Lord of Chaos

So, these are certainly getting harder. I mean, yes, Lord of Chaos is a hard book. “Let the Lord of Chaos rule” indeed. Not only is it the book where the first real convolutions of Aes Sedai plot mystery and basically every other type of political mire that you can imagine begin to rear their heads, but it’s also hard to watch such a trainwreck. I don’t mean that in the plotting sense, of course, just in the “Shit just got real” sense.

But it’s damn hard to review. I would claim that this is because of my self-imposed spoiler moratorium from here on out, but that’s not it really. Anything that I would put behind a spoiler cut[1] has already been discussed in every conceivable iteration when I was still young enough to read all of it in all its glory and even participate now and then. (Google Groups may even still have most of it.) And any theme I would try to tease out is right there in the title.

So, I will instead report on the two things that really stood out to me on the reread, although they’re not new either. One is what a huge fan of Min I am. The other is what a huge non-fan of the endless summer I am. Because of how evocative it became, which is certainly praise for Jordan’s talents, but I suppose of the backhanded variety. But not really. Good writing about uncomfortable things should make the reader uncomfortable. Right? (But for so long? Sure, like six months in Randland, but more like six years out here. Hell, even at the pace I’m reading, it is lasting less than regular summer, but I still feel it worse in the book.)

That said, it does raise a discussion point I don’t remember seeing crop up back in the day. Non-specific magic weather, or stopped-the-earth-in-its-orbit magic weather? I’m sure the latter has more physics consequences than I could shake a pointed quark at, but it’s kind of cool to consider nonetheless.

[1] Taim. I paused several moments to consider, and that’s the size of it. It doesn’t properly capture the scope of the discussions I would rehash, of course. Man, that guy is a compelling character, and one of the best examples of the cyclic nature of the Wheel of Time. All the moreso if he had never knowingly spoken to a Darkfriend when he first met Rand.

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