Spoilers for books 1-9 and Crossroads of Twilight to ch.4| More info and previous posts |Please no spoilers for future books/events
In my plan to read The Wheel of Time, and post about my experience, I’m now on book 10, Crossroads of Twilight. This post covers chapter 1-4.
We begin with a POV from Rodel Ituralde. He’s a general from Arad Doman (I just realised that Domani = people from Arad Doman) going to a meeting with the Dragonsworn, who’ve apparently been quite the nuisance there too. He seems to have some hidden plan (who doesn’t?) but on the surface of it he wants them to unite with him against the Seanchan. Which they do, because apparently he’s a famous tactician and general.
Eamon Valda goes to meet his co-conspirator, Asunawa. There’s going to be some big meeting, and Valda wants Asunawa’s support, which the man agrees to so long as Valda helps him take down the White Tower. I’m guessing this meeting will see Valda made the leader of the Whitecloaks.
Gabrelle and Toveine are out riding with Logain, when Logain receives news that he has permission to go recruiting. Gabrelle wants to make sure they accompany him, since they think (and I’m inclined to agree) that he intends to do something more than recruiting.
Yukiri is walking through the Tower halls with Meidani. The search for the Black Ajah is going on, and so far they’ve discovered two. Now Yukiri wants Meidani’s help investigating Elaid, since the two used to be friends. Meidani though has already tried that but was blocked by Alviarin. Oh my god these women are so close. One logical leap away from getting their hands on Alviarin. Seaine, the one who started all of this, comes to meet Yukiri. She’s been thinking about the meetings between the heads of the Ajahs, and her belief is that they’re conspiring together to choose Sitters, young ones. I remember Siuan pointing out something similar to Egwene. Something seems to be up, but Yukiri is, justifiably, more focused on the Black Ajah.
Gawyn is stuck somewhere near Tar Valon, blocked by an army – presumably Egwene’s. Katerina, the Black Ajah escaped from the Aiel is also there. Man, these characters have been missing for so long, I’d totally forgotten about Gawyn. An Aes Sedai comes with orders from Elaida, and Gawyn accepts, albeit reluctantly.
Bashere is scoping out the armies camped outside Caemlyn. Bael wants to kick some ass, but Bashere points out that if Elayne wins with foreign help, it won’t help her cause at all. Returning to camp, he finds that his wife was attacked by two men, but she’s gonna live. It was less of an attack and more that she stumbled in on them going through his stuff. He later finds their corpses too. This convinces him to talk to a mysterious fellow who met him yesterday.
In Cairhien, Samitsu hears news of the arrival of an Ogier accompanied by a man. She goes to meet them and it turns out it’s Loial with the Asha’man, last seen going to seal the Waygates. She’s just starting to get all interrogate-y with them, when news breaks that Dobraine has been assassinated. The description makes me think of a gholam. Anyway, they get there, and Samitsu finds that there’s still a spark of life in the man, and manages to save his life. On the one hand, this scene introduces partial healing, so I like it, on the other hand, I’m 110% fed up with Samitsu’s grumbling over another Aes Sedai taking the lead from her so I hate it. The prologue ends with news of Logain with a bunch of Asha’man and Aes Sedai arriving in Cairhien.
Whew. That’s gotta be one the longest prologues I’ve ever read. It’s thirteen percent of the book’s length. A few mysterious snippets at the start of a book are fine for whetting your appetite, but this got boring, fast. I was like, come on, start the damn book already! And that’s why the recap may feel a bit hurried.
Time to Be Gone
Mat is moping about the Atha’an Miere who died escaping. Which is totally not his fault, because they did what they did out of their own free will, but there you have it. After a chapter of chattering and reminiscences he returns to his hideout – Luca’s camp. They’ve been hanging out near Ebou Dar so far, since it’d be suspicious if Luca wrapped up his show the same day that Mat escaped, but now they decide it’s time to be gone.
Mat goes to meet Tuon, who’s being passed off as a servant caught stealing. She’s not at all happy about the servant part. It’s kinda funny to see her almost boss Mat around, even though she’s the one who got kidnapped. Out of the blue, she asks Mat whether he remembers Hawkwing’s face. Turns out that he does, though of course he denies it to her.
So, somehow, Tuon know that Mat is more than a random guy. Maybe the Seanchan have some prophecies of their own? She and Mat decide to make a truce of sorts – Mat will treat her well and let her go as soon as he can, and she won’t make a fuss or try to run away.
Thom returns with news from Ebou Dar – Tylin’s been killed. She was found dead the day after Mat escaped, her head torn off. Ouch. I was never too fond of Tylin, but she was mostly okay in the end and totally did not deserve this fate. Poor woman. This only adds to Mat’s load of guilt.
He’s summoned by Joline and Teslyn. They are sensing Rand and Nynaeve cleansing the source, and are going nuts. But Mat sees a “swirl of colors” in his head, this time Rand and (though he doesn’t recognise her) Nynaeve. He decides to not go towards Shadar Logoth, and stick to his earlier plan.
The Tale of a Doll
Furyk Karede, an officer of the Deathwatch Guard, is sitting in his room at the Wandering Woman, stewing and worrying over the vanished Tuon. Almurat the Seeker comes to meet him. Through a lot of verbal fencing, he tells Karede of a rumor about a woman matching Tuon’s description extorting merchants. Oh man, now what the hell is this mysterious person up to? Is she even real? Maybe the Seeker is the source of these rumours? He also spins his imaginary web about Suroth and Aes Sedai and stuff, and this time he brings Mat into it, as an agent of the Tower.
The next day, Karede sets off with a bunch of Deathwatch guards and some damane to (I’m assuming) hunt for Mat’s party. Damnit, I was hoping they’d gotten away without complications. But I guess when one royal dies and another vanishes on the same day, people are bound to notice.
And that’s it for today. This post might look small – only over a thousand words and four chapters, but it’s not my fault that not much talk-worthy happened. I would have read more, but the post is already very late. Sorry.
It actually covers the first quarter of the book. Clearly the huge repercussions of the cleansing of saidin are being saved for Knife of Dreams, which by the way I’ll get to after New Spring, since that is the publication order, and anyway I wouldn’t want to stop in the middle of the climax books to do a prequel.
As for Crossroads of Twilight, so far it’s about what I expected. I’ve read a bit ahead, and Perrin’s chapters are not much better. But no worries, I am going to power through it.