Author: Robert Jordan
Genre: High Fantasy
Length: 704 Pages (Hardcover)
Release: October 1993
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
It took me a very long time to read this book, but not because I wasn't enjoying it. Life happens and unfortunately the reading of this book was caught in the cross fire. But I did really enjoy this one, almost beginning to end.
This might possibly be my favorite of the series to this point. I enjoyed learning more about the Aiel and the history of the various people in this world that Jordan created. The political turmoil is always interesting for me, so I liked the fact that it was present in this book.
Many of the characters still really annoyed me, but a few of them actually started to develop into something tolerable. Rand has always been hard for me to like, but I've found myself enjoying his portions more than I did in the past. Aviendha is (mostly) a nice addition to the story. And I felt that Nynaeve, who is probably my favorite female character, actually did some growing in this novel. I did miss Perrin, who is still my favorite character.
Some things about this series continue to vex me. The man hate is just something I don't get, the constant mention of arms folded under breasts (yes, we know that women have breasts!), and the utter lack of any real communication between the characters, but I find myself still enjoying them, despite all of the flaws. They aren't brilliant. They aren't my favorite books. But they are fun.
I don't want to give away too much of the story, but this one definitely builds (if slowly) on what we've already been introduced to in previous installments. You start to see paths for the characters to take and how all of the stories will eventually converge. And as I mentioned, the historical aspects regarding the various peoples and politics are fascinating.
If you think that the first book is even a little bit ok, you should continue to this point. If book five isn't doing any more for you, I would stop at that point.