Customer Reviews for

Winter's Heart (Wheel of Time Series #9)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Amazing Fantasy

The review earlier that commented that they thought Robert Jordan would die before giving us the end was a very offensive review. For the record, Robert Jordan did pass away, may he rest in peace, but he made arrangements prior to that for the last story to be written....
The review earlier that commented that they thought Robert Jordan would die before giving us the end was a very offensive review. For the record, Robert Jordan did pass away, may he rest in peace, but he made arrangements prior to that for the last story to be written. He created such an amazing fantasy world and he cared enough about the story AND the readers to see to this. His books are so colorful and full of life; other fantasy books have just two aspects to them-we're good and they're bad; let's use magic and dragons to deal with it! In the Wheel of Time series you have fantasy and also the aspects of actually living in that world. Robert Jordan will be missed and I am sad that I will not be able to look forward to any more by this amazing author.

posted by ChristineEveryday on March 21, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

For the most part, I think I liked WINTER¿S HEART, even though t

For the most part, I think I liked WINTER’S HEART, even though this book, more than any so far in the series, seemed to embody the strengths and weaknesses of THE WHEEL OF TIME.

By the time this book came out, people had already begun to turn on the series a bit, criti...
For the most part, I think I liked WINTER’S HEART, even though this book, more than any so far in the series, seemed to embody the strengths and weaknesses of THE WHEEL OF TIME.

By the time this book came out, people had already begun to turn on the series a bit, criticizing Jordan for making a money grab and stretching out the series as long as he could and filling his books with more and more characters, more and more world-building, and less plot advancement. In WINTER’S HEART, Jordan moves the plot forward in a few places, but does so in as bizarre a way as any author I’ve seen.

I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read this book yet, so if you don’t want any spoilers at all, please stop reading this review. If you don’t mind vague spoilers, I’ll do my best to be non-specific –

One of the series’ main female characters learns she is pregnant during the time period depicted in the book. “During the time period depicted in the book?” you might say. What a strange way to phrase that!

I word it that way because Jordan doesn’t actually include that part in the book. In fact, we spend probably eight to 10 pages in that character’s POV chapter before she mentions that she’s pregnant in passing, and that’s why Character A gets this, this, this and this for breakfast, Character B gets this, this, this and this for breakfast and she gets this, this and this to eat because she’s pregnant. I’ve honestly never seen anything like it. By the end of WINTER’S HEART, Jordan is nearing 240,000 words in this series. He has been roundly criticized for packing too much into the story, detailing every minute detail of his character’s lives, putting 100,000 words or more between major plot developments, and somehow we know everything the characters eat for breakfast on a daily basis but we aren’t there when one of the main characters learns they’re pregnant.

It’s totally bizarre.

For the most part in this series, even in the books I didn’t especially like, I’ve liked the way Jordan ends the book with a rip-roaring fight, usually between Rand and one of the big bads. This time, Jordan does an excellent job of setting up the big fight. Rand is busy using so much magic that he can’t defend himself, and he must rely on those around him to defend him from the Forsaken descending upon him. It’s great.

Jordan speeds up the pace, jumping from POV character to POV character, and we see the battle beginning from probably eight different characters’ points of view. But then we jump to another character on the outskirts of the fray who wants nothing to do with the dangers of battle. They can’t see anything, but they guess that the Forsaken are probably losing.

Of course, we can’t trust this because one of Jordan’s favorite games is to have a POV character express an opinion that’s wildly inaccurate, but in the next scene the battle is over and we’re told who lived and died. Somehow, Jordan spends all this time building up to this fight, and as good guys and bad guys run into each other, he cuts away just as the fighting begins. It’s as though Jordan hates the reader, and is now just taunting them. You want something to happen? Fine, but I’m not going to show it to you. I’ll just tell you everything that happens before and then skip over the exciting parts.

Mat Cauthon is back for this book, and seems to get the bulk of Jordan’s attention. I have to say, Mat has really grown on me again. I struggled with him in some of the early books, but Jordan has certainly found his grasp of this character, and I was happy to spend more time with Mat as he makes his way in Seanchan-controlled Ebou Dar. I just wish his plot had moved forward more.

Perrin’s determination to find his wife, who was kidnapped in one of the earlier books, is gripping early on and I expected to see him try to chase down her kidnappers, but Jordan soon drops this plotline and never returns to it.

Having Rand spend the bulk of his time with Min is a good choice, as Min has been one of the few female characters Jordan hasn’t made off-putting. I also liked seeing Rand working with Lan, even though they follow a red herring plotline where they walk into a trap set by a big-time bad guy, but then the big-time bad guy runs away almost immediately, making the whole thing kind of pointless.

Jordan is still creating more mysteries for the readers to try to figure out, and while he does answer others, they’re questions that were set up in the third or fourth book of the series. Sometimes he pulled out the big reveal, and instead of saying, ‘Wow, that’s amazing!’ my response was, ‘Oh yeah. I’d forgotten about that.’

So here I am, nine books into the series. Jordan seems to have a better grasp of his main characters than he did earlier and he has found ways to make some of them more interesting, but his pacing still isn’t quite right and some of the storytelling decisions he made in this book were downright strange.

posted by GeraldTarrant on January 13, 2013

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  • Posted January 13, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    For the most part, I think I liked WINTER¿S HEART, even though t

    For the most part, I think I liked WINTER’S HEART, even though this book, more than any so far in the series, seemed to embody the strengths and weaknesses of THE WHEEL OF TIME.

    By the time this book came out, people had already begun to turn on the series a bit, criticizing Jordan for making a money grab and stretching out the series as long as he could and filling his books with more and more characters, more and more world-building, and less plot advancement. In WINTER’S HEART, Jordan moves the plot forward in a few places, but does so in as bizarre a way as any author I’ve seen.

    I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read this book yet, so if you don’t want any spoilers at all, please stop reading this review. If you don’t mind vague spoilers, I’ll do my best to be non-specific –

    One of the series’ main female characters learns she is pregnant during the time period depicted in the book. “During the time period depicted in the book?” you might say. What a strange way to phrase that!

    I word it that way because Jordan doesn’t actually include that part in the book. In fact, we spend probably eight to 10 pages in that character’s POV chapter before she mentions that she’s pregnant in passing, and that’s why Character A gets this, this, this and this for breakfast, Character B gets this, this, this and this for breakfast and she gets this, this and this to eat because she’s pregnant. I’ve honestly never seen anything like it. By the end of WINTER’S HEART, Jordan is nearing 240,000 words in this series. He has been roundly criticized for packing too much into the story, detailing every minute detail of his character’s lives, putting 100,000 words or more between major plot developments, and somehow we know everything the characters eat for breakfast on a daily basis but we aren’t there when one of the main characters learns they’re pregnant.

    It’s totally bizarre.

    For the most part in this series, even in the books I didn’t especially like, I’ve liked the way Jordan ends the book with a rip-roaring fight, usually between Rand and one of the big bads. This time, Jordan does an excellent job of setting up the big fight. Rand is busy using so much magic that he can’t defend himself, and he must rely on those around him to defend him from the Forsaken descending upon him. It’s great.

    Jordan speeds up the pace, jumping from POV character to POV character, and we see the battle beginning from probably eight different characters’ points of view. But then we jump to another character on the outskirts of the fray who wants nothing to do with the dangers of battle. They can’t see anything, but they guess that the Forsaken are probably losing.

    Of course, we can’t trust this because one of Jordan’s favorite games is to have a POV character express an opinion that’s wildly inaccurate, but in the next scene the battle is over and we’re told who lived and died. Somehow, Jordan spends all this time building up to this fight, and as good guys and bad guys run into each other, he cuts away just as the fighting begins. It’s as though Jordan hates the reader, and is now just taunting them. You want something to happen? Fine, but I’m not going to show it to you. I’ll just tell you everything that happens before and then skip over the exciting parts.

    Mat Cauthon is back for this book, and seems to get the bulk of Jordan’s attention. I have to say, Mat has really grown on me again. I struggled with him in some of the early books, but Jordan has certainly found his grasp of this character, and I was happy to spend more time with Mat as he makes his way in Seanchan-controlled Ebou Dar. I just wish his plot had moved forward more.

    Perrin’s determination to find his wife, who was kidnapped in one of the earlier books, is gripping early on and I expected to see him try to chase down her kidnappers, but Jordan soon drops this plotline and never returns to it.

    Having Rand spend the bulk of his time with Min is a good choice, as Min has been one of the few female characters Jordan hasn’t made off-putting. I also liked seeing Rand working with Lan, even though they follow a red herring plotline where they walk into a trap set by a big-time bad guy, but then the big-time bad guy runs away almost immediately, making the whole thing kind of pointless.

    Jordan is still creating more mysteries for the readers to try to figure out, and while he does answer others, they’re questions that were set up in the third or fourth book of the series. Sometimes he pulled out the big reveal, and instead of saying, ‘Wow, that’s amazing!’ my response was, ‘Oh yeah. I’d forgotten about that.’

    So here I am, nine books into the series. Jordan seems to have a better grasp of his main characters than he did earlier and he has found ways to make some of them more interesting, but his pacing still isn’t quite right and some of the storytelling decisions he made in this book were downright strange.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 21, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing Fantasy

    The review earlier that commented that they thought Robert Jordan would die before giving us the end was a very offensive review. For the record, Robert Jordan did pass away, may he rest in peace, but he made arrangements prior to that for the last story to be written. He created such an amazing fantasy world and he cared enough about the story AND the readers to see to this. His books are so colorful and full of life; other fantasy books have just two aspects to them-we're good and they're bad; let's use magic and dragons to deal with it! In the Wheel of Time series you have fantasy and also the aspects of actually living in that world. Robert Jordan will be missed and I am sad that I will not be able to look forward to any more by this amazing author.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 9, 2012

    Best series I've ever read.

    Yet another great instillation in the series. Robert Jordan is the best fantasy author I've had the pleasure to stumble across.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2011

    Wheel of Time

    Winter's Heart isnt the best book so far, but it is still very good. The series is ludicrously long, but definetly worth it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I was on my third or fourth book of this "Wheel Of Time" story, when someone told me to be ready for LONG story telling and no end in sight.

    Honestly, I cant remember wether it was book eight or nine that I had to stop reading The Wheel Of Time. What is fantasy, one might ask. The Lord Of The Rings(The Hobbit, The Silmaralion)introduced us(me)to a "fantasy" realm. Now a-days it seems most fantasy writers are following some trend in having to write Politics and such. They "shower" their stories with cities and individuals, drenched in religion and race, gender and bigotry...Some of this is fine. Truely it is. But why not just go write books on todays issues, and leave fantasy to fantasy! This is not just R. Jordan. Writers are beggining to leave off much information on the "fantasy" evil driven and selfish characters, that only their names make me think Im reading fantasy! WHAT is fantasy? For 1000s of years, we have had a few consistant characters to fascinate us, to take us away to another world. Would we want a Western w/out Cowboys? Or w/out Natives? Or w/out Doc Holliday(Tomestone)? Would we want a civil Rights Movement(in the 50' & 60')w/out M.L.King or M.X.? These reasonings can go on and on. The answers are NO! Not possible, if we want a true sense of meaning. Well, Dragons, giant ones, will never cease to fascinate me. Dragons have been at the core of our fantasy immagination for 1000s of years. I am not saying put a dragon in all books. I am saying let fantasy remain fantasy, and leave excesive politics and feelings of personal gender and so on(in excess)to todays issues in the writing. I had to stop reading The Wheel Of Time, for it bcame frustrating, having to deal with the many names, changes in plot that did not need to go there, and the seeming unending publishing of books indicating no near end in the story. The Wheel Of Time IS A MELTING POT OF STORIES COMBINED, IN ANOTHER MELTING POT, BEING WRITTEN ON SIMMER-VERY SLOWLY...I think I might have read up to book nine, maybe eight...

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    SHUTUP!!!

    Quit dissing the series. If you would stop fussing over other stuff, you idiots would actually NOTICE all the PLOT ADVANCEMENTS that you all complain there being none! So pay attention and SHUT UP!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    Winter's Heart

    Another great book in the series. I can't wait to read the next one!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2012

    Jordan does it again.

    I've been reading the wheel of time saga for a while now. Every single book is like an elaborate web, designed to catch the reader and hook them. This book is no exception. Although there are some times where the story is a bit slow, you see in the end why it was. The last hundred pages of this book like the others is heart racing. Once you're in those last hundred you can't put it down. If I could give you a visual equivalent of the fifth act of a Wheel of time book it would be this; multi-car chase with guns blazing, explosions all around, fighter jets flying overhead doing battle while the cars try to dodge missiles and shoot at each other at the same time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    Highly Recommend!

    Jordan was a wonderful writer!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2011

    Must read!!!!

    not sure about the direction some of the characters have gone yet i still keep reading on to book 10!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2011

    Amazing!!

    The suspense rises throughout the entire book and culminates with a massive climax. But ends with more suspense leading up the the end of the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 22, 2011

    The wheel of time

    I have enjoyed all the wheel of time series books and Robert Jordan's style of story telling. It has given me hours of enjoyment

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Wheel keeps turning

    The Wheel of time turns, along with the books. I am a very avid fantasy reader, my very pleasing indulgence. This is epic fantasy at its best. We must always be aware of each characters purpose and pursuits. I hear people say in the reviews "When does it end"....Well, why must it end. From book one I was involved in each characters life. To experience the fullness and richness of Jordans world we must have politics, religion and patience enduring the heavy descriptions of the world. No book is perfect. No author, story or world either. Whether we are reading to escape, have an adventure, fell in love with characters, the world, etc. I do not see how you can quit and not finish this incredible journey that we have traveled so far into to. I never look forward to end of a series, story or plot. I always just enjoy the now magic. Trust me my fellow readers, when this story does end then what?????

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2010

    Winter's Heart

    This is book #9 and at first I was annoyed that there are no endings and very little happens in each book. But now I am hooked, it is pure escapism. So far there is no #10 in ebooks and I want more!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Winter's Heart - a different kind of sword and scorcery

    This is a complex sword and scorcery novel with a panoply of characters and subplots all intricately woven together. It was, at first, a little hard to follow the action that shifted back and forth from place to place and character to character. By chapter three, however, you'll be completely sucked into the narrative and like the characters themselves, find it difficult to extricate yourself.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2007

    only if u can read them all together no breaks!

    Good god they're great books but by the time this one came out i had to read the glossary to get a handle on the story again which did nothing to help with the character names so many so close it was freakin confusing. i got so frustrated i stopped buying them after this book. my dad stopped two books before this for same reason, and he swears jordan will die before he finishes the story and we'll never have an end to it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2005

    Winter's Heart Climax King

    Robert Jordan¿s Winter¿s Heart, the ninth book in the epic heart-pounding series Wheel of Time, the Last Battle draws still closer. Rand al¿Thor is the world¿s only hope for salvation from the Dark One. His battle with sanity continues to climb as the dead Lews Therin fights for control in his mind. Although not constantly being bombarded with intricate fighting scenes, like the previous books in the series, Jordan still continues to intrigue his writers with action and drama, but now he starts to tie the loose ends that will lead to the inevitable Last Battle. Mat is plans his escape of Ebou Dar, now controlled by the battle hardened Seanchan. Perrin¿s wife is held captive in the Shaido Aeil camp. In the climax Rand decides to cleanse the taint of saidan. This climax is among the greatest climaxes ever to fill the pages of fantasy books. Robert Jordan¿s writing never lets the reader down in this amazing tale of light against dark. His intricate battles and plots suck the reader into the amazing world he has created. And the ending is bound to leave the reader breathless.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2004

    Good.

    This is a GREAT book like all the rest of the series. Huge plot twists, nations falling madness, all the things i liked in the lord of the rings. I love it and cant wait for the next book in the series. However, i think that that the previous reviewer is trying to change things more to his point of view. Are you sure that the wheel of time was really heading that way? It sounds more like its the way you want it to be instead of the way it IS.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2004

    Down the tubes?

    I started reading this series in 1998. I felt that the first 7 books were excellent, above par. By book 8 'The Path of Daggers' I could start to see him slipping. Book 9 (what I'm reviewing here) was the harbinger of doom in my opinion. At the end of book 9 I started to feel unsatisfied with the series, had previously made a point of buying every book instead of borrowing, but now am reluctant to even start reading 10, 'Crossroads of Twilight.' I sort of wonder if good old RJ has not heard the well-worn saw, 'Don't bite off more than you can chew.' You'd think he would have learned that creating more subplots only complicates things. I think his major problem now is that he's too close to his characters, believes in them too much, can't give up on them or kill anyone important because they're almost real to him. That's all well and good, but now I'd like to take the time to 'suggest' how the series should end, not that I'm completely qualified to do that. 1. Kill someone important. I don't care if it's Perrin, or Mat, or Faile or Lan or Egwene or Nynaeve. More importantly, make it an integral part of the plot. 2. Have the blight start to expand, thereby forcing Rand to act or for millions to die. 3. Have millions die anyway, the populace turn against Rand, making him kill the innocent instead of the monsters coming out of the blight. 4. Have Rand & Co. meet up at a nice place near the blight after they solve all their lovey-dubby troubles by agreeing that the fate of the world is more important than the color of a woman's dress. 5. Rand & Co. wade into the blight at the head of a combined army of Seanchan, Aes Sedai, local armies and spirit heroes from the time of Artur Hawking. 6. Despite all efforts, Rand must sacrifice his life and those of his friends to reseal the evil dark lord and his friends in his prison, including that Padan fain guy and anyone other evil dudes you've been making up since book 7. The end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2003

    outstanding

    I love the Wheel of Time series. I am a reader, and can easily get into a book and never put it down. With all the great books i've read this series is the best! I feel the same appreciation and love for each book in the series and am looking forward to reading #10. Personally, I hope Jordan stretches this out as long as he can! Thank you!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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