Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Wheel of Time reread: "Knife of Dreams" by Robert Jordan

Few days ago I finished with reading "Knife of Dreams" - only two more books and I need to hurry. My copy of "A Memory of Light" has come earlier than I expected, so I don't need to hold back. Now, if I only had more time for reading...

It is easy to shortly introduce "Knife of Dreams" because it mostly continues plot-lines that were started before. Rand is still mostly in hiding after cleaning the Saidin, jumping all around the world and preparing for the Last Battle. His biggest concern now are the Seanchan - he can't fight them at the same time as he fights Tarmon Gai'don, so he has to find some solution for them. Perrin has finally forged a plan for rescuing Faile, and with the help of Seanchan army, he will put it in action. Mat is slowly running away from the Seanchan while struggling to start to understand Tuon, his wife-to-be. When he finds out there is a plot to kill her, he must find a way to protect her without letting himself be captured. Egwene, who has been captured by White Tower at the end of last book, slowly realizes that this is not the end of her fight against Elaida - this is actually her biggest chance. But she has a peculiar battle to fight. Elayne is not enviable position - surrounded by her competitor's army, she discovers there is enemy in her lines, also. Also, her pregnancy is not helping her mood.

Well, the biggest difference between "Knife of Dreams" and last four books is that it finished plot-lines instead starting them. In first six books of "The Wheel of Time", we had a normal sequence of starting and ending a plot-line in single books. But next five books feel more like a part of one (very) big book, and KoD is its ending. I enjoyed previous books very much, but I would lie if I said that I didn't like to see these endings. Also, this book feels much more packed - there is much happening, especially with our five main characters (minus Nyneve).

Again, we have a humongous prologue - 90 pages. Again, it features Rodel Ituralde, which I like very much. There is one line that I remembered especially well: "He always looked ahead, and always planned for every eventuality he could imagine, short of the Dragon Reborn himself suddenly appearing in front of him." - this will be very funny when we come to "The Gathering Storm".

Last few times I read this book, I used to check how more I had till Mat's POV. This time I enjoyed almost everything. Elayne's part was a bit dragging again, though. I always forgot whether Sareitha or Careane is a Black Sister - even though I read it only few days ago I forgot again. And for some reason, I always disliked two chapters with Elayne's fight against Black Sisters.

I don't have any big impressions about Rand's, Perrin's and Egwene's parts, except that I enjoyed reading them. Loial's POV is interesting - and the Trolloc attack in that chapter. But part with Nyneve and Lan, and especially what Nyneve does, is one of my favorite parts in whole series!

Again, Mat's POVs are slightly above the rest, but only slightly. Luca Valan is a great character, especially when he turns around performer's minds. And I like chapters with Furyk Karede, especially the one when he catches up with Mat.

So, "Knife of Dreams" presents a welcome change to "The Wheel of Time", clearing out some rubble and preparing for the ending of the whole series. At the time it was written, that was supposed to be the penultimate book, but more about it in post about the next book in reread.

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