Saturday, November 17, 2007

Knife of Dreams, by Robert Jordan

Knife of Dreams, by Robert Jordan

I first picked up The Wheel of Time about three years ago (just before starting this blog) and devoured the first ten books in about a month. According to Wikipedia, this is about 3 million words! I found the characters entertaining and the plot intriguing and simply couldn’t put them down. Most series fiction like this are release at a rate of about one a year, so I eagerly awaited the next installment. Unfortunately, apparently the author was very sick and I had to wait much longer. When Knife of Dreams was released in paperback I bought it immediately, but had a very difficult time reading it. I started it two or three times over the past year, but because there had been such a long delay since I’d read the previous ones I found the number of characters and plot lines daunting. A few months ago I heard that Jordan had died and decided I finally needed to finish this.

Several of the story arcs were great: Mat and Tuon’s relationship ballet, Perrin’s rescue of Faile, and the Aes Sedai civil war all progressed nicely and were fun to read. However, Elayne’s war for the crown of Andor felt a bit forced, and the sections dealing with Rand could have been completely omitted and the book wouldn’t have suffered a bit. I understand that the overarching theme in these stories is that “what was is what will be” but the repetition of events seemed overdone. Regardless, I still enjoyed this trip back to the Westlands. The saga is clearly drawing to a close, and Jordan dictated the ending to his family before he passed so the final book will be published. With the amount of unfinished threads in this epic I expect this next book to be a monster, but I’m looking forward to it!

First Sentence:
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend.

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