Customer Reviews: A Crown of Swords: Book Seven of 'The Wheel of Time'
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on October 19, 2005
Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

Book 7 in the Wheel of Time series, Crown of Swords is the first one of the series where it took me some effort to get through some parts. This one, in my opinion, is the first one where RJ's attention to detail becomes a detriment as opposed to an asset. It begins with Rand reestablishing himself in Cairhien after the events in the previous book (Lord of Chaos) and ends with a pretty important battle.

What I liked:

*Mat and his adventures are as funny as ever!

*Mat vs. Gholam

*Introduction of Cadsuane (some people consider that a minus, but I actually like her character). Hers is a thankless job, but necessary.

*The battles in Illian and Shadar Logoth.

*The return of the Seanchan.

What I didn't like:

*Mat and Tylin moments. Something about that whole storyline really bothered me.

*Elayne and Nynaeve, particularly their treatment of Mat. If someone treated me that way, they'd never see me again no matter how close we had been in the past! Their quest is quite drawn out as well.

*Even though the slow parts had relevant information, these parts were too big and quite tedious.


In Summary:

The Previous books in the series all had a certain excitement to them (for lack of a better term) that kept me going even through the occasional slow parts. That edge of your seat excitement was missing from this book at times. It only arose when the battles approached and made itself scarce during the overly descriptive slow parts. Still, there was story progression and the battles & Intrigue were great enough such that after finishing this book, I was greatly looking forward to the next one. I rounded the 3.5 stars up to 4 mainly as an offset to those individuals who rated this book based on their disappointment over the later books and also because the exciting parts were more than a makeup for the slow parts when all was said and done.
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on December 22, 2000
This book doesn't have a beginning, middle, and end like most. It kinda seems like ONE BIG MIDDLE. But it is still entertaining .. and the plot keeps moving forward (some). Maybe I have been reading too long but what I have noticed in this seventh volume is that Jordan's style has suddenly shifted. There are whole chapters of characters going from city to city .. describing the columns or the dead grass or the scary Aeil and how they don't get along and they think wetlanders are crazy. I think I as a reader I ALREADY KNOW ALL OF THIS. I know that Perrin thinks Mat and Rand know girls ... and Rand think Perrin and Mat do. Oh, how ironic! The 70th time .. well, it is just annoying. There are interesting things .. such as Perrin and Faile's emerging relationship, Min and Rand's relationship, Egwene's struggles as Amyrilin. Mat is always fun. But the fact that Nynaeve, Elayne, Aviendha and Birgitte haven't changed in 3 books bugs.
To sum it up ... my problem with Jordan is that he pounds some of these ideas into our heads TOO often. No one is going to read Crown of Swords without reading the other books first ... but he keeps repeating the craziness of the Aeil, the Cairhienin stoicness, the Aes Sedai's nausea at men channeling ... y'know? I'm sure us readers could list a million of these.
Finally, the first 6 chapters of this book are difficult to get through becuase he throws out 100 names of lords and Aiel and Aes Sedai and such. The cast of this world is dizzyingly large and I think he uses all of them in those chapters. But get beyond Rand's return to Cairhein and Caemlyn and it settles down a bit.
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on December 17, 2002
This series started off well enough. By book 4 the story was starting to lag a little bit, by book 5 the series was going downhill, and by book 6 the story had ground to a halt. Still, I was willing to give the series another chance, and I opened up volume seven with high hopes. Much to my dismay, I found that it was absolutely, astonishingly awful.
For one thing, the story goes absolutely nowwhere. Rand is is still complaining, Elayne and Nynaeve(Light burn them!) are still searching for supernatural kitchenware, and Perrin is still as boring as ever. Jordan tries to bulk up his tedious narrative with needless details. Who cares what Nynaeve is wearing!
The female characters are even more annoying than ever. Elayne is the same chatering fool she was since book 1, but now she is even more vexing since half the book focuses on her. Nynaeve tugs on her braid some 22,000 times during the course of the book. The female characters are seem to have the sane annoying personality. It seems like Jordan couldn't write women if his ife depende on it.
In short, avoid this book at all costs.
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on January 22, 2002
While Nynaeve tugged her braid, Elayne smoothed her skirts and Egwene folder her arms under her breasts, all of them wishing Rand, Mat, Perrin and/or Lan were there so they could give them the rough side of their tongues and then take off their clothes to admire their pretty buttocks and so on.
Meanwhile, Rand, ever mindful of the oily taint of saidin, wished he knew as much about women as Mat and Perrin did. Perrin, ever mindful of Faile's constant nagging, wished he knew as much about women as Rand and Mat did. And Mat, freshly bedded at knifepoint by Queen Tylin, wished lhe knew as much, etc.
Elsewhere, in Tear or somewhere, the cleavage was robust, the chamber pots were made of porcelain, the lace dresses with the little silver thingies in them were very pretty and the forked beards shone in the pale summer morning like flaxen straw or some crap. Earrings were bright and sparkly and horses wore intricate, ornate saddles and, and uh...did I mention the cleavage and how firm and robust it was? Darkfriends walked the streets and did...things. Whitecloaks arrested anybody who said the word "darkfriend" and looked at them funny. Several Aes Sedai were stilled and then just as quickly unstilled...then stilled again if they stepped out of line. Other Aes Sedai, meanwhile, searched high and low for various weather-altering kitchen utensils. And the Sean'chean invaded every so often, just to keep things mildly interesting...
...and stuff
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on July 24, 2000
After finishing this book, I wondered how Jordan managed to pack 100-150 pages of plot into 600 pages of text! What happened to the other 500 pages?
Well, most of that 500 pages, unfortunately, was pointless discussion about things that simply don't matter, like why Nynaeve is starting to dress more revealingly (I guess to make Lan happy, but who cares?). Why does it take the entire book for Elaine and Nynaeve to find the Bowl of the Winds, when they were in the same area the whole time?
The conversations that DO matter are written in Jordan's usual suspenseful style that keeps the reader guessing as to the intentions of the speakers (Forsaken, Aes Sedai, etc.). Very few loose ends are tied in this novel and in fact, many more are brought up. The ultra-powerful and mysterious Moridin is introduced, as is the True Power which even the Forsaken don't dare to wield. What is the relationship between Moridin and Shaidar Haran, who was introduced in Lord of Chaos? What about Slayer, what happened to him? What happened to Mat? Still no word on Moiraine and Lanfear.
Yet for all the disappointments, it's a must read because it DOES progress the story. You can't really skip it because several important new characters are introduced (Moridin, Cadsuane, etc.). If you're hooked on the series, buy it but be prepared for disappoint relative to the previous books.
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on October 27, 2005
Nearly everything said is done so wryly or dryly. Find a page with conversations(getting harder to find in the sea of pointless descriptions, but at least people can think wryly and dryly), and you will find both terms used at least once. I would love to get a digital copy of the book and run a search on them and count em up. I wouldn't be surprised if they showed up 400+ times each. There has to be more then those 2 near identical options. It seems like Jordan thinks of something he believes to be clever(but it usually isn't) and then repeats it ad-nauseum. Like "but there it was" and "so and so looks at someone else as if for the first time". Those two phrases were repeated in the first 6 books hundreds of times.

This book is mildly decent. But this is one of his warm ups for his successful attempt to write the worst book ever(CoT). Lots of tea, dresses, sniffing and braid-tugging in this one, but is still only foreshadows the massive amounts of them yet to come.

Yes, the Mat/Tylin storyline is more then disturbing. Had the roles been different, people would have been screaming over the rape storyline. Jordan simply has an adolescent view of women. He needs therapy badly.

The worst parts are the Egwene storyline. The irony of her always screaming at Rand for having a swollen head, and then she does nearly the same things is too much to bear.

The books read alot like an school paper that had to be a certain length. It is like the publishers said it had to be a minimum of 12 books, but since the entire story from start to finish could be a good 8 books, we have been subjected to lots of filler and plain bad writing.

Jordan is a lot like George Lucas, both took a story and universe that interested many people and destroyed it, forgetting that story is more important then eye-candy. The unending, and uninteresting descriptions in the book and fx in the movie rendered both terrible and are both forever scarred.
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on January 7, 2003
I enjoyed books 1-6. Crown of Swords is just what all the critiques say: boring, verbose, tedious, excrutiating... etc. After the climatic finale of #6, I was excited to see the reactions of all parties involved in the events in the beginning of #7. I was sorely disappointed. It was well more than halfway into the book before Elaida discovers what happened at the battle.
Jordan has a bad habit of taking the first 1/4 or more of the book rehashing prior events. Absolutely nothing happens in the beginning of the book, and worse, little if any happens in the entire book.
The whole book is a mindless verbose drone (sp) by Jordan. He takes entire chapters to describe converstions that can be contained in 2 or 3 pages. My trick in forcing myself thru the book is to only read the dialogue. Seriously, the book has fatal flaws.
Jordan: Quit writing filler episodes! Your reputation has been tarnished enough already.
I already bought the 3rd collection (7, 8, 9), so I will try to force myself thru them when I have nothing better to do. I see that #10 just came out and offers most of the same slow pace. Unless Jordan speeds up his books, I will stop at 9 (which I already bought, much to my regret) and read no more of his stuff.
My recommendation, if you have to read his later books, browse thru only the actual diagolue (at book store or library). Skip the verbose unnecessary nonsense.
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on February 14, 2000
I figure I'm about 5,600 pages into this series and while I've been entertained, I must agree with the other 553 reviewers who range from "I love it but it's a bit wordy" to "For the Love of God move the story!" I'm begining to feel taken advantage of. I've never read a series that has both entertained and annoyed me so much, which is a testament to Mr. Jordan's emotional connection with the reader. But everyone has a breaking point. After this much time and effort with relatively little payoff, I must encourage all new readers who are thinking of getting into this series to avoid it at all costs. And for those of us who are just too hooked to let go. Here's hoping we all get to the promised land some day.
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on May 19, 2000
First off, I enjoy the series, and RJ has a remarkable gift with language.
However, I have a few peeves with his writing. For one, he seems to have a strange, juvenile fixation on nudity, especially breasts. Just take a highlighter and mark every reference; you'll run out of ink!
Secondly, his female characters are almost without exception ill-tempered and man-hating. The men, on the other hand, roll over every time a woman snaps at them. Min is about the only female character who is likable. I'm not sure what experiences RJ has had in dealing with women, but apparently they were far worse than mine have been.
Jordan has a fixation on the war between the sexes which is unsettling. Use a different highlighter to mark the women-against-men passages, and you'll use up another marker.
Thirdly, this book introduces so many new characters and subplots that I don't see how anyone can keep them straight without taking notes. Too much confusion!
Despite these very irritating flaws in the book, it's still fun to read. Jordan paints such good images that his novels do come to life. The concept of the series and the way he is unravelling it are brilliant. You just have to put up with some of the author's fixations.
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on December 29, 2012
Not only was Robert Jordan so in love with his own writing that he could write pages of descriptions that leave the mind numb, in A Crown of Swords Jordan decides to advance the plot only a tiny bit. How does he do this? By having a huge portion of A Crown of Swords describe the events that took place in Lord of Chaos from the vantage point of other characters. Seriously. He is most egregious about this in the Egwene point of view. So let's get this review started.

A Crown of Swords has three primary plot lines. The first concerns Rand and his return from Dumai's Wells to discover that Cairhien has been taken over by Colavere. The diplomatic maneuvering that results from this action goes on for hundreds of pages. Sadly, the Perrin-Faile plotline is still entwined with the Rand one and we see the most heinous Faile. But not too much. Still, this is not the only development for Rand. We also watch him make preparations for an attack against the Forsaken Samael. And that attack is probably among the least satisfying of any of the confrontations with the Forsaken. And if you remember the pattern I described in my previous review you should figure out what happens to Sammael.

The second plot line is more interesting and benefits from occurring over four straight chapters. Here we witness Egwene consolidating control over the Aes Sedai in Salidar. With the help of Siuan and Leane, newly restored to being Aes Sedai when Nynaeve healed severing in the previous book, Egwene makes a good job of beginning to hold sway over the cantankerous Aes Sedai.

The third plot line is by far the most interesting. For fans of Mat, you will like that a plurality of this book is told from his point of view. In Ebou Dar he accompanies Nynaeve and Elayne in their search for a ter'angreal called the Bowl of Winds. With it they hope to be able to loosen the grip of the Dark One on the weather of the world. During this portion of the book we also discover more about the history of the Aes Sedai and learn even more about the Sea Folk. As an aside, I can't decide who is more annoying - the Aes Sedai or the Sea Folk. I do wonder, despite the number of strong female characters, if Jordan was not a misogynist. It's also during this portion of the book that my favorite scenes for both Elayne and for Nynaeve occur in back to back chapters. Without those scenes this book would probably only rate three stars.

And in the background, through the points of view of some minor characters who I won't bore you by in this review (since you will have to trudge through their chapters) we see that the Seanchan have returned and are making significant conquests along the western and southern coasts of Randland.

So I have been keeping track of sniffs in the books because Jordan has his women sniff way too much. Happily this book was roughly 100 pages less in length than Lord of Chaos so there were less sniffs.

Feraighin - II
Deira - I
Egwene - I
Bair - I
Lelaine - I
Elayne - III
Nesta din Reas - I
Signet Ring Fellow - I (another male sniffer!)
Joline - I
Cadsuane - I
Tion - I
Rhiale - I
Caira - I
Nynaeve - III
Setelle Anan - I
Berowin - I
Garenia - I
Faile - I
Elaida - I
Min - II
Merana - I
Samitsu - I
Renaile - I
Merillile - I
Therava - I
Amys - I

And the Total So Far. Nynaeve remains far in the lead, even with only 3 sniffs for an entire book

Elayne - IIIII IIIII IIII (14)
Aviendha - IIIII IIIII II (12)
Leane - IIIII II (7)
Moiraine - IIIII II (7)
Faile - IIIII I(6)
Min - IIIII I (6)
Suian Sanche - IIII
Bair - III
Elaida - III
Lanfear/Selene - III
Larine - III
Melaine - III
Amys - II
Cook at Inn - II
Deira - II
Feraighin - II
Liandrin - II
Laras, Mistress of the Kitchens - II
Romanda - II
Adine - I
Ailhuin - I
Aludra - I
Beonin - I
Berowin - I
Bornhold - I
Breane - I
Cadsuane - I
Caira - I
Carlinya - I
Corvil - I
Edelle - I
Erith - I
Females in Crowd - I
Galina - I
Garenia - I
Graendal - I
Idrien - I
Jeaine - I
Jeaine - I
Joline - I
Lelaine - I
Lini - I
Marin al'Vere - I
Merana - I
Merilille - I
Nesta din Reas - I
Nildra - I
Renaile - I
Rendra - I
Rhiale - I
Samitsu - I
Setelle Anan - I
Signet Ring Fellow - I
Somara - I
Sorilea - I
Suroth - I
Tavern Wenches at the Woman of Tanchico Inn - I
Therava - I
Tion - I
Vandene - I
Verin - I
Woman in Fal Dara - I
Women of Emond's Field - I
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