The Fires of Heaven – Part 2

I think I’m starting to get to the point where I might need chapter by chapter notes of the books to even do the write ups I’ve been working on thus far, there is so much going on in every chapter that it’s difficult to keep track of everything that’s going on.

Rand’s storyline for this part of the book deals a lot with teaching more of the AIel culture, and in doing this it also shows a lot about what kind of a ruler – and person – Rand is becoming.  He definitely wants to move things along quickly, and is largely upset by any delays that he has to deal with.  He also has a strong sense of what accounts for justice, but is also willing to learn about the different people that he is dealing with and adjust his ruling depending on what they need.  He shows this clearly by still allowing the Aiel to take the fifth from the Cairhien people, but he promises swift punishment for those who take food or kill anyone for no reason.

The parts with Nynaeve and Elayne are a little different from many of the other characters because they really don’t know where they’re going at all.  They were planning on returning to the White Tower with the male a’dam, but upon learning that Siuan was deposed and Elaida raised, they are unsure of where they need to go.  Which leads us to Valen Luca’s menagerie, and they’re a fun group of people to see throughout the books.

I’ve also enjoyed Egwene’s part in this book.  She starts out as one of the more timid characters, and by the end of the series she is arguably the strongest character in the series.  This book really marks her turning point towards what she becomes in the later books, and it’s a lot of fun to watch.

My last thoughts for the second quarter of the book revolve around something that every large series needs, side characters.  Now in these books it’s a little more difficult to figure out who you would call a side character simply because there are so many named characters who all play a big role at one point or another in the series.  But there are two characters introduced in this section of the book that are wonderful whenever they show up in the books.  Lini, who helped raise both Morgase and Elayne is a wonderful character who is very grounded throughout the series.  The other character I have to talk about is Sorilea, one of the Aiel Wise Ones and arguably the most willful character you’ll ever find in a book.  After watching the other Aiel Wise Ones boss everyone around for a book and a half now, it’s fun to watch all of them jump when Sorilea yells at them.

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