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3.9 out of 5 stars154
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 15 November 2000
Well, here it is - I've been waiting for it since mid May and I was not disappointed. After the hard time I had with PoD, (i.e. I had to read it three times for it to stick in my head - Jordan's books usually go in the first time) I was hoping for something to keep my attention, and I was rewarded with a book that kept me saying "I'll just read a bit more... Maybe another chapter... or two..." It really was a book almost equal to his earlier offerings. We had many loose ends tied up, including the identity of one of the characters that I am sure will soon become a major feature, and the true identity of Corlan Dashiva, although I thought that this could have been fleshed out a little more. Having started reading the morning I got it, I finally finished at about 7pm that evening, and am re-reading it again to make sure I got everything I could out of the book. I would heartily recommend it to any WoT fan.
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on 12 December 2000
After the misery of the last book maybe we are going to see a return to form which made the first 5 books so very good. All in all an enjoyable read and i sincerely hope the author can maintain the momentum now to finish the series on the high with which he started.
My only problems i guess are ones of taste - didn't the Forsaken seem a lot more dangerous at the start of the series? :) In some ways the scale of the series has suffered but maybe this is simply due to it's size.
Now the long wait begins for the next in the series, after all this time i begin to take his comment about writing until they nail the coffin shut seriously:)
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on 11 May 2001
After the slog of the last two books, I was fearful for Book Nine of the Wheel of Time. And 250 pages in, I was tempted to speed-read through the remaining 400 pages, so laboured and ponderous the book had become. Then one shocking development took place, followed by another, followed by was as if RJ realised he could only string us along for so long. I devoured the remainder of the book, relishing every revelation and I am now eagerly awaiting Book Ten. But when I think of the awful opening third of Winter's Heart, and marvel at the fact that I was so close to abandoning ten year's worth of reading, this book is probably only worth three stars in itself. But as part of this fantastic series, let's give it four stars. Just about.
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on 25 November 2001
In this book things really do get better. I mean, what was Jordan playing at leaving Mat stuck under a building-dead for all we know-for an entire book! But really, it does get better, things start to happen again like they used to in the early books. Robert Jordan's back on track with the ninth book and i'm going to get the tenth as soon as its out(whenever that is).
One criticism i do have however is that there is too much waffle. If you cut half the descriptive jargon-that no one really understands anyway- the same story is still told, and in a lot fewer words. I'm not really complaining though-it's a good read and i'd recommend it any day.
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on 28 January 2001
I had to go back to the beginig when I got this..that's right all the way to Book 1! After about two months of rivetting reading I got to open this brilliant ( if now rather dusty ) next installment. O.K so what you really want is to find out what is going on, and in some way you do, but I just love the way he ignores convention and lets the plots play out in real time. I am a big Perrin fan ( standing just under 6ft. 3 actually ) and I wish him all the best but I would not want R.J to focus solely on him for too long. If your having problems keeping it all together then maybe I should suggest you read Spot Chases A Stick or Billy Blue Hat because this series is oneof the very best for sheer guts and scale. The continued development of all the characters is slow I will agree but also fun because you sense that this is how real people could change. I may not like all the characters but then I don't like all of you so it just reflects a very well thought epic. Fans of Gemmel ( and I am ) like his one off book story style and it does work with him but I like this slower pace as it allows characters to develop at their own pace. Any hoot, here is hoping the Light continues to shine on us all...and RJ keeps going in his amazing style.
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on 4 January 2002
Once again Jordan has served up a brilliantly involving novel, however is he straying off the beaten path? With many other fantasy novels, which do not compare to Jordan's series, I often find myself skim reading some pages which are largely irrevelant, never before have i done this with The Wheel of Time Series, until now. He has unravelled a large ball of strings and unfortunatly has not yet begun to tie knots in the end, for example the Seanchen, their invasion force should have been delt with throughly in this book, instead they are still left resting for another book. Overall i'm afraid that this story was rather drawn out, for example Matts marriage to the Daughter of the Nine Moons. The reader knew it was going to happen for most of the novel however it wasn't revealed to Matt untill the end.
During this book Jordan failed to offer as much as he did in other novels, getting bogged down in politics and as one otehr reviewer said clothes design. However he did make up with it by a fantastic ending which no doubt reaffirmed every readers love affair with the story.
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on 19 December 2000
I think Winters Heart is an improvement over the last few books, but GODS, I want the Shaido and Sevanna all dead, simply for still existing. Things are still slow in this book, but thing begin to pick up a little more steam...I just hope Robert Jordan hurries up the next book a little, and begins to pick up the pace of things a little more, as well.An ok book, but he needs to pick up the pace a lot if he wants to keep from losing his readership.
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on 25 October 2001
I wasn't very anxious to get started on this, after the disappointments of the previous volumes, but when I had finally exhausted the pile of 'books to read' there was only this one left. And it's not as bad as I expected. The story moves on again, after the stalling in book eight, and some questions are answered. Still, there are some serious flawes. One of them is that, apart from Rand, Mat & Min, everyone has turned into an arsehole. It's very hard to feel sympathy towards any of the characters other than the three mentioned.
Furthermore there are now so many Aes Sedai, Wise Ones & Windfinders going around that I've completely lost track of them. Far too many names, and they're all exactly the same anyway: stubborn and annoying old women, cardboard figures who can be forgotten as soon as you've finished the chapter they appear in.
The witches are also the main reason this story fails to get to the point. If they managed to listen to each other and the men for a change the whole of Randland would have been ready for Tarmon Gaidon by now. Instead they all 'look like steel & talk like stone' and achieve nothing. But maybe that's the point RJ is trying to make: A world run by scheming women is a mess. The thing is, that's not what I want to read. I started on this series because I expected good fantasy fiction, and for six volumes I wasn't disappointed. Now it's all become long descriptions of petty politics. But if I'd wanted to learn about politics I would have bought Macchiavelli.
RJ is capable of five-star writing, we've seen that at the start of the series, if this is his first step on the way back to that level of writing, let's hope book ten will be a bigger step.
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on 12 November 2000
After waiting for two years for the next installment I had begun to lose all hope of ever discovering where Matt had disappeared to. Now I can sleep soundly in my bed at nights as almost half of this latest installment from Robert Jordan focuses on his troubles with the Seanchan, while the rest of the novel revolves around Elayne and Rand's plotlines.
Thankfully some of those irritating loose ends were tied up, such as the identity of Cyndane, but with so many storylines and characters running simultaneously it's a wonder that Jordan can keep up with who's who, let alone expect us to do the same.
However, that aside, and the fact that the true Amyrlin was pushed to the sidelines, the standard of writing is nothing short of excellent, and any fan of the series worth their salt will not be able to put it down. I for one will be at a loose end until the next installment. Roll on Book Ten!
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on 14 November 2000
I am very happy with this book. Jordan back to his best. He's not the greatest writer ever, but he has his own niche, his own style that keeps us all coming back time after time. I could tell that he enjoyed writing this book far more than the last, which even for him must have been a drag! I'm satisfied with my purchase and if you're a fan and buy this book you will be too, i'm sure. When (eventually) all the books are finally published only then can we really judge the series - though i could wish Jordan, after finishing, edited all of his books sped them up a bit travelled back in time then released the whole lot once again, on an unsuspecting world...though that's less likely then the 10th WoT taking only three years to appear on our bookshelves...
All in all, a good job well done.
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