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1,002 of 1,055 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lot better and a few good advances, but he's got one huge mess to clean up
While it still doesn't compare to the first four or five books, Knife of Dreams is probably the best novel in the Wheel of Time series since Fires of Heaven. The good news is numerous plot lines advance and the writing shows the effect of a full editing cycle. The bad news is that the good writing here oddly illuminates how much of a hole author Robert Jordan dug for...
Published on October 12, 2005 by Indy Reviewer

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358 of 400 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars improvement but middling quality, moves story forward
Knife of Dreams has several things going for it. It isn't as bad as the last few for one, no slight achievement. It is relatively crisp in prose and pace. It advances story and character at a more enjoyable pace. It even has a few (though too few) strong scenes that evoke fond memories of earlier (much earlier) books in the series. It is without a doubt an...
Published on October 15, 2005 by B. Capossere


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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than Crossroads, though still not great, October 12, 2005
By 
Patrick J. Sullivan (Miami, FL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Knife of Dreams is the 11th volume in Robert Jordan's massive Wheel of Time series. Supposedly the series will finally wrap up in the book after this one. Unfortunately, Knife of Dreams did not bring most of the many ongoing storylines significantly closer to resolution.

The book was not entirely uneventful, as a few significant events did occur within it. The ending however was not all that it could have been. Several long-awaited events seemed at times to be moving toward fruition, but then these promising storylines were once more put on hold until the next book. Some prior books in the series (such as The Fires of Heaven, and Winter's Heart) were mostly slow throughout but then redeemed themselves with spectacular endings. Knife of Dreams scatters its somewhat meager share of action throughout its length.

The biggest weakness of this series since Lord of Chaos has been the proliferation of point of view characters. Readers have been asked to spend too long inside the heads of characters who are unlikable, uninteresting, unimportant to the plot, and who know much less than the series' readers know. For instance, Galina Casban, the Black Ajah Aes Sedai, is again featured prominently. Her portions of the book are neither enjoyable nor informative, as is always the case with her.

The book also spends a significant amount of time with Tuon, the Daughter of the Nine Moons, whose beliefs regarding practically everything on this side of the Aryth Ocean are woefully off-base. Her many misconceptions are just irritating to the experienced reader. Moreover, she is annoyingly superior and immaturely violent, like almost all of Jordan's characters of late (particularly the women).

Jordan seems unable to grasp that overreporting in excruciating detail the doings of minor characters such as Therava and Rolan and Pevara and Dyelin is not what made his series successful. Characterization used to be his strength, specifically the concentration on about half a dozen major characters (the Emonds Fields youths, plus Min and Elayne). He seems to have shifted to focusing on events rather than people, which would be more bearable if more of the long-promised events actually occurred. Instead of action and plot substituting for character development, we get yet more foreshadowings of future action. This is a bad trade no matter whether the reader prefers plot or persons.

Rand, Nynaeve, and Min are given fairly short shrift in this book, especially Min. She has been reduced to the status of an observer whose role is to stand faithfully by Rand. This is less unbearable than the role of most of the other characters (especially the women), too many of whom seem to think their role is to do the exact opposite of whatever would be helpful. But it's still rather boring.

Nynaeve has similarly been reduced to merely being Lan's wife at times. In any case, both she and Rand are only on the scene briefly.

Mat and Perrin are featured somewhat more prominently than Rand is, though that is not necessarily a positive. Perrin remains consumed with rescuing his wife Faile to the exclusion of all else. This is understandable, but not particularly related to the larger plot of the book. Mat's actions too are mostly concentrated around his love interest and prophesied future wife, Tuon. Faile's parts of the book are uninteresting and trivial as always.

The book centers heavily on Elayne and her seemingly endless quest for the throne of Andor. Pretty much everyone involved in the Succession quarrel seems to be oblivious to the larger concerns around them, such as the imminence of the Final Battle and the fact that if reality itself crumbles, as seems to be occurring, the throne of Andor will be the least of anyone's concerns.

Jordan repeatedly emphasizes that unlike in "the stories," people do not really always all fall neatly into line and all join together to battle the common enemy. Okay. Point taken. Again. We get it. Obviously it's true that people don't really put all their other concerns aside even in the midst of an epic struggle. But he goes way too far in the other direction. His characters (particularly Elayne and her compatriots) don't merely conduct their personal and political business alongside the greater struggle. They entirely ignore the Dark One, the Dragon Reborn, the unraveling of the Pattern, ghosts walking, and even buildings changing their physical form. They have room in their heads ONLY for their own immediate personal goals. I find this at least as unrealistic as the attitude that Jordan thinks he is a counterbalance to.

The part of the book that focused on Egwene was one of the more readable sections. It was interesting and to-the-point and actually moved one plot thread in a forward direction. It was also at times overly sadomasochistic and brutal and it dwelt too long and lovingly on female corporal punishment, but that's been the trend of Jordan's recent books.

Whether the next book will indeed be the series finale or not, at some point Jordan is going to need to pick up the pace and write with the goal of telling an interesting story instead of with the goal of filling pages until it's finally time to write his long-envisaged final scene. He's dragged too many minor plot threads out to the point where even when he finally makes a few very small revelations, they come about three books after everyone stopped caring.

Still, I give this book three stars because: it met and even exceeded my relatively low expectations after Crossroads, etc.; because of a few noteworthy events involving Egwene, the Forsaken, and/or old characters making a welcome reappearance; because boring though they were, some longstanding minor story arcs finally came to an end, hopefully setting the stage for a next book that focuses less on the trivial; and because some interesting scenes were set (such as one involving Mat and Thom) that will almost have to be played out sooner rather than later. If you've made it this far through the series, go ahead and read Knife of Dreams. It probably won't be your least-favorite book of the series.
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52 of 60 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Average Book. Don't believe the hype!!, October 26, 2005
How much is Jordan paying for all these 4 and 5 star reviews? Haha, c'mon now, one reviewer even messed up and re-copied the other rave reviews he's been submitting to boost Jordan's book's rating. Snicker... snort....but thanx for letting me know you're "feelings" about Crossroads of Twilight in the KNIFE OF DREAMS CUSTOMER REVIEW section. I checked too.... nice 5 star rating you gave Crossroads as well!!!!

Just for that, I'm rating this a 2 instead of the 3 I was going to give. Like others have mentioned, this book is an improvement over the last 4 pieces of dung Jordan released in this series, but it's no stand-alone novel and it's no where near the first 5 books in this series. Those were awesome books that made you want to read more. This book on the other hand is just average at best, and that's only if you've been keeping up with the series. Ok stuff if you like Mat and Perrin, but its nothing vital or anything. Rest depends on your tastes and what you've learned to skim over..... you like Galina, read her stuff. Don't? Then skim. Same with Elayne. Same with Rand (I like Rand but c'mon he's hardly in the book~). Ugh. I'm glad I got this as a present. Just finish this series and stop dragging it out Plz!!
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Going in the right direction , but ultimately unsatisfying, March 31, 2006
By 
I'll echo what a lot of reviewers have said and agree that, finally, the myriad plots (including the useless ones) are advancing, and some are actually resolved. RJ even kills off a few people without succumbing to his compulsion to introduce new characters (one of the WOT sites catalogues 1880 characters not including the fictional/historical ones like Jain Farstrider).

Here, though, are a few things I haven't seen mentioned: One, the passion and excitement and, really, even the logic of the first five volumes are gone. Remember when you were excited to turn every page because new and interesting things like the Ways or the Colaam Daam were being introduced. There was a sense of wonder and breadth that this one still lacks, and it really had little to do with the action sequences -- the omission of action sequences is not specifically what has bothered me about the last few books. I realize you can only keep world development going for so long, even in a world as complex as this, but you can hold on to wonder.

I'm happy that the plots are again advancing, but I have to take issue at how (this is where the logic, and, to some extent, the craft of writing has fallen off). After 1000's of pages of build-up with a lot of boring and repetitive detail (women having their bosoms and the embroidery on their dresses described in agonizing detail -- thank God gai-shain wear plain white or the whole Shaido section would have been 1000 pages longer! -- and Perrin saying five million times how nothing matters more than rescuing Faile), the plot resolutions come like unexpected thunderclaps. ***Spoilers*** While Galina getting her comeuppances was satisfying, there are places where people are killed off for no really good reason. Just poof! and they're gone. If RJ were going to spend some time with someone repetitively agonizing, why couldn't it have been Faile for the Brotherless fellow who was her de facto protector, or Elayne for the Aes Sedai who had been her friends? And how exactly, when RJ went into some detail about how the Black Sisters are organized into groups of three who don't necessarily know who one another are, would a random Black be able to identify one of Elayne's companions as "one of us?" (For that matter, is it logical to assume she alone is behind all the death's in Elayne's little coterie?) And why does Super-Rand, who has the power of any ten zillion Aes Sedai (and a few brains), get caught flat-footed not once but twice, once so badly that he loses body parts because of it? The deaths and dismemberments just pop up as though RJ just decided he was sick of including the characters (or their limbs) and felt he needed to make a pre-emptive strike against them.

I'm not completely sure I buy that this book went through that much more of an editing cycle than anything since Fires of Heaven. My first reason for doubting this is the problem with pacing: rhetoric, rhetoric, description, description, ACTION, rhetoric, description, spanking, allusions to homoeroticism, spanking, rhetoric, lots of description, ACTION, etc. My second is the redundancy of the descriptions about how women position themselves: hands get folded underneath breasts (most of which are impressive once they're described as bosoms) and stuck on hips (which are usually ample). I would say he's got two macros instead of one, as has been suggested elsewhere. My third is RJ's degenerating treatment of women (unless his editor is also a misogynist). Grown, intelligent women who can think of no better punishment than spanking for the recalcitrant (and not only spanking, but spanking with slippers, straps, or birches upon either naked buttocks or entirely naked bodies that have been secured for public viewing)? I mean, this is just bizarre! The women, because of his descriptions of their peevishness, have become almost unilaterally unlikeable, and their redundant neuroses are beginning to make them all sound alike: I'm wondering if the reviewer who titled her review "Please Kill Me" had gotten sick of half the women in the story complaining about how scandalously dressed the other half were -- over and over and over. He even has Elayne blaming Rand for the discomforts of her pregnancy as if he managed to get her pregnant with no complicity on her part. Yes, he gives a token nod to Nynaeve and Lan (two of my favorite characters whose disappearance from the plot is criminal), and the scene that follows is sweet, but it's over and gone so fast that if you've taken to skimming, you could easily miss it. Did they bother with an editor? I truly doubt it. As with the "Eragon" books, the knowledge that the silly thing would sell was so secure that TOR probably realized they could print a book of nursery rhymes and people would buy it.

Ultimately, this book was better than the last three but nothing like the first five. At time, RJ's ability to turn a beautiful phrase shines through, but that makes it all the more frustrating when he goes back to his plodding redundancy. As I gripe to my non-WOT-smitten friends and they say, "Then why are you bothering?" I'm faced with a quandry. I really want to know what happens, and I need closure. But I know I'm also looking for the "hit" I got from reading the first 5 books with their wonderful plotting, pacing and world development. And the most compelling sort of reinforcement is that which is intermittent.
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59 of 69 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Better Than Pneumonia?, January 27, 2006
To say that this book is better than the last one is sort of like saying that having the flu is better than having pneumonia. Since book 10 is the worst book that I have ever read (fiction or non-fiction, including my high school physics textbook), this one had to be an improvement. Unfortunately, it doesn't get better until the end of the book.

The first 400 pages are pretty much the same useless crap that Jordan filled book 10 with. As the final battle gets closer, and closer, the main characters have lost all interest in saving the world, and spend their time in idle chit-chat, or simply mill around doing pretty much nothing. Mat is doing the same thing he did all through book 10, traveling with the circus, and having more of those witty conversations with his bride to be: "You must learn some manners Toy, you are a foolish slime ball", "Yes Precious. Look I brought you a gift". At least Jordan has given Tuon a nice full bosom in this book. She was just a skinny, bald girl all through the last one. And what about Perrin? He is still fretting over Faile's capture, smelling everyone's emotions, and dicking around instead of doing anything to rescue her until the very end of the book.

Loial's wedding takes all of a half page, and occurs within a few minutes of meeting his wife to be for the 2nd time. It reminded me a lot of my wedding, but instead of shotguns there were axes. His new wife starts bossing him around before he even gets a decent nose job.......yea just like my wedding.

Jordan must have realized that he has left the bad guys out of the last 3 or 4 books. Remember the Trollocs and Myrddraal? In the first few books they constantly hassled our main characters. Then there must have been a big shadow spawn strike and they disappeared for 4 or 5 books, while the Trollocs demanded more human meat, and the Myrddraal held out for more vacation time. Jordan makes up for lost time by attacking Rand with 100,000 Trollocs, and thousands of Myrddraal in what could have been the biggest battle yet. Unfortunately, the entire battle takes 5 minutes. Rand gets out of his chair and takes a step to the window, where he comes up with all sorts of new ways to zap 1000s of bad guys at a time. Too bad not even one of those stupid Trollocs were smart enough to come at Rand from a different direction. They all come straight at Rand standing at his window, so he doesn't have to even take an extra step or go outside to fight them. No use wasting all of that typeface on a boring battle. Jordan can get back to the important stuff, like what the women are wearing and how nice they show off their large bosoms. Will they go conservative with high necklines to the last battle, or boldly showing off their marvelous cleavages to those dreadfully attired Trollocs? What about the hair styles? Surely the women will want braids to tug while they zap the shadow spawn.

And where did all those 100,000 Trollocs come from? Remember the WayGates that Loral said he fixed along with one of Rand's Asha'man? Oops, must have missed one. It was an easy one to miss since it was the one at the main Ogier Stedding. Now Rand has to find another Ogier to fix the gates that Loial forgot about.

In this book there is the biggest meeting ever of the forsaken. The Dark Lord has just 1 command for them......Kill Perrin and Mat. So, if you have 11 of the most powerful beings on the planet at your disposal (capable of traveling, changing their appearance, and producing balefire, lightening, etc., with thousands of Trollocs, and shadow spawn at their disposal etc.) how would you ensure that you kill 1 guy? The best plan they could come up with was to have a darkfriend shoot an arrow at Perrin from 400 paces.....yea that's going to work. I'm sure the Dark Lord was pleased with that effort. Better luck next book forsaken.

I can visualize Jordan reviewing his recipe for a successful series: Lets see, Luke Skywalker loses a hand in Star Wars, Jamie Lannister loses a hand in "A Song of Ice and Fire", Frodo loses a finger in "The Lord of the Rings", "Oh my gosh", the main character has to lose an appendage.....problem solved on page 588, when Rand loses a hand for no other reason than the other writers did it. There are many other obvious parallels: The Ogier coming together to help the stupid humans fight the last battle (remember the Ewoks in Star Wars, and the Ents in The Lord of the Rings), etc., etc..

DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK. Do you give your kid a bonus in his allowance if he gets drunk and wrecks the car? This whole series has been a rambling wreck since book 5. Don't reward poor writing, and even worse editing. Ok bring on book 12........hopefully the last. I'll wait until my local library has it. I have to read it because I'm an obsessive compulsive that has to finish something once started no matter how painful.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, not great, not bad, October 30, 2005
By 
It looks as if reviews are fairly mixed for this book. I only wish that other reviewers would get off their high horse when it comes to Jordan. Last time I checked this was the place to read book reviews and perhaps get some insight into the author, not a Wheel of Time fan board. Essentially calling other reviewers ignorant because they don't agree with your 5 star, 4 star, 3.5 star, 2 star, or 1 star rating perhaps isn't the best way to convince others. And it appears that there's still more 5 star fan ratings than 1 star raving critiques at this point, although I think most of the 5 star ratings can be blamed on all the small internet book site owners using Amazon's book review feeds rather than fans just looking to inflate ratings. I do think however that the only point people CAN agree on is that the only correct view is their view, and everyone else in cyberland is an idiot : )

I give KoD 3 stars (and no, I'm not just taking the safe middle ground). Jordan spends the vast majority of his time in Knife of Dreams to wrap up several plotlines dealing with characters much maligned in his previous books. I think it's a good thing, albeit 1-2 books overdue, and about time he moves the focus back to the WoT theme of the major conflict between cyclic battle between the dark one and the light's champion.

For a comparison, I'd think The Eye of the World would be rate around 4-4.5 stars, The Great Hunt 5 stars, Books 3-5 4.5 stars, Book 6 3-3.5 stars, Books 7-8 3 stars, Book 9 2 stars, and Book 10 1 star (using Amazon ratings).

I am worried that he's going to cram everything into his next book just to finish the series, and as a result the reviews are probably going to be just as mixed with the zealous fans loving it and the casual readers not seeing what the big fuss was about, and the rest thinking the series is just an overblown publiisher's dream.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I love Jordan but I am getting as sick of this as everyone else., March 27, 2006
This is truly getting amazing. I love this series and the way it seems like I know every character and Jordan's world so well. He puts the reader in the story like no other. But this is getting old. This book just had some action tagged onto the end so something could happen. Much more significant action does happen in this book than the previous one but it is still drawn out. He really loves his sideplots that have very little to do with the story. And I would like to know what is happening to Rand before 300 pages into the book. I am sick of Perrin's stupid wife and his stubborn attitude. She has been captive of the Aiel for what 6000 pages now? At first I thought Jordan treated women excellently making them very important in his world but now I realize they are just stereotyped in a different way. The only valuable woman is a hot bitchy controlling one. The male characters are the only ones with any real identity and they act in extremely predictable fashion It is stupid how Rand grew up with Egwene his whole life and now can not contact her or have any working relationship at all, even with the aid of travelling. Also why is he letting Taim run amuck when he knows nothing good is happening there and his loyalty is extremely questionable? It is just stupid. I would like it a little better if some of his characters acted rationally instead of letting emotion rule everything they do. Does his world have any self-control?
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Finally a decent book, October 14, 2005
Well once again i have finished a New WoT book, and for the fist time in 8 years i dont want to kill myself afterwards. Thank the light for small favors i guess. I was fully prepared to come out of this one ticked off and depressed that i was a fan of this series of books. Haveing reached the end of this installment (quite dry), i must say that i am pleased that the story has moved on in places, though in others it still is a bit laggy.

Im not one of the people who hate Jordans over long descriptions of dresses and haveing to go PoV with side charecters for 10 pages. I love his writeing style and the depth at which he goes to tell the story, his way and no other way. I see a lot of people say they think Jordan may have copped out and did what his fans wanted. This is not true, for years and years we have know what would happen or at least speculated things would play out this way. Well now they have, not because we whined for it. Not because we all felt that CoT was a slap in the face to all us fans. Not because Jordan backed down to the fans. But because it was finally time for them to happen! (thank the light it was finally time) we fans need to back off and let Jordan write his book his way not ours.

As for KoD as a book, its ok. tDR it is not, nor is it as good as tFoH(which is the last great book of the series so far) but i would rank it along side LoC any day of the week and twice on sunday. Plot lines were moved and for some finally, mercifuly were ended. The paceing at times slowed, but i expect that from Jordan and love it. I have some plot complaints but ill spare you from them.

If you have read the first 10 books, why not read one more. If you are new to the series i recomend you stop because you got 2 crappy books(7,8) 1 not crappy book(9) and 1 horrible slap in the face(10) comeing to you just to get to book 11 which isnt a bad read.

Now Jordan has said he absolutely will end the series at 12 books but i honestly dont think he can unless TOR will leat him publish a 2000+ page book and that aint gonna happen even for Jordan. I predict 14 books but we will have to wait for that.

See you in 2-3 years. but atleast this time ill have the image of Lan rideing across the borderlands to Tarwin's Gap gathering men to the golden crane to sustain me
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just one more, December 14, 2005
By 
Guy (Littleton, CO United States) - See all my reviews
These books are addictions that leave you down until the next book comes out. If you're a first timer thinking about picking up Jordan, beware: The first five are the best fantasy to be found. Just be prepared to pay the price for addiction ...

In the first five books the story got started with a major event that spun the characters toward a clear destination that wrapped up with a satisfying conclusion that left me running to the book store to pick up the next volume. For example, in Fires of Heaven: Couladin leaves the Waste to attack the Wetlands. Rand must follow, face Couladin, then Rahvin. And that's just one plotline.

Lately, his books have had no conclusions, no clear plotlines, and almost nothing happens.

The first five books overflow with turning points and events that it is almost impossible to count the numbers. Lately, his books have had maybe 1 event if the reader is lucky. The last I can remember is the end of Winter's Heart.

Knife of Dreams is better, as some plot lines that have been running for books now (Perrin's search for Faile) do wrap up, but with such little effort and effect on the story that it made me wonder why the subplot was there in the first place. What was the significance of Faile being abducted? Why spend so many books on it when it doesn't seem to matter anyway?

Another problem is nothing happens in his chapters until the last few pages. I have convinced myself that (if I wanted to) I could skip to the last 5 pages of every chapter and not miss a beat.

Having said all of that ... Knife of Dreams is spiced with a few moments of specatular writing that reminds me why I bother in the first place. Mat's climax in the story is something truly special. However, these FEW moments scattered throughout the story are minimal when compared to the countless great moments found in book 5 or book 4.

Like I said. Jordan's books are an addiction. The first couple highs are terrific, but pretty soon you're reading just to satisfy the addiction with little pleasure at all.
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61 of 73 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gives fantasy a bad name, March 12, 2006
The Wheel of Time began as a reasonably good fantasy action adventure story (primarily) about three young friends who left their sleepy village to combat a great, gathering evil force. Now, the Wheel of time is a bloated, boring, second rate soap-opera set against a fantasy back-drop.

The last few volumes of the series have made it obvious that the story is inadequate to fill the number of volumes that the series is (now) going to run to. Knife of Dreams is another such installement in the saga. It's true that several of the plot lines that have been running for far too long are concluded, and that there is actually some action to keep us interested contained in the book, but it's just too little too late.

My main gripe with the story is not the pages upon pages of needless and arbitrary descriptions of clothing, tea, furniture and the like (although this is quite irritating). It is not even the one dimensional characters: after eleven books Mat is still a lovable rogue, Perrin still the strong silent type, Rand still a slightly brooding all American quarterback hero - and that is the extent of the character development. My main gripe is that the plots that are advanced are done too quickly, in uninteresting ways.

For several volumes we have known that Mat will marry Tuon and that Perrin will rescue Faile and that Jordan has been filling the chapters with padding until these inevitable events happened. Given the amount of time that he's had to think of interesting ways to bring these events about, what we finally get is quite a dissapointment.

The action scenes are also unsatisfactory. Most of them seem to be just randon, unnecessary fights, like Rand being attacked by a hundred thousand trollocs and Mat getting attacked by thugs outside an inn. These scenes fail to generate any excitement at all as we all know that the main characters are in no real danger of dying.

I've read every novel in this series, even the almost unbearable Crossroads of Twighlight and I vowed to grit my teeth and continue to the end. But this is the last straw. The predictable plot, pages of padding, and badly developed characters are just too much for me. No more Wheel of Time for me. I quit. There are fresher, better, more innovative fantasy authors out there. I suggest Steven Erikson, his books are real epic fantasy that don't patronise the reader.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars He's going somewhere, October 30, 2005
I really wish that I hadn't read the glowing reviews for this book. Or any review for that matter.

My feelings are terribly mixed on this one. It certainly was not the bog we were drowned in during the last two books. Things do finally happen. And in this volume, RJ has given us the best Nynaeve chapter and the best Egwene chapter, probably of all time. Unfortunately, the chapters comprise very little of the actual book, as RJ has to clean all the minor storylines he's introduced in the few books before he can move on in his next book.

As a result, the reading through the book was a chore. It took him 400 pages just to check-in with the major characters, remind you who's with who, where they are and what their business is. I mean, he throws a few paragraphs that keep you loyal along the way, but it really made me feel sorry for him as a writer. He's brought to life this incredibly expansive world with its characters and cultures and the insignia of this country and that, but he's also tied himself down creatively. Literally. I just couldn't help but think that it must drive him nuts.

So when the publisher's review said that this book "leaves ya sweating," I really hoped for a big shake-up. Some criss-crossing of patterns or stories that I wasn't expecting, some new way of storytelling, something that broke free of the expected handful of plotlines. Nope, none of that. What he does instead is go crazy on the characters - within the parameters you'd expect - that still has me shaking my head. I'll be cleaning the bathroom and suddenly wonder, "Did he really do that to that character?" Half of me is caught up in thinking ahead because I finally know what minor character did what in a particular sub-plot, but the other half of me is in honest-to-goodness shocked at speed of how it all happened and how quickly RJ moves on after so much time building it up.

But then there are moments when it's too slow. The examples that stand out are the book-within-a-book of information on Elayne's bid for the throne that in all likelihood will never matter in the bigger scheme of things, as well as the overdescription of a minor battle. The entire back and forth left me feeling jarred rather than surprised, and it's too bad because RJ can be really smooth in his writing.

But let's think positive.

He's going somewhere with it all now. All the exits were necessary and needed, though perhaps not in such a herky-jerky fashion, to knot off plot lines that we've been wondering over for a long time. I hope I'm wrong, but the pieces on the board and who's aligned with who does feel a lot more predictable now after this big sweep.

I keep thinking of lots more pluses to this book but they are very specific revelations about this character or that situation. So I'll let you enjoy it all yourselves, whether you choose to pick up the book now or you are more level-headed (unlike me) and wait for paperback. This hasn't been a particularly sparkling review, but I just wasn't head over heels for this book. This is the book that should have been Book 9, or even 10.
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Knife of Dreams (Wheel of Time (Tor Hardcover))
Knife of Dreams (Wheel of Time (Tor Hardcover)) by Robert Jordan (Hardcover - October 11, 2005)
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