This is NOT a review of the Wheel of Time books. I suppose you can call it a reaction blog... For it is a collection of my live reactions and thoughts to reading the Wheel of Times series for the first time.
The thoughts were originally shared on Twitter and have now been collected here for everyone's convenience. These are my full reactions from the fourth Wheel of Time book, with some post-read writerly thoughts at the very end.
To gain better understanding of what this is all about and see my reactions to the other books in the series, please refer to this blog.
This time, I divided my readings up into days. For reference, I tend to read 2-3 chapters a day. Let's get on with it.
I'm just about to start The Shadow Rising for the first time, which I know is a lot of people's favourite in the series. I'm really excited about it. But before I start, I think we should have a little talk about what to expect.
First I should make my own approach clear: A critique from me is good news, not bad. I basically come from the upside down. If I don't critique something, it's usually not a good sign.
I ONLY critique things I love/care for. So if I nit-pick, it's because I'm having a blast.
So, what do I expect from this book?
Well first off, it's 300 pages longer and there are 2 lines of text more on each page, so I think it's over 100 000 words longer than the last (many book are only 90 000 words total)... so.... I expect a hell of a journey.
I'm expecting (in no particular order):
For Mat to have a bigger part.
Lanfear needs to make a proper comeback.
I hope to face a new Foresaken and not Ba'alzamon again in the final climax.
Stakes are about to be higher (I'm worried for Loial's safety)
On that tone. Maybe Moiraine will die..?
Perrin will have to deal with the hawk Min saw.
He'll have to deal with the Whitecloaks too.
I'd like to understand Rand's origins better (through the Aiel perhaps?).
Our 3 lads need to reunite properly.
I'd also like to know more about what exactly the Dragon Reborn is destined to do.
Our Accepted girls need to become Aes Sedai
Black Ajah need to be dealt with (that isn't over, I haven't forgotten)
Ishamael. We need more on him.
Answers about Mat's luck.
We need to tear down the evil people in power in all the countries (maybe not all in this one book, but we need to start that at least).
Unravel the corruption in the White Tower.
Gawyn and Galad need to play a bigger part
We need an Elayne POV.
There better be a shadow rising!
I also have some things that I'd like, but I don't think I'll get in this book:
I'd like to go back to Two Rivers (it might still be too early for that... Around book 7/8 maybe?)
The Seanchan need to make a comeback, but again, I think I'm too early.
What's the deal with the names and past lives?
I'm still waiting for our girls to gather at Tremalking and Break the World with Rand (maybe that won't be just yet, but I swear, it's coming)
Someone we like has to be turned to the dark side.
Okay, I think that's it.
The Shadow Rising
Day 1 : prologue day
The prologue is a Min chapter??
The other times it was in the POV of someone whose POV we hadn’t seen yet. Interesting.
I’m turning a new leaf with Min in this book. Cause I love her abilities she just hasn’t been that cool lately, since half-way through book 2. In this book I hope she‘ll be cool again!
It’s not like Rand meant to pull you into this, Min. Surely he would run far away and escape it all if he could. And it could be worse than falling in love with a handsome man.
You could have been the victim of one of the many sudden ta’veren provoked weddings, or the ta'veren fires, or worse.
This name feels familiar.... is this someone we have met before, or heard about..?
Sorry, I still struggle with minor characters. Too many of them have names and similar names too. It’s not a great combo for me since I’m really weak with names to begin with.
Battle is coming to the White Tower? In this book?
Oh gosh. That’s not what I meant by tearing down the corrupt kingdoms. I didn’t mean the White Tower. I meant the evil Forsaken who seem to have taken over every court!
But oh gosh this promises both to be devastating and epic!
Captivity too? Like the Seanchan?
But seriously, now I’m expecting this book to end with an epic battle in and around the White Tower and lots of Aes Sedai being killed. Almost all of them.
Oh please save Verin, though! ...Maybe she’ll be buried in books and barely notice the battle?
SILVER COLLAR!?? Seanchan incoming!
Oh no... they’re such evil adversaries. They’re all scary and devoid of empathy. But maybe this time we will see that battle we didn’t get in TGH...?
Well we would need the Whitecloaks involved like last time for it to really compare and be a substitute.
No! Not Gawyn!!!
Well... at least he will just be wounded. I guess that’s alright. He seems like such a nice lad though. I keep asking to see more of him.
Is this the book where I get all my wishes...? Battle with the Seanchan? More Gawyn?
Well yes... isn’t what why he is learning to become a Warder...? Isn’t that part of his future job description and what the entire thought foundation the Warder ideology is founded on...?
Well I suppose it’s for their Aes Sedai but Elayne is studying to become one, so... same thing, really.
Oh so they weren’t kidding about that.
Both Gawyn and Galad genuinely like Egwene?
Good thing that she is considering becoming a Green Ajah then. Though I suppose Gawyn will follow duty and serve his sister, the sweet lad.
Okay, then let me come with an uneducated(?) guess:
I think it means that the Amyrlin Seat will be stilled....
Because Egwene at least has described the feeling of letting go of the One Power in a similar way.
This is a very good point. They have been doing this for so many centuries that getting them to realise that this one is for real won’t be easy.
There will always be Aes Sedai who won’t believe that he is the Dragon Reborn, or who won't care either way.
Ha!!! Hahaha! Oh... this is funny.
Yea our three Accepted really didn’t do a very good job at finding the Black Ajah in the Tower. They got a bit distracted by beautiful Selene’s clues to go to Tear.
Ahh... this is funny. They failed so Min was handed their task, eh?
This is a very good point. Besides, Min, I’ll be nice and tell you: he likely isn’t even in Tear any longer, and definitely won’t be by the time you could get there. You’d always be chasing behind him and not catch up.
So yes, it seems a better use of your time to stay here.
Ohhh!!! This really is the book where I get my wishes isn’t it!?
I wanted to get to see a Red Sister closer up and see what steered them that way. Oh this will be interesting.
Is she also a Black Ajah like that evil Book Burner Liandrin?
This seems like crucial information!
So... will Morgase die and Elayne will lead them to war to help Rand, or will Elayne sway her mother..?
From this Elaida seems like she acted rather selflessly. Like a proper Aes Sedai. Not a Black Ajah at all...
Aha!!! So she isn’t a Black Ajah, after all.
She is on the right side, she has just made different choices and isn’t in the know so she can only assume that bad things are happening (because they are) and end up acting like this.
Uhh... yes she is on a quest to destroy the Amyrlin Seat, and I can sort of see where she’s coming from with all of this. I can’t really fault her for wanting answers.
.....I just hope she find the actual truth and doesn’t act too quickly and destroy everything...