Jordan continues to dazzle
This book picks the pace back up after a slower fourth volume. Several subplots advance satifactorily here and the cast of characters continues to progress--familiar characters keep developing and new characters enter the story in ways that add to the overall narrative. If you feared that Jordan was beginning to stretch things out a bit in "The Shadow Rising" (as I was), this volume will allay those fears. Highly recommended to all who have read the first four books in the series.
The years could have been kinder
FIRES OF HEAVEN IS A GREAT BOOK
I started reading The Wheel of Time when I was fifteen years old. I got a partial copy of The Eye of the World for free at Walden's. I threw it in my closet and picked it up a few months later thinking what the heck. I soon became enthralled. It was exciting, complex, and a little bit spooky. So much better than the D&D junk I had been reading since I was twelve. It was the best fantasy I had ever read. I read and loved all the books up to book 6 and then I ran into a wall. From this point on the books get slower and more difficult to get into. There is a lot of sitting around doing nothing and idle conversation. The writing becomes very over descriptive (I really don't need to know what color the drapes are but thanks for the info) and there is a very noticeable lack of action. Action and suspense were what drew me to these novels, but with each installation there is less and less. It starts to get repetitive also. Reading these later books now 11years since the 1st book I have discovered that you have to read them very slow and try to picture the the setting in your mind. Otherwise you just won't enjoy them. If you're going to read or listen to any of these books I suggest the first one Eye of the World. I think it's the best.
Read it to continue the story, but don't expect much
It took me a long time to read this book because the story was not very interesting for large spans of the book, and I really dislike the character Nynaeve.
Spoiler Alert Below:
However, the one thing that I really, really resent about the book was Jordan's very poor choices in presenting the story. There were basically three climatic events in the story: Rand chasing down Couladin and the Shaido clan, Nynaeve and Elayne finding the Aes Sedai hideout, and Rand destroying some Forsaken. We spend hundred of pages following Rand's trek out of the wasteland in pursuit of the Shaido. I am looking forward to a big battle with Couladin. HOWEVER, once we finally reach the confrontation with Couladin, it is presented from a Mat's reflection on the events. OMG! All of that time spent building it up, and it is basically blown off in a few sentences and barely described in those - like it did not really even matter. The same thing happened at the other two climatic events: they were built up and basically blown off.
This book is nothing more than a filler in the series. I will continue with book 6, but I am not beginning it with enthusiasm like I did book 5.
Not Free SF Reader
This fifth Wheel of Time book goes a bit more widescreen.
Mat, now being the general to beat all generals with his Bene Gesserit-general-specific type memory knowledge, is an obvious choice when you have a fairly heavy duty war to be fought.
The only problem is, there is likely to be more than one, and in different places.
Those sneaky Forsaken are still hanging around, too.
A Modern Classic!!!
This novel takes everything a step further - another worthy addition to an epic tale.