Title: Knife of Dreams
Series: Wheel of Time #11
Well, here I am at Book #11, Knife of Dreams. Honestly, the last few books in the series, I didn’t even bother to review in-depth because they just dragged on too much and I couldn’t form coherent thoughts about them. They were honestly three star books at best for me, even though I wanted to love them. SO, I was very pleasantly surprised when the last book actually written by Jordan picked up the pace quite a bit – I thoroughly enjoyed it!! Jordan finally tied up some threads that had been dangling for quite some time and started us on a path that felt like it could actually lead us to the end. Yay!! This was a great book for Jordan to end on (even though I know this wasn’t truly the end for him, since he mapped out the final books in the series before he died).
- Wordy. Let’s face it, Jordan is a bit verbose – no, very verbose. He likes to tell us in detail what every character the current narrator comes across is wearing, what expressions cross his or her face, how dusty the road is that they’re walking on, the exact time of day that such and such occurred … you get the idea. All of this said with as many words as possible. Or at least that’s how it feels. He also stuffs so many plotlines into one book that it’s practically impossible to cover them all and actually make any progress on any of them (I mean, honestly, just look how long the synopsis is!!). This book is no exception when it comes to wordiness, but Jordan did actually manage to pick up the plot in this book, so I was able to forgive him his wandering.
- Too many characters. Again, this is really a flaw of the series as a whole, and it was actually much better in this book, but the issue didn’t go away completely. There are so darn many characters in these books that I feel like I need a character reference chart by my side at all times to actually know who Jordan is referring to a lot of the time. I mean, seriously, check out this link. This is just a list of what someone deemed the “major” characters in the book – there have to be at least 300 characters listed! I honestly just don’t have the mental energy or the inclination to keep track of all these people and I don’t have a list sitting next to me when I’m listening to my audiobooks (nor do I want to). Worse yet, Jordan will occasionally tell the story from one of these random character’s POVs and I’m forced to sit and try and figure out who’s head I’m in and what they have to do with the story as a whole. I. Just. Can’t. Do. It. So, I’ve gotten to the point where I no longer try. I just blithely listen – and if I don’t know who I’m listening to, I make the best of it and eventually figure it out (at least well enough).
- His characters (the actual main ones). There is absolutely no way that I could actually completely give up on this series because I am way too invested in these main characters. I adore Rand al’Thor almost as much as Min, Elayne and Aviendha do. I want to see what happens to this driven man, whether or not he will truly go mad and if he’ll make it past the Last Battle. I NEEDED to see Perrin finally rescue Faile (he did!! – I’m not considering this a spoiler, since we’ve basically been waiting for three books for it to happen). I am completely invested in the roguish and always amusing Mat Cauthon and I desperately wanted to know how he would end up marrying Tuon (again, not a spoiler since it was prophesied ages ago). I can’t wait to find out how Egwene will finally repair the White Tower and I couldn’t help but cheer when Nynaeve and Lan finally got married! These characters have my heart and soul and I won’t abandon them. (I just might tune them out occasionally when they go on too long about what they’re eating for breakfast.)
- The battle against The Dark One. It’s epic. I mean, truly epic – and I HAVE to find out what will happen at Tarmon Gai’don. Are there a few too many Dark Friends for me to keep track of? Well, yes. But they are all deliciously evil and quite twisted, each in their very own ways. In each book, the stakes get higher and higher as the Last Battle gets closer – and I can’t wait!!
- His story. Jordan was an amazing storyteller! When he was alive he managed to weave a thousand threads together in ways that would sometimes frustrate me, but would also leave me in awe. The Wheel of Time series has to be one of the most huge undertakings in fantasy. And for all it’s flaws, it’s still amazing. I can’t wait to find out how Jordan mapped out the final chapters of his story. I’m sure that Brandon Sanderson has done it justice!