A Crown of Swords

by Robert Jordan

 

“I think I can, I think I can…”
– My mantra as I slowly plow through Wheel of Time

I’ve had to take Wheel of Time slowly, or else I’d have burned out after just three or four books. But I think I’ve finally gotten to know the limits of my memory for the details in these dense tomes. So unless I want to start again, I pretty much can’t do any more six month breaks.

Lord of Chaos ended on a pretty strong note: Rand is captured and then freed in a huge battle that involved pretty much every military force we’ve seen so far. He uses this victory to cement his position in power, even forcing Aes Sedai to swear loyalty to him in a signal to the world that no longer is he to be fucked with.

So because Lord of Chaos ends with a huge, exciting event, Crown of Swords has to start off pretty slow. There’s the aftermath of the battle and some politics stuff, but really, when Rand isn’t kicking ass, he’s pretty damn boring. Crown of SwordsHe mostly just hangs around until the plot needs him to be other places, at which point he gets his ass in gear. Meanwhile, the B squad is hanging out in Ebou Dar, doing other plot things.

The good: I mean, nothing’s really changed, there’s a new locale, which is always good. Jordan loves his local cultures, and it shows.

The bad: The sheer number of characters grows tedious. Every book it’s like, Rand is travelling with 15 new characters, all of which are relatively unimportant, until one of them does something super-important, and the reader is like, huh? If you’re going to have a solid group of main characters, let them drive the plot, and don’t take minor characters along on a three thousand page story arc if they really aren’t necessary to the proceedings. This is the kind of stuff that turns a trilogy into a fifteen-ilogy.

Also, what’s up with Mat getting raped at knife point? Then it’s played for laughs? C’mon RJ.

It was decent.

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