133 of 187 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Review From the Future
Greetings Fellow Humans. I come from a thousand years in the future and have traveled back in time to tell all of you that the end is in sight and it is worth the wait. Robert Jordan, having his consciousness digitized has greatly increased his efficiency and is on Book 1452 and is now writing at a clip of 2 books per year. Each book now spans a time period of 1 minute,...
Published on September 26, 2005 by Time Traveller
1,303 of 1,397 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another Masterpiece
Those who can appreciate great setup will really love this book. Personally, I thought the setup in books 8 and 9 were good ... but this was absolutely stupendous. Fans of total plot inertia will be in heaven.
I've grown to hate the character of Rand because whenever he makes an appearance the plot is in danger of moving incrementally forward. Thankfully,...
Published on December 19, 2004 by Tom E.
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1,303 of 1,397 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another Masterpiece,
I've grown to hate the character of Rand because whenever he makes an appearance the plot is in danger of moving incrementally forward. Thankfully, Mr. Jordan saves us from any threatening plot developments by keeping Rand almost totally absent from this book. And when he is introduced - briefly - towards the very end, Mr. Jordan quickly whisks him off to the sidelines before anything interesting can happen. Whew! I'm wiping the sweat off my brow becasue that was a close one.
Have you ever wondered how many stripes should be on the dublet of an important dignatary from Illian? How many shawl twitches are appropriate when Aes Sedai negotiate momentous agreements? What kind of stool the general of an Aes Sedai army sits on, and how stable said stool might be? Well buckle up for a wild ride, amigo, because you're going to learn all that (and more!) by the time you've tediously slogged to the conclusion of this book.
Part of what really makes Mr. Jordan's worlds so unique are the wonderful characters which populate them. I like nothing more than to scratch my head in befuddlement as yet another Aes Sedai is reintroduced into the plot whom I can no longer recall. It gives me an excuse to page to the back of the book and open up the 'Robert Jordan Appendix of Useless and Irrelevent Characters' which is always such a joy. I've created my own drinking game based on this called, [...]
For anyone who wants to play along the rules are simple:
1.) Is the character you're looking up totally irrelevent? Take a drink.
2.) Do you have reason to suspect said character will remain totally irrelevent? Take a drink.
3.) Does the character twitch her shawl? Take two drinks.
4.) Is she looking "cross-eyed" at someone? Take a drink.
5.) Do you know the exact design of the embroidery on the fringe of her shawl? Of course you do - take a drink. For your own sanity, consider taking another.
Anyhow, I don't want to pretend everything about this book is negative ... there are a few positives.
First off, Nynaeve is completely ignored. I suspect Mr. Jordan will make up for this oversite by indulging in an orgy of braid-tugging, yellow-shawled action in books 11-16, but you will be blessedly free of it in this tome.
Secondly, Jordan has stopped even pretending to provide "setup" for future books with CoT. Nothing Of Any Signifigance happens - at all - in this novel. Nothing. There's not so much as a cliffhanger. He's no longer bothering to maintain any facade. I appreciate that kind of bold honesty. He's just holding out his hand and saying, "Listen suckers ... we all know you're going to give me your money - so just hand it over. I could personally visit each of your homes and beat it out of you, but isn't this more civilized?". And, yes, I suppose it is more civilized. So I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Jordan for allowing me to voluntarily hand him my hard-earned money rather than forcing him to pummel it out of me in my own house. It is very much appreciated.
I can't wait for Volume 11.
595 of 650 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another wonderful product from the Jordan Barn...,
Caller: "Well, see, I have this problem with my tea..."
P: "Which variety of tea are you having the problem with?"
C: "Bigelow Blueberry Blast."
P: "Alright...what seems to be the problem?"
C: "See, there was this one batch of tea I brewed for myself one morning. I brewed it into a gleaming silver pitcher with a matching silver ropework tray and a set of three silver cups, each with its own saucer that was engraved around the perimeter with tiny flowers. I had bought the set in Saldea. Oh, the Sea-folk porcelain is wonderful, but I'm prone to breaking it. Anyway, I poured myself a cup of tea. There were piping hot scones in a silver bowl on the tray next to the tray that held the tea. The basket was covered with a white embroidered cloth slashed with blue silk, much like my dress. Oh, the neckline is a bit too low-cut for some of my acquaintances, who prefer good stout woolens to that Arad Domai silk that clings to the body in such a way as to leave very little to the imagination. So, as I was eating a scone and drinking my cup of tea, the steam from each rising and intertwining together like dueling serpents, I noticed a peculiar taste in the tea: it was cool and refreshing, with a hint of mint. Of course, I thought nothing of it. Giving my earlobe a tug and my braid a pull, I remembered the idiocy of every one of my male friends, indeed every male I have ever come into contact with, or ever will for that matter. The lot of woolheads can never compete with the superior logic and rock-solid reasoning that every female in the known universe possesses. It's no wonder we all behave the same."
P: "Um...what was your problem with the tea?"
C: "Oh yes, I'm sorry. After I had consumed the tea, I placed the cup on the silver ropework tray and covered the gleaming silver basket of scones again with the white embroidered cloth slashed with bands of blue silk, much like my dress. I remembered the stout man in the streets of Tar Valon: a vendor of sausages he was. Though I know I will never see him again, I felt it necessary to familiarize myself with every aspect of his appearance and personal history. He was a short, stout man with black hair that was beginning to grey at the temples, slicked back on his head in the manner of warriors, though it was obvious he was not one. He wore brown shoes of stained leather that rustled softly against the dirt of the streets, kicking up clouds of dust that lingered in the air even after he had passed. His pants were of stiff wool, dyed green and patched in many places. He wore a leather jerkin over a soiled white peasant's shirt, the cuffs of his sleeves rolled up and out of his way. Around his neck was a silver chain with a medallion attached to it that bore the image of a bear. He spoke with a gruff voice..."
P: "The TEA, ma'am."
C: "Well you don't have to be rude about it. I was only filling you in on the relevant details."
P: "I don't have all day, ma'am."
C: "You do remind me of a lad I once knew, back when I used to frequent the palace in Camelyn..."
P: "Look, we'll send you a case of Blueberry tea, alright?"
C: "Oh...alright then, I suppose that will do nicely."
P: "Do you have any other problems?"
C: "Well, there is this one other problem I have, but it's not with your tea. The other day, I was pouring myself a goblet of spiced wine. Only the wine had grown cold after being left on the windowsill for whatever reason. So I siezed hold of saidar. It was pure rapture...like opening all of my petals to the sun, for I am a flower. It was like floating in a river that tore along with great speed: resist it and you would be consumed by it. So I accepted it and was consumed by the sweet joy. I sent a tiny thread of fire into the pitcher to warm the wine. Soon, steam rose from the pitcher of gold, sunlight rebounding on the inset gems. I removed the pitcher from the stark Cairheinien plinth of the finest marble and poured myself a glass. But the use of saidar had turned the spices bitter..."
C: "Hello? Hello? Wool-headed sheep-herder..."
113 of 119 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cross-Weevils of Evil,
Remember when you felt chills about the Forsaken, The Blight, The Black Ajah, The Darkfriends, Shadar Logoth or Padan Fain? Remember the menace of the Waygates, Trollocs and other Dark Spawn?
Well none of that is here. You will feel none of that old wonder, menace or fear. Instead, you will be dreadfully angry that nothing at all happens! Nothing ever happens! If TOR books has a shread of decency, they will FORCE EDIT these books. This 680 page 'story' should have been cut to 100 pages - tops. Does Jordan have no friends that will honestly ask him any penetrating questions or try to help him (and us)?
Every character is immobilized in indecision, and instead of moving the plot ahead, Jordan is actually introducing new characters. New characters - ten books into the series - unbelievable. At least I think they're new - but who can tell? I have completely stopped trying to keep track of the literally HUNDREDS of characters and names in this series.
You know what I mean - some character whose name is EGSWANGAWAINAVIENDARENAMARRA (choose 5-8 characters) speaks and you find yourself thinking, "Who is this? Why did they say that? What is the meaning of that cryptic statement? Why is everyone glaring at them? Will someone PLEASE tell me what happened? Oh, why do I care?" Admit it. You know you've thought it.
Dear Robert Jordan,
I used to love this series. Please start writing like you used to.
106 of 112 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The REAL big picture,
We do not need action to advance the story, we need real plot development. There is no excuse for this book to exist, other then to fatten Jordans bank account.
If it were only this one book, that could be overlooked. But each book since FoH has become progressively worse, less and less happening in each one.
We know Nynaeve is clueless and likes to tuh her braid when she is angry(basically 24-7), we don't need to be reminded of it every page.
We know Perrin is upset about Faile( and nothing, I mean nothing is more important, really, nothing...), but yet does nothing about it.
We know that Rand is tired and stretched thin, but does nothing. The one event eagerly waited for turned into nothing(Rand meeting Logain). We know that Rand does not trust Taim, yet he never checks up on him or the black tower, even after being attacked by Ashaman.
We know Aes Sedai like to hold themselves out as a mysterious and powerful group of women. We know, and are reminded on nearly every page, that what they really are, are cowardly, ignorant fools.
We know that Elayne is still pregnant, can't get the lion throne, even though she controls the palace and armies. She has yet to figure out, that she is not claiming the Lion throne by right, but because Rand secured it for her, and is so incompetent she still can't get it. If not for Rand, Rahvin would control Andor, so her belief that she has some right to claim it is nonsense.
The only thing that was resolved in this book, was Egwene is a fool. But of course, we knew that already. The many minor storylines about people we don't really know and don't care about at all, were not resolved, they were muddied and added on to.
Jordan has long forgotten how to write a good story. He let it get away from him, and only the most diehard(and blind) fan has stayed. The only way he could possibly finish this convoluted story in 2 books is by one of two things:
Each book will be at least 2000 pages long, which will never happen. Books 6-10 could have easily been 2 fantastic novels, but that would impact his bank account.
All the storylines will be closed off too quickly for it too really make sense. Jordan claims it will go to 12 books but look what need to be resolved:
1. The seanchan must fall under Rand
2. Mat needs to regain his army and marry Tuon, and possibly take over the seanchan army
3. Rand needs to take over the blacktower and somewhat control his ashaman opponents
4. Perrin needs to free Faile and completely take care of the Shaido
5. Masema and his followers need to be taken care of.
6. Elayne needs to gain the throne
7. Egwene needs to escape and take control of the tower
8. The borderland armies needs to find and follow rand
9. The annoying Cadsuane needs to teach Rand and the Ashaman something;probably how to be annoying.
10. The rest of the nations need to follow Rand.
11. Elayne needs to figure out and stop her captian of the guards
12. The forsaken need to be handle, for real, this time.
13. Huge armies needs to be amassed and moved toward the blight
14. Whether Moraine is dead or not, she needs to show up again. My money is on her being bound to the horn now, but maybe she survived the fight against Lanfear and will find her way out. Perhaps, with the aid of Egwene.
15. Padan Fain needs to be destroyed.
16. The Tairen and Carhienan rebels need to be pacified, and Caroline and whats his face need to be married and gain the throne of a country.
17. Rand, Elayne, Min and Avendeha need to get hitched
18. People, especially Aes Sedia need accept Ashaman as not tainted anymore
19. The whitecloaks need to be somehow destroyed or brought in line with Rand. Maybe Galad will take over the whitecloaks.
20. All the darkfriends need to be handled in some way, especially Carridin.
21. Lots of other minor storylines, like the fate of Liandrin need to be resolved.
22. The darkfriends, shadowspawn, dreadlords, forsaken need to be destroyed in a final battle and the dark one destroyed or locked back up.
23. Rand needs to die.
Phew! That is a lot of storyline to wrap up and I bet I missed a few. CoT did nothing to move any of these along. So, supposedly, the next two books needs to do it.
The biggest problem with this series is the readers. How many people here admit the series is getting worse and worse, yet feel like they can't leave it because they wasted all that time getting to this point. What sense is that? At the very least, wait until the series is finished, and then read the paperback. Falling into the trap of reading it, to read it, rewards Jordan for his crappy writing and encourages more of it. STOP THE MADNESS!
119 of 127 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Huge Let Down,
By the time I was done reading, I was ready to drop kick the book if I read about another twitch of a shawl, rearranging of skirts, braid tug, disapproving sniff, disapproving snort, disapproving frown (and the subsequent smoothing of one's features hoping no one noticed), or yet another Aes Sedai standing looking at someone beneath them (who is basically everyone) with hands on hips and a disapproving scowl on their face. I think I'm seeing a pattern here; I think the book would have been a lot less painful to read if an Aes Sedai actually APPROVED of something for once, but I digress . . . (those of you who have read the book should be used to digression by now)
With a very minor exception, every character is in exactly the same place and predicament at the end of the book as they were at the beginning. This wouldn't be so bad if the content was interesting but it just wasn't.
Aes Sedai wear a bunch of different dresses with a myriad of patterns. Don't care.
Elayne is being made to drink weak tea. Don't care
The Shaido are still around. Don't care.
The Seanchan are still around. Don't care.
Caemlyn is still under siege. Don't care.
Perrin took 5 chapters to do nothing except buy some grain. Don't care.
Cadsuane is still the single most annoying character in the history of literature. We knew this coming into the book and I didn't need or care to be reminded again.
Don't care enough even to write about this thing I don't care about.
All of these things I just mentioned would be fine if they were just mentioned once and left alone. The sad reality is that hearing about these things takes up 95% of the book.
Back when the book first came out, I read some of the reviews posted here. After going through pages and pages of comments, only two of the reviews were positive. I finally bought the book last month thinking "those people are just exaggerating; the book can't be that bad".
They weren't and it is.
274 of 300 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Armageddon is here! The Dark One finally strikes!,
By A Customer
Some other notable developments:
The quality of tea has really taken a nosedive since the early books in the series, and it's starting to negatively impact the morale of our heroes. After all, what's the upside of fighting off pure evil if you can't even get a decent cup of tea when you're pregnant and temperamental?
The Dark One inappropriately touches one of his minions. I'm expecting a sexual harassment lawsuit in the next volume.
Hundreds of dresses are described in such intricate detail that I was able to sew exact replicas. I'm wearing one right now, in fact. For hundreds of other patterns, you can shop at wheeloftimewardrobe.com.
We are introduced to the riveting social intricacies of the gai'shain laundering subculture.
Perrin gets bored with his own plotline and breaks out of character for a minute before returning to form.
Woolheads battle ninnies and hilarity ensues. Braid tugging is on the wane. Someone sniffs.
105 of 112 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The poo from a decent writer's behind is better than this,
2) A good writer masters the ability to time the execution of story-lines with appropriate pacing and a sense of the dramatic.
3) A good writer does not need to spell every little thing out for the reader.
4) A good writer knows how to keep his/her story focused.
5) A good writer possesses the knowledge that a book consists of a beginning, a middle, and an end.
6) A good writer respects his/her characters as individuals and recognize their unique abilities to develope in different directions.
Let's take a look at Jordan, shall we?
1) If Jordan had managed to keep his readers interested, he wouldn't be recieving 1-star reviews. Even when you are writing setup you need to keep the reader interested. Robin Hobb, for instance, does this by simply using a language so formidable that reading her words is in itself a pleasure. Jordan's words have become very bland and tasteless over the last few books, not unlike MacDonald's food.
2) As any professional writer knows, when you are dealing with two or more parallell storylines you have to maintain some sort of balance between them and time the unfolding of events so that the reader is able to follow the different threads. You can either divide the different storylines into large "blocks" like Tolkien did in The Two Towers, or you can switch back and forth between them. If you have many different storylines, you have the wonderful advantage of being able to tell only the most interesting bits from each one - kindof like GRR Martin is doing in A Song of Ice and Fire. With so many different storylines in the loop, why would we want to read about people clippnig their toenails? Honestly, one wonders if not a good writer would have been able to derive more interesting events from all these storylines than people drinking tea, going to the tailor or styling their hair?
3) Why does Jordan constantly dedicate half a page of text to every little feeling? A good writer, such as Robin Hobb for instance, only needs a few words to convey the same feeling. Why? Because she uses the groundwork she laid up in the early parts of her stories. She has introduced and developed her characters so skillfully that she after a while does not need to spend many pages describing them or their emotions. The reader knows them well enough to be able to understand their feelings without lengthy explanations. Why then does Jordan need pages and pages of laborously describing every little thing? Either he does not trust his readers to know his characters well enough, or he has simply confused lengthy descriptions with emotions.
4) I think we can all agree that Jordan's story has become unfocused. The main characters are lost like extras in a soap-opera, just hanging around the set drinking coffee and waiting for someone to remember them, though unfortunately the producers seem more interested in filming new, fresh actresses doing threesomes and getting amnesia. In essence, the story of Wheel of Time is simple: there is a bad-guy and there is a good-guy who is destined to fight him. Why then are we reading about the main guy's ex girlfriend's friend's aunts drinking tea and discussing the weather? I'm not saying you can't take small trips away from the main story, but you need to return to it and keep the main story always moving forward. And to all the fans who defends this style of writing with that this deepens his world and how it's essential to the story, I can simply say: you are wrong. And I can also say that a good writer could have spent these hundreds and hundreds of pages deepening the world and adding essential parts to the story in a more fulfilling manner, for instance by keeping focus on the main characters and having them interact with the world around them instead of staying inside their heads, gibbering to themselves. My theory is that all of Jordan's mains are locked as characters. They can't interact with the world in a normal way anymore, and so he has to resort to secondary characters to do it. Except that there is a flaw in this: when a secondary character does it, it becomes redundant.
5) A book should have a beginning, a middle and an end. A beginning to set things up (or, in the case of a sequel, bring the reader up to date), a middle to execute the plot of the book and do build-up for the ending, and an end which should contain some sort of dramatic climax to the build-up from the middle and the beginning of the book. Jordan does not seem to realise this. A book needs a plot of its own. It needs to be about something. Crossroads isn't. It is simply filler without any build-up in the beginning or any end that delivers anything to the reader. In the early books Jordan managed to keep a distinct theme for his books, the travels in the early columes, the great hunt, the chase for the sword in Tear and so on. His last installment totally lacks this. It is not a book that can even remotely be dreamed to stand on its own - as a book should to some extent, even if it's part of a series. Saying that he's doing like Tolkien and writing one long book and not a series is not a valid argument, as Tolkien wrote his entire series before he got published and there was plenty of oppertunity for both himself and for the editors to edit the book as a whole and to conside the series as a whole. Jordan can not pull this off, as his books are written one at a time. He has not means of going back and changing things in the earlier volumes that would need changing in order to convey a sense of this series being one long book rather than a series.
6) Most of Jordan's female characters seem to have developed in the exact same direction, regardless of where they started. I honestly don't think I would notice if someone switched all the "Elayne"s on a page for "Nynaeve" or whomever. They all think the exact same way, use the same words, the same rhythm of speech, and they have basically the same opinions about everything. Except that Nynaeve feels that a braid is the only acceptable hairstyle and other characters have more lofty hair-morals. In any case, this is not the mark of a good writer. A good writer is a person whom after a certain length of text can write a line of dialogue without having to specify who said it or in what tone of voice - the reader can understand anyway if the author is good enough, and given only the choice of words, the reader can feel the tone of it. Robin Hobb is a master in this regard, and she can pull it off because all her characters have distinct personalities and just like real people they have different vocabularies and different rhythms of speech.
Jordan is not a good writer. His writing is well below par for writers published by serious publishing houses. If you still believe he knows what he is doing, you are either deluded, naïve or simply unable to recognize talent. A good writer would never have written this book or taken this series in this direction.
I recommend you stop reading Jordan until he has finished this series completely (which would be at the earliest 2008, but that is optimistic). There are so many better writers out there!
Read GRR Martin, Robin Hobb and CS Friedman instead!
62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Top 10 theories why this book is so bad,
9. Author channeling Andy Kaufman.
8. Manuscript sent to publisher swapped with manuscript sent to bad writing contest.
7. What happens when a million monkeys with a million typewriters aren't given an infinite amount of time.
6. Transporter accident creates good author/bad author versions. Good author rereads last novel and dies of embarassment leaving bad author to complete this one.
5. Attempt to include every plot and character archetype ever created into one series creates a literary black hole sucking the discarded scraps of other bad novels into this one.
4. Author watched too many Seinfeld reruns and thought a book about nothing would be a good idea. Get up in the morning... that's a chapter. Get dressed... that's a chapter. Sneeze... that's a chapter.
3. Author stopped taking medication and was unable to fight compulsion to add hundreds of insignificant details to every scene in the book.
2. It's not a book, it's a drinking game. Chug a glass every time you read something that's already been said 100 times before. Game ends after everyone passes out or one page, whichever comes first.
1. Author has become the literary equivalent of the strippers with the freakish basketball-sized breast implants. While some still have a fetish for reading the author's hyperinflated prose, the rest of us are just gawking in disbelief.
Seriously, even after going through the hundreds of 1-star reviews for this book before reading it, I was still surprised at how bad it is. Nothing happens, literally. 800 pages of people talking, thinking, pondering, and scheming without them actually doing anything. Jordan drags out to 800 pages what hundreds of better authors would cover in far less than 100. If you want to get the most out of this book, turn to the last page of chapter 30 and read it. As mentioned by other reviewers, this is the only page that advances the plot. Everything else is just filler.
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ask Yourself,
1. How many of these characters would you just love to meet (if such things were possible)?
2. How many of those listed above are characters you'd only like to meet so you could harm them?
3. How many loose ends does Jordan have left?
4. Can he tie them up in a way that would satisfy you in, say, two books?
5. Are you really so gullible as to believe he will?
6. How much of this stuff is a total rip-off?
7. Do any of these characters behave socially in a realistic manner (e.g. like any person you've ever met)?
8. Do you REALLY consider people bickering over hierarchy or whose plan is best (not that any are ever chosen) or what men/women are ALL like to be "plot advancement"?
9. Do you find the Forsaken to be even REMOTELY clever OR frightening?
10. Do you have any idea what people's plans are? Are we given any substantial insight on Rand's plan to defeat evil, Egwene's plan to get herself stupidly captured, Nynaeve's plan to annoy the enemy into submission, Cadsuane's plan to teach Rand by being rude and beotchy, any of the Forsaken's grand plans, Fain's goals, Lan's interest in a plan to rescue Moiraine, Perrin's plan to do something besides just follow the Shaido, Verin's plans or interests, and soul-enslaved Forsaken's plan to undo said enslavement.....
Basically, this book doesn't answer any of these questions in a satisfactory way. We're left not knowing and not really caring about anyone. Consider the big chunk of the text: Elayne being pregnant (as if no one in the history of the world hasn't been???? Why is this so delicate?) and trying to elimiate potential rivals. All she does is meet with young reps of some houses, complain about being knocked up, moon over Rand, and....nothing else. And it takes a million pages.
Ditto for Egwene's bumbling. How many pages wasted in many different books on women bickering and trying to control one another, and she ends up doing WHAT at the end? Makes no sense.
Finally, ask yourself, WHY BOTHER? Why not move on to fiction that actually makes sense, is populated with realistic, likeable (or at least fear-inspiring) characters, and advances in plot at more than a snail's pace every SIX years!
Just quit. Jordan's awful. His editor should not be allowed to edit anything longer than a two-word sentence. Tor should be ashamed of what it produces, and we should all know that the best way to get some hack to end his series is to STOP BUYING HIS CRAPPY BOOKS.
151 of 164 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Terrible Disappointment,
By A Customer
It's pretty clear now that Jordan has no intention of wrapping this up in the forseeable future and going on to another project. It's sad to see a talented writer decide to milk a single concept for the rest of his career, rather than finishing it off and seeking a new challenge, but I'm convinced that this is the case with Jordan. The only question is, how many people will still be reading this series 10 or 15 years from now when it finally ends with book 17 or 18? I know I won't be. As far as I'm concerned, this series is dead.
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Crossroads of Twilight: Book Ten of 'The Wheel of Time' by Robert Jordan