|Knife of Dreams (The Wheel of Time, Book 11)
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About the Author
Robert Jordan lives in Charleston, South Carolina. He is a graduate of the Citadel.
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Amazon.com's Significant Seven
Robert Jordan kindly agreed to take the life quiz we like to give to all our authors: the Amazon.com Significant Seven.
Q: What book has had the most significant impact on your life?
A: The King James version of the Bible. That seems a cliche, but I can't think of any other book that has had as large an impact in shaping who I am.
Q: You are stranded on a desert island with only one book, one CD, and one DVD--what are they?
A: The one book would be whatever book I was currently writing. I mean, I hate falling behind in the work. The one CD would contain the best encyclopedia I could find on desert island survival. The DVD would contain as much of Beethoven, Mozart, and Duke Ellington as I could cram onto it.
Q: What is the worst lie you've ever told?
A: It's hard to think of one since I am genetically incapable of lying to women and that takes out 52% of the population right there.
Q: Describe the perfect writing environment.
A: Any place that has my computer, a CD player for music, a comfortable chair that won't leave me with a backache at the end of a long day, and very little interruption.
Q: If you could write your own epitaph, what would it say?
A: He kept trying to get better at it.
Q: Who is the one person living or dead that you would like to have dinner with?
A: My wife before anybody else on earth living or dead. That's a no-brainer.
Q: If you could have one superpower what would it be?
A: That depends. If I'm feeling altruistic, it would be the ability to heal anything with a touch, if that can be called a superpower. If I'm not feeling very altruistic, it would be the ability to read other people's minds, to finally be able to get to the bottom of what they really mean and what their motivations are.
See all books in the Wheel of Time series.
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.
- Jordan Haiku
Hard men are stone faced
Women pull their hair and pout
We get it, okay?
ten thousand pages
seventeen years to write this?
end the series now! ...more info
- Great book, too bad the series will never be finished.
First the bad news. According to the TOR website, Robert Jordan died in September 2007. No more books. Series incomplete. This is the second author I really enjoyed reading who has had the bad timing of dying when a series is only a book or two away from completion. Great read, but if you haven't started the series, don't. You'll get hooked and end up wanting another book to wrap everything up....more info
- What knife?
First of all, I'd like to clear up the misconception that the series is meant to be read all at once and even the terrible books are decent if you're not waiting a couple years for each one. I started reading the Wheel of Time in 2003, and for the first six books I ran out to get the sequel as soon as I finished the one before it. Well, then the books started to slow down, and I lost interest . . . finally, this year, thanks to the intrepid Amazon reviewers, I realized I could just skip #9-10 entirely, read online summaries, and continue to Knife of Dreams. I'm now re-engaged enough to finish the series, but let me tell you, I had the opportunity to read them all at once, and if I had, I would probably have ended up in the hospital compulsively tugging at my hair and smoothing my clothing. I understand that the wait time contributes to the irritation readers who have been with Jordan since the beginning feel, but it doesn't cloud their judgment. The bad books are bad, whether you have to wait two years each for them or not.
Unfortunately, I would put Knife of Dreams into that category, although it is an improvement over, say, Path of Daggers. It is mildly entertaining. It's certainly readable. Occasionally things happen, although of course the book is divided between five major subplots (Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, and Elayne, or six if you count Faile), interspersed with some minor ones as well, and so while they may resolve their private subplots, it remains unclear why, say, Faile's capture and rescue or Elayne's gaining the Lion Throne is important overall. Like in the previous tomes, scenes containing action are countered by the continuing focus on irrelevant power struggles between irrelevant female characters, complete with skirt-smoothing (elevated by Jordan to an infallible barometer of female agitation), arm-crossing (always "beneath her breasts" as if we were confused about where these crossed arms were going, above her head maybe) and fervent wishes to spank each other (or hey, even actual spanking). The sad truth is that Jordan can't write political intrigue no matter how hard he tries. His strength is in action-adventure, where the series began, and it's sad that he died before he could return to it.
Now let me add my voice to the chorus expressing disgust for Jordan's portrayal of women. They are all the same person, and not a likeable one at that. All she (meaning every woman in the book) seems to care about is garnering power and deference from others, and therefore every woman in the book spends most of her time trying to one-up every other woman in the book. Healthy relationships, among women or between men and women, are nonexistent (Elayne and Aviendha are as close as it gets, so of course Jordan separates them); instead we get "I care about this person, but he/she is so hard to deal with!" Endlessly. I'm beginning to suspect that Jordan actually created a matriarchal-type society to express his views on why (in his opinion) women are catty and incompetent and men should rule all. Not that his men do much better, of course, but at least they don't smooth their skirts.
Then there is the continuing shallowness of all scenes featuring our supposed villains. I've come to dread these, because they boil down to one of two scenes: A) A baddie kowtows to a higher-ranking baddie, who in turn kowtows to an even higher-ranking one, and so forth up the line, with all conversations consisting of "Obey me or else!" "Y-y-yes, Master/Mistress. . . ." or B) A group of baddies gets together, apparently to plot or give progress reports, but it boils down to abovementioned one-upmanship, without having any effect on the plot.
And the circus that seems to be going on inside the main characters' heads. I've read a fair bit of fantasy, and am used to telepathic communication and the like. But Jordan overdoes it. Let's take a look at Rand's head, for instance. First there's the insane Lews Therin (and another guy). Then there's the matter with seeing Mat and Perrin whenever he thinks about them (all three try to push these visions away rather than using them for anything useful). And then he's formed a partial mind-meld with FOUR different women. He and Min are now having bizarre interactions in which they don't say or do anything, just sort of toss emotions back and forth. Then of course there's Mat with his dice and other people's memories, and Perrin and his wolves and his constant, irritating "sniffing" of people's emotions. Any one of these elements would be standard for fantasy; ALL of them is overdone. We can't relate.
Despite that whole mess, though (and numerous other weaknesses other reviewers have remarked on, and I will refrain from repeating), the book is worth reading if you're planning to see this epic through. Do what I did--skip #10 entirely, and get #11 from the library. In the meanwhile, read some GRR Martin and find out what REAL political intrigue looks like....more info
- Worst One Yet
I was excited when I read some reviews about things picking up in this book.
The fours and fives given to this book make me shake my head.
90% of this book is about bratty women who pout, frown, glare, and raise their eyebrows at each other. Really. If you don't believe me, just open up a random page in this book and I guarantee that you will find an unlikable woman acting like a brat. I do wish Elayne would kick the bucket - she is such a spoiled little brat.
Oh well, just one more book to suffer through....more info
- Book 11
I'm with all the people wondering why there are so many reviews from people who haven't even read the book. You gave up on the series. We get it. Write that as a review for the last book you read.
Knife of Dreams picks up the pace considerably. I liked the past few books, but they had a lot more talk of doing things than actually doing those things. It's good to see plots being resolved(Elayne, Perrin, Mat and Tuon), and it was great to have new surprises(Thom's letter; I can't wait for that adventure in the next book). It's a book that builds toward the final battle. The end is upon us. Only one more book to go, and it can't come soon enough....more info
- A much needed improvement
I have read all the series 3 times, so after reading the latest book Knife of Dreams I really feel that Robert Jordan has got back on track with his series. There are a few slow spots in the book where Jordan begins to strech the plot in the style frequently seen in book 10 but it doesnt occour often and there is alot more good to this book than bad and definitly not boring like book 10. I rate this book 4 stars plus 1 star to help correct the unfair 3 star rating caused by angry readers who cant forgive Robert Jordans book 10 and are focusing their anger at a very well written book.
This is a good book, read it....more info
- Better than the last one
A great read and a wonderful series of books, if you liked the first book you will be pleased to see major progress in the plot. ...more info
- Robert Jordan is a genius!
I strongly recommend any book out of this series "The Wheel of Time". Jordan has the ability to play out the scene right in front of your eyes. An all time favorite author of mine....more info
This book as well as all the others in this series are captivating and great beyond an explanation. ...more info
- The never ending story
Robert Jordan is without doubt a writer. Robert Jordan is also a writer whose story ran away from him. That happened in his fourth book. He never got back in charge again. I am done now with the wheel of time. A good idea beaten into the ground, then stamped upon, then covered with dirt. Book four could have been the last one, book five definitely should have been the last one. This was book eleven. The sixth that shouldn't have been. Robert Jordan has proven me wrong. I always held that it didn't really matter what a good writer wrote as long as you enjoyed the way that he wrote. Robert Jordan has become an irritant. To good to throw his books out to irritating to read again. It is a shame that a wonderful idea and a beautiful storyline have been murdered by its creator. What could have been pure joy has become an irritation. I just read that Robert Jordan died. I am sad to hear that. He has no chance now to save his series by writing a new fourth one to finish it off. I also read that his family are intending to finish the series on basis of his notes. Don't. Don't do book 12. Really, I mean it, don't. The series died before the writer of the series did. It is sad but true....more info
- Return to greatness
Love the WoT, while I understand the argument made by other fans about Jordan slowing the series down, unlike them I never minded (except the arc about Faile & Perrin searching for her). Great story & returns to a faster pace setting up the last battle which is now imminent, I can't wait for Nov '09 for the 12th....more info
- I know this is in incredibly poor taste, but . . .
Too bad he dawdled. Period. Postmark. Now that Robert Jordan has passed away, the likelihood of the original ending for these books ever being seen is remote. The rumor is that his wife and cousin are writing the last book based on some taped conversations and dictations he left behind.
I warn any reader thinking of picking up these books that there is NO guarantee of any ending volume at all, and what may turn up in a few years when the dust settles will probably not be anything like what it should have been.
I am a veteran reader of this series. I picked up the first novel when it came out half my life ago, and eagerly awaited each new book after that. 17 years is an obscene amount of time for this series to have continued. 17 years ago, OJ hadn't happened yet, `Back to the Future' was practically new, the super Nintendo had just come out and gas was $1 a gallon.
Think about it.
This is what ultimately gets me so angry. He dragged his feet writing up hundreds of paper thin `walk on' characters and then expects the reader to remember Thiallin von Gankfallin or whoever it was when it was five huge tomes ago and no one remembers who that is amid all the braid tugging and skirt swishing.
So instead of the series being done and over with say, ten years ago, for whatever reason Mr. Jordan decided to fill the last 5 or 6 volumes with minutiae about the tea service pattern in the various inns, when all we really wanted to know was, what happened to Mat? In one book, 8 or 9, Rand only gets 5 pages!! And the whole Faile kidnapping is just painful reading, too bad Perrin didn't just saunter off into the hills and leave her . . . This sort of soap opera storyline has ruined the series as a whole, and the first four books showed such promise! As a reader I am pretty annoyed and I have a suspicion that the author did not know how to end the series. He just procrastinated and now the ending will never be as he would have written it. Just like the TV series `Lost' this series goes on and on, adding more walk on characters and twists and turns in their tiny lives with no follow through on the main characters for book after book.
So now Robert Jordan is gone. What now? My heart goes out to his family, my mother being a widow I have an idea of what his wife is going through. But in terms of his writing, I'm feeling toyed with.
I still have all 11 hardbacks that fill up almost an entire shelf on their own. I am seriously considering getting rid of them, but that part of me that's followed the series since the Hubble telescope was new and Arnold Schwarzenegger just an actor still wants to hang on.
Maybe they will uncover a hidden manuscript he wrote oh, say, 15 years ago that has the entire ending, kind of like JK Rowling with the Harry Potter books. Yeah, right. We can all dream on, and wait for the 25th anniversary edition of the first book in which a teaser chapter from the forthcoming 12th book will at last be revealed.
- Some issues are finally resolved...
This pace of "Knife of dreams" is fortunately a little faster than the previous chapter in this eternal saga. Important developements happen with Perrin and Faile, the war for the throne of Andor and Elayne and Mat with Tuon.
I gave 4 stars for this book because it is much better that the last two. Maybe Robert Jordan listened to the fans complaint or maybe he is really want to move on.
I guess the next book will focus on the Seanchan, Rand and Egwene. Maybe in the 13th chapter, Tarmon Gaidon will finally begins. This battle should last at least 3 books. Then I can die happy :)
- An improvement...
Knife of Dreams is certainly an improvement over Crossroads of Twilight (which I liked more than most people did), as well as the previous couple of books. You can tell early on that Robert Jordan made a distinct effort to wrap up some storylines, and that is exactly what he does here. I'll go over some of the things I liked / didnt like about this entry in the series.
****Possible Spoiler Alert****
-A lot of time is spent on the Faile/Perrin/Shaido captivity and rescue. I thought the rescue itself was relatively well thought out, but Gailana is undeservedly given a much larger role, and Perrin continues to be the most bland of the 'main' characters. The captivity of Faile and Gailana is absolutely horrible, which leads me to the next point.
-I know this has been discussed before, but what is the deal with all the spanking? Every three pages someone is getting 'punished' in this manner. Often it seems gratuitous and definitely detracts from the story.
-Once again Jordan's depiction of how romance works is about as juvenile as can be, though I had to laugh as he refers to young Aes Sedai being 'pillow friends' (cough, cough).
-Despite an obvious attempt to give women a position of power in his books, he continues to undermine that with his descriptions of female characters. Basically there are two types of women here: ones with an "ample bosom" and ones without. Grow up.
-The Mat/Tuon storyline is treated in a large portion of the book, I would guess nearly half. Out of the many relationships in the WoT series, this one is probably the least believable, but it is extremely entertaining as well. The side characters, especially Thom, are always fun to read about, and the single chapter from Tuon's point of view was possibly the best in the book.
-The politics that dragged down CoT become fun in Knife of Dreams, as Elayne's attempt to become queen of Andor and the behind-the-scenes scheming in the Aes Sedai camp bring fresh life into these previously tired storylines.
Most importantly, finishing KoD leaves a satisfying balance between conclusion and anticipation. It's still difficult for me to see how Jordan can wrap this up in only one more book, but KoD accomplished what it should have; gave us some closure and took us on an entertaining ride....more info
- Wheel of time , book 11
Robert Jortdan in one of the best fantasy series EVER! Item just as described, fast shipping!...more info
- Book 11
The story is still too slow in developing. Maybe the last book will finally clear up all the unanswered questions....more info
- so far so good
An easy read. Have read every book in the series thus far and this is among the best. One is caught up in anticipation that something's going to happen - right around the corner versus a few of the books, of late, in the series, that seemed only to be placeholders. I was reluctant to purchase this, at first, for fear it would be another one of them but it's not and I'm happy that I did....more info
- More of the same
In this book you get the plots of 5 different story lines advanced about 3 chapters each, which is a great improvement from Book 10--where essentially nothing actually happens. The main story lines in Book 11 are Mat, Perrin, Elayne, Rand, and Egwene in roughly that order. A LOT of unecessary characters you only meet once (or met so long ago you cannot possibly remember them all) described in great detail, as usual. The bad guys aren't believable, and so the villain(s) seems to be just a non-descript "evil", unfortunately, and they have no comprehensible motivation for being evil. If you liked the first three or four books in this series, you will see enough here to make it worth reading (and you are probably hooked anyhow). This is one of Jordan's mediocre efforts, though. And it will leave you wondering why we can't just get on with Tarmon Gaidon and get this series over with. Its getting pretty stale, we can see where its going, there is no real suspense, and the only reason to continue with this epic is the characters, all of who you know so well by now they seem one-dimensional as a cartoon character. Anyhow... I can wait until the next one comes out inpaperback as well....more info
- Can't wait for the next one!
I Love Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. This is one of the best books in the series....more info
- best so far that i've read
i think that that the Knife of dreams is the best i've read so far. simple as that....more info
- book 12 of wot series
I have been recently introduced to the WOT series and was sad to hear of robert jordens death. In reading blogs from his wife and family, Robert jorden told the book 12 ending to them and they stated tehy would finish book 12. the site is [...] for those interested in reading up on his wifes blogs. ...more info
- More enjoyable that past few
It was great to read this book and realize that there is still a lot of life in Robert Jordan's writing. This book reignited the passion with this series that was kind of lost in the last two or three volumes. Clearly, there is a direction in which all the various plot lines are going and you can start seeing the convergence occuring as the world is preparing for "the last battle".
The world of The Wheel of Time was large and complex from the beginning. In this volume there are still many, many events that are going on and many of the various players are present and active. Several sub stories are reaching their climaxes or resolutions. For instance, Perrin succeeds in his attempt to rescue Faile and incidently we learn of the fall of the Shaido and at least one of the Black Ajah. This is accomplished with the help of the Seanchan who are turning in front of our eyes from this nameless, faceless, militaristic society into another group of people and fighters who will ultimately join Rand.
Mat and Tuon continue their bickering engagement and this lines comes to a close with the escape of the party from Seanchan lands and the revelation of Mat's skills as a general. Tuon learns to appreciate more of his qualities while resolving her own position and taking control of her part of the world - in WOT terms, taking off her veil.
Elaine's story is also resolved. She has her own set of complications to deal with and there is a fair amount of humor in how her pregnancy is being depicted. Egwene is given a brief stint in the book and her story continues to evolve, but at least this time she finds outwho her betrayer was and is making solid progress inside the White Tower. And so it goes.
It is clear that threads of the story are being wrapped up. It is also becoming clear how some of the storyline will evolve towards the end and several of the prophecies that get repeated on occasion as they are spoken in a riddle will get resolved.
Even though this is a large book of over 850 pages, there is not enough room for everyone so we see very little of Aviendha, Min, and several others. Hopefully, the twelfth volume will do more of the same and resolve more of the plots.
There were several area that are poorly done, in my opinion. We know that the Last Battle is coming and omens are appearing, but does it really need to be something as hackneyed as someone coughing up beetles as his insides are devoured? Much more original was the scene of the village of dead people, or the changes in the castles... Another poor choice was Rand's lose of his hand. Maybe because Robert Jordan saw Return of the Empire again?
I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down until it was completed. I certainly hope the next and final volume will be just as compelling. Unfortunately, there are rumors that Mr. Jordan has recently died so I am not sure who will finish the story and how long it will take to complete. Nonetheless, I will read it when/if it comes out.
- 2.5 stars: Oh, Light! The end is near!
Knife of Dreams is another huge installment (1.3 days worth of audio!) which suffers the same faults as the last several WOT novels. But, if you've made it this far, perhaps that won't bug you.
I have to say that Robert Jordan can surely set a scene; indeed, each chapter begins with a very detailed description of the setting, including such minutia as the style and oiliness of men's beards, the height of ladies' boots, every knickknack on every plinth, every bit of jewelry worn by each character, how much bosom is exposed, how tight the pants are, etc. The reader certainly feels immersed in the setting, but for those who have other books they hope to read this year, this may be aggravating.
By this point in the series, I can no longer keep track of the characters. In the chapters about Elayne, we find Pelivar, high seat of House Coelan, and Perival, high seat of house Mantear. Ack!! And here are the names of the characters whose names begin with "An": Anaiya, Anaiyella, Ananda, Anath, Andaya Forae, Andaya Murasaka, Ander Corl, Ander Tol, Andhilin, Andil, Andra, Andric, Andris, Andro, Androl Genhald, Mistress Andscale, Anemara, Mistress Anford, Anghar, Angla, Anjen, Ankaer, Anlee, Annharid, Annoura Larisen, Anthelle Sharplyn, Antol, Anvaere, Anya. You'll find a list like this for every letter of the alphabet (see them at Encyclopaedia WOT. Did he expect us to study? I feel like I need flashcards.
Again, there's so much stuff in Knife of Dreams that we've already heard before: eyes a man could drown in, rosebud mouth, seductive copper-skinned domani, Aes Sedai don't show emotions (but they do), Loial sounds like a bumblebee, damp bowstrings don't work, arms folded beneath breasts, unnecessary adjustment of clothes, smiles that don't touch eyes, Mat worries about his men's influences on Olver (wink, wink -- yeah, we got it already!). I could go on and on and on. And don't even get me started on the spanking. There was more spanking in Knife of Dreams than any of the previous novels. Why are adults spanking each other?? (It's not for fun.) I rolled my eyes so often, I started to worry they'd stick.
There was one major redeeming factor here, though, and that's that the plot actually moves forward in Knife of Dreams. There are some big events that occur (each surrounded by a lot of fluff). I got the impression that after the last book (in which nothing happened for 900 pages), Mr Jordan woke up and said "oh, Light! Tarmon Gai'don's got to happen in the next book and I've got to get everyone there and on the same side!" And so we see that starting to happen -- alliances are being made, people are getting in position. In fact, some of it happens much too quickly and easily to be believed (e.g., Egwene's storyline, Whitecloak storyline). But that's fine with me -- let's get this over with.
Since Knife of Dreams was Robert Jordan's last book published before his death, let me say that I have enjoyed the world, the story, and the characters he created -- The Wheel of Time is truly epic and I respect Mr Jordan's work. My complaint is that it became aggravatingly slow and repetitive for the last several novels. But I eagerly look forward to finding out how it all ends.
You're up, Mr Sanderson!! ...more info
- Get on with it.
This book is better than the last several. That's the best I can say about it. In my opinion, the last five could have been condensed into one book, which followed the main characters and their plotlines.
I can say this though, unlike the last 2 books, I read the whole of it. The last several have been such that I read only the first several chapters, then jumped to the middle, then the end, just to save myself hundreds of pages of pointless detail, zero plot advancement, and the utter drudgery that his convoluted plot-lines have spun into.
This one actually has made me hunger for the next book though, and I might even get it in hard-cover....more info
- What happens now?
Spent the summer deeply immersed in this series. Ran out to buy the next before I finished the last. Really hooked. Now what happens? No more Robert Jordan. This last one may not have been the best, but I'm really disappointed that we may never find out what happens to all those really great characters..... ...more info
- Slow, Boring and Annoying
Slow, Boring and Annoying. The best way to read these books is to skim the pages. If you do happen to get lucky and run into some action, you can always stop and read it thoroughly. Of course, I'll read the next (and hopefully last) book when it comes out. I've gone this far and would like to know what happens. I am not excited about it though, just curious. It's unbelievable how slow and plodding this series has become. Plus most of the main characters are really annoying and fight like they are 12 year olds. Even the Forsaken are annoying. And I would have liked to see more of Shadar Haran in the series. ...more info
- Knife of Dreams(or how do we pronounce their names)
The book started off fairly good and then it swap back and forth between charactors who I could not remember from the previous book, much less pronounce their names,and also I get tired of who has what on, lets get back to the to the story line and plot, move faster on the action, and for pete sake, have them quit keeping secrets and open up with a little trust in the charactors....more info
- Stop before you Start
Robert Jordan has passed away, so those of you who have read the 11 books in the series will never see it completed by Mr. Jordan. He was at work on the 12th and not final book of the series when he died. I guess it is possible that another author might take up the mantle to finish up the series. Mr. Jordan seemed unlikely to ever to do it himself. I did not care for this long rambling series, but I did like Jordan's writing and his imagination. This seems to be a rough patch for fantasy writers the past few years, David Gemmell, Angus Wells and Robert Jordan to name a few well known to have passed on....more info
- Well I guess
Overall I really like the series, but he has been dragging things out a bit. The characters spend a lot of time worrying about the same thing over and over and really just fill pages up. The story and plot is great and I really like the characters (some do change into too sappy of characters though). The series looked to need at least 12 books to finish, but no... he took time off to write Conan then some books that take place before the series and now I guess he is dead (sorry to hear). The first book came out in 1990 and he was writing one book a year for a long time (I started reading before book 4 came out). When he finished 10 (I think) he started wandering to other things and took something like 10 years off from finishing this series. All that is really left is the big battle(s) and a nice reunion/pro log and maybe something to explain a few things (all the prophesies, ancient ruins, and other worlds)... especial with so many years gone by and me loosing about half the books in a flood....more info
- Uh-oh, Jordan is dead... How will this end???
I just read that Mr. Jordan passed away at 58 of a rare blood disorder. My heartfelt condolences to his family. What a tragedy!
He was working on book 12, but no word on how it was progressing or where it would leave us regarding a conclusion to this neverending saga. ...more info
- Jordan redeems himself
Fans and critics agreed that book 10 was the weakest link in the series by far. After such scathing reviews, Jordan most certainly felt pressure to win back his fan base. Thankfully, he does just that in this book. Some of the subplots that had been running for several books finally reach resolution and you can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. While this book isn't as strong as some of the early volumes, there are moments of vintage Jordan throughout. All in all, this is a satisfying read and you can breathe a sigh of relief that the series is back on track. Highly recommended to all WoT fans....more info
- The best book in the series in a long time.
After the disappointing and critically-mauled Crossroads of Twilight, Robert Jordan seemed to have a serious rethink about his Wheel of Time series was progressing. He stopped writing the series - taking a six-month break to write the extended version of the prequel novel New Spring instead - and when he came back to it he seemed to have recaptured some of his old fire. The resulting eleventh and then-promised-to-be-penultimate book in the series, Knife of Dreams, is a definite step up from the preceding three or four books, although some of the series' latter problems continue to be an issue.
The Last Battle is drawing near. The fabric of reality itself is breaking down as the seals on the Dark One's prison begin to fail. The dead are reappearing, long-lost towns and cities are flashing in and out of existence and the One Power itself seems to becoming unreliable. Yet Rand al'Thor's task of unifying the Westlands against the Shadow is far from complete. The Seanchan invasion force, now massively reinforced, is continuing to absorb more territory in the south-west of the continent. Whilst Rand's forces are large enough to destroy them, it would only be at a terrible cost in blood. With little choice, Rand extends an olive branch to the Seanchan whilst a Domani general launches a massively ambitious gambit to throw back the Seanchan armies encroaching on his kingdom.
Meanwhile, Perrin has made the fateful decision to ally with a Seanchan general to destroy the Shaido Aiel encamped at Malden who hold his wife Faile prisoner. Inside the camp, Faile is making her own escape plans but is relying on some very dubious partners to pull it off. Elsewhere, Mat Cauthon's flight from Ebou Dar with the kidnapped Daughter of the Nine Moons runs into difficulties when he encounters a huge Seanchan army blocking the way into Murandy, and Egwene al'Vere has been captured by the Tower Aes Sedai, whose plans to break her are foiled at every turn. In besieged Caemlyn Elayne Trakand makes one last throw of the dice to win the Lion Throne of Andor, and the Ogier teeter on the brink of a fateful decision that may have ramifications for the Last Battle.
Knife of Dreams is a much busier, far better-paced book than the ones preceding it. Several major storylines in the overall Wheel of Time series, some of them extending back seven or more volumes, are brought to final conclusions, and long-dangling minor plot threads are finally picked up on and expanded. We also get some tantalising clues as to the origins of the Ogier (one of the least of the series' mysteries, but welcome nevertheless) and, at long last, some major combat scenes. Rand, Mat and Perrin each have a major battle to fight and Elayne also has some skirmishing to do to win the throne of Andor. However, the storyline that possibly most impresses is Egwene's captivity in the White Tower. Jordan deftly avoids falling into the trap of making this a contrived story, and Egwene's quiet method of defiance against her captors is genuinely interesting. Also, the fact he packs virtually the whole story into one chapter is a plus as well.
However, Knife of Dreams is plagued by some of the same troubles as earlier books in the series. An absolutely vast number of minor characters whose import to the series is questionable continues to expand, and the minutiae of Elayne's pregnancy and arguments between different groups of channellers continues to weigh the series down. About halfway through the book, however, these problematic elements recede and the focus on resolution and conflict becomes more apparent, making the second half of the novel far more enjoyable to read, almost as much as the series at its best.
Reaching the end of Knife of Dreams, it is abundantly clear that there is no way that the series could be resolved in just one more book, and the recent confirmation by Brandon Sanderson that A Memory of Light will almost certainly be two volumes strangely comes as something of a relief: after such a huge journey, wrapping everything up in as short a space as possible for the sheer sake of it would have been dissatisfying.
Knife of Dreams (***?) was the best Wheel of Time novel in a decade when it was published and although the series' flaws were not eliminated by it, Robert Jordan's decision to acknowledge the weaknesses of the previous volume and move to counter them was effective. It certainly leaves the reader anxious to leap into the next book as soon as possible, and hopefully less than a year from now that will be possible. The book is available from Orbit in the UK and, with quite possibly one of the worst fantasy covers in history, from Tor in the USA....more info
- gets back on track
RJ did a great job with this one, the series is back on track. Get well soon....more info
- Not As Bad As All That
Well, I read many of the 1 star reviews to see how bad people thought this book was. Frankly, it wasn't as bad as all that. The story begins to move forward (something that didn't really happen in the last few books) and I begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have often joked that Jordan will die before he finishes this story; now I feel bad having said that, since he has become ill and writing will have to take a backseat to other things, like treatments, etc. I wish him well.
Edit: RIP Robert Jordan. I hear that the story is complete, and that his wife wrote down all his ideas. I wonder how she (or others) will write the final book.
Seeing as this series is based on the end of the world, I wonder how Jordan will end it; will good win over evil again, as it has done in previous ages, or will evil win this time?
Over the last few days I have been reading up on the series from different websites. I found one that said that Rand was a Christ-figure, and another that said he represents the devil. It's interesting how different people see things from such distinct points of view.
But I don't think the end of the book will be the end of time. The Wheel of Time comes around again. A new Dragon Reborn will fight against the Dark Lord.
EDIT: When all is said and done, I hope the person who finishes the series will bring us back to what we loved about the first few books....more info
- great book
a great read that kept me entertained for a good long time. delivery was very fast and it arrived in perfect condition....more info
- Chickens Come Home To Roost...
Isn't it fitting, although quite sad really, that a marvelous story was drawn out interminably to please the cash cow, and now the writer who captured our imaginations is dying and has absolutely no use for his ill gotten gains?
Jordan may not live to finish WOT, but he's left enough notes that his wife can pick up the pieces. Hey, can't get any worse. Perhaps SHE will put an end to the horrid depictions of women and weave the tangled skein into a tapestry we can all enjoy.
This just in: Well, for me at least, it's news. Jordan has said that "A Memory of Light" will be the last WOT effort, and after editing will be at least 1500 pages in length. In other words, they cannot hold out for 2 more books and want to finish the thing before the bad press overwhelms even the most faithful of readers. Also, he's been envisoning a new series of fantasy novels but it's all up to how long he survives.
Knife was so much better than the last 4 or 5 offerings that I am tempted to call it a great read. But it isn't, not even close. His editors must have strove mightily to delete as much reference to sidetracking as possible, and it almost works. Not as a stand-alone read of course, hell, even the most ardent of fans must have the entire collection at hand to remember who what when where and why.
But, glory of glory's there IS some action. The women don't braid-tug so very often, but now they GLIDE. All of them. From start to finish each and every female character glides to and fro and hither and yon. To the ill Mr. Jordan, gliding must seem more action packed than tugging, and toss in the obligatory spankings and one semi-decent sword fight and it's obvious he just doesn't have the grunt left in him to make the remainder of this tale even remotely exciting.
Perrin finds Faille, and we've known THAT would happen for years now. Matt get ridiculed as no man has ever been ridiculed, is treated like so much dirt, TOLD he is married whether he likes it or not, and lo and behold falls in love from such wonderful treatment.
There simply is not one genuine human character left in this drawn out tale of continuing woe, so I for one am left to rooting for the Ogier because at least HE has stayed true to heroic form and that begs the question of how the heck did Jordan NOT mess up Loial as badly as the rest of his devolving misfits?
I could go on and on, as could we all, but at least there's a sound reason for the demise of so promising a series. He's very sick and that isn't his fault. It's painfully obvious that this insidious disease has been eating away at him for quite some time, but he COULD have finished so magnificent an opus years ago were it not for the greed that kept him bloviating instead of writing.
Knife isn't so bad. No, he can't possibly wrap it up with only one more episode, but he MUST so look for the whole thing to come crashing down in a most unsatisfactory way as whomever is left with the daunting task of finishing this mess strives mightily to assemble the pieces into something vaguely satisfying....more info
- Easily the best book in the series in years
If you, like me, have far too much time invested in the Wheel of Time to simply put it down and have been grimly dreading this book after the abyssmal horror that was called Crossroads of Twilight, you're in for a surprise. Knife of Dreams finally progresses things along and sets the stage for the last book in the series.
That being said, Jordan himself has said that while the major plotlines and some minor ones will be resolved in the next, and last book, there will be many that will be left open.
I"m giving this book four stars because it's nice to see some progress. However, the series became far too long to be considered one of the better fantasy series, and while I have all the books, it's doubtful I'll invest the time to read them again. It's unfortunate because Jordan's a good writer and early on had the potential to make one of the greatest fantasy stories. What he's ended with is a lot of words that should be half as long as it turned out to be. By the time it's going to be over, I'll be almost twice as old as I was when it started.
Oh, and I agree with other reviewers. Thanks to Tor for a good editing job....more info
- cuts like a knife
this is a really good book. I actually read it a while ago, and have bought for my 17 y/o son...the book was in excellent condition......more info
- The best series ever!
I can't stress enough how awesome this series is! I had this book stolen a couple of months ago and couldn't find it at any of my local bookstores. Luckily amazon was selling it for an amazing price! It was used and a little torn, but I really don't care. I was eager to start reading again! Definetly recommend it to all ages! ...more info
- A step forward -- 2.5 stars
This rather poorly titled volume is book 11 of the nearly immeasurably long Wheel of Time series, so if you've made it this far, you're quite a stalwart and if you're just looking into the series -- beware! All the books are about 800+ pages in mass market paperback and the series is topping 9,000 to date. Books 1-5 are outstanding -- there is action and intrigue throughout; the remainder are overwritten and occasionally overwrought although book 6 has a fantastic finish as does book 9 and book 7 is generally decent; but books 8 and 10 are dreadful, bloated and in dire need of severe editing.
After the absolute worst book of the series, Crossroads of Twilight, this volume actually gets some of the various storylines concluding and moving closer to the finale. The overlong and uninteresting Perrin/Faile/Shaido thread has a conclusion; the succession struggle in Andor finally concludes; and Semirhage finally makes an appearance, other than in a meeting of the Forsaken. There are some revelations about major supporting characters, a stronger role for Logain, and an important event for Rand. With two major battles and another instance of Mat's remembered military genius, Jordan again shows glimpses of why books 1-5 were so good.
Nonetheless, Knife of Dreams suffers from the usual array of Jordan idiosyncracies that detract from the storytelling -- repeating the desires of various women to give their lessers corporal punishment, too much devotion to describing bit-part players who only the most devoted fans can remember, far too much detail regarding the various women's dress.
Worse yet, Jordan again pays too little attention to Rand (he's the messiah figure and he putters around entirely too much); barely discusses what happened to Egwene; ignores the Black Tower almost completely; and expends about 40 pages more than necessary on day-in-the-life issues for Mat.
Consider yourself forewarned. The series is complex and interesting, but the quality drop-off from books 1-5 to the more recent volumes is extremely disappointing. Book 11 finally sets up the series for the massive end-game in Book 12 (which Jordan has vowed will be the last volume, even if it's 2000 pages long), but that last volume will have to answer a multitude of questions to finish the series successfully....more info
- At last... some small progress towards a conclusion !
This series started with great flourish and promise .. but started to drift off course by book 5.. I stuck with it and trudged grimly through books 6 to 10, hoping for a glimpse of the spark and energy that had been evident in the first part of the series. Let me make it clear, books 6 through 10 did nothing of note or worth, and could have easily been condensed into one volume which would have been of minor interest. Book 11 "Knife of dreams" is a little better, making some small progress and closing off some sub-plots with moderate success. However I am convinced that the author has largely lost his way with this series. His creation has gotten away from him, and is now peopled with weak and confusing characters and utterly irrelevant sub-plots and red herrings. Enough I cry !!! Please, please, Mr Jordan get a grip on this saga !!...more info
- Best book since LoC probably (but not great)
Overall I think you can divide the WoT into 2 series, Lord of Chaos and before as Series 1, and everything after as Series 2. I think we can all agree that sometime before/after LoC, there was a change in the series/plot progression, for better or worse.
That being said, I think many of people's whining is largely unfounded. While I consider the characters' portrayal unrealistic, everyone came to this realization after book 2. Nine books later you can't be shocked when Nynaeve pulls her braid, or Rand not understanding how maxi-pads work.
As for my opinion on the overeall book, I think it is the best of "Series 2" (post-LoC books). "A-" overall compared to the last 3.
The first 500 pages are much like the past 3 books, but the last 100 pages pick up to have some movement and resolution to many of the minor plots that have been dragged out for 3 books.
Rand's entire apperance was completely pointless and somewhat random. Elayne's bubblings were mostly boring. Mat chapters made me cringe (he was my favorite character). Perrin's incessent whinning about his woman was old 5 books ago. Any minor Aes Sedai chapter could have been removed from the book with no impact on the plot whatsoever.
Probably the biggest improvement was in the Egwene chapters. You see a return to the earlier books' Aes Sedai maneuverings (even if the infighting between the Ajahs seems pointless). I'll go far as to say they were the ONLY chapters in the first 500 pages worth reading.
Another good thing was that we only had one swordfight with BUBBLEBEE MOLESTS A RABIT moved to SPIDER PEES ON WEB twisted to MAN SMELLS OWN FART, and that one was pretty brief.
Overall, the improvement in the swordfights (elimination of said item), change in Egwene plot, resolution of most minor plotlines that have been dragging on since Series 2 began, and the impending end to the series made this book stand out from the other Series 2 books.
Compared to regular fiction writing, this book scores 1 1/2 stars, rounded up...
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