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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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2002

    Pleaes bring it together

    The beginning of the WOT series I would have considered to be the best series I have ever read. Now, I just want it to end. I think he (Jordan) can still pull off a decent ending if he starts tying up all the loose ends and sticks to the main plot and characters. It is very frustrating though to have to go through all the novels from 5 on to find out what is going to happen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2002

    Come on people...

    I know you guys are ecstatic about the book, but for the people looking at reviews, PLEASE refrain from adding any 'details' about the book we might want to learn about while WE READ THE BLOODY THING! EXAMPLE - don't read if you don't want to know. 'i loved it when aviendha, elayne and min got bonded to rand' come on, wtf, don't tell me that stuff! i want to figure it out when i read the book, fools!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2002

    The Drag-on Re-bored

    ZZZZZZZ. Ok Robert I know marketing when I see it. Hook me on 4-5 really interesting books, then assume that I need to keep buying to finally get to the ending...if ever there will be one. Will buy no more books till I know there is a last one. Tedious. The neverending story. PS, I am 'knuckling' my forehead now.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2001

    Enough already!

    I have had enough! I've loyaly followed the first 8 books but now I must draw the line at the ninth. What started out as an exciting, enjoyable series has become bogged down with an extream number of unnessary characters and a plot that is so slow it makes you want to scream.The characters have become extreamly annoying and nothing much seemes to happen.This ninth book has brought a head to this consecutively worsening series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2001

    Are you people still here???

    This should have ended long ago. What was once an exciting page-turning saga has bogged down into over-complex plot lines and general tedium. Yawn. Too bad, could have been great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2001

    Time to switch to Goodkind

    Jordan makes no allowances for anyone who does not recall the intimate plot details of the prior eight books. There is no summary, and no reintroduction of the myriad of characters to remind those readers who, after a year and a half, might have a bit of trouble recalling the plot line or the names of all of the players. However, not to worry. Since nothing much happens in this book, it is not too important to recall who is not doing it or why.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2001

    No More!

    This review would have been two stars, except for the editing errors. Perhaps we should be grateful for whole word omission, but it appears even the Tor people who are paid to read this series can't concentrate on it. The women characters are still juvenile, spoiled, unrealistic foot-stomping goofballs. At least the dreaded braid tugging has been replaced by skirt smoothing; a repetitive act which merits the dubious distinction of creating as much distaste in one book as braid pulling achieved in the first 8 books. The powerful and awesome Aes Sedai Cadsuane engages in this silly, girlish mannerism, combining same with an urge to 'bite someone'. How powerful! How frightening! 600+ pages of text and perhaps 30 of forward plot motion. Even the Dragon Reborn is bored. The Last Battle was trying to get through this latest in the Wheel of Time series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2001

    Broken Vow

    After the Path of Daggers, I vowed not to buy the next book. Unfortunately, I not only bought it, but I read it too. It was awful. Expanding story lines, almost no mention of some of the heroes in the earlier books, what was I thinking? I guess those are hours of my life I will never get back.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2001

    Too Tooo Tooooo

    After a too long wait this book was way too disappointing! Its too long, too many fill in characters,too much of going no where fast! I hope we don't have to wait too long to see the end of this dismal series!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2001

    FOOLING ALL THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME

    Winter's Heart, book NINE in the Wheel of Time series, should come as no surprise. As the author states early on, time goes round and round and never ends. NEITHER does it appear this series ever will either, making it the world's biggest ripoff. It started nobly, with mystery and secret passages and monsters and magic, but it has deteriorated into an endless travel log with ongoing descriptive wastelands of paragraphs focused mostly on what the (majority) female protagonists are wearing today. A definite strain of occasional feminism (sexism) runs through the pages too. I begin to wonder, beard or no, if 'Robert' Jordan is really a man, given 'his' biases and wasteful filler on styles and colors. I hired on to this series for excitement, not to hear what the girls choose to wear in snow. I think Jordan has lost the bearings of authorship. Tolkien, Brooks, Eddings and all the other epic writers, knew when to end their stories. Apparantly, Jordan doesn't want to end it. It's a cash cow now. After all, why else would one attempt to charge FIVE DOLLARS for ONE advanced chapter (Snow) of this latest installment? If you've not started this sadly failed, muchly padded saga, save your time and sanity.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2000

    So Boring!!!!

    I enjoyed this series up to book seven. Book eight was tolerable, but I have struggled to make it to page 242 out of 656 in Winter's Heart. Enough of the knitting circle, where is Mat and Perrin? While I am asking, where is Rand? I am not sure how this book recieved such a good rating from most of the other reviews. Does it start getting good at page 243?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2000

    Another Filler Book That Flops

    I dont know why I tortured myself again. The first four books were great, but after that they just seemed to go downhill and this one is at the bottom. As usual no plots have been resolved and he added more subplots. My feelings on the book is Robert Jordan is bored with it and doesnt really care what he puts into it. I've decided not to purchase anymore from this series because of it's poor content and lack of progression on any of the main plots. However bad the book is the final few pages are actaully entertaining with the battle between a few Aes Sedia and Ashaman vs The Chosen

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2000

    end this soon

    Two years for what should of been a chapter in POD. Winters Heart was a big disappointment. The way the charcters are acting is totally out of line in any era or venu, people in power do not get slaped spanked, or sent to bed without supper because they where inpolite to someone who has supposedly no power. This book seems to have been written by someone totally different than the first books of the WOT. It is now being turned into a Romance Novel where women can do no wrong, are in charge of everything, know everything and will protect everyone from themselfs. The cover had Perrin on it but barely mentioned him. just give me and everyone else a break already.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2000

    Major Disappointment

    While books 1-8 of the WoT series have been generally of a high quality, it was disappointing the way the RJ has killed of Rand and married Mack off to Halima. However, Egwene's new role as wolf sister seemed to work well.

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