Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Wheel of Time reread: "The Path of Daggers" by Robert Jordan

Since I have had few days of vacation this week, I was able to finish "The Path of Daggers" sooner that I planned. Looks like I will be finish with the whole "The Wheel of Time" series just in time for "Memory of Light". That book is coming out at the beginning of January, but it will arrive at my place around month later.

With less than 650 pages, "The Path of Daggers" is the shortest book in series. "The Shadow Rising", "The Fires of Heaven" and "Lord of Chaos" were all around 1000 pages, so this is quite shorter. "A Crown of Swords" is somewhere in between. PoD, as CoS, also takes short time in book-time, around a month. There are four major plot-lines. After killing Sammael and conquering Illian, Rand believes himself on a roll, so when he finds out that Seanchan has again arrived, he decides to personally deal with them, leading the first Asha'man army. Connected to Seanchan: after finally being able to find the Bowl of Winds, Elayne and Nyneve travel from Ebou Dar, accompanied by Atha'an Miere and Kinswomen, with plans to use it and stop Dark One's meddling with the climate. Egwene is still slowly traveling with rebel Aes Sedai toward Tar Valon. But her biggest problem is not Elaid or myriad other difficulties lurking in world, but the fact that no one considers her the real Amyrlin Seat. Lastly, we have Perrin and his large retinue (including both Faile and Berelain) are slowly traveling Gheldan, trying to reach Queen Alliandre, and to the Prophet of Dragon Masema before he is able to do even more harm. Crisscrossing the book are several other, shorter POVs: Elaida, other Aes Sedai, Forsaken, even Seanchan.

As you can see, there is not Mat in this book. I guess this is fair, since Perrin was missing from "The Fires of Heaven" and Rand (almost) from "The Dragon Reborn". But that doesn't mean that I am happy for it. But there is nothing to do except to read until the middle of next book, "Winter's Hearts".

This is the darkest Rand's section, at least until "The Gathering Storm". This is why I said that Light is slowly losing from Dark after SR, FoH and LoC - whatever their successes are, Rand is getting madder and darker. This book has most quiet ending till now, and also the saddest, at least Rand's part. I always liked Moridin's POVs, especially the one in PoD's prologue.

Here ends one large Nyneve's and Elayne' part. Elayne will get another long plot-line (Andor's Succession), but Nyneve will not have a definite plot-line (even though she will have important parts). I must say that humor when they are escaping Ebou Dar feels a bit forced, especially with Alise and Nyneve.

Egwene has a great part; she really outmaneuvers them all. It is a good section to read, whether you know the outcome or not. Her part in next few books will be the same.

Also, this is a real start of Perrin's POV. There are fans who don't like this part, the Shaido. It is not my favorite either, but I don't really dislike it. Especially this time, at least until now.

I've said it already, but Aes Sedai are really sure that they know everything - so I enjoy when they are turned over their heads. But most of their POVs are very interesting.

Well, a short review for short book. "The Path of Daggers" is a darker book than its predecessors (maybe its successor also), but I enjoyed reading it. If only Mat was in it...

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