8.10.2011

Currently Reading: Knife of Dreams (The Wheel of Time, Book 11)

“Do you intend to go back on your word?” A drawn blade that might be used soon. Worse, Tuon was watching, looking at Mat like that hanging magistrate in truth. Burn him, if she died, something would shrivel up inside him. And the only way to stop it, to be sure it was stopped, was to do what he hated worse than work. Once, he had thought that fighting battles, much as he hated it, was still better than work. Near enough nine hundred dead in the space of a few days had changed his mind.

Author: Robert Jordan

Synopsis: While Rand continues to search for a truce with the Seanchan and has an altercation with Semirhage, Perrin plans to infiltrate the Shaido camp to free Faile and Mat attempts to return Tuon safely to her people. Egwene refuses to submit to Elaida, Nynaeve prepares her uncrowned king of Malkier to ride with his people, and Elayne discovers a nest of Black Ajah in Caemlyn. Most of all, signs of the approach of Tarmon Gai’don appear everywhere—food spoiling, the dead walking, the Pattern loosening in ever more terrifying ways.

Notes: Halfway through this book, I was grinding my teeth. Nothing would progress, and I kept getting stuck in the heads of people I didn’t know, like, or care anything about. Besides, there were just too many Darkfriends.

Then things actually started to happen.

Jordan picked the last half of book eleven to resolve more than one long-held plot thread, while still holding us on edge for the book twelve. Relief made me so grateful that I decided to like this book after all. Though I possibly could have liked it just for Egwene’s unbelievable strength and for what Nynaeve did for her husband.

The time with Rand broke my heart—just shattered it. When Lews Therin held saidin away from him, I was nearly as worried as Min. And almost the last thing we heard through his ears was Semirhage’s lie.

Come on. It’s Semirhage. It has to be a lie.

Perrin did all right for himself in this book, again proving a good general in his own right. But—and I never thought I’d say this—Mat was more interesting to follow, both as a general and as a man in love with a woman. Mat made me laugh, and the back-and-forth between him and Tuon was just as much fun in this book as in the last. I wanted to cheer more than once.

Elayne’s story got to progress quite a bit in this novel, which was pleasant. I thoroughly enjoy the Warder bond between Elayne and Birgitte, which got some airplay when Elayne thought it a good idea to walk into a houseful of Aes Sedai Darkfriends. Jordan did a good job of differentiating it from the bond of Aes Sedai to Warders of opposite gender.

To my great surprise, I was completely wrong about who murdered Adeleas.

Also, Logain has me impressed. I can see that crown of glory coming.

Recommendation: Push through the first half. It'll satisfy some long-held suspense later.

2 comments:

  1. You are now officially further in that series than I am. I stopped reading entirely because of that feeling that nothing was progressing, and that I was spending too much time hearing from minor spear carriers I didn't care about.

    When A Memory of Light is finished, I will start the series again. But at the rate you're going, I'll have a lot of catching up to do.

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  2. Seriously, Chris, you do go through about 2100 pages thinking "Hmm... Elayne is STILL trying to capture her throne... Mat is STILL looking for the Daughter of the Nine Moons... Perrin is STILL looking for Faile... etc etc etc." It felt really good to see some of those threads start resolving.

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