Wheel of Time Reread #9: Winter’s Heart

In anticipation of the Jan 8, 2013 release of A Memory of Light, the fourteenth and final book in the Wheel of Time series, I’m rereading the entire series. Each book gets its own spoiler-filled post.

WoT09_WintersHeartOkay, this entry is going to be much shorter than the previous ones (although probably not shorter than the next one). I want to get to Knife of Dreams and further as soon as possible.

The major awesome thing that happens in this book is that saidin gets cleansed. This is probably one of my favourite scenes in the series – Rand and Nynaeve channeling furiously for hours while their allies, both male and female, Aes Sedai, Asha’man, Sea Folk, and Seanchan fight off at least six Forsaken. I would really love to see this on film at some point.

Other plotlines that advance – the Black Ajah hunters in the White Tower finally find their first sister, Perrin finds out about Faile’s kidnapping and is anxious to do something about it (while Berelain takes full advantage of the situation), Rand kills the Asha’man that tried to kill him at the end of the last book, and finally accepts Cadsuane’s guidance. Oh, and Min, Elayne and Aviendha bond Rand (which involves Min and Aviendha meeting and getting drunk with Birgitte). And the Sea Folk continue to be extremely annoying.

A major part of the book is Elayne trying to consolidate her power even more, and some Darkfriends trying to get closer to her. I wasn’t really that interested in it, although it should be more interesting now that she has armies marching on Caemlyn, and she’s made a deal with the Borderlanders to pretend to match on Caemlyn. Oh, also, she’s pregnant.

Also, apparently Mazrim Taim being a Darkfriend was made clear in this book – one of the evil Asha’man says that Taim ordered him to kill Rand. I guess it isn’t fully clear – he could’ve just been jealous of Rand, but it’s a very strong sign.

It was interesting to see Elaida’s party’s reception at the Black Tower – I didn’t remember the forced bonding, and definitely not that Logain did it. It seemed way too much like a mixture of Compulsion and damane to me – I didn’t like it at all. I guess it’s Taim’s orders, and Logain’s trying to obey enough not get kicked out of the Asha’man so he can help the Light, but ick.

I know you’ve been waiting for me to mention Mat. Mat is back, although he doesn’t show up for half the book. And Tuon is finally introduced! And kidnapped when Mat escapes Ebou Dar, along with her maid, a couple of former Aes Sedai damanes, some sul’dam, Egeanin and Bayle Domon, Setalle Anan, the former Panarch of Tarabon, Thom, Juilin and Jain Farstrider (whose identity we’re not aware of yet). A very disparate group of people, and I’m looking forward to their adventures.

Rand is still extremely hard – he talks about killing people with absolutely no emotion, and he mistrusts everyone. He makes for a really unpleasant protagonist, especially since not just one but three of the main character girls are in love with him. There are already mentions of weevils in the food (although it’s not connected to his temperament yet). I can’t wait until he gets over his nonsense, but I think that takes until Knife of Dreams.

Crossroads of Twilight next… I’m not really looking forward to it.

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