Book: The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan
Genre: Fantasy, High and Epic
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!)
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.