Friday, January 21, 2011

The Dragon Reborn - Robert Jordan

This is a review of the third book of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. If you haven't read the first two, I suggest you go do that, but only if you have no responsibilities in life at all. Don't pretend you can read this series and be productive. You can't. Learn from my folly.

One thing strikes me about every single book in this series I've read. As I'm reading the book, I have hundreds of niggly little complaints to air, but by the end of the book they're all gone. I can't go into much detail without ruining things, but the point is that if you have any spare time at all you should really read these books.

One of the things that really shines in every book in the series so far is the originality of the basic conflict. (The setting is great, too. See: the review immediately before this one.) In most epic fantasy series, up to and including The Fantasy Series, The Lord of the Rings, the conflict can be outlined as an ultimate battle between good and evil in which some magical widget is crucial to the outcome. In the Wheel of Time series, there is indeed an epic battle between good and evil, but the outcome is in no way dependent on a single magic sword. Or ring, for that matter. No, the fate of Robert Jordan's world rests on the fates of his main characters, who are central threads in the pattern woven by the Wheel of Time. I think this, together with the worldbuilding, is the reason why these books are so great. Jordan successfully extracts all the wonder involved in showing us around this new globe he's build while deftly avoiding the whole focus on a Great Battle Between Good and Evil and instead focusing on telling the stories of his characters.

...I can't even think of anything to criticize. Buy this book and the two before it; then put them in a safe till your next vacation.

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Demerits Uh.
Merits Everything.

Verdict Can't be arsed to write this bit. Must start book four.

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1 comment:

moonrat said...

...I'm so, so jealous of you, because you're about to start (or probably have already started) THE SHADOW RISING, which is one of my favorite books ever. Really the shining star of the series. I wonder if you'll agree. It's just SO AWESOME.