Select one of the keywords
Winter's Heart    by Robert Jordan order for
Winter's Heart
by Robert Jordan
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2000 (2000)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
* *   Reviewed by Wesley Williamson

Winter's Heart is the 9th book in the Wheel of Time series that began many years ago with The Eye of the World. When book 8, The Path of Daggers, was released it met with the criticism that it did very little to advance the overall story. Unfortunately Jordan has taken the same approach to book 9 in the series.

In this episode, Rand and Min are on the run from renegade members of the Black Tower, though Mazrim Taim, its leader, is shown to be only a liar not a traitor. Perrin searches for Faile with a ragtag army of troops; his own, Alliandre and Berelain's, along with the mob led by the Prophet. Meanwhile Faile, with Queen Alliandre and former Queen Morgase, is a prisoner of the Aiel septs led by Sevanna. And Elayne is trying to consolidate her power in Caemlyn with the help of Birgitte and Aviendha.

There are three major advances in the story. Rand gets together with Elayne at last and impregnates her with twins. Matt finally meets the Seanchan princess, the Daughter of the Nine Moons. And, perhaps the most significant, Rand decides to risk trying to remove the taint leading to madness from saidin, the male magic.

The narrative is, as always, fast moving and engrossing. Jordan manages to leave us waiting eagerly for the next instalment. However, there are potential problems which are becoming more and more apparent as the plot develops. Rand himself has become less interesting than his companions, Mat and particularly Perrin. Also, the minions of the Great Lord of the Dark have proliferated confusingly even apart from those which seem to have returned from oblivion.

Some resolution of the various threads of action involving Sevanna, Faile, Egwene, Elayne, Perrin, Mat, and the Seanchan princess is badly needed. So there are many and varied reasons to look forward eagerly to Book 10, which is what all Jordan's fans will do despite their growing frustration with the long drawn out nature of this saga. After all, it gives us more episodes to anticipate and puts the inevitable ending farther in the future.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Fantasy books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews