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Winter's Heart (The Wheel of Time, Book 9) Mass Market Paperback – January 7, 2002

3.3 out of 5 stars 1,010 customer reviews
Book 9 of 15 in the Wheel of Time Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The ninth installment in Jordan's sprawling Wheel of Time saga is as bountifully pregnant with plot threads as its predecessorsDand as bewilderingly esoteric for readers who have yet to commit its previous episodes to memory. Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, seems no nearer to fulfilling his destinyDto unite the embattled races of his domain against the Dark OneDthan he was in The Path of Daggers. The warmongering Seanchan are pouring into Ebou Dar, setting refugees in flight and complex schemes in fidgety motion. Perrin Aybara is distracted from his mission to shepherd the prophet Masema to Rand when he pursues the rebel Aiel who have kidnaped his wife, Faile. The mystical sisterhood of the Aes Sedai remain divided between Elaida, pretender to the title of the White Tower, and Egwene al'Vere, ally to Elayne, Queen of Andor. Elayne, Rand's lover, barely escapes poisoning, and Rand himself, still smarting from the unhealed wound of an assassination attempt, shapeshifts through a variety of disguises to pass unnoticed in hostile territories. Jordan can always be counted to ground his dizzying intrigues in solid chunks of cultural detail, and he here rises to the occasion, with chapters as dense as Spenserian stanzas with symbols and rituals. Not all of his subplots tie together, and fewer than usual of his vast cast of characters make a memorable impact. Nevertheless, he manipulates the disorder of his narrative to credibly convey a sense of an embattled world on the verge of self-destruction, and he entertainingly juxtaposes the courtly civility of his villains with the precarious chaos they cause. Devotees accustomed to this ongoing epic's increasing lack of focus will no doubt find it on target. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Robert Jordan has come to dominate the world Tolkien began to reveal.” ―The New York Times
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Product Details

  • Series: Wheel of Time (Book 9)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st THUS edition (January 7, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081257558X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812575583
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,010 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
First of all, let me say that I too am often amazed and awe-struck by the complexity of the WoT series. It's obvious to me the Robert Jordan's outline alone must have been a huge undertaking. That's what keeps me reading and coming back for more.
However, some of the reviewers here are accusing readers who give this book a less than sterling review of having short attention spans. Anyone who has stayed with the series this long is not suffering from a short attention span. The problem with the series is not the length and it is not necessarily a lack of action. The problem is that the series has gotten stale. The same things and the same descriptions are just being repeated, and they are still being described in the same way. There is too much filler. I don't think most people want to read a description of what each character is wearing unless there's a specific reason. It may have been important earlier in the series that Rand was wearing elaborately embroidered expensive finery while his friends were still dressed in humble country clothes. Now, however, he's simply wears variations on the same outfit, but they're always described in detail.
I'm not surprised that some readers are having trouble remembering the huge cast of characters. Just the similarity of the names alone is becoming an annoyance. Notice anything similar here?: Alaine, Bain, Berelain, Cadsuane, Caredwain, Dain, Deain, Dobraine, Egwene, Elayne, Ellaine, Faolain, Jain, Lain, Logain, Luaine, Melaine, Moiraine, Mordraine, Padan Fain, Raen, Shiaine, Tigraine. It's enough to make Nynaeve tug the braid right off of her head!
I've also noticed the lack of a really evil, frightening foe in the later books. Trollocs were scary in the first book or two, but now they're just fodder.
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Format: Hardcover
I, too, have been a reader and rereader of this series since it began a generation ago. This latest book was, AGAIN, disappointing. Jordan and Tor should be concerned, too many people are giving this series up for dead.
Can you remember what those first books were like? Fleeing at breakneck speed from Shadowspawn? The fear? The wonder at this brilliant world, the histories, the cultures, the laws of nature and magic? The amazing women and men? The innocence of the good and the black heart of the evil? Those books made your heart pump! And the characters - just as that first original cover review stated so long ago - seem like old friends.
What happened?
Slow, gradual, decent into mediocrity.
The last several books have been, as many other reviewers have written, fluff. Filler. Spotted with great scenes, but generally shallow and getting shallower. We want to get into it! But at every turn Jordan forces a sigh of agony or a roll of eyes from his readers, by repeating the same descriptive passages, or repeating the same bickering between characters, or repeating the same tired thought threads (Faile...likes to be shouted at...?). Aarrgg! Same thing again! We know already!!
Put some focus into it. Rand and his tragic love square(trapezoid?)? Soap opera? Didn't have to be. Mat as Queens plaything? Overly obnoxious? Didn't have to be. Focus, follow the arc, and move on. Our characters becoming less and less important and powerful? Fine, just tie it together and move forward. New characters, new background, new threads? Fine, but remember the story. Remember why we all came to the table in the first place. Tell the story! Put your back into it man!
Its not too late for this series. Just give us something to cheer for!
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Format: Hardcover
to take a series that once had such promise and absolutely destroy it? The first 4 or 5 books were great, and book 6 was decent. Crown of Swords and Path of Daggers were difficult to get through, mostly because they sucked... they were slow, characters were missing, and the plot was hardly advanced at all. They should have been one-half of one book combined, and would have been, if Jordan had a decent editor (PoD was actually much shorter than the other books, almost as if Jordan pumped it out for a deadline, cash, or both...). At any rate, this newest installment is _slightly_ better than the previous two, but it is not on the level as the first few books. I'm sorry to say that despite the cool ending, I've given up on Jordan from here on out - I discovered WoT when Dragon Reborn came out, and have been a huge fan ever since... but no longer. The cliched, stupid male/female relationships, the invincibility and god-like powers of the main characters, and the ridiculous villains, combined with the poor plotting and lack of a main storyline have all made me decide to throw in the towel. When everything's completed, I may go back and read the remaining novels in paperback if my library has them.
If you're looking for epic fantasy on the scale of Jordan, but with realistic characters, great dialogue and incredible prose, look to George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire saga (starting with the novel A Game of Thrones). Also try out Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy (beginning with The Dragonbone Chair). Both of these works are far better than WoT (in its current state).
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