Monday, January 8, 2018

Audiobook Review: Winter's Heart by Robert Jordan

Title: Winter's Heart (The Wheel of Time #9)
Author: Robert Jordan
Publication Date: November 7, 2000
Publisher: Tor Fantasy
Pages: 668
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Reviews for book 5, book 6, & book 7

Rand is on the run with Min, and in Cairhein, Cadsuane is trying to figure out where he is headed. Rand's destination is, in fact, one she has never considered.

Mazrim Taim, leader of the Black Tower, is revealed to be a liar. But what is he up to?

Faile, with the Aiel Maidens, Bain and Chiad, and her companions, Queen Alliandre and Morgase, is prisoner of Savanna's sept.

Perrin is desperately searching for Faile. With Elyas Machera, Berelain, the Prophet and a very mixed "army" of disparate forces, he is moving through country rife with bandits and roving Seanchan. The Forsaken are ever more present, and united, and the man called Slayer stalks Tel'aran'rhiod and the wolfdream.

In Ebou Dar, the Seanchan princess known as Daughter of the Nine Moons arrives--and Mat, who had been recuperating in the Tarasin Palace, is introduced to her. Will the marriage that has been foretold come about?

There are neither beginnings or endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it is a beginning....

I have finally read book nine of The Wheel of Time. The farther I delve into this series the harder the books get to review, mostly because it seems like less and less happens in each one. (I just noticed I skipped reviewing book 8.) I'm going to be upfront here - it took me five months to read this even with listening to the audiobook. It's just so damn long and convoluted. I love this series, I do! Which is why I'm sticking it out. But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to Brandon Sanderson coming on board.

Rand and Min are by far my favorite parts of The Wheel of Time at this point. Rand is absolutely the best part of this book. I loved seeing him continue to evolve as the Dragon Reborn and I'm excited to see what happens between now and the end of the series. I love his relationship with Min, although I wish all the various other women around him would disappear. I am also really enjoying following Elayne on her journey in Andor! I'm looking forward to seeing whether she achieves her goals and how certain other developments unfold. That's about where my enjoyment of these characters ends.

I am so invested in the original characters that I find myself becoming annoyed when a chapter strays to yet another new character that I have no interest in. I understand that this is a never ending extremely long series and there are tons of pages to pad with filler, but I really wish that, since Robert Jordan insisted on making each book 700 pages, he could've at least spent more time on main characters and less introducing us to the millionth unlikeable female character. To be honest, I'm even losing interest in some of the other originals, namely Perrin, Nynaeve, and Egwene. At this point, they're just in the way of the parts of the story that are actually interesting.

The storyline(s) in Winter's Heart are as convoluted as the characters. There's no reason why several of them even need to exist to move forward the main story, and the others really don't need to be as long as they are. This is a nearly 700 page book that could easily lose 300 pages and still get the point across. I truly hate complaining about this series because I love it overall, but it seems as if Robert Jordan didn't even know where the end was by book nine. (Wasn't this originally supposed to be a trilogy?) Once again, Robert Jordan spends an entire book meandering around a whole lot of nothing, only to end with a big burst of action that's supposed to have me hooked for the next installment.

As always, the world is amazing, but does it honestly need to be described in this much detail this far into the series? So much time is spent on description that it becomes tedious to read. I was happy to return to some previous settings, however.

Will I read book ten? Absolutely. I'm going to go into books ten and eleven expecting them to be more of the same (hopefully it isn't worse!), but knowing that book twelve is where the series makes a turn for the better. I love Rand, I loved the first half of this series! I definitely want to know how it ends and I'm going to stick it out! It may take me a few more years to make it through the last four, but I'll get there eventually!