Today we’re going to talk about the sixth book in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series!
The Plot (according to Goodreads):
On the slopes of Shayol Ghul, the Myrddraal swords are forged, and the sky is not the sky of this world …
In Salidar the White Tower in exile prepares an embassy to Caemlyn, where Rand Al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn, holds the throne — and where an unexpected visitor may change the world …
In Emond’s Field, Perrin Goldeneyes, Lord of the Two Rivers, feels the pull of ta’veren to ta’veren and prepares to march …
Morgase of Caemlyn finds a most unexpected, and quite unwelcome, ally …
And south lies Illian, where Sammael holds sway …
I’m not going to lie, it took me approximately forever and 15 days to finish this book. First of all, it is really long. We’re talking 1000 pages. However, on top of that, there isn’t much going on. I’m not sure how to convey this properly in a way that makes sense, but it felt like most of this book was world-building. I understand that Jordan wants to convey a lot of information about the different peoples in this story and their habits and customs. While I don’t mind some world-building, this was just a lot of it in one go without much other development. It wasn’t until almost the end of this book that the pace started to pick up again.
I’m starting to sense what I usually call the “Tolkien problem”. The author quite obviously knows a lot of words but concise and brief aren’t among them. Sure, give me some world-building but this could have been edited down *a lot*. Another thing that irritated me a bit (now that I think about it, that’s also a Tolkien thing to do) is that he seems to forget about certain characters. You don’t hear about them for essentially 800+ pages and as a reader, I just keep wondering, why? Did they die? Live happily ever after? Did the author just straight up forget about them? Just spread things about a bit more evenly. I’m begging you.
Despite the pace of this book being next to glacial, I enjoyed the story. Interestingly, I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a book this much where almost every single character is *so fucking annoying*. I know I’ve talked about this in the previous reviews, but Matt’s a twat, Nyneave keeps acting like a bitch all the time, I’m straight up gonna ignore that weird bit about Elayne and Thom that was going on for a moment. While I sympathize with Rand and surely would be a bit testy as well in his place, my patience is starting to wear thin. Especially now that Min has shown up I keep getting more and more irritated. I don’t understand at all why she is so smitten since it felt like they exchanged all of three words in the previous books. They are both behaving almost ridiculously.
I know I just complained a whole lot, but I did like the novel. In the final chapters, the story did finally regain some speed and it was once again difficult to put it down. I hope we will continue like this but from what I’ve heard the more concise writing I’m wishing for won’t come up until Brandon Sanderson took over. I feel like I would be a bit more forgiving with the slow pace if there weren’t so many more books and pages left. On my e-reader, I have all books combined into one (so I don’t have to remember the correct order) and page count wise I’m not even halfway through. To be honest, that can be a bit disenchanting. I read and read and feel like I made a lot of progress trudging through a story that isn’t going anywhere for almost 1000 pages and then you check the count and it’s essentially going nowhere.
While I am still fascinated by the story, and I want to know how everything ends, I’m going to take a little break from Wheel of Time after this novel. I’m planning on reading some other stuff and then when I return I will once more be excited about WoT.
Don’t get me wrong, this is an amazing story, but it’s simply *a lot*.
Did you read this book? Let me know in the comments what you think!
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