The Wheel of Time ® is a PBS Great American Read Selection! Now in development for TV!
Since its debut in 1990, The Wheel of Time® by Robert Jordan has captivated millions of readers around the globe with its scope, originality, and compelling characters.
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.
Into the forbidden city of Rhuidean, where Rand al'Thor, now the Dragon Reborn, must conceal his present endeavor from all about him, even Egwene and Moiraine.
Into the Amyrlin's study in the White Tower, where the Amyrlin, Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan, is weaving new plans.
Into the luxurious hidden chamber where the Forsaken Rahvin is meeting with three of his fellows to ensure their ultimate victory over the Dragon.
Into the Queen's court in Caemlyn, where Morgase is curiously in thrall to the handsome Lord Gaebril.
For once the dragon walks the land, the fires of heaven fall where they will, until all men's lives are ablaze.
And in Shayol Ghul, the Dark One stirs...
TV series update: "Sony will produce along with Red Eagle Entertainment and Radar Pictures. Rafe Judkins is attached to write and executive produce. Judkins previously worked on shows such as ABC’s “Agents of SHIELD,” the Netflix series “Hemlock Grove,” and the NBC series “Chuck.” Red Eagle partners Rick Selvage and Larry Mondragon will executive produce along with Radar’s Ted Field and Mike Weber. Darren Lemke will also executive produce, with Jordan’s widow Harriet McDougal serving as consulting producer." Variety
The Wheel of Time®
New Spring: The Novel
#1 The Eye of the World
#2 The Great Hunt
#3 The Dragon Reborn
#4 The Shadow Rising
#5 The Fires of Heaven
#6 Lord of Chaos
#7 A Crown of Swords
#8 The Path of Daggers
#9 Winter's Heart
#10 Crossroads of Twilight
#11 Knife of Dreams
By Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
#12 The Gathering Storm
#13 Towers of Midnight
#14 A Memory of Light
By Robert Jordan and Teresa Patterson
The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time
By Robert Jordan, Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons
The Wheel of Time Companion
By Robert Jordan and Amy Romanczuk
Patterns of the Wheel: Coloring Art Based on Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time
About the Author
Robert Jordan was born in 1948 in Charleston, South Carolina. He taught himself to read when he was four with the incidental aid of a twelve-years-older brother, and was tackling Mark Twain and Jules Verne by five. He is a graduate of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, with a degree in physics. He served two tours in Vietnam with the U.S. Army; among his decorations are the Distinguished Flying Cross with bronze oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star with "V" and bronze oak leaf cluster, and two Vietnamese Gallantry Crosses with palm. A history buff, he has also written dance and theater criticism and enjoyed the outdoor sports of hunting, fishing, and sailing, and the indoor sports of poker, chess, pool, and pipe collecting.
Robert Jordan began writing in 1977 and went on to write The Wheel of Time®, one of the most important and best selling series in the history of fantasy publishing with over 14 million copies sold in North America, and countless more sold abroad.
Robert Jordan died on September 16, 2007, after a courageous battle with the rare blood disease amyloidosis.
Date of Birth:October 17, 1948
Date of Death:September 16, 2007
Place of Birth:Charleston, South Carolina
Place of Death:Charleston, South Carolina
Education:B.S. in physics, The Citadel, 1974
Read an Excerpt
The Fires of Heaven
By Robert Jordan
Tom Doherty AssociatesCopyright © 1993 The Bandersnatch Group, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Fanning the Sparks
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose in the great forest called Braem Wood. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.
South and west it blew, dry, beneath a sun of molten gold. There had been no rain for long weeks in the land below, and the late-summer heat grew day by day. Brown leaves come early dotted some trees, and naked stones baked where small streams had run. In an open place where grass had vanished and only thin, withered brush held the soil with its roots, the wind began uncovering long-buried stones. They were weathered and worn, and no human eye would have recognized them for the remains of a city remembered in story yet otherwise forgotten.
Scattered villages appeared before the wind crossed the border of Andor, and fields where worried farmers trudged arid furrows. The forest had long since thinned to thickets by the time the wind swept dust down the lone street of a village called Kore Springs. The springs were beginning to run low this summer. A few dogs lay panting in the swelter, and two shirtless boys ran, beating a stuffed bladder along the ground with sticks. Nothing else stirred, save the wind and the dust and the creaking sign above the door of the inn, red brick and thatch-roofed like every other building along the street. At two stories, it was the tallest and largest structure in Kore Springs, a neat and orderly little town. The saddled horses hitched in front of the inn barely twitched their tails. The inn's carved sign proclaimed the Good Queen's Justice.
Blinking against the dust, Min kept an eye pressed to the crack in the shed's rough wall. She could just make out one shoulder of the guard on the shed door, but her attention was all for the inn further on. She wished the name were less ominously apt. Their judge, the local lord, had apparently arrived some time ago, but she had missed seeing him. No doubt he was hearing the farmer's charges; Admer Nem, along with his brothers and cousins and all their wives, had seemed in favor of an immediate hanging before one of the lord's retainers happened by. She wondered what the penalty was here for burning up a man's barn, and his milkcows with it. By accident, of course, but she did not think that would count for much when it all began with trespass.
Logain had gotten away in the confusion, abandoning them — he would, burn him! — and she did not know whether to be happy about that or not. It was he who had knocked Nem down when they were discovered just before dawn, sending the man's lantern flying into the straw. The blame was his, if anyone's. Only sometimes he had trouble watching what he said. Perhaps as well he was gone.
Twisting to lean back against the wall, she wiped sweat from her brow, though it only sprang out again. The inside of the shed was stifling, but her two companions did not appear to notice. Siuan lay stretched out on her back in a dark woolen riding dress much like Min's, staring at the shed roof, idly tapping her chin with a straw. Coppery-skinned Leane, willowy and as tall as most men, sat cross-legged in her pale shift, working on her dress with needle and thread. They had been allowed to keep their saddlebags, after they were searched for swords or axes or anything else that might help them escape.
"What's the penalty for burning down a barn in Andor?" Min asked.
"If we are lucky," Siuan replied without moving, "a strapping in the village square. Not so lucky, and it will be a flogging."
"Light!" Min breathed. "How can you call that luck?"
Siuan rolled onto her side and propped herself up on an elbow. She was a sturdy woman, short of beautiful though beyond handsome, and looked no more than a few years older than Min, but those sharp blue eyes had a commanding presence that did not belong on a young woman awaiting trial in a backcountry shed. Sometimes Siuan was as bad as Logain about forgetting herself; maybe worse. "When a strapping is done," she said in a brook-no-nonsense, do-not-be-foolish tone, "it is done, and we can be on our way. It wastes less of our time than any other penalty I can think of. Considerably less than hanging, say. Though I don't think it will come to that, from what I remember of Andoran law."
Wheezing laughter shook Min for a moment; it was that or cry. "Time? The way we are going, we've nothing but time. I swear we have been through every village between here and Tar Valon, and found nothing. Not a glimmer, not a whisper. I don't think there is any gathering. And we are on foot, now. From what I overheard, Logain took the horses with him. Afoot and locked in a shed awaiting the Light knows what!"
"Watch names," Siuan whispered sharply, shooting a meaning glance at the rough door with the guard on the other side. "A flapping tongue can put you in the net instead of the fish."
Min grimaced, partly because she was growing tired of Siuan's Tairen fisherman's sayings, and partly because the other woman was right. So far they had outrun awkward news — deadly was a better word than awkward — but some news had a way of leaping a hundred miles in a day. Siuan had been traveling as Mara, Leane as Amaena, and Logain had taken the name Dalyn, after Siuan convinced him Guaire was a fool's choice. Min still did not think anyone would recognize her own name, but Siuan insisted on calling her Serenla. Even Logain did not know their true names.
The real trouble was that Siuan was not going to give up. Weeks of utter failure, and now this, yet any mention of heading for Tear, which was sensible, set off a tempest that quailed even Logain. The longer they had searched without finding what Siuan sought, the more temper she had developed. Not that she couldn't crack rocks with it before. Min was wise enough to keep that particular thought to herself.
Leane finally finished with her dress and tugged it on over her head, doubling her arms behind her to do up the buttons. Min could not see why she had gone to the trouble; she herself hated needlework of any sort. The neckline was a little lower now, showing a bit of Leane's bosom, and it fit in a snugger way there and perhaps around the hips. But what was the point, here? No one was going to ask her to dance in this roasting shed.
Digging into Min's saddlebags, Leane pulled out the wooden box of paints and powders and whatnots that Laras had forced on Min before they set out. Min had kept meaning to throw it away, but somehow she had never gotten around to it. There was a small mirror inside the hinged lid of the box, and in moments Leane was at work on her face with small rabbit-fur brushes. She had never shown any particular interest in the things before. Now she appeared vexed that there was only a blackwood hairbrush and a small ivory comb to use on her hair. She even muttered about the lack of a way to heat the curling iron! Her dark hair had grown since they began Siuan's search, but it still came well short of her shoulders.
After watching a bit, Min asked, "What are you up to, Le — Amaena?" She avoided looking at Siuan. She could guard her tongue; it was just being cooped up and baked alive, that on top of the coming trial. A hanging or a public strapping. What a choice! "Have you decided to take up flirting?" It was meant for a joke — Leane was all business and efficiency — something to lighten the moment, but the other woman surprised her.
"Yes," Leane said briskly, peering wide-eyed into the mirror while she carefully did something to her eyelashes. "And if I flirt with the right man, perhaps we will not need to worry about strappings or anything else. At the least, I might get us lighter sentences."
Hand half-raised to wipe her face again, Min gasped — it was like an owl announcing it meant to become a hummingbird — but Siuan merely sat up facing Leane with a level "What brought this on?"
Had Siuan directed that gaze at her, Min suspected she would have confessed to things she had forgotten. When Siuan concentrated on you like that, you found yourself curtsying and leaping to do as you were told before you realized it. Even Logain did, most of the time. Except for the curtsy.
Leane calmly stroked a tiny brush along her cheekbones and examined the result in the small mirror. She did glance at Siuan, but whatever she saw, she answered in the same crisp tones she always used. "My mother was a merchant, you know, in furs and timber mainly. I once saw her fog a Saldaean lord's mind till he consigned his entire year's timber harvest to her for half the amount he wanted, and I doubt he realized what had happened until he was nearly back home. If then. He sent her a moonstone bracelet, later. Domani women don't deserve the whole reputation they have — stiff-necked prigs going by hearsay built most of it — but we have earned some. My mother and my aunts taught me along with my sisters and cousins, of course."
Looking down at herself, she shook her head, then returned to her ministrations with a sigh. "But I fear I was as tall as I am today on my fourteenth naming day. All knees and elbows, like a colt that grew too fast. And not long after I could walk across a room without tripping twice, I learned —" She drew a deep breath. "— learned my life would take me another way than being a merchant. And now that is gone, too. About time I put to use what I was taught all those years ago. Under the circumstances, I can't think of a better time or place."
Siuan studied her shrewdly a moment more. "That isn't the reason. Not the whole reason. Out with it."
Hurling a small brush into the box, Leane blazed up in a fury. "The whole reason? I do not know the whole reason. I only know I need something in my life to replace — what is gone. You yourself told me that is the only hope of surviving. Revenge falls short, for me. I know your cause is necessary, and perhaps even right, but the Light help me, that is not enough either; I can't make myself be as involved as you. Maybe I came too late to it. I will stay with you, but it isn't enough."
Anger faded as she began resealing pots and vials and replacing them, though she used more force than was strictly necessary. There was the merest hint of rose scent about her. "I know flirting isn't something to fill up the emptiness, but it is enough to fill an idle moment. Maybe being who I was born to be will suffice. I just do not know. This isn't a new idea; I always wanted to be like my mother and my aunts, daydreamed of it sometimes after I was grown."
Leane's face became pensive, and the last things went into the box more gently. "I think perhaps I've always felt I was masquerading as someone else, building up a mask until it became second nature. There was serious work to be done, more serious than merchanting, and by the time I realized there was another way I could have gone even so, I had the mask on too firmly to take off. Well, that is done with, now, and the mask is coming off. I even considered beginning with Logain a week ago, for practice. But I am out of practice, and I think he is the kind of man who might hear more promises than you meant to offer, and expect to have them fulfilled." A small smile suddenly appeared on her lips. "My mother always said if that happened, you had miscalculated badly; if there was no back way out, you had to either abandon dignity and run, or pay the price and consider it a lesson." The smile took on a roguish cast. "My Aunt Resara said you paid the price and enjoyed it."
Min could only shake her head. It was as if Leane had become a different woman. Talking that way about ...! Even hearing it, she could hardly believe. Come to that, Leane actually looked different. For all of the work with brushes, there was not a hint of paint or powder on her face that Min could see, yet her lips seemed fuller, her cheekbones higher, her eyes larger. She was a more than pretty woman at any time, but now her beauty was magnified fivefold.
Siuan was not quite finished, though. "And if this country lord is one like Logain?" she said softly. "What will you do then?"
Leane drew herself up stiff-backed on her knees and swallowed hard before answering, but her voice was perfectly level. "Given the alternatives, what choice would you make?"
Neither blinked, and the silence stretched.
Before Siuan could answer — if she meant to; Min would have given a pretty to hear it — the chain and lock rattled on the other side of the door.
The other two women got slowly to their feet, gathering their saddlebags in calm preparation, but Min leaped up wishing she had her belt knife. Fool thing to wish for, she thought. Just get me in worse trouble. I'm no bloody hero in a story. Even if I jumped the guard —
The door opened, and a man with a long leather jerkin over his shirt filled the doorway. Not a fellow to be attacked by a young woman, even with a knife. Maybe not even with an axe. Wide was the word for him, and thick. The few hairs remaining on his head were more white than not, but he looked hard as an old oak stump. "Time for you girls to stand before the lord," he said gruffly. "Will you walk, or must we haul you like grain sacks? You go, either way, but I'd as soon not have to carry you in this heat."
Peeking past him, Min saw two more men waiting, gray-haired but just as hard, if not quite so big.
"We will walk," Siuan told him dryly.
"Good. Come, then. Step along. Lord Gareth won't like being kept waiting."
Promise to walk or no, each man took one of them firmly by the arm as they started up the dusty dirt street. The balding man's hand encircled Min's arm like a manacle. So much for running for it, she thought bitterly. She considered kicking his booted ankle to see if that would loosen his grip, but he looked so solid she suspected all it would earn her was a sore toe and being dragged the rest of the way.
Leane appeared lost in thought; she half-made small gestures with her free hand, and her lips moved silently as though reviewing what she meant to say, but she kept shaking her head and starting over again. Introspection wrapped Siuan, too, but she wore an openly worried frown, even chewing her underlip; Siuan never showed that much unease. All in all, the pair of them did nothing for Min's confidence.
The beam-ceilinged common room of the Good Queen's Justice did less. Lank-haired Admer Nem, a yellowed bruise around his swollen eye, stood to one side with half a dozen equally stout brothers and cousins and their wives, all in their best coats or aprons. The farmers eyed the three prisoners with a mixture of anger and satisfaction that made Min's stomach sink. If anything, the farmwives' glares were worse, pure hate. The rest of the walls were lined six deep with villagers, all garbed for the work they had interrupted for this. The blacksmith still wore his leather apron, and a number of women had sleeves rolled up, arms dusted with flour. The room buzzed with their murmuring among themselves, the elders as much as the few children, and their eyes latched onto the three women as avidly as the Nems' did. Min thought this must be as much excitement as Kore Springs had ever witnessed. She had seen a crowd with this mood once — at an execution.
The tables had been removed, except for one placed in front of the long brick fireplace. A bluff-faced, stocky man, his hair thick with gray, sat facing them in a well-cut coat of dark green silk, hands folded in front of him on the tabletop. A slim woman who showed as much age stood beside the table in a fine, gray wool dress embroidered with white flowers around the neck. The local lord, Min supposed, and his lady; country nobility little better informed of the world than their tenants and crofters.
The guards situated them in front of the lord's table and melted into the watchers. The woman in gray stepped forward, and the murmurs died.
"All here attend and give ear," the woman announced, "for justice will be meted today by Lord Gareth Bryne. Prisoners, you are called before the judgment of Lord Bryne." Not the lord's lady, then; an official of some sort. Gareth Bryne? The last Min remembered, he was Captain-General of the Queen's Guards, in Caemlyn. If it was the same man. She glanced at Siuan, but Siuan had her eyes locked on the wide floorboards in front of her feet. Whoever he was, this Bryne looked weary.
Excerpted from The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan. Copyright © 1993 The Bandersnatch Group, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I am a huge Robert Jordan fan but this book was not very good for one reason alone, the focus on the female characters relationships. If you buy this book be ready for a heavy handed dose of female melodrama. This book definitely has it bright spots but they are almost always eclipsed by the female characters constant back and forth banter. If you buy this book you would be better served skip large portions of the book when ever Egwene or any other of the female characters goes on a rant.
Great story telling, rich characters,.. but I'm convinced that Jordan has some HUGE issues: do all of his female characters have to be harping witches? Are we to believe that the male characters are effecting changes in the world that will rock it to its very foundation, yet they can't tell these women to get off their backs? The rare (and I mean RARE) women in these books that are straight-shooters always seem to get the shaft.
Robert Jordan was always a skillful artist with a pen, and he proves it yet again with this fifth installment to The Wheel of Time series. As things are heating up in the White Tower with the christening of a new Amyrlin Seat, and the hunt for Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, time is of the essence. And not just in Tar Valon, but the other side of the Spine of the World, as a rogue group of Aiel are rampaging toward the Dragonwall under the leadership of one claiming to be He Who Comes With The Dawn himself. Rand, Moraine, Lan, Egwene and the other Aiel must rush to stop them if they are to save those behind the lengthy mountainside called the Spine of the World. This next book in the WOT series will grab you in the first few pages, and spark the fires for Robert Jordan's classic series of a simple shepherd and his friends who will shape the world more than they know, or break it in trying to stop the Father of Lies from being released from Shayol Ghul.
Great story, but don't be tempted by the $3 discount over the other version. This one has constant misspelled and missing words, formatting issues, and worse. Appeared typed out hurriedly and never so much as glanced at or proofread. Save some headache and DO NOT BUY this version of the book by Digital LTD. 0 stars.
I love this series and when i started this book i did not feel so good about it because o many of the reviews but as i read i thought that this was a very good book and the conclusion i very good so dont get discouragded by the reviews that talk about ho its only romance and all of the women arguing all of the time because its not its actually mostly plot and yes there is some romance with a good action packed ending so if you have read the other books i would definitly reccomend to continue with the series!!!
In my opinion the plot in this book was wonderful; however, Perrin and Loial were completely left out. The characters in this book (Nynaeve, Elayne, Moghedien, Rand, Egwene, Moiraine, Lan, etc.) were explained well, and all had their own wonderful story. Overall, this book was quite impressive.
As a man I think Robert Jordon has great insight into the human condition, both male, as well as female. I for one appretiate his detailed story telling. I always come away from his book with satisfaction in getting my moneys worth.
I could not understand writing; it may be the format, but I tried everything and found that I wasted my money because it is impossible to decipher the meaning of this story with all of the improper grammar and missing chunks. I want my money back.
This was my first time reading the book. I would highly recommend the book and series to any Fantasy Adventure enthusiast.
This is an incredible read! The continuing saga unfolds further in this edge of your seat read. You won't want to put it down!!
Wow--does Robert Jordan have issues with women, or what?! Someone needs to sit him down and explain the difference between a strong woman and a harping b***h. Ninety-five percent of his female characters are the latter. The few that aren't always seem to get the shaft. As usual, fabulous story-telling. Lots of action, intricate plot; a great read.
book 5 in the series. The intrique with how the power works is still good, but the fact that he will die or go mad from the taint is slowly becoming a side note. The side stories are well done, but I began to feel divided and harder to get into stories, wanting to know more about what happens to Perrin.
So, so so good! In this fifth book in the Wheel of Time series, Rand al'THor, Dragon Reborn is in the Aiel Waste, leading them back over the wall into the "wetlands," where they must fight a clan of Aiel who don't believe Rand is the Cara'carn (the Aiel's version of the prophesied Dragon reborn). Battles and bad guys galore, this adventures speeds along!I've read all the books several times, but I'm loving listening to it! The narrators - aside from the fact that pronunciations vary between books and even between the authors - are great!Recommended.
The fifth installment of the Wheel Of Time saga continues Robert Jordan's quest to write increasingly long novels. A lot happens in this book, but it is really, really, really drawn out. I still love the world Robert Jordan has created, but I think in this book he may have gotten lost in "The Ways". There are a lot of character threads being woven into the wheel in this book and I hope some of them are resolved in the near term. I do look forward to seeing where our hero, Rand Al'Thor, The Dragon Reborn ends up next. On to the next, The Lord of Chaos here I come.
The frantic battle at the end of this one is awesome! The trip along the way isn¿t so bad either. We first start to see Mat¿s talents as a general, and Rand¿s starting to show his potential and power. The relationship with Aviendha keeps me reading too. Elayne and Nyneave get a little irritating in this one, but getting them to Salidar is great. The addition of Birgitte is a welcome one, and the warder bond is interesting. As a third read it was interesting, but more action than intrigue, and intrigue is what is fun to read the third time through.
The plot keeps rolling on. This one is far more suggestive - tiresomely in some sections.
Another great installment in the Wheel of Time series that kept me turning the pages, even though there were 900+ of them. I did miss the complete lack of Perrin/Loial/the Two Rivers, although I'm sure they will reappear pretty soon. The only thing that really irked me about this book was the fact that nearly all of the women in it became unbearable characters with every minute flaw pointed out. It just seemed like Jordan was trying to make us dislike everyone that's supposed to be fighting for "the good guys", especially Egwene, who was beyond irritating and completely hypocritical in her assessments of Rand when she herself was becoming entirely too big for her own britches.
Lots of action. This is why I love fantasy fiction. The characters are evolving especially Rand. He is learning how to be a ruler and knows how to use his power. It was very hard to put the book down for the last four or five chapters.
I must say I was dissapointed with this book, mainly due to the absence of Perrin! So I understand there's no BIG storyline for Perrin at that moment, but surely a couple of chapers to let us know how he's getting on in the Two Rivers wouldnt of hurt! The main thing that kept me turning pages so often was the hope and expectation of Perrin being in the next chapter! I absolutely love this series so far, but im over halfway through 'The Lord Of Chaos' and Perrin has only appeared once at the beginning. Couldn't Jordan have bought Elyas into the Two Rivers just to give me a bit of spice? I do love all the characters he's created but Perrin is by far my favourite, thanks to the first four books, but now he's hardly even mentioned! So that being the main reason for my dissapointment with 'The Fires Of Heaven', I'd just like to mention how drawn out the book is. At times it feels like he goes into too much detail in describing things, just to fill a few more pages, and although I love learning about the Aiel, I think he's throwing too many characters into the plot and I find it hard to keep track on who's who! But all in all a good read, not the strongest book of the series by far, but you wouldnt be able to skip this and still know whats going on in the next book. I'm enjoying 'The Lord Of Chaos' alot more than I did 'The Fires Of Heaven', but I just can't wait to get Perrin back frequently.
And the plot thickens...Rand leads the Aiel out of the Waste, determined to stop the treacherous Couladin and his marauding Aiel before they totally annihilate Cairhien and more. He continues his study of saidin with the shielded Forsaken, Asmodean, whom he keeps by his side undercover as the gleeman, Jasin Natael. Moiraine stays glued to Rand whenever possible, desperately seeking to educate and prepare him for Cairhien and beyond, while Aviendha struggles uselessly against her forced companionship with Rand. Egwene continues her study of Tel¿aran¿rhiod with the Aiel Wise Ones, communicating with Elayne and Nyneave through the World of Dreams. Elayne, Nyneave, Thom, and Juilin journey with a traveling menagerie as they flee Tanchico and Whitecloaks, seeking to find the mysterious gathering of refugee Aes Sedai they have heard about. Siuan Sanche, former Amyrlin Seat, has been unjustly deposed and stilled by Elaida, an action that causes the unthinkable breaking of the White Tower. Siuan, her former Keeper, Leane (also deposed and stilled), Min, and the gentled false Dragon, Logain, flee the Tower and head for the same village Elayne and Nyneave seek to find - Salidar, in Altara, where Aes Sedai opposed to Elaida and her regime have gathered. Aiel fight Aiel. Aes Sedai plot against Aes Sedai. A legendary hero returns. The Forsaken stalk and plot. And the Dragon Reborn will both control and unleash the fires of heaven in his bid to save the world.
Another great installment in the WoT 'verse. I need to not wait too long to read the next one, though...
Although book four slowed down the pace, it does not prepare readers for the lengthy political wrangling, tactical debate and shoe-horned action sequences that are presented in 'The Fires of Heaven'. The sheer volume of characters that are entwined in to the Wheel's weave is startling to begin with unless you are reading the books together. Although there are some great twists near the end, the seven hundred or so pages to get there are laborious at times. Jordan is an accomplished author, however his talents are best suited to skirmish and adventure, rather than detailing war. The action seemed lacklustre when it was desperately needed to keep the story alive. Definitely a middle chapter.
This book is one reason why I love the Wheel of Time!
We come to the fifth book of the sequence and we can see that there is pressure to start bringing us to a conclusion. One that Jordan will again fight and sidestep around so that the series grows.We have had in most of the books so far three streams. In the first when the party splits after being chased in Shadar Logoth, it has set us up for this sequence in all the others. But here one of the three, which might have been a conscious play on three Tevern, though often those three combined in some way, one whole third is missing. Perrin.That makes this one of the weaker books.It is a book about movement. Get from the Aiel waste to the land of the Kingdoms. We have had that before, but it seems when we have, we have been grounded in places. Here, that is at the beginning and the end.We are introduced to exciting characters, Valan Luca and the menagerie, what fun. But again the story is so large Aludra returns, has met Thom before, and Jordan drops the ball by not having them recognize each other.Galad takes more depth, and here we start to question relationships. Did not Galad and Rand share a mother? Will that not come into play? When?But I said how things look like they could be finished at the end of the book. We have a powerful group of Aes Sedai with an army growing. We have the old Sheniaran companions of Rand growing an army, we have an army of Aiel, and we have an army of kingdom men following Rand, and more in the last few pages. We keep killing Forsaken.So we can get to the big battle in the next. But we won't. Too many ideas. Have to make sure every single one is fed to the faithful and noting left out. This book also spawns the rudeness that was Robert Jordan in the great RAFO-Asmodean dilemma. I have read and not found out more than a half dozen times. You can only guess at the answer. Jordan and his Hubris make this one of the worst of the series.Another example of his Hubris. A city surrounded by, after several days of siege, 160,000 warriors. Walls may give an advantage of 5 to 1, so there has to be over 30,000 defenders inside, but that is never written. Further, until this battle, those 160,000 enemy, Aiel, could easily take on any two regular kingdom soldiers. It was only the better warriors who could face them fair.Rand Brings over 300,000 Aiel spears, and there is another 160,000 undecided. In the midst of all this, the only kingdom soldiers a few thousand, under Mat, are roaming the battlefield with a mission. The numbers of the Aiel in relation to all we know of the world are out of proportion. In relation to all we know of those who were to follow and who remained behind. The battle is also hyperbole in that we do not have a map, so a unit is in a gully, surrounded by hills, a light forest hiding them. This is all on the plains in front of a walled city. Jordan wanted to talk about a great fight, and though a student of military history, did little to give us a believable battlefield, or battle.So why read this, because you have to read it to get to the rest. There is good stuff in it. And more good to follow. It adds depth to the rich world, but it certainly looks like it was written with add a careful plan on how to bring us to a conclusion. The objectives were met by bringing Rand to the Kingdoms with the Aiel, and setting up a Tower dedicated to fighting the fight that Rand has to fight. But so much more should have been done. And, where is Perrin?
In the ongoing saga of Rand and his friends, Rand finally travels to the Aiel, who would openly proclaim him the Dragon Reborn and follow him as his army - if he can prove he is actually the Dragon Reborn. He isn't the only one claiming to be the Dragon Reborn, as has happened over the years, but there are several right now.