When the Unfettered III anthology was announced a few months ago, one of the big surprises was a second “deleted scene” novella from Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson’s A Memory of Light. (The first, “River of Souls,” appeared in the first Unfettered in 2013.) “I’ve long been fond of this sequence, and it was quite difficult to cut from the book,” Sanderson wrote in his own announcement, adding that it addresses “one of the big unanswered questions we left hanging at the end of the Wheel of Time.” The novella involves Perrin traveling into the Ways.
Unfettered III won’t be available for another several months, but Sanderson shared a sneak peek on Twitter today: the opening page of the novella in its current form, before it gets a little polish.
Sanderson’s tweet, and the text itself following:
Hello, old friend. It's been a while. Let's see if we can polish you up a little bit before your debut. (If you're confused, details can be found here: https://t.co/g0GifMXat8) pic.twitter.com/wTUWWKoGY2
— Brandon Sanderson (@BrandSanderson) October 22, 2018
Perrin stepped through the gateway into Cairhien, gripping his hammer, looking right and left down the narrow, cobbled alley. It was night, and the alley was dark—though lantern light through the gateway painted the cobbles golden at his feet.
The city was rank with the smells of men: smoke from nearby chimneys, the lingering aroma of powders and perfumes, even the scent of paint on the wooden boards of the alley—long dried and gone stale. Missing was the scent of rotted food, so commonly associated with cities. Not even the smallest scraps were left to rot in Cairhien these days.
Part of him fixated the smoke first, then tucked its presence into the back of his mind. Fire was the simplest, and often first, way for a wolf to know that men were near.
Let’s not forget that Sanderson said, “I do have to warn you that—unlike River of Souls, which we consider canon to events in the Wheel of Time—this as-of-yet untitled sequence is NOT canon. You’ll want to read it in the same way you’d watch an unfinished, alternate film scene that ended up not being used.”
Unfettered III will be available March 19, 2019 from Grim Oak Press. In the meantime, we have to ask:
So why did Perrin feel the need to go to Cairhien during A Memory of Light?