As seen on Stumptown Books
When I first read through this series about a decade ago, I loved Elayne. She was beautiful, a princess, and she was a red head like me. I was not the critical reader I strive to be today. Reading through any chapter voiced by Nynaeve or Elayne has become an absolute chore - much like they CONSTANTLY say to each other, I just want to pick them up and shake them. Why are all the women in these books so bloody stubborn? I'd almost like to think that I learned what NOT to do in my life based off these absolutely terrible role models, but who are we kidding here? At least I don't jerk my braid, smooth my skirts, or even know what it means to box someones ears. That sounds like a bully to me. Although I have been known to cross my arms beneath my breasts because NEWS FLASH! That's the only place to really put your arms when you cross them.
While a lot of this book is frustrating (read: anything involving Nynaeve and Elayne), a number of pretty awesome things happen. The problem is there's so much to wade through to get to them, and endless descriptions of characters we'll never see again really bog it down. Or maybe we will see them again, but we won't remember because we were introduced to 400 other characters in the interim. I wish I were exaggerating.
First of all, Mat is a point of view. He has never failed me yet at being awesome, and there is an amazing scene
involving him and Birgitte. 'Ware spoilers in the link. I would be even happier with Mat if he stopped following the Wonder Girls around, but in the desert, the man with the bottle of Evian is king. Or...something like that.
Anyway...then some shit happens to Elaida that actually made me feel a little bad for her. In the very beginning of the book, so no spoilers, she has a Foretelling. Try to keep the Foretelling in mind whenever Elaida comes up for the next few books, because we all know she simply can't
succeed. Right? I hope? I've only read up through book 9 before so I'm almost into new territory here! It's going to be frightening when I don't know who's going to survive.
You're right, now that I've thought about it, Nynaeve does redeem herself a little in this book. A very memorable scene happens to her, that I remembered all these years later when the rest of the books have faded to obscurity. It doesn't matter too much yet but I have always loved Lan. I just want the guy to be happy!
Once again it was a long book with a very quick and unsatisfactory pay off. This is also the first time Jordan wrote the ending as ambiguous - we're never really sure if the Forsaken Rand fights is dead or not. It was strange and left me only halfheartedly excited for the next novel.
hah, who am I kidding, I can't put this shit down.