Monday, January 14, 2013

The Wheel of Time reread: "Crossroads of Twilight" by Robert Jordan

I am getting closer: I finished "Crossroads of Twilight", and now I am reading "Knife of Dreams". Only few more weeks, and I will finish the complete "The Wheel of Time" series. I hope that it will have a deserving ending.

Also, I now have to be careful to avoid anything mentioning "A Memory of Light", to avoid possible spoilers. Even Wikipedia could be dangerous now.


After two shorter books, "Crossroads of Twilight" is back to a normal length for novel of such caliber: 800 pages. Somehow, in my mind, I always considered it as Mat's book; at the contrary, he has only 5 chapters, (6 if count Furyk Karede's) as Elayne and Egwene, while Perrin has 6 (7 if we count Faile's). But let's go by the order. After cleaning Saidin in last book, Rand is in hiding and resting - therefore he (actually, his plot-line) only gets two short chapters. Curiously, I realized that this time Nyneve is absent, except by mention in his part. After three books, he finally comes to good terms with Cadsuane, meaning that this is the first time (and last for some time), that she is not irritating. Perrin is still caught up with trying to save Faile, although now he is forced to accept that it will not be done in matter of days, and that he has other responsibilities. Mat has successfully left Ebou Dar; unfortunately  he is not away from Seanchan, or from Daughter of the Nine Moons. Elayne, now pregnant and without Nyneve, is trying to win the throne of Andor, even though her prospects doesn't look very good. Egwene is now accepted as real (rebel) Amyrlin Seat, but that doesn't mean that she is without problems - even her Aes Sedai still find ways to make troubles for her. And currently, the times are even tougher, since they are besieging Tar Valon.

Of course, except our main character, we have several POV from minor characters. And also, we have a long prologue. Jordan must have been full of ideas, with no place to put them, except in such long prologues. I especially like Ituralde's POV - here and in next books. There is a great but somewhat disturbing chapter with Alviarin, Mesaana and Shaidar Haran. And I hope there will be a clear explanation what kind of vile events were happening after Aiel War that so much of Red sisters were forced in exile.

I am having some troubles reviewing this book, because nothing really happens. Oh sure, there are lots of stuff going on, but all these plot-lines have started in prior books, and not one of them is finished here. More so, first half of the book actually happens at the same time as events in "Winter's Heart". This doesn't mean that I don't like the book, at the contrary. But only that I have tough time finding momentous impressions from it to write about.

Elayne's part here was a bit too long. Not bad (I liked the part when she meats the High Seats), but it could have been shorter. Also, did Jordan put such focus on clothes and details before? There was good Eenia's POV - you can really feel how she is always angry. Even though she is obviously intelligent, this anger thwarts her in reaching further. Jordan did great job capturing that.

Egwene's part is great here, too. I especially like the chapter when they decide to approach Asha'man.

Perrin's POVs are split in two groups. I didn't overly enjoy first ones, at the beginning of the book (probably because I was impatient for Mat's part to start), but the second one were good. I don't know why, but I always like the So Habor part.

I know that it is probably tiring hearing me saying how great Mat's part is, but it really is so. I really like his interactions with Tuon, but also his impression of everybody else. He is just perfectly comical without becoming so.

So, even though "Crossroad of Twilight" is a book without momentous events and somewhat slower plot, I had a very good time with it.

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