The excitement builds during the next chapters of The Eye of the World! Trollocs, Fades, new places, new threats and new friends. Can the Aes Sedai keep the group safe?
The Two Rivers group is chased by beastly Trollocs and eyeless Fades! After a long road, Moiraine, Rand, Perrin, Mat, Egewene, Lan, and Thom arrive in Baerlon after fleeing trouble in Emond’s Field. Once in Baerlon they meet friends and foes alike. As the group stay at an inn, Moiraine introduces them to a special woman named Min. And so the next chapters start, and are about to get very exciting! The Eye of the World continues…
Described as “a crop-haired young woman” dressed in a coat and pants (highly unusual as women normally wear dresses or skirts), Min is one of the first friends the group of travelers will make on their journey. Min is well known to Moiraine; not only have they met previously, but Moiraine knows of the special visions Min has. When Min looks at a person, she sees a variety of symbols floating around them. These symbols are only visible to Min, and only she can interpret their distinct meaning. Moiraine says Min sees “pieces of the pattern”, she sees things that mean something in the grand scheme of a person’s life. When Min looks at the group from Emond’s Field she sees thousands of swirling sparks and an enormous black shadow. She states, “The sparks are trying to fill the shadow, and the shadow is trying to swallow the sparks.” Min interprets this to mean they are all tied to something dangerous, but she is not sure what. Min has many other visions when looking at each of the group individually. The visions she lists are pages 215-216, and while they may not make any sense in the story yet, they most certainly will as the series progresses. And this won’t be the last time Min appears.
Min starts out as interesting and will only become more so as the series builds. Her visions, odd as they are, do actually indicate something about the future. And she is always right in what she sees. Here with the sparks and shadow vision of the whole group of characters, this could be interpreted as the individual group members are the light that will fight the shadow (the Dark One, Darkfriends, Trollocs, Fades, etc.). Keep in mind when reading the series, Min is always right!
The Children of the Light
During their stay in Baerlon, the three boys come afoul of a group of fanatics called The Children of the Light. Commonly known as Whitecloaks, the Children of the Light hate Aes Sedai and anything to do with the One Power. Likewise the hate the Dark One and his minions. They are very proper, highly pious, and meticulously clean. The Children immediately take offense to Mat tricking them, and the captain of the group, Bornhald, takes note of the group. A new enemy has been made.
The Children of the Light are, well, annoying. They think themselves better than everyone and always right. As clean and good as they appear though, there is tarnish deep under the exterior. Time will illustrate this as the Wheel moves.
Nynaeve al’Meara tracks the group from the Two Rivers to Baerlon and meets up with them at the inn. She wants to take the boys and Egewene back to Emond’s Field and protect them. Moiraine and Nynaeve do not see eye to eye on anything and continually butt heads. Nynaeve eventually agrees to go with the Aes Sedai, but only to look out for her townsfolk. Min has a vision that Nynaeve is also mixed up in the same sparks and shadow the rest of the group is.
Flight from Baerlon
Eventually their time in Baerlon is cut short; a Darkfriend alerts Fades and Trollocs close by that their quarry is in town. The group must flee Baerlon in the night. But when they get to the city gates, the guard will not open them. They are stopped by the Children of the Light and Bornhald. The groups’ way is barred, and thus Moiraine must show her Aes Sedai powers finally. Lan manages to get the gate open and the group escapes as Moiraine uses her power to preoccupy the Children. Here Moiraine’s might is shown. Here Moiraine displays just some of what an Aes Sedai can do. She uses the One Power to grow and grow, tall enough to step over the city wall! The feat does not last long, but it’s long enough for everyone to escape Baerlon.
The travelers make their way to the next city, Whitebridge. The road is soon unsafe as they are relentlessly persued by Trolloc horns. The group must now race to safety once again. They race faster and faster, but the Trollocs and Fades are quickly catching up. Moiraine and Lan reluctantly decide to take the group into Shadar Logoth, a deserted city that the Trollocs and Fades will not enter.
Shadar Logoth was once a huge, sprawling city. Remains of the city were massive; palaces, homes, sculptures, and fountains made of stone. But no one lives in Shadar Logoth. The group sets up camp in an abandoned building and Moiraine sets wards to protect them. But the three boys, Mat, Perrin, and Rand, will not sit idle. They go off to explore the ruins. This is a bad idea. A very bad idea.
As the boys venture out, they meet a man called Mordeth. Which should appear odd to them as the city is deserted, but they don’t think too much of it. Rand and Perring are a bit wary, but Mat is ready to have adventure. When Mordeth says he found a great treasure, but needs help carrying it out, the boys agree to assist. They follow Mordeth into the depths of an enormous structure, and sure enough, there’s a massive treasure. Mordeth tries to get the boys to carry the treasure out for him. When Mordeth finds out the three boys are not alone, he becomes angry. Once he finds out they are heading to see Aes Sedai in Tar Valon, Mordeth becomes enraged. Rand had a feeling that something was not right with this man, and finally at this point it clicks. Mordeth has no shadow. After this revelation, Mordeth becomes monstrous. He rages and grows to the size of the room. He reaches out to try and grab the boys. Mat is able to stab him, although the wound is small, and the boys scramble to safety and back to the group. They tell Moiraine and the other what happened; Moirane is overly concerned that none of the treasure was taken by the boys. They all assure her they did not take anything.
As the night progresses Moiraine tells the tale of Shadar Logoth and what happened to the great city. She explains how Mordeth, thousands of years ago, was the city’s advisor to the King. How the King went mad due to Mordeth. The story is long but Moiraine sums it up by saying that the city destroyed itself with hate and suspicion. And then Mashadar was born. Mashadar, an evil that preys upon the living. And Mordeth is part of the evil; he cannot escape the ruined city unless someone carries a piece of his treasure out of Shadar Logoth. He can then consume the soul of that person.
Lan is out scouting while Moiraine tells her tale. He returns with news that Trollocs have been forced into the city by Fades. The group must now risk leaving. As they attempt to ride out of town, they get split up by mist–a mist they cannot touch or they will die. This is Mashadar. All of the group ends up going different directions to avoid Mashadar, but then the Trollocs are upon them. They all flee as fast as they can. All of the group manages to escape Shadar Logoth, but they are no longer together as one group.
These chapters on Shadar Logoth are immensely suspenseful. There is danger in every shadow and at every turn. This is a superb example of Jordan’s excellent descriptive writing. The back story of Shadar Logoth is so interesting it could be made into a whole book. Here Jordan just touches on an idea, leaving the reader wanting more.
Rand, Mat, Thom end up escaping the city together. Trollocs are hot on their heels. The trio manages to find a boat on the nearby river and they hurriedly scramble aboard. After rousing the crew and captain, then fighting off Trollocs, the boat heads down river. The captain is Bayle Domon, a round-faced hardy man, and fair to the trio that brought Trollocs to his ship. They tell Domon some of their plight, and decide to pay him to take them downriver. Rand and Mat pose as apprentice gleemen to Thom, thus disguising their real identities and destination (Tar Valon).
Bayle Domon is another character that will appear more and more often during The Wheel of Time. Now the group is only on a river, but the world will expand to the sea as well.
Nynaeve and Moiraine
Nynaeve eventually meets up with Moiraine and Lan at the river on the way to Whitebridge. She is sneaking up on them, listening to their conversation, and suddenly Moiraine turns and looks directly at her. Nynaeve is stunned that Moiraine was able to hear or see her (being the expert tracker that Nynaeve considers herself). Moiraine lets Nynaeve know she felt her prescence there – that an Aes Sedai can feel when another woman that can use the One Power is near. This information shocks Nynaeve to the core. She did not know she could touch the One Power, that she had been in touch with it for sometime. Moiraine offers Nynaeve the chance to learn to control her powers while at Tar Valon. Nynaeve, stubborn as ever, does not want anything to do with Aes Sedai, but reluctantly agrees to learn from Moiraine.
As important as the interaction is between Moiraine and Nyaneve at many points, it is also wise to watch the small interactions, or lack of, between Lan and Nynaeve. Lan is always near Moiraine, so Nynaeve must also talk to him as well. Often times she tries to one-up him (such as thinking he can’t track her in the woods, or she him). Quite often Lan may indicate, very very mildly, his surprise at something Nynaeve does or says. This is great character development, and setup, on the part of the author. It’s something to be aware of not only with Lan and Nynaeve, but with other characters in the story now and in future books.
Split apart, running for their lives. Trollocs, Darkfriends, and Fades in pursuit. What is next for protagonists in The Eye of the World?
The upcoming chapters will catch up with each of the group members: who is together, where they are going, and which travelers are being pursued by dark forces. From here on out the plot gets increasingly more involved, with new locations, new friends and enemies, and character development. This book is sure to intrigue any reader from this point forward! Keep reading along and come back to RetroZap.com for more of The Wheel of Time bookclub!
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.