Winter’s Heart

Another week or two, another book down. Of course, I’m now six days over my allotted time to finish the series, which is, to say the least, unfortunate. On the bright side, I only have… four and a half books to go before I get to read the new one. Woohoo? That said, already things are happening that I explicitly did not remember, and each successive book from here on will be far worse in that regard, so I’m still glad I’m doing what I’m doing for my befuddled memory every bit as much for the experience of this one uninterrupted pass through the series.

Anyway, before I go into the spoilers, I should say that Winter’s Heart is a genuinely good entry in the series, even if it took a little time to spin up to full speed, because it is chock full of selfless heroism and also of one of the coolest single scenes in the whole series to date. And I think it marked the moment when Jordan stated writing all of a character’s scenes in one big chunk rather than interspersing them, if that is the kind of archaeology or warning notice that you are interested in. Next, the cut!

The most notable thing about the Perrin and Elayne storylines, in which very little occurs honestly, is that I think I am dreading the Elayne one more than the Perrin one. Yes, Faile-in-danger really seems to accomplish nothing whatsoever aside from putting Perrin on hold until the next time he’s needed by the overall plot, and that’s a pretty terrible reason to be writing it out. (I am interested in whether I decide I was wrong and something meaningful ended up happening, though.) But as molasses-slow and angst-ridden as it is, there’s at least some adventure and excitement to it. Whereas Elayne’s politicking is all the more horrible to contemplate when I remember all the other places that Jordan did politics well. This… and you know, it’s not even this book, nothing particularly wrong happened in this one except for the terrible horrible no good pregnancy, it’s just that I have some kind of vague memory of horribleness to come. I guess I’ll see about that too.

And you know… I thought I had more to say, and I could, but really I have no interest in spoiling the Mat and Rand scenes if you have not previously read them; if you had, all I would really do is spend a paragraph in praise, which would not have been so much of a much. And not a whole lot more happened in the book, or at least if it did I already forgot it, which is sad considering I have not slept since finishing and the total read probably didn’t take two weeks. But I’ll definitely say that I had chills more than once during Mat’s climactic chapters, and that despite that I’ve read them easily four times by now.

So you see!

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