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The Wheel of Time #8

The Path of Daggers

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The Seanchan invasion force is in possession of Ebou Dar. Nynaeve, Elayne, and Aviendha head for Caemlyn and Elayne's rightful throne, but on the way they discover an enemy much worse than the Seanchan.

In Illian, Rand vows to throw the Seanchan back as he did once before. But signs of madness are appearing among the Asha'man.

In Ghealdan, Perrin faces the intrigues of Whitecloaks, Seanchan invaders, the scattered Shaido Aiel, and the Prophet himself. Perrin's beloved wife, Faile, may pay with her life, and Perrin himself may have to destroy his soul to save her.

Meanwhile the rebel Aes Sedai under their young Amyrlin, Egwene al'Vere, face an army that intends to keep them away from the White Tower. But Egwene is determined to unseat the usurper Elaida and reunite the Aes Sedai. She does not yet understand the price that others—and she herself—will pay.

685 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published October 20, 1998

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About the author

Robert Jordan

598 books14.6k followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Robert Jordan was the pen name of James Oliver Rigney, Jr., under which he was best known as the author of the bestselling The Wheel of Time fantasy series. He also wrote under the names Reagan O'Neal and Jackson O'Reilly.

Jordan was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He served two tours in Vietnam (from 1968 to 1970) with the United States Army as a helicopter gunner. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with bronze oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star with "V" and bronze oak leaf cluster, and two Vietnamese Gallantry Crosses with palm. After returning from Vietnam he attended The Citadel where he received an undergraduate degree in physics. After graduating he was employed by the United States Navy as a nuclear engineer. He began writing in 1977. He was a history buff and enjoyed hunting, fishing, sailing, poker, chess, pool, and pipe collecting.

He described himself as a "High Church" Episcopalian and received communion more than once a week. He lived with his wife Harriet McDougal, who works as a book editor (currently with Tor Books; she was also Jordan's editor) in a house built in 1797.

Responding to queries on the similarity of some of the concepts in his Wheel of Time books with Freemasonry concepts, Jordan admitted that he was a Freemason. However, "like his father and grandfather," he preferred not to advertise, possibly because of the negative propaganda against Freemasonry. In his own words, "no man in this country should feel in danger because of his beliefs."

On March 23, 2006, Jordan disclosed in a statement that he had been diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis, and that with treatment, his median life expectancy was four years, though he said he intended to beat the statistics. He later posted on his Dragonmount blog to encourage his fans not to worry about him and that he intended to have a long and fully creative life.

He began chemotherapy treatment at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in early April 2006. Jordan was enrolled in a study using the drug Revlimid just approved for multiple myeloma but not yet tested on primary amyloidosis.

Jordan died at approximately 2:45 p.m. EDT on September 16, 2007, and a funeral service was held for him on Wednesday, September 19, 2007. Jordan was cremated and his ashes buried in the churchyard of St. James Church in Goose Creek, outside Charleston.

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Profile Image for Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews.
235 reviews3,080 followers
August 10, 2022
Check out my YouTube channel where I show my instant reactions to reading fantasy books as soon as I finish the book.

The slog is a lie!

I was extremely worried going into this book, as it's considered by many to be where the plot really starts to hit a low point in terms of plot progression. So I put off reading this and really went in with low expectations. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this was one of my favorite Wheel of Time books, and a wonderful addition to this series.

I think part of the problem people had with this was when they were reading these books as they were coming out. Yes, this book is slower than the previous ones - and if you had to wait years before reading the next one it would be a bit frustrating. But reading these after they have all come out fixed this problem and it allows Robert Jordan to really take a deeper dive into the characters and slow things down without sacrificing reader attention span.

Without spoiling anything, I thought the beginning 1/3 of this book was fantastic, and the drama that surrounded these characters interacting with the Seanchan invasion is incredibly tense and exciting. This book is the shortest one yet, and as such the pacing is wonderfully done throughout the whole book.

Like pretty much everyone I am a huge Mat fan - and he is a total non-factor in this book which was a disappointment. But when you have so many characters it makes sense that you will have to move some characters to the background each book so I painfully understand that it's his turn this time.

All-in-all I had an absolute blast reading this book and I highly encourage everyone who is afraid to start this book due to the reviews to just jump on in.
Profile Image for Markus.
472 reviews1,523 followers
February 23, 2016
Usually my reviewing style includes a plot synopsis at the beginning, but through experience I’ve come to the realisation that it’s most often a huge advantage when the book actually has a plot.

This was essentially Interlude: the Book. No plot development, no character development, no setting development, no... development. At all. And you don't need to tell me it gets worse. I know.

The chapters written from the viewpoint of the main protagonists are downright boring. Quite the opposite is true for the chapters written from the viewpoint of minor characters, like the Forsaken, the Seanchan and the Black Ajah. But unfortunately, there are so depressingly few of them.

Then we have people being stupid, other people being incomprehensibly stupid, the development of what has the potential to be the worst love plot in fantasy, and Faile being Faile (that’s the worst part).

And the only real redeeming quality of the book is called Cadsuane Melaidhrin.

The only reason this doesn't get two stars is because it's a Wheel of Time book and it allows me to spend more time in this wonderful world. But if I were to be objective, it's definitely closer to two stars than three.

At least I read most of the book in less than twenty-four hours. That must count for something. Though the book was only 672 pages, which is barely even a novella by Robert Jordan’s standards.

Fortunately, I still love the series a lot more than when I was reading the first three books. And this changes nothing.

Wheel of Time reviews:
#1 The Eye of the World
#2 The Great Hunt
#3 The Dragon Reborn
#4 The Shadow Rising
#5 The Fires of Heaven
#6 Lord of Chaos
#7 A Crown of Swords
#8 The Path of Daggers
#9 Winter's Heart
#10 Crossroads of Twilight
#11 Knife of Dreams
#12 The Gathering Storm
#13 Towers of Midnight
#14 A Memory of Light
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,258 reviews8,704 followers
January 13, 2022
NOTICE: this reread is in preparation for finally biting the bullet and reading book 14. That means I HAVE NOT read book 14 yet. Please be mindful of this in the comments, both for me and for others who may or may not have progressed past this point in the series. Thank you.

Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

So . . . I debated long and hard about how to rate THE PATH OF DAGGERS, book 8 in Robert Jordan's WHEEL OF TIME . . . I think by now it's pretty obvious that I love this series, but . . .

1. No Mat.

Like NONE.

About halfway through, I got super impatient, b/c #7 ends with him getting conked on the head, lights out, and, yeah, I know what happens next (b/c rererereread), but still, where the blood and bloody ashes is he? So I started flipping through the chapters, checking out the icons, looking for the tell-tale dice, and I FOUND THEM.

So I relaxed, and I put on my patient hat . . . Only to discover it was a LIE.

Don't get me wrong, I like Talmanes as much as the next person, but Talmanes is NOT Mat.

2. Aes Sedai shenanigans.

There are two types of shenanigans, as far as I'm concerned: the good kind that mean FUN, and the Aes Sedai kind that mean NEGATIVE FUN.

I've already explained which type these are.

Aes Sedai shenanigans mean scheming and machinations. They mean HUBRIS. They mean ignoring the obvious b/c they know better, even when what they "know" has been definitively proven wrong over and over again.

Things Aes Sedai know:

1. The Black Ajah is a filthy rumor.

2. Being Stilled or Severed from the Source cannot be healed.

3. No more than a handful of men develop the ability to Channel every year.

4. Abilities like Traveling and creating new ter'angreal have been lost since the Age of Legends.

5. Only an Aes Sedai can inhibit another's ability to channel.

FALSE, one and all.

And admittedly, there are few Aes Sedai who are privy to ALL the contradictory information, but most know at least half, and still, when confronted with undeniable evidence of yet another falsely assumed belief, they refuse to acknowledge the possibility that they're mistaken until concrete proof is waved under their noses, and even then they pick it apart, b/c not convinced.

It's maddening.

Even more so when the logical and inevitable conclusion of the actions they've taken results in physically becoming sick and wails and denials.

"We've divided the Tower b/c usurper and blatant abuse of the spirit of the law, gathered over 30k soldiers for our army, and acquired one of the most respected Generals in our world, but actually returning to the Tower with our army and our General to start the war we've been planning . . .?" *throws up messily in corner*


And those are just the Aes Sedai that Egwene's stuck with.

The Aes Sedai/Kin/Windfinders with Elayne and Nynaeve's group are a whole separate irritation.

But in that case, Elayne is the bigger annoyance. Whether she's doingthething she shouldn't be doing, b/c if Aviendha can do it, the Daughter Heir of Andor can do it, too, or making meaningless connections while missing the obvious and IMPORTANT ones, I wish this red-haired future queen was a Red Shirt, and good riddance.


There is more to THE PATH OF DAGGERS then a lack of Mat, Aes Sedai shenanigans, and Elayne-whom-I-hate-loathe-despise-and-abominate.

There's also:

1. A bevy of formidable women-whom-I-LOVE: Alise, Cadsuane, Sorilea, Cadsuane, Cadsuane, Cadsuane.

2. The reappearance of Elyas, who gives Perrin some much needed insight into the minds of Saldean women.

3. Egwene out Aes Sedai-ing the Aes Sedai.

4. TWO revelations:

So not all bad. But no Mat and too much stupid Aes Sedai nonsense, so not my favorite, either. Read it b/c it's necessary, then move on, is my advice.

Jessica Signature

My other reviews for this series:

The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time, #1) by Robert Jordan
The Great Hunt (Wheel of Time, #2) by Robert Jordan
The Dragon Reborn (Wheel of Time, #3) by Robert Jordan
The Shadow Rising (Wheel of Time, #4) by Robert Jordan
The Fires of Heaven (Wheel of Time, #5) by Robert Jordan
Lord of Chaos (Wheel of Time, #6) by Robert Jordan
A Crown of Swords (Wheel of Time, #7) by Robert Jordan
Winter's Heart (Wheel of Time, #9) by Robert Jordan
Crossroads of Twilight (Wheel of Time, #10) by Robert Jordan
New Spring (Wheel of Time, #0) by Robert Jordan
Profile Image for Kat  Hooper.
1,583 reviews398 followers
March 31, 2009
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

The best thing I can say about The Path of Daggers is that it is significantly shorter than the last few novels have been -- only 700 pages (mass market paperback) compared to the 900-1100 page novels that have preceded it. There is much less of the repetitive backstory. I guess Mr. Jordan finally realized that new readers aren't jumping in at this point.

However, that's not to say that there are 700 pages of plot here, either. For again, most of the pages are devoted to minutia such as nearly every word spoken during one of Elayne's 3 hour long rides, every thought that Perrin has while walking around his camp, etc. Most of the significant action is squeezed into the last couple of chapters. The story is still interesting, but The Path of Daggers doesn't advance it far enough.

But what's annoying me most is that the female WOT characters are the cattiest bunch of women I've ever encountered. Supposedly the Aes Sedai are dignified, cool-headed, and calm, but yet we see them constant bickering, back-biting, squabbling, thinking about their positions relative to others, and worried about what everyone else is thinking. For such powerful women, they are continually showing their shock, getting into petty disagreements, trying to out-wit each other, widening their eyes, adjusting their shawls, and smoothing their skirts (apparently this is an indication of uneasiness, though I have never actually seen an uneasy woman smoothing her skirt). And why the heck are adult women SPANKING each other?!?

I find it irritating that women leaders are portrayed this way while the powerful men are portrayed as hard, reserved, and distinguished. I'm sure that Mr. Jordan meant for his female characters to seem strong, but they just come across as bitchy. I really can't figure out why they all take each other so seriously.
Read more Robert Jordan book reviews at Fantasy literature.
Profile Image for Anna [Bran. San. Stan].
261 reviews81 followers
March 4, 2023
Of course, now that I like Mat, he is absent from the narrative (*smh*). So let me get this straight: Mat‘s fate is uncertain and we have to wait an entire book to find out what happened to him. Reading WoT when it came out must have been torture! I already feel it is torture and I at least can dive into the next book right away.

Talking of major viewpoint characters not getting (enough) page-time: it was really weird (not bad weird, just weird weird) to only get to Rand‘s PoV in Chapter 13, about 300 pages (46%) in and then only for 30 pages; only to then go another 110 pages until his PoV chapters resume. The later ones leading up to the battle were a little tiring, with so many names and nations (impossible) to keep track of: 41 names in one 16-page chapter!

Spoilers below!

Let’s talk about magic for a bit. In general, magic having a cost makes for a more compelling read. While madness is a steep cost to using saidin, I have been grateful that frequent use doesn’t hasten it; it would have sucked having to deal with a constant inner monolog whether channeling really was worth it this time. BUT now that a greater cost to the magic arises and Rand’s competence has a major setback because of it, I’m really bummed out. Saidin behaving even more unpredictably and erratically, as well as Rand getting dizzy and nauseous (why??), was bad enough, but finally seeing Callandor at work again and having it backfire, to the point that the Light does not win as a result for the first time? That felt really crappy!

As for the plot, the overall structure felt a bit like that of a TV show. Bringing closure to the Bowl of the Winds plot, Path of Daggers sees one loose end from the previous book finally resolved in the first five chapters – so the book begins with the first “episode" of the new season. To be honest, I feel like Crown of Swords should have seen the weather plot resolved; it would have made for an even better ending. Maybe that could have made some room for Mat?

Still, I have been repeatedly warned that getting through books 7/8-10 can be a bit of a slog. I want to sincerely thank everyone one of you who did! After so many brilliant books, moderating my expectations was, like so often, probably the key to enjoying myself. Was it as good as the predecessors? No. Did I still love it? Yes. Among other things, there were payoffs I really enjoyed, such as
– not picturing so many sweaty, stinky people everywhere
– Maighdin and Perrin meeting
– Egwene tricking those hags of Aes Sedai
– Elayne finally making it to Caemlyn
– Logain throwing in with Rand

– and even small things like the sequence in the first chapter, showing events as the wind passes, reminding me of the Stormfather.

Mat, here I come! Onward!
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
March 8, 2021
The Path of Daggers (The Wheel of Time #8), Robert Jordan

The Path of Daggers is a fantasy novel by American author Robert Jordan, the eighth book of his series The Wheel of Time. It was published by Tor Books and released on October 20, 1998. This book is the shortest book in the main Wheel of Time series, consisting of a prologue and 31 chapters.

Elayne Trakand, Nynaeve al'Meara, Aviendha, and their coalition of channelers use the ter'angreal called the 'Bowl of the Winds' to reverse the unnatural heat brought by the Dark One's manipulation of the climate, and then escape a Seanchan invasion by Traveling to Andor, where Elayne initiates her claim to the throne.

Perrin Aybara moves into Ghealdan to stop Masema Dagar, the self-proclaimed Prophet of the Dragon; but unknowingly rescues the deposed Queen Morgase of Andor from the Prophet's men.

He then secures the oath of fealty from Alliandre, Queen of Ghealdan. At the end of the book, Faile Bashere is kidnapped by the Shaido Aiel. Egwene al'Vere, Amyrlin Seat of the rebel Aes Sedai, manipulates her unruly followers into giving her more control, and they Travel to Tar Valon, before their siege of its White Tower.

Rand al'Thor, with Asha'man and Illianers, attempts to repel the Seanchan invasion in Altara. Though successful in early skirmishes, Rand loses control while wielding his sa'angreal 'Callandor', forcing a stalemate.

Returning to Cairhien, Rand is attacked by traitorous Asha'man led by Corlan Dashiva, who fail to kill him. Mat Cauthon is absent from the book, due to injuries sustained at the end of the previous book, A Crown of Swords.

Robert Jordan had earlier done the same for Perrin Aybara, who had been absent from Book 5, The Fires of Heaven.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز پانزدهم ماه آوریل سال 2019میلادی

عنوان: سری چرخ زمان کتاب هشتم: گذرگاه خنجرها؛ نویسنده: رابرت جردن؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 20م

چرخ زمان رمانهایی از نوع «خیال‌پردازی حماسی (اپیک)» هستند که توسط نویسنده «آمریکایی»، «جیمز الیور ریگنی جونیور» با نام قلم «رابرت جوردن» نگاشته شده ‌اند؛ «چرخ زمان» نخست قرار بود، یک سری شش جلدی باشد، اما «جردن» آن را به دوازده کتاب، و سپس به چهارده کتاب و یک پیش درآمد، افزایش دادند؛ «جوردن» در سال 1984میلادی، آغاز به نگارش نخستین کتاب، از این سری با نام «چشم جهان» نمودند، که آن کتاب را، در ماه ژانویه سال 1990میلادی منتشر کردند؛ «جردن» پیش از پایان یافتن جلد دوازدهم از این سری، در سال 2007میلادی، به علت بیماری قلبی، از این سرای درگذشتند؛ و در همان سال، همسر ایشان، پس از خوانش «زاده مه، اثر برندون سندرسون»؛ ایشان را برای پایان دادن کتاب پایانی سری برگزیدند؛ «سندرسون» با خوانش یادداشت‌های «جردن»، به این نتیجه رسیدند، که یک جلد برای پایان کار سری کافی نیست، و به همسر «جردن» پیشنهاد دادند، که در سه جلد، سری «چرخ زمان» را به پایان برسانند، که مورد پذیرش همسر «جردن» قرار گرفت، و اینگونه «چرخ زمان» در پایان کار چهارده جلدی شد؛

در این سری، از اسطوره‌ ها، و مکاتب گوناگونی، همانند «بوداییسم»، «هندوئیسم»، «فرهنگ اروپایی»، «مفاهیم متافیزیکی تعادل و ثنویت»، «احترام به طبیعت»، که در فلسفه ی «تائوئیسم» یافت می‌شود، «اسطوره ‌شناسی آسیایی و اسلامی» سخن به میان آمده ‌است؛ همچنین در این رمان، نام واقعی «اهریمن»، «شیطان» عنوان شده، که واژه ای «عربی» است، نویسنده، برای نگارش بخشی از این سری، از کتاب «جنگ و صلح (1869میلادی)» به قلم «لئو تولستوی» الهام گرفته ‌اند؛

کتابهای این سری: «بهار نو (2004میلادی) (به عنوان پیش‌درآمد و بیست سال پیش از رخدادهای نخستین رمان)»؛ کتاب نخست: «چشم جهان (1990میلادی)»؛ کتاب دوم: «شکار بزرگ (1990میلادی)»؛ کتاب سوم: «تجلی اژدها (1991میلادی)»؛ کتاب چهارم: «قیام سایه‌ها (1992میلادی)»؛ کتاب پنجم: «شعله‌های بهشت (1993میلادی)»؛ کتاب ششم: «ارباب آشفتگی (1995میلادی)»؛ کتاب هفتم: «تاج شمشیرها (1996میلادی)»؛ کتاب هشتم: «گذرگاه خنجرها (1998میلادی)»؛ کتاب نهم: «قلب زمستان (2000میلادی)»؛ کتاب دهم: «چهارراه شامگاهی (2003میلادی)»؛ کتاب یازدهم: «چاقوی رؤیا (2005میلادی)»؛ کتاب دوازدهم: «گرد آمدن طوفان (2009میلادی)»؛ کتاب سیزدهم: «برج‌های نیمه شب (2010)»؛ کتاب چهاردهم: «یادآوری از روشنایی (2012میلادی)»؛

بازگویی داستان سری، از سه‌ هزار سال پس از «شکاندن جهان» روی می‌دهد، که به «عصر افسانه‌ ها» (که روزگاری بسیار پیشرفته بود) پایان داد؛ در روایتها، فناوری، و ساختارهای اجتماعی جهان، به اروپای «رنسانس» شباهت دارند، در این سری جامعه های، زن‌سالار نیز هستند؛ در بازنگاری رویدادها و بازگویی داستان، رویدادهایی همانند «انقلاب صنعتی» و ...؛ نیز روی می‌دهند

صحنهٔ اصلی رویدادهای این سری، بخش غربی قاره ‌ای بزرگ است، که نام آن در متون ذکر نشده‌ است، ولی «رابرت جردن» در گفتگوهای خویش از آن با عنوان «وست‌لندز» یاد کرده ‌اند؛ در «وست‌لندز»، از شرق، رشته ‌کوهی میپیوندد، که از چندین پادشاهی، و دولت-شهر، شکل گرفته است؛ در شرق آن رشته ‌کوه نیز، بیابانی موسوم به «برهوت آئیل» قرار دارد، که ساکنین آن، قبیله ‌ها، و جوامع جنگجوی «آئیل» هستند، که در سکونتگاه‌هایی کوچک زندگی می‌کنند؛ در شرق «برهوت آئیل»، کشور بزرگ و منزوی «شارا»، قرار دارد، که با رشته ‌کوهی بزرگوار، و منطقه ‌ای گذر ناشدنی از «برهوت آئیل» جدا می‌شود؛ سراسر محدوده ی شمالی این سه منطقه (وست‌لندز، برهوت آئیل، و شارا) را، «پژمردگی کبیر» فرا گرفته ‌است، که بیابانی آلوده، و شیطانی است؛ در غرب «وست‌لندز»، و آنسوی اقیانوسِ «مونرال»، قاره ی «شان‌چن» قرار دارد، که عرض غرب به شرقش، از قاره ی دیگر کمتر است، ولی از قطب شمال، تا قطب جنوب، کشیده شده ‌است؛ قاره ی «شان‌چن»، با آبراهه ‌ای، به دو بخش شمالی و جنوبی، تقسیم شده ‌است؛ این آبراهه، اقیانوس «مونرال» را، به اقیانوس «آریت» وصل می‌کند؛ در شمالی‌ترین بخش قسمت شمالی «شان‌چن»، «پژمردگی صغیر» واقع شده ‌است، که با «پژمردگی کبیر» طول جغرافیایی یکسانی دارد؛ در آغاز داستان «چرخ زمان»، ساکنان «وست‌لندز»، از وجود «شان‌چن» بی‌خبر هستند؛ دنیای «چرخ زمان رابرت جردن» در نیم‌کره ی جنوبی، قاره‌ ای کوچک، موسوم به «سرزمین دیوانگان» قرار دارد، ولی در سری از آن سخنی نرفته ‌است

روایت سری در پایان «عصر سوم» روی می‌دهد؛ «عصر سوم» با «شکاندن جهان» آغاز می‌شود، که پایان ‌بخش «عصر افسانه‌ ها» بود؛ «عصر افسانه‌ ها» در پی «عصر نخست» می‌آید؛ «عصر نخست» به‌ صورت ضمنی، بر جهان کنونی دلالت دارد، و نام برخی از شخصیت‌های اسطوره ‌ای آن، در این سری آمده ‌است، که «السبت، ملکهٔ همگان (اشاره به الیزابت دوم)» و «ماترز درمانگر (اشاره به مادر ترزا)» از آن دسته هستند؛

در عصر سوم در «وست‌لندز»، رویدادی تاریخی و بزرگ روی داد: نخست «جنگ‌های ترالک»، که در آن، هزار سال پس از «شکاندن جهان»، موجوداتی، از «پژمردگی»، «جهان انسانی» را، به نابودی می‌کشانند، و دوم آشکار شدن «آرتور هاوک‌وینگ»، که هزار سال، پس از جنگ‌های «ترالک»، «وست‌لندز» را میگشاید، و یگانه میکند، ولی او وارثی نداشت، و «جنگ‌های صدساله»، پس از مرگ او، بر سر تقسیم قلمروش درگرفت؛ در پی هر یک از این دو رویداد، تقسیم‌های سیاسی، و ساختار ملل «وست‌لندز»، به‌ کلی دیگر شد؛ زبان کهن (که در عصر افسانه‌ ها رایج بود) در زمان روایت داستانهای کتابهای این سری، زبانی مرده است، و تنها برخی پژوهشگران، و اشراف‌زادگان به آن زبان سخن میگویند

آخرین کتاب از سری «چرخ زمان» با عنوان «یادآوری از روشنایی (نور)» را «رابرت جوردن» و «براندون» سندرسون نگاشته اند؛ سری رمانهای «چرخ زمان» نزدیک به «یکصدهزار» شخصیت دارد؛ گزینش شخصیت‌ها، میتواند برای هر خوانشگر به گونه ای دیگر باشد؛ ولی اگر بخواهیم، تنها پنج شخصیت اصلی این سری را بشناسم، به این نامها میرسیم: «رند آل‌ثور»؛ «اگوِِین آل‌ور»؛«پِرین آیبارا»؛ «ماتریم (مت) کاوثن»، و «ناینیو آل‌میرا»؛ هر کدام از این شخصیت‌��ا داستانی بسیار دل انگیز دارند

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 17/12/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,607 reviews1,481 followers
September 11, 2016
Month 8 and Book 8 go hand in hand with my buds at Buddies Books & Baubles


This will forever be THE BOOK WITHOUT MAT....

When The Wheel of Time began there was Rand, Perrin and Mat. I didn't even like Mat very much. It wasn't until maybe book 3 or 4 (seriously they start to run together) that his character became semi interesting. Now he is one of my favorites and he is missing the entire book.

Instead we have Aes Sedea shenanigans. Really I'm still of the opinion that if you can channel the one power if you are a man you slowly go mad, but if you are a woman you loose all common sense. Most of the Aes Sedea plot line drives me crazy and so since we spend so much time with it this time I just spent most of the book frustrated.

I'm not going to spend a ton of time on this review because this was my least favorite installment.

For Rand there are some good developments or reveals. Hopefully he won't go traipsing off without Min or the Maidens again. But chances are he is a woolheaded fool and will make that same mistake again.

Perrin might have finally figured out his wife with a little outside help. I'm glad because that meant I figured her out too and now some of the confusing bits of the last books make more sense.

Finally!!! Finally we have meetings and do things with the Sea Folk. I feel like I have been waiting forever for them to enter the story.

And last but not least (it was actually one of my favorite things of the story) there is the reunion of Lan and Nynaeve. THANK YOU!!! I feel like they have been apart for 5 books *grumbles* probably because they have.

All in all it didn't seem like a lot actually happened in this book until the last 80 pages as usual and it actually ended on a few cliff hanger situations. But I'm marching forward and so I'm on to book 9 for September.
Profile Image for Choko.
1,200 reviews2,583 followers
July 20, 2022
*** 4.44 ***

A buddy read with the WoT fanatics at BB&B!

This book was a bit slower, a bit shorter and all together the book that felt most as a set-up, transition book of all up to now... The action was a bit choppy, which is not very typical for Jordan, but the banter made the book - all the characters with their quirks and the intricate games of hierarchy and politics, are deliciously masterful, but still, this book suffered form the lack of one of the main characters - Mat was MIA.... The horror!!! He is a total pain in the ass, but without him, the world of WoT is just not quite right...

Even with the flaws, the quality and magnitude of this book as part of the series is above most of the books that are out there... The text is full of clues and more questions are raised all the time, as we discover some of the answers that we had encountered previously. Rand is getting crazier, the Black Tower men are becoming more and more suspicious, and the White Tower is a mess of power plays, distrust, and the Black Adja is running rampant in its halls ... The Daughter-Heir finally got to where she should have been since her mother's demise, and two of our favorite characters who got married at the end of the last book, are driving everyone insane by acting like love-sick teenagers... There are bad guys everywhere and we could not trust anyone!

So, this book did a good job to show what was going on on all fronts and where things are about to go. Now I expect with the next book we will start getting there:):):) And we want Mat back!!!

I wish all of you happy reading and Happy Olympic Games to you all!!!
19 reviews3 followers
June 28, 2010
Book 8 of the Wheel of Time really gets a bad rap. Contrary to common wisdom, plenty happens in this book. The problem, I think, is that nothing gets resolved. (Not having any Mat, especially after the cliffhanger at the end of book 7, doesn't help either.) Is it ridiculous for a fantasy series to still be setting things up 8 books in? Especially when that series was supposed to be 6 books long? OK, yeah, it is. But taken by itself, The Path of Daggers isn't a bad story.

Oddly enough, the story begins with an event that could easily have been used instead as a climax in book 7. It makes some sense for this event to happen in this book, however, since it has broad implications affecting every other plotline. The core plotlines of the book follow Rand and Egwene, who I'm beginning to notice are actually paired off quite often despite a lack of specific plot crossover. I guess that Jordan guy knew what he was planning after all.

The biggest issue with book 8 isn't the fact that it doesn't resolve existing plotlines, it's that it doesn't resolve the plotlines introduced during the book. The stage is set for book 9, where things mercifully do begin to resolve, but the sheer number of cliffhangers in this book is staggering. Without going into details, the book ends after setting up a siege, a succession, a betrayal, and a capture. Add in Mat's cliffhanger, and that's six times the usual frustration. Just be glad you don't need to wait for the next book anymore!

All that said, this is an enjoyable and well-written story. We have epic battles, surprise appearances by objects of Power, even some amusing light shed on a few relationships. But the three Aes Sedai-related stories really take the spotlight here (perhaps another reason the book isn't all that popular). Egwene finally begins openly asserting her power, while Elayne sets into motion significant events on both sides of the world. Best of all, seemingly minor Aes Sedai begin an important and long overdue witch hunt that is completely satisfying.

There is one particular theme of this book that really changed the series for me. I didn't like book 8 any more than most people the first time I read it, but I have since come to actually like the much-maligned Aes Sedai, and the reason starts here. So far they've proven arrogant, often incompetent, and rarely live up to their reputation. When Egwene proposes a major change in their philosophy, I think most readers would agree with her. However, it is at this point that you really begin to respect the Aes Sedai compared to the various other groups of channelers. They have been humbled at every turn, but they are the ones who've held the world together for 3,000 years, and that's no coincidence. Not only does their fate begin to change here, it's become increasingly clear that their largest problems aren't actually their fault.

What it comes down to is that book 8 is a lot more palatable now that book 9 (and 10, 11, and 12) are readily available. Reading a book filled with cliffhangers, even if it does have a few "holy shit!" moments, is not something you want to do a year before the next one arrives. In many ways, book 8 breaks the implied promise of the author, that the story will be further along at the end than at the beginning. In truth it is, but it certainly doesn't feel like it without the context of later events. But stick with it, because the series is finally hitting its peak, and things are about to start changing.
Profile Image for Gavin.
862 reviews392 followers
August 31, 2016
This was another fun instalment in the WoT series. Just like the last book plot advancement was moving at a snails pace but we did get a few interesting developments and the story was always entertaining. It is the characters, Jordan's storytelling, and the sheer size of the world that make this such a great fantasy series.

So what actually happened in this 8th WoT book?


Most of our favourite characters went on much as the have been doing for the last few books!

Egwene - She edged closer to the White Tower with her rebels and continued to grow into her role as Amyrlin Seat. I thought this was a good book for her character.

Nynaeve and Elayne - They are still stuck at the hip but the pair did have an eventful book. Finally using the Bowl of the Winds and then heading back to Andor for Elayne to make her claim on the Lion Throne.

Rand - It was another action packed book for Rand. As well as dealing with the usual political manoeuvrings he had to repel another Seanchan invasion and survive numerous assassination attempts. His chapters were probably the most exciting of any character in this book.

Perrin - He got started on his mission to deal with Masema, the Prophet, and his own group merged with Morgase's group. Which provided a ton of amusing moments as she is travelling in disguise.

Mat - OK the guy was totally missing in this instalment. Weirdly I never even realized he was gone until I read in a friends review that he had not featured at all in this 8th WoT book. Obviously I never missed him. That said, things did end in a bit of a cliffhanger in the 7th book with him so I hope he features heavily in the next book.

The Love Interests - Min, Aviendha, and Faile had little to do in this book and at this point in the story their whole reason for being is simply to be love interests for their guys. Min actually had a good book. She seems a great fit for Rand and was fairly helpful to him throught the story. Faile was Faile. Aviendha really just tagged along a bit with Elayne and Nynaeve. Jordan very much seems to have her character on the shelf for now.

Minor Characters - There were a few but the ones who were the most memorable were Morgase and Siuan.

The Villains - There POV segments are usually short and super interesting and it was no different in this book as we got a glimpse into what the likes of Greandal, Moridin, Sevanna, Eladia, Alviarin, and a few others were up to.

All in all I thought this was a good addition to the series and I seemed like the story flew by while I was reading it which is always a very positive sign.

Rating: 4.5 stars.

Audio Note: Another great performance from Krammer and Reading.
Profile Image for Hannah Greendale.
703 reviews3,277 followers
February 12, 2020
The Path of Daggers offers a few epic moments, but they are few and far between. The intervening chapters are clogged with long-winded descriptions of the same caravans trekking through one gateway after another. Breathtaking at its finest moments; tedious at its worst.
Flows of saidin spun across the sky, Wind and Water and Fire. Fire. The sky truly did rain lightning. A hundred bolts at once, hundreds, forked blue-white shafts stabbing down as far as he could see. The hills before him erupted. Some flew apart under the torrent of lightning like kicked anthills. Flames sprung up in the thickets, trees turning to torches in the rain, flames raching through olive orchards.
Profile Image for Ryan.
990 reviews
February 12, 2020
We tend to root for anti-heroes, but every now and then, authors dare to set a real stinker at the centerpiece of their stories. Sometimes it works.

Logan Mountstewart from William Boyd's Any Human Heart comes to mind. Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer qualifies, I think. And before we certify all shepherds as pure-at-heart heroes, check out Halldor Laxness's Bjartur in Independent People.

But these are all examples drawn from the literary canon. What happens when fantasy, a genre often prone to portraying the righteous struggles of angelic heroes against twisted villains, tries to create a real jerk who is also supposed to be not only a hero but a savior?*

Well, that should be pretty interesting.

Believe it or not, I've heard people complain that they abandoned "The Wheel of Time" because Rand al'Thor became a jerk. To be honest, Robert Jordan has laid extensive groundwork in order to prepare his audience for Rand's corruption of character. He is "tainted," he hears voices, and there is tangible evil literally festering in his stomach. But Rand is also the Dragon Reborn.

It's a conflict that comes to a head in (eighth book) Path of Daggars.

Having just won Illian's crown, Rand launches a counter attack on the invading Seanchan forces that have taken over the southwest corner of Randland. By now, Rand has conquered a considerable amount of territory, but his prophesied mandate is to unite as many countries as he can before he attacks the Dark One's prison in the Blight. Unfortunately, it's easier to defeat a Forsaken than it is to gain legitimate and stable authority over conquered territories. Chosen One or not, Rand is surrounded by vassals that plot against him.

Diabolically, Rand not only launches his invasion of Seanchan territory but also surrounds himself with his most powerful "enemies." Rand is sacrificing lives that indirectly serve him in order to weaken the nobles these soldiers directly strengthen. If nothing else, this is an unusual play for a fantasy author, and I have encountered more than one fellow WOT fan that couldn't take it.

To some extent, Rand is a contradiction. He may be a savior figure, but he is also a conqueror. And a politician. Rand wears a laurel leaved crown of prickly swords, which should recall Christ, but also Caesar. What if Rand ends up a tiger, burning bright, rather than a little lamb?

So while Path of Daggers suffers from all of what we might call Robert Jordan's "obsessive writing disorders," I find it a notable entry in "The Wheel of Time."

*We could argue that Frodo gets a little impatient with Sam now and then. However, if his gig with the One Ring doesn't work out, Frodo could probably still fall back on a career in Santa's workshop.
Profile Image for Emma.
975 reviews975 followers
June 30, 2020
The dullest instalment??

Honestly the more times I reread the series, the gladder I am that Sanderson finished it. RJ would have fluffed it for sure. Fight me...
Profile Image for Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*.
780 reviews132 followers
January 20, 2022
And so we come to book eight. That's right, it's slump time.

A lot happens in this book, except when it doesn't. When it does, it provides some very good series moments (I hesitate to say "great" series moments). When it doesn't, UGH.

The last hundred pages are great. They're action-packed, impactful, and a great relief after the book up to that point. But before then, well. The irritation sets in immediately with the prologue, whose first section introduces ten brand new named characters and brings up yet another grouping of thirteen Aes Sedai. Does this scene come back into play any time later in the book? It does not.

Then comes a chapter from Elayne's point of view in which we see that Aes Sedai have feelings about the Kin and the Atha'an Miere, the Kin have feelings about the Aes Sedai and the Atha'an Miere, and the Atha'an Miere have feelings about the Aes Sedai and the Kin. Then, a chapter from Nynaeve's point of view in which we see that Aes Sedai have feelings about the Kin and the Atha'an Miere, the Kin have feelings about the Aes Sedai and the Atha'an Miere, and the Atha'an Miere have feelings about the Aes Sedai and the Kin. Then a third chapter in which . . . you start to see a pattern here. A little later, Perrin has thoughts and scents about Mayeners, Tairens, Cairhienen, Faile's young followers, Aiel, Wise Ones, and more. Even later, there is series of chapters which reveal Tairens' feelings about Cairhienens and Illianers, Cairhienens' feelings about Tairens and Illianers, Illianers feelings about Tairens and Cairhienens, and all of the above's feelings about Asha'man.

The first three chapters could easily have been just one chapter. Several other "feelings" chapters could have been cut or easily summarized in another context.

I think this book will be most frustrating for first-time readers. Having read the series previously, I find the few major events particularly thrilling as significant turns in the larger plot. But if I lacked this context, the impact would be muted. The book was undoubtedly most frustrating for publication-current readers; after a blistering annual release rate for the first six books, to then endure two year waits for books seven and eight (and then two more years to book nine, then three years after that . . .) the dearth of plot advancement was maddening.

My now-usual complaint about these books is on prominent display here: they lack volume-specific story arcs. The opening scene in the prologue goes nowhere. The Bowl of the Winds situtation started two books ago. Heaven knows how many books ago the Atha'an Miere were first waiting to talk to Rand, and the Aes Sedai negotiations with them continued off-screen until well into this book. Padan Fain has only tiny little appearances; it's no wonder by the time I first finished the series I had forgotten all about him. Perrin had only two story beats. Mat, last seen in a cliffhanger at the end of the prior book, doesn't appear at all. At least Elayne and Egwene's individual arcs made suitable steps forward. Rand's extended battle against the Seanchan left me wondering just what was the point of all those pages; what they accomplished didn't seem worth the effort.

And seriously, what's with the torture porn? And the sharp rise in Aes Sedai bottom switching?

I'm hesitantly giving this three stars (EDIT: dropped to two on reconsideration), but sincerely hope never to find myself in a position to read it again.
Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,862 reviews369 followers
September 8, 2020
Robert Jordan really believed in drawing out a story! Here I am, just finished book 8 of this series, just past the halfway mark through the tale. It makes me a bit weary, honestly, knowing that I still have six thick volumes ahead of me before things are resolved.

In this fantasy world, men & women believe that clear communication is impossible. Everyone seems to completely lose the ability to think when they fall in love. And people do fall in love, despite the hostility between the sexes. It makes me wonder what Jordan's marriage was like!

I'm used to backstabbing and double crossing in fantasy fiction, but usually the perpetrators have better reasons than these folks seem to. Its unclear what many of them seek to achieve. It's fascinating (like a car accident at the side of the road) to watch Egwene assert herself as the Amerlyn Seat, to wonder what will become of Elaida the pretender to that office, the state of various factions of Aes Sedai, Elayne's arrival in Camelin to claim her throne, and the alliance with the Windfinder women (and the team which used the Bowl of Winds). And that's not even mentioning what's happening with the men in the book!

This was a very female-centric book, staying largely focused on the many, many women involved in this tale, with short diversions to look in on Perrin and Rand. You would never guess Rand's central role from this installment! Over 600 pages, and we didn't get a sniff of what Mat is doing either.

Once again, I am left at the end of this novel with enough unresolved story lines that continuing is unquestionable. Despite the feeling that reading it was like wading through molasses! On to book 9 next year!

Book number 378 of my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project.

Cross posted at my blog:

Profile Image for Constantine.
835 reviews135 followers
January 8, 2021
Rating: Very Good

Genre: Epic Fantasy

The Path of Daggers is the eighth book in the Wheel of Time series. The story despite being shorter than the previous book is somehow slower in pace in some parts. At times I felt nothing was happening and at other times I felt a lot was happening. So there is definitely some problem here and there with the pacing.

The previous book (A Crown of Swords) had a cliffhanger in regards to Matt’s story and there is no resolution to that here because Matt is completely missing from this story. This book has even more cliffhangers than the previous one! Faile & Morgase both have a new fate, The army that is led by Gareth and Egwene going to Tar Valon has an unknown outcome, yet Robert Jordan ended the book brilliantly with the rumors in the last chapter making the reader more excited about the next book.

“Perrin suspected Lini was one of those women who saw her “place” as being in charge. Come to think of it, most women did. That was the way of the world, it seemed, not just the Two Rivers.”

Elayne, Nynaeve, Aviendha, and their group use the Bowl of the Winds to counter the Dark One’s manipulation of the climate. The Amrylin Seat of the rebel Aes Sedai figures how to manipulate The Hall especially those who were opposing her into giving her more control in order to lay a siege to the white tower. Rand finds traitors among Asha’men who tried to kill him. Perrin needs to bring Massima the prophet to Rand.

There are POVs of side characters too. Some were interesting and others were just OK. I think Toveine’s side story who went to attack the Black Tower as ordered by Elaida to be very interesting. It excited me to know about Logain’s new ability. It was short though. I hope there will be more of that in the next book. Rand’s POV comes in the second half of the book. His relationship with Cadsuane is still not settled. I enjoy how the two seem to be at each other’s throats!

“Whether or not what you do has the effect you want, it will have three at least you never expected, and one of those usually unpleasant.”

The Path of Daggers is not as excellent as the previous books but it is still an entertaining read that creates the ground for more storytelling for all the different groups of characters. And as I mentioned earlier it excites you more to get to the next book.
Profile Image for Shashank Arya.
77 reviews18 followers
July 23, 2021

As I have come so far in this series it has become tolerable and I have come in peace with the series, that I have to accept as it is.. it seems that ROBERT JORDAN tried very hard to keep the motion going and in doing that he did some incredulous things without any strong explanation.. the thing with callandor and Jahar Narishma need explanation..
Profile Image for Mayim de Vries.
577 reviews828 followers
July 8, 2021
“Fire and ice, and death was coming. But he was steel. He was steel.”

This book has all the advantages and disadvantages of the earlier instalments in the Wheel of Time series, of course, there are more of the former, but personally, I felt a little less excited than in the previous volumes. Hope it gets better in the next one keeps me going.

If you have come here, you know what the Wheel of Time is and you know what demands. You know that there are more protagonists than ants in the anthill, that the main plot drags on mercilessly, and that the author does not always strive for fireworks in the final scenes. Furthermore, you know how many more volumes are waiting ahead and you know how far along you are. And I will tell you honestly: this volume does not bring the action closer to the grand finale in any meaningful way. The plot unmercifully loiters, and instead of making advances in the tales we have, new characters appear every now and then, and probably only Robert Jordan is able to grasp the maze of names, places and stories that he created.

Unfortunately, all the problems I flagged up in my previous reviews are confirmed if not reinforced here. True, some important and interesting things are happening, but this development is lost by diluting it in a veritable ocean of verbosity which has an overall silting effect on the main tale. It is a pity. I have the impression that Mr Jordan so much wanted to discount the success of his series that he began to write in order not to finish too early which crippled his masterpiece (imagine if LOTR was not a trilogy but was thrice as long instead!).

Even though The Path of Daggers is relatively modest in length (not even 700 pages), I felt weary. In this part of the series, we mostly accompany Rand, Egwene, Elayne, Nynaeve, Min and Perrin (Do you want to know what happens with Mat? I’m sorry, not in this volume!). I didn’t think I’d miss Nynaeve’s moods, but without them, this character is simply insipid. Elayne has some strong moments, but little comes of it. Perrin has POVs so short and sandwiched between other tales that they get lost. The plot of our chosen one, despite the action, is written in such a way that we do not really know what happened and what it was for (except for convincing us that he is simply mad and not an infuriating prima donna). The Forsaken, the Black Ajah, and the Darkfriends conspire and interfere in affairs in a very predictable way. Shortly thereafter several epic events follow (that includes the Seanchans). Sadly, in order to get there, you need to tear down through hundreds of pages of extremely annoying shenanigans, the epicness effect is meagre despite the sheer genius of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Most of the time, the characters are either travelling or thinking and plotting. As usual, in the end, the author prepared a bomb to push the action forward. The last chapter is significantly titled “Beginnings”

For the disappointed hopes, only three stars because otherwise it still is quite a fantasy, albeit without the earlier brilliance. Just like the previous part, The Path of Daggers offers some dissatisfaction and mixed emotions. In this case, it results from simulations and dissimulations. Although the action seems to take place quickly, is similar to foggy weather, and it is difficult to say unequivocally what is missing here to make this volume equal to the first four.

Also in the series:

1. The Eye of the World ★★★★☆
2. The Great Hunt ★★★★☆
3. The Dragon Reborn ★★★★☆
4. The Shadow Rising ★★★★☆
5. The Fires of Heaven ★★★★☆
6. Lord of Chaos ★★★☆☆
7. A Crown of Swords ★★★☆☆
9. Winter's Heart ★☆☆☆☆
10. Crossroads of Twilight ★★☆☆☆
11. Knife of Dreams ★★★★☆
12. The Gathering Storm ★★★★☆
13. Towers of Midnight ★★★☆☆
14. A Memory of Light ★★★☆☆
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,969 followers
June 23, 2022
We're deep into the so-called slog in the series. And yet... and yet... I'm still having a blast.

Why? Because the Seanchan are here in full force and battle is upon all of Rand's uneasy allies. What better way to weed out the ones who would stab you in the back than to pit them against implacable, monstrous enemies?

So delicious. When the battle begins, it's endless, sickening brutality. And that's not just the battle, but using Saidin, as well. The taint overflows.

And it's not only destruction that we have to look forward to... but failure as well. This is one of the pure big-force wars in all the novels. The Wheel Weaves... and everyone must be woven into the big tapestry. No one sits out Tarmon Gai'don.

Other than that, I've been enjoying how Egwene is managing all her sitters, more than enjoying how Rand manages Lews, and I loved how the Sea Folk run ram-shod over everyone else.

The people I want to see most of -- ahem Matt -- are sadly at an all-time low.

But now I'm thinking of the next book in the series. I cannot WAIT. It holds a very special place in my heart. My Winter's Heart. :)
Profile Image for Ashley.
2,654 reviews1,688 followers
October 16, 2017
My crawl through this series continues. To be honest, I'd optimistically hoped that I'd be able to finish it by the end of 2017. I was in a good position to, having already read the first five books. Nine books in twelve months? Easy peasy. Except . . . each book has gotten progressively harder to get through. Less and less happens. The flaws stand out more as the plot thins. I've gotten through three of these books in ten months. Even if I manage to do one per month from here on out, I won't be getting to A Memory of Light until April 2018 (though I anticipate my enjoyment increasing when Sanderson takes over, so maybe let's say March instead).

What's really frustrating about this series is that Jordan was clearly a gifted worldbuilder. Even as my enjoyment in these books decreases, it's clear that an incredible amount of thought and planning went into their creation. The level of detail on each culture, their histories, traditions and behaviors. The ways each nation interacts with another. The ways the current situation with Rand and the Forsaken and the approaching last battle have created a complicated interlocking game of cause and effect, each player trying to seize control. But the problem here is that none of that makes for a compelling narrative. A story should not be an excuse to show off your worldbuilding. The worldbuilding should be there as support to the story, not the focus. So, so many times in this book, I found myself overwhelmed and bored by the sheer amount of superfluous characters with no arcs and no bearing on the story. So many times characters just sit around musing on things that have happened or aren't happening or are going to happen, while nothing actually happens for hundreds of pages on end because Jordan wanted to make sure we really got that the Aes Sedai argue a lot.

So what actually happened in this book? Not much. Much more in the second half than in the first, certainly. We've got:

I didn't leave anything important out. This book was 672 pages long. At least it wasn't longer. I wish he would stop treading water and stop wasting precious narrative time on petty feuds and layovers and status updates, and give us the real goods: character development, characters actually talking about stuff that matters, forward progress. Unfortunately, I've been reliably informed that I've got two more books of meandering before the pace (supposedly) picks up again in book eleven.

Lastly, I just want to talk about Rand for a sec. He was a harmlessly likable main character in book one, and only mildly irritating in book two, but since then, he has just descended into this heartless, cruel, anger-ridden character who is so incredibly uninteresting to read about. He is a TERRIBLE leader. I have never before read a book where the main character is so utterly unheroic*, and the text doesn't really take him to task for it. He doesn't seem to be learning, and no one is telling him (in a competent, human way) that he is terrible. Take this exchange, between Rand and Narishma. Narishma is one of his Ash'aman, and he has just come back from a perilous errand to retrieve the sword Callandor, an errand that Rand sent him on. This is how he treats Narishma upon his return:
Springing from the cot, Rand snatched the bundle before Narishma could proffer it. "Did anyone see you?" he demanded. "What took you so long? I expected you last night."

"It took me a while to figure out what I had to do," Narishma replied in a flat voice. "You didn't tell me everything. You nearly killed me."

That was ridiculous. Rand *had* told him everything he needed to know. He was sure of it. There was no point in trusting the man as far as he had, only to have him die and ruin everything. Carefully he tucked the bundle beneath his cot. His hands trembled with the urge to strip the wrapping away, to make sure they held what Narishma had been sent for. The man would not have dared to return if they did not. "Get yourself into a proper coat before you join the others," he said. "And Narishma . . . " Rand straightened, fixing the other man with a steady gaze. "You tell anyone about this, and I *will* kill you."

Okay, so let's break this down: Narishma, who has given Rand no indication of being untrustworthy (in fact, Rand must have trusted him to give him such an important mission, out of hundreds of Ash'aman) has just come back, giving Rand what he asked for, and he has done so letting Rand know there were extra wards that Rand did not tell him about. Instead of thanking him for risking his life and succeeding despite unexpected peril, Rand berates him, disbelieves him. He immediately distrusts his comrade, instead of thinking that someone else might have added wards on top of his own as a trap for anyone retrieving the sword. He then dismisses Narishma seemingly without thought, parting by threatening to kill him. He has taken a moment in which he could have built solidarity with his subordinate, inspired loyalty, and instead dismissed and humiliated and threatened him. There is absolutely no reason Rand could not have expressed the same practical sentiments, even the part about secrecy being worth Narishma's life, in more appreciative terms, in terms an actual leader would use, a leader who inspires his troops rather than rules them from a place of fear, as Rand is doing now. I kind of despise him.

*Never mind, I thought of one. Richard Rahl from the Sword of Truth (I've read through book five as of now). Total and utter dictator. Cruel, stupid, overbearing. And while I still hold out hope that Rand will learn to effectively lead and rehumanize himself in future books, I fully expect Richard to become even worse over time, as the author clearly believes his actions noble, and has no intention of criticizing them.

Anyhoodle, Winter's Heart is up next, and TBH I'm a little spoiled. I don't foresee it changing my opinion about the book one way or the other. At least I know two things that will happen, even if almost nothing else will.

[2.5 stars, rounding up to three, because it just isn't two star worthy. I think there is still more dull to come]
Profile Image for Eon ♒Windrunner♒  .
421 reviews466 followers
February 9, 2017
The epic Buddies Books & Baubles reread of the Wheel of Time is still in full swing as number 8 is moved to the DONE pile. As with the last book, this one was a slower paced read, but there was lots to enjoy. Except for the lack of Mat. Why Robert Jordan, why?!?!?


The stuff that went down:

On to Winter's Heart where one of the BIGGEST events of this series happens!

Profile Image for Sotiris Karaiskos.
1,140 reviews80 followers
July 12, 2022
The 8th part of this magnificent series, with things evolving in the same rhythms as the previous one, with most protagonists having intense activity. The Dragon has somehow balanced things, with the help of consultants who accept to listen to their advice and with his allies continues his course, but his successes have exacerbated his self-confidence and make him carelessness, causing problems as well carelessness is the only thing he does not need when its enemies make plans, and the invaders across the ocean continue to procrastinate, on a collision course with him that unavoidable will lead to a huge battle.

His friends who their fate designate them to lead are gaining more and more confidence in this role, having the necessary help from experienced people, so they can give courage and confidence to their followers and become more effective. Along with this, however, more responsibilities come, and the weights they have to lift are growing. The young leader of the rebel Aes Sedai, has the most difficult role, as her power is constantly questioned, but with clever handling, she tries to consolidate her power more and gain respect before the campaign against the White Tower begins.

In general, it is a book that is very interesting as our heroes are evolving even further, going a long way forward, through situations that can be funny, dangerous, even emotional. This interest becomes even more intense since even the rest of the protagonists in our history, on the two opposing sides of light and darkness, do not remain idle and make tireless efforts to play their own role in the developments that may follow slow rhythms but they are especially crucial for the continuation, especially towards the end of the book, where things become dangerous as we move towards the heart of winter.

8ο μέρος αυτής της μεγαλειώδους σειράς, με τα πράγματα να εξελίσσονται στους ίδιους ρυθμούς με το προηγούμενο, με τους περισσότερους πρωταγωνιστές να έχουν έντονη δραστηριότητα. Ο Δράκοντας έχει κάπως ισορροπήσει έχοντας τη βοήθεια συμβούλων που δέχεται να ακούσει τις συμβουλές τους και με τους συμμάχους ��ου συνεχίζει την πορεία του, οι συνεχόμενες επιτυχίες του, όμως, έχουν τονώσει υπερβολικά την αυτοπεποίθηση του και τον κάνουν απρόσεκτο, κάτι που του προκαλεί προβλήματα καθώς η απροσεξία είναι το μόνο πράγμα που δεν χρειάζεται τη στιγμή που οι εχθροί του κάνουν σχέδια και οι εισβολείς πέρα από τον ωκεανό εξακολουθούν να προελαύνουν, ερχόμενοι σε πορεία σύγκρουσης μαζί του που αναπόφευκτα θα οδηγήσει σε μία μεγάλη μάχη.

Οι φίλοι του που τους έχει ορίσει η μοίρα να ηγηθούν αποκτούν όλο και περισσότερη αυτοπεποίθηση σε αυτό το ρόλο, έχοντας και την απαραίτητη βοήθεια από έμπειρους ανθρώπους, και έτσι μπορούν να δώσουν θάρρος και σιγουριά στους ακόλουθους τους και να γίνουν περισσότερο αποτελεσματικοί. Μαζί με αυτό, όμως, έρχονται περισσότερες ευθύνες και τα βάρη που πρέπει να σηκώσουν αυξάνονται. Η νεαρή ηγέτιδα των επαναστατών Άες Σεντάι έχει τον δυσκολότερο ρόλο καθώς η εξουσία της αμφισβητείται διαρκώς, με έξυπνους χειρισμούς, όμως, προσπαθεί να εδραιώσει περισσότερο την εξουσία της και να κερδίσει τον σεβασμό λίγο πριν ξεκινήσει η εκστρατεία ενάντια στο Λευκό Πύργο.

Γενικότερα πρόκειται για ένα βιβλίο που έχει πολύ ενδιαφέρον καθώς οι ήρωες μας εξελίσσονται ακόμα περισσότερο, προχωρώντας πολλά βήματα μπροστά, μέσα από καταστάσεις μπορεί να είναι αστείες, επικίνδυνες, ακόμα και συναισθηματικές. Αυτό το ενδιαφέρον γίνεται ακόμα εντονότερο από τη στιγμή που ακόμα και οι υπόλοιποι πρωταγωνιστές της ιστορίας μας, στις δύο αντιμαχόμενες πλευρές του φωτός και του σκότους, δεν μένουν αδρανείς και κάνουν άοκνες προσπάθειες για να παίξουν το δικό τους ρόλο στις εξελίξεις, που μπορεί να ακολουθούν αργούς ρυθμούς αλλά είναι ιδιαίτερα καθοριστικές για τη συνέχεια, ιδιαίτερα προς το τέλος του βιβλίου, όπου τα πράγματα σοβαρεύουν επικίνδυνα καθώς προχωράμε προς την καρδιά του χειμώνα.
Profile Image for David.
863 reviews45 followers
October 8, 2009
I congratulate everyone who has the perseverance to continue on while envying those who had the force of will to just forget about how this epic story is supposed to end. Here we are at book 8 and like book 7, very little of the main plot actually happens. Most of the book are again devoted to describing in excruciating detail of how the main characters tend to act and think, with very little variation, mostly accomplishing nothing except introduce filler and making characters feel one-dimensional. Of course, there's now also a bit of slavery coming in so expect to see a lot of boxing and switching in addition to the breasts of book 7. Yes, I'm ranting, but I'm still reading. I don't know what Jordan was hoping to do when writing this book. The focus on the main characters appears to be more on Egwene this time, but there's a bit of the others. His style is still there and when the main plot moves an inch, you can tell that his superb writing skills are still there. It's just that, strangely, he indulges in the over-description of very trivial events, very trivial one-off characters, and very trivial dialogues. If you can still stomach the incredibly wordy descriptions, there's still bits of gems here and there.
Profile Image for Sud666.
1,939 reviews159 followers
May 8, 2020
Book 8 of the Wheel of Time was a vast improvement over Book 7.

A quick gist of the events: Elyane, Nynaeve and Aviendha use the Bowl of Winds to reverse the Dark One's heat wave. Then Elyane goes back to Andor to claim her throne.

Perrin goes to meet the Dragon's Prophet, Masema and bring him back to Rand. But his irritating wife, Faile, manages to get captured by the Shaido Aiel.

Egwene takes her band of Aes Sedai to start the siege of Tar Valon.

Rand fights against the Seanchan forces. There is also an assassination attempt from one of his Asha'man.

Thus the events of this book were far more exciting than the 7th book. Perhaps it was the lack of the annoying characters from book 7 that caused this improvement.
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