AMoL Chapters 38 and 39

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There are some big spoilers in this chapter, and it's not nearly as horrible as the last one. See my index here.

On a scheduling note, I've actually finished reading the book last night. So the rest of these posts will actually be re-reads on these chapters. I doubt I'll have time to do them all today, and I'm still not taking the book with me to LCA tomorrow. So I'll (hopefully) finish off these posts next weekend.
What Happens
Rand continues in his turmoil, floating outside the pattern. He grieves for so many deaths and that he could protect his people, especially Egwene. A ghostly voice of Egwene speaks to him, asking Rand to embrace her death like he has embraced his own. Rand does so, lets go the guilt, and also lets go the guilt of all the other people that have died. Losing this burden lets him continue the fight.

Rand and the Dark One bicker. Rand seeks the void like Tam trained him, and finds peace. He tells the Dark One he won't give up. Loial runs to tell Mat of how bravely Lan fought before he died. Mat swallows he's grief and yells "Tai'shar Malkier", and the Light side forces attack the Sharans, who are stunned from Demandreds death.

Rand tells the Dark One that this fight is not really about himself. It's about all those people who keep fighting the Dark One. The Dark One claims he can still kill them, and that he can take the Battle Lord. Mat fights next to Tam, the Deathwatch Guard and Loial. They are outnumbered three to one. Mat realises that they can break them though, they are disorganised following Demandreds fall. Olver huddles in a cleft as Trollocs try and reach him, he raises the Horn of Valere to his lips.

Rand's conversation with the Dark One becomes audible across the whole battlefield. He tells the Dark One that he's wrong, that he has tried to kill 'that one' many times, but that man still fights! All eyes turn to Lan, as he lurches to his feet, raising Demandreds head above him. The battlefield grows still. The Horn of Valere rings forth.

Mellar continues to press the medallion against Elaynes head (this is another bit I left out of last chapters summary, he and his cronies ambushed her and killed Brigette) that stops her from channelling. A white mist starts to rise. Mellar stiffens, with a silvery arrowhead jutting from his chest. Birgitte stands across her corpse, as she puts another arrow into Mellar and Mellar's channeler. She pronounces that she is Birgitte Silverbow, and that the Horn of Valere has sounded, the heroes have returned!

Mat organises a cavalry charge to go and rescue Lan from the middle of the Shadow army. They pull him back. Mat goes and speaks to Hawking, worried that he doesn't know if the Heroes are fighting for the Shadow or for the Light. Hawking tells him they would never follow the Shadow. They also tell him that the Heroes can't fight this battle themselves, they can only play a part. Mat notices one hero galloping off somewhere else, but he didn't see who it was.

Trollocs tear at Olver's arm, they wrench the Horn away, they yank him out of the cleft. Then they drop him, as a figure fights in a blur, cutting them down. It's Noal, who has been bound to the horn. Olver feels a deep warmth, finally one person had come back for him.

Commentary
Awww, Olver had someone come back for him. I dont' think I mentioned Olver much in my last post. In the last mega-chapter Faile recoved the Horn from Aravine, and then passed it to Olver, and rode off luring the Trollocs pretending she had the horn. But Olver didn't get very far, and he didn't get very far before crawling into a hole, with Trollocs grabbing at him. He's, what 10? His parents have already been killed, he's had no stable home for the last 12 months, and now Faile has given told him the fate of the world is in his hands, and left him in the middle of an army of Trollocs. Poor kid. So this was a really touching moment. Not only is Olver now safe, but he's the Horn Blower, and Noal is the one that came back for him (back from the dead). Yay.

Lan's not dead! Yay, Yay, Yay. I'm so glad when I'm wrong. This was all very well written, making us think he was dead. Of course, I was kind of hoping we'd been fooled about a few other deaths, but that's not to be. Egwene has to stay a fancy crystal.

And I'm so glad that Elayne got rescued in time, though I'm also glad that she got a fright, proving how right Birgitte was to warn her to be careful.

1 Comment

Since you've finished and I'm the only person reading your blog who cares about WOT can I now post spoilers?
Here goes - Lan doesn't die! Toto isn't even in this book! I'd like to have a steak sandwich for lunch!

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