A Crown of Swords (The Wheel of Time #7)
From the tall arched window, close onto eighty spans above the ground, not far below the top of the White Tower, Elaida could see for miles beyond Tar Valon, to the rolling plains and forests that bordered the broad River Erinin, running down from north and west before it divided around the white walls of the great island city. On the ground, long morning shadows must have been dappling the city, but from this prominence all seemed clear and bright. Not even the fabled “topless towers” of Cairhien had truly rivaled the White Tower: Certainly none of Tar Valon’s lesser towers did, for all that men spoke far and wide of them and their vaulting sky-bridges.
This high, an almost constant breeze lessened the unnatural heat gripping the world. The Feast of Lights past, snow should have covered the ground deep, yet the weather belonged in the depths of a hard summer. Another sign that the Last Battle approached and the Dark One touched the world, if more were needed. Elaida did not let the heat touch her even when she descended, of course. The breeze was not why she had had her quarters moved up here, despite the inconvenience of so many stairs, to these simple rooms.
Plain russet floor tiles and white marble walls decorated by a few tapestries could not compare with the grandeur of the Amyrlin’s study and the rooms that went with it far below. She still used those rooms occasionally—they held associations with the power of the Amyrlin Seat in some minds—but she resided here, and worked here more often than not. For the view. Not of city or river or forests, though. Of what was beginning in the Tower grounds.1