July 09, 2013

The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan

It's hard to believe that even with the fifth book, you're still not even half-ways through the massive telling that is The Wheel of Time series. And it's important that they all be read in order, you'd be hopelessly lost otherwise. So if you haven't started at the beginning, you need to go back.

Rand has been declared He Who Comes With The Dawn, The Dragon Reborn and several other titles after he fulfills some prophecies. He's expected to fight the last battle against the Dark Lord, and while he's reluctant, he knows it is destiny. Unfortunately, not all of the Aiel believe in him and they have flooded over the mountains to invade the "wetlanders" as they call them, and he must do something to stop them. But powerful minions of the Dark Lord are about as well, and he must constantly watch his back lest he be destroyed.

Rand is probably the primary character in this book, as he is in most of the books. He definitely is losing more and more of himself though. And he's barely anything like he was in the first book. A lot of that was done intentionally I know, but it would still be nice if he held onto a few glimmers of his original personality. Mat had a smaller role in this book, and while it was nice to see him, I wish it had been more than in just battles. I don't have the attention span for battle scenes and so didn't enjoy his role as much. And Perrin, well he wasn't in this book at all, which was disappointing. All the girls were as annoying as ever. They started out such good characters but Jordan has them squabbling all the time and it's distracting and somewhat insulting. Nynaeve is my favorite character, but what Jordan has done to her makes me seethe at times.

There are so many stories in this book that are weaved together that it can be hard to keep track of them sometimes. And a few are some that I didn't particularly care about. The side story for Min, while probably somewhat important, just wasn't that interesting and I would have rather it be recounted in a few paragraphs than as a primary story. Nynaeve and Elayne were a little more interesting, but as said before, their character traits made it less enjoyable than it could have been. Anything with Rand in it was strong though, and kept the story moving. Jordan has a penchant for detail and he uses it a lot in his books. So much so that this is one of the larger books in the series, and that's saying something. It isn't as much filler as you would expect for it being a middle book of the series though, a lot happens and I appreciated that. Jordan can get bogged down at times but it didn't seem to happen here.

A lot of flaws but still a very enjoyable read. If it wasn't so late I'd be diving into the next book already because I want to continue on with the story. Definitely a series for those who like detail and adventure.

The Fires of Heaven
Copyright 1993
964 pages

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