[A quick note: Another milestone reached. I am slowly working my way through all 14 books of this series. Being as dense as it is, reading one to two chapters each night is working well for me. Usually, towards the end, I find myself reading up to five or six because the story picks up to a point where I can’t put it down. That’s always the best feeling, because most times is such a sweepingly slow epic, that I have no trouble setting it down at the end of the night.]
“𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐠, 𝐝𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐧 𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐦𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐰𝐢𝐬𝐡 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐫𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐭. 𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐮𝐬 𝐚 𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐥𝐞𝐨𝐥𝐝𝐞𝐫, 𝐬𝐡𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐧 𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝, 𝐚𝐧 𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫, 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐰𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐞𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐞𝐞𝐭 𝐚𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐬𝐨𝐨𝐧.” —Robert Jordan
Wheel of Time is a sweeping epic best known for its wide cast of characters, magic, and world building. The third installment most heavily follows Perrin, Egwene, Nynaeve, and Mat as the pieces are set in motion for the dragon to be reborn. This installment is a race against time as Rand slips away from his friends and embarks on a journey to reclaim a famed sword that will give him great power.
I love reading a chapter or two before bed each night. I’ve grown so comfortable with the world and the characters, its a grounding experience before I close my eyes for the night. In this installment, I really liked getting to delve deeper into some of the other characters. The first two books made Rand a key player, and while I missed him in this one, the others made up for it. I especially enjoyed following the young women of Two Rivers and watching them grow and expand their powers and abilities. Perrin is also a big favorite of mine. Getting to see him with a new character/potential love interest left my heart with all kinds of warm fuzzies.
This book did move a bit slower in some places (as usual; the all seem to). The beginning especially felt like it dragged. I did appreciate the end, the way all the players were moved like pieces on a chess board, right into place where they needed to be. It was a great illustration of the wheel weaving storylines together, with each player as a single thread. This was fun and felt very true to the underlying theme of the books.
I can’t help but think there’s a reason we didn’t see much of Rand’s POV. I think he’s changing, the power is taking him, and perhaps driving him a little mad. I’m certain Robert Jordan hid this from us to make him seem more mysterious. It will be interesting to see how he grows in later books.
Yet again, this book feels mostly plot driven. The internal struggles of each character aren’t highlighted very well IMO. While it’s obvious they exist, like Perrin’s grappling with his loss of humanity, and Rand’s madness, I dislike that Jordan didn’t delve deeper into the emotions and feelings of these struggles. They’re simply there—that’s all. One of the reasons these books don’t get a higher star rating from me is that the lack of portrayal of internal struggle in favor of plot events leaves it feeling a bit dry at times. 𝐌𝐘 𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝟑.𝟓/𝟓⭐️