July 15, 2013

The Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan

And so we begin the descent into the books that don't do much or go anywhere.  For those of you who have read some of the Wheel of Time series before, you know what I'm talking about.  For those of you who haven't, what are you looking at this review for?  This is the eighth book in the series and they are definitely meant to be read in order.  You're doing yourself a huge disservice if you try to start here.

Having found the powerful artifact that will change the weather, Nynaeve and Elayne have gathered a large amount of women who can channel the one power and plan to use it.  But with the notorious Seanchan close on their tails, using that much power will be a beacon for where they are.  But the world can't survive the drought much longer.  Meanwhile, Rand is settling into his role as King of Illian and also has to take care of the Seanchan invaders.  Having fought them before, he knows what lies ahead, but he's not sure he really trusts anyone on his side to not betray him.  And Egwene too prepares for her own battle.  Having played the puppet on the Amrilyn Seat (Aes Sedai leader position) long enough, she means to show her group that she is a leader, regardless if they like it or not.

Nynaeve's character pleased me in this book.  She's always been my favorite and she seems to be coming into her own again.  That's not to say she doesn't do silly things still; all of Jordan's characters seem to.  Actually all of Jordan's female characters seem to want power or control in some way, it would be refreshing to see one who's just content with her place in life.  Mat didn't appear in this book at all and that upset me a bit, he's also one of my favorites and adds a bit of levity to the series.  Rand is stranger than ever and it appears that Jordan is trying to distance him from anything remotely normal anymore.  Perrin barely appeared but he's so overrun by the women that accompany him that its hard to read about him sometimes.

Not a lot happens in this book.  Sure there are battles and the attempt at the weather change, but compared to the action the books normally have, it just kind of falls flat.  If it were a heart rate monitor it would be rather steady without any dips or lulls or anything exciting.  It's still written well, with plenty of detail, almost too much for some people I would hazard a guess, but it just isn't a book that draws you in like a lot of the other books do.  The detail ranges from battles to dresses (oh a lot of dresses) and I'm still trying to figure out what a slash of color in the dress means.  I can't picture it in my head.  Not that it's a real problem, but every time I hear it, it drives me nuts.

I won't stop reading the books, even though I know the next few are going to be excruciating.  There's still a lot of plot and detail to wade through, but I've got to know how the series ends.

The Path of Daggers
Copyright 1998
604 pages

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