As all of the traverlers near Tar Valon, threats seem to be closing in on them. Moiraine, Lan, and Nynaeve are still searching for the others of their party. Perrin, Egwene, and Elyas face a terrible life or death battle. And Rand and Mat are being tracked. Will they make it to Tar Valon, or will they lose someone else like Thom?
Everyone is slowly trying to get to the safety of Tar Valon, but it is proving to be a daunting task. Moiraine, Lan, and Nynaeve make it to Whitebridge, but after Rand and Mat have already fled. Perrin, Egwene, and Elyas are pursued by relentless, killing ravens. Rand and Mat are fairing a bit better, but not for long. Will everyone survive the clutches of the Dark One?
Using her Aes Sedai powers, Moiraine is able to track two of the Emond’s Field boys to Whitebridge. But as the trio arrives they realize the boys are gone, and a Halfman had been in the town. Here Lan starts to show some of his unique talents; he can feel the Halfman’s precence. What else can the Warder do, what other powers does he hold? Time will tell! Another important development during this group’s journey to Whitebridge is that Nynaeve starts to blush often around Lan. What is this indicating? She seems to loathe both Moiraine and the Warder, but this is different for her. She pushes her feelings down and tries to concentrate on finding her fellow Emond’s Fielders.
Perrin, Egwene, and Elyas split from the Traveling People and headed out on their own. Their journey is difficult, as the land is getting sparse with vegetation and animals. Winter is coming upon the land soon. As they make their way across rolling plains Elyas notices a huge flock of ravens off in the distance. He’s immediately on guard; Elyas knows that ravens are the “Dark One’s Eyes”. They spy for Ba’alzamon, and they delight in killing. The three travelers try to stay far enough behind the ravens that they are not noticed. Their luck on this runs out quickly when they learn (from the wolves that follow Elyas) that there is another flock of ravens behind them, coming up on them fast. Soon it’s a race to find a safe location to hide. The raves are merciless-they kill for fun. This part of the book is very much akin to the famous film The Birds. Perrin, Egwene, and Elyas flee for safety, and the wolves try to draw the ravens away. Perrin can feel the wolves in the distance, and they are hurt. The ravens ruthlessly attack them. As the group runs and runs they barely make it to Elyas’ safe haven, a stedding. A stedding a special place where the Dark One and the One Power cannot reach. The group waits and rests, but not for long. Trouble is coming their way, again.
Children of the Light
As Perrin, Egwene, and Elyas hunker down in the stedding, the wolves send messages that a large group of men are approaching. The wolves repeatedly try to communicate that the men “don’t smell right”; it’s the wolves’ way of saying there’s something wrong with these men. Elyas is able to escape and hide with the wolves, and together they attack and kill many of the Children of the Light. But the group of Children reach Perrin and Egwene, and threaten their lives. As this is happening one of the wolves, Hopper, sacrificies himself to save Perrin and Egwene. Perrin not only sees this, but feels it as well. It sends him into a rage. Perrin kills two members of the Children of the Light. Now their situation is even more dire. Egwene and Perrin are captured.
Captain Geofram Bornhald is the Lord Captain Commander of the Children of the Light. The Children are religious fanatics, and although Bornhald is reasonable, he declares Perrin to be put to death for killing two of the group’s members. It’s at this time that Child Byar is introduced. He is a member of the Children of the Light, but he is an ultimate fanatic. Readers would do well to mark the special interactions between Byar and Perrin.
Mat and Rand make their way though the countryside towards a new city. They’ve lost Thom, and both are in depressed, starving, and homesick. They eventually realize they can use what Thom taught them of being a gleeman to earn food and lodging. Every time the duo happens upon some danger, Mat acts paranoid and grabs the ruby hilt dagger. Rand starts to suspect that Mat has an unhealthy attachment to the dagger. (And he’s not wrong).
Eventually they make it to a town called Four Kings. They manage to get a small job of entertaining at an inn, The Dancing Cartman. The innkeeper, Saml Hake, is not a person to trust. He continuously eyes the boys and their meager belongings. It’s obvious to Rand and Mat that he plans to rob them. While they play music and juggle for the inn’s crowd, a new stranger appears. He’s in fancy dress and does not blend in with the normal folk. Mat and Rand feel more and more uncomfortable in his prescence. They learn his name is Howal Gode; they can see he is interested in them, and feel that he plans to harm them.
That evening Mat and Rand are granted pallets and a room, and try to bar themselves in. They know that either Hake or Gode are coming for them. And they are right. Gode gets the upper hand and comes to take them to his master, Ba’alzamon. Gode is a darkfriend. Mat and Rand try to escape, to no avail. But suddenly lightening strikes their room, blasts out a wall, and the boys are able to escape. They flee as fast as the can. Where can the go that’s safe?
Almost all of the main characters are in some kind of deep trouble now! What will happen with the Children of the Light? Can Perrin survive? Where are Rand and Mat going? Nowhere is safe. Will Moiraine find all of the Emond’s Field group before a dire fate befalls them? The end of The Eye of the World is coming up quick! 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.