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The Shadow Rising (1992)

by Robert Jordan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Wheel of Time (4)

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11,418113551 (3.95)114
The seals of Shayol Ghul are weak now, and the Dark One reaches out. The Shadow is rising to cover humankind. In Tar Valon, Min sees portents of hideous doom. Will the White Tower itself be broken? In the Two Rivers, the Whitecloaks ride in pursuit of a man with golden eyes, and in pursuit of the Dragon Reborn. In Cantorin, among the Sea Folk, High Lady Suroth plots the return of the Seanchan armies to the mainland. In the Stone of Tear, the Lord Dragon considers his next move. It will be something no one expects, not the Black Ajah, not Tairen nobles, not Aes Sedai, not Egwene or Elayne or Nynaeve. Against the Shadow rising stands the Dragon Reborn ...… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 112 (next | show all)
See my review of Book One ( )
  Kim.Sasso | Aug 27, 2023 |
All right. Couldn't take it anymore. I officially quit this series. I got up to halfway through book 4 and realized that life is too short to read bad books. I wrote this as I read the book.

I think a lot of people who compare Tolkien and Jordan miss the point. I'll give Jordan this. He has more than one female character per book and they actually have more than one significant plot line and even interact with each other. That's not to say Jordan is superior to Tolkien, but it's certainly an improvement.

And now that we've commented on the few highlights in this godsawful series...

Yes Rand, remind us that you're not going to dance to anyone's tune. I don't know why you care other than Jordan really wants to remind us that being manipulated by the Aes'Sedai is a bad thing. Although I don't know of any situation in the first four books where Rand was actually manipulated by an Aes'Sedai, except in Andor during that random meeting with the Queen, maybe, and he has no clue what he's doing so he's relying on other people's help anyway so how would he even know if he was being manipulated (unless help = manipulation, which just makes me think he's an idiot because from day 1 he was pretty averse to help in case it was manipulation) and unless it's for evil purposes why does he care? The way things are, he just hates being manipulated BECAUSE he hates being manipulated. I think most people do but he doesn't have to harp on it every POV section like he has an axe to grind.

I still have no idea why any of the women like Rand. At least Lanfear kind of makes sense, because she's possessive (probably out of an "I like really powerful men" trope). It's not even an interesting or well-written relationship, it just makes the most sense of the badly written relationships available, which is kind of pathetic. You could argue 'love at first sight' for Elayne, but no. Jordan used too many words for other things to use a Get Out of Jail Free card on romance. He can't write romantic relationships and 'love at first sight' is not going to be an excuse. Heck, the characters in-universe don't even understand what's going on. Elayne has an inner monologue where she admits that she doesn't understand WHY she loves Rand but she's loved him since they first met(???). Apparently she doesn't question that it's LOVE instead of something else (like lust?). And Min, the character who refuses to be beaten by destiny... is defeated by destiny? WHY? And what is with people and assuming that you only do something for a person of another gender if you're in love with them? Everyone from the Amorlin Seat to random innkeepers and merchants. It's really stupid.

Again, why does Rand have such an abhorrence for Moiraine? She didn't make him magical. She didn't throw him at Tear so he could get the sword. She's helped him where she can, saved his life and his friends' lives multiple times, helped point him in the right direction... What, he's angry because another adult with a lot of power and knowledge is treating him like the child he acts like?

I 'love' the line where Elayne says that the pompous politicians in Tear follow Rand because he's a Leader and not because he's the Dragon Reborn. Yeah. Right. Jordan, you can't write women. And you should really not spend the rest of the story demonstrating just how bad of a politician Rand is while strongly demonstrating that the only reason the politicians haven't murdered/ignored him yet is because they're afraid he could murder them on the spot with his power. Yeah. Rand. A leader material.

In this book, Rand confronts taxes. And attempts to take over a country he gave precisely zero fucks about until this book. I understand that the nobles in Tear are pompous and I support people educating themselves but no. This is not how that works. Exactly when did Rand start caring about whether or not a country was run by pompous idiots or how their farmers did or their economy was run?

Apparently PerrinxZarine is a thing now. I still don't understand why and their relationship 'development' is REALLY disturbing ('I should try yelling at her more because that works' - I couldn't make this shit up if I tried; Perrin legitimately thinks that yelling at her is a good idea). This book seems to actually be JORDAN asking why they're a couple. Like... you wrote them this way Jordan. Make up your freaking mind. They seem to hate each other most of the time. And through this relationship we see more of how much of an entitled arrogant egotistical sexist ass Perrin is. I "love" how he manipulates Zarine (for her own GOOD, of COURSE!) and then gets angry when she does THE EXACT SAME THING TO HIM, only not in as cruel a fashion because POOR BABY she TRIES to make him ask her a question and FORCES her company upon him because she wants to help him save his people, while he pretended he was in lust with someone else and insulted her looks. Poor man. He then spends a large portion of the book pouting and acting all put-out over a character (Loiyal) he was barely on speaking terms with before Zarine spoke to him.

"The Shadow Rising", making us continue to ask: WHY IS MAT A CHARACTER IN THIS STORY? Literally all he does is take up space. His story does NOTHING to advance the plot (heck, even in the HUNT THE DAGGER plotline the Heroes were all looking for The Horn, too, so if the dagger plotline was removed nothing would have been lost; Perrin could have blown the horn, Ninaeve, Elayne and Egwene end up leaving Tar Valon anyway and then essentially rescue themselves and Rand saves the day). I don't care about him. At all. I briefly cared about him last book because the rooftop confrontation scene was one of the like three moments in the first four books and the prequel where I cracked a smile but that was it. Also, where is he randomly getting his Badass Weapons Skills? Book 1 he was the Archer. Last book he magically became a master of the staff. Now he's a master knifethrower/assassin? I guess I'd understand if it was more of this "past life" bs but we're never given that explanation. The section where he's sitting and listening to the nobles talk about raping women was really stupid. Yeah, good that Mat stood up to them, sort of. But was ANY of that necessary? Also this book: more examples of how much an entitled misogynistic lecherous ass Mat is, so like... is Jordan trying to demonstrate that "no, he's actually a good guy who respects women but still feels entitled to their attention and objectifies them every chance he gets". I really, really hate his sections.

Why is Tom Merrillin a character? What does he add to anything? He's done about two things in the first four books: teach Rand how to play the flute and allow Mat and Rand a chance to escape an enemy. I know he does stuff later on but it's really frustrating when not just one but two characters are essentially dead weight for the first four books, if not more, in a series. If Moiraine is the Merlin stand-in, what is Tom supposed to represent? Loiyal is the scribe. Moiraine is the teacher. Lan is the brute force and Rand is the magical brute force. The other Aes'Sedai fill in the magical brute strength and Mat and Perrin are around.

I guess if Moiraine ever figured out that even if she "can't" teach Rand how to use his magic, she can teach him other things like politics, etiquette, language, you know, things someone who is destined to be a leader might find useful, then we might end the book series early.

But then the next part happens. I really like that Egwene and Elayne attempted to help Rand learn what to do with his power. It's a lot more than Moiraine has attempted, at least on the page. She's stated that she's going to try to help but we haven't seen any proof of that other than her upbraiding him for being an idiot. It's deserved but it's not that helpful. And again, I ask, WHY DO YOU HAVE TO LIMIT WHAT YOU CAN TEACH TO MAGIC? Why doesn't he get a book on anatomy (so he knows what to do when he's healing)? Social etiquette? Politics? Perhaps a lesson on the make-up of the various governments in the WoT planet? A monster manual so he knows how to fight various enemies and recognize the Forsaken? What about more weapons practice? Language practice since he's meeting lots of different peoples and some lessons on different cultures? Elayne could do that! Yes, we get that the TWO HALVES OF THE TRUE SOURCE are VERY different and don't work the same way and WOMEN CANNOT TEACH MEN MAGIC and blah blah blah Jordan you don't know what education means. Of course MEN can teach WOMEN magic but HEAVEN FORFEND the reverse happen! Rand seems to remedy this by browsing the library at Tear and lo and behold he actually learns some things it's like you can actually learn useful stuff from books who'da thunk?

I "love" the plot point where Moiraine essentially says "Oh, the Ultimate Evil just messes shit up. It happens now." Because that's going to explain bad magic happening. You know. Bubbles in the pattern my ass. Why? Just cause.

Oh is Moiraine speaking/acting in a detached manner/drily? I'm shocked.

Otherwise the book is so. Boring. Again, if this was a series about the female characters alone, I'd probably finish it. There's a pretty neat cast of people there. Maybe with another writer who would take half the time to tell the story and actually write women well but they're pretty neat nonetheless. I'd love a novella where Aviendha and Egwene go on an adventure together. But whatever.

The writing has not improved much at all. There might be fewer nonsensical similes and repetitive prophecies that are never explained and serve no purpose other than to foreshadow to the reader what's going to happen in the next few pages or remind them of what happened in the last chapter, but since there were already a ridiculous number to begin with and "fewer" is a rather small decrease... so what? The book is still focused on this ridiculous gender warfare bs and if a woman doesn't smooth her dress at least once per page featuring a woman, I feel concerned. Have a taste of my 'favorite' quotations:

"Time to die horn sounder." Its voice was an adder's hiss, warning of death. (Reviewer's note: nawwwww I never woulda guessed, too few death references)

Eyeing him in that way women had. (Reviewer's note: ????)

Acrid Trolloc blood, with its stink that burned his nostrils. (Reviewer's note: the definition of 'acrid': sharp or biting to the taste or smell; bitterly pungent; irritating to the eyes, nose, etc.) ( )
  AnonR | Aug 5, 2023 |
Ik vond dit boek lekker lezen. Ik kon 's-nachts totaal niet slapen en heb het toen helemaal uitgelezen.
Op de een of andere manier vond ik hier de herhalingen wel prima, de verhoudingen tussen de stukken van de verschillende personen perfect en het verhaal echt lekker spannend.

Ik heb een enorme voorkeur voor Perijn, Faille en Tweewater. Deze plotlijn vind ik echt geweldig. Het past bij Perijn en bij het volk van Tweewater en ik snap Faille over het algemeen heel goed. Mannen zijn soms zo......tsja. Bij de voorbereiding op De Grote Slag bij Tweewater gingen mijn emoties totaal met me op de loop. Tranen met tuiten, vooral bij het huwelijk van Perijn en Faille, maar ook het moment dat Perijn alle mensen bekijkt vlak voor de slag. De emoties, de liefde die hij voelt voor de mensen van Tweewater, die voelde ik op dat moment ook. Dat maakt dat dit boek voor mij tot nu toe het beste boek is.

Als tweede komen Rhand en de Aiel. Vooral de speervrouwen en hun omgang met Rhand, nadat hij hen verantwoordelijkheid geeft voor zijn eer, vind ik erg leuk. Egwene en Avienda vind ik ook wel leuk. Vooral hoe ze op hun plek gezet worden door de wijzen.

In dit boek vind ik de stukken met Nynaeve, Elayne, Thom en Juilin wel leuk maar toch het minst. En Juilin die kan me echt gestolen worden. Die man is TOTAAL NIET interessant.
( )
  weaver-of-dreams | Aug 1, 2023 |
I really enjoyed the first half, but the second half was rough. Ugh. ( )
  Lairien | Jul 26, 2023 |
Life seems...bland after reading this. ( )
  talalsyed | Jul 22, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 112 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Jordanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Canty, ThomasMapssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ciocci, ValeriaTranslatorsecondary authorsome 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
Weber, SamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The Shadow shall rise across the world, and darken every land, even to the smallest corner, and there shall be neither Light nor safety. And he who shall be born of the Dawn, born of the Maiden, according to Prophecy, he shall stretch forth his hands to catch the Shadow, and the world shall scream in the pain of salvation. All Glory be to the Creator, and to the Light, and to he who shall be born again. May the Light save us from him.

--from Commentaries on the Karaethon Cycle
Sereine dar Shamelle Motara
Counsel-Sister to Comaelle,
High Queen of Jaramide
(circa 325 AB, the Third Age)
And when the blood was sprinkled on ground where nothing could grow, the Children of the Dragon did spring up, the People of the Dragon, armed to dance with death. And he did call them forth from the wasted lands, and they did shake the world with battle.

--from The Wind of Time by Sulamein so Bhagad
Chief Historian at the Court of the Sun, the Fourth age
Dedicated to
Robert Marks

Writer, teacher, scholar, philosopher, friend and inspiration.
First words
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

The seals of Shayol Ghul are weak now, and the Dark One reaches out. The Shadow is rising to cover humankind. In Tar Valon, Min sees portents of hideous doom. Will the White Tower itself be broken? In the Two Rivers, the Whitecloaks ride in pursuit of a man with golden eyes, and in pursuit of the Dragon Reborn. In Cantorin, among the Sea Folk, High Lady Suroth plots the return of the Seanchan armies to the mainland. In the Stone of Tear, the Lord Dragon considers his next move. It will be something no one expects, not the Black Ajah, not Tairen nobles, not Aes Sedai, not Egwene or Elayne or Nynaeve. Against the Shadow rising stands the Dragon Reborn ...

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