I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
In this sequel to the phenomenal New York Times bestseller The Shadow Rising, Robert Jordan again plunges us into his extraordinarily rich, totally unforgettable world: . ... 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, Flaida do Avriny a'Roihan, is weaving new plans. ... Into Andor, where Siuan Sanche and her companions, including the false Dragon Logain, have been arrested for barn-burning. ... 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....
I would certainly have to say that I find this series addicting. Once I begin one of these mammoth tomes, I feel the need to keep reading until the end. Despite the reservations that I may have about the characterization of both men and women. Because everyone in this series seems to be as stubborn as mules and to have nasty tempers. Part of me really wants to know what Mr. Jordan was like--tempermental and hard-headed perhaps? Pure speculation on my part, but what else am I to think?
Only five volumes in, and I’ve already read thousands of pages, still with 10 volumes in my future. It’s good that I’m engaged in the story despite everyone’s general grumpiness. It continues to amaze me that this much detail can be kept interesting for the reader. Most series are wrapped up in 5 volumes, but this one is just gaining steam.
I also appreciate that although this is a quest tale, Jordan has written something original--The Wheel of Time is so distinct from LOTR. Tolkien’s work may be the roots of this genre, but Jordan proves that he has made it his own. And he has taken Frank Herbert’s concept of the Bene Gesserit and made the Aes Sedai into a force to be reckoned with while still making them humanly attainable. I love the different colour groups with their associated behaviours and their bonds with their Warders. I do tire, however, of his constant struggle for control between men and women. Why can’t they acknowledge their mutual interdependence? It seems like the Aes Sedai and their Warders are the only mixed-gender teams that are working well together.
Nevertheless, I hope to read at least one more volume of WoT before this year is finished!
Book 313 in my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project.