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 June 10, 2003

    Getting Worse... not better

    I started reading Wheel of Time from Book One through this one, in two months. The first one and most of the following were pretty good. This one is definitely taking a turn that I'm not thrilled with -- not nearly enough progression; and more uninteresting details that makes me skim more. I'm hoping that Book 10 will be better, but the reader reviews don't indicate there is much there. To paraphrase another critic, I wonder if Jordan is milking this series. That wouldn't be bad if there was more progression, and interesting - new developments. This one left more 'up in the air' than any previous book. Maybe I shouldn't have read Book 10 reviews -- I might have bought it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2005

    Bored with these, finish them please

    Okay, the first books were great. I LOVED books 1-7! there were great plots, and I couldn't put the books down. Now, the plot is starting to stretch and get added on to. RJ is just taking too long with these books. He has book 11 coming out soon, and I just hope he wraps up the series with book 12, or at least stop stretching the story line! I had to put the book down for about a month or so at a time every 5 chapters or so, because the book bored me so. PLEASE just wrap up the series!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2003

    Another for the Chorus

    After ripping through the first eight books in the series nearly as fast as I could read them, it has taken me nearly three months to finish 'Winter's Heart'. What inspired me to keep reading was the thought that Book #10 might be the last, now having read some reviews on that release, I find it is not the case either. Ten seem like a nice number to end on. As fascinated as I was with the world Jordan created with his earlier novels, I find myself, frankly, just becoming bored with the series and put this book down for long periods of time before coming back to it. Its something I almost never do with a book I really like. Like others, the spiderweb of plot lines is becoming frustrating, as is the lack of resolution in the various storylines. I hope things get tied up by book #12 or #13. The men/women relationships seem adolescent and have a sameness throughout that would be nice to see some varation in. The Mat/Tuon relationship is shaping up as the same as Rand/Adviendha , Rand/Elayne, Perrin/Faile, Nynaeve/Lan etc. the 'I hate you, but really love you' dynamic that happens over and over. I commend Jordan on the richness of the world and charactors he has created, but can he finish the tale in less than 12,000 pages? I may just wait and read the final novel and skip the next two or three!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2002

    Don't be fooled

    So many people seem to go 'ga-ga' for WOT, and I was too for a while. But I agree with the other side of the aisle...the series is going on too long without any closure. I'm not even thirty, but I'm begining to doubt if I'll ever finish the series. I know I'll keep reading, but now I'm gonna wait until it hits the library. I'm addicted and I want it to STOP! This book is no better and no worse than the rest, but if you skip to the last 150 pages it will be a better read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2002

    ....and the Wheel of Time drags on and on and ...

    I was not very happy with the book #8 and had hoped that there would be an improvement in volume #9. There seemed to be a lot more words but plot and continuity was lacking. The B&N Review (paraphrased) states that the first books were fine fantasy but that recent volumes contained less action and fewer grand plots but that they develop more character histories and shadings. I cannot fully agree with the latter part of that statement. The first four books were very entertaining; books five and six were acceptable; book seven should have been used to bring a fantastic close to the series. Instead books seven, eight and specially book nine are pure filler type material which functioned better as a sleep inducer than the entertainment for which they were purchased. I believe that this book deserves two stars, but only because those few chapters dealing with Mat were fun to read and that part deserves three stars. The rest deserved less than one star but that ranking is not available. It is time for this series to conclude and hopefully with an entertaining finale that will compare to volumes one through four and will atone for the others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2001

    Jordan approaches the line

    In Winters Heart, Jordan continues his push toward the average. Continuing the trend of the last two books in the series, he draws closer and closer to being unreadable. The only reason anyone still reads his work is to see how the story ends. The first six books in the Wheel of Time were fantastic, the next three are not even average. The latest is better than the seventh and eighth, but not by much. The author has lost control of the story. I find myself wondering as I finish it: 'Is this EVER going to end?' When you look forward to the end of the series more than you look forward to the next book, it is time to move on. Save your money and wait for the paperback. Better yet -- read Martin or Marco, authors who still have some fresh ideas.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2001

    After waiting almost two years

    Robert Jordon finally brings us his characters back to life for us. Unfortunately, they have begun to live lives like the rest us do in real life. Boring ones. This story plods along with the minimum of action and even less direction. Rand appears briefly as the story centers mostly around Matt. Most of the other characters fade into the background so much as to almost disappear completely. Storylines before brought along so intimately now disappear into nothing but bylines. I was sincerely disappointed in the way this book was printed. It seemed as though Mr Jordan wrote only to appease his publishers and contract, and not because he still feels in touch with the characters we have fallen in love with.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2001

    money scheme now

    It seems that we are getting less and less with each novel that is being released. I am afraid that we will be reduced to a novel with 600 pages and twenty words to the page. Please, Robert, keep to the quality of your earlier works and keep the meat in the book. There were too many loose ends in this one. If sales are a problem for you, then please finish this one in your time honored style and move on to something else that we can enjoy from you. You do yourself an injustice to cheapen the quality of your work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2001

    Slow read

    I hope Mr. Jordan finishes this series in the next volume. Winter's Heart was stretched out way too long. This book didn't really go anywhere, just lots of dialog between characters that really didn't amount to much. I am looking forward to the next volume, but if it isn't an improvement on Winter's Heart then the Wheel of Time series has stopped turning for me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2000

    Are we ever going to see the END

    I loved the start to this series ,but now I'm bored. The last 2 books have not shown any progress other than bogging us down with useless filler. Finish this thing with some shread of dignity and let me move on.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2000

    Low expectations

    Let's cut to the chase. Based on the last two or three novels, my expectations for the tenth enstallment were pretty low. My expectaions were met. This is the same stuff Mr. Jordan has cranked out in his last two enstallments of the Wheel of Time. Too many plot lines, too many characters to count, too slow of a pace. If you haven't started reading the series, DON'T!!! Do what I think thousands of other readers have done and start reading the excellent series by George R R Martin. There is no comparison.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2000

    Quantity no substitute for quality

    Sometimes I feel like I got sucked into this series against my will. Let me just say that I had always thought to myself that it would be kind of cool to have this awesome fantasy series that took like eight or ten books to finish off. Then I started reading The Wheel of Time. Robert Jordan seems to think that he can substitute quality with quantity. I would not mind the length of the series if the books were better written. To put it bluntly I think Robert Jordan has the worst character development that I have ever read before. I know that that statement is a little extreme, but usually when I read a series of books I come to love and care about the characters as I watch them grow throughout the series of book. I have seen very little of that in this series. Robert Jordan's character development leaves much to be desired. Also, like many others I have found Robert Jordan's attention to details, rather than adding to the story and seemlessly melding into it, detracts from the over all enjoyment of the books. I don't mind suffering through loose ends, I've done it before. I've read long series before too, I can handle it. Bad writing I cannot. If you want to read some authors who know how to create characters that grow and change and are delightful to read, and write some of the best descriptions of details in a story try Kate Elliott and Melanie Rawn. Two excellent authors who do not write women that only bicker all the time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2000

    alright

    Cons -> too predictable : not long enough : not much happened : have to wait another year : Pros -> Characters are still worth reading : Required reading to finish series : i recommend reading but do not get your hopes up.. kind of disappointing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2000

    WoT should stand for 'Waste of Time'.

    Jordan's fall from mastery to mediocrity continues. Again, Jordan proves that he's just in it for the money. This book started slow, and had to be revived by electric shock two or three times. It's a pity that trees had to be sacrificed for this atrocity. Don't get me wrong, I _WAS_ a huge Jordan fan. I have the first 6 books in Hardcover, and bought them as soon as I could get my hands on them. However, as far as I'm concerned, as the numbers in the series get higher, the quality degrades. He should have ended it 3 books ago. I pity people who read this book as their introduction to Robert Jordan. If you want a piece of advice, stay away from this book. Read Goodkind, Brooks, Eddings, or Williams. They know how to begin, and more importantly END a series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2000

    Better than PoD but not by much

    Winter's Heart did give us some endings to certain plot lines in the series but there are too many characters to put up with. The new characters are annoying as well. The Sea Folk and the Kniting circle are boring. I like Mat, Rand and Perrin and when they are written about its fun. When not its boring. Jordan is making it too complicated to have to wait 2 years per book. Luckily I only started the series last Spring, but after reading George R.R. Martin's books Robert Jordans seem childish and boring. I used to think Jordan was a great writer of fantasy but Martin is 10 times better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2000

    Winter's Heart (attack)

    Once again, Jordan makes readers put up with several hundred pages of filler to get roughly 30 pages that can arguably be said to move the plot forward. So many uninteresting side plots having litle or nothing to do with the main plot are dealt with that the main action is almost nonexistant. In reality, nothing much happens in the side plots either. The detail no longer adds to the depth of the story, as it did in the first few novels, but now bogs the story to a painfully slow pace. I would not recommend starting this series till it is finished, even then I would think twice about it. Two years between books is too much to wait, especially when the books are 98% filler to 2% action/plot advancement, and not really worth the read unless you're addicted.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2000

    Winter's Heart

    Too many new characters that aren't doing anything. Positively Russian in character! The last chapter is the only exciting part of the whole book - 10 pages out of 656 seems like a lot to ask of the readers. I enjoyed the early books enough to keep buying the rest, but the plot lines are getting lost in all the characters, and the lines that should be pre-eminent are glossed over. All in all, I was disappointed in this book. Further, I can't see how one more book can wrap up all the characters/plot lines without relying on a Deus-ex-machina. Of course, I will buy the 10th book, but without the anticipation that greeted the 2nd through 8th books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2000

    DID I MISS THE ACTION

    A weak follow up to a weak novel(TPoD). Revealed what was already obvious and led nowhere. No consistency in any of the characters. Just not good, and a disappointment to all of us who were waiting for something to happen. What a shame.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2000

    Crap shoot...

    I think the first few books in RJ's WOT series were the best I have ever read in the genre. However, the last few, Path of Daggers being the most recent have left me completely dissatisfied. I found the last few books to be convoluted, confusing, boring most of the time, and taking our heroes, Rand, Perrin, etc. in directions that are compromising the storyline. I found this incredibly unfortunate, and those whom I share this series(and others with) were in complete agreement with me. So, though I look forward to Winter's Heart, I will probably not buy the book and wait to read the reviews. Path of Daggers completely took the fun out of the WOT series, and if Winter's Heart doesn't improve on that, I will probably pass on it without losing any sleep.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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