Andrew Georgiadis's Reviews > The Fires of Heaven

The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan
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's review
Feb 16, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: sci-fi-and-fantasy
Read in December, 2011 , read count: 2

More Mat. More Sex. More Surprises. More Death.

Rereading the epic WoT series in anticipation of its Brandon Sanderson coauthored conclusion next spring, I am endlessly surprised at the hot and heavy hormones. More than I remember on the first read maybe a decade ago. Even beyond that which is the traditional, tired criticism of the series. The early chapters are laden with heavy looks, loads of Nynaeving, interminable Aes Sedai indignation while plotting re:Rand, and other varied fallopian good times.

Tel'aran'rhiod and the world of dreams encompasses a significant portion of the story arc and doesn't serve to advance the larger plot except to brandish outfit after outfit and bodice after bodice as Egwene, Elayne, Nynaeve, Birgitte, Moghedien and the Wise Ones flit around covertly and worry about the wardrobe of their subconscious. This is incredibly distracting from Rand, ever the heart of the novels, as he has critical moments with Natael, Mat, and a excellent moment of well-written sexuality (in the hot scene in the snowdrift with Aviendha). Note to WoT newbies: there is a scarcity of hot-and-heaviness in The Third Age. Let me cast my ballot for Aviendha as the sexiest, most worthy of "the Three". Except for Min. Shoot.

Still, FoH does a lot of things well. It manages to coalesce some of the scattered parties, even if reunification subjects us poor readers to further Aes Sedai pontification, if such a thing were possible. There are well placed foreshadowings of later development with the One Power, both with saidin and saidar, and of course the only memorable death of the series takes place at the novel's finale. (view spoiler)

"The Wheel of Time" shines when it moves, when it is unpredictable. The ladies joining a circus troupe for more discussion of hemlines and necklines does not qualify, but we have such chapters in spades. But consider the strengths. Mat's imperious mind is bursting with echoes of Age of Legends warfare and history, and his impromptu command (view spoiler) is just the type of adrenaline rush for which we've all been reading. Rand's reckless abandonment of best-laid-plans (view spoiler) jolts us awake. Aviendha's naked body -- washing in the Car'acarn's room, that's reasonable-- (view spoiler) is a welcome sliver of adult fiction.

If time travel is realized one day, this is my entreaty to RJ circa FoH: More Mat. More sex. More surprises. More death.
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