Ashley's Reviews > Lord of Chaos

Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan
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I can already tell that this series is going to eat my brain, and not in the super special fun way, but like in the way where some things about it annoy the hoobedy-boobedy out of me, but other parts of it compel me to persevere. I will spend the next five books (before Brandon Sanderson takes over) being yo-yoed back and forth between moments of "yes, give me more of that!" and "NO MAKE IT STOP." I know this because that was what started happening to me while reading Lord of Chaos. I can only imagine it will get worse.

I'm going to hold off on writing a full treatise on my very complex feelings regarding the way gender is portrayed in this series until I have a fuller picture of the story, which may mean waiting until the last book, but may be as early as book eleven (the last one Jordan wrote--worth noting I have had zero issues in any of Sanderson's books regarding the portrayal of gender, and sexism). I am holding off because one of y'all tried to convince me all this sexist nonsense going on was done by Jordan on purpose. I reaaaaally do not get that feeling, but I'm willing to be open to it for now.

What I will not hold off on judging at this point is how tired I am of 99% of all the characters in these books being so combative and untrusting with each other, and when trying to win arguments or positions of respect or power, making unilateral moves that in no way consider their opponents or people they are against/with as actual human beings with skills and valid ideas and viewpoints. A classic move for a character in Wheel of Time who wants to seen as powerful and respected (read: wants everyone to do what they say at all times no matter the situation) is to get in the faces of the person they want to respect and obey them and completely dismiss them as a human being. YOU WILL RESPECT ME BECAUSE I AM BEING VERY BELLIGERENT. THE MOST BELLIGERENT NON-LISTENER OR THINKER IN THIS ROOM!!!!!!!

Mat's behavior in this regard was the worst in this particular book. He completely dismisses Nynaeve and Elayne and Egwene as capable people, insists on treating them like "women" and "Aes Sedai" (at the same time dismissing them as "not real Aes Sedai") rather than individuals. He spends the last quarter of this book acting like an asshole, insisting he needs to protect the "girls" from themselves, when those "girls" know WAY more about practically everything than he does, and they could LITERALLY hand him his own ass. (He also spends that time mistrusting them and thinking they are dangerous to him, even as he thinks they are incompetent. He needs to open his damn eyes. He's so good at battle and strategy, but he can't spot a trustworthy, capable ally when they're a foot away from him.) MOST of these characters need to pull their heads out of their butts and look around at reality for a change, rather than the scenery from inside their own intestines. I could probably name at least five instances of similar behavior from other characters in about ten seconds, but I should move on. I could easily write about 1,000 words on this, and that seems like effort I could better spend elsewhere.

Really, though, the main problem with this book, and why it's the first since The Eye of the World to get less than four stars from me, is that a great deal of the events that happen in this book could have been cut entirely and nobody but the most die-hard worldbuilding fans would even notice. This is a 986 page book with about 450 pages of plot-relevant prose. And that might be on the generous side. There is mostly no DOING in this book, only characters talking about doing, or planning it, or going about tasks that we don't need to read about. Rand spends the entire book Traveling from place to place, checking in with his various territories. It's basically an entire book of status updates from Rand. Here is a list of most of the actual important things that happen in this book:

(view spoiler)

And that's really it. Anyway, this trend towards treading water doesn't bode well for future installments, but I will try to remain optimistic. Good news is I actually like Nynaeve now! I will always like a character or person who learns to admit their faults.

[3.5 stars]
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Reading Progress

March 7, 2014 – Shelved
March 7, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
January 24, 2017 –
2.0% "The prologue is 73 pages????"
January 26, 2017 –
5.0% "Man, I am just crawling through this. To be fair, though, it's not entirely the book's fault. In the past few weeks, I have been reading just a ton of Sherlock fanfiction. A metric shit ton would be the scientifically accurate term. I go through these binges every once in a while with different fandoms. Hopefully this one will end soon???"
January 26, 2017 –
7.0% "Done with the "prologue". Now let's actually get this book started, please."
January 26, 2017 –
11.0% "Why is nobody actually friends with anybody in these books? Everything is so antagonistic all the time, even between "allies." It's exhausting."
January 27, 2017 –
13.0% "RAND STOP AVOIDING AVIENDHA. YOU HAVE PANTS FEELINGS FOR EACH OTHER. DILL WITH IT."
January 28, 2017 –
17.0% ""the world had to be faced as it was, not as you wished it to be"

RJ dishing out some wisdom from beyond the grave."
January 28, 2017 –
23.0% "Reminder to self: Think real hard about why there is a male and female half of the One Power."
January 29, 2017 –
29.0% "I knew I didn't like Alanna. What she just did to Rand is disgusting."
January 30, 2017 –
33.0% "Nothing is happening?"
January 30, 2017 –
41.0% "Seriously, I'm 400 pages in, and nothing of real import has happened. It's all just status updates."
February 1, 2017 –
47.0% "Ooh, back to Shadar Logoth. And Ogier! Yes, more of this type of stuff, please."
February 2, 2017 –
51.0% "I don't find the Forsaken to be intimidating bad guys at all. Is this just my problem? This is basically my reaction to them:

"
Started Reading
February 7, 2017 – Finished Reading
February 14, 2017 –
54.0% "Time to get back into this. What good is all this time off work if I can't use it to quickly finish a long book?"
February 14, 2017 –
59.0% "Only four hundred pages of nothing happening to go!"
February 14, 2017 –
62.0% "Really never thought I would say this, but I think I'm actually starting to like Nynaeve. Not just not be annoyed with her. Actually *like* her."
February 15, 2017 –
67.0% "If I hadn't had that particular thing spoiled for me a long time ago, I would be like EXSQUEEZE ME?? Doesn't seem like the smartest move the Aes Sedai could make . . ."
February 15, 2017 –
71.0% "Egwene is turning into a bit of a badass. I like it."
February 15, 2017 –
80.0% "And suddenly now there are lots of powerful, capable ladies around, Mat is back to acting like a total douchecanoe."
February 16, 2017 –
83.0% "Imagine a world where these books were written in a way that I wasn't continually being pulled out of the story by gendered nonsense . . . ah, what a world that would be."
February 16, 2017 –
89.0% "All y'all bunch of geniuses in this book, listen up: If you want somebody to respect you, YOU HAVE TO RESPECT THEM FIRST. THIS IS NOT A DIFFICULT CONCEPT. Stop playing games. Stop trying to one-up each other. Stop not communicating. JUST STOP IT ALL. Ughhhhh, I want to slap all of them in all of their stupid faces."
February 16, 2017 –
93.0% "Only three chapters and an epilogue to go!"
February 16, 2017 – Shelved as: fantasy
February 16, 2017 – Shelved as: shop-on-your-own-shelves-2017
February 16, 2017 – Shelved as: treasure-and-adventure
February 16, 2017 – Shelved as: violent-and-epic

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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Samara YES! Thank you Ashley. You are the first person I see a reviews talking about how EVERYONE is belligerent and untrustworthy all the time. It's so tiresome... u.u I still need to read Lord of Chaos, it wasn't published in Brazil yet, but is good to know that Nynaeve is growing as a character.


Ashley Seriously, why can't they just be friends and trust one another???


Conor I am holding off because one of y'all tried to convince me all this sexist nonsense going on was done by Jordan on purpose.

If this is true it's the most subtle and ambitious deconstruction of gender in the history of literature. With that said I'm about 99% sure Jordan just had some really weird (spanking filled) ideas about the way the genders interact.

And yeah this book was probably the start of the plot slowdown that becomes especially bad in books 7-10. These books could have done with far more ruthless editing. The ending to this one was awesome though.


Ashley Conor wrote: "f this is true it's the most subtle and ambitious deconstruction of gender in the history of literature. With that said I'm about 99% sure Jordan just had some really weird (spanking filled) ideas about the way the genders interact..."

This is how I'm leaning as well, but it was an interesting enough idea I wanted to spend a little time giving it a chance.

"And yeah this book was probably the start of the plot slowdown that becomes especially bad in books 7-10. These books could have done with far more ruthless editing. The ending to this one was awesome though."

Yeah, I liked the ending. But it was kinda torturous getting there.


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