a secret for all of his many years.

The Hobbit Commentary (Spoilers):

Though their are some grim moments in The Hobbit, most of the novel has quiet a light-hearted tone to it. Bilbo and his companions get into one scrape after another, but there is much singing and joking and general frivolity throughout the adventure.

The story is an enjoyable tale about Bilbo’s transformation from a timid fellow who has no desire to ever leave his Hobbit Hole to a bold adventurer, who while not always entirely successful, plays a pivotal role in defeating the dragon Smaug and makes a valiant, if not exactly successful, attempt to avert a war fueled by Thorin’s greed and lust for treasure.

Bilbo returns home a different Hobbit and his actions on this journey set in motion the epic events to come in the far darker and more dramatic tale told in The Lord of the Rings.

 

 

 

Wheel of Time Marathon – Book 13: Towers of Midnight

Started: 2/12/2016
Finished: 5/2/2016

Towers of Midnight begins with a confrontation between Perrin and Slayer in the Wolf Dream. Perrin’s progress to Caemlyn is blocked by Galad and the White Cloaks, who still want Perrin to face justice for killing two White Cloaks during the Two Rivers’ folks flight from Shadar Logoth. Not wanting to needlessly kill warriors who will be needed at The Last Battle, Perrin attempts to come to a peaceful resolution with the White Cloaks, but battle seems unavoidable. However, when Galad discovers that his stepmother Morgase is alive and posing as a servant in Perrin’s camp, Perrin agrees to be put on trial, with Morgase as the judge.

Morgase finds Perrin guilty in the trial, but Perrin persuades Galad to hold off on passing his judgement until The Last Battle is over. Meanwhile, Perrin discovers that Slayer is using a device that both traps wolves in the wolf dream and prevents gateways, effectively blocking Perrin from using Traveling to move his forces towards Caemlyn. With the help of Hopper and some other wolves, Perrin confronts Slayer in the Wolf Dream and seizes the device, called a dreamspike, and proceeds to move it away from his location, so that the Asha’man can make gateways to move his people. Perrin makes his way to Tar Valon with the dreamspike, with Slayer in pursuit.

Rand visits the White Tower and informs Egwene that he intends to break the seals on the Dark One’s prison. Rand requests that Egwene meet him at the Field of Merrilor in the Borderlands at a future date. Convinced that Rand’s plan is insane, Egwene persuades the rulers of most of the great nations to bring their armed forces at meet her at the Field of Merrilor to stop Rand from breaking the seals.

Meanwhile, Egwene is attempting to find and capture Mesaana in the White Tower. Gawyn requests that Egwene make him her warder, but she refuses, due to the fact that Gawyn keeps messing up her plans by insisting on protecting her. When Gawyn interrupts one of Egwene’s schemes to trap Mesaana, while battling with a Seanchan assassin, Egwene becomes furious and Gawyn leaves Tar Valon to visit his sister in Caemlyn.

Egwene then switches tactics and decides to draw Mesaana out by arranging an important looking meeting with Wise Ones and Sea Folk Windfinders in Tel’aran’rhiod. Egwene’s plan works and Mesanna and the Black Ajah attack. Mesanna attempts to leave Tar Valon, intending to draw Egwene into a trap, but is unable to travel, because Perrin has moved the dreamspike within range of the Tower. With neither party able to leave the Tower, the two factions are forced to square off. Mesaana temporarily captures Egwene with an a’dam, but Egwene uses her superior knowledge and ability in Tel’aran’rhiod to escape the a’dam and break Mesaana’s mind.

While Egwene is battling with Mesaana in the dream world, Gawyn learns from a captured sul’dam in Caemlyn, that the assassin he fought in the Tower was sent by the Seanchan, not by Mesaana and Gawyn rushes back to Tar Valon via a gateway to warn Egwene. Gawyn arrives just in time, as three assassins are closing in on a sleeping Egwene. Gawyn manages to barely fight off the assassins. When Egwene wakes, she discovers Gawyn is badly injured and bonds him as her Warder in order to keep him alive long enough to be healed.

In the Wolf Dream, Slayer kills Hopper, but Perrin is able to destroy the dreamspike by throwing it into a lava pit created by a nightmare and then escapes Slayer be returning to the real world. Perrin discovers that the trap the Forsaken had intended to snare Perrin’s army in, is about to be sprung on the White Cloaks and decides to use his army to save them. Because of his efforts in the battle, Galad decides to pass a light sentence on Perrin. An infuriated Byar attempts to kill Perrin, but Dain Bornhald, who was convinced during Perrin’s trial that he did not kill his father,  kills Byar instead. Graendal, who had been responsible for the dreamspike and the failed attempt to destroy Perrin and his army, is punished by Shadar Haran for her failure and her role in Mesaana’s death, due to the dreamspike being taken to Tar Valon.

Back in Caemlyn, Matt finally meets up with Elayne, after another run in with the Gholam. Matt makes a bargain with Elayne to get his dragons put into production. As part of the bargain, Matt agrees to lend the Band of the Red Hand’s services to the defense of Andor, allows Elayne to study his foxhead medallion and attempt to copy it and agrees to split the dragons with Elayne. Elayne succeeds in making some imperfect copies of the medallion, which Matt uses in a trap he set for the Gholam. With the help of some of the Band members and one of the Kinswomen, Matt manages to cause the Gholam to fall into a skimming gateway.

Perrin makes his way back to Caemlyn and Elayne learns that her mother is still alive, but has renounced the throne. Morgase convinces Elayne to allow Perrin to be an official lord in the Two Rivers. Elayne impresses some of her rivals for the Cairhien throne with a display of the dragons’ power and manipulates them into helping her secure the throne of Cairhien.

Though Perrin’s clash with Slayer in the Wolf Dream has helped him to accept the wolf part of his nature, Perrin mourns the loss of his friend Hopper and attempts to bring him back in the Wolf Dream, but fails. Before his death, Hopper instructed Perrin to seek out a wolf named Boundless. Perrin finds Boundless and discovers that he is the man named Noam, that Perrin set free long ago, believing the man had been consumed by the wolf. Perrin learns that Noam actually chose to live as a wolf, instead of a man, because his life as a man had been so difficult and full of pain. This greatly reduces Perrin’s fear that he will someday be consumed by the wolf and cease to be a man.

Aviendha encounters a strange woman on the way to Rhuidean, who causes her to question whether the A’iel should continue with their traditions and return to the three-fold land, now that the purpose behind those traditions is gone. She uses her unique ability with ter’angreal to pass through the glass columns in Rhuidean a second time and the columns reveal to her a possible future in which Aviendha and Rand’s children touch off a series of events that will lead to the destruction of the A’iel and the fall of the White Tower and much of the rest of the world to the Seanchan. Aviendha is horrified by what she sees in the columns and determines to attempt to find a way to prevent the future she has seen from happening.

Matt, Thom and Noal enter the Tower of Ghenjei, hoping to rescue Moiraine. The three take along fire, musical instruments and iron weapons to assist in their confrontation with the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn. When they have difficulty navigating in the tower, Matt uses his luck to choose their path and the three are eventually able to reach the Chamber of Bonds, where he hopes to make a binding bargain that will allow him to escape the tower with Moiraine.

Matt discovers Moiraine a prisoner in the Chamber of Bonds and realizing the meaning of the foretelling he received that he would “Give up half the light of the world to save the world,” agrees to allow the Eelfinn to take one of his eyes, in exchange for safe passage out of the Tower with Moiraine. Unfortunately, Matt forgets about the Aelfinn when he makes his bargain, which only ensures that the Eelfinn will not attack, and the Aelfinn block Matt and his friends from escaping the Tower. Noal, who is really Jain Farstrider, sacrifices himself to hold off the Aelfinn long enough for Matt and Thom to attempt to escape with Moiraine. Unfortunately, Matt is unable to find a way out of the Tower and resigns himself to dying in the Tower, before it occurs to him that the ashandarei he received from the Eelfinn is actually a key that will allow him to escape the Tower. Matt uses the key to open an exit and escapes the Tower with Thom and Moiraine. After their escape, Moiraine reveals that the Eelfinn fed off her ability with the One Power, leaving her capacity greatly diminished, though she was able to mitigate this by making a bargain with them that gained her a powerful angreal that allows her to channel at a much greater capacity than before she was imprisoned, even though unaided, she is no longer strong enough to even be raised as an accepted. Moiraine also reveals her feelings for Thom and the pair agree to get married.

Egwene, Elayne, Perrin and the rulers of most of the powerful nations all converge on the Field of Merrilor to either aid or attempt to stop Rand from breaking the seals on the Dark One’s prison.

Back at Caemlyn, after unexpectedly winning the game of Snakes and Foxes, Olver discovers and decides to open the letter Verin gave to Matt. Talmanes reads the letter and learns that Verin had thought Matt would open it after only a few days and had included a warning that a large force of Shadowspawn were converging on Caemlyn via the Ways. Verin’s letter warns Matt to convince Elayne to destroy the Waygate before they arrive.

Talmanes rushes off, sword drawn, only to discover that Caemlyn is already under attack. Talmanes marshals the Band to defend Caemlyn and prevent the dragons from falling into enemy hands.

 

Wheel of Time Marathon – Book 12: The Gathering Storm

Started: 11/10/2015
Finished: 2/11/2016

The Gathering Storm is the final book of The Wheel of Time series that was begun before the passing of original series author Robert Jordan on September 19, 2007 from cardiac amyloidosis. Brandon Sanderson took over the book and the remainder of the series, based on notes Jordan had produced before his death.

As the novel begins, Rand is in Arad Doman, searching for the Forsaken Graendal and Rand’s Aes Sedai allies are busy interrogating Semirhage, who was captured after attacking Rand in the previous novel.

Just as Cadsuane seems to be making progress in breaking Semirhage, Shaidar Haran frees Semirhage from her captivity and provides her with the domination band, a sort of male a’dam, which she uses, with the aid of a Black sister named Elza, to capture and control Rand. Semirhage uses the domination band to force Rand to attack and nearly kill Min, but Rand, in desperation and unable to embrace Saidin while under Semirhage’s control, uses the True Power, through his link to Moridin, to free himself from the domination band and then to destroy Semirhage and Elza with balefire. Disturbed by both his nearly being forced to kill his lover Min and flashbacks to his imprisonment in the box by Elaida’s followers, Rand resolves to become hard and emotionless. Blaming Cadsuane for both Sermirhage’s escape and for not keeping the domination band safely locked away, Rand banished Cadsuane from his sight, under pain of death.

Still hoping to forge an alliance and avoid having to battle the Seanchan and the Dark One at the same time, Rand arranges a meeting with Tuon at Falm. However, Rand’s new cold demeanor and the aura of darkness that surrounds him since his use of the True Power concerns Tuon and she refuses to ally with him, unless he agrees to submit to the will of the Crystal Throne first. Rand refuses and departs and Tuon decides to proceed with a raid on the White Tower, hoping to strengthen her own forces, while weakening the Dragon Reborn by capturing as many Aes Sedai as possible and leashing them as damane.

Rand determines that he can not save Arad Doman from the Seanchan, but before he leaves, he seeks out and destroys Graendal, by completely obliterating her palace and all of the people in it, with balefire and the aid of the Choedan Kal. His actions greatly disturb Nynaeve and Min, who seek Cadsuane’s assistance in bringing Rand back from the brink of madness, before it is too late. After destroying Graendal, Rand returns to Tear.

Egwene is still a captive in the White Tower, subject to increasingly harsh punishments at the behest of Elaida, in an attempt to break Egwene and squash the rebel Aes Sedai camped outside the Tower.

Egwene, who had forbidden the rebel faction from attempting to rescue her, is attempting to undermine Eladia’s power from within the Tower, while also attempting to heal the damage Eladia’s reign has caused, so that an undivided Tower may stand to face The Last Battle.

Elaida initially allows Egwene to roam the Tower, under guard, shielded and dosed with a tea that leaves her barely able to channel. Egwene makes great progress in winning over the hearts and minds of many of the Aes Sedai and novices before a confrontation with Elaida leads to Elaida having Egwene imprisoned and tortured. When Egwene refuses to be broken, Elaida eventually releases her, choosing to scapegoat the mistress of novices Silviana, in an attempt to save face.

Shortly after Egwene is freed, she encounters Verin in the Tower. Verin reveals to Egwene that she has been working as a double agent within the ranks of the Black Ajah for many years. In order to circumvent her oaths to the Dark One, which prevents her from betraying the Black Ajah, until the hour of her death, Verin has poisoned herself. Verin reveals to Egwene the names of every Black Sister she has been able to uncover, including Alviarin, and that there is a Forsaken hiding in the White Tower, disguised as an Aes Sedai.

Not long after Verin’s death, Egwene’s vision of a Seanchan attack comes to pass. Egwene, weakened by the forkroot tea, is barely able to channel on her own, but she is able to gather a group of novices and organize a circle, aided by a powerful sa’angreal she retrieves by traveling into the Tower storeroom, and mount an effective defense against the Seanchan and eventually drive them away. Egwene is able to greatly reduce the losses the Aes Sedai would have suffered, but many sisters are captured by the Seanchan, including Elaida.

Meanwhile, fearing for Egwene’s safety, Siuan, Gawyn and Gareth Bryne, mount a rescue, against Egwene’s express wishes and remove an exhausted Egwene from the White Tower and take her to the rebel camp. Back at the camp, Egwene uses the Oath Rod, which she took from the Tower by traveling, to prove the identity of the Black Sisters within the rebel camp that Verin had revealed to her, including Egwene’s Keeper, Sheriam. Egwene orders the 70 sisters within the camp to be rounded up and executed, but 20 manage to escape.

After the execution of the Black Sisters, Egwene orders her army to advance on the White Tower, hoping to mount an attack while the Tower Aes Sedai are still reeling from the Seanchan attack, however when she arrives at the Tower bridge, she discovers that Elaida was captured by the Seanchan and that the sisters in power in the Tower have decided to raise Egwene as their new Amyrlin and an attack will be unnecessary. Once Egwene is in power, she works to mend the divisions between the Ajahs and the Tower Loyalists and the Rebels, by appointing Silviana, a Red, as her new Keeper and requiring that the Rebels make a formal apology, before being taken back into the Tower. Egwene also attempts to root out the Black Sisters within the Tower, but finds that most of them managed to escape, including Alviarin and in spite of forcing the Tower Aes Sedai to reswear on the Oath Rod, she is unable to determine which sister is the Forsaken Mesaana.

In an attempt to save Rand from himself, Cadsuane orders Nynaeve to locate Perrin and bring back Tam Al’Thor from Perrin’s camp. Cadsuane instructs Tam in what to say to Rand, in the hopes that Tam is the one person that can break through Rand’s emotional barriers. Tam seems to make some progress, but once Rand learns Cadsuane put Tam up to confronting Rand, Rand is furious and loses control, nearly killing Tam in the process.

After his confrontation with Tam, Rand makes a gateway to Ebou Dar, intending to use the Choedan Kal to wipe the Seanchan out. However, when Rand realizes how peaceful the Seanchan rule is and sees their concern for him when he collapses after seizing Saidin, he has second thoughts and leaves via gateway to the summit of Dragonmount.

Teetering on the brink of madness, Rand contemplates the futility of being born over and over again, only to repeat the same mistakes. He convinces himself that the world would be a better place if he just ended it all and draws a massive amount of power into himself via the Choedan Kal. As Rand is on the brink of destroying the world, Lews Therin speaks to Rand, convincing him that being reborn through the turning of the Wheel provides them with a second chance to make up for past mistakes and that the opportunity to live and love again is worth the pain of living. Rand turns the power of the Choedan Kal on itself and destroys the Sa’angreal. His actions create the first break in the unnatural storm clouds that have covered the world in weeks, which provides a literal ray of hope to the people, including Egwene, who witness it.

Rand’s revelation frees him from his darkness and allows him to laugh and feel joy again. It also fuses Rand and Lews Therin as the one man, who they have been all along, fulfilling an earlier vision of Min’s.

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.

Wheel of Time Marathon – Book 8: The Path of Daggers

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

The Path of Daggers begins with Nynaeve, Elayne, Aviendha and their collection of Aes Sedai, Kin, and Windfinders using the Bowl of the Winds to correct the weather. Shortly after the Bowl is used, a Seanchan attack descends upon the Kin’s farm and they are forced to flee to Andor via gateway to escape. Not wanting to risk giving the Seanchan damane the secret of Traveling, Elayne attempts to unravel the weave of her gateway, rather than releasing it, which leaves behind a residue that some women who can channel can read. The Seanchan interrupt Elayne, while she is attempting the difficult and dangerous task and she is forced to flee, along with Birgette and Aviendha, who had remained behind with her, while the others proceeded on. All three women are exhausted and injured and one of the Seanchan damane manages to shield Elayne, which causes Elayne’s unstable gateway to collapse, killing all of the Seanchan, seriously injuring the three women and devastating the area for miles around. Nynaeve rushes back and heals them all of their injuries, but the destruction leads the Seanchan to believe the Aes Sedai have discovered a new, powerful weapon. However, Aviendha reveals to Elayne that what will happen when a weave unravels in that manner is too unpredictable and dangerous to use as a weapon. They rejoin the others and proceed on towards Camelyn, with the intent of Elyane asserting her claim on the Lion Throne.

Elayne’s journey to Camelyn is complicated by heavy snowfall, conflicts between the Kin, Aes Sedai and Windfinders and an attack by an unknown party that results in the death of the Aes Sedai Adeleas and their Black Ajah prisoner, which they conclude must have been at the hands of one of their own party. However, Elayne eventually reaches Camelyn and claims her throne, tearing down Rand’s banners in the process, which upsets him greatly.

Meanwhile, Perrin, Faile and their company of Aes Sedai, Wise Ones, Asha’man and soliders move into Ghealdan, where they  intend to confront “The Prophet,” and force him to submit to Rand. Along the way, they encounter Elayne’s mother, posing as a country woman and take her and her companions into their service. Perrin meets with Masema and convinces him to ride to Cairhien to meet with Rand, but during the meeting, a band of Shaido, led by Sevanna, capture Faile, Elayne’s mother, Bain and Chiad and the queen of Ghealdan and make them gai’shain. Faile had learned that Masema had been secretly meeting with the Seanchan and before she was captured, she commanded anyone who managed to escape the Seanchan to warn Perrin about Masema. Berelain was the only one of her companions that appeared to not have been captured or killed by the Shaido.

Egwene, with the help of Siuan, manipulated the rebel Aes Sedai into giving her near complete control, by using a little known law concerning Aes Sedai at war to seize control away from the Hall. Egwene used this power to force the rebels to travel to Tar Valon and prepare to lay siege to Tar Valon.

Back in Cairhien, Rand learned of a Seanchan army approaching his location and determined to use a small force of Asha’man and soliders to drive the Seanchan back into the west. An overconfident Rand succeeded in pushing the Seanchan back, though he suffered more losses than he expected along the way, due the tactical moves of the Seanchan commanders and Rand not realizing the Seanchan were tracking his movements by using scouts on their flying animals, however his ability to move about by Traveling, fooled the Seanchan into thinking he had a much larger force than he actually did.

Against the advice of Bashere and the Asha’man who warned of a “strangeness” that made Saidin difficult to control around Ebou Dar, Rand insisted on attempting to take Ebou Dar from the Seanchan. The Seanchan vastly outnumbered Rand’s forces and had thousands of damane at their disposal, but the difficulty in controlling saidar, due to the residues left behind by the use of the Bowl of the Winds, caused the Seanchan to suffer many losses at the hands of their own Damane. Rand’s Asha’man also caused damage to their own troops, resulting in the battle grinding to a stalemate. However, rather than accept defeat, Rand insisted on pressing forward by using Callandor to attack the Seanchan. Unknown to Rand, Callandor had a flaw, that amplified the affects of the taint on saidin, unless it was used by linking with a woman and allowing the woman to control the flows. Rand’s reckless use of Callandor led to the deaths of many of his own men, including some of the Asha’man, though it also resulted in the defeat of the Seanchan who retreated back to Ebou Dar.

While in the palace in Cairhien, Rand faced an attack on his life by several rogue Asha’man, led by Dashiva. Rand survived the attack, but the Asha’man also escaped and Rand was forced to flee Cairhien in order to attempt to turn the tables on his attackers.

Wheel of Time Marathon – Book 7: A Crown of Swords

Started: 7/25/2015
Finished: 8/10/2015

A Crown of Swords features two major plot lines involving Rand and his crew and Elayne and Nynaeve and their’s, a bit of time on a third plot involving Egwene and the Salidar Aes Sedai and a fourth plot involving Moghedien. There are also side plots involving the Shaido Aiel and Sammael and Morgase and Pedron Nial.

In Cairhien, Rand is dealing with the aftermath of his abduction by the Tower Aes Sedai. Due to some groundwork laid by his kidnappers, a number of Rand’s rivals have taken the opportunity to push their positions, including a Cairhienin noble by the name of Colavaere, who had herself crowned Queen in Cairhien. In addition to problems with the nobles, there are rumors of more Aes Sedai gathering in the city and problems with the Aiel, some of whom believe the rumors that Rand submitted to the White Tower and is now merely an Aes Sedai puppet.

Meanwhile, Egwene is attempting to assert herself as a true Amyrlin and not just a figure-head with the Salidar Aes Sedai and with Siuan Sanche’s help push them into confronting Elaida. She also is trying to find out who freed Moghedien and dealing with a blackmail attempt by a novice and a Hunter for the Horn, who know she, Elayne and Nynaeve had been posing as full Aes Sedai before being raised.

In Ebou Dar, Elayne and Nynaeve continue their search for the Bowl of the Winds, though their search is complicated by the other Aes Sedai in Ebou Dar refusing to acknowledge them as full sisters because they were not raised in the Tower.

Moghedien is summoned to Shayol Ghul, where as punishment for her failures, she is fitted with a mindtrap and placed under the control of a man named Moridin, who sends her out on a mission in Ebou Dar that we are not fully privy to the purpose of. While in Ebou Dar, Moghedien, spots Nynaeve and attempts to kill her, even though this was not part of her orders from Moridin.

Sevanna and the Shaido Aiel have made a bargain with Sammael, though they don’t know the man and woman they are dealing with are really two of the Forsaken, that Sevanna hopes will led to her capturing and marrying Rand Al’Thor. However, both Sevanna and Sammael are attempting to betray the other to their own advantage, leading to plans not quiet going as either expected.

Rand begins to attempt to right the ship in Cairhien by dealing with Colavaere. Though her treason and her murder of a couple of nobles who stood in her way call for her to be hanged and Min has told Rand of a viewing that revealed that Colavaere would die by hanging, Rand is unable to bring himself to order her execution and instead orders her to be exiled. However, Min’s viewing proves true when Colavaere hangs herself rather than accepting Rand’s exile.

Rand meets with a number of Aiel leaders and parades the Aes Sedai who have sworn fealty to him before them, as a means of proving he is not a puppet on Aes Sedai strings, but his efforts are complicated by the arrival of Cadsuane, the oldest known living Aes Sedai, who Min tells Rand will teach him and the Asha’man something they need to learn, but will not enjoy learning from her. Cadsuane also shakes Rand’s confidence by telling him that one of the first signs a man who can channel is going mad is that he begins to hear voices, causing Rand to doubt that the voice of Lews Therin is real and not a manifestation of madness.

Rand also makes plans to kill Sammael via a ruse involving Bashere’s army and the Aiel, designed to draw Sammael out of Illian, so that Rand can enter the city and defuse Sammael’s traps before Sammael can return to confront him. Sammael attempts to interfere with Rand’s plans by sending some of the Shaido Aiel into battle with Rand’s army, gathering outside the gates of Illian, but his plan is spoiled by the fact that Sevanna keeps all of the Shaido Wise Ones who can channel with her group, which are sent to some unknown location, leading to the Shaido who are sent against Rand being slaughtered without much affect on Rand’s plan. Sevanna has also managed to capture Galina, a member of the Red and Black Ajah, who was primarily responsible for Rand’s capture and torture at the hands of the Tower Aes Sedai. As part of his bargain with Sevanna, Sammael provides Sevanna with the Tower’s oath rod and tells her she can use it to force Aes Sedai to do her bidding.

Meanwhile, in the wake of everything Rand and Min suffered at the hands of the Tower Aes Sedai, the pair have sex, which Rand initially thinks was him forcing himself on Min, which combined with his fears that Lews Therin is not real, sends him into a deep depression, but eventually Min convinces him that she was a very willing partner and that she loves him and inadvertently calms his fears about Lews Therin by revealing a viewing she  had that Rand believes proves that Lews Therin is real. Rand admits that he loves Min as well, but that he also loves Elayne and Aviendha and wants to send Min away to protect her from himself and his enemies. Min refuses to leave and remains by his side, but not before Rand makes her promise not to hold back any  more of her viewings from him. In spite of her promise, Min withholds a viewing that indicates that Rand will fail without the help of a woman who is “dead and gone,” and reveals to the reader that a viewing she had about Moiraine is the only one that has ever proven wrong.

By using Matt’s Band and her army to frighten people into thinking a war is coming, Egwene is building her army, under the command of Gareth Bryne and marching towards Tar Valon. With the help of Siuan, she discovers along the way that Myrelle Sedai has been hiding that Lan has returned to her and that Moiraine had passed his bond to her without his consent, a violation of Tower custom, if not law. Myrelle explains that a consequence of the bond, leads most Warders to court death after their Aes Sedai dies and she is one of the few Aes Sedai who has managed to save more than one. Egwene uses this information as a lever to get Myrelle to swear fealty to her and then uses that act as a lever to get members of the Salidar Hall to do the same. She also decided to send Lan to Ebou Dar, with orders to protect Nynaeve, believing that this mission will do a better job of keeping him alive than Myrelle’s plans.

In Ebou Dar, Nynaeve and Elayne are having no success in locating the Bowl of the Winds, so they decide to resort to using Matt’s ta’veren luck to locate it for them. This tactic leads to them making a bargain with the Sea Folk to assist in using the Bowl once found and also leads to the discovery of a group of women who can channel, who call themselves the Kin, who they decide to recruit to join the Salidar Aes Sedai and also enlist their aid in finding and using the Bowl of the Winds.

While in Ebou Dar, Matt discovers that the darkfriend who tried to stab him in a barn on the road to Caemlyn is in the city and follows her to Jaichim Carridin, who, with the aid of Thom, Juilin, Birgitte and Aviendha, he discovers is hosting a number of darkfriends. However, Matt’s plans to deal with Carridin and protect Nynaeve and Elayne are disrupted by Queen Tylin’s taking an interest in him and making him her lover and her son’s companion.

Morgase’s situation in Amadicia goes from bad to worse when Pedron Nial is murdered by his own spy master, resulting in Morgase being put to the question and subjected to the attentions of Nial’s replacement. Morgase considers suicide, but is interrupted by a Seanchan attack that results in the Seanchan demanding Morgase submit to ruling Andor in their name. Instead, Morgase decides to renounce her throne, so that Elyane can rule in her stead. Morgase then escapes Amadicia with the aid of Nial’s former secretary, who is not fond of the new Whitecloak regime.

Back in Cairhien, Rand and Perrin stage an argument, so that Rand can send Perrin and Faile along with an Aiel escort, on a secret mission. Rand also sends Loial on a mission with one of his Asha’man to find and place guards on all the Waygates.

Rand finally meets with the Sea Folk and begins the process of striking a bargain with them that will provide him with the services of the Sea Folk ships, before going off to confront the rebels in the countryside. Rand discovers that both Padan Fain and Cadsuane, as well as six other Aes Sedai are in the rebel camp. While he is there, a strange fog descends on the camp and begins solidifying into monsters that tear people limb from limb. With the aid of Cadsuane, Min and two of the nobles, Rand attempts to escape the fog, but he is attacked by Fain, who cuts him with the Shadar Logoth dagger. The Aes Sedai manage to stave off death, but it takes the efforts of one of the Asha’man, who has discovered a different, or perhaps lost, method of using the One Power to heal, to contain the evil from the dagger to the point that Rand can survive it.

Once Rand is recovered, he launches his attack on Sammael, who has come out of the city to confront Rand’s army, believing Rand to be incapacitated by the dagger. Claiming that he doesn’t want Rand destroying Illian, Sammael leads him to a confrontation in Shadar Logoth, where Rand encounters a maiden of the spear he believed to be dead. He also encounters a strange man who can channel, but does not use Saidin, who aids him for unknown reasons. However, Rand’s plans to kill Sammael with balefire are foiled when he kills the maiden instead, in order to save her from being consumed by Mashadar. Rand then returns to Illian, believing that Sammael must have been killed by Mashadar, where he is presented with the laurel crown, later to be renamed the crown of swords and named king of Illian.

Meanwhile, matters escalate in Ebou Dar when while on a boat to meet with the Sea Folk, Moghedien attempts to attack Nynaeve with balefire, resulting in the boat sinking. Nynaeve comes close to dying, but is saved by Lan, who had been following her. In the process, she finally learns to surrender to Saidar and overcomes the block that had prevented her from channeling without being angry. In spite of Lan’s protests, Nynaeve convinces him to marry her on the Sea Folk ship.

Once Nynaeve returns from her mission, she, along with Elayne, Matt, Tylin’s son, a number of the Kin and Matt’s Band journey into the Rahad to retrieve the Bowl of the Winds. The group is attacked by darkfriends, two members of the Black Ajah and a gholam, a creature created to kill Aes Sedai, who is immune to the One Power and extremely resistant, if not immune, to physical attacks as well. Matt is able to fend off the gholam by burning it with his foxhead medallion, but a number of their companions are killed in the process. One of the Black Ajah escaped, but the other was captured by Nynaeve and held prisoner by the Kin. In spite of the fact that the darkfriends made off with much of the contents of the storeroom, they left behind the Bowl of the Winds.

After using Matt’s nature as a ta’veren to strike a bargain with the Sea Folk, Nynaeve, Elayne, Thom, Juilin, Birgitte and Aviendha left for the Kin’s farm to use the Bowl of the Winds with the Sea Folk Windfinders. Matt was to go with them, but stayed behind to find a young boy he had taken charge of named Olver, who was out in the city. While Matt was searching the city for Olver, the city was attacked by Seanchan and Matt is apparently buried under the rubble of a building collapsed by a damane using the One Power.

 

Wheel of Time Marathon – Book 6: Lord of Chaos

Started: 6/28/2015
Finished: 7/25/2015

Lord of Chaos begins with Rand trying to juggle ruling both Cairhein and Camelyn and fending off plotting nobles long enough to hand the thrones over to Elayne.

Though he has concerns about the man’s loyalty and ambition, Rand placed false Dragon Mazrim Taim in charge of his school for men who can channel, whom he names “Asha’man.” The school comes to be known by the name “The Black Tower.”

Meanwhile, both the White Tower and the rebels in Salidar have sent emissaries to try to convince Rand that their faction are willing and able to support him. Alanna and Verin, who have not aligned with either faction yet, also arrived in Caemlyn, with a cache of Two Rivers girls who can learn to channel in tow. When Rand met with them, Alanna bonded Rand without his consent, further increasing his distrust of Aes Sedai. Eventually, Alanna and Verin decided to throw their lot in with the Salidar rebels, though Verin appeared to have her own plans for using the embassy.

Egwene, who was still training with the Wise Ones and recovering from the injuries inflicted upon her by Lanfear in Cairhein, discovered that Gawyn had accompanied the Tower Aes Sedai and believing Rand had killed his mother, wanted to kill him. However, Egwene and Gawyn professed their love for each other and Gawyn agreed not to raise a hand against Rand.

Prompted by Siuan’s manipulation of the Salidar Aes Sedai, Egwene was summoned to Salidar to be raised to the Amyrlin Seat. The Salidar Aes Sedai hoped they would be able to control her, but Egwene had other plans and one of her first rebellious moves was to raise her friends Nynaeve and Elayne to full Aes Sedai and send them off to Ebou Dar to search for a ter’angreal that they believed could fix the unnatural heat and drought that was plaguing most of the world. This action also disrupted Rand’s plan to have Matt and his Band of the Red Hand bring Elayne to Caemlyn so she could be crowned and Matt ended up accompanying Elayne and Nynaeve to Ebou Dar instead, along with Thom and Juilin.

Elayne and Nynaeve had gained some notoriety of their own in Salidar, as a result of passing off “discoveries” they had gained by controlling Moghedein via the a’dam Elayne made, as their own. Nynaeve further complicated matters by accidently healing Logain and restoring his ability to channel. She was also able to restore Siuan and Leane’s ability, though they were much weaker in the power than they had been before being stilled.

Egwene took over control of Moghedien when Elayne and Nynaeve left for Ebou Dar and forced her to teach Egwene how to travel, though she merely confirmed what Egwene had already puzzled out on her own. Once Egwene, with the aid of Leane and Siuan was able to manipulate the Salidar Aes Sedai into marching on Tar Valon with their army and Matt’s band in tow, Egwene intentionally freed Logain, hoping that he would join Rand. One of the forsaken, disguised as a camp follower, freed Moghedien that same night.

Back in Caemlyn, someone arranged for one of the Salidar Aes Sedai to be attacked in such a way that it made it look like Rand was trying to send a message. The Salidar Aes Sedai retaliated against Rand and then when the two Aes Sedai who had been sent to look for Rand in the Aiel Waste arrived, bringing the number of Aes Sedai in Camelyn to 13, Rand panicked and fled to Cairhein, taking Perrin, who had been drawn to re-join Rand by ta’veren pulling, Min, who had come with the Salidar Aes Sedai, Faile and Loial with him.

The Tower Aes Sedai set a trap for Rand, disguising several younger Aes Sedai as servants to hide their numbers and trapping him and carrying him out of the palace inside of a chest. They also took Min prisoner. Using Rand’s habit of traveling without alerting his Aiel guards to give them a head start, the Tower Aes Sedai, led by a Red sister named Galina and escorted by Gawyn and his Younglings, set off for the White Tower, with Rand still confined and shielded in a box. They tortured him severely along the way.

Once they determined the Aes Sedai had captured Rand, Perrin organized and led a party of soldiers, Aiel and Wise Ones, along with Loial to rescue Rand from the Aes Sedai. Along the route, Perrin’s band of Two Rivers men encountered the Salidar Aes Sedai, who had been traveling to Cairhien to attempt to approach Rand again and they joined Perrin’s group in their attempt to rescue Rand.

Perrin and his group caught up to the Tower Aes Sedai at Dumai’s Wells and discovered they were already battling with the Shaido. Perrin and his supporters attempted to fight their way through both Aes Sedai and Shaido to get to Rand, but it appeared they would all die in the attempt, when suddenly Rand’s Asha’man began arriving by gateway and joined the battle.

Once the Tower Aes Sedai were distracted enough by the battle, Rand managed to free himself from the shield and the box and rescue Min. Meanwhile, the Asha’man began to turn the tide of the battle in Rand’s favor.

Mazram Taim wanted to take Rand and flee the battle, leaving most of the Aiel and Two Rivers men to their fate, but Rand ordered the Asha’man to continue the battle. The Asha’man gruesomely destroyed the Shaido, until they and the remaining Tower Aes Sedai and Younglings fled the battle.

Rand then demanded and received an oath of fealty from the Salidar Aes Sedai, fulfilling one of the prophecies of the Dragon Reborn.

Wheel of Time Marathon – Book 5: The Fires of Heaven

Started: 6/3/2015
Finished: 6/28/2015

The Fires of Heaven primarily follows the stories of Rand, Egwene, Avienda, Moriaine and Lan in their pursuit of Couladin and the Shaido and Elayne, Nynaeve, Thom and Juilin attempting to return to the Tower after their exploits in Tanchico.

Rand and his companions begin the story departing Rhuidean in pursuit of Couladin, who has taken the Shaido out of the three-fold-land and into Cairhein. Before departing Rhuidean, Moiraine loads the merchant wagons up with as many of the objects of power as she can fit from Rhuidean. She seemed particularly concerned with the twisted door frame ter’angreal that Matt passed through while in Rhuidean.

During the pursuit of Couladin, Rand and Aviendha grow closer, eventually consummating their relationship, after Aviendha attempted to flee her feelings for Rand through a gateway into Seanchan territory. Aviendha revealed to Rand that she had foreseen that she would fall in love with Rand when she visited the three rings in Rhuidean, which reveal all of the possible branches a person’s life might take, though they remember only a few. However, due to Aviendha’s view that her near-sister Elayne has a pre-exisiting claim on Rand, Aviendha tells Rand that their romantic encounter would be a one time thing and she would deal with discharging her toh with Elayne when she next saw her.

Rand’s relationship with Moiraine also evolved on the journey. In her desperation to get him to listen to her counsel, Moiraine agreed to obey Rand’s commands, which was a source of conflict between Rand and Egwene, who felt Rand was becoming unreasonably arrogant.

Egwene continued her training as a Dreamwalker and learned how to speak to other people in their dreams, though she continued to forge ahead on her own against the wishes of the Wise Ones.

Aviendha also progressed in her training as a Wise One and began studying channeling with Egwene and Moiraine, greatly increasing her ability with the One Power.

Once Rand and his companions caught up to Couladin at Cairhein, he wanted to confront Couladin one on one and kill him with his sword, but the Maidens and his other companions convinced him to remain with Egwene and Aviendha and use the One Power to assist the Aiel warriors in battle.

Matt attempted to leave before the battle began, but found himself in the thick of things and using the battle knowledge he had gained from the memories gifted him in the twisted stone door ter’angreal to lead a band of Cairhein and Tairen soldiers to several key victories and ultimately kill Couladin in single combat. In recognition for his combat prowess, many of the soldiers volunteered to form a company called the Band of the Red Hand under Matt’s command.

During the fight with the Shaido, Sammel attacked Rand and his companions with the One Power, injuring Rand, Egwene and Aviendha and killing a number of Maidens in the process. Rand vowed to try to keep the Maidens out of danger after that fight.

Nynaeve, Elayne, Thom and Juilan encountered Galad, who had joined the Whitecloaks, while attempting to return to the Tower. Galad wanted to haul the pair of them back to Caemlyn, but they managed to forestall him.

After learning that the Siuan had been deposed and the White Tower had split from a number of different sources, Nynaeve and Elayne determined to try to find the group of Blues and other Aes Sedai that Nynaeve had discovered were gathering in Salidar, while she was riffling through Elaida’s papers in Tel’aran’rhiod. Unfortunately, Nynaeve couldn’t quite remember the name of the town.

The girls, along with Thom and Juilin, determined to hide themselves in a traveling menagerie while they searched for Salidar, in the hopes of avoiding entanglements with Galad and the Whitecloaks. After having one of the Tower’s agents attempt to drug them with a herb that prevented channeling and haul them back to the Tower, they also hoped to avoid further problems with Elaida’s supporters.

While in Tel’aran’rhiod, both Nynaeve and Elayne encountered a hero tied to the Wheel named Birgette, who agreed to help them spy on the Forsaken. While listening in on a meeting where several of the Forsaken were plotting to draw Rand into a trap by baiting him into attacking Sammael, Birgette and Nynaeve were discovered and attacked by Moghedian.

Moghedian immobilized, shielded and tortured Nynaeve, until Birgette shot her with an arrow, allowing Nynaeve to escape. However, in the process, Moghedian ripped Birgette out of Tel’aran’rhiod, causing her to appear in the waking world, but in an extremely weakened state. In order to save her life, Elayne bonded Birgette as a Warder.

Panicked by the fact that Moghedian had discovered they were traveling with a menagerie, Nynaeve sought assistance in finding a ship from Masema, who was now calling himself The Prophet and stirring up a lot of trouble, and Galad. Elayne revealed the plot against Rand to Egwene in Tel’aran’rhiod, but kept Birgette’s identity a secret.

Nynaeve finally remembered the name of the town and both Galad and Masema attempted to secure a ship for her, setting off an eruption of deadly riots and the destruction and flight of most of the menageries. With the assistance of Thom, Juilin, Galad and the Shienaran soliders who were not followers of Masema, Nynaeve and Elayne were able to board a ship and travel to Salidar. Along the way they picked up three companions, who were refugees on the ship.

Once in Salidar, Nynaeve and Elayne were tasked with teaching the Aes Sedai how to use the ter’angreal that allowed access to Tel’aran’rhiod that they had taken from the Black Ajah. Nynaeve also began giving Siuan private instruction, in exchange for Siuan’s agreement to allow her to study her, Leane and Logain to determine if stilling could be healed.

Siuan had arrived in Salidar, along with Min and Leane prior to the girl’s arrival and convinced them to allow Siuan to run their eyes and ears network. She also convinced them that the Red Ajah had convinced Logain to become a false dragon, so that they could pull him down, in order to push them into attempting to depose Elaida, instead of hiding out in Salidar. She also convinced them to form their own Hall and raise their own Amyrlin.

Min revealed to Elayne that she had, had a viewing that she would fall in love with Rand and have to share him with two other women, one of which was Elyane. The pair agreed not to let Rand stand in the way of their friendship.

Thom, Juilin, Uno and the other Shienarans offered to assist Elayne and Nynaeve in fleeing Salidar and returning to Rand, but they decided to stay and the men agreed to assist Gareth Bryne, who had been convinced to form and lead an army to assist the Salidar Aes Sedai in retaking the White Tower.

Back in Cairhein, while Rand was attempting to maneuver the Cairhein nobels in preparation to hand the throne over to “someone with a claim,” Rand learned from Matt, who he sent on a scouting mission, that Rahvin had crowned himself king in Andor and Morgase was missing and presumed dead.

Unknown to Rand, Morgase had actually fled Andor, along with a solider named Tallanvor, her old nurse Lini, Basil Gill, and a street tough and his girlfriend. She had intended to seek the aid of her former general Gareth Bryne, but upon discovering he had left Kore Springs in pursuit of Siuan, she headed for Amadicia instead.

Grieved that Elayne’s mother had been killed while he was too busy dealing with Cairhein to do anything about Rahvin, Rand vowed to travel to Camelyn and kill Rahvin. Though he meant to run off alone, he was convinced to take Egwene, Aviendha, Moiraine and as many Aiel warriors as he could transport, but before he could leave, Moiraine insisted he come to the docks to see something.

Once at the docks, a jealous Lanfear, who had learned Rand had slept with Aviendha, attacked the group, capturing and torturing Egwene and Aviendha. When Rand refused to become Lanfear’s lover, Lanfear lashed out at him and nearly killed him, because he could not bring himself to kill Lanfear, because she was a woman. During Rand’s battle with Lanfear, Moiraine pushed her into the stone doorframe ter’angreal, where it was presumed that they both died.

A letter Moiraine had written Rand before her death revealed that she had foreseen the battle with Lanfear in the rings in Rhuidean. According to her, if she had not sacrificed herself to kill Lanfear, Rand would have either died or been consumed by Lews Therin and ended up Lanfear’s devoted lover. She also left a letter for Rand to deliver to Thom, but Rand did not read it.

After Moiraine’s death, Rand was confronted by the Maidens, who were angry that Rand had planned to leave them behind when he confronted Rahvin. Rand agreed to no longer try to protect the Maidens. Lan departed, advising Rand that his bond had been passed to another and asking him to tell Nynaeve that he had found a new love and to forget him and advising Rand to do the same with any woman he loved.

Meanwhile, Matt’s Aiel lover attempted to kill him and revealed herself to be a Darkfriend in the service of Sammael, which prompted Matt to accompany Rand to confront Rahvin, along with Aviendha, Asmodean and a number of Aiel. Egwene stayed behind due to injuries suffered at the hands of Lanfear.

When Rand arrived in Camelyn, he set off wards set by Rahvin and was immediately set upon by lightning which killed Matt, Aviendha and Asmodean. Rand continued on to pursue Rahvin, while the Aiel fought Trollocs in the city.

Back in Salidar, Nynaeve spotted Moghedian  spying on her and Siuan in Tel’aran’rhiod and attempted to flee, but Moghedian  followed and attempted to capture her. Birgitte, using the stone ring ter’angreal, arrived in Tel’aran’rhiod and distracted Moghedian long enough for Nynaeve to capture her with an a’dam she created by manipulating the dream.

Moghedian revealed to Nynaeve that Rand had walked into a trap and Nynaeve determined to use Moghedian’s power, via the a’dam, to assist Rand in battling Rahvin. After traveling to the palace in Andor, Nynaeve discovered that Rand and Rahvin had entered Tel’aran’rhiod in the flesh during their battle. Nynaeve was able to sneak up behind Rahvin while he was pre-occupied with Rand and attack and gravely injure him with fire, when Rahvin turned to confront her, Rand destroyed him with a powerful burst of balefire.

Once Rand returned to the waking world and left the palace, he discovered that due the balefire’s effect of erasing Rahvin’s past actions, Matt, Aviendha and Asmodean were alive and busy fighting Trollocs. Rand helped the Aiel defeat the remaining Trollocs.

Nynaeve revealed to Moghedian that she knew she must have been in Salidar to know the things she knew and drugged the woman with forkroot tea and advised her she would find her soon in the waking world.

The story ended with Rand meeting up with Davram Bashere, general of the Saldaen army, who were in pursuit of Mazram Taim. Rand revealed his plan to offer an amnesty to any man who could channel, including Taim, in order to build an army to fight the new dreadlords in the Last Battle.

Meanwhile, Asmodean stumbled across someone he knew, but who was not revealed to the reader, who killed him.