Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Wheel of Time reread: "The Fires of Heaven" by Robert Jordan

Another book in my WoT reread done: "The Fires of Heaven". As I said, I find "The Shadow Rising", "The Fires of Heaven" and "Lord of Chaos" quite similar: the size, split plots and characters, chunkines... Also, despite the ominous titles, things are going seemingly well for our heroes in these books.

Since there is no Perrin's POV in this book, we have two main clusters of characters. Rand is leading our Aiel from Aiel Waste for the first (real) time, and he is followed by Moirane, Lan, Mat and Egwene, and of course Aviendha. On the other side of the world, we have Nyneve and Elayne, followed by Thom and Juilin, where they unexpectedly meet Galad and some other familiar characters. And there is also trio of Min, Siuan, Leane, accompanied by Logain, as they search for the rebel Aes Sedai, but their part is smaller, and it later combines with Nyneve's and Elayne's.

This time I noticed how cleverly Jordan introduced Lews Therin Telamon inside Rand, and how he made Rand gradually accept him. First we have ideas that are indistinguishable from Rand's, then we have few shy thought, and in the end we have him trying to take over Rand's body. And it is presented so normally that we don't even see what dangers will this put Rand into in future.

Egwene's parts are OK, but nothing I found impressive. It is good for her to find her own strengths (even though the way of this found was a bit unfair toward Nyneve), but here is also the source of the problems between Rand and Egwene. I like her part in later books and what she does, but when I look at her relationship toward Rand, I can't help myself but to feel angry. I am talking about her (Aes Sedai) perception that she knows what is better for him that Rand himself. Oh, she is right in many things, but she also thinks that he MUST be guided for his own good. In some ways, she is worse than Cadsuane. And I hope that the forthcoming "Memory of Light" will solve the mess with Seals.

Mat's part is great and full of fun. It is nice to see his new skills come to fore. Battle scenes in Cairhen (both from his and Rand's perspective) are pretty well written.

If you haven't read the series, don't read this paragraph, because it contains one big spoiler for next few books (even though much of this will be forshadowed, and has been already, in books themselves). I am following Leigh Butler's much more detailed reread on And it happened that I read this part with Moiraine's death in this book at the same time I was reading about her rescue mission. It was a bit strange....

I didn't like much Nyneve's and Elayne's part in previous book, during their stay in Tanchico. But here they are much, much better. I especially liked Nyneve - she is hilarious in this book. But she is also awesome - and you can drive parallels between her now and Mat later, how they both think little of themselves. When we are talking about them, while I was reading the end of the book, I somehow thought that Egwene joins them immediately in Salidar at the beginning of next book, "Lord of Chaos". But as I started reading LoC, it looks like I was mistaken.

Another thing to note is the triple action pack at the end of this book: Moghadien, Lanfear and Rahvin - it was very impressive.

There is not much more to say except that "The Fires of Heaven" is another great book in the "Wheel of Time" series.

Curiously, it was pretty tiring to do a reread of "A Song of Ice and Fire" this spring, and it had only four books (plus one new one). I am currently on sixth book of WoT, and don't feel any lack of interest.

Another thing: while browsing on WoT and tFoH, I found these two drawings (source) of Lews Therin Telamon with young Forsaken, and Rand with now older Forsaken. I even managed to guess most of the Forsaken (not sure which one is Rahvin, Asmodean and Bel'al). Anyway, they look pretty good.

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