The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan

This is Waffles. Normally she is a sweet, toothless kitty. Today, I am concerned she will burn a hole through me with the Evil Eye.
This is Waffles. Normally she is a sweet, toothless kitty. Today, I am concerned she will burn a hole through me with the Evil Eye.

Why I Read It: Ongoing read along.

Where I Got It: Own it (paperback and audio).

Who I Recommend This To: Epic fantasy fans.

Narrators: Kate Reading & Michael Kramer

Publisher: Macmillan Audio (2004)

Length: 40 hours 31 minutes

Series: Book 4 The Wheel of Time

Author’s Page

In this book we have plenty of squaring off between our Two Rivers heroes and the Forsaken. I won’t tell you who comes out on top, but it wasn’t a sure thing either way.  Nynaeve has some fears she has to face. Meanwhile, Perrin struggles against his blossoming wolfish nature; the Whitecloaks are on the hunt and Perrin is in there sights.

I liked a lot of things about this book, especially Perrin’s inner struggle (though for a teensy bit there I felt it went on for too long). I think Perrin sees things in black and white sometimes; once he goes down a road, there is no turning back. But there is, or at least sideways. Once you pick up an axe to see to some business, doesn’t mean that you can’t put it down again. Through Perrin’s ordeal, we learn a little bit about what the Two Rivers folks are made of and also the guiding principles of the Whitecloaks.

Min has more visions, and this time they concern the White Tower. I won’t spoil anything for you, but it gets real and some of my favorite characters have to make some tough choices. Meanwhile, in other parts of the land, we see Rand becoming a leader not just of men but of nations. It’s a big step for him and he does OK, and doesn’t get his head handed to him.

There’s plenty of Aiel time, and specifically time in the Aiel Waste. We really get to experience their culture, and for some, it is quite a shock. Of course, there are many funny scenes related to the culture shock. I was glad to see that Robert Jordan fleshed out this people.

Overall, the pacing was great, the plot moved forward, and my favorite characters got plenty of page time. I wanted the bad guys destroyed and I cheered the good guys towards victory. While there was some of that teen angst flirtatious/hate-you behavior that permeates the series, I was able to tune out during those parts and enjoy the rest.

The Narration: As always, Kate Reading and Michael Kramer did an excellent job. I quite enjoyed them and they seem to have gotten in sync on the pronunciation of a few names. There are so many, I don’t know how they got them all down the same!

What I Liked: Perrin’s character growth; plenty of Aiel culture (and amusement); A conflicted White Tower.

What I Disliked: A little too much juvenile slap-you-one-minute and make-cow-eyes-at-you the next minute.

What Others Think:

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