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91 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read for the Enjoyment of Reading!
I am an avid reader - I read close to 2-3 books a month. Ever since I laid my hands on the Eye of the World, though, I have been wrapped up in this amazing story. However, I feel that I need to say something about the reviews I have been reading of the Wheel of Time series, and I have to say that some of these reviewers are only in for the "quick fix". I...
Published on August 9, 2000 by A. Doweyko

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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Women of WOT
I must say I'm somewhat disturbed by all these comments I've been reading insinuating that Jordan's female characters are nothing more than cardboard cutouts displaying his deep, deep hatred/fear of women. Rather, the females in WOT are incredibly rich, detailed, and unique characters each with their own distinct flavor as only Jordan can write it. I thought the following...
Published on October 7, 2009 by Jonathan C. Pike


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91 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read for the Enjoyment of Reading!, August 9, 2000
I am an avid reader - I read close to 2-3 books a month. Ever since I laid my hands on the Eye of the World, though, I have been wrapped up in this amazing story. However, I feel that I need to say something about the reviews I have been reading of the Wheel of Time series, and I have to say that some of these reviewers are only in for the "quick fix". I only have one thing to say to them - "If you don't like reading, don't". This is by far one of the most fantastic and imaginative series I have ever read. Robert Jordan is a creative individual who has done an exquisite job of relating his story to the reader. He uses the descriptive voice like no other that I have read. "When something can be described by 10 words, he uses 250". So what? Do you think he enjoys writing these long books? He's trying to paint a picture of this world of his, and it's fascinating. Keeping track of the characters in the book is really not that hard if you pay attention, especially when there's a "glossary" in the back of the book to remind you if you do forget. Savor each page, each word, because it is truly a beautiful story.
I have just finished Book 6, and I have to say that this story just gets better and better. Questions are answered, while new ones spring up. Mysteries that are solved only lead to deeper mysteries that you had no idea were there. The compliment of characters gives this series every possible point of view you can get. I started this series only a few months ago, and I have been obsessed by it. The descriptions of Jordan's world are almost at enjoyable to read as the interaction between the characters. Reviewers complain that the series is too long - that's because they must not enjoy reading. Me, I hope this series goes on for a while. I have never truly gotten this much enjoyment from a series of books ever. If you read this series, please have the mind set that this is not something to rush through. Lose yourself in it, get whisked away to the Aiel Waste or to Andor and enjoy the great work of this extremely imaginative author.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let the Lord of Chaos Rule!, February 26, 2009
This review is intended for people who have not read the series yet
and not as a discussion piece.

I was thrilled by Lord of Chaos. I have read a lot of disparaging
remarks about this book from supposed Wheel of Time fans, but this
book did not live up to their badmouthing. For one thing, the story
takes a noticeably different track than the previous books, focusing
on the developments laid in The Fires of Heaven. In other words, this
book does not follow the "pack up and leave" storylines of the
previous five books. With a few exceptions, the characters are not
journeying, but are dealing with developments as other characters come
to them. I found this quite refreshing.

I expected Lord of Chaos to be a dud because I knew that there were
several events in the storyline that had to take place, and at the end
of The Fires of Heaven, none of them seemed close to happening.
Quite the contrary, Lord of Chaos shows new windows into previously
neglected areas, including The Forsaken, men who channel, and several
other areas. The workings of Aes Sedai are further fleshed out by the
events in Salidar --- I really like reading about the ceremonies in a
way that is relevant to the characters. That is particularly
satisfying in a way that The Star Wars prequels just were not.

Further disappointment in my expectations occurs in the last third of
the book where no fewer than six major twists occur in the plot.
These were things that I totally did not expect. In other words, the
first six hundred pages are merely good and the last three hundred are
incredible. I was blown away by things starting at around page 600.
The story picked up phenomenally at that point. The conclusion is
even more earth-shattering. The story totally did not go the way I
thought and it was very entertaining.

Keep reading. The only recommendation I have is to have a copy of A
Crown of Swords on hand for when you finish. There is little
resolution after the thrilling final scene, except some setup for the
next book. A Crown of Swords even begins with a retelling of the
final scene of Lord of Chaos, which I welcomed.

I am still anxiously waiting to be disappointed by these books: so far
I haven been thrilled.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best in an Already Great Series, February 22, 2004
There are tons of reviews out there that will tell you that this is a horrible book, slow, verbose, and dull, and just as many that will tell you this book is the best they've ever read, etc. The truth lies somewhere in between. If you like Robert Jordan's previous works (which, seeing as you're considering reading the sixth, you probably do) then you are going to love this book. The conclusion of this book (which the cover - horribly drawn as it is - alludes to) is arguably the best of all those in the Wheel of Time series. It's dramatic, frought with tension, and rather chilling. Personally, I feel that the 600+ pages that get you there aren't that bad either; they are also some of the best Jordan has written. If you don't like his style or his story, though, you won't like it and I don't recommend it. It's as simple as that. But for any Jordan fan - well, what are you waiting for?
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 40 Sniffs Later, December 26, 2012
By 
Greg Polansky (Boston, Massachusetts) - See all my reviews
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The climactic end of The Fires of Heaven saw several Forsaken dead or captured. Lanfear was killed by Moiraine. Rahvin was balefired out of existence by Rand. Asmodean was killed by some nameless character (to be revealed much later). And Moghedian was captured by Nynaeve. And by now you should see a pattern. Forsaken are killed off in odd numbered books. Balthamael and Aginor in Book 1. Be'lal and Ishamael in Book 3. The above in Book 5.

Now, at the start of Lord of Chaos, Rand is in charge of both Cairhien and Caemlyn. During his stretches of the book, at least in the first 3/4, we see lots of diplomatic maneuvering between Rand and Aes Sedai in both cities mentioned previously. One diplomatic mission is from Tar Valon. The other from Salidar. Both sets of Aes Sedai seek control over Rand, although one set appears to be "nicer" than the other. Either way, during the book if you already had some contempt for the Aes Sedai you're going to love hating them even more because they are some of the most petty, nasty and insufferable women of the entire series. How far they have fallen from the Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends.

Meanwhile, during the Egwene sections of the book, and her POV is the second greatest, we see her being summoned to Salidar. This is quite sad. Why? Because her POV gave us insight into the Aiel, probably the most interesting people of the entire series. Now, without her there, we see her POV among the Aes Sedai of Salidar.

After Rand and Egwene, the other sections of the book focus on way too many characters. Jordan fractures his book into so many points of view that one wonders if he was trying to make his book into a simulacrum of the Patterns of the Ages. For instance, while The Fires of Heaven had 20 points of view, Lord of Chaos had 47 different points of view. The man was clearly in love with his own writing and needed a better editor to tell him to focus on the main characters and stop introducing new characters. Still, the chapters on Nynaeve are probably some of my favorite of the series. Why? Because between this book and the next, Nynaeve comes to certain conclusions and we are invited to see those same conclusions. One of them is that the Aes Sedai are always convinced that they know more than they do. This features quite prominently in one particular scene where Nynaeve successfully does something that not even the Age of Legends Aes Sedai managed to do.

Mat also appears in the book. I have to admit I used to hate Mat. But during this reread I actually grew to like Mat and understand him better. His points of view are always interesting in that he keeps being pushed to do something he doesn't want to do, and yet he does it really well. He also has one particular memory that is interesting for those who enjoy the history of the Randlands.

Perrin appears too. And with him, Faile - the most juvenile and nasty character of the entire series. Seriously, certain Forsaken appear better than Faile does. Some of Faile's actions will leave you wondering how anyone could love this abusive person. Towards the beginning of the book Perrin feels the pull of Rand on him and journeys to him. At least this gets his plot line entwined back with Rand. Sadly, Mat is now with Aviendha and Egwene in Salidar/Ebou Dar. Ah well, can't have everything. And the Perrin-Rand plot line leads to Dumai's Wells. One of the favorite scenes for many. Not mine. But to each his own. Still, the outcome of Dumai's Wells is probably one of the bigger game changers of the entire series.

I've been keeping track of the sniffs in the book because Jordan has his women sniff way too much. For this book Nynaeve retains her lead,

Nynaeve - IIIII III
Egwene - III
Larine - III
Min - II
Aviendha - II
Leane - II
Romanda - II
Edelle - I
Breane - I
Graendal - I
Somara - I
Carlinya - I
Beonin - I
Elayne - I
Amys - I
Idrien - I
Corvil - I
Erith - I
Galina - I
Vandene - I
Sorilea - I
Siuan - I
Nildra - I
Deira - I
Melaine - I

And for the six book so far, Nynaeve is so far in the lead that I don't see how anyone can take her crown of sniffs away.

Nynaeve - IIIII IIIII IIIII IIIII IIIII IIIII IIIII II (37)
Egwene - IIIII IIIII IIII (14)
Aviendha - IIIII IIIII II (12)
Elayne - IIIII IIIII I (11)
Leane - IIIII II (7)
Moiraine - IIIII II (7)
Faile - IIIII (5)
Min - IIII
Suian Sanche - IIII
Lanfear/Selene - III
Larine - III
Melaine - III
Bair - II
Cook at Inn - II
Elaida - II
Liandrin - II
Laras, Mistress of the Kitchens - II
Romanda - II
Adine - I
Ailhuin - I
Aludra - I
Amys - I
Beonin - I
Bornhold - I (still the only man to ever sniff)
Breane - I
Carlinya - I
Corvil - I
Deira - I
Edelle - I
Erith - I
Females in Crowd - I
Galina - I
Graendal - I
Idrien - I
Jeaine - I
Jeaine - I
Lini - I
Marin al'Vere - I
Nildra - I
Rendra - I
Somara - I
Sorilea - I
Suroth - I
Tavern Wenches at the Woman of Tanchico Inn - I
Vandene - I
Verin - I
Woman in Fal Dara - I
Women of Emond's Field - I
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Women of WOT, October 7, 2009
By 
I must say I'm somewhat disturbed by all these comments I've been reading insinuating that Jordan's female characters are nothing more than cardboard cutouts displaying his deep, deep hatred/fear of women. Rather, the females in WOT are incredibly rich, detailed, and unique characters each with their own distinct flavor as only Jordan can write it. I thought the following guide might help enlighten those of you who think otherwise. I've created several female character types to help us understand the genius that is Robert Jordan when it comes to character development. Enjoy.

Type #1: The experienced veteran.
General description: this female has been around the block, so to speak. She's seen it all and won't take any crap from the noobies. Generally having a high opinion of herself, she is pretty much always right - to the Pit of Doom with anyone else's opinion. You don't want to cross this shrieking harridan. She doesn't hesitate to resort to unjustified violence when things don't go her way, and it's generally the fault of the nearest male character.

Common characteristics: snooty, arrogant, insecure despite her experience, hates most men (or at least thinks they're equivalent to chimps), self righteous, whiny, and generally intolerable. Often described as "handsome or beautiful, with an impressive bosom".

Examples: Moraine, Siuan, Nyneave (first few books), any Sea Folk, any Kin woman, any Wise One, any Maiden of the Spear, any Aes Sedai having the shawl for more than 5 seconds, any innkeeper, any wife... hmmm... that pretty much covers 95% of the female characters. I may have to rethink my thesis statement here. But moving on...

Type #2: The determined rookie
General description: She may be inexperienced, but watch out! This female is determined to succeed! Except when confronted by any kind of difficulty. Then she'll retreat into her insecurity and plan her passive aggressive assault on the offending character for the next 5 books while fretting over more important things like what dress to wear, how to brush her hair, and how much she hates men. Generally can be heard muttering about "decent clothing", she'll take any opportunity to dress/act like a prostitute that she can.

Common characteristics: snooty, arrogant, extremely insecure, regards men as babbling retard gorillas (or "woolheads") self righteous, whiny, selfish, cowardly, violent, and the most intolerable of any character type. Almost always beautiful with a "memorable bosom", or showing "considerable cleavage".

Examples: FAILE! Also Elayne, Egwene, Min, Aviendha, Nyneave, Birgitte, and other ridiculously annoying main characters.

Type #3: The Vulcan
General description: thinks completely logically. Tries to ignore emotion. Uses the term "that's illogical" more than Spock. Because many people like this really exist, obviously.

Common characteristics: snooty, arrogant, dislikes men as a general rule, self righteous, subtly annoying, impossible to distinguish from any other character in this category. Usually "coldly beautiful, with a large bosom".

Examples: The entire White Ajah. Seriously, they're all exactly the same character.

Type #4: The Castrator
General description: this type might seem somewhat redundant, but the Castrator takes it to a whole new level. Of questionable sexuality, the Castrator is basically a violent man-killing machine looking for any excuse to be annoying and spiteful in their quest to castrate the entire male population. No one like the Castrator, even others of the same category. Fortunately, there aren't too many of them, and their blind rage often gets them into sticky situations.

Common characteristics: snooty, arrogant, despises men (as well as most women, puppies, food, water, and air), self righteous, cowardly, in-your-face annoying. The least beautiful of the female category, they still possess large bosoms, and are often described as "bosomy" or find themselves in situations with "heaving bosoms". Man, Jordan really likes him some boobies.

Examples: The entire Red Ajah. Once again, they are fricken identical. Notably Elaida, but Galina runs a close second in terms of annoyance.

Well, looking at my list, I guess maybe some of you were right. They do seem pretty similar. Now don't get me wrong, I actually liked Lord of Chaos. The battle scene at the end is one of the best in the entire series hands down. However, I feel it is in this book that the females really start to become intolerable - especially Faile. God I hate her. So for those of you who have yet to continue in this WOT series, expect every single female character to become 10x as whiny, annoying, insecure, and all around miserable and hateful as the books progress. If you take my advice, by the time you get to Winter's Heart and Crossroads, just skip right over any chapter featuring Elayne. Seriously. She needs to die.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A slow pace redeemed by a spectacular payoff, October 30, 2008
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The sixth book of The Wheel of Time takes us deep into the second act of this massive story, with the transition to a more political-oriented narrative continuing apace. Lord of Chaos is one of the more divisive books in the series, with fans praising its deeper exploration of ideas and intrigue, whilst critics bemoan the slow pace of the book compared to earlier volumes.

The kingdoms of Cairhien, Mayene and Tear are now sworn to the Dragon Reborn, and a successful raid on Caemlyn, capital of Andor, has seen that city fall to his forces as well. Several of the Forsaken, the most powerful servants of the Dark One, have been slain and Rand's successes look like they will continue unabated. In the south, he is assembling a vast army to send against the Forsaken Sammael in his stronghold of Illian, whilst the Aes Sedai remain divided on how to proceed with him. However, Rand's announcement of an amnesty for men who can channel has shocked the world, for all male channellers of the One Power are doomed to go mad and die, wreaking havoc as they go, and some of his enemies are prepared to move against him before that can be allowed to happen.

The theme of the sixth book in The Wheel of Time is consolidation. Rand's forces have absorbed vast amounts of territory, but before he can resume his campaign he must secure that which he holds already. With scheming against him in Andor and Cairhien underway and an outright rebellion going on in Tear, this proves a difficult task. Rand also has to find a way of dealing with both factions of the Aes Sedai, an undertaking fraught with peril. His companions also have their own problems to deal with: Perrin must prove his worthiness to his wife's parents, Mat has to deal with the issues of becoming a general, and Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve have complex currents to negotiate amongst the rebel Aes Sedai. Even Pedron Niall, commander of the Children of the Light, has significant problems he has to overcome in both his own ranks and his dealings with the displaced Queen of Andor, whilst the surviving Forsaken scheme incessantly against one another.

The problem with this kind of stock-taking is that it is hard to work up a dramatic story about it. Instead, you end up with lots and lots of talk. Characters sitting around talking about the plot, about what has already happened and what they think might happen in the future. That's when they are not engaged in increasingly tedious and infantile discussions about male-female relations, which by this volume are starting to get a mite repetitive. The politicking and intrigue is fine as far as it goes (although fans of GRRM or Bakker may find it a bit on the shallow and simplistic side), but you do need a bit more to spice the book up. There's some fine, atmospheric interludes in the book, such as Rand taking a brief sojourn in the desolate, cursed city of Shadar Logoth, but overall the novel has serious pacing issues. Simply put, this is a 1,000-page book in which not a lot happens for the first three-quarters of it.

Towards the end, however, the pace starts to lift quite noticeably as Rand's attempts to play the two Aes Sedai factions off against one another backfire spectacularly and some of the most surprising events in the entire series take place, culminating in a massive battle at the spring of Dumai's Wells in which Jordan's sometimes-variable skills at depicting action, drama and the ability to tie together disparate storylines are put to their best effect. This late burst of action sequences and confrontations is extremely effective, and Dumai's Wells often tops readers' polls as the most satisfying moment of the entire series to date, with some fine moments right at the end of the book which hint at much greater things to come.

Lord of Chaos (****) is a sedentary novel where events unfold slowly, but do succeed in laying the groundwork for the spectacular and satisfying concluding section of the book. I suspect many readers will be put off by the slow pace, but I found the payoff to be more than worth it. The novel is available in the UK from Orbit and in the USA from Tor.
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62 of 84 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars That's it. I'm done. I can't take this anymore., September 21, 2009
This review is from: Lord of Chaos (The Wheel of Time, Book 6) (Hardcover)
Imagine a reporter following around a cranky old couple and recording all their bickering. For 10 years.

Now take that bickering and add tedious descriptions of such amazing items as pots, pans, horse saddles, dresses, taverns, and furniture.

Now add references to breasts after each of these unnessesary descriptions. Better yet - tie breasts into that description somehow.

Next, throw in some interesting fantasy concepts based on Eastern philosophy. Before this takes off and the reader actually starts to get interested, though, add more of the bickering. And a few more breast references. Also, take 13 pages to inform the reader that the protagonist has left their room at the inn and is now in the horse stables.

Do this for 900 pages.

Viola! You now have Robert Jordan's Lord of Chaos, Fires of Heaven, and, judging by the reviews, every other book that follows in this series.

Don't get me wrong - I was a big fan of this series. I loved the plot, the concepts Jordan introduced, the Aiel, Aes Sedai, Dragon Reborn, etc. He started with a great story.

Unfortunately he doesn't end with one.

Most people mention book 6 or 7 turning them off. I started to get suspicious after book 3. That was the first time I finished and said to myself, "Wait, it took him 600 pages for THAT?" Book 4 was even worse, but I was still into it. Book 5 was when I realized it was an ongoing theme. Book 6 was the last straw. I'm done.

Specifically, here's what I have against the Wheel of Time:

Detail - There's good detail and bad detail. Tolkein gave histories, insights into dwarven and elvish culture, etc. Things that enriched his fictional universe. This is good detail. A whole page describing what type of dress Nyneve is wearing is not good detail. Two pages describing what Rand saw as he walked to the stables is not good detail. If you take 900 pages to write a book that would have been twice as good if it were 450 pages, you're not giving good detail.

Breasts - Why is Jordan so obsessed with these? The guy goes out of his way to mention breasts. "Egwene folded her arms beneath her breasts", "The necklace that held the two rings hanging between Nyneve's breasts", "Elayne caught sight of almost-too-low-cut dress that showed part of her breasts." Robert - just write a detailed, thorough, graphic love scene for yourself and get it all out of your system. Honestly. His books read like a 14 year old boy's mental commentary while watching Desperate Housewives.

The Women - Jordan's mental archetype of women appears to be a stubborn, cantankerous, petty, insecure, attractive woman with (you guessed it), prominent breasts. Was his mother this way? Sisters? Wife? I can't help but wonder, seeing as every woman in his books has the exact same personality. And unfortunately that personality is very annoying.

Nynaeve tugged her braid - Just go ahead and call the next book in this series: The Wheel of Time: Nynaeve Tugged Her Braid.

Those are just a few. I really liked this series to begin with. I wish Jordan had gone a different route than he did, but I can't take it anymore. There are too many other good books out there to waste time reading 900 pages about Nynaeve's dresses, Perrin not understanding women, Elayne thinking Rand is a wool-headed man, and, of course, Egwene folding her arms under her breasts.

That is all.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Such a good ending...., January 1, 2011
There comes a point, in a thousand page book, where one is just overwhelmed with information. I mentioned this back in The Great Hunt, but the book is so dense that you look at the dwindling number of pages towards the back of the book and think, This can't possibly be enough to hold all the stuff I remember happening. And yet it does. The storytelling here is solid, and while there may be a lot of fat to trim, the climactic scenes are usually very well paced and keep you hanging on the whole way through.

So, what happens in this book?

As we begin, the rebel Aes Sedai in the tiny village of Salidar are waiting to know what to do. This isn't something that one would normally say of Aes Sedai, but they are uncertain. The White Tower is the Aes Sedai family, and to think of it splitting down the middle is just as bad as seeing your own family crack in two - you would do anything to save it. While the Salidar Aes Sedai certainly want to stand up against Elaida and her barely legal takeover of the Tower, they also want their family to be whole again. It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that reconciliation is not to be, and so they prepare to take the radical step of naming an Amyrlin Seat of their own. Once that is done, the Tower will truly be split, but perhaps they can bring Elaida to justice in the end.

Rand al'Thor is trying to hold together the lands he's conquered - Tear, Cairhein and Andor - and prevent them from collapsing into chaos. There are bands of violent looters who call themselves "Dragonsworn," following their mad prophet and razing all that stands in their path. The Shaido, a clan of Aiel who refuse to accept Rand as their Chief of Chiefs, continues to dog Rand and his allies, and are an ever-present threat. He has Aes Sedai from both the White Tower and Salidar calling on him, each trying to convince him that they are the only ones who are worth allying with. And in Illian, the Forsaken Sammael waits, his greatest ambition being to crush Rand al'Thor and stand at the right hand of the Dark One when his time comes 'round at last.

All over the continent, the weather has gone into perpetual summer - lands are drying up, farms are dying, as the hand of the Dark One touches the world. Elayne and Nynaeve believe they know where they can find an object that will bring the weather back to normal, but they must first get out of Salidar. Once they do that, they have the violent streets of Ebou Dar to contend with. Egwene is with the Aiel Dreamwalkers, learning how to manage the World of Dreams, not prepared for the magnitude of what awaits her with the rebel Aes Sedai in Salidar. Mat, now the leader of his own army, finds himself guarding Elayne and Nynaeve, much to his own dismay.

All around them, the world falls into chaos, and everything that Rand has done is poised to be undone.

As I said, it's a dense book, and the changes that occur from the first page to the thousandth are pretty serious. But even though all that, my interest was held and I was entertained, not the least because the characters entertained me from beginning to end.

One of the fun tricks that Jordan uses to great effect, in this book and elsewhere, is conflicting viewpoints. In the last review, I talked about how, for some readers, the profusion of point-of-view characters made the book harder to get into (and at my count, this book has 44 POV characters in it). One advantage to that kind of writing, however, is that we get to examine events and situations through the eyes of different characters, which is often informative and always entertaining.

Take Rand, for example. He's an interesting character in that while has has to juggle so many different large-scale problems at once (and he's generally pretty good at it), he's hopeless on the individual level. In once scene, for example, Egwene comes to visit Rand. She's determined to talk to him about the Wise Ones' manipulation of him, but gets sidetracked into the topic of the Salidar Aes Sedai. Realizing that Rand's nature as a ta'veren (a person whose mere presence can influence chance and fate) is about to cause her to tell him everything, she opens herself to saidar, the female half of the True Source, as a means of self-control.

Rand can sense this, and believes that she is afraid of him, calling on saidar as preparation for some kind of attack. He's disappointed in her, of course, but this just further cements his distrust of Aes Sedai and deepens his disappointment that he can no longer trust someone with whom he had grown up. He believes that Egwene approached him in order to involve him in the Wise Ones' plans and to stand against his own plan to give the thrones of Cairhein and Andor to Elayne.

"At least you didn't let her see you were tired," he tells himself after she leaves.

Egwene's first thought upon seeing him? "He looked so tired."

Two people see the same situation from radically different points of view, and it is their inability to reconcile these points of view that cause conflict. Storytelling 101, but done to great effect in these books. There's another, far funnier scene later on, when Mat finally gets to Salidar and has a humorous misunderstanding as to exactly what Egwene is doing there. Like so many other characters, he's absolutely sure he knows what's going on, only to discover that the reality of the situation is nothing like what he expected. The characters' willingness to make assumptions, unwillingness to say what they're really thinking, and inability to accurately know what will happen next are a constant throughout these books, and makes them all the more human.

It is these differences of perspective - often leavened with characters who are wonderfully un-self-aware (Rand, Mat, and Nynaeve are my favorite examples) - that makes the Cast of Thousands worthwhile. For all the benefits of a single-POV book or series, there's always more story that could be told by shifting into the head of another character. What kind of story would Harry Potter have been if we could have watched events unfold through Ron and Hermione's eyes as well? Longer, that's for sure, but perhaps it would have been even better.

Would I want The Wheel of Time pared down to just Rand al'Thor's point of view? Not on your life. Not just because Rand is one of the less well-developed characters in the series, but I would miss the others. I would miss being in the funhouse-mirror mind of Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan, or the scary thoughts of the Forsaken. I would miss knowing how Mat feels about finding himself a general, or Perrin becoming the lord of his homeland. I would miss Perrin's conversations with the wolves ("We come" just gave me shivers. It's in chapter 54, check it out.) I would regret losing even the minor POV characters - Sulin trying to figure out how to keep Rand safe, whether he wanted it or not. Faile working to make sure her husband becomes all that he should become. Pedron Niall and his visions of a world saved by his Whitecloaks.

While the vast crowd of characters can be overwhelming, it creates a rich world in which I can easily lose myself. Which is exactly what a good book is supposed to accomplish.

----------------------------------------------------
The lions sing and the hills take flight.
The moon by day, and the sun by night.
Blind woman, deaf man, jackdaw fool.
Let the Lord of Chaos rule.
- Children's chant of the Fourth Age
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Kneel to the Lord Dragon, or you will be knelt..", March 24, 2001
That line basically sums up the feeling of _Lord of Chaos_. This is Rand's book, regardless of what happens to other characters. Perrin and Faile reapper? That's nice. Nynaeve and Elayne have difficulty readjusting to life under Aes Sedai guidance? Oh well. Mat and the Band of the Red Hand plan for war and end up visiting the Aes Sedai? Not that exciting. In fact, only three really important things happen in this book that *don't* happen to Rand: one happens to Nynaeve, one to Egwene, and Mat makes a fateful journey to Ebou Dar. By doing so, we learn that he's really very serious about keeping his word, something that just never seemed like Mat before. So there is character development for the other characters. But Rand is the focus of the attention. Whether he's in Caemlyn or Cairhien, whether he's dealing with Davram Bashere, the most powerful man in Saldaea, or Mazrim Taim, the false Dragon, or various Aes Sedai delegations, Rand's hardening of himself is the focal point of _Lord of Chaos_. Min becomes much more important, since she is the only one that Rand fails to drive away, and so becomes the person he depends on the most, and the only one who can make him see reason. Rand and Lews Therin (in his head) have a few good conversations when Rand has nothing else to do, in what is possibly the biggest bungle the Aes Sedai have made in the series so far. _Lord of Chaos_ is filled with scenes that are emotional and touching, but also with battle (Dumai's Wells is the greatest bloodbath seen in _The Wheel of Time_ so far.. sort of a medieval battle with a few landmines added) and definitely shows the greatest character development for Rand as he goes from a suspicious but still occasionally likable guy into a machine of a man. Although this change is good in _Lord of Chaos_, it gets the better of Jordan in later books as it becomes almost impossible to sympathize with Rand, unlike in the earlier books.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Nothing happening"? Plenty happening!, December 9, 2003
By 
I do not understand those who claim that "nothing is happening" in LOC. Did you actually read the book?
-The Black Tower is established.
-Egwene becomes Amyrlin and starts moving against Elaida, accepting what the rebels tried to deny so long (broken tower).
-Nynaeve discovers how to heal stilling/gentling.
-Alanna binds Rand as a warder.
-Aes Sedai take Rand captive.
-Rand makes Aes Sedai swear fealty.
-Wise Ones partake in battle.
-Forsaken coming back from the dead.
And more. "Nothing happening"?
Compare this to the first book.
-They run from the trollocs.
-They run from the Myrdraal.
-They run from the trollocs.
-They still run from the trollocs.
Apart from the last few chapters, there is not more happening/being revealed than in book 6. I don't hear anybody complain about that though. Is it more exciting because people face the possibility of death, and we don't know yet that certain characters can't die before Tarmon Gaidon?
So how much "revealing" and "happening" do you want? And how do you want it? As a bulleted list? Or as a summary in a history book, as brief and concise as possible? There's a difference between a reporter and a writer, and Jordan does an excellent job showing that he belongs to the latter category. I'd much rather read and enjoy these close to 1000 pages, than having a 10 page summary of "what is happening", missing all the important details and undercurrents. Missing having enough information to envision this world and what is happening.
Fund a fantasy newspaper if you can't handle skillfully written books.
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Lord of Chaos (The Wheel of Time, Book 6)
Lord of Chaos (The Wheel of Time, Book 6) by Robert Jordan (Hardcover - October 15, 1994)
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