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A Crown of Swords (The Wheel of Time, Book 7) (original 1996; edition 1997)

by Robert Jordan

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7,13742501 (3.58)37
Member:xavierroy
Title:A Crown of Swords (The Wheel of Time, Book 7)
Authors:Robert Jordan
Info:Tor Fantasy (1997), Edition: Reprint, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fantasy, 2005, 2013, Wheel of Time

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A Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan (1996)

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*spoilers* OK as always I absolutely loved it! I am complete in love with this series. Well I hated finding out that Liah is still alive and then Rand has to kill her so she won't suffer. Mat's part ends with a bit of a cliffhanger, but I think he may end up being captive and that is how he will meet his daughter of the 9 moons!! YaY for Lan and Nynaeve!!! I'm so happy. Now I am just waiting for her to bring him from his slump, because I don't think that Moiraine is dead. Galina is so getting what she deserves. It is impossible to feel bad for the black ajah. I'm wondering who helped Rand at Shadar Logoth. I have a theory but I'll not say because I would hate to be wrong lol. I also don't think that Sammael is dead. What was with Rand actually wanting to be King. That was a bit weird and out of character. ( )
  LenaR0307 | May 30, 2016 |
Summary: Rand, still recovering from the effects of Dumai's Wells, and still fighting to maintain his ever-more-tenuous grip on sanity, returns to Cairhien and begins to establish plans with Perrin for removing the Forsaken Sammael from his seat in Illian. Egwene comes to realize how various factions of the rebel Salidar Aes Sedai are trying to manipulate her, and finds a way to gather loyal allies. But most of this book concerns events in Ebou Dar, where Nynaeve and Elayne are searching for the Bowl of the Winds, a ter'angreal that can fix the weather. Mat, sent to guard them, finds himself in a worse predicament than even his luck can get him out of when he catches the eye of Queen Tylin.

Review: Although I gave this book 4.5 stars when I first read it, if you'd asked me about it before I started this re-read, I would have said that it was one of the boring books in the middle - a span that I had thought started after Lord of Chaos. But actually, on this re-read, I wound up enjoying this more than I had expected. All of the problems that plague the worst parts of this series are still present - there is a lot of sniffing, braid tugging, and skirt-smoothing going on, men still think women are impossible to understand and women still think men are too dim to reason with, there is a lot of unnecessary description of clothing and furniture and such, none of the characters seems capable of ever articulating what they're thinking, all of our three ta'veren think that the other two understand more about women than they do, etc. (Although Rand thinking that "Perrin has such a peaceful marriage"... I realize you are the Dragon Reborn and have other things on your mind and all, but seriously, NO ONE is that unobservant.) But many of them seemed at least somewhat scaled back from peak levels elsewhere in the series (although Elayne and Nynaeve fighting with each other is still present, and still tedious).

There are also not many chapters from Egwene, who is one of my favorites, or Perrin, who used to be one of my favorites, although when he is on-screen in this book he is spending all of his time being annoying about sacrificing everything and everyone for Faile, who is the worst (so maybe less Perrin at this point in the series is actually a blessing. Remind me of that once I get to Winter's Heart.) By this point, Mat has become one of my favorites, although he spends the entirety of this book being sexually harrased (and assaulted!) by Tylin, which bothered me a lot more this time around than it did on a first read through ten years ago - it's behaviour that would be totally unacceptable if the genders were reversed, and as is, I think Jordan probably meant it to read as funny or sexy, but it came across as severely gross and inappropriate. And then at the end Mat has a building dropped on him, which marks his absence from the next book, alas.

But, for as much time is spent on relatively inconsequential things, lots of big things happen in this book, or at least things that will be important later on. Min and Rand finally admit their feelings for each other and have sex (leaving Elayne and Egwene the lone virgins, I think?) Nynaeve finally breaks her block (this is likely responsible for the reduced amounts of braid-tugging) and meets up again with Lan. Mat buys his ring with the fox and ravens. We are introduced to Cadsuane, Moridin, the Kin, and the gholam. The Seanchan take Amadicia and Ebou Dar. And then, at the end, Rand kills Sammael, except not really, since it's mostly Mashadar that kills him and we're never really sure he's dead (except RJ said in interviews that he really was), and it's kind of anticlimactic and definitely one of the weaker endings. But all in all, this book went pretty quickly, with not too much bloat - at least not as much as I'd remembered - and while it's certainly not among the best books in the series, it's not the worst, either... although it's starting to be on the downhill slope. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: This is the series that made me a lifelong fantasy fan, so despite its abundant weaknesses, of course I think it should probably be read (or at least attempted) by anyone who likes the genre. Don’t start anywhere but the beginning, though. ( )
  fyrefly98 | May 6, 2016 |
Rating the series as a whole, because I can't remember them individually without reading them again. Originally read the early ones in 2007, then the whole series in 2009.
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
I was pleasantly surprised (as I have been by the last couple of books) that there was enough relevant plottage going on to keep me wanting to read the book, rather than just trudging through it out of some self-flaggelation type of obligation. I almost gave the book 4 stars. Almost.

The ending is . . . lame. WoT endings are usually by far the best part of the book, but this ending is a bit anti-climatical and doesn't leave us with much closure. I'm still not convinced that Sammael is dead, no matter what anybody says.

It's hard to believe that this book only covers a period of about 10 days. Jordan's habit of backtracking every book to keep us up to date with what was going on with the rest of the world at the end of the last book is extremely annoying. And it just gets worse as the series goes along. ( )
  AngelClaw | Feb 2, 2016 |
Crown of Swords, the seventh installment of the Wheel of Time series, marks a turning point – and not one that led to better things. This was the book I picked up all those years ago with the reaction "???" Closely followed by "!!!" This was the book about which I made notes, still kicking around somewhere I'm sure, about how wide the margins got and how big the text got, and, subsequently, how much the word count lessened. This was where the series really began to look a bit threadbare.

It's still a shock to close the previous installment and open this one to see text a good point or two larger, along with margins squishing the text area down considerably. Also, there's the simple problem that, for a very long time … nothing happens. That was the complaint I heard from a lot of readers in a lot of reviews about several of the books, and I always refrained from jumping onto that bandwagon – but good grief. It's one of the only status updates I made on Goodreads in the first half of 2014, when I was conducting the Big WOT Read: "Three hundred pages in - the length of a good many books - and so far? Rand has gone from Point A to Point B, Egwene has had a headache and done some thinking, Nynaeve and the others have gone from Point C to Point D, and Mat has watched a horse race. The print is larger, the margins larger, the book is shorter, and NOTHING is happening. Now I remember why I stopped reading WOT." That's it. No exaggeration, no sarcasm – that's literally what happens. It's a bit mad.

In the second half of the book, a few things happen – still not much – but in a way it's worse. Because the second half of the book largely consists of Mat being sexually harassed, and … um… a couple of other things. Oh, and then near the end Mat has a building dropped on him, and that was it for him for a while. Was he dead? I didn't think so, because of all the prophecies that had been made for him that hadn't seen fulfillment … but I didn't know, because as far as I remembered his wondering where his flaming luck went was the last time his name was even mentioned for several books. My memory is not great, but I very clearly recall being outraged as I finished the next book – and the next – and the next – without any kind of resolution to the situation. Or even, iirc, any of the other characters even wondering about the situation. "Where's Mat, I wonder?": never happened.

The writing even at this point was still entertaining. The worldbuilding was still impressive. As I may or may not have said before, I have to hand it to RJ: he credibly came up with a number of devices which allow his characters to move great distances in short amounts of time, which kept the sprawl of the story from holding up the telling of the story. (THAT's not what holds it up.) Enough – just enough – happened to retain interest, to keep a reader (me, at least) from denting a wall with the book and giving up on the series entirely … in fact, new mysteries still popped up (along with lots of new characters) which … at this stage in the game it was a study in endurance.

The problem is … no, not The problem. There are a few. *A* problem is the well-worn rut the writing has fallen into by this point. Fallen, and in the classic bad commercial parlance, can't get up. Nynaeve, who should be a strong character, is a walking collection of tics – but then, most of the women are. I'd love to get hold of this book in an editable form, and remove all the braid-pulling, skirt-smoothing, stalking, glowering, and catfights. It would be a novella. If I was then able to remove all the instances in which men pondered how little they understood women, and women pondered how little sense men had … and if all mention of clothing, men's or women's, with the silks and feathers and scrolls on sleeves, and my lord why should I have to know what color every single person is wearing unless it's relevant (which, once in a great while, it is) … I think this review might contain more words than the abridged book. It's a shame; the braid-tugging didn't really start in earnest till book 3, to my surprise, and it was so nice without it. Once begun, though, it was an immediate flood of tugging and gripping and yanking and otherwise abused scalp. I counted, until I got bored with it; it was absurd. If I had the ambition – and enough fingers – I would keep track of skirt-smoothings in this book. The total count would be high.

Oh, and then there's the sniffing. Seriously, sir, have you ever actually met anyone who sniffed this much without being chronically allergic to everything? It becomes a sort of synonym for "Nynaeve was annoyed" or "angry" or whatever – and, sadly, Nynaeve is nearly always annoyed or angry. That just is not enjoyable to read.

If I didn't know for certain that Robert Jordan had a long and very happy marriage, I would honestly guess that he didn't know any women very well. Had, perhaps, only read about women in the more satiric types of fiction. Because my God are the women in these books ridiculous. The constant smoothing of – or gripping of – skirts, and of course the constant fussing with hair by characters who don't just go ahead and yank on it like Nynaeve.

It's all such a shame. It's a darn good story, even still. But it should not take chapter after chapter just to get a bunch of characters into place to work a spell, which is what happens in this book. Every female character should not be more of an idiotic termagant than the last one. A decent chunk of this one is spent with Nynaeve in a temper, Elayne pretending she's not, then Nynaeve apologizing and Elayne reacting with shock – Nynaeve! Apologize! Light! ( )
1 vote Stewartry | Jan 10, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Jordanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kramer, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, EllisaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen, Matthew C.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reading, KateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russo, CarolCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
There can be no health in us, nor any good thing grow, for the land is one with the Dragon Reborn, and he one with the land. Soul of fire, heart of stone, in pride he conquers, forcing the proud to yield. He calls upon the mountains to kneel, and the seas to give way, and the very skies to bow. Pray that the heart of stone remembers tears, and the soul of fire, love.

- From a much-disputed translation of 'The Prophesies of the Dragon' by the poet Kyera Termendal, of Shiota, believed to have been published between FY 700 and FY 800.
Dedication
To Harriet, who deserves the credit once again.
First words
From the tall arched window, close onto eighty spans above the ground, not far below the top of the White Tower, Elaida could see for miles beyond Tar Valon, to the rolling plains and forests that bordered the broad River Erinin, running down from north and west before it divided around the white walls of the great island city.
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Book description
Rand al'Thor, il Drago Rinato, si prepara ad attaccare il Reietto Sammael in Illian, e al tempo stesso si adopera per reprimere la ribellione portata avanti dai nobili di Cairhien. Con l’aiuto di Asha’man, Rand dovrà affrontare in un terribile duello Sammael a Shadar Logoth per conquistare la corona di Illian, un tempo nota con il nome di Corona d’Alloro e ora chiamata Corona di Spade.
Egwnene al’Vere e Siuan Sanche tentano di mettersi alla guida delle Aes Sedai ribelli a Saidar e contrastare il gruppo comandato da Elaida nella Torre Bianca di Tar Valon. Intanto, nella città di Ebou Dar, Elayne Trakand, Nynaeve al’Meara e Mat Cauthon sono ancora in cerca del ter’angreal, il solo mezzo con il quale sarebbe possibile bloccare l’innaturale clima torrido che il Tenebroso ha gettato sul mondo. Il Popolo del Mare sarà loro alleato nella ricerca e nello scontro con un Gholam.
Haiku summary
What's happening here? / Some kind of plot or intrigue / I'll go back to sleep (davidwil)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0812550285, Mass Market Paperback)

Robert Jordan has created a rich and intricate tapestry of characters in his Wheel of Time series. In this seventh volume, Rand al'Thor--the Dragon Reborn--draws ever closer to the Last Battle as a stifling heat grips the world.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:31 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Elayne, Aviendha, and Mat work to restore the world's natural weather, while Egwene gathers a group of female channelers and Rand confronts the dread Forsaken Sammael.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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