Author: Robert Jordan
Series: The Wheel of Time #8
Date Published: May 18, 2010 (first published October 20, 1998)
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
For millions of fans around the globe, the wait is over. Sequel to the international blockbuster bestseller A Crown of Swords, this epic volume continues one of history's greatest fictional journeys and the most extraordinary work of American fantasy ever published--The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and worldwide bestselling series--The Wheel of Time.The phenomenal tale that is mesmerizing a generation of readers now continues.
The Seanchan invasion force is in possession of Ebou Dar. Nynaeve, Elayne, and Aviendha head for Caemlyn and Elayne's rightful throne, but on the way they discover an enemy much worse than the Seanchan.
In Illian, Rand vows to throw the Seanchan back as he did once before. But signs of madness are appearing among the Asha'man.
In Ghealdan, Perrin faces the intrigues of Whitecloaks, Seanchan invaders, the scattered Shaido Aiel, and the Prophet himself. Perrin's beloved wife, Faile, may pay with her life, and Perrin himself may have to destroy his soul to save her.
Meanwhile the rebel Aes Sedai under their young Amyrlin, Egwene al'Vere, face an army that intends to keep them away from the White Tower. But Egwene is determined to unseat the usurper Elaida and reunite the Aes Sedai. She does not yet understand the price that others--and she herself--will pay.
I was a quarter into reading this book when I finally decided to play Assassin's Creed 3 (it came free from Ubisoft's 30th anniversary). Connor Kenway (the main protagonist/ancestor in AC3) was a far cry from Altair and Ezio who get all the ladies at a whim that I couldn't help the comparison with Rand al'Thor. There was no romance for Connor in the game that I found that refreshing in stories, even in games. I'm already more than halfway in the WoT series and I still couldn't stomach the thought that Rand al'Thor had to be shared with three women. As far as I'm concerned, I'm not reading a menage book and yet the premise lies in The Wheel of Time series.
It's Rand's part in the series that I don't want to read about anymore when the story is all about him. *Le sigh.* It is in this part of the series that I found myself falling out of. Nynaeve finally got what she wished for... so what the hell am I looking forward for anymore? Elayne. But she had to endure sharing Rand with Aviendha and Min. If you've read my reviews on epic fantasy books, you'd know that the thing I hate most in my epic fantasy books is the romance aspect. The Wheel of Time just cemented that feeling for me. I'm used to loving my fantasy books with all the scheming, call for bloodshed, a chance at glory and defeating the evil force so when The Wheel of Time presented romance so strongly early on, I was startled to find myself falling for it. I should have known all along.
I'd reiterate this, I know romance in epic fantasy series is the worst aspect in the story (except LoTR). I should not hope for anything otherwise. I no longer have to tell myself that time and time again. This will be the last.
Anyway, I'm still mooning over Ratonhake:ton or Connor the potato. The thing I like about what I did (playing AC3 in the middle of reading the Wot series) was I get to visualize things more vividly. It is known for Robert Jordan to pick up things from various cultures in shaping the world for Wheel of Time. WoT's Aielmen themselves are like a cross between the Middle Eastern assassins and Native Americans. The Wisdoms of the Two Rivers are also similar with the Clan Mothers of the Iroquois. AC3 covered the American Revolution which involved the warlike Northern American Indian peoples formerly living in New York State. Playing AC3 gave me more feelings for fighting for freedom, fighting for one's own people and the general feeling of toughness. I'm surprised that a game has elicited more feelings for me (with a protagonist most claimed to be brutal and emotionless) than this book.