28 August, 2012
It was in the great year of ought 7 (2007) when I was first reading Lord of Chaos [US] [UK], the sixth book of The Wheel of Time. It was also the same year that Harry Potter was finishing up and sadly when the author himself, Robert Jordan, died of a rare disease.
I decided, not only did I want to make sure there was an ending (sorry, I know that was insensitive of me), but I was really excited to catch up and finish the Harry Potter series.
So, 4 years ago or so (since it's 2012) I stopped reading Lord of Chaos just about 260 pages in. For me, for the last 4 years, Nynaeve, Elayne, and Moghedien were in Salidar for that entire time. Rand was still waiting for Elayne to come back and reclaim the Lion Throne in Caemlyn. Mat hanging with the Red Hand Band (they're touring in a town near you) and Perrin in the Two Rivers (which still felt like he was there forever when I picked up again). And I can't really say things change all that much by the end of Lord of Chaos either, but I'll get to that in the spoiler below.
When I picked it up again last year, it was great to be back. I didn't realize how much I missed this series. I started by rereading (well, listening on audio) books 1-5 and then jumping into this book this year.
I have to say, Lord of Chaos is where you can really see the slow-down take place. I love this series as much as the next guy, but there's a definite slow-down that happens, especially when you have a 70 page prologue.
Warning: Some spoiler-ish things I'd like to talk about follow, so you may want to have read the book first, which you most likely already have.
I'll start with the ending. As epic as it is with the battle of Dumai's Wells, with the Aiel meeting Aiel meeting Aes Sedai meeting with Aes Sedai meeting with Mayeners meeting with asha'man meeting with..okay I'll stop there. Okay, awesome battle, I loved it, but it was extremely short. It was really only the last 30 pages or so. But the main part is that it really didn't do a whole lot to move the story forward like I thought the ending of the book would do.
No Forsaken is killed like in all the others up to this point. Okay, it shows the power and threat that is the Asha'man as well as the Shaido who've been pretty worthless for a while now. Otherwise, it just resolves problems that were just introduced in this book and then adds more. Am I gonna have to make another Lost comparison?
Next, what's the deal with the bowl that controls weather (that's not yet found)? I figured the way to solve the problem with the rising heat being due to the Dark One's influence was to...mmmm...defeat the Dark One. We don't need another random track to go down.
End Spoiler Discussion
So, if you read the spoiler, I really did enjoy this installment in The Wheel of Time, promise.
If you didn't read the spoiler, I really did enjoy this installment in The Wheel of Time. Not my favorite in the series, but I really enjoyed all the intricacies and additions to the incredible world Jordan created.
Ps. This is a cool video of the making of the new ebook cover. I don't recommend watching it until you've read the book though. It combines the artwork with passages from the audiobook read by Michael Kramer including some of the very last lines of the book.