As seen on Stumptown Books
This is the first Wheel of Time book I'm giving less than 5 stars to. The story here starts to become repetitive and tedious, and for the first time, I was annoyed at certain narrators. Many groans ensued whenever it came time for their point of view.
Because I didn't feel particularly inspired to write a review at the time when I first finished The Fires of Heaven
, it has now been a couple months and the details are already fading. Were the wonder girls (Nynaeve and Elayne, of course) in Tanchico in book 4 or book 5? When was Siuan deposed? What cities has Rand taken over? The Wheel of Time series is infamous for this detail gradient that occurs. I can always remember the climax of each book, but the details in between drop between the lines pretty quickly. It doesn't help that the readers are bombarded with a lot of useless information that either never becomes useful, or doesn't come into play until several thousand pages down the line. It becomes very hard to keep track of what you need to remember when you don't know if the information will ever be repeated, or if it is even the least bit important.
The character of Birgitte becomes more solid in this installation, and I really like her. She has some rough shit happen to her but she's a fighter, both in the physical and psychological sense. Unfortunately, Birgitte only appears when the wonder girls do, and holy shit are they annoying. I've never wanted to slap a character as hard as I want to slap Nynaeve, she is SO dense sometimes. Everyone in the Wheel of Time always complains about how many secrets they always have to keep, and how they never know who they can trust. So many problems would be solved if they just TALKED to each other, and Nynaeve definitely falls victim to this. Her relationship with Elayne is cringe inducing every single time it is mentioned
. Which, as you may guess from this novel having the named Robert Jordan on it, is a lot
. To generalize for story purposes, because like I said, it all starts running together, book 5 has the infamous circus scenes.
Rand, on the other hand, is awesome in this book. He does all sorts of crazy shit but now he has an entire army that will follow him anywhere. All of a sudden he's not a farm boy flailing about, hoping things work out. He starts forming legitimate plans for the future.
Asmodean becomes one of my favorite characters too. I really want to hear more about him!
Now I know all of that sounds pretty negative. Honestly though, I could NOT put this book down. I don't know what it is about this series that keeps me so captivated, but it does. This book definitely slows down the action, yes. The series continues to lose momentum for every book now up until book 11, but I still love it so much. I still don't recommend this series for anyone except hardcore fantasy fans but the payoff is so worth it if you can stick with it.