A Crown of Swords: Plot Summary
Author: Toral Delvar
WARNING! The next sections contain spoilers for the Wheel of Time book series.
Elaida sends fifty Red sisters, led by Toveine, to the Black Tower to gentle any men learning to channel, under the impression that there will be at most two or three men who can channel. She believes that raising Egwene means the Aes Sedai in Salidar will return to her, since if they were serious in their rebellion, one of the more senior Aes Sedai would have been chosen. She has secret plans working among the rebels. In Alviarin's presence she has a Foretelling that the Tower will be whole again and the Black Tower rent. Alviarin is confirmed to be of the Black Ajah. Mesaana teaches Alviarin Traveling.
Sevanna, along with the strongest of the Wise Ones who can channel, prepares to attack those holding Rand (this is likely a retelling of Dumai's Wells from the Shaido viewpoint). They attack and are driven back. Sevanna and her Wise Ones summon Caddar, who arrives with Maisia. Someone, probably Moridin, watches them. Therava brings Galina, who has been captured. Galina is named da'tsang. Sammael brings them an Oath Rod. He gives them nar'baha which he claims will let them Travel. They use it and it spreads them everywhere across the continent. Sevanna takes the Wise Ones with her. It is revealed that the nar'baha are just pieces of stone and Caddar had channeled the gateways. A figure watches.
Morgase urges Niall to help her take Andor back as soon as possible. He learns of the Seanchan, but is murdered before he can tell anyone. Valda takes control and pressures Morgase into sex. Morgase privately renounces the Lion Throne and the High Seat of House Trakand. She is stopped from committing suicide by Lini. The Seanchan attack and take over the Fortress of Light; Morgase is taken to Suroth, who is angered by Morgase's use of Suroth's first name. Balwer takes them away from Amador.
After the events at Dumai's Wells, Rand gives the Aes Sedai into the care of the Wise Ones, to Taim's displeasure. He takes Asha'man bodyguards. Rand learns that Taim has taken the title of M'Hael. They Travel to a point outside Cairhien, then walk the rest of the way. They are told that Colavaere has taken the throne. Faile and Berelain are both acting as Colavaere's attendants. It is revealed that Colavaere had Meilan and Maringil murdered. Rand confronts Colavaere in the Grand Hall of the Sun during the third Sunset Convocation. Instead of sentencing her to death, Rand strips her of her titles and exiles her to a farm. She commits suicide. Rand learns that other Aes Sedai are in Cairhien.
Rand goes to Caemlyn, hoping to find Elayne, and learns Caraline Damodred and Toram Riatin are setting up in opposition to him. He learns there are nine Aes Sedai known to be in Caemlyn. He leaves Morr there. Rand sends the army gathered in Tear off to Illian with two of the Asha'man, Hopwil and Adley.
Back in Cairhien, Rand tries to send Berelain back to Mayene after an assassination attempt. Cadsuane arrives and tries to provoke him, asking if he has started hearing voices. Idrien arrives from the school and tells him of Fel's death. Rand tells Min of this and they comfort each other.
Perrin and Rand stage a fight over the Aes Sedai prisoners, to give Rand an excuse to send Perrin away, though in reality he goes to Ghealdan with Grady, Neald, Masuri, and Seonid, as well as some Wise Ones. Loial goes with one of the Asha'man, Karldin, to visit the stedding and guard the Ways.
Rand convinces himself that he raped Min and withdraws completely. She brings him out of it and makes him see sense. They admit their love for one another. She tells of a viewing of Rand and another man merging, and one of them dying. Rand goes to meet the Sea Folk, taking Bera, Alanna, Rafela, Faeldrin, and Merana, putting Merana in charge of them. Min sees that they will be loyal to him. His ta'veren effect helps in the negotiations, with the Sea Folk giving away more than they intended, much to their surprise. He leaves Merana and Rafela to negotiate and goes with Min to deal with the rebelling nobles camped outside Cairhien.
Caraline recognizes Rand but says nothing. His ta'veren effect works on her and Darlin, who reveals he would be happy to support Rand, but feels he no longer has a choice. Cadsuane and several other sisters are in the camp, as is Fain, with Daved Hanlon and Toram Riatin, who, due to Fain's influence, hates Rand.
Toram and Rand duel with practice swords. This is interrupted by fog attacking the camp. One of the Red Ajah sisters present is killed. Rand uses balefire, causing Cadsuane to slap him and tell him never to use it again. Fain stabs him with the dagger from Shadar Logoth. Samitsu partially Heals him, but she says she believes he will die. Darlin carries him out. Min tells the full story of Rand's capture and they return to the palace in Cairhien. Here, Flinn tries his Healing, sealing the wound away.
Rand wakes two days later, having been Healed further by Corele. Min tells him that Cadsuane is to teach him and the Asha'man something they need to know. He hears the army is almost on Illian, so he Travels to Bashere and his men. He takes them and the Asha'man directly into Illian, where the Asha'man set off all of Sammael's traps. He chases Sammael to Shadar Logoth. Here he sees Liah. While Rand is attacking Trollocs, Sammael strikes at him and he loses the Power. A man arrives and helps Rand. They both use balefire, with the streams crossing, causing double vision and a loud clang. He drops hints that Sammael is at the Waygate then leaves, claiming plans will have to be abandoned if Rand is killed. The man did not use saidin. At the Waygate, Rand sees Sammael turn to look at Liah, who Rand balefires, as she is about to be killed by Mashadar. Sammael disappears and is presumed to have been killed by the dark mist. On his return to Illian, Rand is pronounced King by the Council of Nine.
Elaida is woken by Alviarin, who tells her that Rand has broken free and twelve sisters have returned. Alviarin takes control of Elaida by threatening to reveal both this and the fact that sisters were sent to the Black Tower. She orders some sisters punished for keeping angreal and others praised, in order to cause dissension amongst the Ajahs. Elaida visits Seaine and sets her looking for traitors, which Seaine take to mean Black Ajah. Seaine enlists Pevara on the search.
Egwene struggles for some control over the Salidar Hall, using the fact that Sheriam, Lelaine, and Romanda cannot stand each other to occasionally get her own way. Talking with Siuan, she learns Sheriam has sent sisters to the White Tower and has not told the Hall because she fears Darkfriends. It occurs to her that Elaida may have done the same. She feels Moghedien escape, which prevents her taking advantage.
Nicola tries to blackmail Egwene about pretending to be Aes Sedai before she, Nynaeve, and Elayne were raised. Egwene threatens her and Areina in the real world and in Tel'aran'rhiod. She talks to Melaine, Amys, and Bair and reveals she is Amyrlin and warns them of Moghedien. She has visions of Gawyn and Mat.
Theodrin and Faolain swear fealty to Egwene. Faolain also tells her how much she dislikes her. Egwene sends them to see if anyone saw Moghedien escape. She tells Siuan it should not matter how strong in the Power she is. Romanda and Lelaine complain about Delana wanting to name Elaida Black.
Halima, known as Delana's secretary, seems to help Egwene's headaches. In truth Halima is most likely causing them, but wants to have Egwene dependent on her.
Elayne and Nynaeve are in Ebou Dar; they go to the Sea Folk in the city to get help with the ter'angreal they are looking for. They recognize the description as the Bowl of the Winds. After no success in finding it, they send Birgitte to Mat to tell him he is to help them.
Mat gambles on horses, with Olver as a jockey. He sees Mili Skane, a Darkfriend, and follows her to Jaichim Carridin's place. On the way he picks up a signet ring of a fox scaring birds. Sammael tells Carridin not to go after Mat unless he gets in the way.
Mat goes to see the Queen, Tylin, and leaves a note about Carridin. Her son, Beslan, takes a liking to him. Returning to the inn, Mat is attacked by a man in his room. Birgitte visits Mat, who remembers Birgitte from Falme, and they talk in the Old Tongue. They agree to keep each other's secrets. They get drunk, which affects Elayne since she is bonded to Birgitte. On Birgitte's return, she tells Elayne that Mat wants an apology and thanks for rescuing them from the Stone. Aviendha and Birgitte both agree that he is owed an apology.
Mat annoys Elayne and Nynaeve by saying that it was nothing when they apologize. They promise not to demean him and to listen to his advice. He moves to the palace where teh Aes Sedai are. Upon leaving, they are accosted by Setalle Anan, who refuses to believe they are Aes Sedai and takes them to the Kin. When they insist they are Aes Sedai, Reanne throws them out and threatens to spread their descriptions. Setalle recognizes one of them as someone she met, but the woman claims it was her grandmother's sister. Elayne begins to think about the ageless look. They are attacked on the way back to the palace.
Elayne is brought before the other Aes Sedai, who threaten to punish her for talking to the Kin. When she learns Carridin is claiming her mother is alive, she loses her temper and threatens the others, who realize she stands above them. She forces them to go and meet the Kin.
On the way to a meeting with the Sea Flk, Moghedien tries to balefire Nynaeve but is put off by pigeons. Nynaeve's boat and bodyguards are destroyed. She almost drowns, but gives in, thus overcoming her block against the Power, and survives. Lan pulls her out. They get married and she fetches the Windfinders.
They go to the Kin, who agree to take them to the store of Power-related objects. Mat arrives, having just found it himself. They thank Mat, who is told of Moghedien by Lan. At the store, they are confronted by Falion and Ispan. Mat saves Elayne from a gholam, which is injured by his medallion. It kills Nalesean during the battle. They return to the palace, where Mat uses his being ta'veren to make the Windfinders agree to go wherever Elayne and Nynaeve want. Mat goes off to find Olver with his men, Thom and Juilin. The Seanchan attack at this moment and he gets trapped under a wall.
For a list of all characters who appear or are mentioned in A Crown of Swords, see A Crown of Swords Character List
For a brief summary of the book, see the A Crown of Swords (Brief Plot Summary)