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Winter's Heart: Book Nine of The Wheel of Time (Wheel of Time, 9) Mass Market Paperback – February 25, 2020
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Praise for Robert Jordan and The Wheel of Time®
“His huge, ambitious Wheel of Time series helped redefine the genre.” ―George R. R. Martin, author of A Game of Thrones
“Anyone who’s writing epic or secondary world fantasy knows Robert Jordan isn’t just a part of the landscape, he’s a monolith within the landscape.” ―Patrick Rothfuss, author of the Kingkiller Chronicle series
“The Eye of the World was a turning point in my life. I read, I enjoyed. (Then continued on to write my larger fantasy novels.)” ―Robin Hobb, author of the award-winning Realm of the Elderlings series
“Robert Jordan's work has been a formative influence and an inspiration for a generation of fantasy writers.” ―Brent Weeks, New York Times bestselling author of The Way of Shadows
“Jordan’s writing is so amazing! The characterization, the attention to detail!” ―Clint McElroy, co-creator of the #1 podcast The Adventure Zone
“[Robert Jordan's] impact on the place of fantasy in the culture is colossal... He brought innumerable readers to fantasy. He became the New York Times bestseller list face of fantasy.” ―Guy Gavriel Kay, author of A Brightness Long Ago
“Robert Jordan was a giant of fiction whose words helped a whole generation of fantasy writers, including myself, find our true voices. I thanked him then, but I didn’t thank him enough.” ―Peter V. Brett, internationally bestselling author of The Demon Cycle series
“I don’t know anybody who’s been as formative in crafting me as a writer as [Robert Jordan], and for that I will be forever grateful.” ―Tochi Onyebuchi, author of Riot Baby and War Girls
“I’ve mostly never been involved in any particular fandom, the one exception of course was The Wheel of Time.” ―Marie Brennan, author of the Memoirs of Lady Trent series
“I owe Robert Jordan so much. Without him, modern fantasy would be bereft of the expansive, deep worlds and the giant casts which I love so dearly. It's not often I can look at another author and say: that person paved my way. But such is exactly the case with Jordan.” ―Jenn Lyons, author of The Ruin of Kings
“You can't talk about epic fantasy without acknowledging the titanic influence Robert Jordan has had on the genre.” ―Jason Denzel, author of Mystic and founder of Dragonmount.com
“Jordan has come to dominate the world Tolkien began to reveal.” ―The New York Times
“The Wheel of Time [is] rapidly becoming the definitive American fantasy saga. It is a fantasy tale seldom equaled and still less often surpassed in English.” ―Chicago Sun-Times
“Hard to put down for even a moment. A fittingly epic conclusion to a fantasy series that many consider one of the best of all time.” ―San Francisco Book Review
“The most ambitious American fantasy saga [may] also be the finest. Rich in detail and his plot is rich in incident. Impressive work, and highly recommended.” ―Booklist
“Recalls the work of Tolkien.” ―Publishers Weekly
“This richly detailed fantasy presents fully realized, complex adventure. Recommended.” ―Library Journal
“Jordan has come to dominate the world that Tolkien began to reveal.” ―The New York Times
“Jordan is able to take ... familiar elements and make them his own, in a powerful novel of wide and complex scope. Open religious and political conflicts add a gritty realism, while the cities and courts provide plenty of drama and splendor. Women have a stronger role than in Tolkien.... Each character in this large cast remains distinct.... Their adventures are varied, and exciting.... The Eye of the World stands alone as a fantasy epic.” ―Locus
“Robert Jordan has created a fantasy world as tangible and credible as history. He has a fine eye for detail and a vivid sense of drama.” ―Morgan Llewelyn
“Robert Jordan's The Eye of the World proves that there's still plenty of life in the ancient tradition of epic fantasy. Jordan has a powerful vision of good and evil-- but what strikes me as most pleasurable about The Eye of the World is all the fascinating people moving through a rich and interesting world.” ―Orson Scott Card
“Jordan's world is rich in detail and his plot is rich in incident. Impressive work, and highly recommended.” ―ALA Booklist
About the Author
- Publisher : Tor Fantasy (February 25, 2020)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 656 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250252105
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250252104
- Item Weight : 12 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.29 x 1.39 x 7.47 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #166,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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I don't have a lot of time to sit and read, so I listen to a lot of books on Audible. This series is a treat for me because I have the books on Kindle and Audible, and they synchronize with each other. I can listen a while, then read a while, then listen again without losing my place.
With this particular book in the series, I noticed that my Kindle version was not staying synced with my Audible version. So I opted to delete the Audible book and download the narration in the Kindle app. It's the same recording, but I figured since I was accessing both through the Kindle app, they would stay synched up better. For most of the book they have, though the word highlighting has been a few lines off from the narration for a good portion of the book...but that wasn't a huge deal. At least it got me to the right page page.
But there are other problems. First, the narration periodically repeats a full sentence. It's a simple editing mistake, and mostly just annoying.
Worst of all, a significant portion of the book is missing. Chapter 32, Chapter 33, and most of Chapter 34 are just not there. I hope that Amazon will fix this problem!
As is typical with my WoT reviews, there will be very light spoilers below (things like which characters appear in this installment), and then I will place a spoiler hidden section at the end to mention more specific things.
So, I feel I must mention I do have to eat my words a tiny bit. I even alluded to the fact that I may have to do so in my review of book eight. This one was slow. Slower than the ones that came before it, and I think the time it took me to read it is evidence of that. I want to be clear though; do not read 'slow' as 'bad' because that would be a mistake. It's a good book; it's just that certain events taking place right now are not fast-paced. Plain and simple.
I did have a hunch as I moved farther into the book though, and I looked this up to confirm it; the tenth book, Crossroads of Twilight, takes place concurrently with Winter's Heart. Similar to what GRRM did with his fourth and fifth Song of Ice and Fire books, if I understand correctly. What this is, basically, is a natural inevitability of a spreading of plot lines. Our POV characters are distant from each other, so rather than get all of our characters in one book with a glacial pace, we get only some of them so that things can move a bit quicker (albeit still not very quickly). So there are some marked characters almost entirely missing from this installment. Egwene for instance, whose absence is felt heavier than most simply because of where her plot line was heading at the end of book eight. Perrin also has very little time. Now, from a more positive perspective, this allowed us to spend time with some characters who I thought were sorely lacking screen time; namely Mat. I think we have more Mat POV chapters in Winter's Heart than in any other book, which I loved as I think his plot line is one of the more interesting ones in the series. And while even his story line throughout the book lagged a little, by the end it was intensely readable, and I really can't wait to see what happens with him next. Though, I imagine I'll have to wait until book eleven to do so. Rand's plot line was also excellent in this one, but it always is, so it's sort of a given.
So I have our missing POVs to look forward to for book ten, and the results of the absolutely insane final chapter of book nine to anticipate for book eleven. As always I am enthralled with the world Jordan has created, and I've spent so much time with these characters that I can't help but love spending more. I was also very impressed with Jordan's playing with POV in this one; especially in the last chapter. There have been times in the past where I criticized his POV changes and inclusions as feeling unnatural or forced; not the case in Winter's Heart. Not the case at all. I also loved getting some enlightening POV chapters from the Seanchan, as well as the Atha'an Miere.
Crossroads of Twilight is up next.
Per usual this is a clean book In terms of language but does have some adult situations, violence, and a grim tone . It never ever gets explicit or overwhelming but I do believe that series itself is fitting for young adults and above.
Again I struggled between 4 and 5 star rating. But I have to give it a 5 Because otherwise I feel like I'd be knit picking, And I was aware of the genre and what this is when I came to series. Audible version also keeps you on the hook with tremendous voice acting. The length of seires, vast amount of details and storylines, and overall all span of the story are designed to be such. Part of what is so satisfying in this book is that certain promises that have been long incoming finally has been fulfilled. I can only sigh in relief at that.
Honestly the pacing is a bit slow at times but not sluggish. The storylines keep you interested for the most part hooking you in. I enjoyed Mats storyline as he brings alot of humor to the series as he grows. The constant play of male verses female personalities and perceptions is full of humor and hots the mark at times.
When it comes to romances I don't want to spoil things but I will say some of the relationships are strange but fit in terms of the fantasy worlds cultures and situations. Those varying dynamics make this more than a sword and sorcery epic fantasy.
With everything that is moving around. It seems that the seires is it now starting to take turns between certain characters appearingin each book. I suspect as a series starts to wind down that all the characters are going to start coming back together. That's how it normally goes in smaller series at least. I do think it has been worth it to read/ listen to the seires.
Top reviews from other countries
The reason I love this series, though, is for the main cast, and the story overall. My only gripe regarding the main characters would be regarding Mat. It’s Book 9, and I’ve seen very little to explain why he seems to be such a fan favourite. I love the scenes that he’s been in so far (previous books), but they’ve been too few and far between. Would love to look up a statistic which illustrates how many chapters were devoted to each character. Mat seems to be woefully underrepresented, for such a charismatic and interesting character. (While he was missing for the entire first half of this book, he did have a significant portion of the second half devoted to him).
As usual, the ending means I feel like grabbing the next book immediately to find out what happened. Which is a good thing.
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.
There is no doubt that the pace of this book is slower the earlier books and it feels much more compartmentalized: The first section follows Perrin, the second follows Elayne, the third follows Mat and the fourth Rand.
However, knowing what happens in the story subsequent to this book, I think the sequence of events laid out here can really be viewed as the foundations for the end of the series. It (and CoT) is a prologue for the final books, so many important things happen that can only be properly appreciated retrospectively.
For this reason, WH gets 4 stars instead of 3 second time around.
Much loved series
There are always New twists and turns, totally unpredictable. The depth of Jordan's imagination amazes me. Pure brilliance.