Posts Tagged: Robert Jordan

Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan

Publisher: Tor Books - Pages: 880 - Buy: Book/eBook
Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan

From what I’ve gathered, Knife of Dreams was lauded back in 2005-2006 as a sort of “return to form” for Jordan. The MMPB page count reached 860, so perhaps if “return to form” means writing a bunch of pages, then this book achieved that goal admirably. If “return to form” also means that the author continues to repeat too many descriptive details of his characters and having an over-reliance on “national” stereotypes to substitute for uniform substantive character development, then maybe Knife of Dreams accomplished this as well.

[A] slightly greater sense of urgency, whenever the characters did not stop to sip their peppermint-flavored tea.

But on the whole, this was a better reading experience than the previous two novels. There were some long-awaited (and long-delayed) subplot resolutions that take place here. There was a slightly greater sense of urgency, whenever the characters did not stop to sip their peppermint-flavored tea served on a silver service. And there was one romantic relationship that managed to outdo Stephanie Meyers’ travesties. In a world (again, plug in that late, great movie trailer guy’s voice) where virtually all relationships feel light as a feather and stiff as a board (those readers in their mid-30s to mid-40s might get that reference), the interplay between the mischievous Mat and his bride-to-be, the Seanchan Daughter of the Nine Moons, Tuon, is actually well done. When it seems some characters *cough*Rand*cough* fall in love (or have someone fall in love with him) at the drop of the hat, this budding romance was not as offensive to read, although there were a few times where it felt as though the relationship was taking place more due to “prophecy” influences than anything “natural.” Read More »

Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan

Publisher: Tor Books - Pages: 846 - Buy: Book/eBook
Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan

Over the years, Crossroads of Twilight has borne the dubious distinction of being considered the “worst” WoT book of them all. Even fans of the series tend to view it as containing mostly extraneous material that could and should have been included in the previous two volumes with no loss in narrative flow (if anything, narrative flow would have been sped up, these people would argue). This book is held in such low repute that back when I was a moderator for two of wotmania’s forums, there were people who kept urging me to “review” the book just to see how much fun I could have in ripping it apart. So I agreed to do so almost four years ago. Too bad this one clip is the one preserved piece of that epic parody walkthrough, as I did do a part with the infamous “Elayne bath scene” where I spliced quotes from that chapter with the opening scene of Modris Eksteins’ excellent World War I cultural history, Rites of Spring (the automobile graveyard, for those who are curious).

So I suppose I am at the point where those who’ve taken exception to my commentaries on the series are hoping that I’ll be so disgusted with the horrible prose, the mostly flat and dry characterizations, the execrable plotting, and glacial pace that I’d do a Roberto Duran and cry out, “No más, no más!” Read More »

Winter's Heart by Robert Jordan

Publisher: Tor Books - Pages: 800 - Buy: Book/eBook

I have spent the past eight commentaries talking about where I was as a reader in my early-to-mid 20’s when I first read (and then re-read, in some cases more than twice) the first eight volumes of The Wheel of Time. For the first seven, I read them all within a two-week stretch in-between and just after my MA exams in November 1997. The eighth volume, The Path of Daggers, I bought on its release date and re-read either once or twice (memory is faint) before November 7, 2000, when the ninth Wheel of Time novel, Winter’s Heart, came out in the US.

The astute readers probably have realized by now that if I am talking about books last read around 10 years ago, then it must have been Winter’s Heart that gave me a long pause in my reading. That is indeed true, as not only was there a shade over two years to wait until the tenth volume, Crossroads of Twilight, but I never re-read any of the first nine in the interim, nor did I read that volume until 2006 on a lark. What happened in this reading that finally caused me to do the metaphorical throwing up of hands in surrender? Read More »

The Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan

Publisher: Tor Books - Pages: 704 - Buy: Book/eBook

If A Crown of Swords is the first WoT book that I bought, A Path of Daggers (October 1998 publication) is the first WoT book that I bought in hardcover, on its release date. I read the first seven volumes while I was finishing up my MA in History at the University of Tennessee in 1997, but this volume I purchased while I was halfway through my 16 month teacher education/student teaching coursework. I remember using the internet in the university computer lab to look for several release dates for books I had a vague interest in and I saw when The Path of Daggers would be released in a few weeks, so I used some of my student loan money that I had at the time (between classwork and my required 60 hours of classroom observation, no way was I going to be able to hold even a part-time job) and bought the book in a local mall. Read More »

Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan

Publisher: Tor Books - Pages: 896 - Buy: Book/eBook

As I believed I mentioned somewhere earlier in one of my commentaries, A Crown of Swords was actually the first WoT book that I read. I was in the midst of my MA exams (I want to say I purchased the book during the week between my MA writtens and my MA orals) and I wanted something light to read. I was doing my usual late-night grocery shopping when I thumbed through the books in the display. One of them looked somewhat promising. Said it was one of several books by this author (I should note that this was the alternate paperback cover that didn’t feature any of Darrell Sweet’s artwork, or else I might not have ever picked up the book in the first place), but no indication if this series was a bunch of stand-alones or part of an ongoing serial. Since it was only $7 or so and I was bored, I picked it up and read it the next day/night or two between my readings on the Second International. Read More »