The Shadow Rising: chapters 54 - 56
Chapter 54: Into the Palace
- "I give oath by my hope of a higher name...that I will not betray you in any way, that I will obey you and guard your backs until you are safely out of the Panarch's Palace."--She really does want to change, she really wants to be their friend.
- A man who came in then, or any woman unable to channel, would have seen only two women facing each other across the white silk rope from a distance of less than ten feet. Two women staring at one another in a vast hall full of strange things. They would have seen nothing to say it was a duel. No leaping about and hacking with swords as men would do, nothing smashed or broken. Just two women standing there. But a duel all the same, and maybe to the death. Against on of the Forsaken.
- Suddenly everything changed in Nynaeve's mind. Moghedien's was not a voice tight with anger; it was a voice tight with strain. Moghedien was not suddenly going to hurl all of her strength at her; she already was. The woman was putting out as much effort as she. She was facing one of the Forsaken, and far from being plucked like a goose for supper, she had not lost a feather. She was meeting one of the Forsaken, strength for strength! Moghedien was trying to distract her, to gain an opening before her own strength went.
- I faced one of the Forsaken and beat her, she thought incredulously.
- "How do I know what's impossible?" Nynaeve muttered. "It was impossible for me to beat on of the Forsaken, but I did it."--This is the first time that we really see how powerful Nynaeve really is. We've heard she is ridiculously powerful but this is the first time that we and Nynaeve actually realize how powerful that is.
- The Sad Bracelets:
- "You cannot destroy it. That is not metal, but a form of cuendillar. Even balefire cannot destroy cuendillar. And if you mean to use it, it does have...drawbacks, shall we say? Put the collar on a man who channels, and a woman wearing the bracelets can make him do whatever she wishes, true, but it will not stop him going mad, and there is a flow the other way, too. Eventually he will begin to be able to control you, too, so you end with a struggle at every hour. Not very palatable when he is going mad. Of course, you can pass the bracelets around, so no one has too much exposure, but that does mean trusting someone else with him. Men are always so good at violence; they make wonderful weapons. Or two women can each wear one bracelet, if you have someone you can trust enough; that slows the seepage considerable, I understand, but it also lessons your control with him, each of you needing him to remove your bracelet as surely as he needs you to remove the collar."
Chapter 55: Into the Deep
- "You captured Moghedien? You captured one of the Forsaken?"
- "Yes, but she got away." There. She had admitted everything. Conscious of all their eyes on her, she shifted uncomfortably. She did not like being in the wrong. She especially did not like being in the wrong when it was she who had pointed out that it was wrong in the first place.--Nynaeve BEAT one of the Forsaken...I think she deserved a little more OH MY FREAKING HECK YOU BEAT A FORSAKEN!
- Nynaeve glanced at Egeanin. The Seanchan woman was watching the door intently. She had wanted to come after her. Why won't she let me hate her? Am I so different from her?--With all the people that run into Egeanin and Domon it's hard to believe that Nynaeve doesn't see her again until A Memory of Light.
- And then...Then back to Tear, or wherever al'Lan Mandragoran was. Facing Moghedien, realizing how close she had been to being killed or worse, only made her urgency to deal with him greater. A man she had to share with a woman she hated, but if Egeanin could look fondly on a man she once took prisoner--and Domon was certainly eyeing her with interest--and if Elayne could love a man who would go mad, then she could puzzle out some way to enjoy what she could have of Lan.--And she most definitely enjoys him.
Chapter 56: Goldeneyes
- The Womens Circle:
- They made a circle five or six deep around the tall pole where the larger red wolfhead flapped out in a breeze. Five or six deep, shoulder to shoulder, with polearms made from scythes and pitchforks, and wood-axes, and even stout kitchen knives and cleavers.
- Throat tight, he mounted Stepper and rode towards them. The children were a tight mass inside the circle of women. All the children in Emond's Field.
- "If the Trollocs break through anywhere, you men are going to be busy, so we will take the children out. The older ones know what to do, and they've all played hide-and-seek in the woods. Just to keep them safe until they can come out."
- The older ones. Boys and girls of thirteen and fourteen had toddlers strapped on their backs, and held smaller children by the hand. Girls older than that stood in the ranks with the women; Bode Cauthon had a wood-axe gripped in both hands, her sister Eldrin a boar spear with a broad point. Boys older were out with the men, or up on the thatched rooftops with their bows. The Tinkers were in with the children. Perrin glanced down at Aram, standing by his stirrup. They would not fight, but each adult had two babies fastened on his or her back and another cradled in the crook of an elbow. Raen and Ila, each with an arm around the other, would not look at him. Just to keep them safe until they could come out.--This part gets me all teary every time I read it! The women of Emond's Field aren't soft wetlanders! And the Tinkers aren't cowards either, they choose to not fight but it's pretty brave of them to be willing protect children that aren't their own when the chances of survival are practically nil.
- All up and down the line, as far as Perrin could see, the women were there. Their numbers were the only reason the line still held, almost driven back against the houses. Women among the men, shoulder to shoulder; some no more than girls, but then, some of those "men" had never saved yet. Some never would.--Heart full, eyes watering!
- "You'll never know if you run away, will you? Perrin made his voice hard and contemptuous. "I will keep my promise, but if you run, you might never find me again. Run, if you want! Run, and try to forget what happens here! All your talk of protecting people from Trollocs. How many died at Trolloc hands after you came? My family wasn't the first, and certainly not the last. Run! Or stay, if you can remember you're men. If you need to find courage, look at the women, Bornhald. Any one of them is braver than the whole lot of you Whitecloaks."
- "Clean!" Bornhald roared at him. "If we must die here, we will die clean!"--I like the juxtaposition of the Whitecloaks and the Tinkers here. These Whitecloaks, these "soldiers" are ready to leave this town to the mercy of the Trollocs and the Tinkers are ready to risk their lives in order to save the children of the same village.
- To the south, Tam had charge, more grim-faced than Abell and striding almost like a Warder, hand resting on his sword hilt. That wolfish, deadly grace looked strange on the blocky, gray-haired farmer.--I really wish we knew more about Tam's past.
- Do you think I would run away? he had said when Perrin suggested he could slip off into the night after Faile. His ears had dropped with weariness and hurt. I came with you, Perrin, and I will stay until you go. And then he had laughed suddenly, a deep booming sound that almost rattled the dishes. Perhaps someone will even tell a story of me, one day. We do not go in for such things, but there could be an Ogier hero, I suppose. A joke, Perrin. I made a joke. Laugh. Come, we will tell each other jokes, and laugh , and think of Faile flying free.
- "It is no joke. Loial," Perrin murmured as he rode along the lines of men, trying not to listen to their cheers. "You are a hero whether you want to be or not." The Ogier gave him a tight, wide-mouthed grin before setting his eyes back on the cleared ground beyond the hedge.--He's a hero. He protected a room full of children in the Stone, he ran for three days while carrying an injured Aiel, for not being hasty he is good at putting that long handle on his axe.
- "When are you going to give this up for the hammer?"--I'm pretty sure that she has read every prophecy about the Dragon Reborn.
- Beneath a red-eagle banner at the edge of where the fields had been stood long rows of men in farmer's clothes, shooting their bows methodically. And beside the banner, Faile sat Swallows's saddle, Bain at her stirrup. It had to be Bain behind that black veil, and he could see Faile's face clearly. She looked excited, fearful, terrified and exuberant. She looked beautiful.
- Her frown became a wide smile, eager and proud. Such a beautiful smile. her dark eyes sparkled. "They followed me, Perrin. They followed me! Even Tenobia has never led men in battle. She wanted to once, when I was eight, but Father had a talk with her alone in her chambers, and when he rode off to the Blight she stayed behind." With a rueful grin, she added, "I think you and he use the same methods sometimes. Tenobia exiled him, but she was only sixteen, and the Council of Lords managed to change her mind after a few weeks. She will be blue with envy when I tell her."--To bad Tenobia's first battle charge doesn't go as well.
- "Mother says the worst thing Father ever did to her was vow never to be angry with her. It took her a year to force him to take it back, and she says she was hardly fit to live with long before then from holding in. You will be angry with me, Perrin, and I with you. If you want to make me another wedding vow, vow you will not hide it when you are. I cannot deal with what you will not let me see, my husband. My husband."--Even though I think Faile takes this to an extreme I can appriciate wanting to have a husband that understands the value of a good argument...not fighting but a good argument is needed every once in a while.