Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Path of Daggers, by Robert Jordan

I finished listening to this book as I walked in the door to work this morning. I love a good audio book, and Robert Jordan read by Kate Reading and Michael Kremer is a great audio book. The Path of Daggers fits into the fantasy niche for the Once Upon a Time Challenge, and of course it counts as one of my hundred, so that's two birds with one very happy stone.

The Path of Daggers is the eighth book in the Wheel of Time Series, and I would say you have to read the rest of the series before reading this one. I don't want to spoil the book for those who haven't read it yet, but I do want to say a few things about it. (If, by the way, you'd like to talk about the book in more spoiling detail, you can email me, and I'd be thrilled to chat!)

The first three or four books in the series were fairly fast-paced. A lot happened, and a lot of mysteries and prophesies were brought into the mix. The characters were interesting, well-rounded characters and the plot was well-developed (although the road to Cairhien took waaaaaaay too long).

Books four through six were well-written and full of character development, but they moved more slowly; there was a lot of political maneuvering and very little action. I think this is where the series loses a lot of readers, but if you're tempted to stop, don't.

Book seven picks up a little bit more, and things start to get into motion again, but while things begin to happen quickly, they also happen with little or no reasoning at all. I love the idea of Travelling, but while Jordan's characters fly all over the map, so does a bit of the plot. Mat's headed in one direction, then suddenly, Rand changes his mind, and Mat steps through one of the Travelling windows with his Band of the Red Hand and does something completely different. (Speaking of Mat, I adore his character, but I haven't read much about him at all in The Path of Daggers.

In spite of the fact that all that Travelling scatters the plot, things get really interesting in book eight, and the last chapter, with Jordan's description of what the people and rumors are saying, leaves you fairly certain about what didn't happen but completely in the dark about exactly what did happen. I was happy to see Egwene (my favorite character) start to pick up a bit more of the oomph that I've heard she really comes into in The Gathering Storm. She's tougher, smarter, more confident, and more capable of pushing things in the direction she wants them to go. This is a woman who might seem young, but she's more in control than anyone expects.

Speaking of Egwene, Robert Jordan has some interesting takes on women in his books. But that's another topic for another time.

1 comment:

  1. I've been reading this series for more than 15 years now, I'm so old :), and sometimes when I read one of the books I'm so annoyed that "Nothing Happened" in it, but then I reread and find so much to enjoy in it. Jordan did such a great job in creating a multi-layered world. It's such a pity he isn't around to see it come to an end.