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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I have read since Lord of the Rings and Dune
I stumbled across Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series by accident when I bought a 5 for the price of 4 offer on the first books in several famous fantasy series. The Eye of the World gripped me much more than the others, and I've just completed this 4th episode. The major characters have been developed very well over the 4 books, and the 3 or 4 starnds of...
Published on 27 Jun 2001

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lengthy and diverse
The Shadow Rising is definitely a book divided in to thirds. The first few hundred pages expertly entwines the build up of this chapter with a summary of the last three books. There is then a further, less pacey section with deals with culture, exploration of new content in the form of dreamscapes and the further definition of the Forsaken, the minions of evil. This...
Published on 28 Dec 2007 by SonicQuack


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I have read since Lord of the Rings and Dune, 27 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Shadow Rising: Book 4 of the Wheel of Time: 4/12 (Mass Market Paperback)
I stumbled across Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series by accident when I bought a 5 for the price of 4 offer on the first books in several famous fantasy series. The Eye of the World gripped me much more than the others, and I've just completed this 4th episode. The major characters have been developed very well over the 4 books, and the 3 or 4 starnds of narrative are always interowrked skillfully. What sets this episode above the first 3 for me ( and they were very good) is the thread where the central character, Rand Al'Thor, discovers the history of the Aiel through the memories of his direct ancestors. Another development is the increased importance of the dream world "Tel an' Rhiad?" and the development of the powers of Egwene et al. The continued presence of the Forsaken , the Seanchan and the black Ajah keep all threads exciting and interesting: I like my plots complex!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best so Far, 4 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Shadow Rising: Book 4 of the Wheel of Time: 4/12 (Mass Market Paperback)
This is the fourth in the series and, in my opinion, the best so far. I say that after having read up to Volume Eight.
It's written, as usual, from the POV (Point of View) of a number of the major characters. The POV characters here are Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve. There are also a number of one off POV chapters including one by Moiraine which is revealing. I never realised quite how cynically manipulative she was. As before, the main characters split up and go to different places to do different things, some to the Aiel, some to chase the Black Ajah and one, Perrin, returns home.
The Aiel chapters are interesting, revealing much about them, their customs, history, lifestyle, etc. We find out why they let traders from Cairhien travel the waste up until Laman's sin and also why they dislike and avoid the Travelling People. The chapter where all this is revealed is one of the best in the book and it also contains a few tantalising glimpses of the world around the time of the Breaking. Many prophecies are revealed and fulfilled here and it's probably a good idea to look up Min's viewing in Volume One and Padan Fain's scrawl from Volume Two to see how they fit in.
The hunt for the Black Ajah I found the most disappointing, it takes a long time for anything to develop and Nynaeve isn't a very sympathetic character in my opinion, there's only so far you can go with an arrogant, pushy and stubborn woman like her. Thankfully there are less of these chapters than the other segments.
Perrin's return home is the best section, developing Perrin as a character and fleshing out the Two Rivers. Part of Padan Fain's scrawl in Volume Two is explained here so it's a good idea to look it up. As for the rest, I can't say much more without revealing the plot so I won't.
Criticisms can be levied, and have been by other reviewers. Yes it's long (1005 pages) - but if it's a good story that's a plus not a criticism. Yes, it takes a while to develop - but, again, that's a plus, the story isn't hurried and unwinds at a natural pace. This is the best book so far. Buy it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lengthy and diverse, 28 Dec 2007
By 
SonicQuack (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
The Shadow Rising is definitely a book divided in to thirds. The first few hundred pages expertly entwines the build up of this chapter with a summary of the last three books. There is then a further, less pacey section with deals with culture, exploration of new content in the form of dreamscapes and the further definition of the Forsaken, the minions of evil. This middle section is tough going and before the action gets going another four hundred pages have passed. The final third, a siege, a daring infiltration and a clash of culture are all well crafted and ensure the first two thirds are well spent. Many of the main plot lines are closed, with a myriad of new paths created to ensure the fifth instalment is eagerly sought out. Overall, Shadow Rising is a competent entry in the series, but it is too long, with content that could be presented in a more slick fashion.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book in the series, 17 Feb 2004
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Shadow Rising: Book 4 of the Wheel of Time: 4/12 (Mass Market Paperback)
The Shadow Rising is the fourth Wheel of Time novel and, through the highly scientific method of checking a few fan-forums, appears to be regarded as the best. At a whopping 1,000 pages and just shy of 400,000 words in length, it's also the longest.

The Shadow Rising picks up after the events of the third book. Anyway, Rand al'Thor has taken the Sword That Is Not A Sword, Callandor, The Sword Which Cannot Be Touched, The Sword Which Has Too Many Fricking Names, Just Pick One And Stick With It. As a result he has been proclaimed the Dragon Reborn and the nations of Tear and Mayene have sworn loyalty to him. With the evil Forsaken seizing control of other kingdoms across the continent, it appears that Rand has little choice but to go to war against them. Instead, he wrong-foots both his enemies and allies by delivering humanitarian aid to the neighbouring, warring kingdom of Cairhien and travelling into the Aiel Waste, where he hopes to unify the feuding warrior-clans under his leadership. At the same time, his friend Perrin returns home to the Two Rivers, which is under attack by Shadowspawn, and Nynaeve, Elayne, Thom and Juilin head to the distant city of Tanchico in pursuit of the evil Black Ajah, Aes Sedai sworn to the service of the Dark One.

This breaking of the narrative into three storylines which proceed simultaneously worked very well for the third volume, The Dragon Reborn, and continues to work well here. Jordan's sometimes sluggish pacing isn't so much of a problem here as we flip between events in Tanchico, the Two Rivers and the Waste fairly rapidly, and there's an additional subplot set in Tar Valon which delivers some devastating plot developments on the Aes Sedai front in a very economical manner. The worldbuilding is advanced impressively as we get a decent look at the Age of Legends and the way the world was before and during the War of the Shadow, and character-wise we see some interesting maturing and advancement for the likes of Mat, Nynaeve, Perrin and Rand. Unfortunately, other characters come off badly. Moiraine is inert for a lot of the narrative, and Elayne continues to annoy whilst Aviendha is probably the most irritating character in the series at this point. Also, Jordan's somewhat juvenile views of male-female relations reaches their apex here, with supposedly comedic or ironic musings on the way men and women interact falling very flat indeed. The book also wears its influences strongly, although the mixing of Dune with the Scouring of the Shire is diluted by enough original characters and ideas so it doesn't irritate as much as the first book's nods to Tolkien.

The pacing is crisp, the characters and world develop most satisfyingly, and Jordan very cleverly laces some narrative time-bombs into the mix which don't bear fruit for several books, but when they do are all the more satisfying.

The Shadow Rising (****½) is indeed the best book in The Wheel of Time sequence and impresses as it marks the transition of the books from the 'adventure' phase to the 'political' phase and does so most satisfyingly. The book is published by Orbit in the UK and Tor in the USA.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it!, 19 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Shadow Rising: Book 4 of the Wheel of Time: 4/12 (Mass Market Paperback)
This has to be one of the best books I have ever read. I am completely hooked on The Wheel of Time series. The world created seems so real, it is amazing! I loved the development of the storyline and the characters. The way Robert Jordan writes is magic. I finished the book within two weeks and would gladly pick it up again. As soon as I had finished it I wanted to carry on with the next one. Definately a worth while read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Undoubtedly the most intricate fantasy world ever created., 3 July 2007
By 
Ryan (Berlin, DE) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Shadow Rising: Book 4 of the Wheel of Time: 4/12 (Mass Market Paperback)
What Tolkein had only begun to achieve in LOTR - to construct a whole other world - Robert Jordan is fulfilling in grand style. Whereas Tolkein told a rather tight, focused story of a relatively small group of people, whose adventures take different paths through various landscapes, hinting at the histories and cultures he envisions, Jordan's vision is much more sprawling and complete; taking in an entire continent, intricately constructing countries and peoples, with their individual customs, beliefs and politics. This can ultimately lead to an overload of information at times; the sheer number of characters you need to keep track of is staggering, and although Jordan's reminders can be sometimes jarringly out of place - no matter how subtle - they are required to keep up with many of the less prominent plot threads.

And the plot development in this book is the best so far, with many of the more prominent characters finally getting a chance to shine without relying heavily of support from those around them, and all the carefully woven elements from the first quarter of the series finally bearing tangible fruit. In many places, Jordan manages a hat trick of not only extending the history and canonical lore of the world even further whilst simultaneously progressing the storyline, but at the same time threads in information and characters which you just know are going to open up even more of the same in later chapters and books.

The pace of the book is fantastic; Jordan manages to thread the narrative skilfully throughout, whilst keeping the action flowing in a strong, steady stream, making sure there's always something to keep you reading - almost all of the time, at least.

One of the few flaws of book 4 is that some of the more obtuse subplots do tend to receive an seemingly unnecessary amount of attention. Whilst all the extra background will doubtless come into play in later books, reading through large chunks set aside from any of the main plot lines or characters can feel like a bit of a slog sometimes.

I would have to say that book 4 has been my favourite so far, with not only the characters becoming much stronger, but also the way that all the information scattered throughout the first three books is being pulled into a rich tapestry serving as the backdrop to a story that can be called nothing less than epic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 26 July 2006
By 
J. Ireland "Reader" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Shadow Rising: Book 4 of the Wheel of Time: 4/12 (Mass Market Paperback)
If you enjoyed the first 3 books you will love this one, provided you take the time and effort. There is lots of travelling of the characters throughout the book which can get a bit tedious, but the excitement of the battles and comfrontations of the characters more than makes up for it. The plot is more equally divided than in the previous books with chapters from the points of view from all the major characters. I particularly thought the hunt for the black ajah was the most exciting part of the book and jordan has developed the ladies Nynaeve, Elayne and Egwene making them more like aes sedai with each chapter in their way of thinking and giving them more independence than before.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Yet, 31 Aug 2004
This review is from: The Shadow Rising: Book 4 of the Wheel of Time: 4/12 (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is simply brilliant. I loved it.
I always say this about Jordan's books (see my other reviews!!) but the same applies, good character and plot development, great suspense and a good overall experience. Yet this book is even better than all the others so far in the wheel of time series.
This book features more of Rand Al'Thor than the last book (a big relief) and furthers the plot a great deal. We see Rand's adventures in the waste take up a major part of this book. Yet also Perrin Ayabara has his own sub-adventure to follow and add more suspense to the plot.
A lot of people say that these subplots are simply to pad out the books and are only parts people want to get past. But i disagree as I think that they do add something to the plot and make for a good read. They can also be a bit easier going than the complex dealings with The Dragon Reborn and his work.
Perrin's part is also supported by old charcters such as Tam Al'Thor, not seen since the first book and a good character. I will not say what happens in the sub-plot as it will ruin your reading of the book but i will say that you should read this.
The second sub-plot involves Elayne, Nynaeve, Thom Merrillin and the Thief-Taker from TDR. This bit seems to be a good piece but the weakest plot arc of the book. While the characters and general story are well developed, they spend too long walking through the streets of a dangerous town for my liking. Not a major downpoint (the only one I can think of!!)
The ending of this book is as fast-paced and powerful as ever with a mighty double barrelled fight involving Perrin and Rand, both fighting seperate battles on opposite sides of the continent. Yet these battles follow one after the other to bring the close to another piece of magnificent writing by Robert Jordan.
As I always say with these books i will reccomend this but if you have not read books 1-3, read them first. This book will make absolutely no sense without the knowledge contained within the first books.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I have to admit by this, the fourth instalment, I�m hooked., 7 Oct 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Shadow Rising: Book 4 of the Wheel of Time: 4/12 (Mass Market Paperback)
All the criticisms of the first three books are applicable to this one. It takes an age to get going. Perhaps Robert Jordan could benefit from a little judicial pruning of his stories? But after a slow start, things gather pace. The story separates into three streams, unfortunately the main story concerning Rand and the fulfilling of various prophecies is far less interesting than the story of Perrin's return to his home in Two Rivers. I always like it when characters return to places they have been before, it is easier to imagine, as you've done some of the work before, but more importantly it helps to make the world more believable.
In this book there are so many strands that it would benefit from a repeat reading, but there are some great 'Oh, no, what's going to happen now?' moments that you can appreciate the first time. We also get an insight into some past events that cast shadows over the current events.
Some of the characters are irritating, I'm thinking of Aviendha's constant bickering with Rand, but equally there are characters that you will love. Even if in this book my favourite, the travelling entertainer, Thom Merrilin, is reduced to acting as comic relief.
There are three climaxes to this novel, and they all pay off satisfactorily apart from the Rand story, which has a tacked on feeling similar to the conclusion of 'Eye of the World.' Either that or the clues were so subtle I missed them. It's quite possible, I guess I'll be able to tell on a second reading.
If you've enjoyed the first three in the series, then there is much to enjoy here. If you haven't, I suggest you start at the beginning with 'Eye of the World.' But if you're looking for an epic fantasy to lose yourself in, then you don't have to look any further than Robert Jordan.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Love and War make this the best in the series so far, 10 Aug 2009
By 
Jim J-R (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Shadow Rising: Book 4 of the Wheel of Time: 4/12 (Mass Market Paperback)
This fourth book in the series is the best so far. It's a mix of romance and war as the characters grow closer and begin to pair off in a slow start to the book - the first half seems to pass very slowly before suddenly speeding up as the second half kicks in.

Once the group has split into three directions, it's a refreshing change that they don't spend the rest of the novel being drawn back together, as the girls chase the Black Ajar, Perrin returns to the Two Rivers to defend his homeland, and Rand leads everyone else off to only he knows where.

It makes for a good mix, almost presented as three separate novels as it focusses on each group for a long period in turn, not returning to the pattern of mixing quickly between scenes until the climax nears - and what a climax there is. For once I didn't feel let down by the ending, there's plenty going on for all three groups and lots of satisfactory battles that mean the conclusion isn't rushed.

Overall I'm very impressed - the characters seem deeper and more emotionally mature, and the bad guys are more fleshed out and understandable. I'm really looking forward to reading more.
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The Shadow Rising: Book 4 of the Wheel of Time: 4/12
The Shadow Rising: Book 4 of the Wheel of Time: 4/12 by Robert Jordan (Mass Market Paperback - 5 May 1993)
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