July 05, 2013

The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan

The Shadow Rising is the fourth book in Jordan's Wheel of Time series.  Do not pass this point if you haven't read the previous books, this is a series that is meant to be read in order.  Otherwise you'll be hopelessly lost.

So we all know by now that the Dragon Reborn has returned and holds the Tower of Tear.  And in doing so he has fulfilled one of the prophecies.  But there are others that he must accomplish, and one will send him off to the waste where the Aiel people have lived for hundreds of years in a harsh and unforgiving land.  But the Aiel aren't like the other people he's come across, and what he has to do may take more power than he thought he had.  Meanwhile, Nynaeve and Elayne have to hunt down the dark Aes Sedai that mean to capture a tool that can be used against Rand, even if it means putting themselves in great danger as well.

Rand again is pretty unapproachable in this book.  I'm not sure if it's because he's the Dragon Reborn and supposed to be, or because Jordan just didn't put as much time into him in this book.  Nyneave and Elayne actually got quite a bit of time in this book though and I'm glad of that.  Even if Nynaeve does sniff and pull on her braid too much and act scatterbrained once in awhile, she's still one of my favorite character and I like when Jordan actually uses her strengths and gets her in the mix of things.  Egwene takes a back role in this book though and is lost among the shuffle of the Aiel for a good part of the book, as is Moiraine.  Mat has a small part in the book and as usual, he is entertaining to read about.  But Perrin, Perrin was strong in this book and a good portion of it was devoted to him, and he's one of the most logical (and therefore a pleasure to read about) characters in the book.

I kind of thought of this book as filler again.  It's not that nothing happens in it.  Quite a lot does actually.  But most of the book is detail and Rand being in the Aiel Waste with a lot of talking and planning going on.  So even though there are battles (especially on Perrin's part) it just seemed as if we were getting more of the story and world building instead of the action.  And if you're not fond of detail you might have trouble really sinking into this book.  I even got a little tired of the different veils in Tarabon being described.  After awhile you just don't care how sheer they are.  But still, it was as captivating as usual and made me want to start the next book right away.

An excellent series if you can stand the length.  Lots of detail and different "cultures" built by Jordan in his world.  It's one of those series I can read time and time again.

The Shadow Rising
Copyright 1993
1006 pages

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