All original posts are listed in The Wheel of Time Reread Index here, and all Redux posts will also be archived there as well. (The Wheel of Time Master Index, as always, is here, which has links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general on Tor.com.)
The Wheel of Time reread is also now available as an ebook series, except for the portion covering A Memory of Light, which should become available soon.
All Reread Redux posts will contain spoilers for the entire Wheel of Time series, so if you haven’t read, read at your own risk.
And now, the post!
Chapter 27: Shelter from the Storm
The Tuatha’an sang and danced, cooked and ate around their campfires—fruits and nuts, berries and vegetables; they ate no meat
Well, at least they aren’t hypocritical about their pacifism.
Sure, I know that technically you can only be against violence towards people and still claim the title, but I’m probably still going to raise an eyebrow at someone telling me killing is wrong while chowing down on a big juicy sirloin.
“Blood and ashes, do you believe we’re safe here? Are these people safe with us here? A Fade could find us anytime.”
[Egwene’s] hand trembled on the beads. She lowered it and took a deep breath. “Whatever is going to happen will happen whether we leave today or next week. That’s what I believe now. Enjoy yourself, Perrin. It might be the last chance we have.”
Well. That quote… does not make Egwene look very good, I have to say. I mean, yes, whatever will happen will happen, but Perrin’s point is that if they leave, it won’t happen to the Tinkers. From that point of view, Egwene’s—and Elyas’s—determination to stay with the wagons comes off as… callous, really. Egwene more than Elyas, though, who (as we learn) at least knows to rely on the wolves as an early warning system, and has them leave as soon as anything happens. Though perhaps in Egwene’s case it would be more charitable to ascribe it to naivete.
For humans [Hopper] cared nothing, but Dapple wished this thing done, and Hopper would wait as she waited and run as she ran. Wolf or man, bull or bear, whatever challenged Dapple would find Hopper’s jaws waiting to send him to the long sleep. That was the whole of life for Hopper…
First of all: aw, Hopper.
Second, I didn’t remember that he was so devoted to Dapple originally. Which for some reason makes what is to follow even sadder.
Also, being able to hear wolves: still cool. Perrin’s opinions notwithstanding.
Still, his first instinct when Ishy burned the dream wolf was to try and help it, so at least there’s that. I’m not actually clear on whether that particular wolf was an actual wolf resident of the Dream World, or if it was more of a metaphysical representation of how Perrin’s Wolfbrotherliness protects (well, semi-protects, because Perrin is a stubborn ass) his dreams. For obvious reasons, I hope it was a symbolic wolf and not a real one.
“Trouble never enters the stedding,” Elyas agreed. “But the Ogier are none too open to strangers.”
“Everyone is open to the Traveling People,” Raen said, and grinned. “Besides, even Ogier have pots and things to mend.”
I had a little moment of bemusement when I realized that if I were a first time reader, I would have no clue what either of them were talking about, but until I actually thought of that, this exchange came across as completely unremarkable to me. Like, oh yeah, stedding, good call. Heh.
“You came in peace,” Raen intoned, bowing formally, hands on his chest. “Depart now in peace. Always will our fires welcome you, in peace. The Way of the Leaf is peace.”
“Peace be on you always,” Elyas replied, “and on all the People.” He hesitated, then added, “I will find the song, or another will find the song, but the song will be sung, this year or in a year to come. As it once was, so shall it be again, world without end.”
Raen blinked in surprise, and Ila looked completely flabbergasted, but all the other Tuatha’an murmured in reply, “World without end. World and time without end.”
The Tinkers’ ritual hellos and goodbyes always bring back fond-ish memories of going to Catholic Mass as a child, and murmuring the call and response bits that these are pretty much a direct riff on. I was really rather dismayed, in fact, when I found out recently that the wording of a lot of the responses has been changed since I stopped attending. But hey, at least they didn’t switch it over to a completely different language on me (something I think my grandmother still feels a little miffed about).
Other than that, Perrin’s embarrassment re: the dancing girls is still pretty adorable, Aram is still irritating from the moment we meet him, and this bit:
“Advice! Nobody tells us how to be men. We just are.”
“That,” Egwene said, “is probably why you make such a bad job of it.” Up ahead, Elyas cackled loudly.
Yep, that bit is still funny.
Chapter 28: Footprints in Air
Well, I feel pretty much like I did before: I get Nynaeve’s frustration in this chapter, but I get Moiraine’s as well.
I also enjoyed that Nynaeve shared my skepticism re: the White Bridge’s architectural choices. Heh.
“As I have told you,” Moiraine replied without bothering to look back at her, “I will know when I am close to the two who have lost their coins. […] The longer it takes, the closer I must come, but I will know.”
…Um. How, exactly? I thought it was only a few channelers who can “see” ta’veren, and Moiraine isn’t one of them (Siuan, Logain, and Nicola are the ones we meet, I think). So, if she can’t sense them via their ta’veren-ness, and they don’t have the coins, what is she using to track them? I don’t get it.
“They were in this room, perhaps a day ago, no more than two. Afraid, but they left alive. The trace would not have lasted without that strong emotion.”
Trace of what?
Certain things like this in the early books, especially TEOTW, make me think that Jordan either did not have everything about his magic system quite hammered out, or (more likely) he was allowing for a bit more esoteric hand-waviness in it than he settled on later. Which is fine; it’s just a little startling in retrospect.
Best line is still best line:
“Part of the training you will receive in Tar Valon, Wisdom, will teach you to control your temper. You can do nothing with the One Power when emotion rules your mind.”
LOL. Oh, the irony.
And, yeah. Both of these chapters were largely transitional ones, as I remarked in the original commentary, so I really don’t have anything more to say about them. But next week’s chapters include Action! (Yay!) Excitement! (Yay!) And Whitecloaks! (Ya— um.) So tune in next Tuesday, kids! See you then!