Welcome back to Reading The Wheel of Time! This week we’re covering Chapters Four and Five of Lord of Chaos. I especially enjoyed catching up with Mat, and the way that the narration in his chapter seamlessly recaps all the important information from previous books while also catching us up on where Mat is now. The most mischievous of the ta’veren seems to have changed a bit since we last saw him; he’s accepted the fact that he is ta’veren, and he’s even settling (reluctantly) into his new role as a military commander. He also makes a new friend. Somehow I’m guessing that little Olver is going to end up staying with Mat for a while.
I found Chapter Three especially difficult to recap because Jordan is doing that thing where he’s telling the chapter from Rand’s point of view, but he’s hiding some of Rand’s thoughts so that the plan to trap Sammael can remain a surprise for the reader. I understand why he does this at times, usually with Rand and Moiraine, or when we spend time in the POV of a powerful darkfriend, to avoid giving too much away, but I always feel like it makes the narration clunky and out of sync with the rest of Jordan’s writing. This may be more of a me problem than an objective analysis, but there it is.
Anyway, onward to the recap and the Band of the Red Hand.