So when I did research on the Wheel of Time I had expected for the story to slow down based off other readers comments. I mentally prepared for the slowdown. But even that is tough to deal with. I really, really love this story as it began in the first few books. I like the character development too, some characters have a lot of depth and the inter-relationships are fascinating. The world building is superb, rich, well described and triggers your imagination. All well and good. Here is where it’s stressing me out.
There is infinite marching. Right from the start in the Two Rivers in book one to even now on book six. Everyone is marching somewhere and it takes bloody long to get there. Blood and bloody ashes. And bloody ashes Light illumine the Lord Dragon the Lord Dragon this and the Lord Dragon that and Nynaeve is tugging on her braid and Mat is marching again or Rand is marching again and Egwene and all of the Aes Sedai are condescending toward men mostly Rand and no one wants to work together and some other army or group is marching form place to place and Nynaeve is tugging on her braid and folding her arms under her breasts and blood and bloody ashes Light illumine the Lord Dragon Nynaeve is tugging her braid and blah blah blah.
What I am showing here is a rather poor attempt and illustrating the slowness and repetition of this part of the series. The story moves along at a snails pace. Jordan, may he rest in piece, keeps repeating sections in the text as if I never read any of the prior books and in some cases as if I never read some of the prior chapters. The tension built between the characters is very slow. It is somewhat effective as of course I still want to read on and read the next chapter and the next book, but some of character, setting and storyline minutiae is too much for my brain to care and in come cases pay attention what I am reading.
So I endure, hoping to find the real meat and potatoes that are in this Wheel of Time stew. Please, tell me it gets better in book 7 or 8. I’ve invested so much time thus far, and I really want to see this one to the end. I am told that struggling through the middle of this series is worth it and I hope that the last few Jordan books get better and I have read that Brandon Sanderson takes the lead post-Jordan’s death and does supreme justice to the body of work and finishes off in a huge way that the fan base cheers him for, I just hope I can make it through the ride.
Well I didn’t really want to come off negative. I really do love the Wheel of Time Series and I absolutely admire and appreciate the work that Robert Jordan put into this and also what Brandon Sanderson did with the finish. I just want to get past the middle, and more to the end without walking in a snail’s shoe.
Addendum to my review; – A blog reader (atoasttodragons) reminded me of the end of the book so I am updating my review to include my insight on the last chapter…. Thank you atoasttodragons!!
Chapter 55 ( The Last Chapter ) is the major battle scene for the book and in my humble opinion makes up for the “slowness” of the chapters 1-54. The battle between the Tower Aes Sedai, The Shaido, The Asha’man and the Salidar Aes Sedai is epic. Mazrim Taim really save’s Rand’s ass and I can’t wait to see how this character interaction builds in the coming books. I was in awe of the Asha’man. It was very satisfying. It was especially satisfying to see the male wielder’s of the true source kick some Aes Sedai ass. Throughout the entire series, there is a sense of female superiority from the Aes Sedai, to an extreme at some points. It was nice to see some balance come to the equation (Yin/Yang) – not that I think that the male half should dominate or anything, but that there should be more of an equality. Seeing the nine Aes Sedai from Saldaea swearing fealty and bending the knee to the Dragon Reborn was epic in my opinion!
Overall, from when you stick with this one from start to finish, it was just another masterful installment of adventures in the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan .