The Fires of Heaven – Part 3

One of the things that I’ve always loved about books (and this series in particular) is how often you can find parts in the books that resonate with you as a reader.  This is why I have a separate page on my blog dedicated to quotes from books, because I really enjoy them and when you find a good one it works well even outside of the context of the book.  And while this series has one of my favorite quotes of all time – albeit in book 6 – there are several that I like from this book as well.

The more women there are about, the softer a wise man steps. – From Jasin Natael

He strains to hear a whisper who refuses to hear a shout. – From Egwene

The only thing sadder than a battle won is a battle lost. – From Rand

Ok, so that’s out of the way, time to talk about what’s actually happened in this quarter of the book, and we’ve a couple of big things to talk about.  The first is that we’ve reached a partial resolution to one of the main plots of the last book and a half.  Couladin has been killed (by Mat of all people) and the Shaido have been routed, which also ends up with nearly all of the Aiel following Rand (or at least that’s what it looks like, the Wise Ones are still discussing things amongst themselves).  But while the Shaido are routed, Jordan is very clear in showing that they’re still a potential problem down the road.

The second major event comes from following Siuan, Min, and Leane.  They finally found the rest of the Blue Aes Sedai as well as the rest of the Aes Sedai who refuse to follow Elaida.  But of course along with Siuan showing up, Gareth Bryne follows her straight into the deserted village.  This sets into place what will be one of the longer running storylines throughout the second half of the series, the division within the White Tower.

The last main part of this section followed Nynaeve and Elayne.  Aside from their continued trouble with Galad (which is actually starting to get a bit annoying) they have something slightly bigger to deal with, as they’re really the first characters who are openly fighting against one of the Forsaken.  I say openly despite the fact that Moghedian tends to work behind the scenes.  All of our encounters with the Forsaken in the previous books have been seemingly chance encounters towards the end of the book, or dealing with Lanfear, who seems to have her own agenda and definitely isn’t confronting Rand at the moment.

The first three books in this series are kind of quest fantasies.  The characters have something that they’re going after, and they more or less accomplish those goals.  Books 4 and 5 really start to shift towards more of the truly epic fantasy with multiple plotlines that will take several books (and several thousand pages) to resolve.

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