Top positive review
Fulfilling more promises while setting up the end.
Reviewed in the United States on September 16, 2021
This series is a vast epic fantasy, full of action, magic, romance, political and personal intrigue, and much more. With each book the number of third person limited povs grows and some of the main characters will not appear in one book or another. It is appropriate for young adults and above with no foul langue other than “in-world” curses and oaths. They are some situations that may not be appropriate for the younger audience in term of violence, and off page sex.
Book 11 is much like book 9 in that many subplots come to their end while fewer are created. It is also sadly the last book fully written by Robert Jordan in the series. He planned out and written many important parts of book 12 that was so massive they had to separate into three books. The story of what happen and how it was complete is on wiki or can be heard by listening to Brandon Sanderson speak on the writing process and how this series impacted him when he came aboard.
The book will be satisfying to the reader. I feel that there could have been more in some ways… which odd considering how much there is to the series. Some will want more action, excitement, humor or romance depending on their taste but this story as well as the series remains consistent in being well rounded. It does not become a complete filled with battle after battler nor does it become navel gazing romance.
The characters of Mat, and Perrin have overshadowed the “main” character of Rand for a long while now, and it comes out a bit more here. They seem to have the most growth and are constantly facing different and unique situations. Rand seems to be stuck a bit in growing harder as he faces more and more problems. He is also a bit stagnate in that it feels he is basically waiting for the end of the series at times or for one last thing that will help him become to man he needs to be. He is interesting but it is the characters around him such as Min who are more so. I think his struggle is unique among protagonist in all the series I have read but I believe that Robert Jordan had to make his main set of characters all the more interesting to balance Rand situation. Rand’s storylines are by no means boring but I do fell as a character that many of the changes personality wise we see in him happen off page and then we are exposed to him or another event that pushes further down becoming a harder person.
I really do enjoy seeing had all the other main characters have grown. The characters growth can easily be seen and are fitting for the characters who left the Two Rivers in book one or were introduced to early one in the series. It is odd in some ways consider how little time has passed in the world and see how the characters have grown into leaders. It might feel like they are a bit too competent at times but the in-world reasoning is sound and the cream does rise to the top. The Taverin element of the story helps with this as well. The circular nature of the universe in its very name, “Wheel of Time,” further adds to this. The suspension of disbelief is almost easy in this book.
This series is something I encourage all to read at least once if they are into epic fantasy or want to see how an author can handle such a large series fairly smoothly. For the most part nothing takes the reader out and only a few situations slow the pace or a seem a bit off. For the causal reader it is an invest of time but a good one.