This is one of those books you can read two ways. You can read it for fun as a great story, or you can get all English Major on it and beat every lastThis is one of those books you can read two ways. You can read it for fun as a great story, or you can get all English Major on it and beat every last drop of fun out of it analyzing the hidden meanings, subtexts, and philosophy of the thing.
I read it mostly as a a fun story, and it is that. It had my attention throughout the whole of it. Here's something about Wells: he writes the best pandemonium scenes. Ever. There's one in here that makes you feel for the people that don't know what to do, and at the same time you can't help laughing at the whole thing.
If you want to get a little deeper, the main character comes off as rather endearing at first -- and maybe not so much later on. I think we all might wonder what we'd do in his shoes, and hope not the same things.
This was my first Robert Jordan book, and I really enjoyed it. It kept my attention all the way through, and the characters were well-developed. The pThis was my first Robert Jordan book, and I really enjoyed it. It kept my attention all the way through, and the characters were well-developed. The plot was great, and left me wanting to start the next book.
As the book got towards the end, I found myself laughing, grinning, and really enjoying the finale, though I note that some threads were not wrapped up.
I would have given it 5 stars, if not for a few flaws. First, it was over-long in places. Sometimes the beautiful imagery was great; other times, I felt my eye skimming down the page because I was bored. This was especially the cases in suspenseful scenes, though that may just be a compliment as much as a complaint because of the intensity of those places.
Secondly, there was an awful lot of intricate politics, history, and the like. I suspect that after I've read the rest of the series, I may appreciate it more. But as it is, I spent a fair bit of this book feeling lost. I get the feeling that Jordan meant that many times, to show how the three men from the Two Rivers were feeling. At the same time, I think it was over-heavy on the lore and politics.
I look forward to reading the next book in the series, especially hoping that it ties up some of the loose threads from this one. That doesn't mean, though, that the conclusion in this one was unsatisfying....more
Wow. The ending of this book blew me away. We all know we are reading epic fantasy here, but Robert Jordan is truly the king of wrapping up a book. YeWow. The ending of this book blew me away. We all know we are reading epic fantasy here, but Robert Jordan is truly the king of wrapping up a book. Yes, as reading it, you get some hints about what will happen -- but the finale is so brilliantly executed, and so very personal. I felt like I was there, witnessing it, reading of the accounts of the locals that witnessed it too. If Jordan were describing me reading it, I'm sure I'd be described as wide-eyed, shaking as if I were an Ogier with ears to twitch. It is hard to describe how awesome the finale is without spoilers, so I will just leave it at that.
Like The Eye of the World (the first in this series), this book is long, and over-long at places. But it was better about that than the first book. Some things become more clear in this, and others significantly more gray; and I think I can safely say that both these descriptions apply to every main character as well as the entire Aes Sedai. This adds an extra level of depth to the story, and an extra level of engagement.
I read in my spare time, which isn't a lot, and it took me about 16 days to read this book. And I read it immediately after finishing Eye of the World, which I did in 8 days. As I was in the middle of it, I was saying to myself that I really have to stop reading this series for awhile before I get burnt out. But now... would it be too geeky to say it feels as if the Wheel is urgently weaving my way towards book three?...more
Yet another great book in the Wheel of Time series. I don't have time for a thorough review here, but I really enjoyed this one. Although smaller in pYet another great book in the Wheel of Time series. I don't have time for a thorough review here, but I really enjoyed this one. Although smaller in page count than the first two, it seemed to cover an even more expansive story. Lots of uncertainty, especially with the Aes Sedai, some of it not resolved....more
I finished this book this evening, and am rather unsure how to go about even reviewing it, let alone assigning it a star rating.
When I first started rI finished this book this evening, and am rather unsure how to go about even reviewing it, let alone assigning it a star rating.
When I first started reading it, I was enthusiastic, but that quickly waned. The first third of the book felt like a history textbook. Dates, names, places. Political plots, too-detailed descriptions of things. "Wool-headed men", "unfathomable women", "Rand/Mat/Perrin knows about girls" memes kept on to the point of annoyance. And when things did start to move, we'd shift to a different set of actors in similar boring activities. I almost stopped reading.
And then it all changed. Everything I loved about the series came back. The story pulled me in. The characters were again vivid. The shifts in location were mostly acceptable (though sometimes frustrating). New friends, new enemies, and we're not always sure which is which.
The time with the Aiel was priceless, even though it did repeat the "wool-headed men" (or "wetlander") theme way more than needed.
The ending to this book was good, but not great as the endings to the first three were. Yes, there was a triumph of sorts, but very little was resolved, and there was some sadness there on the last page. (And no, this is not a spoiler, it's a minor detail.)
If it had a better start, or even a typically grand ending, I'd have probably given it 4 stars. But I just can't bring myself to do so just now....more