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Winter's Heart: Book Nine of 'The Wheel of Time' Mass Market Paperback – Jan 7 2002


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (Jan. 7 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081257558X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812575583
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 4.5 x 17.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,040 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #247,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Drew on Aug. 8 2002
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'. Dictionary.com 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 By Michael Battaglia on April 6 2004
Format: Hardcover
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 By "frozenaugust" on 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 By Ian on March 15 2004
Format: Hardcover
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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