Lord of Chaos – Part 2

So I’ve reached the halfway point of another Wheel of Time book, and compared to some of the earlier books, this section was relatively uneventful as compared to some of the earlier books, but there’s still quite a bit going on.  I think I’m getting to the point where I might start taking some chapter by chapter notes, but we’ll see what happens with that.

The single biggest event in this section of the book is probably the most shocking to the characters in world.  I believe it was at the end of book 5 that Rand announced an amnesty for all men who can channel, well, that comes to fruition as Mazrim Taim comes to meet Rand in Caemlyn.  Taim is, unusual from the first time he shows up.  For one, he’s about 15 years older than Rand, which means he probably should have gone insane from dealing with Saidin long ago.  Rand tells Taim that he wants him to find and teach men who are able to use the One Power, and specifically to train them to be used as weapons in the future, even this close to Rand letting him start teaching them, Taim has several students already able to use the power and has a plan in place to allow Rand’s group of men who can channel to rival the White Tower within a very short time.

But of course Rand has started another type of school as well, this one in Cairhien and for inventors of all sorts.  This is one of the things that I love about these books, and Jordan as a writer.  The world existed before the books, and that is shown by the extensive history that is hinted at throughout the story, but the world is also going to exist after the story is told, and the characters are willing to take some time and look towards the future.  It’s something that you don’t always find in books, and it’s another thing that made Jordan such a fantastic writer.

Nynaeve and Elayne settled into Salidar in the last book, and at this point they’re starting to chafe at being stuck in one place for so long, especially when they both think that they should be somewhere else trying to help Rand in some way.  Their section is also a good example of the different types of power that I’ve talked about in the books before.  Moghedian is clearly their prisoner, yet at the same time she is still able to exert some authority over them through trickery and trying to steer them towards a course of action that she thinks would be better for her.  She’s also able to succeed to an extent, definitely in her ability to scare Nynaeve.

One last thing that I want to make a note of, in every book Jordan had a segment where he would list a bunch of things seen in a prophecy that served as a foreshadowing of something to come later in the series.  Many times these are done through Min’s viewings, or from the dreams of a Wise One or Egwene, although Mat going through the door ter’angreal is the same thing as well.  Anyway, when discussing a ter’angreal bowl that could be used to work with the weather, and Aviendha tells Rand that the Wise Ones said “the key to finding the bowl is to find the one who is no longer.”  A lot of Jordan’s foreshadowing in this manner is fairly cryptic, but this one seems a little stranger than some of the others.  I still think I know who it’s referring to, but it’s strange nonetheless.

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