July 21, 2013

Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan

This is the last book to be written completely by Jordan in this series.  As you well know by now (at least you should if you've kept up with the series, and if you haven't, go start at book one) Jordan passed away before he complete his series.  Luckily, he left notes and another author took up the reins to continue where he left off, but that is next book.  This one, it is still all Jordan.

Faile is still a prisoner of the Shaido Aiel and Perrin will stop at nothing to save her.  This means he has aligned himself with the Seanchan in order to rescue her, which is much like dealing with the Dark Lord himself in many people's eyes.  Rand is taking care of things in Tear and Cairhien and is still troubled by sickness.  But he too has to deal with the Seanchan as he seeks out an uneasy truce until the last battle.  Egwene is coming into her own as Amrilyn, but something unexpected happens that will force her to reevaluate her battle plans.  And Elayne, well she is still trying to gain the throne of Andor.

I really am not that fond of Elayne.  I can't quite pinpoint why, but I just find her uninteresting.  And all this talk about her pregnancy in the book doesn't help matters.  Sure it's an important thing, but not one that needs such devoted detail.  Nynaeve isn't much a part of this book or Aviendha, and I missed both characters quite a bit.  At least Egwene is always an interesting and redeeming character.  She's strong, stubborn, and quite wonderful at times.  Rand is as weird as ever.  I know he's supposed to be and I know I say this in nearly every review of the book, but I miss the Rand from the first book.  Perrin is also nothing like himself and while I used to like him, I don't in this book.  Luckily for the boys, Mat is as charming as ever and really comes into his own in this book.

The prologue of this book is a hundred pages long.  Just the prologue.  So that should tell you something.  There is a lot of detail here as in all of Jordan's books.  But thankfully, he actually had a little bit of action in this one as well.  Not as much as there used to be in the book, but enough to finally start moving the plot along.  And he even resolved some of the stories that he already had going, which is very rare for him.  That's not to say there aren't still plenty of mysteries though, because there are.  This is one complicated mess of characters and intrigues and it takes some sorting out to keep up. 

It will be interesting to see what the next books hold.  Jordan was a great writer and it's my hope that Sanderson, his replacement, can keep true to his story and world.

Knife of Dreams
Copyright 2005
783 pages

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