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 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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  • 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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  • 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 8, 2003

    Elayne finally gets Rand

    This book was a change from the slow paced Path of Daggers. While it's go to see Elayne get her hands on Rand, something she hasn't done since book 4. In some parts it did drag a little, but the ending was fast paced and exciting. It also looks like Lanfear is back.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2003

    Excellent Series

    Well i agree and disagree with the lenght of the series. I have come to find that many writers usually do not write enough yet, some tend to beat a dead horse. This book was a little dragged out. Rands needs the Maidens of the Spear back at his side for one thing and for a man who wield that much power, at times he needs to say to the Asedi 'Enough!' and do so with command of power. It not to say he use it, but to fit in with him possibly going mad. I think also it time for him to confront and ascert his leaderhip over the Black Tower.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2003

    This is getting too long!

    I have been reading this from the first book and I have to wonder if Robert Jordan is 'Milking it out' as some of the other people have stated. So far this has taken 6 years to get to book 10, and there was almost 2 years between some books. At 8000+ pages of material is there an end soon. I have enjoyed his books thus far, but I think it is time to get to the climax, and find a new series to start if you want to keep people reading these types of books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2003

    Another fine book by Robert Jordan

    I agree with many of the other reviews, about how Robert makes the women so unlikeable, I truely dislike reading chapter after chapter of whining and complaining and childish behavior and just once...just once I wish a mature woman would come into the scene which I think he has finally acomplished with Cadsuane the ancient Green Sister, who becomes Rand's advisor. Robert Jordan remains my favorite author, and has been the most outstanding, addicting series I've ever come across. I took my friend to the mall the other day, so he could buy the 10th book, *envious* i'm waiting for my paycheck so I can buy it too! "Crossroads of Twighlight" ladies and gentleman...is book 10!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2002

    Adult Fantasy...sort of.

    Another good addition to a series that, I am sure, will be well regarded in the future. I am quite fond of his intricacies...plot mingling and character development seem to be strong, and I've enjoyed watching Rand mature/mutate as the books progress. There are a couple of downsides for me--I don't care for the fact that every female character in the series seems to be completely controlled by her emotions (exception of Moraine who shows little feeling of any sort). I'm also a little mystified by the lack of darkness in his books, or any sort of a sense of dread or malevolence regarding the antagonists, which is slightly reminiscent of Edding's whimsically playful "Belgariad": Nothing truly horrific ever really occurs, and darker figures seem to universally have weaker character and a mawkish, petulant foppishness. I don't blame Jordan for (what I perceive to be) this lack of strength in his antagonists, as it seems to be consistent throughout the genre and may be controlled by editors in the industry--admittedly, pure speculation on my part. A final critique: Why is sex dismissed so easily in Mr. Jordan's books? The romantic weaves that he has so intricately created seem to be purely the stuff of puppy-love and adolescent fantasy. Well developed characters who have matured through strife, training, tribulation, war, and sacrifice still seem to blush at the thought of sex. This would be delightful as a facet of one or two characters, but as an universal rule I find it unbelievable and a little annoying. Having said that, and allowing that I don't spend as much time reading as I'd like to (I'm enlisted in the US Navy), I find Mr. Jordan to be one of the best authors I've read. A truly good book lives on it's character development, and Jordan excels at this. A truly good series lives on plot development, and on this he's a master. It has been discussed over and over here that Mr. Jordan--for whatever reason--is needlessly extending the series for far too long. It is argued that he does this for the money, or perhaps because he simply hasn't been able to resolve his finale. I could debate this by saying that Mr. Jordan may feel that he needs more time to develop his characters into whatever they must become to confront their antagonists, or that calculated cliffhangers are the hallmark of any great series regardless of the medium it's presented in. I won't, though. The fact is, I buy a book for the entertainment value I get from it, and Mr. Jordan's intricate, complex, well-developed (if slightly innocent) world gives me what I want: Storyline development believable enough to keep me occupied for many, many hours. I have highly reccomended this series for adult-aged readers in the past (youger or slightly less complex readers may wish to visit Anthony's "Xanth" series for much lighter entertainment)and will continue to do so. It all comes down to the dollar value per hour of entertainment, and Mr. Jordan delivers the goods.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2013

    Elders den

    Elders den

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2013

    Foxkit

    Ok.~Foxy

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2011

    Grandson Loves This series

    My grandson requested this series and he loved this edition, now he needs the next book for his enjoyment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2006

    Not finished

    I thought it was not the best because there was not enough action. It was still one of my favorites. I haven't read the next one yet but the way he wrote Winter's Heart sets it up to be a good one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2003

    Gripping!

    This book is just and add on to the thrilling series that has me antcipating every step the protangtist makes. I think that the best is yet to come.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2002

    Coming to a head

    Jordan is an excellent writer who can spin a yarn, but as with most things, and especially characters, familarity does breed contempt; and we are definitely becoming too familar with the characters, their petty spites and arrogances, although I can't wait until the return of Moraine.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2002

    I hope the following happens:

    If any of the main characters die, I hope that it's Nynaeve. After all, she very selfish! During several parts of the series, she takes out her repressed feelings for Lan, by yelling at innocent bystanders and servants who did nothing to provoke her. I hope the second one to die is Lan, because he's the one who defends her (of course he has too, and in a way I don't blame him). I pity Robert Jordan for having ever known people like this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2002

    Wonderful!

    It's amazing how a person can write 9 very long books on the same topic and still manage to keep them interestingly appealing. Although the in-between-waiting is frustrating and the sometimes-slow-moving plot,I eagerly await the next volume.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2002

    time goes by slowly...

    lots of devolpment on previous plots, a few new twists, and i'm still hooked. When's the next book out?

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