New developments abound for the intrepid travelers! Perrin discovers he’s not like other men. Rand and Mat face demons in dreams and the waking world. Thom makes a drastic choice. SO much is happening!
The group from the Two Rivers is still split up. Mat and Rand are on board the Spray, traveling down the river Arinelle with Thom. Egwene and Perrin meet a new interesting friend, with other friends of his own. These next few chapters of The Eye of the World focus on the three boys, the three who are being heavily pursued by the Dark One. And they soon learn that no place is safe from Ba’alzamon.
Both Perrin and Egwene manage to make it across the river after the group spilt up during the trolloc pursuit. Together, with Bela the horse, they attempt to make their way to Whitebridge. Times are difficult and food is scarce for the duo. That is until they come upon a man in the forest, a man unlike other men. Elyas Machera welcomes Perrin and Egwene to his fire, to share his food, and to tell their stories. But Elyas is not alone. He has friends. A lot of friends actually. Golden-eyed Elyas is a wolfbrother–a man that can communicate with wolves. And he travels with a pack of them. Dapple is the pack leader and knows when humans lie. Thus Perrin and Egwene tell their true story to Elyas and the wolves; where they come from and where they are going. Elyas agrees to help them, as long as they don’t mind the wolves along for the journey.
This meeting is when Perrin learns something startling. He too can communicate with wolves, he is a wolfbrother. He denies this at first, afraid of what it might mean for him. But as he soon learns, he can understand the basic thoughts and feelings of the wolf pack around him. This has to be one of the coolest creations from The Wheel of Time. Being able to speak to wolves? Amazing. It’s unfortunate that Perrin doesn’t think so…but time will tell how he comes to deal with it.
Meanwhile Rand, Mat, and Thom make their way down river aboard the Spray with Captain Domon and crew. Rand and Mat begin to have disturbing dreams again, dreams that seem to have real consequences in real life. Rand dreams of a maze where he cannot escape. And within the dream is Ba’alzamon, chasing him, speaking to him. Rand tries to escape and pricks his finger on a wall of thorns. When he wakes, Rand’s finger is bleeding. He’s not quite sure what this means, but it can’t be anything good.
Rand mentions his dream to Mat and discovers Mat is having the same type of dreams featuring the Dark One. Mat, however, isn’t acting his normal self. Rand notices that Mat is brooding and paranoid. He confronts Mat and finds that Mat took a gold dagger with a ruby hilt from the treasure at Shadar Logoth. Rand promises not to tell anyone about it (bad idea, Rand).
Eventually the ship arrives in Whitebridge, but things are about to get more dangerous for Rand, Mat, and Thom.
Traveling People, Perrin’s Dreams
Egewene, Perrin, and Elyas make their way through back roads and forests. They come across some acquaintances of Elyas, the Tuatha’an, also known as the Traveling People or the Tinkers. Elyas is known to them, and they agree to travel with the trio. The Traveling People are almost like gypsies, they wear bright clothing, sing and dance often, and follow the Way of the Leaf. They believe in harming no one or any animal, no matter if they are in mortal danger. Perrin and Elyas hardily disagree with this stance, but make sure not to offend the group. They also seek what they call “The Song”. This has meaning for what might be called the end of the world, but might also mean more to the Tuatha’an than they can fathom. While with the Traveling People, Egwene makes friends with a young man named Aram. He’s head strong and doesn’t really fit in with his family. Aram will definitely appear later in the Wheel of Time series, so don’t ignore this character.
Like Rand and Mat, Perrin is having troubling dreams as well. Perrin’s dreams are of more normal, everyday things (such as life in the Two Rivers). But he notices that in each dream there is a wolf facing away from him, as if watching or keeping guard over him. While this works for awhile, it doesn’t last. Ba’alzamon finds Perrin’s dream too. And he harms the guardian wolf, setting it on fire. When Perrin awakes, the wolves and Elyas say it is time to move on from the Tuatha’an. They could sense something is wrong, that something dark is coming. Perring would be wise to understand this, to see that the wolves can help him. But that’s going to take some time, he wants to deny his abilities.
Finally off the Spray, Mat, Rand, and Thom wander the streets of Whitebridge. Thom finds a good tavern to dig into what’s been happening in the town. They learn of the False Dragon, Logain, and his capture. Logain attempted to raise an army, but the Aes Sedai were able to capture him before this happened. Being a male that can channel the Power is dangerous, both to the man and to others. Thus Aes Sedai are sent to capture them. This plays an important part in what will happen to Rand once he learns more about Aes Sedai.
The group also learns about a mysterious black-clad man searching for travelers that fit the description of the Emond’s Fielders plus Moiraine and Lan. The tavern owner describes the man as evil, not quite a man. Thom immediately picks up that this person is not a person at all, but a Fade. The group makes a break from the tavern and attempts to get out of Whitebridge asap. But their luck as run out. The Fade finds them. Rand, Mat, and Thom are cornered; they know they can’t win in a fight with a Fade. Thom decides to make a stand. He directs Rand and Mat to run, to flee to the city of Caemlyn and find help.
Thom goes for his knives. He races toward the Fade, intent on stopping it. Together Thom and the Fade crash to the ground in battle. All the while Thom screams, “RUN!” at Rand and Mat.
And so they run. And Thom’s fate is hanging in the balance.
The end of these chapters have Perrin and Egwene on the move again, this time with accompanying friends. Rand and Mat are alone, with no help and the screams of Thom ringing in their heads. So much is happening so fast to these characters, the book is getting intense. The following chapters will catch up with the others of the original group, Moirane, Lan, and Nynaeve. Plus, what happens to good old Thom? Is he alive or dead? Read ahead and come back for more Wheel of Time Book Club!
Courtney Martin is a graduate of Indiana University and works in publishing. She’s an avid Star Wars fan and wrote the recipe blog Courtney Cooks Star Wars on suvudu.com. When not enveloped a science fiction or fantasy novel, she is watching television with her husband and son, doing crossword puzzles, or playing with her Shih Tzu, Burt.