Wheel of Time Reread #8: The Path of Daggers

In anticipation of the Jan 8, 2013 release of A Memory of Light, the fourteenth and final book in the Wheel of Time series, I’m rereading the entire series. Each book gets its own spoiler-filled post.

thepathofdaggersI have no pithy introduction for The Path of Daggers, so let’s get to it.

The biggest things that happen in this book is that Elayne, Aviendha and Nynaeve finally use the Bowl of the Winds and fix the weather caused by the Dark One, and Rand finally battles (and vanquishes) some Seanchan that were threatening his new kingdom of Illian. But of course, the fun parts of Wheel of Time aren’t the “big” things.

This book was a bit annoying because Mat wasn’t in it. I probably wouldn’t be so irritated about this, but last we saw, Mat was running around Ebou Dar during a Seanchan attack, looking for a ten year old boy. In this book, Rand pushes the Seanchan back to Ebou Dar, so we cover a lot more time with no whiff of what happens to Mat. Yeah, I know he meets Tuon and all that, but still, it’s annoying!

Egwene begins her road to awesome with this book, finally taking control of the Hall and using obscure legal rules to declare war against Elaida and give herself absolute power during wartime. I was wondering why they weren’t using Traveling to get to Tar Valon, but I guess the rebel Aes Sedai were generally dragging their feet – Egwene puts a stop to this and last we saw, the army was outside Tar Valon.

Some exciting things happen with Perrin’s camp – the Queen of Ghealdan joins them, the ex-Queen of Andor becomes Faile’s servant (no one knows who she is, of course) – probably the best time in Morgase’s life for the last couple of years. Elyas shows up! I love the Wolfbrothers, so that was pretty exciting. But then of course, she gets kidnapped by Sevanna’s group, so that ended – at least that’s the last of her troubles. (This also means Faile gets kidnapped and that plotline gets stretched out to forever and is probably one of my least favourites… but I’ll suffer through it).

The Consolidation of the women-who-can-channel into the White Tower begins, and that is one of the more awesome parts, even if it’s slow. Egwene gathers a thousand new Novices, Elayne and Nynaeve gather Windfinders and Kinswomen, although there’s a lot of friction there (I hope that gets resolved quickly). And Rand collects sul’dam and damane on his battles against the Seanchan – I think those join, too.

What does Cadsuane end up teaching Rand? I love that her tactics of ignoring him worked and he’s asked her to be his advisor. He also gets a few more Aes Sedai to swear fealty to him – I can’t really approve of that, but I guess the Light can’t win without some dirty tricks. Although Rand being mad all the time isn’t doing any good, either.

Elayne finally reaches Caemlyn and starts consolidating her power. I can’t believe Dyelin’s willingness to support Elayne, but I guess she’s smart enough not to want the job of Queen, but dutiful enough to make sure someone good gets the throne. I don’t think I found that plotline that interesting on my first read, but we’ll see.

Other random things – the Shadow has had enough of the Forsaken trying to do their own thing, and is now putting them all firmly on a leash. Osan’gar tries attacking Rand with a few more Darkfriend asha’man, but he manages to avoid harm, and they escape – too bad. Nynaeve hasn’t learned to control her anger yet – she’s just madder because she likes being around Lan so much and knows it. Oh, and Rand has been thinking about cleansing saidin using Callandor, but quickly abandons that plan after he discovers Callandor’s flaw. I didn’t remember that happening, or even Callandor being used again. Good to know he had a plan, though, and that it involved Nynaeve.

Okay, onto Winter’s Heart and Mat. Mat, you’re never allowed to leave again.

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