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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Wheel continues to weave...
I was not disappointed with Path of Daggers, but I would hope the next/last installment won't be long in coming. I re-read the whole series before reading it, and I think that made the difference in how enjoyable it was. If a measure of a good book is that it leaves you wanting more, Path has accomplished it's goal. I want to know what Cadsuane is going to teach the...
Published on 20 Aug. 1999

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly disappointing
The Path of Daggers was originally published in October 1998 and was released two and a half years after the previous volume (which had ended on a cliffhanger), the longest gap between books in the series at that time. As a result, expectations for this book were high. When the book finally arrived, people were taken aback by its slimness (at least compared to other books...
Published on 10 Mar. 2004 by A. Whitehead


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly disappointing, 10 Mar. 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 Path Of Daggers: Book 8 of the Wheel of Time: 8/12 (Mass Market Paperback)
The Path of Daggers was originally published in October 1998 and was released two and a half years after the previous volume (which had ended on a cliffhanger), the longest gap between books in the series at that time. As a result, expectations for this book were high. When the book finally arrived, people were taken aback by its slimness (at least compared to other books in the series) and its failure to address that cliffhanger from the prior volume. Reviews of the book were negative and even today some fans continue to cite this as the weakest book in the series (although the majority agree that that honour goes to the tenth book). For a series that had almost been immune to criticism up to this point, this book marked a serious turning point for the worse.

The book opens in the aftermath of events in A Crown of Swords. Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, has been proclaimed King of Illian after killing the Forsaken Sammael. His satisfaction is short-lived, however. The Seanchan have returned in great force and in a blitzkrieg campaign lasting several weeks have swept through the south-west of the continent, conquering the kingdom of Tarabon and capturing the cities of Amador and Ebou Dar (the capitals of Amadicia and Altara, respectively) in rapid succession. Already fearing they might march on Illian next, Rand concocts a plan to bottle them up in Ebou Dar, but is unaware that there are those in his own ranks who are preparing to move against him.

Meanwhile, in Ghealdan Perrin makes contact with Queen Alliandre as part of his mission to track down and neutralise the increasingly insane and dangerous 'Prophet of the Dragon', Masema. At the same time, the leaders of the Borderlands have led a vast host southwards for an unknown reason. Nynaeve, Elayne and their loose and fractious alliance of Sea Folk Windfinders, Aes Sedai and Kin have recovered the Bowl of Winds from Ebou Dar and now have to use it to restore normal weather to the world, unaware of the consequences of their actions. And in the White Tower Elaida walks a fine line as she is blackmailed by Alviarin into doing things that will shatter the sisterhood, whilst her secret agents continue their hunt for the Black Ajah.

A plot summary of Path of Daggers sounds exciting, and the news that the book features a significant military showdown between Rand and the Seanchan should be impressive. However, The Path of Daggers is beset by numerous problems that prevent it from being fully enjoyable. First off, the level of filler in this book is much worse than any previous volume. There are several chapters where characters are riding along arguing with one another, or discussing the plot, or making it clear how much they hate one another. These points are slammed home again and again by Robert Jordan for no clear purpose. The battles between Rand and the Seanchan are intriguing and the messy ending to the engagement is an important moment in the series, but it comes far too late in the book. Perrin's story proceeds at an absolute crawl and he barely has any screen-time in the book, whilst Mat has none. Jordan's point that Mat is recovering from his wounds and thus isn't doing anything interesting in the story at this moment is well-taken, but at the same time the ambiguity of Mat's fate in the prior volume was part of what made the book's ending powerful and interesting. It being completely ignored for four and a half years until Book 9 was annoying. However, re-reading the series now this isn't so much of a problem.

Up until The Path of Daggers, the structural and writing problems with the series could to some extent be ignored because the story was still compelling and the reader was encouraged to read on no matter what. However, at this point and through the next two books these problems start to actually interfere with the readability of the books. The pace slows to a crawl and events that would have been covered in a few chapters in previous books now span entire novels. For some reason Jordan ignored the basic writing maxim that as you build up to a series finale you have to increase the pace and intensity of events, and as a result the series becomes somewhat more difficult to read in-depth from this point on.

The Path of Daggers (**½) doesn't suffer from quite so many problems as it did on first release, but it still represents a significant failure in both writing and editing that makes it a shadow of the book it could have been. The book is available in the UK from Orbit and in the USA from Tor.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bored...Zzzz., 17 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Path Of Daggers: Book 8 of the Wheel of Time: 8/12 (Mass Market Paperback)
This book was a big disappointment. Having being introduced into the series by a friend in Febuary 2000, I proceeded to read and purchase all of the WoT books in chronological order. I finished "A Crown of Swords" and went to the bookshop a week later to buy Book 8. After plodding my way through the uninspired plot I came up with several questions. Where's Mat? Why all the political business with Egwene...? Why o why the'folding of arms below breasts'? I thoroughly enjoyed the previous books but this was slow and almost put me off the WoT. Thankfully Book 9 should be out in a little while and Robert Jordan will have taken note of the negative reviews and described the action more graphically and reverted to his original skill and flair.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Slower and slower the Wheel turns....., 9 Nov. 1998
By A Customer
This series started off so well- action, pace, adventure, it had it all! Now it looks as if the Wheel of Time will have turned full circle by the time the series ends! Path of Daggers continues the deteriation of this series from its excellent beginnings to the current below-boredom threshold. If only I'd never started reading the series and didn't want to get to the end (if there ever is one?).
A pity Rand doesn't even get into the story until half way through the book, and then achieves so little he may as well not even be in it.
A little less colourful description of the scenery and a lot more plot development in the next book may restore my faith that the books do actually have an end- come on Robert, you can do better than this- just go back and read the first two books in the series and you'll get my drift.
In summary, if you haven't started reading this series yet, now is not the time to start! Wait another 4,6,8,or ten years until its finished(?), then it might be worth reading the whole story in one go, otherwise you'll forget most of the point of the series by the time you get to the end.
P.S. Sorry if you read this Mr Jordan, but after all the hype in the build-up to this book (your best ever, you've been quoted as saying)it was such a terrible let-down. As my teachers used to say 'must try harder'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Wheel continues to weave..., 20 Aug. 1999
By A Customer
I was not disappointed with Path of Daggers, but I would hope the next/last installment won't be long in coming. I re-read the whole series before reading it, and I think that made the difference in how enjoyable it was. If a measure of a good book is that it leaves you wanting more, Path has accomplished it's goal. I want to know what Cadsuane is going to teach the Ashamen and how Logain is going to gain glory. Who's is the other cage that Moriden has, and how Moiraine will return (Min's viewings NEVER fail)
I'm not after a 'quick' fix, but I would like a properly involved resolution with his next book. I would rather wait for a few years and have a 2000+ page finish, than to keep being strung along. Besides, there will always be another age and Rand can show up in someone elses head!
Bring it on!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Disappointing Addition to a Great Saga, 25 April 1999
By A Customer
This book was a big disappointment. Unfortunately, Books Seven and Eight of the Wheel of Time have been the weakest entries in the series. What's worse is that the waits between books have been getting longer. Which means that the momentum that had been building up through the first six books has slowly faded away. The only silver lining for Wheel of Time fans is that this book ends with promise. If Jordan can't deliver the goods in Book Nine, it will be clear that his reach exceeded his grasp. Fans expect more after such a long build-up than countless pages describing a trip to a farm, or women squabbling like hens. Give us something to get excited about RJ! This just ain't gonna cut it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dont be such Cynics, 9 Nov. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Path Of Daggers: Book 8 of the Wheel of Time: 8/12 (Mass Market Paperback)
Robert Jordan set out to create one of the greatest fantasy Epics of all time, and up till now has been amazingly successful. However, everyone is complaining that this book is too short, or that it took to long to come out etc. This is simply not true. Since he started Robert Jordan has been giving more than should be expected of any writer. But many people have been spoilt and now expect this all the time. Give the guy a rest. And those people complaining about the plot, calm down. It may be a bit fuzzy for most of the book, but the plot was so complex at the end of the last one that he needed to slow down a bit and start trying to tie up loose ends. Dont worry. It will pick up again.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment, thy name is The Path of Daggers, 31 Aug. 2006
By 
Josie Wells - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Path Of Daggers: Book 8 of the Wheel of Time: 8/12 (Mass Market Paperback)
What has happened to this series?! The first 6 books were great, setting higher standards for the genre. So without a doubt this has to be the biggest disappointment EVER of the series. It takes 5 chapters to get to a farm and get up a hill!!! Whenever an action scene materialises (which is rare), its always about weaving the flows of the one power or something thats completely irrelevant about someones clothing or how that asha'man was looking at me funny. And what is the constant obsession with Perrin and Faile's feelings towards each other? The progress in this book is non-existent. Instead of actually interesting stuff we're given dull feelings, details about clothing and the mind numbingly boring shaido! WE GET IT ALREADY, THEY HAVE NO HONOUR! Only buy this book if you want to complete this series.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Get on with it!, 26 Nov. 2012
By 
Jrc Salter "jrcsalter" (England) - See all my reviews
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So we have now come to a point in the Wheel of Time series where there are so many characters, so many plot lines, so many things going on that Jordan feels he has to spend literally half the book reintroducing us to everything. Aside from using the Bowl of the winds (finally!) at the beginning, nothing happens for the first half. Rand himself doesn't appear until around 48% of the way through. Then we actually get a large scale battle and it's quite good, but can't match the excitement of Dumai's Well's.

Basically, the whole book is a mess. Like the last couple, there is no clear direction, but unlike any of the others, this feels like it's missing a few pages. We seem to completely skip Rand's first encounter with the Seanchan and move on to the next. We get virtually no insight into how Rand feels about being an actual king which I would have thought would be a major thing considering how Jordan tells us every tiny thing happening inside the characters' heads. Some of the plot is told retrospectively in the thoughts of characters which is a HUGE authorial mistake and goes against the general rule of 'show, don't tell'.

Having said this, however, the good bits are good. Egwene begins to assert her authority over the Hall, Perrin and Faile begin to get along better, Rand uses Callandor for the first time since Shadow Rising, to remarkable and devastating effect. But most of these things could easily have been used in either the Crown of Swords or Winter's Heart. The only reason I can think of for this book to exist would be just to have the cliff hangers and open endings Path of Daggers has. Even though they are good hooks to get you to buy the next book, doesn't mean an entire book should be written as an excuse to write them; the endings would be difficult to fit into Crown of Swords, but would work as a beginning to Winter's Heart. Rand defeating Sammael and becoming King of Illian in Crown of Swords feels like a natural ending, but Jordan could have easily have Rand go against the Seanchan in that book. The two-battle ending worked in Fires of Heaven and could do so here as well. The usage of the Bowl of the Winds could have worked in Crown of Swords too. The rest of Path of Daggers could have acted as the beginning to Winter's Heart.

So, all in all, this, along with Crossroads of Twilight, is one of two books I've read that doesn't need to exist at all. Read only as a means to progress the story and speed read most of it to get it done faster.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Better focus makes for a better book eight, 23 Jan. 2010
By 
Jim J-R (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Path Of Daggers: Book 8 of the Wheel of Time: 8/12 (Mass Market Paperback)
A seventy day gap between the previous novel and this one seems to have been a little too long as I have lost track of who several characters are and what others are up to. In a way I pity those readers who have been reading these books as they were published - they do suffer from a lack of catch up at the beginning, instead assuming that you have put one book down the same moment that you pick up the next.

This book starts well, then ducks down a little toward the end, before jumping back up again at it's conclusion. For the most part the storyline comes in chunks, with a section the length of any normal paperback focussing on just one character's story before moving on to the next, which makes the book feel more structured than one that flits around. Toward the end though it switches back to flitting for a while as the various threads are tied up, which while necessary feels a little awkward.

The main focus of this novel is back to Rand I felt, but with equal parts dedicated to Elayne and Egwene in the first half and to a lesser extent Perrin. Several coincidences occur that are just about believable as the characters pretty much continue with what they were doing before, with the added bonus of a Seanchan attack. I still think of Rand as the main character despite the rather large ensemble cast and so was glad to be back in his head for significant portions of this book.

I am disappointed with the characterization of Nynaeve in this one though - despite only a day having passed from the previous novel she has undergone something of a paradigm shift overnight and barely says a word. Mat is also completely absent again which is irritating as we're left completely in suspense. There were only a few passages that irritated me. One big reveal was made far to easily, then another. The aforementioned coincidence was deal with well, but there was an occurrence near the end where the reader was left to infer what had happened in the narrative, but the glossary at the end gave it away completely. I recommend not reading the glossaries - they contain spoilers but none of the information you need about what has happened in the earlier books.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Patience is a Virtue, 7 July 1999
By A Customer
It would appear that many readers are losing patience as Jordan's tale unfolds. I suppose they would prefer it if the Seanchan signed a nonaggression pact sealed by Mat's marriage to the Empress, if Taim and the Aes Sedai finally found the pull of ta'veren too powerful to resist, and, after the discovery of a secret cache hidden in Tar Valon, everyone armed themselves with sa'angreal to wink through a gateway to Shayol Ghul, blasting, with the requisite degree of drama, the Forsaken and the Dark One into the next Age. This would certainly satisfy action junkies inured to the simplicity and contrivence of authors such as Eddings, McCaffrey, or Brooks. And, as ninety-five percent of fantasy fiction is pure pulp published at the rate of at least one book a year, demanding little in terms of reader participation or discrimination, I suppose it should not be surprising that many readers are abandoning this series in favor of the quick fix.
Granted, this book is, along with "Eye of the World," one of the weaker offerings of the series. Devoted in large part to serving the evolution of the larger storyline, much of "Path of Daggers" is concerned with developing the plot and positioning the characters in obvious preparation for the next major phase in the story. Like a strategist readying the field, Jordan is moving his players around prior to launching the next campaign. But to do otherwise, I would contend, would do much to undermine the realism and credibility he has built up in the story thus far, and could only be accomplished by means of contrivance or expediency that would erode the plot construction he has worked so skillfully to create. Certainly it would be expedient to swiftly bring the army of rebel Aes Sedai before Tar Valon by means of a gate, or have Mat accidentally bump into the Empress on the streets of Ebou Dar, but only at a cost to the realism of the story. However, what has distinguished Jordan so far from the majority of his fellow writers, beside the sheer scope of his story, is his ability to believably create a vast and multifaceted world interwoven into a rich and multi-layered tale consisting of many threads without tangling either the overall pattern or losing the individual detailed strands of the story. It remains quite an accomplishment for this genre.
Those readers seeking simple diversion through reading - and there's nothing wrong with that - should abandon this work and look elsewhere. Those who want more from their reading will be rewarded in continuing. Finally, for those who have counterposed Martin's new work to Jordan's, let my suggest the following qualification: Much as I admire "Game of Thrones" and "Clash of Kings," and have great expectations for the future, Martin's series has just begun, and has a ways to go before comparisons can become constructive.
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The Path Of Daggers: Book 8 of the Wheel of Time: 8/12
The Path Of Daggers: Book 8 of the Wheel of Time: 8/12 by Robert Jordan (Mass Market Paperback - 2 Sept. 1999)
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