Category Archives: 4 Treasure Boxes

From Harvey River: A Memoir of My Mother and Her Island by Lorna Goodison

Book Review
Book Review

Book Review: 4 Treasure Boxes
Publisher: Amistad; Reprint edition (April 23, 2013), Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers, File Size: 635 KB, Print Length: 306 pages (Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061337560), ASIN: B00C0UHKEM

In From Harvey River: A Memoir of My Mother and Her People Goodison tells her mother’s story through tales from the past. Although the book is a memoir, much of it is fiction because it is an imaginative reconstruction of Goodison’s family history using both fact and fiction. Goodison utilizes ghosts—the specters of her ancestors—as a method of linking the past to the present, and tells the story through voices from the past. Almost all memories of Margaret (Goodison’s grandmother) are reimagined, because as Goodison writes, “[e]xcept for the eldest siblings, Barbara and Howard, most of the children had no real memory of Margaret”. Yet “they always felt her presence, for Doris [Goodison’s mother] quoted her every day” (Goodison 254). Ghosts are the history of the past coming forward, reappearing, and providing insight on prior events.

Lorna Goodison is a poet, an author of short stories, and an artist. She has received several awards for her work, and she has been writing poetry since her teens. She was born in Kingston, Jamaica on August 1, 1947, and From Harvey River is the legacy of Goodison’s roots. Much of the writing reflects the impact of her family’s heritage—a legacy that is driven by spirits and ghosts derived from both African and Jamaican beliefs.

The book itself is a return to childhood, and contains the forgotten and unknowable history of the past, of Goodison’s past, of her mother’s past, and of her mother’s people’s past. Ghosts are non-corporeal beings that are manifestations of ethereal or metaphysical conscious energies. The appearance of ghosts in this story is the transcendence of people from the past moving through linear time and space in order to interact with the characters. This communication creates cracks in space and makes room for a connection between the past and the present, and this breach is often transcended through dreams. Goodison informs the reader the book itself was “handed” to her by her mother’s ghost, when the author “began to ‘dream’ her [mother], as Jamaicans say” (Goodison 2).

From Harvey River is a memoir of Goodison’s mother. On the surface this history appears unremarkable, but the combination of fiction, history, and family lore, told from the point of view of spirits in the past, creates an interesting and intriguing tale. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found it touching, and at times it made me laugh, and other times it made me cry. If you enjoy a good read about interesting people in a unique and fascinating setting then I recommend this book as an excellent read.

To Purchase, From Harvey River: A Memoir of My Mother and Her Island from Amazon, click here or on above picture

Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

This entry is part [part not set] of 3 in the series Earth's Children

Book Review: 4 Treasure Boxes
Book 1 of the Earth’s Children Series
Publisher: Brilliance Audio, Listening Length: 19 hours and 36 minutes (512 pages), ASIN: B001AWVRX6

An earthquake during the Ice Age separates a little girl, Ayla, from her family. This same earthquake destroys the home of The Clan of the Cave Bear. While the clan is looking for a new home they find the little girl, who is hurt and dying.  They decide to adopt Ayla even if she is one of the “others” and different from themselves.  This is Ayla’s story as she grows up within her new family.

Clan of the Cave Bear is the first of six books in the Earth Children’s series. This is a fictional story that takes place at the dawn of time, over 30,000 years ago and examines the life of The Clan. They are Neanderthals at the twilight of their existence. The series also explores life with Cro-Magnons, the first early modern humans. Ms. Auel has done extensive research on this time period and her books have a wonderful historical quality. The story is told by a third-person omniscient narrator centering primarily on the main protagonist, Ayla, a young Cro-Magnon woman who is adopted and raised by The Clan.

I first read this book many years ago and I enjoyed it as much today as I did then. The pre-historic setting is well drawn. The characters are all thoroughly developed and the reader really gets to know what life was like living in the clan. The theme is one of community, family, love and belonging. Ayla must repress who she really is in order to exist within the confines of their society. Without the safety and security of the clan she would surely die, besides this, she also deeply loves these people who have become her family. The ending is sad but satisfying.

This is a standalone story, ending at a turning point in Ayla’s life. It also ends with a beginning, Ayla’s story will continue on in a completely different direction in The Valley of the Horses, the next book in the series. I highly recommend this book  it is excellent, well told and very interesting.


Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Book Review: 4 Treasure Boxes
Publisher: Random House Audio (February 3, 2009), Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 23 hour(s) and 58 min. (667 pages), ASIN: B001RMWBFC

WOW!! An engrossing story centering on love and redemption.  Twin brothers, Marion and Shiva Stone are born in 1952 at a small missionary hospital in Ethiopia. Initially, conjoined, their birth resulted from the unlikely union of an Indian nun and a talented but aloof British Doctor.   This is a 360° view of their life as shown through the eyes of one of the twins.

Cutting for Stone is a wonderful first novel written by Abraham Verghese. He is a medical doctor, with Indian parents and he was raised in Ethiopia near Addis Ababa. It is told in the first person narrative with the voice of Marion, and sometimes it takes on a third person narrative when Marion is telling his mother or father’s story.

The setting is primarily in Ethiopia and we experience the turmoil that was going on in that country.  We also get a hint of what life was like there including a glimpse of the Ethiopian people. This is a beautiful story; painted with vivid and stunning word pictures. Mr. Verghese medical background adds an interesting dimension to this narration as Marion’s character develops as a Doctor.  He weaves together an incredible tale with phenomenal character development. The story swung full circle and although sombre it was still satisfying.

I highly recommend this novel. It has all, it made me laugh, it made me cry.  Although the ending was surprising and somewhat sad, it was still great.

My Favourite Quote from the book: “Wasn’t that the definition of home? Not where you’re from, but where you’re wanted.”

To purchase: “Cutting for Stone” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

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A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin

This entry is part [part not set] of 5 in the series A Song of Fire and Ice

Book Review: 4 Treasure Boxes
A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3
Publisher: Bantam; 1 edition (Mar 4 2003), 1216 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 055357342X, ISBN-13: 978-1439149645


Imagine a world where there are Kings and dragons and the walking dead. The Wildlings, the humans who live beyond the wall, are all fleeing the north and attempting to cross the great barrier.  There are very few Black Brothers to defend the wall and no one seems willing to send them help. There is war and treachery everywhere. The war of the five kings continues, although the number of kings is declining. However, there does seem to be a couple of honourable people prepared to do what is necessary to save the land. The Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen is continuing to build strength and free slaves as she slowly makes her way west in hopes of reclaiming her crown.

A Storm of Swords is the third book in the series, there are currently four books with book five to be released July 2011. Two more are proposed to be coming in the future; however, since there is a six year span between books four and five, with no information on when any of the other books will be released, we might need to wait a long time for the final books.  This series falls into the fantasy genre and takes place on a fictional world that is similar to that of King Arthur, but it includes magic, strange beings and winters that can last up to 10 years.  The story is told in a third person narrative from the numerous different characters point of view with each chapter bearing the name of the character it is focusing on.

Wow!  A lot has happened in this portion of the story. Many of the players have died, most through treachery, including sorcery and some through war.  Some of these deaths were downright shocking and I gasped as they occurred. Some people are thought to be dead who are not. We learn more about King Stannis and the red god R’hllor, but so far we are unable to answer the question: are they good or bad? The overall story is fascinating and very gripping. At times, I cried over the events our character’s had to live through, some of these were sad and several felt unfair. Once again, not much was resolved but things definitely moved forward and a lot happened. The various story lines continue to build in suspense and there is plenty of action.

I highly recommend this book and series. I am hoping that the series will come to a great conclusion, although we will need to wait a long time for this to occur.  In the meanwhile, the journey is very enjoyable. If you like reading about the intrigues of court and high fantasy, with plenty of action, then you will enjoy this book. But if you haven’t read the previous books in this series, then you need to do so before continuing with A Storm of Swords.

To Purchase: “A Storm of Swords” click here or on picture above

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

This entry is part [part not set] of 1 in the series The Stormlight Archive

Four TTreasure BoxesBook Review: 4 Treasure Boxes
Book One of The Stormlight Archive
Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (August 31, 2010), Hardcover: 1008 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 9780765326355, ISBN-13: 978-0765326355

What if you lived in a world where the direction or weight of gravity can be manipulated?

If up can become down, or objects can become weightless by reducing the amount of gravity they require.  What if magic could be pulled from energy stored within gemstones? In The Way of Kings we are introduced to a new world, very different from our own with an interesting new twist on magic where this is possible. We are introduced to numerous players who initially seem to be totally unrelated, but as the story unfolds we begin to see how they are connected. It is the story of a land that is in reaction to the assassination of their king and they are seeking revenge against the Parshedi.  Hidden within the ongoing war there are underpinnings of something sinister that is coming on the horizon.

The Way of Kings is the first book in The Stormlight Archive series, an anticipated ten volume set.

This is the only book released in the series to date. Brandon Sanderson has also written the Mistborn Series, the Alcatraz Series, several stand alone novels and he completed the last three books in the Wheel of Time series working with Robert Jordan’s notes. The Stormlight Archive is high fantasy, taking place on a world known as Roshar and it is a land of stone and storms. The magic on this land is pulled from jewels which are infused with Stormlight. This energy comes from the many high storms which plague the land. The story is told in a third person narrative from the major character’s viewpoint.

The world in The Way of Kings is unique with an inimitable use of magic.

I have read many fantasy books and I found the concepts in this book to be fascinating. I liked the way the story was weaved together, although it did take me a while to really understand what was happening and where it was going. The characters were really well rounded and very likable. As the book unfolds the history of both of the land and the players is gradually revealed within a thrilling story. There are some interesting concepts in this novel, like the men are warriors and do not read or write, only women have this capability.

Some of the key players include Kaladin, a young man who has great integrity but he faces several horrific challenges.

Shallan is a young women who is a great artist and goes out on her own for the first time in hopes of saving her family from ruin, Szeth-son-son-Vallano is an unwilling assassin, and Dalinar Kholin a high prince of Alethkar who feels strongly guided to do the right thing. As the plot unfolds we begin to see that these four all have a vital role to play in the forthcoming approaching cataclysm.

This is really a book about values.

There is a strong sense of spiritually in this book. In almost everything created either through emotion or nature there are sentient beings known as Spren. They appear and influence the people around them. Here are just a few: windspren, honorspren, fearspren, deathspren, rotspren, etc. In the long ago past there were the Nights Radiants, people who were armed by the Almighty with magical swords and armour to fight against the evil Voidbringers but then they just deserted humankind for some unknown reason.  The Nights Radiants are guided to follow these main spiritual premises: “life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination”.

This book is really good and once picked it up it is hard to put down.

The story built really well and come to a semi-conclusion.  Some issues were resolved, but most were not, so although it did not end off in a cliff hanger, it also does not qualify as a stand alone story. I would like to read the next installment to see where the story is going, but we will now need to wait an indefinite length of time for the next book. The book review for the first book in this series is a four treasure box rating. I highly recommend this book, if you enjoy reading a good entertaining story in the high fantasy genre then you should give pick up this book

To Purchase: “The Way of Kings” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella

Book Review: 4 Treasure Boxes
Publisher: Dell (December 27, 2005), Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 0440241901, ISBN-13: 978-0440241904

A delightful and funny story about a woman, Emma Corrigan in her mid-twenties who shares with us all her private thoughts.  Unwittingly, these very personal thoughts get shared with a stranger, who turns out to be the successful CEO and founder of Panther Cola (Emma’s employer.)

Madeleine Wickham is the author of this book written under the pen name of Sophie Kinsella.  She has written 10 books under this name, 6 of these books are Shopaholic books and the other 4 are stand alone novels centering around various characters. Please see my other reviews of Sophie Kinsella at All of these novels including Can You Keep a Secret are considered chick lit and should also be under comedy as they are all quite funny and amusing. The story is told in the first person narrative with Emma’s voice and thoughts as we follow her through her life.

Emma is a charming and amusing woman struggling to make her life work.  This story has it all, it made me laugh and it made me cry. At the beginning Emma is struggling with her career, but it appears that she is in a happy relationship.  However as the story unfolds, Emma examines all areas of her life, including her current relationship.  We also get to know Jack Harper, the man who she told all her secrets to in a moment of fright, when she was on an airplane.  She thought the plane was about to crash and everything just tumbled out.  But that was OK, since he was a perfect stranger and she would never see him again, or so she thought.  Things become really interesting when she goes into work and sees Jack. We also get to know Emma’s best friend Lizzy as well as the other people in her life. All the characters in the book experienced growth by the end of the book and became better people. The story had a good build up to the final climax with a few peaks and valleys. It flowed well and kept up a good pace. 

This was a great read, I had a lot of fun reading this book and I was sorry when it ended. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading chick lit and wants to laugh.  I thought it was the best Sophie Kinsella book and I have read all 10 books. This is a stand alone book and it is not part of any series.

Wizard and Glass by Stephen King

This entry is part [part not set] of 7 in the series The Dark Tower

Book Review: 4 Treasure Boxes
The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass
Publisher: Penguin Putnam (2003), EBook: 672 pages, Language: English, ISBN-0-7865-1758-2

Roland and gang continue on their dangerous quest for the Dark Tower in a world that is shutting down. This book picks up where the Waste Lands ended off and it quickly resolves the cliff-hanger.  Then the book focuses primarily on Roland’s back story, just after he first became a Gunslinger and why he started on the quest for the Dark Tower.

This is the fourth book in the Dark Tower series, there are currently a total of seven books, and Stephen King announced in 2009 that he is currently working on the eighth book, The Wind Through the Keyhole which will be released at some point in the future.  Stephen King is primarily known as a horror author, but this book does not fall into that genre.  Instead it is in the fantasy genre and sometimes considered a western.  The story is told with a third person narrative and focuses primarily on Roland Deschain of Gilead.  Although at times it is also told from the other characters who have joined Roland on his quest to find and heal the Dark Tower. They are all Gunslingers and his fellow questees are Eddie Dean of New York  (from 1987) and his wife Susanna Dean of New York (from 1964) as well as their adopted son, Jake Chambers of New York (from 1977).  The Dark Tower is at the centre of the universe and connects all the varying worlds and time-lines together. These books take place in a post-apocalyptic world where things are running down and time has become weird.

First, Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy (Jake’s intelligent, taking pet) all are on the crazy, sentient train known as Blaine, who has threatened to kill itself and the gang unless they can give it a riddle that it can not solve. So far Blaine knows all the riddles that Roland knows (and he knows a lot) as well as all the riddles in Jake’s book. They are close to the end of line going 800 miles an hour.  If Blaine is not stopped soon, they all will die.

The crazy train has now transported the gang many miles across the wasteland and when they arrive at their destination they are no longer in Roland’s Mid-World and no longer on the path of the beam.  Instead they have arrived in a deserted version of Topeka, Kansas in 1980, but it is not Eddie, Jake and Susannah’s world.  Close by is a Thinny, this is a thinning of the fabric of reality between worlds and it is a very dangerous thing.  This Thinny reminds Roland of his past and is the catalyst for him telling his story. The majority of the book is a recounting of Roland’s beginning and gives us a good insight into his enigmatic character.

We learn a lot about what happened to Roland and his boyhood friends when they were 14. This was just after Roland became the youngest gunslinger.   There is also a love story between Roland and his first and only love, Susan.  This story of Roland’s past takes place a few years before the fall of Gilead, which was the beginning of the end. The world had already started moving on but now time became weird, which is why it is now 1,000 years after the fall of Gilead and Roland is still searching for the tower.  It also explained how and why Roland started to search for the Tower.

Stephen King is phenomenal in his writing style and he delivers very well, and I say thank-ee (as they say in Mid-World.) The story is very interesting and very intriguing. This book is intrical in the development of the story as it outlines where the story is going and why. It does a great job in showing Roland’s character development. We really come to understand and love Roland after this tale. This book also completed all the story-lines it was following in this book and brought them all to a satisifying conclusion, although it is still clearly part of a larger story.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story, but please read the prior books first as this book is not really a stand-alone book.  If you enjoy reading fantasy/science fiction books then you will definitely enjoy this book since it has a bit of both within it.

To Purchase: “Wizard and Glass” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King

This entry is part [part not set] of 7 in the series The Dark Tower
Book Review: 4 Treasure Boxes
The second book in the Dark Tower Series
Publisher: Penguin Putnam (August 2003), EBook: 656KB, Language: English, ISBN-0-7865-3750-7


We found at the end of the first book that he caught up to the man in black and they had a ten year long parlay during which time he learned many things. During this time we learned that the man in black was not what Roland was really seeking but that he had some answers that would help Roland reach the Dark Tower, his true destination.  We are still not clear exactly what the Dark Tower is or why Roland so desperately wants to reach it. All we know is that the Tower stands at a kind of power-nexus pulling all of existence together.  Perhaps it is all of existence? We know from the first book, since both the man in black and the oracle tell Roland that he will meet or draw three people to help him in his quest. This book tells the story of Roland’s quest as he meets or draws each of these people. The doors are the keys to finding these people.

This is the second book in the Dark Tower series, there are currently a total of seven books, and Stephen King announced in 2009 that he is currently working on the eighth book, The Wind Through the Keyhole which will be released at some point in the future.  Stephen King is primarily known as a horror author, but this book does not fall into that genre.  Instead it is in the fantasy genre and sometimes considered a western.  The story is told with a third person narrative and focuses primarily on Roland Deschain of Gilead.  Although at times it is also told from the other characters who have joined Roland on his quest to find and heal the Dark Tower. They are all potential Gunslingers and his follow questees are Eddie Dean of New York  (from 1987) and his wife Susanna Dean of New York (from 1964) as well as their adopted son, Jake Chambers of New York (from 1977).  The Dark Tower is at the centre of the universe and connects all the varying worlds and time-lines together. These books take place in a post-apocalyptic world where things are running down and time has become weird.

There is a rather gruesome beginning to this book.  After Roland is attacked by the lobstrosites things are looking very bleak until he finds a mysterious, magical door in the middle of the beach. I thought this book was extraordinary.  It was exciting and hard to put down. I really enjoyed the story as it was imaginative, with a surprise at the ending. Once Roland passes through the first mysterious door things really start to get interesting. I really enjoyed reading about Roland’s journey as the story melds Roland’s world with our world.  It is interesting to experience Roland’s view of our world. Each of the people that Roland draws have flaws and it is up to Roland to work through these flaws.  It is interesting to meet and get to know these new characters. I enjoyed reading how each of these people met with and worked through their challenges.

Although this book  is clearly in the middle of the series where Roland’s goal is the reach the elusive Dark Tower, it was also a complete story unto itself as the title so aptly implies. I am anxiously looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story, but please read the prior book first as this is not really a stand-alone book.  If you enjoy reading fantasy/science fiction books then you will definitely enjoy this book since it has a bit of both within it.

The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan

This entry is part [part not set] of 12 in the series The Wheel of Time

Book Review: 4 Treasure Boxes
Book Five of the Wheel of Time Series
Publisher: Tor Fantasy; 1ST edition (October 15, 1994), Mass Market Paperback: 992 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 0812550307, ISBN-13: 978-0812550306

Once I picked this book up, I had a very difficult time putting it back down.  It was captivating and the writing is stellar. This book takes place immediately following the end of book four. I really enjoyed the character development and the developing relationship between the characters.

It was particularly fun to read about Aviendha and Rand’s relationship. I also enjoy reading about Nynaeve, she is amusing and this book focused quite about on what and how she thinks and it really shows that underneath she is a very caring and brave person. It is interesting to read about both her and Egwene’s growth in this book.

I like how the author has built into the story the challenges that Rand has to go through especially with the Aiel.  It follows the prophecies that Rand is to bring them together, yet tear them apart (redo) but they must follow him if a shred of a shred of the Aiel is to survive the last battle.  This builds into the story that the Aiel must follow him, yet they are reluctant and even scared (although Aiel do not show any fear) and at the same time a large group of the Aiel are opposed to him and cause him much discord and destruction.

There are basically two main storylines in this book. One follows Rand, Mat, Egwene and Moiraine who are all together in the Aiel Waste and it follows their journey.  The other one follows Nynaeve, Elayne, Thom and Juilin who have all just escaped from Tanchico after foiling the plans of the Black Ajah at the end of The Shadow Rising. There is a minor story-line with Siuan, Leanne, Min and Logain who have escaped from Tar Valon.  This book does not deal with Perrin in any way.

The book had a great ending and I am anxious to pick up the next book in the series.

***Spoiler alert, following is a recap of the book, do not read it if you have not already read the book***

Rand and gang are in the Aiel Waste, but there is a lot of dissension within the Aiel. With the most problems coming from the Shaido, who are lead by Couladin.  Couladin has also been marked as the Car’a’carn, but he received his marks from Asmodean.  Couladin leads his people across the dragonwall to Cairhien and in the process murders many people and captures many more as slaves.  This forces Rand’s hand to follow him which culminates in a great battle between the two groups of Aiel. Mat’s abilities as a great general really stand out and he earns himself a large following of soldiers who like to fight with him (especially due to Mat’s uncanny luck and ability.)

Once Rand defeats the Shaido and Mat kills Couladin, Rand finds out there is trouble in Caemlyn.  He knows that Ravhin is there and so he decides to go and face Ravhin so he can save Caemlyn for Elayne.  Once there he battles and kills Ravhin with balefile.  However, before he goes Moiraine faces Lanfear and they both fall through the twisted red doorframe ter’angreal that Mat went through in Rhuidean.  After they fall through it the ter’angreal catches fire and is burnt to the ground.  However, before Moiraine disappears she gives Rand two letters. One addressed to Rand which states that she new this was going to happen as it revealed to her in Rhuidean and that she thinks Rand will do well with all he has learned so far.  The other letter is addressed to Thom, but we do not know what it says.

Nynaeve, Elayne and gang are traveling to Tar Valon to dispose of the male collar (a collar that can capture and control Rand) and the seal on the Dark Lord’s prison when they discover that Elaida and not Siuan is the Amyrlin Seat and that the tower has split into two group. After they are almost captured and shipped back to Tar Valon, they decide to go to the rebel group of Aes Sedai, which they find at the end of the book.  In their journey the famous archery hero of legend is ripped out of Tel’aran’rhiod by Moghedien. Brigitte almost dies from this and the only way to save her is for Elayne to make her a Warder.  Nynaeve is able to capture Moghedien with a collar and makes her a prisoner.

The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan

This entry is part [part not set] of 12 in the series The Wheel of Time

Book Review:4 Treasure Boxes
Fourth Book in the Wheel of Time Series
Publisher: Tor Fantasy; 1st. edition (October 15, 1993), Mass Market Paperback: 1008 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 0812513738, ISBN-13: 978-0812513738

This book starts out with a big bang, it really grabs your interest from the first page. It was really unexpected the way the inanimate objects started attacking Perrin, Mat and Rand. The story takes place immediately following the events from The Dragon Reborn. I really enjoyed this book and found that it was non-stop action from the first page to the last page. The plot line is advancing with all the characters showing development of both abilities and understanding. The story had an ending to each of the storylines in the book, but it also left lots of room for development.   I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

If you haven’t read the book yet, do not go any further.

It starts out in Tear after Rand has taken hold of Callandar and all the characters are together. Rand is reading a lot about the prophecies and he is trying to determine what he should do next. Soon after The Stone of Tear is attached by Trollocs and Fades and he realizes he must do something not expected.

Rand, Matt and Moiraine, separately, yet at the same time go into the twisted red door ter’angreal to the land of the Aelfinn, to get answers to their questions and it is there that Matt realizes he must go to Rhuidien.

Once again the group splits up and there is lots of actions within each group. Egwene, while in the land of dreams comes across an Aiel Wise Women, Amys who tells Egwene she must come to her in the Aiel Waste to learn how to become a dreamwalker. Rand also decides his next step must be with the Aeil and after reading the prophecies, he decides he too must go to Rhuidien.  So Rand, Matt, Egwene and Moiraine along with Lan and the Aiel all go to Rhuidien through the portal stones, but this time there are difficulties getting there.  Perrin discovers there are White Cloaks in the Two Rivers and that they are looking for him, so he decides he must go to save his family from the White Cloaks.  Faile, Loial, Gaul and 2 maidens of the spear go with him. Nynaeve and Elayne continue to chase the Black Ajah along with help from Thom and Julian the thief catcher.  They go to Tanchico to find both the object that can harm Rand and to find the Black sisters.

While Matt is in Rhuidien he goes through another twisted red door ter’angreal, but this time it is to the land of the Eelfinn and instead of answering questions they grant wishes, but at a cost.  Matt’s requests were to have the holes in his memory filled, which they are with the memories of great generals through all of time and to be protected from Aes Sedai, which he is from the medallion he now has. The cost he pays is to be hung and to die, but Rand is able to revive him.

While Rand is in Rhuidien he discovers the dirty little secret of the Aeil, that they are related to the hated Tinkers and have broken their vow of non-violence. When he leaves Rhuidien both his arms are marked with the dragons proving he is the Car’a’carn, chief of all chiefs.  But since the prophecies say he is to break the children of the dragon (Aiel) he does so when he proves that the evil Shaido Couladin is not the Car’a’carn by reveiling the truth about the Aeil.  This causes great grief and strife within the Aiel.  In the middle of this Lanfear comes to Rand and tells him that she means Asmodean to teach Rand how to use the one power and that he in Rhuidien.  Rand, using the power, goes to Rhuidien to confront Asmodean and to stop him from obtaining the strongest male angreal ever made.  In the process there is huge fight between them using the power and Rhuidien is all but destroyed, Rand however is able to shield Asmodean from access to the dark one’s power and he is able to control Asmodean.  Rand also finds both the male and female angreal and takes them with him.

Perrin goes to the Two Rivers and finds that his whole family was supposedly killed by Trollocs, (but they were really killed by Padan Fain.)  Perrin rallies everyone in the Two Rivers and is able to both defeat the Trollocs and the white cloaks, he is now considered a Lord by everyone in the Two Rivers.  Him and Faile are now married.  Perrin also is able to injure one of the forsaken known as Slayer.

Nynaeve and Elayne meet up with Egeanin, a Seanchan, but before they discover what Egeanin is they both really come to like her and Egeanin comes to like them and has to re-think what she has been taught about Aes Sedai. With Thom, Juilin and Bayle Domon’s help they find the black sisters who have the Panarch as a prisoner.  They are able to free the Panarch and find the object that is meant to harm Rand.  They also find another of the Dark One’s seals.  In the process Nynaeve defeats Moghedien in a one-on-one battle with the power and is able to shield Moghedien, but somehow she escapes.

Meanwhile in the White Tower, Elaida gets the Amrylin Seat and her sitter deposed and stilled.  Min manages to free them both and the three of them along with Logain escape from Tar Valon.