July 17, 2013

Winter's Heart by Robert Jordan

Winter's Heart is one of the odder books in the Wheel of Time series.  The 9th book, it is definitely not a beginning point, in fact, this is a series that HAS to be read in order.  Otherwise you will have no clue what's going on (and even those who have read it in order are confused sometimes). 

Rand is in hiding.  Well not hiding exactly, he is more hunting obtrusively and has a secret that he's not willing to share with anyone but Nynaeve if he can help it.  She meanwhile is at the palace with Elayne as Elayne tries to win support from the rest of her country so she can take the throne.  Perrin is dealing with the Prophet of the Dragon and having numerous troubles besides, and Mat is stuck in Ebou Dar, where the Seanchan has just taken over and he is a lapdog for the Queen there.  So all in all, everybody is in a heap of trouble and over their heads.

Nynaeve improved a little bit with this book.  If you haven't read my reviews on the series before, she is my favorite and for awhile Jordan absolutely butchered her character.  But she's starting to improve and it hasn't lessened my liking of her any.  Elayne on the other hand I still don't care for.  Yeah she's the daughter-heir to the throne and she acts like, and I really just can't handle her ego at times.  Egwene is still strong and determined.  Rand is a little lighter this time around.  Not the Rand from the first book by any means, but not quite as distant as he was in the last few books.  Mat is still as charming and funny as ever and I enjoy his side story quite a bit.

That being said, I still like Perrin's character but not his story in this book.  I thought it was unnecessary and frustrating as it didn't really add anything to the book.  Mat at least is entertaining and he has a good backstory, but Perrin didn't have much of anything in this book.  The pacing is also a bit slower in this one as well.  Jordan is known for his detail, but there's too much of it here and while there's action, there is not enough action.  It just doesn't move along like the first half of the series did and keep you interested.  In this book, I could set it down and come back to it instead of reading it in one sitting (which is still a long time due to the length of these books).  There's too much focus on side characters and not enough on the ones that were with us from the beginning.

If you're this far in the series, this book will not make you give up by any means, but it will slow down your fervor for reading the next one.  Even so, Jordan's bad writing is still entertaining than a lot of other fantasy authors out there, so it's still worth reading.

Winter's Heart
Copyright 2000
668 pages

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