Why I Read It: Ongoing read along.
Where I Got It: Own it (paper and audio).
Who I Recommend This To: Epic fantasy aficionados.
Publisher: Tor Fantasy (1995); Macmillan Audio (2005)
Length: 1011 pages; 41 hours 36 minutes
Series: Book 6 The Wheel of Time
As with all the books in this series (so far), this book picks up where the previous one left off. Morgase is no longer queen of Andor. Rand has granted an amnesty for all men who can channel. Perrin makes a return to the series after being absent in the previous book. And towards the end, Loial himself puts in some page time (hooray!).
I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone, so I will simply go on about the things I really enjoyed, and casually mention the few things I did not. First and foremost, Perrin is back! Hooray! I know, I already said that but I think i didn’t realize how attached I was to this character until he was no longer in the picture. Granted, Faile turns up with him, and those two characters have some things to work out. Mostly, I think Faile needs to grow a bit as a character (or perhaps simply grow up). But, yeah, great to have Perrin back in the mix.
Mat’s character grows in this book and there are some great scenes between him and folks who know him from the Two Rivers. Yes, i laughed out loud at some of those. But I like that he sometimes has a more serious outlook on all the stuff that is going on.
Min is also in this one and one could say that her character grows, but I found her clingy, and clingy hasn’t been in her nature until this book. So that is one of the few things that I disliked about this book.
Egwene definitely has plenty to handle in this book and mostly, she does a great job, Same for Rand. Man, Rand goes through abuse in this book! I am surprised the lad has done so well for so long without intense therapy!
There are plenty of intertwined subplots in this novel. Mostly, they are fun, exciting. One that I don’t really get, at least not yet (but perhaps next book), is the hunt for the windy bowl. This whole quested started with some of our key players squeezing their eyes tight shut and ‘having a great need’ and they were shown this answer. Right from the start, this little plotline starts off weakly. I hope it becomes relevant in the next book.
The bad guys are up to plenty of ill deeds in this book, some of which come to fruition. I liked that they aren’t all working together, and it even appears that some are completely oblivious to the existence of the others. Plenty amusing.
Overall, it was a good read with some hard turn plot twists that I quite enjoyed. Mat was a delight, Rand was badass, Egwene is set up to be a badass, Loial and Perrin are as solid as rocks. The ending was one of the best yet in the series.
The Narration: As usual, Kate Reading and Michael Kramer did an excellent job with their narrations. They have their pronunciations of names matched up, so it is a real smooth reading between the two of them.
What I Liked: Perrin!; Loial!; some big events take place and they are very well written; Mat’s confrontation with a few from Two Rivers – had me laughing out loud; the ending was epic and meaningful.
What I Disliked: Weak plot device used to get a subplot going; Min is all clingy (out of character); Faile needs to grow up.
What Others Think: