"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Friday, February 11, 2011

Shanda Sharlow Reviews “Knife of Dreams” by Robert Jordan

Book Review: Knife of Dreams is the eleventh book in the long running Wheel of Time series. It's also the last book written entirely by the author himself. Now, as a stand alone book, it's almost impossible to follow, let alone get into—there's ten very long books leading up to this, plus one or two prequels. Wheel of Time is a very detailed and involved world,  in my opinion just as deep and complicated as Lord of the Rings.

So I won't address it as a stand-alone book, but as a part of the series. For people who've read through the whole series up to this point, books nine and ten were...pretty slow. Not much happened in them except to a limited number of characters. For the most part they've been gearing up and getting into position for things to happen...and Robert Jordan is very thorough, both in his minute descriptions to his minute planning.

This book doesn't bear the fruit of all of that planning, but it is the start of the harvest, so to speak. It's not nearly as slow as Crossroads of Twilight was. Everyone gets their turn to do something important, and Egwene and Elayne redeem themselves a bit for their earlier futzing around. Some of the plots that have been building are finally executed in this book, making way for new and interesting plots to move the story on toward the end.

Rand, Mat, and Perrin all contribute, and seem to be drawing together once again as they've been wandering apart the past few books, which is always fun. And there's a hint that a certain face we haven't seen in awhile will be showing up again. In general, I felt that the characters were much more competent in this book than they were in recent ones—they made decisions for themselves, rather than being duped by everyone they come across.

Doubtlessly, the next few books will be even more fast paced, but it's clear that this book is a sign of an upturn from the middle-of-the-series wandering to the last sprinting to the end.

Of course, it's been so long now, a part of me isn't really sure I want to see the end anymore.

Book Blurb: The Wheel of Time turns, and Robert Jordan gives us the eleventh volume of his extraordinary masterwork of fantasy. The dead are walking, men die impossible deaths, and it seems as though reality itself has become unstable: All are signs of the imminence of Tarmon Gai'don, the Last Battle, when Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, must confront the Dark One as humanity's only hope. But Rand dares not fight until he possesses all the surviving seals on the Dark One's prison and has dealt with the Seanchan, who threaten to overrun all nations this side of the Aryth Ocean and increasingly seem too entrenched to be fought off. But his attempt to make a truce with the Seanchan is shadowed by treachery that may cost him everything. Whatever the price, though, he must have that truce. And he faces other dangers. There are those among the Forsaken who will go to any length to see him dead--and the Black Ajah is at his side...

Unbeknownst to
Rand, Perrin has made his own truce with the Seanchan. It is a deal made with the Dark One, in his eyes, but he will do whatever is needed to rescue his wife, Faile, and destroy the Shaido who captured her. Among the Shaido, Faile works to free herself while hiding a secret that might give her her freedom or cause her destruction. And at a town called Malden, the Two Rivers longbow will be matched against Shaido spears.

Fleeing Ebou Dar through Seanchan-controlled Altara with the kidnapped Daughter of the Nine Moons, Mat attempts to court the woman to whom he is half-married, knowing that she will complete that ceremony eventually. But Tuon coolly leads him on a merry chase as he learns that even a gift can have deep significance among the Seanchan Blood and what he thinks he knows of women is not enough to save him. For reasons of her own, which she will not reveal until a time of her choosing, she has pledged not to escape, but Mat still sweats whenever there are Seanchan soldiers near. Then he learns that Tuon herself is in deadly danger from those very soldiers. To get her to safety, he must do what he hates worse than work...

In Caemlyn, Elayne fights to gain the Lion Throne while trying to avert what seems a certain civil war should she win the crown...

In the White Tower, Egwene struggles to undermine the sisters loyal to Elaida from within...

The winds of time have become a storm, and things that everyone believes are fixed in place forever are changing before their eyes. Even the
White Tower itself is no longer a place of safety. Now Rand, Perrin and Mat, Egwene and Elayne, Nynaeve and Lan, and even Loial, must ride those storm winds, or the Dark One will triumph.

Publisher: TOR Books

Reviewed By: Shanda Sharlow
Author of The Psyonic

Book Blurb: Hale lived his entire life in hiding, traveling through slums and nondescript villages, never staying anywhere long enough for the people there to recognize his face. Never staying long enough for anyone to ferret out his secret.

When he comes across a woman who recognizes him, he becomes the confidante of a Princess. Yet the halls of the palace hold far more danger than that of the streets, for within its shadows lurk dark mysteries and murderous intent. Desperate to remain hidden from those who hunt him, Hale must unravel the hidden machinations of the gathered royal families before it's too late, or it will be more than his life that he loses.

"The Psyonic" is a fantasy story with lots of wit, breathtaking romance, magic and deeper meanings.  … If you´re looking for a witty yet exciting story that captures your heart, search no more. You will certainly enjoy it, as I did.”

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In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.