The Wheel of Time Reread

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Fires of Heaven, Part 4

Oi, mates! Welcome back to the Wheel of Time Re-read. Today we are covering Chapters 6-7 of The Fires of Heaven.

Previous entries are Indexed here, and spoilers for this and all other currently published novels in the Wheel of Time series are sprinkled throughout; if you haven’t read, don’t read.

I apologize in advance for the commentary in this post, by the way. This week’s been a lot, and I was kind of loopy when I wrote a lot of this. Sleep deprivation sometimes results in Deep Thoughts, but more often it results in Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey. Guess which one you’re getting.

So, there’s… that. Onward? Onward!

Chapter 6: Gateways

What Happens
Rand wakes from a dream of teaching Aviendha to swim, sensing something foul coming from under the door. He stands, seizing saidin, and exits his room into the hallway, sensing whatever it was coming closer. He hesitates, and then decides to take the battle where the Maidens were unlikely to hear, as they would be sure to join if they were wakened. He grins and runs up to the top level of the building.

Striding to the center of the room, he planted himself atop the mosaic there, the ancient symbol of the Aes Sedai, ten feet across. It was an apt place. “Under this sign will he conquer.” That was what the Prophecy of Rhuidean said of him.

A burned sulphur smell fills the air, and three huge dogs slide out of the shadows. Feeling a bit contemptuous, he calls up his fire sword and, as the dogs attack, swiftly slices them to bits. He laughs and lets the sword go, but his laughter fades as the body parts of the dogs melt and flow together, and reform into wholes again. Instead of the sword this time, he channels as he remembers doing once, and the dogs disappear in a bar of molten white light. One of the columns of the room collapses where the light had sliced across it, and a huge swath of wall is missing. He spins at the sound of Moiraine’s voice, asking if they bit him or bled on him, and asks if she is Far Dareis Mai now, that the Maidens let her in. She answers impatiently that she has some of the privileges of a Wise One, and asks again urgently if the Darkhounds got any blood or saliva on him.

“No,” he answered slowly. Darkhounds. The little he knew he had gotten from old stories, the sort used to frighten children in the southlands. Some grown-ups believed, too. “Why should a bite worry you? You could Heal it. Does this mean the Dark One is free?” Enclosed in the Void as he was, even fear was distant.

Moiraine tells him, no, Darkhounds are just another kind of Shadowspawn, but their bite is deadly, and their saliva and blood is poisonous; he was lucky there were only three. Usually they travel in larger packs. Rand realizes that he is not the only target possible in Rhuidean, and takes off running, ignoring Moiraine’s shouts after him. He dashes out of the building, ignoring Lan’s shout as well, and runs to a building on the edge of the city, where he sees three more Darkhounds clawing and snarling at a bronze door. Rand channels the white fire again, trying to make it less this time, and destroys the Darkhounds, and then pounds on the door, yelling for Mat to open up. Mat opens the door, wearing nothing but the foxhead medallion; Rand sees a blonde woman behind him wrapping herself in a blanket and hastily averts his eyes. He asks if Mat is all right, and Mat answers that they’re fine, and that it’s bloody hard being Rand’s friend sometimes. Rand tells him the Darkhounds are gone, and Mat groans that he didn’t want to know what they were. He scratches a red place on his arm, and comments that it’s funny, because he could have sworn that one of the hounds had chewed all the way through the door, but there are only small holes in it now. Moiraine dashes in, fuming, with Lan and a bunch of Maidens in tow, and Mat yelps and dashes back into his room to pull some clothes on, while Melindhra watches with a grin. He keeps scratching his arm, and Rand asks what’s wrong with it.

“I told you the mind plays funny tricks,” Mat said, still trying to scratch and pull at the same time. “When I thought that thing chewed through the door, I thought it slobbered all over my arm, too, and now it bloody itches like fire. Even looks like a burn there.”

Moiraine pushes past Rand and grabs Mat’s head in her hands, but instead of the usual reaction to being Healed, Mat shivers and pulls the medallion away from his chest, muttering that it’s ice cold, and asks Moiraine what she’s waiting for. Moiraine looks more startled than Rand had ever seen her, and says slowly to Mat that if the medallion is cold, maybe he should take it off. Mat frowns, but obeys, and this time Moiraine’s Healing works. Mat yells and complains, but Moiraine barely bothers to chastise him, staring at the medallion. She tells him to stay in bed tomorrow if he feels like it, and Melindhra assures her that she will see to it, calling Mat “her little mischief maker”. Mat looks horrified, and the Maidens behind Lan chuckle. Adelin tells Melindhra to teach him to sing; Rand tells them to let the man rest, but they still try to look in, laughing, until Moiraine asks them to let her and Rand speak alone. The Maidens start heading out, and Rand stops Adelin and asks how he can use them in battle if they won’t do as he says?

He did not intend to if he could help it; he knew they were fierce warriors, but he had been raised to believe it was a man’s place to die if necessary before a woman had to. Logic might say it was foolish, especially with women like this, but that was how he felt. He knew better than to tell them that, however.

Adelin is surprised, and tells him that in the dance of spears they will go as he directs, but this is not the dance; another Maiden adds that the Car’a’carn is not a wetlander king. They leave, and Moiraine starts to speak, but Rand cuts her off and says they can speak tomorrow, and if she’s thinking of trying to take that medallion away from Mat she can think again. He turns away, thinking there’s one other thing he had to check on. Moiraine says “please, Rand,” and the pleading tone in her voice stops him dead. Lan becomes angry, chastising Rand, but Moiraine cuts in:

“I will not be with you forever,” Moiraine said urgently. Her hands gripped her skirts so hard that they trembled. “I might die in the next attack. I could fall from my horse and break my neck, or take a Darkfriend’s arrow through my heart, and death cannot be Healed. I have given my entire life to the search for you, to find you and help you. You still do not know your own strength; you cannot know half of what you do. I — apologize — most humbly for any offense I have given you.” Those words — words he had never thought to hear from her — came out as if dragged, but they came; and she could not lie. “Let me help you as much as I can, while I can. Please.”

Rand tells her it is hard to trust her; she has handled him like a puppet from the moment they met, and he can only be free of her if he ignores her. Moiraine laughs bitterly, and replies it has been more like wrestling with a bear than pulling strings on a puppet. She tells him if he wants an oath from her to not manipulate him, she gives it; if he wants her to obey like the Maidens or even a gai’shain, she will, but she asks, humbly, to allow her to help him. Both Lan and Rand stare at her in utter amazement; finally Rand replies that he will accept her help, and apologizes for being rude. Moiraine loses her tension, and explains to him that he had been using something called balefire, which has been forbidden since before the Breaking; even the Forsaken were reluctant to use it, and the Tower refuses to even teach it. Rand points out that he thought he saw her use it once, and Moiraine flushes and says that sometimes it is necessary to break the rules. She explains that whatever balefire destroys ceases to exist before the moment it is destroyed; the stronger the balefire, the further back in time the effect reaches. She says the strongest balefire she can produce only goes back a few seconds, but Rand is much stronger. Mat remembered the Darkhound getting all the way through the door, but there is no hole there now, and if it had slavered on him as much as he remembers, he would have been dead long before she could have gotten to him. It no longer happened, and only the memories of those present remain. Rand says, then it’s a good thing he used balefire, if it means Mat is still alive.

“It is terrible, Rand.” An urgent note entered her, voice. “Why do you think even the Forsaken feared to use it? Think of the effect on the Pattern of a single thread, one man, removed from hours, or days, that have already been woven, like one thread picked partly out of a piece of cloth. Fragments of manuscripts remaining from the War of Power say several entire cities were destroyed with balefire before both sides realized the dangers. Hundreds of thousands of threads pulled from the Pattern, gone for days already past; whatever those people had done, now no longer had been done, and neither had what others had done because of their actions. The memories remained, but not the actions. The ripples were incalculable. The Pattern itself nearly unraveled. It could have been the destruction of everything. World, time, Creation itself.”

Rand shivers, but says he cannot promise never to use it again; as she herself said, sometimes you must do what is forbidden. Moiraine replies that she didn’t think he would, but that he must be careful; Rand notes ironically that she is back to “must” now that’s she calmed down. He tells her he has to check on someone, and creates a hole in the air that Asmodean had told him was called a gateway. Moiraine gasps, and asks what it is, but Rand avoids answering, and instead orders her to leave Mat and his medallion alone. Moiraine tries to argue, but Rand repeats the order, and after a struggle with herself Moiraine acquiesces. She leaves, Lan on her heels after giving Rand an unreadable look, and Rand steps through the gateway to stand on a disc colored like the ancient Aes Sedai symbol. He thinks that Asmodean claimed there was a faster method called Traveling, but had been unable to teach it for lack of strength.

In any case, Traveling required that you know your starting point very well. It seemed more logical to him that you should have to know where you were heading well, but Asmodean seemed to think that that was like asking why air was not water. There was a great deal that Asmodean took for granted. Anyway, Skimming was fast enough.

He steps out in the hallway outside Asmodean’s room, and sees that the man is still alive and sleeping, and that there had been three or four Darkhounds outside the room, from the prints in the stone of the floor. Rand channels Earth, smoothing out the prints in the stone, so there is no evidence that Shadowspawn could have any interest in a simple gleeman. Then he Skims back to his bedroom rather than brave the Maidens the old-fashioned way, and once there channels to reveal an alcove he had carved in the wall, holding the two access ter’angreal, which he had lied to Asmodean about.

The male figure could link him to a huge replica of itself, the most powerful male sa’angreal ever made, even if he were on the other side of the Aryth Ocean from it. It had only been finished after the Dark One’s prison was resealed — How do I know that? — and hidden before any of the male Aes Sedai going mad could find it.

Rand recalls the incident in the Stone when he had tried to Heal the little dead girl with Callandor, and thinks that if he could not be trusted with even that much Power, he should destroy these ter’angreal altogether. As he hides the alcove again, a woman’s voice asks what he is doing, and he hastily resets all the traps on the alcove before turning and demanding of Lanfear what she wants, trying to remember how he had blocked Egwene and Elayne from the Power before. He tries to tell himself to balefire her, but remembers the woman he beheaded, and knows he can’t do it. Lanfear says that he has two of them, and smiles with delight, saying he is beginning to consider her plan, isn’t he?

“You were always ambitious, Mierin.” His voice grated in his ears. “Why do you think I turned away from you? It wasn’t Ilyena, whatever you like to think. You were out of my heart long before ever I met her. Ambition is all there is to you. Power is all you ever wanted. You disgust me!”

She stared at him, both hands pressed hard against her stomach, her dark eyes even larger than usual. “Graendal said…” she began faintly. Swallowing, she began again. “Lews Therin? I love you, Lews Therin. I have always loved you, and I always will. You know that. You must!”

Rand tries to hide his shock, and says harshly that he is Rand al’Thor. Lanfear begins to recover, and rationalizes aloud that Asmodean must have been telling Rand lies about her, that he did love her until “that trollop Ilyena” stole him away. She tells him that Asmodean severed his own mother, and Rand cannot trust the word of a man like that. Rand finds this statement highly ironic coming from her, and again demands to know what she wants, and she tells him Rahvin sent the Darkhounds, and that she would have come sooner to help, but she cannot let the others know she is on his side. Rand wonders if she is completely mad, or if the power of those sa’angreal was really as great as she claimed, and firmly steers his thoughts away from that. He asks why Rahvin would choose now to attack him; he thought Rahvin would avoid him as long as he did not impinge on Rahvin’s interests. Lanfear replies, but he is impinging, and explains that Rahvin is ruling Andor through Morgase, and intends to use her to claim the throne of Cairhien, and Cairhien is where Rand’s Tairens are currently sending food and troops into. Rand mentally asks Elayne to forgive him, and pretends indifference to Morgase’s plight, and thanks her for the warning, thinking that at least one good reason not to kill her was that she would tell him more than she meant to, if he let her. Then he wonders if that was his own thought. Lanfear observes that he is warding his dreams against her, and Rand replies that he is shielding from everyone, not just her; she says dreams are hers, and threatens to break through his warding. He pretends unconcern, sitting down and trying again to remember how to block someone from the Source. Lanfear continues that she could frighten these Wise Ones so they never attempt to spy on him again; Rand doesn’t dare tell her to leave them alone, and so counters that he thought she would not aid him openly. Then she remarks that the girl Egwene’s dreams most often feature Morgase’s son and stepson, especially the former, Gawyn.

She was trying to test his jealousy, he realized. She really thought he warded his dreams to hide thoughts of another woman!

There is a knock at the door, and Rand jumps up, but Lanfear already has a gateway open. She tells him to remember that she is his only hope of survival, and leaves. Rand opens the door, and Enaila sticks her head in, looking around suspiciously, and tells him the clan chiefs are waiting below for him. As soon as Rand reaches them, Han tells him that the Shaido are on the move, as well as all the unaffiliated clans. Rand asks whether the other clans move to join Couladin or him, and Rhuarc says it’s too early to tell, but the Shaido are moving toward Jangai Pass. Rand nods, thinking that Couladin has forced his hand, and tells the chiefs to rouse the spears; if they can’t catch Couladin, Rand means to be right behind him into Cairhien.

Balefire: not an indoor sport, evidently. From the descriptions of what happens every time the characters use balefire, in fact, I would think the greatest danger from using it would be, not destroying the Pattern, but dying from structural collapse immediately afterwards. I guess it’s just ta’veren luck that Rand’s never sliced through a load-bearing wall, eh?

Now that I think about it, I don’t understand how on earth the whole Palace in Tanchico didn’t go splat in TSR, from the amount of masonry Jeaine Caide appeared to have taken out before pulling a Claude Rains. Retroactive architecture fail? You decide!

(“Retroactive.” I should probably be fined.)

I always thought balefire as Randland’s version of WMD was a pretty cool concept, myself. Certainly the idea of something that can unravel frickin’ reality is pretty durn scary. Scary enough, evidently, to induce Moiraine to go for broke and try (DUN!) humility as a court of last resort. (DUN!)

I personally applauded the hell out of this move, the first time, even as my jaw positively dropped with surprise. (DU- okay, I’ll stop doing that now.) Not because I was all like “yay, Moiraine comeuppance!” (though there was a leetle bit of that, I’ll admit), but because I was like “Jesus H., FINALLY someone tries a method that might actually work on Stubborn McChivalry over there!” You know, like telling the truth? Actual communication, liek whoa? It’s so crazy it just might work!

Although, the problem with Moiraine telling Rand not to use balefire (well, one of them) is that balefire seems to be the only thing that actually kills Darkhounds really most sincerely Ded. Have we seen them get reliably killed any other way?

Also also, re: poisonous blood/saliva/anything: I just happened to catch Resident Evil on cable the other day. COINCIDENCE? Okay, probably. But I’m pretty comfortable with the assertion that Darkhounds are the zombies of Randland; they’re just wolf zombies, instead of braaains people zombies. Snazzy!

Traveling: I’m sorry, but that whole “you have to know where you are, not where you’re going” thing is one of the most counterintuitive One Power concepts in all of WOT, if you ask me. It makes no sense. How do you tell it where to go if you don’t know where you’re going? Even OnStar needs a street name and a zipcode, for the love of Pete! “Oh, yeah, I know this patch of grass super-good, now take me to that place with the guy by the thing.” Rational!

Lanfear: sing it with me if you know it: Crazy for FEE-ling so bluuueeeueuee! I totally did not remember that it was Lanfear who first gives us the clue that Egwene wants Gawyn more than Galad; trust Lanfear to note that detail. I give her the reaction to the “Mierin” speech quoted above, though. That had to be one hell of a shock, hearing all that come out of Rand’s mouth. Not as shocking as it was for him, of course, but still.

Did I tell you guys what my personal Lews Therin theory is yet? Well, if I did, too bad, you’re hearing it again. My personal Lews Therin theory (mostly cheerfully stolen from Jean Dufresne, ex-rasfwr-jian) is that the memories/mannerisms/drawing skills are real, leakage from his previous incarnation as Lews Therin Telamon, but the “Lews Therin” voice Rand talks to is not real. The loony Lews Therin in his head (sez I) is an alternate personality constructed to siphon off Rand’s own encroaching taint-induced insanity, and leave the sane “Rand” personality free to be, well, not crazy. It’s All So Freudian.

(I have issues with Freud as applied in the real world, but as a source for narrative devices he is kickass.)

Jordan’s weigh-in on the subject (that Rand is one soul with two personalities) is vague enough in my opinion that it can be viewed as either support for the argument or evidence against it, so naturally I take the position that it supports my position. Yay, I win!

Now, having thrown my Holy Hand Grenade, I runaway!

Chapter 7: A Departure

What Happens
Egwene yawns and mounts her horse; she is not looking forward to the journey west. She shares a smile with Amys, for she had successfully found Amys’s dreams the night before, and they had had tea in the dream to celebrate. Afterwards Egwene had been too excited to stop, and had gone exploring. She had been careful not to enter Bair’s or Melaine’s dreams, and had tried Rand’s instead, but it was like running into a wall; she is resolved not to give up on the problem of how to get around the ward. Everything is in organized chaos as the Aiel prepare to depart, and Egwene ignores Kadere’s bow to her, thinking that his dreams had been decidedly unpleasant. She rides to the Roof of the Maidens, and sees that Isendre is now clothed like the gai’shain, but in black instead of white, which Egwene thinks is going to be tortuous once the day’s heat gets going. She knows better than to try and intervene in the Maidens’ affairs, especially since they had decided that she was more a Wise One pupil than she was Aes Sedai, but can’t help thinking of the glimpse she had had of Isendre’s dreams, which were horrific nightmares of torture that had sent Egwene bolting awake. She sees Rand outside the Roof, and notes he has a new belt buckle in the shape of a dragon, and thinks disapprovingly that he is really starting think a lot of himself. Rand is talking to the Aiel who are staying behind about the Ogier stonemasons he sent for to help rebuild Rhuidean, which Egwene approves of. She sees Mat, looking rumpled as usual, and thinks she had carefully avoided his dreams, and her suspicions over what they would have been about are confirmed when he looks embarrassed at a blonde Maiden’s grin at him. She stops her horse beside his, and Mat nods to Moiraine and tells Egwene that Rand told her to be quiet, and she did it.

“She started telling him why this is the wrong thing to do — sounded to me like she was saying it for the hundredth time — and he said, ‘I’ve decided, Moiraine. Stand over there and be quiet till I have time for you.’ Like he expected her to do as she was told. And she did. Is that steam coming out of her ears?”

He chortles. Egwene sniffs loudly, but Mat only gives her a wry look and chuckles again, and Egwene ignores him in favor of wondering why on earth Moiraine would do as Rand told her. She has a feeling Moiraine will tell her it’s none of her business, but Egwene hates not understanding things, and determines to get to the bottom of it. She spots Aviendha and heads over to her. Aviendha is staring at Rand, turning her ivory bracelet over and over; Egwene knows that the bracelet has something to do with Aviendha’s difficulty with Rand, but Aviendha refuses to explain it to Egwene. Egwene asks Aviendha to let her try again to talk the Wise Ones out of their plan for her, and Aviendha is puzzled that she’s still up in arms about that. Egwene then says that Aviendha does not have to be afraid of Rand, and Aviendha flares up and replies that she is scared of no man, and Egwene should not say such things, near-sister or not. Egwene sighs.

Aviendha’s dream had been too painful to watch for long. Naked but for that ivory bracelet, and that seeming to drag at her as if it weighed a hundred pounds, Aviendha had been running as hard as she could across a cracked clay flat. And behind her, Rand came, a giant twice the size of an Ogier on a huge Jeade’en, slowly but inexorably catching up.

Egwene thinks you can’t tell your friends they are lying, especially when she would have to admit how she knew it for a lie. Egwene flushes a little, and promises herself, no more rummaging in other people’s dreams. The crowd around Rand starts to break up, and as he mounts his horse, one of the traders asks if he means to ever return. Silence spreads as the question is passed back among the crowd, and Rand is silent too for a moment. Then he says that the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills, but he hopes to return; and in any case, he will give them something to remember him by, and sticks his hand in his coat pocket.

Abruptly a fountain near the Roof burst to life, water gushing from the mouths of incongruous porpoises standing on their tails. Beyond that, a statue of a young man with a horn raised to the sky suddenly was putting up a spreading fan, and then two stone women farther on were casting sprays of water from their hands. In stunned stillness the Aiel watched as all the fountains of Rhuidean flowed once more.

Rand mutters that he should have done that long since, but his voice carries clearly in the stillness. Egwene stares at him, thinking that she keeps thinking she’s used to the fact that Rand is a man who can channel, and then suddenly it hits her all at once again. She thinks maybe Aviendha is right to be afraid of him, but when she looks, Aviendha is staring at the fountains with delighted wonder. Rand gives the order to move out, and the huge party of thousands begins its trek out of Rhuidean.

Moiraine double-checks that the doorframe ter’angreal is firmly lashed in the lead wagon behind Kadere’s, and looks back at the plaza, noting the glass columns and the three gray metal rings. She thinks of the rings, and how the first test to become a Wise One was to step through any one of them, and go through one’s own life over and over, with each possible future based on every possible decision throughout her life.

Death was possible in those, too; some women could not face the future any more than others could face the past. All possible futures were too many for a mind to retain, of course. They jumbled together and faded away for the most part, but a woman gained a sense of things that would happen in her life, that must happen, that might happen. Usually even that was hidden until the moment was on her. Not always, though. Moiraine had been through those rings.

A spoonful of hope and a cup of despair, she thought.

Lan is distressed, and tells her he does not like seeing her like this. Moiraine asks, like what, and he replies that he has never seen her worried and afraid before, not even when she found out Sammael was in the same city as they. He asks, is the end coming? Moiraine gives a start, and tries to cover it by assuming he means Tarmon Gai’don, and saying “a redbird in Seleisin” knows as well as she. Lan asks slowly what else he could have meant, and Moiraine curses herself for saying anything. He says she has grown impatient, and he doesn’t understand what possessed her to give “the boy” an oath like that. Moiraine replies that Rand has been drawing away from her, and she will do everything short of sharing his bed to make sure he gets the guidance he needs.

The rings had told her that that would be disaster. Not that she had ever considered it — the very idea still shocked her! — but in the rings it was something she would or could have considered in the future. It was a measure of her growing desperation, no doubt, and in the rings she had seen that it would bring ruination on everything.

Lan remarks that perhaps it will help her humility grow if she has to fetch Rand’s slippers, and Moiraine wonders if he just tried to make a joke. If so, it wasn’t very funny (Moiraine had never seen the point of humility), but it meant that he was changing, and that was because of Nynaeve al’Meara. Lan had tried to deny it, not that he loved Nynaeve, but that he could ever have her, and Moiraine thinks that she’s taken care of that, at least, though he would not know how until it was done.

“This arid land seems to have withered your own humility, al’Lan Mandragoran. I shall have to find some water to make it grow again.”

“My humility is honed to razor sharpness,” he told her dryly. “You never let it grow too dull.”

The long column of Aiel snakes out of Chaendaer, and Moiraine looks at the barren landscape – a hard land that shaped a hard people – and wonders what Rand will make of the Aiel in the end.

Oh, Egwene. (Ooh! Ooh!)

Violation of privacy continues apace! Although – eh, I don’t know. With the spectacular lack of communicating all the characters in WOT do, Egwene (and the readers) would never find out anything without her being a giant snoop, so maybe it’s justified. Or at least understandable. I guess you have to ask yourself, if you suddenly discovered that you could horn in on people’s dreams, would you be able to resist taking a peek?

Of course, she still doesn’t necessarily get the interpretations of what she sees right (see Aviendha), but you know. I was really disappointed that she hadn’t peeked into Mat’s dreams, personally, because I bet he wouldn’t have been dreaming about what she thinks he would have been dreaming about. Well, not the whole time, anyway.

Interesting, after Lanfear’s little tidbit in the previous chapter, that Egwene never thinks about what she’s been dreaming about, isn’t it?

I’m with Aviendha: I loved Rand reviving the fountains. One of those cool little sensawunda moments I dote upon in fantasy.

Moiraine POV, yay! They’re fun because they’re so rare. Though of course as usual she manages to be mysterious even when we’re inside her head.

The concept behind the Wise Ones’ rings is a little dizzying, too. If it shows you every possible result of every possible decision… well, I ain’t no math major, but I can say authoritatively that that is a metric fuckton of possible futures, right there. No wonder you can’t hold them all in your head. I’d be screwed, I can’t even finish a “hard” level game of sudoku.

I have the same reaction here to the possibility of Moiraine sleeping with Rand as I did to the “sexy” scene with her and Perrin in TDR, namely Eurgh. So wrong, you guys. This is probably just me, but I actually have trouble seeing her romantically involved with anyone at all. I don’t know why; something about the notion of her becoming unguarded enough to be mushy with a guy just seems bizarre and unlikely.

That includes Thom, by the way; if Brandon manages to pull off a successful love scene with the two of them in the last three books (assuming one happens, which it may not, who knows), I will be frankly impressed. (By “love scene” I don’t necessarily mean “sex scene”, I mean any scene in which they express love for each other. I just can’t picture it!)

I love the Lan/Moiraine banter here (nice subtle reference to the then-unwritten events of New Spring), though I love less what she’s going to end up doing to him. But that’s for later.

And that’s all I gots for now, chirren. Hopefully Friday will provide more coherency, i.e. sleep. See you there!


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