Lord of Chaos – Part 3

The end of book 5 is clearly a line of demarcation in the story.  Moiraine is gone, and surely without her all of the young people who are out trying to prepare the world for Tarmon Gai’don.  But let’s stop right there for just a second.  Yes, most of the main characters in this series are very young, most of them being right around 18-20 years old, with Nynaeve being a little closer to 25.  And while they’re still learning a lot about themselves, they’ve also had a lot of guidance from a lot of very smart people, and they’re still willing to listen to the advice that they’re given about how to move forward.

So since I’m talking about it, lets do a quick recap of exactly where our ‘young’ heroes stand at this point.  Rand is essentially ruling over three separate countries, and has amassed an army of Aiel who follow him as the Car’a’carn, along with Davram Bashere and a large force of Saldaean soldiers as well.  Mat has become one of the foremost generals in the world, and is amassing his own army.  Perrin (who still hasn’t been in the book other than the prologue) has essentially become a lord after rescuing the Two Rivers from a horde of trollocs, and he is still learning about being a wolfbrother.  Egwene was just raised to the Amyrlin Seat, and she’s showing that she knows what she needs to do, and is willing to take some risks to accomplish her goals.  Elayne was just raised to being a full Aes Sedai and is also in line to become the next Queen of Andor, along with making big strides towards learning to make ter’angreal and discovering things about the one power that had been thought to be lost for years.  Nynaeve has also been raised to a full Aes Sedai, and along with being one of the strongest Aes Sedai in recent memory, has learned how to Heal a person who has been stilled or gentled.

In a nutshell, that last paragraph is what the larger part of this section of the book was about, starting to put the characters in their places so that they’ll be in the positions of power that they’ll need to be in to prepare the world for, well, the end of the world.  If you were to go back and reread the first book after reaching this point in the series, you wouldn’t even think you were reading about the same characters, which was my thought when I picked up book 1 to start my reread after reading book 13.

This section of the book also has my favorite quote from the entire series, and for my money one of the most truthful things that I’ve ever read in any book.  When Sorilea is saying goodbye to Egwene when she leaves to return to the Aes Sedai in Salidar, she tells her: “We are always more afraid that we wish to be, but we can always be braver than we expect.”  I can’t think of any quote that I’ve ever seen that can literally apply to everyone on the planet.  It’s a wonderful line, and just another reminder of why I love this series so much.

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