Archive for January, 2015

THE SHADOW RISING

Posted: January 14, 2015 in Book Reviews

WoT04_TheShadowRising

The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan

Book 4 in the Wheel of Time

“The Wheel of time turns and ages comes to pass. What was, What will be, and what is may yet fall under the shadow.”

Much happens in this volume of the series as you would expect given it is one of the longer books in the series at 981 pages. Many different story arcs are happening at the same time and our heroes each embark on different quests and challenges throughout the book.

Back at the white tower Min has arrived bearing a message to the Amyrlin and she has continued her role providing the Amyrlin, Siuane Sanche, with important information she gets from her visions about the future of individuals within the tower. However these visions and warnings do not give her enough warning to avert a rebellion within the tower.

The white cloaks have invaded our heroes home town and country of the two rivers and Edmond’s field looking to lure and trap Perrin Aybara who they are hunting as a dark friend. They soon are forced into making an uneasy alliance as the Two Rivers has come under siege by Mydrall and Trollocs. Perrin unwittingly becomes a General and Lord of an army despite his best efforts to avoid that.

After entering the world of dreams Egwene meets an Aiel wise one and is told to meet up with her in the waste. This wise one by the named of Amys, begins to teach her how to enter and control the world of dreams, Tel’aran’rhiod. While she is being taught Nynaeve and Elayne make their way to Tanchico where they learn that there is a powerful artifact that can control Rand which the black Ajah is hunting for. They are determined to find it before they do.

Rand and Matt find themselves in the Aiel waste and they enter an ancient abandoned city of Rhuidean where Rand sees visions of the ancient past and learns of the origins of the Aiel. He comes out branded on both arms as the Dragon reborn and begins to seek to unify the Aiel.

Throughout the book we see bubbles of evil begin to make themselves known. Simple objects and tools coming alive trying to kill you. Reflections jumping out of mirrors trying to kill you and other bubbles of evil in the pattern start to emerge.

This book has been named perfectly as The Shadow Rising. Throughout we learn more about the forsaken, and there true Identities in this world of the wheel of time. I really like the bubbles of evil touch with objects and reflections coming alive and attacking you. With this detail it can be hard to know when you are safe and when you are not. It brings an element of excitement to the story though those few incidents were short-lived. I would have liked to see more of those types of events in the story outside of the 3 main examples.

Even though some characters have begun to grow into their powers and new roles, such as Rand, Perrin and Egwene the other characters have remained flat in a way. Nynaeve, Elayne, Moraine, Loial, Matt and others seem no more development and don’t seem to have grown much into their roles. I love the character development of Perrin, Rand and Egwene however. Each of these characters are being set up for a role that goes beyond a supporting story line which many of the characters are just there to execute the story.

One thing that bothers me a bit is that Matt seems to serve no purpose at this point in the story. He is a likable enough character but seems to be just hanging along for the ride. All of the other characters seem to have some purpose for being there. Other characters story are progressing or serve a purpose in progressing the roles of other characters but Matt’s character could not be there and it would make literally no difference to the progress of the story overall I feel. Robert Jordan in this volume really failed to have him contribute to the story in any meaningful way in this volume of the series and I hope that his role becomes more prominent in the other volumes as I continue to read the series.

With regard to the lack of character development in the other characters. That in and of itself was not necessarily a bad thing. This volume was not strictly focused on them and they still had their own story going on and developing as we went along. These other characters did not really need any additional development at this point in the story.

The Shadow rising really felt like it was more to set the scene for the rest of the series than strictly advancing the story itself. Much of what was happening was setting up for greater and bigger events in the upcoming volumes of this series. This is probably why I felt that it was longer than it needed to be. The setting up of the scene for future story works really well at this point in the series as it plays out in a way like wrapping up one-act and now we get ready for the next act.

This works quite well in this volume and I hope that the next book lives up the expectations set in this book. While not a perfect book as it did get a bit long and tedious read at times it still overall does a good job in the realms of fantasy story telling.

It will be interesting to see how the story progresses from this point on.

This book gets a 6/10 overall for good story telling and set up. It looses points for being a bit long-winded and lack of purpose in some areas. However overall still a worthy addition to any fantasy nerds collection.

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Most Popular Post of 2014

Posted: January 1, 2015 in Thoughts on Reading

It’s a new year full of wonderful tales and exciting adventures ahead. Time to look back at the past year and see what the most popular book reivews of the year were and the sad and lonley least popular book reviews of the year.

10 Bones of the Dragon

9 The Dragon Reborn

8 Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

7 A Dance with Dragons

6 Severed Souls

5 The Time Machine

4 The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay

3 The Phantom of the Opera

2 Words of Radiance

And the Number 1 most popular post of 2014

1 The Way of Kings

 

As for the lonley 10 least popular check them out I’m sure they are not that bad

10 The Dark Legacy of Shannara: Witch Wraith

9 The Book of Mormon

8 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

7 The Gate Theif

6 The Great Hunt

5 Ender’s Game

4 Hell Hole

3 Divergent

2 Dracula

1 The Picture of Dorain Gray

As a side not, Ender’s Game and The Picture of Dorian Gray deserve much more attention. They really are some of the best stories ever told.

Thanks for reading.