Last night, I bought and read the latest installment of the never-ending Wheel of Time epic, Knife of Dreams. I had been fairly anxiously awaiting the novel for a couple of years, so it’s good to see that it’s out.
Funny enough, the “gasp” moment that we were supposed to get in the novel flew right by me. I actually had to go digging around at wotmania to find which scene should have so astonished me. It turns out that it’s the death of the Tremalking Ayamar islanders, who apparently decide to butcher themselves en masse after the giant hand statue melts on their island. Seems that it’s a trigger for their apocalyptic homicidal mania or some such. I dunno, I just read it as ‘huh,’ and moved on. I guess I’m a cold-hearted bastard.
There were a couple other minor scenes that bugged me, such as the wonderful, dripping, heartfelt reuinion between Perrin and Faile (after Perrin has just apparently carelessly killed the one Aiel guy helping her out. We never hear about this Aiel again, even though he’s been with us for a couple of books now! Faile doesn’t even get a POV to help us feel resolution. Just WHACK, bye.) Another would be the Semirhage scene near the end; it just felt so rushed, and BOOM, it’s over. I actually had to read that scene three or four times just to realize that yeah, that really was the entire scene.
But the book, overall, was great. I dunno if I’d say it was worth the wait, but as a writer, I’m not sure I could push out 750 pages in 2 years easily, so I can’t complain. The Nynaeve scenes were probably the best, and even tho I’ve always respected Egwene, I respected her even more so after what she is going through in the White Tower. Mat got lots of page time, which is good. He’s by far my favorite character in the entire story. I think Tuon got a bit tiring with all of the mind games. Rand got some time, Min was much less interesting than usual, Perrin was his normal sulky self. It will be nice to see if he gets some testosterone again in the next (last?) book. Elayne, as usual, is the least interesting one of the bunch.
Speaking of the last book, I really am not sure I’ll like it if Robert Jordan tries to close the series in only one more novel. It feels like there are still too many open plot lines, and that it would be entirely too rushed and out of keeping with the pace he’s set for the epic so far.
In summary, great read. Now I get to re-read the entire series and try to put it all in proper perspective again. Whee!