I’ve just finished Winter’s Heart, ninth book of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time. Recent installments in this fantasy series were wearing my patience thin, with too many minor characters and subplots, slow and monotonous plot progression, and lackluster character development. Through the first half of the book it seemed to be more of the same, and I was getting disappointed, but things intensify later on, and the [somewhat sudden] ending of Winter’s Heart makes up for past shortcomings. Sort of. At least with this book, I’ve decided not to abandon the WoT series altogether.
Things to look forward to: Now that Rand and Nynaeve have cleansed the Dark One’s taint from saidin, will the nature of the Last Battle change? Has the Breaking of the World been averted, now that male channelers will no longer go mad? Also, since Rand has slept with all three of his lovers now (Elayne, Aviendha, Min), making at least two of them pregnant, will his children also figure in the plot? Or will they die at his hands as was prophesied of the Kinslayer? (Personally, I wish Rand would settle for one of them, and I don’t like Min. But that’s just me.) More importantly, when will Moiraine return?! When will Egwene take the White Tower, and when will Perrin rescue Faile? That’s two plotlines left hanging less than halfway through the book. Grrr!
Characters who did not appear at all: Suian Sanche, Gareth Byrne, Gawyn, Galad, Loial the Ogier. That last one is one of my favorites, and I can’t even remember what subplot he disappeared into.
And has anyone noticed the intricate web of Warder-bonding? The Aes Sedia Alanna Mosvani bonded Rand as her Warder. Rand is bonded to Elayne, Aviendha, and Min. Elayne and Aviendha are bonded to each other as first-sisters. Elayne is also bonded to Birgitte as Aes Sedai to Warder. So Rand has four people in his head now. (Alanna, Elayne, Aviendha, and Min. Five people if you count Lews Therin.) Elayne is a close second (Birgitte, Aviendha, and Rand). And I wonder why Nynaeve hasn’t bonded Lan yet?
Comments from other WoT fans welcome.