Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Review: The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan

Book: The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan
Genre: Fantasy, High and Epic
Rating: A
For: my own personal WoT challenge which has turned into a buddy read with Ibeeeg
From: bought the "part 2" (books 4,5,6) set from Amazon

Well. Wow. Once I could actually concentrate on this, it seemed to fly by. I know, to you, my readers, it seems like I've been reading this book forever, but in actuality, it's just been this past week and a half that I've really REALLY been reading it! :) I've decided these Wheel of Time books need much attention. I can't really do my normal reading multiple books at a time thing with them. Interesting.

Anyway, so this continues the story of Rand and his friends. In this brief summary, I'll try not to spoil this book, but there's most likely going to be spoilers from previous books, as is the risk when reviewing a series, especially of this magnitude!

So this book follows basically three different groups, all scattered throughout this fantasy world. (Does this world actually have a name? Anyone know?) There's Rand, with Egwene, Moiriane, Mat, Lan and my new favorite character, Aviendha, along with several other strange assorted characters who are traveling from the Aiel wasteland, through the mountains to track down one of the Aiel tribes and their leader that has refused to join forces with Rand and company. They will reek havoc with the land if left on their own. They must be stopped.

Meanwhile, we have Nynaeve, Elayne, Thom, and Juilin who are.... hmmmm.... you know I'm not sure what their original purpose was, (I tend to forget why everyone is travelling all over the place and where they really want to go!) but I think they were sent to search after the Black Ajah (lady sorcerers if you'll remember! The bad ones!) and stop them. As if they can! Sheesh, they really know nothing about nothing. Anyway, they get themselves in all sorts of trouble but much of it is quit comical! And much is quite scary too.

The cool thing is that Nynaeve, Elayne and Egwene can keep tabs on each other and what's going on with everyone (and their favorite guys) by meeting up in the dreamworld. Pretty awesome.

The third group includes Min and the former leaders of the Aes Sedai, who were basically running for their lives at the end of book four. Oh, and also they've dragged along with them Logain, one of those bad false dragons! They manage to get into trouble too and have to keep running for their lives. They end up finding a hidden village of sorts, which I won't tell you anymore about at the moment.

So, I think at this point, the purpose of all the action is for everyone to rally around Rand, the true Dragon Reborn, and then... I  think save the world? See, here's where I sort of lose my understand of all the deep underlying political/religious/mythical issues facing all these characters!

But what I DO love and relish in is all the character/relationship interaction. Here's my random thoughts on that, and other general observations, which most likely will contain spoilers for this particular books itself:

* Nynaeve and her whiny man-hating self is about to drive me crazy! BUT, she is still quite an interesting character. I just wish Lan hadn't fallen for her, you know. She's just not worthy. Even given that fiery ending!

* Aviendha! Now there's a worthy woman! :) She cracks me up! All that tension between her and Rand that completely exploded! Whew.... I had to read that bit like two or three times to make sure it was really happening! And to be in Rand's head... it's very fun stuff. Poor Rand.

* And poor Min who knows what's to come for everyone. That's got to be irritating, especially when it concerns herself, Rand and two others. Sheesh. Can't he pick someone? Talk about your love triangle times three!

* I really hope we get more of Lan soon. We need his story, really.

* Those Forsaken. They are a scary lot! You go get 'em Rand!

* And then there's Mat... I can so totally see him in my head, floppy hat, a bit scruffy, leaning on his big spear, eying everyone. His story made me a little sad this go around. It's going to be interesting to see what's up with him, especially given Brandon Sanderson's little hint when I talked to him at that signing. I look forward to more Mat. (And thankfully we have more Mat to look forward to! I was scared there for a minute!)

* I missed Perrin like crazy. I hope his story is not over. It can't be, can it?

* Other stuff I enjoyed: the whole circus thing was a blast, the prophet and riot was an interesting twist, Brigette also known as Marion (a nod to Robin Hood? I think so!), Galad and how I would picture the most beautiful man ever (he's supposed to be dark so I actually picture him a bit like Mohinder from Heroes,) more Aiel traditions,  the reincarnation thing with several of our guys and what's up with that, just to name a few! I could go on and on.

The writing itself? Frankly, I hardly notice it which I think is a good thing. I am so caught up in the story that I forget about the writing. I think that's a sign of good writing, wouldn't you say?

Bottom line: I loved it. (Book four is still my favorite though!)

Other Reviews:

Punkadiddle: for a completely and I mean completely different take on the book!
The Wertzone: who seemed to enjoy it just fine!
Kay's Bookshelf: which actually points out some of the stuff that bugged me (repetition for the most part)
Polishing Mud Balls: who, not surprisingly, feels the same about lots of this stuff.


  1. Wow! I always feel like I accomplished something when you finish one of these books. I'm THAT proud of you. A friend of mine is lost somewhere in the series too but I just don't think I'll ever do it. Too overwhelming.

  2. I have never seen an official name for the world, most people I've seen just call it "Randland"!

    I'm so glad you're enjoying these; this one and book 4 are tied for my favorites, although there's great bits in all of the books. I'm not going to address any of your points specifically, for fear of spoilers, but I will say that everyone whose story want more of, you will get more of. It's a big series - there's lots of room!

    I was also about to type "Aviendha! I love Aviendha!", which is true, but I also love Mat, and Perrin, and Moiraine, Min, and Lan, and Egwene, and Birgitte, and just about everyone. (Even Nynaeve.) I've noticed that it comes and goes for most characters, so that those who are annoying the snot out of me in one book are totally awesome and my new favorite in another book!

  3. TG: Yes! High fives all around (as my nephew says.) Now I need to start catching up on my teen reads! :)

    Fyrefly: It's so fun to hear the perception of someone who's read them all. I'm glad to hear that we have many interesting side stories to look forward to! And "Randland"? Very fun!

  4. I have never read any of his books. They look a little too "epic" for my tastes.

  5. I really need to try this series again. I read the first book and I was just kinda 'meh' about it, but I should give it another chance...

  6. I'm glad you got back to this book and finally make it through. Jordan's book are very consuming for me as well - I can't read anything else when I'm in the middle of one of his books.

  7. Finally...I can actually write a comment without one of the children or life's issues pulling me away from the computer.

    I like how you summarized the story...great job. are feeling the same way about Nynaeve as I do! That woman has got to stop all her blabber. Geesh. I agree, I wish Lan did not fall for her. Part of me hopes that he finds another or she straightens up.
    The fire ending is what is giving me some hope that maybe she will stop berating men, and stop whining.

    I don't really feel sorry for Rand in regards to Aviendha. She is good for him.
    I agree with you though...why can't he make his mind up? I say, Elayne is out, and maybe Min is in but until we see more of Min...I am not certain about her. What really needs to stop though is the women thinking that they can choose for him!

    More Lan is needed. I am hoping for that.

    The circus stuff was interesting but not enough to really keep me with the book during those moments. Although, I did find Brigette very intriguing. I wonder what role she will play in the books to come.

    The writing? Well, let's be honest.... his writing is not the easiest to acclimate to . He does use a ton of description, and can go on about seemingly nothing, BUT he does keep the story moving (hope that continues), and has drawn me into his characters which I was thinking lacking greatly for me in The Eye of the World.

    I am glad that you liked this book as much as you did. I was hoping you would, but wondered. So far, it seems that you and I are taking in the series with the same thoughts. That is very good considering that I have come to rely on you reading these books help keep the motivation going in this marathon series.

  8. I'm a bit late to your 2011 party, but better late than never.

    I am a HUGE Wheel of Time fan and am glad that you enjoyed this book so much. I believe that what I like so much about this series is that it really is a complete journey, with so many cultures and peoples, and with the growth of the main characters from immature teens to responsible young adults.



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