I'm not really certain why this book gets such a bad rap. A lot of people seem to count Mat's absence from the story as a great blunder on Jo3.5 stars
I'm not really certain why this book gets such a bad rap. A lot of people seem to count Mat's absence from the story as a great blunder on Jordan's part. Don't get me wrong Mat fans, I do like Mat, but he isn't the only awesome/interesting character in the WOT. Prior to reading "A Path of Daggers," I also heard that this is where the story and plot come to a slow and grueling halt. I disagree whole heartedly! I found this book to be far more exciting than the previous 2 installments, and I thought that the plot moved forward beautifully. Not only did "A Path of Daggers" start off on an exciting note concluding the events from book 7, thus moving the plot forward, but the fucking Seanchan are finally back and in full force. Even the political aspect of this book was more intriguing than in previous books. Rand's POVs were some of the best I've read in the series so far. Great battle sequences. Lots of action which takes place in the last 200 pages of the book. I found very little to be bored with and I am glad that I read it for myself and formed my own opinion.
I still have a long way to go before I reach the end of my journey with "The Wheel of Time" novels, but as it stands, "The Shadow Rising" is4.5 Stars.
I still have a long way to go before I reach the end of my journey with "The Wheel of Time" novels, but as it stands, "The Shadow Rising" is the best book in the series thus far. "The Great Hunt" is a close second. In terms of story, I absolutely loved every second of this book. The various plot lines were never dull, and I loved learning more about Aiel history. I don't want to reveal too much in my reviews, but I will say that if you've made it this far you're in for a real treat. Lots of character development, political intrigue, and action in this installment.
I couldn't give this book a full 5 stars, because of the simple fact that Robert Jordan's characters, especially the women, behave so unrealistically at times that it takes away from the awesome story underneath. I am able to ignore this for the most part and accept it for what it is, but in the end that's what kept this book from reaching 5 stars in my opinion.
Again, I don't want to give anything away, but here are some general examples: -The protagonists begrudgingly work together throughout the story. The women are constantly annoyed with the men or each other, and for no apparent reason. The characters keep secrets from each other out of spite and even though they are accomplishing things as a group they seem unwilling to work together. Nobody is grateful when/if rescued from life threatening circumstances and if anything they are even more pissed off. It's just not realistic in terms of character behavior and I sometimes found myself taken out of the story as a result. Robert Jordan could've chopped out hundreds of pages in this book alone by getting rid of all the senseless bitching/internal monologue that does nothing to enrich or advance the story. If anything it becomes repetitive and annoying ultimately keeping this book from being a master work in my mind. All stories have flaws, but unfortunately this flaw does not lend itself to the overall charm of the series.