The book I read while on the beach was The Shadow Rising, the fourth book of The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. The book started off pretty slow, mostly with Rand handing out in Tear, making some kingly decisions and every once in awhile fighting with evil things sent to attack him.
Then the group splits up and things start to get crazy. Rand and Mat head to the Aiel Waste (Egwene and Moraine come along as well). Perrin heads back to the Two Rivers and becomes a leader against Trolloc raids. Elayne and Nynaeve head to Tarabon and seek out the Black Ajah. Once all the characters split, it was hard to put the book down. I am just going to mention some of my favorite parts with each character.
-I love that he wants to go back to the fox people (or the snake people) and teach them a lesson. I also enjoy that he must be descended from maybe the Manatheran king or something. He might be my new favorite character.
-I love how he no longer seems unsure of himself. He knew all along that one of the Foresaken would be in the Waste. He does not fear Moraine any longer, plus he just likes to infuriate her with his vague answers (like she did with he and the others in the beginning).
-It seems that I was wrong so far about Elayne. Rand seems to be leaning pretty heavily that way (although, the Aiel girl seems to be catching his eye as well).
-I am totally going to sound like a girl right now, but it was such a sweet moment when he and Faile got married. I love that they fought so much, but then when she heard his family was murdered, none of that mattered.
-I wonder what Elayne’s mom (under the influence of a Foresaken) will do when she finds out that Perrin is being called a lord and they are flying the old Manatheran banner down in the Two Rivers? I bet she will not be happy.
-It seems that pretty much everyone has some women that can channel. The Sea People, Seanchan, Aiel, and who knows who else.
-I love the idea that the Tinkers are actually the original Aiel. The Aiel used to serve the Aes Sedai (back before the Breaking and the world was much more advanced, sounds like they had flying cars) and the Aiel were extremely non-violent. When Rand was reliving his past, it was interesting to see how they continued to split at times.
-Will it turn out that Thom is Elayne’s father? That would be interesting, although a bit too convenient.
-I wonder if Mat and Perrin will meet up together at this weird tower that was mentioned. It was mentioned that they are connected and the way to defeat them might be in the old Snake and Foxes game. Mat and Perrin together could probably outsmart them since they are such opposites.
-I love that the Aes Sedai ended up stilling Siuan and Leane and that they are now working with Min and Logaine. That is probably why Min saw a halo (or crown) around his head.
-I think that when this series ends, Rand will still be alive and he will usher in a golden age. He will find a way to get rid of the Dark One and remove the taint that drives men who can channel mad. Or he will die a hero. I know, a bold prediction.