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Winter's Heart by Robert Jordan
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Winter's Heart

by Robert Jordan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Wheel of Time (9)

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7,22649749 (3.51)62

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Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
Winter’s Heart is the 9th book in The Wheel of Time. I really enjoyed this. As before, some storylines are left hanging and previously-hanging storylines are picked back up, but I enjoyed all the storylines we were given. I especially enjoyed the end. There’s usually some sort of major climatic battle near the end of each book that I find moderately interesting, but I liked the end of this book much better than the previous ones. So, based on all that, I decided to finally stop being stingy and give this book the full five stars. I gave all the previous books 4.5 stars and rounded up to 5 on Goodreads.

One random, spoiler-free comment: In some previous reviews, I had commented about how much muttering goes on in these books. There’s still a lot of muttering, if not quite as much as in some of the earlier books, but I don’t notice it as much at this point. However, in this book, I did a double-take when a character “muttered in her head”. This seems to conflict with the definition of “mutter” as I understand it…

And now for the long, spoiler-filled comments. :)
Poor Mat always gets left hanging! Halfway through the book, we finally got a continuation of the story that had been absent in the previous book, but he still hadn’t made it out of Ebou Dar by the end. :) We end up with him having begun his relationship with his apparently-future wife by tying her up. Despite how much this story is being dragged out, I really enjoyed Mat’s part of this book. I hope he doesn’t get ignored for another full book again! I’m also curious to learn more about Tuon, otherwise known as The Daughter of the Nine Moons, after something like 5 books of waiting to find out who she would be. As part of this storyline, I was also happy to see Bayle Domon show back up. I’d been wondering what ever became of him.

In my reviews, I’ve been kind of silent on the whole Min/Elayne/Aviendha/Rand thing, mostly because I’m honestly not sure what I think about it. It’s probably the aspect of the series I like the least. I can buy into the idea of the three girls all playing equally important but different roles in his life, especially considering the way we also have the three men (Rand, Perrin, and Mat) all tied together in some way and each apparently necessary for the final battle in his own way. My problem with it is more that it’s all been so insta-lovey. Min and Elayne were in love with him before they’d hardly spent any time with him, and Aviendha was more a case of insta-hate which was of course really love, which makes it doubly cliché-y. And I could do with much less of all the angsty stuff between the girls in general. (This paragraph has so many made-up words that maybe I should withdraw my sarcastic comment about the “muttering” usage.) On the other hand, considering my earlier objections to the idea of his being bonded to anybody, I didn’t dislike it when he was bonded to all three as much as you’d think I would have, at least not after it happened. And I do enjoy some of his interactions with the individual girls -- probably Min the most. So what do I think? I still have no idea. I do feel pretty certain I would have enjoyed this series as much, if not slightly more, without this storyline.

I was surprised that Egwene’s story wasn’t continued in this book. She’d been poised to try and take back the White Tower at the end of the previous book, and apparently she spends this whole book still poised, based on her brief appearance. Actually, it seems like we went backwards in the timeline a tiny bit. I assume we’ll finally get a continuation of that in the next book. Hopefully not at the expense of Mat’s story.

As I implied in my spoiler-free comments, I really loved the ending with Rand and Nynaeve cleansing (hopefully) Saidin and all the Forsaken converging on them with the Aes Sedai and Asha’man trying to protect them. Cleansing Saidin was a way cooler end result than just killing, or almost killing, yet another Forsaken as in most of the previous books. There were some interesting reveals mixed in with all the action, too. For example, we were all but told that Cyndane is Lanfear when she was mentally ranting and raving about being spurned by Rand. And then there was her thought about having been held by the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn, which I took as confirmation of my expectations that she and Moiraine didn’t die after they fell through the mirror. I’ve been waiting forever for a continuation of that storyline, and this is the first tiniest sliver of a hint I’ve seen since the events in book five.

On the other hand, Osan’gar’s identity was revealed at the end, but I couldn’t connect the dots. We’re told he was masquerading as Dashiva, so I got that, and that was interesting, but I couldn’t figure out who he was originally. It was revealed that he was the Forsaken who had created the trollocs and myrddraal, and I’m almost positive we’ve been told in a previous book which Forsaken did that, but I can’t remember. I could Google it, but I’d rather just wait and see if I get another chance to figure it out later. Although, if I followed events correctly at the end, I think he was the only Forsaken who may have actually gotten killed during this book. One thing I would do differently upon a re-read would be to make a list of all the Forsaken right from the start and keep better track of them throughout each book -- who’s where, what we know about them, who's dead, and who gets reincarnated as who. I haven’t done very well with keeping them all straight in my head, and some of them have blurred together a lot. Once I finish the series, I may seek out a run-down online to see if there are any interesting connections I missed.
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1 vote YouKneeK | Jan 30, 2018 |
I had to stop reading after this book, because he spent the entire book talking about new people and didn't even discuss the main characters of the series. In the last book one of the primary character's wife was kidnapped, and it wasn't even mentioned, neverless resolved in this book. ( )
  aliciadana | Jun 16, 2017 |
Summary: Tarmon Gai'don is coming, but before it does, Rand Al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, has a plan: he intends to cleanse saidin of the Dark One's taint, so that men who can channel will no longer be doomed to madness. The Forsaken are moving to stop him, although they each have their own individual - and sometimes conflicting - schemes and orders. Mat, after having spent the previous book under a building, is being hunted by the gholam through the streets of Seanchan-controlled Ebou Dar, and is being hunted throughout the palace by Tuon, a Seanchan noblewoman who is strangely fascinated by him. Perrin is meeting with the Prophet and his Dragonsworn, at Rand's request, when his wife Faile is kidnapped by the Shaido Aiel that are ranging across the countryside. Elayne is trying to solidify her rule of Andor, and the Aes Sedai Cadsuane is trying to get close to Rand so that she can reign in his increasingly self-destructive tendencies before the Last Battle.

Review: If you had asked me what happened in this book prior to re-reading it, after a gap of 11 years, I would have said "this is the book in which nothing happens except for Perrin searching for his wife and yelling "FAAAAIIIIILLLLLEE" and being annoying the whole time." (I first read this book at the same time that Season 1 of Lost was airing, hence the "WAAAAAAAALT" / "FAAAAAIIIILLLLLEE" connection.)

But on a re-read, it turns out that the Perrin/Faile storyline actually took up relatively few chapters (despite what the cover would seem to suggest), and was much less annoying than I remember, which was good. Also, the cleansing of saidin, which I would have sworn didn't happen until book 10, is totally in this book, and that's a pretty big deal, and a pretty awesomely epic scene (or series of scenes, since it's written in little snippets from lots of POVs.) However, that does make me wonder what actually does happen in Book 10. I suspect that's it's going to be all of the Perrin-being-annoying that wasn't in this book, which does not make me particularly excited to get to it.

Anyways, back to this book. It's not bad, exactly, but it is square in the middle of this series's slump, where all of the multiple storylines that make this world so rich are just crawling along at slower than a snail's pace, and it feels like no progress is made in any of them until the last fifty pages of the book. It is somewhat of a catch-22 -- the wealth of characters and schemes and subplots are part of what makes this series so epic and so easy to get absorbed in, and by this point you are invested enough that it feels like spending time with friends. On the other hand, the fact that there's so much going on and so many characters does mean that you never get as much time with your favorites as you'd like (no Egwene in this book at all, for example, just like there was no Mat in the last one), and there are definitely times when there are just so many schemes and plots and shifting alliances that it's impossible to keep them all straight, and the whole thing just bogs down under its own weight.

Also, Tuon is introduced for the first time in this book, and she can already shut the hell up, because: seriously, shut up, Tuon. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: This book is the point where I would have to tell my friends who were reading it for the first time "No, hang in there, it gets better eventually and stuff starts happening again." So if you enjoyed the series in the beginning, my recommendation is just to slog through this book so you can get to the good stuff again. (Eventually, at least. As I remember, Book 10 is still pretty slow going.) ( )
1 vote fyrefly98 | May 10, 2017 |
Fantasy, Fantasy Adventure ( )
  Ria_Vao | Feb 7, 2017 |
I slow read and it took my longer than any of previous in this series. Very detailed characters and maybe a few that really are not necessary for the story but I find I satisfaction of carrying on and completing this particular novel.

Mr. Jordan god rest his soul does not follow traditional story telling format he skips around like the pulp fiction movie. Sometimes you are constantly asking yourself didn't that already happen. I think these stories could be broken down into character books but some of the details would be lost.
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Some very intersting points are that Perrin's wife Faile and the ex-queen in hiding gets kidnapped.

Matt is back and getting in trouble as usually will his memories of his past lives continue to save him or get in his way.

Rand has little going on in this book until the end with a bang of excitement. He needs to become more human instead of turning is heart into steel.

At Last the madness is at an end for the men. Let's see if it calms the men down or makes them even more ambitous.
  Erin.Kuszmaul | Feb 3, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Jordanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fischer, Scott M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kramer, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, EllisaMapssecondary 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
The seals that hold back night shall weaken, and in the heart of winter shall winter's heart be born amid the wailing of lamentations and the gnashing of teeth, for winter's heart shall ride a black horse, and the name of it is Death. --from The Karaethon Cycle: The Prophecies of the Dragon
Dedication
Always for Harriet. Always.
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Three lanterns cast a flickering light, more than enough to illuminate the small room with its stark white walls and ceiling, but Seaine kept her eyes fixed on the heavy wooden door.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 081257558X, Mass Market Paperback)

Is Robert Jordan still doing the Light's work? Even loyal fans have to wonder. (And if you're not a fan yet, you'll have to read the previous 6,789 pages in this bestselling series to understand what all the fuss is about.)

Everyone's in agreement on the Wheel of Time's first four or five volumes: They're topnotch, where-have-you-been-all-my-life epic fantasy, the best in anybody's memory at the time since The Lord of the Rings. But a funny thing happened on the way to Tarmon Gai'don, and many of those raves have become rants or (worse) yawns. Jordan long ago proved himself a master at world-building, with fascinating characters, a positively delicious backstory, and enough plot and politics to choke a Trolloc, but that same strength has become a liability. How do you criticize what he's doing now? You want more momentum and direction in the central plot line, but it's the secondary stories that have made the world so rich. And as in the last couple of books, (A Crown of Swords and The Path of Daggers), Jordan doesn't really succeed at pursuing either adequately, leaving a lot of heavily invested readers frustrated.

Winter's Heart at least shows some improvement, but it's still not The Eye of the World. Elayne's still waiting to take the crown of Andor; the noticeably absent Egwene is still waiting to go after the White Tower; Perrin gets ready to pursue the Shaido but then disappears for the rest of the book. About the only excitement comes with the long-awaited return of Mat Cauthon and a thankfully rock 'em, sock 'em finale in which Rand finally, finally changes the balance of power in his fight against the Dark One. --Paul Hughes

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:42 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In the continuing Wheel of Time saga, Rand and Min are on the run, while Black Tower leader Mazrim Taim is exposed, a Seanchan princess arrives in Ebou Dar and the schemers of the White Tower are beset by rebels.

» see all 7 descriptions

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