Wheel of Time Reread #10: Crossroads of Twilight

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.

COTCoverAh, Crossroads of Twilight. The Book Where Nothing Happens. Okay, several plotlines are advanced by a hair, and some new ones are introduced. But they go nowhere.

The fifth Great Captain, Rodel Ituralde, finally shows up, and he seems to making the best of a situation where he should’ve been playing into Graendal’s hands. I already like him. Too bad he doesn’t show up again. Eamon Valda and the Whitecloak army are the next to show up, also never to be seen again. I guess the point was to establish that they exist and will be in play at some point.

Logain and his two “bonded” Aes Sedai are the first characters to show up that don’t disappear for the rest of the book, but when they do show up to warn Rand about Taim’s evilness, Rand has way too much stuff on his plate to deal with it. Poor Logain.

The White Tower has several different plotlines going on and those are a big part of the book – the Black Ajah hunters stumbling upon the mystery of too-young Sitters, Alviarin finally being deposed (but then set after the Black Ajah), and Gawyn and the Younglings being banished. Not to mention peace talks with the Rebels, the Red Ajah making a plot to bond Asha’man and Egwene being captured (okay, that happens in this book, but it happens in the last page! It doesn’t count as something exciting.)

Speaking of Aes Sedai plotlines, it’s so frustrating to be aware that Halima is Aran’gar, and is channeling saidin despite being in a woman’s body. Of course this is unthinkable for the Aes Sedai, so it makes total sense that no one thinks about it, but argh! Stop having her massage you, Egwene! Realise that she’s killing Aes Sedai! Dammit!

Mat and Tuon’s plotline remains my favourite – I love that both of them know they’re supposed to get together because of prophecy (although neither knows the other knows) and are trying their best to like each other. Not much actually happens, but they get to know each other and try to outsmart each other. And Mat kills a woman to keep her secret (and regrets it, but doesn’t get into a puddle over it. I wish Rand learned from him.) There’s also foreshadowing of the Moiraine rescue, when Mat notices Thom repeatedly reading her letter (he doesn’t know it’s her letter).

Oh, and the Andoran succession plotline… snore. A bunch of stuff happened, but it looks like the Darkfriends have Elayne under watch, but are also supporting her enemies. Her enemies plot, Elayne is determined to survive the siege. Lots of talking happens. Snore.

Perrin’s in this book too! He gets madder and madder and can’t wait to save Faile! He’s willing to torture Shaido to save Faile! He gets emo and abandons his axe after he realises he’s willing to torture! Meanwhile, Faile is plotting her escape before Perrin gets hurt trying to find her. Faile has failed to plot and Perrin has failed to find out about her by the time the book ends, though. At least there’s a glimmer of a plan – allying with the Seanchan.

Rand is in this book too – he’s hanging out in a manor and resting. Why is saidin making him nauseous? (Maybe it’s because he’s sad and affecting the world, much like weevils in all the food?) Also, what’s the deal with the tav’eren and colours? Oh, on the last page of the book, he agrees to meet Semirhage the Daughter of the Nine Moons.

I think the only main character that doesn’t get a POV is Nynaeve. But Loial shows up! Yay!

Onto Knife of Dreams, where Stuff Happens.

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