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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 December 2000
I remember starting out reading WoT 6 years ago, and buying the already written books at once. Then i bought the next and the next and so on.. This series had a great storyline, a well thought throug magic plot(the best I've read in years), and somewhat believeable characters. Now Jordan has ruined it by sending out page fillers and crappy new characters are coming in. This book is, as many others have said, only Path of Daggers--the sequel. In the earlier books, the story was pacing forward, now it is standing still, panting without chance of getting to its destination. I wish that Jordan could think of his fans instead of selling merchendise(Wot mugs?Wot handkerchief? Anyone?) It was great earlier, now end it or at least try to find an ending.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2006
If you have read the preceding couple of books you will know what to expect: shawls are twitched, glares are hard/flat/augers, women will be unable to understand men and men will misunderstand woman and, of course, nothing much will happen in 678 pages. If you are a fan of large passages describing clothing and camp sites in the greatest of detail, you will love this book.
If however, you read the first 6 books in this series and loved the truly superb stories of believable characters in difficult situations who demanded your attention then this book is not only a waste of money but also a waste of time. A 20 page synopsis would provide you with as much as you need to understand what will happen next. Apart from the last chapter, which is one of the strongest chapters in terms of storyline advancement in all the books, this book is blatant padding.
I can’t help but get the feeling that the author planned to write 12 books irrespective on whether the story deserved it. So this book became a spacer.
After reading the first 6 books, I would have thrust one in your hand if you hadn’t read it before, absolutely sure that you were missing out. Now, I wouldn’t give it to anyone unless I wanted them to stop reading altogether.
Because of this, I recommend that you borrow this book instead of buying it, or only buy it if you want to complete the set.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2001
Well, its an improvement on PoD but Winter's Heart still lacks the pace,excitement and mystery of the earlier books. Too much attention to details of clothing, decor and incidentals and lack of attention to developing all the plot lines. Some characters need to go [most definitely that trollope Shaido 'would be' witch]along with some other dubious characters. I think Robert Jordan needs to put a very large flow chart up on his wall that follows all the plots and starts to pull them together again- this saga will never end unless he does. This series had such potential and it's being wasted. The next book needs to pull all the sub-plots together[ and he could easily do this by leaving out the endless tedious descriptions that detract from the plot] so that book 11/12 can finish it off. I started reading this series in July 2000- I think I'd have given up years ago if I'd had to wait as long as some of you......
PS I like the Aes sedai!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 2000
I loved the first few books, but now it all just goes in circles. Better than POD, but more plots are created than solved. RJ has become too obsessed with his own characters. My main fear is that he dies before bringing the series to an end.
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on 4 December 2012
After a few lacklustre offerings with little direction or plot, the Wheel of Time gets a jump start.

As before there are many plots going on at once, we have Perrin looking for Faile, Elayne trying to gain the throne of Andor, Mat escaping the Seanchan in Ebou Dar, Egwene marching towards war with Tar Valon. Each of which gets a little mention, though some more than others and each has a different thing to interest you, revenge, political intrigue, suspense, and prospective battles. But the main reason to read this book is Rand's story and his preparations to cleanse Saidin.

I am still a little annoyed at Jordan's structure of the plots, though. He seems to tell one story, then another, then another, then finishes with the climax, rather than merging them through the book. For example, the first few chapters are all about Perrin's story. Then we don't see him for the rest of the book. Mat gets the most story though (his is the only one that actually gets a satisfying conclusion), while Egwene gets nothing more than an appearance in Tel'aran'rhiod. Though, to be fair, if I had to read a hundred pages of her walking, I'd probably throw my Kindle out the window.

Perrin's story is fairly straightforward, but we jump right into the action. It is a far quicker start than we have had since maybe the Dragon Reborn. He doesn't waste any time to go after Faile but just as it starts getting interesting, it ends and we have to wait for the next book.

Elayne's story is, yet again, the weak point. Though, probably this is because I'm not a huge fan of overly political stories, even if I like a smattering of the genre in others. She meets up with the borderland rulers and thus brings them into the plot after being introduced at the beginning of the last book. This is yet another example of how Jordan doesn't seem to understand longterm storytelling. There are times you can do this kind of thing, and times you can't. The scene from Path of Daggers could have served as a portion of the prologue to this book and nothing would have been affected.

Mat's story is definitely the second best part of Winter's Heart. After not appearing in the last book, he is back. He organises the escape of Aes Sedai while finally meeting the Daughter of the Nine Moons, and she is not what he expected. I liked how the Aes Sedai now have to depend on him to get them out. There is a rather touching scene where a Seanchan woman walks in on him and Joline. He grabs her and kisses her to hide her ageless face. Once she realises why he's doing it, she continues, but is crying while it's happening. Aes Sedai, those champions of cool serenity, are broken by the invaders.

Rand prepares himself to disappear for a while following the attack on him from the Asha'man, but while doing so, he is also making preparations to cleanse Saidin, something he's been thinking of for a few books now. Also, in this book, he finally gets Elayne, Aviendha and Min together in a room for the first time. It's unfortunate that we don't get the first meeting of Min and Aviendha and we just jump into the three walking towards Rand, but it's kind of made up by their scenes after the meeting.

It is the ending that is the reason to buy this book, if any more were needed. We haven't had a decent finale since Lord of Chaos, and certainly not one that felt natural since the Fires of Heaven, so this one is very welcome. It doesn't have any huge battles with thousands of men fighting, but the amount of the Power wielded is enough to make you feel as if it were. Since the introduction of the concept of the One Power in the Eye of the World, this is what we've been waiting for, to actually see the male and female halves being used together, to see Saidin and Saidar used in a battle. It is the closest we've ever got to witnessing the War of Power, and it is an immensely exciting and satisfying end.

To conclude, it's still not perfect, but it is the best book since Fires of Heaven. Winter's Heart breathes new life into the series, along with some monumental changes. It is just such a shame it is to be followed by Crossroads of Twilight.
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on 16 February 2010
By book nine, the rumour mill had seriously hinted to me, the Wheel of Time becomes slow, stale and boring as it plods tediously on getting nowhere nearer its conclusion. I disagree. I thought this book was a refreshing upping of pace on the last few books. Each of the characters has a defined goal again and works to achieve it, and each of them has a storyline (except Egwene) which actually interested me.

Everything I remember hanging over from the previous novel is picked up in this one, and several of the loose ends from earlier in the series are picked up and are starting to be tied off ready to build up to the end of the story. The characters finally start to talk to one another again which is a genius move on their part as their lack of communication and co-operation has really been getting on my nerves.

The only confusing element in this novel was the bad-guys. They seem to chop and change names and bodies so often that it's hard to keep track - this is true of a lot of the minor characters, and there are a lot of them. It makes some aspects quite hard to follow when you don't know who is who and where you've met them before. In this way the glossaries at the end of each novel could certainly be improved - in my opinion they should have existed to remind the reader of who people are and what events earlier in the story were.

Overall though I did think this novel was an improvement in terms of story and structure. It's left sufficient hanging over ready for book ten without leaving you feeling like it has held back. The ending is rather sudden, but not yet knowing where the story is going I can't tell if that's for a good reason. I am actually looking forward to picking up the next book as soon as possible.
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on 30 November 2000
Half way thru book 8, Mr Jordan seemed to give up and next thing I knew, the book had ended. 9 is a thicker book, but somehow it fails to have the breadth that earlier books had. It has none of what made the earlier books a classic. The climax is gripping if you are a follower of the WoT series, and it is a fascinating twist.
But it is little more than an exploration in Rand Land.
There is both too much (too many plot lines) and too little (not enough depth of any of them) happening.
The pivotal storyline of the book is conducted almost dirtily. There is no carefully laid out plot building to it, Jordan simply doesn't have time for it. Almost all of the Ter'angreal that are used are more or lessed pulled out of thin air.
As for too many threads; at the close of the book characters that Jordan hadn't otherwise been able to fit into the book ooze out of the woodwork for little write-out cameos, and with so little time, even then he fails to find time to squeeze them all in.
Immensely better than the mess that was book 8, it still makes me pensive of book 10. I hope he is trying to make this an epic that covers the entire world of WoT - but he is trying to do so in less and less pages, and the twists and turns make the book a series of short and incomplete stories.
Lose some of the overhead back into the background; give us the length and depth that we enjoy. I dare say a good 1/4r of Book 9 is purely description of clothes, furniture or scenery, at the cost of vital plot information that would engage the reader with the storyline.
WoT and I may part ways at book 10...
Oiver
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on 13 November 2000
after reading number 8, which i shan't even dignify by naming, this was a refreshing break. in short, things happen, some pretty epic things in fact. I can't help wondering though if it could have been more. 668 pages (including glossary) compared to nearer 1000 in some of his earlier offerings. there's a third less in this installment than there could be. money based grumblings aside, we get some action. not just battles, as in that other i mentioned, but action. subtle difference, but a rather important one. where 8 was a struggle, this was getting back towards those days when i constantly found myself saying to myself, "just one more chapter....."
Nice to see Mat back, for a little comic relief as much as anything, to cheer you up after mr Rand 'woe is me' al'Thor has had a muse or two on his miserable existance once again. Perrin gets a little fierce again, that's what we like to see, and of course, the only true constant, those enfuriating, arrogant, and often ignorant Aes sedai have their regular share of print. Love 'em or hate 'em (i know which i'd choose) those ladies just make for great reading.
a wonderful finale, it leaves enough questions unanswered and a few new additions to your 'must know' list to have us all eagerly anticipating Mr Jordan's next offering.I just can't help wondering how big it'll be though, as they seem to be getting shorter and shorter each time i read, and, more importantly, pay for the newest addition to this wonderful saga.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2000
Fantastic book, especially coming after the relatively disappointing Path of Daggers.
Unlike a lot of the reviewers here I appreciate the depth of characterisation, and the complexity of the character relationships. 50+ characters all interlinked make this a world encompassing epic of a series.
I don't feel that Robert Jordan should end the series anytime soon, perhaps another 5+ books will be enough to tie up plots properly IMHO. My only Gripe is the length of time between books. Lets hope that book 10 will be with us in quick time. Hopefully around mid 2001
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2001
A welcome return to the series after a long wait for number 9. It was VERY good to see Mat again, as he's brought some life back into the story line. I was a little disappointed that Jordan stranded Perrin and never looked in on him again, but I expect he knows where he's going. I am still waiting for Moirane, as it is so obvious she will turn up one day. As for all the Forsaken being part of a huge transmigration program, can we please have some information on this? I can't be the only person completely swamped. One thing that must be a sure-fire sign of a good writer is that I was nearly at the end and hadn't noticed how much I had read. As an aspiring writer, I demand to know how he does that. I must agree with another reviewer, there are too many characters, and I can't remember Teslyn from Tylin, or Merilille from Myrelle, but all the important people are still there.
I'm hoping book 10 will be getting towards wrapping the whole thing up, as I am beginning to feel he just wants to string it out as long as possible. Yes books take as long as they need to tell a story and not a letter less, but that doesn't mean the plot can walk in circles for ages. I would like to know what happened to Egwene at the White Tower, and what's happened to Perrin, and there is a strange lack of Trollocs....
I wonder why I've given it four stars, but I suppose it's addictive, and I can't put these books down. WRITE FASTER...
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