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Winter's Heart: Book Nine of 'The Wheel of Time' [Mass Market Paperback]

Robert Jordan
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,040 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 7 2002 Wheel of Time (Book 9)
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.

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Winter's Heart: Book Nine of 'The Wheel of Time' + The Path of Daggers: Book Eight of 'The Wheel of Time' + Crossroads of Twilight: Book Ten of 'The Wheel of Time'
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From Amazon

Is Robert Jordan still doing the Light's work? Even loyal fans have to wonder. (And if you're not a fan yet, you'll have to read the previous 6,789 pages in this bestselling series to understand what all the fuss is about.)

Everyone's in agreement on the Wheel of Time's first four or five volumes: They're topnotch, where-have-you-been-all-my-life epic fantasy, the best in anybody's memory at the time since The Lord of the Rings. But a funny thing happened on the way to Tarmon Gai'don, and many of those raves have become rants or (worse) yawns. Jordan long ago proved himself a master at world-building, with fascinating characters, a positively delicious backstory, and enough plot and politics to choke a Trolloc, but that same strength has become a liability. How do you criticize what he's doing now? You want more momentum and direction in the central plot line, but it's the secondary stories that have made the world so rich. And as in the last couple of books, (A Crown of Swords and The Path of Daggers), Jordan doesn't really succeed at pursuing either adequately, leaving a lot of heavily invested readers frustrated.

Winter's Heart at least shows some improvement, but it's still not The Eye of the World. Elayne's still waiting to take the crown of Andor; the noticeably absent Egwene is still waiting to go after the White Tower; Perrin gets ready to pursue the Shaido but then disappears for the rest of the book. About the only excitement comes with the long-awaited return of Mat Cauthon and a thankfully rock 'em, sock 'em finale in which Rand finally, finally changes the balance of power in his fight against the Dark One. --Paul Hughes --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

The ninth installment in Jordan's sprawling Wheel of Time saga is as bountifully pregnant with plot threads as its predecessorsDand as bewilderingly esoteric for readers who have yet to commit its previous episodes to memory. Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, seems no nearer to fulfilling his destinyDto unite the embattled races of his domain against the Dark OneDthan he was in The Path of Daggers. The warmongering Seanchan are pouring into Ebou Dar, setting refugees in flight and complex schemes in fidgety motion. Perrin Aybara is distracted from his mission to shepherd the prophet Masema to Rand when he pursues the rebel Aiel who have kidnaped his wife, Faile. The mystical sisterhood of the Aes Sedai remain divided between Elaida, pretender to the title of the White Tower, and Egwene al'Vere, ally to Elayne, Queen of Andor. Elayne, Rand's lover, barely escapes poisoning, and Rand himself, still smarting from the unhealed wound of an assassination attempt, shapeshifts through a variety of disguises to pass unnoticed in hostile territories. Jordan can always be counted to ground his dizzying intrigues in solid chunks of cultural detail, and he here rises to the occasion, with chapters as dense as Spenserian stanzas with symbols and rituals. Not all of his subplots tie together, and fewer than usual of his vast cast of characters make a memorable impact. Nevertheless, he manipulates the disorder of his narrative to credibly convey a sense of an embattled world on the verge of self-destruction, and he entertainingly juxtaposes the courtly civility of his villains with the precarious chaos they cause. Devotees accustomed to this ongoing epic's increasing lack of focus will no doubt find it on target. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Drew
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When the word 'epic' is used, we modern day readers think of 'The Iliad' or 'The Odysey'. Unfortunately, it is becoming fashionable to consider a long book series worthy of the term. Thus, the word 'epic' becomes shortened to mean 'a long series of books'. defines 'epic' as '(A story), Narrated in a grand style; pertaining to or designating a kind of narrative poem, usually called an heroic poem, in which real or fictitious events, usually the achievements of some hero, are narrated in an elevated style. '
Unfortunately, Robert Jordan's series the Wheel of Time has become an overdrawn and rather mundane collection of books, detailing a group of characters that have ceased to be interesting a few books ago. A long story this may be, but somewhere along the way, the potential for readers to feel that each book and each book matters has faded.
A funny thing happened last year. 'Winter's Heart' came out. I bought it in hardcover, and proceeded to read through it over a period of three months. I was surprised to realize that after five years of being a fan of the series, I just didn't care anymore. Maybe it was the plodding sense of the last few entries into the series, but between the hordes of minor characters, annoying descriptions of every dress every women wears, and the frequent absences of one or more major characters in certain books, I began to wonder why everything seemed so trite.
My review for this book is rather low. I am puzzled as to how other readers can defend Robert Jordan's choice to draw the series out by saying that the series demands patience and maturity. In my opinion, a key benchmark of a good writer is to express themselves in a way that is both entertaining and meaningful to those that read their books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And lo! There shall come a direction! April 6 2004
It's amazing to see all these one and two star reviews still lingering around this late into the series . . . don't get me wrong I don't say that because I feel those folks don't have a point (they do) but I figured by now, this late in the game, Jordan would have whittled his fanbase down to the diehards. It's a testament to the strength of the early books and the promise that people still see that so many are sticking around to see how it ends, whether it's from honest interest or just morbid curiousity. Reviewing these books is a bit of an odd task these days because I'm mostly writing this to people who have already read the book and want to see if I hated or loved it as much as they did (or conversely, they've given up on the series and want to confirm they made the right decision). Any potential new readers should take these reviews with a grain of salt . . . the series really is very good, but has some serious flaws which may or may not do it in by the time it finishes. Best to wait until it's near the end and then read the whole thing straight through. This novel, book nine in a series that maybe possibly might be a total of twelve books (so he says currently, only time will tell) and unfortunately this tends to follow the same pattern left by the previous couple of books . . . characters tread water for the bulk of the novel and then in the last chapter something important happens. Really, if you were try to summarize the novel through events you'd really only be able to name the last chapter as crucial and after six hundred pages of epic fantasy, I think the reader needs more than that. However, this novel bodes well for the closing sections of the series . . . Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing spoke in the Wheel of Time Aug. 23 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read all of the Wheel of Time books over the course of seven months. I devoured the first few books in a week or less. But as the series went on, I found it took longer and longer to finish each page, up until 'Winter's Heart', when I had nearly lost interest in the story altogether.
I read 'Eye of the World' in three days. I read 'Winter's Heart' in three months- and that included the parts I skipped because I just didn't care what the minor characters had to say.
Personally, I think Robert Jordan figured out after about book four that people were still buying his books, and so he decided to drag them out as long as possible in order to stretch his fame and fortune.
Between a myriad of annoying, minor characters, page after page of the main enemies thinking about how much they hated each other and the protagonists, endless descriptions of the women's clothes, and constant reminders of how the world of Tel'aran'rhiod works, the story got put into the background.
It's a shame, really. Jordan started out strong, but he seems to have forgotten where he was going.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Err... March 15 2004
By Ian
Well...I'd have to agree with the critics. The first six books of the series were awesome, and I liked the developments in book 7 (Nynaeve's block...etc.). Book 8 was the most horrible creation I've ever had to endure in my life. By book 9 you become very good at...skimming. I mean, seriously, is it necessary to describe it every time Elayne changes her shirt? Just say she's wearing silk. While the story itself is very good, the descriptions makes you want to throw the book out the window. And never see it again. Especially the battle scenes. Ack, those are the worst. Anyway...Jordan needs to work on shortening the descriptions a little bit, and put a few more interesting parts BEFORE THE CLIMAX. If that gets fixed, it will be fine.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Plot and characters were incredible. I truly gripping and interesting part of this series.

Only one complaint was not with the book itself but with missed words and... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Alexander
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, good series.
I enjoyed the book and enjoyed the series. It was a big time commitment with the length and number of books, but worth it. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kathi
5.0 out of 5 stars Best series ever!
This series is amazing! I'm on my second round with it. For anyone looking for an extremely well written epic series that captivates you and sends you into another world, check... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Faedrah
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
My favourite series. Truly an amazing piece of work. Need 11 more words for this review. Blah blah blah blah
Published 7 months ago by stephen
3.0 out of 5 stars Less Fashion and more Fighting, please
One wonders if the dear departed Robert was not a closeted drag queen given his complete obsession with female fashions. Probably not given his equal obsession with women's bosoms. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Decano
5.0 out of 5 stars Wheel of Time
I have enjoyed reading this series by Robert Jordan and look forward to the last few. The books have been in excellent condition.
Published 12 months ago by susan haley
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
Number 9 in the WOT I was not let down it caught my intrest very much and when I went on to read the online reviews for it I found a bunch of people chritisizing this book and for... Read more
Published on July 17 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Mind numbingly boring...
Wait until Jordan decides to finish this series. I am not wasting any more money on the WOT until it's finalized.
Stick a fork in it already.
Published on July 13 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Long, plodding process...
Ok, so I'll admit to being one of those who picked up this series after it had begun, yet not long after. Read more
Published on July 4 2004 by B. Russell
2.0 out of 5 stars the plot thickens and my skin thins
I quickly became a fan of Jordan at the onset of the WoT series. I had read some of his other stuff, jumped headlong into this particular series, and quickly became miffed around... Read more
Published on June 13 2004 by Howard Upton
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