am 19. September 2000
Unlike alot of the reviewers here, I don't think that I somehow could have written this book better, or that my opinion should count in what Mr. Jordan writes. My opinion is my money, and when the next one comes out... well... Mr. Jordan will be able to buy those two cases of beer he was always wanting to get. Most of the common gripes between the good reviewers and those who would chew on something they think is a turd just to tell everyone how awful it tastes, is the lack of Mat. Well... surprise! Mat was in the book after all. Infact, Mr. Jordan clearly set Mat up to be a HUGE part of the next book (or maybe the one after that<g>). Alot of the turd-eaters (people who say that 5 books ago the series sucked and were never going to read another but... still do yet post how evil Mr. Jordan is) have gone to say how dull this series is then gone on to say How riviting the Lord of The Rings is and Jordan is ripping off Tolkien... Get off your high horses.... We've all read Tolkien too. All they do in LOTR is walk around and eat. You can't deny it.
I applaud Mr. Jordan for creating a world, its history, and its language. Maybe that is the only similarity to Tolkien I will grant. The keywords in this series is Final Battle. When that happens,it's done. It's a shame people want to see the end of the journey without stopping to smell the roses along the way. It is your short comming, not Mr. Jordan's. I don't think Mr. Jordan sat down and started writting stories with the intention to be poor and starving. It's a shame that people judge successful writers and artists that way and go out of their way to try and deny something special to others. Read the book. Read them all. It's good eatin.
am 1. August 2000
Well, I just finished reading the latest available installment of the WOT series, "The Path of Daggers," and as per usual, I HAD CHILLS reading the last paragraph of the book. I read a lot of science fiction/fantasy and I can honestly say that no other author has ever had that affect of me so consistantly and powerfully over the course of every book in the series. Every book! Jordan's storytelling powers are nothing short of amazing! Now I know many of you have probably read reviews from malcontents who are ready to rip Jordan apart because they are becomming impatient with the pace of his story. I'll admit, he does have a tendency to become far too flowery in his descriptions of places and minor characters who may never develop very far in the story. Yes, I too often find myself skipping several pages of "the land was baren or dusty or muddy or hot or cold, and yada, yada, yada...skimming the book for the next line of dialogue or action that moves the plot forward or continues to develop the characters and their relationships. Yes, it can be frustrating wading through all the unnaturally long descriptions, but that is not the point. As the great bard once said, "the play's the thing." In the WOT series and continuing in "The Path of Daggers," Jordan offers a play or plot that is engrossing and utterly compelling. No, let me rephrase...a gripping, suspensful, and unrelenting plot that in no uncertain terms, forbids the reader to put the book down to go to work, have a social life, eat, sleep, or drink. Want more? How about characters that are so real you just know you could reach out and touch them if you only believed hard enough. Characters you can laugh with, cry with, and relate with in countless, meaningful, everyday ways. What's more, the relationships these characters share are powerful and moving, evoking an astonishingly strong emotive response on the part of the reader. And isn't that the point? This story touches me and moves me like nothing else I have ever read. I'm so caught-up in it that I can't wait to see what hapens next, and yet I dread the idea that with each new installment the series draws closer to a final conclusion. I pick-up a WOT book and I sit enraptured by what unfolds within. That is the mark of a great story and a masterful storyteller. If I have to skip the occasional page or three then that is simply the fare that must be paid to take a journey through Jordan's lush, rich, and vivid imagination. Anyway, who are Jordan's critics trying to kid? If they've made it this far, then thay are in it to stay...and so should you, gentle reader. Buy this book. Forget about minor nit-pickings and come back to Jordan's realm, the world of "The Wheel of Time," and set your feet on "The Path of Daggers."
am 24. Juli 2000
I really like this series and to a much lesser degree, this book but I feel like for every good thing about this book I have to include a "but". But what? The eighth book in what is starting to feel like an endless series, I got this when it came out and didn't read it for two years while working on other books (especially since I wasn't overwhelmed by book seven, where I can't remember a darn thing that happened), alas that meant that I had forgotten most of the minor continuing plotlines (there are lots) and all the minor characters (even more of them). The glossary is absolutely pathetic, the one in the first few books was great, giving you loads of information, it was updated for each book, here you're given a slew of characters (sort of like being a teacup with a firehose aimed at you) with little immediate explanation, it's assumed you'll know everything, I guess. With that out of the way, you dive into the book and it's fairly enjoyable, Jordan has lost none of his gift for writing, his prose is remarkably detailed, sometimes overly so but he really knows how to immerse you in his world, though he skimps on weird details at times (at what point did it start snowing nonstop?). His characters are like friends of the family, after eight books you feel you know them pretty well. Alas that's also part of the problem, little new is being revealed to us here it's the characters just in a new situation which is entertaining but not revelatory. And he tends to harp on the same theme: men versus women. Yes we know that men don't understand women and women don't understand men and that when people fall in love the person they fall in love with both frustrates and exhilerates them. After eight books you think that they would have come to the conclusion that there is no conclusion without reminding us of it every three pages? The plots aren't as well integrated as before, Perrin's is utterly useless for the most part (except towards the end, when stuff starts happening), after a promising start Elayne's peters into nothing (except towards the end again) but Rand's remains as gripping as always, mostly as his fight with insanity is taken up another notch and he edges even closer to losing it. The battle scenes are well done, even if we've been here before, most of the characters don't get involved in the fights anyhow. Jordan keeps little explosions of intrigue to move us along and even when pacing is nonexistent it keeps you reading. The Forsaken are fun as always, even if it is getting annoying that the Dark One keeps resurrecting most of them everytime they get killed (I wonder if Jordan realized he offed too many too fast, the body count was getting high at one point as Rand went on a bit of a rampage). But lesser plots are just confusing, most of the renegade Aiel I couldn't even keep straight without a scorecard and I keep forgetting which Aes Sedai are Black Ajah and which are just plotting and there's just too many chacters with similar names sharing the same scenes. And Mat doesn't even appear (the biggest offense, second only to Min not appearing and Rand not even showing up until we're halfway down). Bottom line after all that: you've made up your mind here without my help. If you're hooked like me you're going to keep reading even if it feels like Jordan fell asleep at the keyboard because there's just enough good stuff to make us think that he can pull a decent ending out of all of this yet. And if you hate it, well you do, nothing wrong with that. For the new reader, start from the beginning, maybe wait until the series is finished. Me, I'll be waiting for book nine, and maybe things'll start happening.
am 21. April 2000
1) Sell any Wheel of Time series hardbacks, throw away all paperbacks immediately, or keep Eye of the World (pretend it is a 1 book series).
2) Search on Amazon.com for either "A Game of Thrones" or "Clash of Kings" (if you have already read GOT) by George R. R. Martin.
3) Buy immediately!
4) By the time you receive the books your body will be aching, quivering for thousands of meaningless words that move a story along as far as a legless elephant - your mind will crave hundreds of "set-up" pages that lead to a shameful bail-out.
5) Tear into "A Game of Thrones" and let your addiction to garbage feed upon the purity of the characters, the incredible development of plot and plot movement, and the thick and relentless story-line, and incredible realism.
6) Within 300 pages you will notice your body and mind no longer quiver. You will notice that when you answer the phone you will begin to say brief meaningful words like, "Hello" instead of when you were on Jordan-Crack and your response to a call would be, "I trampled forth from the bathroom, the bathroom where the paper rests gently upon the roller, the roller of X'shenda - which were bubbled forth from the nexus people of Gjia, seedy women of incredible power, they could will a man to bleed, or sweat, or groan or know of other women and men like themselves so bold, only to trudge toward the noisensomeful ring and now be able to say to you, hello - I am me and I am here to speak."
7) Notice the immediate changes from begging for hundreds of pages to end, to begging a chapter will never end.
8) Finish "A Game of Thrones" ... take a breath ... start "Clash of Kings" and by the end of this amazing follow-up you should be completely over the Jordan-crack - and you will never again be an addict of bad, never-ending, disorganized writing.
9) Finish "Clash of Kings" and quickly mix in The Chronicles of Narnia - this excellent, easy to read and follow series will cleanse your mind, and will be your final step before you may read responsibly forevermore.
10) Tell others of how you were saved by Martin!
am 13. April 2000
The Path of Daggers is drab, boring and well below the standardof rest of the series. Let it be said now that I am and have been agreat fan since picking up the first book from a second-hand book shop on an impulse, as I had never heard of Robert Jordan before. Imagine my surprise, the book turned out to be brilliant and I couldnt wait to get the next and the next and so on.
Let's be brutally honest though, there are'nt any concepts in this story which have not been explored before by other authors , quite to the contrary, you can draw a lot of parallels between WOT world and works by many other authors preceding WOT. But Jordan displays a touch of magic in the way he tells his story and you forget about what's been done before and become wholly engrossed, although he is no Tolkien, nowhere near in my opinion. A lot of WOT fans would disagree with me and they have a right to their opinions, snigger snigger....No seriously, loyalty to an author you like and admire is one thing and knowing what you are talking about is another matter.
Besides everything I was and am still hooked on WOT and do not care if the series lasts 50 books. What I do care about is quality though and a lack of it in Path of Daggers. What was the point of this book? Nothing happens in it. The Bowl of Winds was drawn out so much that I lost interest and it was totally anti-climatic. This book goes nowhere and the meat of it could have been written in 30 pages. The rest is rubbish, gibberish, filler and an attempt to artifically prolong the series poorly executed.
You will miss virtually nothing by not reading this book. Why did it take Rand so long to take on the Seancahn army, why did he didder and dodder for all that time. Whats all that nonsense with the Kith and Seafolk disliking each other, being drawn out page after page when there are sub-plots from book two still awaiting resolution. The expansion of trivialities was taken to the limit in this book. The best bits in the book were Nyneve coming to terms with channelling at will and the ending.
The pace of the book does not match the series in any way and has perhaps done irrevocable damage to the way it was running. The humor was missing from this book totally and surly there could have a chapter at least about Mat when most of the chapters were about nothing in particular (How Perrin annoys me! ). The stubborn, independant women thing was funny and refreshing for about three books but makes me cringe now when its repeated endlessly.
I have noticed a steady decline in jordan's story telling since book four. It seems to be getting worse and worse. Sure, there is that transition period after the initial character development but it shouldnt have lasted 4 books. I hope he hasnt run of ideas and also hope that some of the sub-plots and threads are resolved soon. On the bright side Jordan has refrained from repeating himself, every time a character is revisited. We know all too well, how stony faced Lan is, how men who channel are a curse and a disease, how Aes Sedai twist things to suit themselves, how slow of thought perrin is etc.etc. It was really annoying in book 2 to book 6. The series could have been excellent if not great, but we now have to wait and see what book 9 has to say before judging. Any more comparisons with Tolkien? I think not......
I am only critical because I love this series still, even with all its faults, but will not stand for a rip-off like POD again. RJ....The true fans like myself do not care how long you take to write each book or how many books you write, we'll buy them all, please just dont publish any more rubbish like POD... Whether Jordan wrote this to keep the publishers happy or for a bit of extra pocket money, who knows. He certainly didnt do his credibility as a writer any favours and that is what is important to us, his true fans. Some of us will question, criticise and complain, as well as giving credit when it due......
am 22. Mai 1998
I, along with the rest of the world, greatly enjoyed the first few books of this series. They were gripping, intelligent, and you could tell that Jordan had plotted his story out in advance and had a plan for where it was going. But the series was too successful for its own good. And success allowed Jordan to become lazy--after all, the more books he churns out the more money both he and his publishers make. So whatever the original plan, it was abandoned, and now--I hate to say it--JORDAN IS SIMPLY MAKING IT UP AS HE GOES ALONG. The introduction of Cadsuane Aes Sedai as a major new character in the SEVENTH book makes this painfully obvious. I also have a theory that Jordan realized he killed off too many Forsaken in the early books and saw that he wouldn't have enough left for his new "expanded" story, so that's why he started to "recycle" them. I feel the decline of this series truly began with book Five, which was poorly paced, but I had no idea what was to follow. Halfway through book six, I paused from my reading and realized that NOTHING HAD HAPPENNED in the entire book to that point. Go back and check and you'll see that I'm right. Everyone sits around in their separate, isolated little groups and talks for 600 pages. That's it, no serious plot development AT ALL--in 600 pages! Unconsciously Jordan must have realized this because every so often he did throw in a failed assasination attempt on somebody in an effort to inject a little false drama. It should be obvious to everyone, however, that Jordan has lost his way. For an example of brilliant, tight plotting see George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones.
am 23. Juli 2000
Since the beginning, I have been completely engrossed in these books. I can hardly put one down long enough to eat and sleep once I get a new book in this series. However, I agree with many of the other readers. The first four books were incredible, but these last four have moved very slowly. It nearly drove me crazy that it took nearly two books before Elayne and Nynaeve finally used the Bowl of Winds! There is always so much going on at the same time that I have had to read the first five books twice. Although I almost wish that this series would never end, I am anxious to find out about what happens to Rand al'Thor and all of the other characters that I have grown so fond of. These last two books have been moving at an incredibly slow pace that almost seems to encompass mere days instead of the months of action that you would think were taking place in books nearly 1,000 pages long. I realize that Jordan must create the setting to perfection to get the desired result at Tarmon Gaidon, but this is getting to be a touch ridiculous. When I bought Path of Daggers, I thought that this would be the last in the series. Imagine my surprise when I found out that there is at least one more to go! I nearly went hysteric at the abrupt ending of POD. This series is the best I have ever read, but as the series goes on, I realize that Jordan is getting choppy with his plot line and slightly sloppy with his writing. If he wants to create an ending to this series that is just as captivating as the Eye of the World and the Dragon Reborn (especially these of the first 5) he needs to go back to writing in his old style.
am 31. März 2000
I agree with many of the critiques here noting the lack of plot movement. Seems as if Jordan has created so many sub-plots that the main plot gets lost in the process. If he just gives 1/8 of a chapter to each sub-plot we never reach one of the main characters until 1/4 of the book is gone. That is exactly what happened in POD. Repeat the process and only 3 chapters in the entire book are devoted to one of the big 3 characters (Rand, Matt or Perin). No wonder NOTHING happens in this book.
So why do two bad books warrant 1700 + reviews. Because like many of you, I was captivated by the first 5 books in this series. I care about when, who and if the song will be found. I would like to read about Perin and the broken crown. I want to know about Matt and the Daughter of the Nine Moons. Actually, there are laterally hundreds of questions that Jordan has raised in his last 7 books that I would like to see answered. Some of these questions were raised 8 years ago ! I can think of only 1 major thread that Jordan finally resolved in this book. ONE lousy thread answered. Come on !
Mr. Jordan, make a list of the HUNDREDS (this is no joke) of outstanding issues that you have left to write about. In your next book, I would like to see 1/3 of them resolved. Kill off or don't write about all of the insignificant characters that you have developed. Maybe then you can make my Must Read' list again.
am 25. Juli 2000
If you are an avid sci fi/fantasy addict like me then you know this feeling: You are nearing the end of the 3rd and last book in a series and are dreading it, because it will mean that you will have to leave the characters and world you have grown attached to and no longer be able to eavesdrop on their lives. That is one of the things I love about Jordans WOT series of books (now heading towards #9), I have such a huge, multi-faceted world at my fingertips that I can explore to my hearts content, not in just a few short books. I personally hope that Mr. Jordan continues the series for several more books, after all, is there a rule that all fantasy series have to be 3 books? Alot of the reviews below complain about the length of the series and hope that he wraps it up soon. If you don't like the series, why are you "suffering" through 8 books? And, if it is so bad why do you care if he finishes soon or not! Put it down and read something else! Go ahead and buy your bottle of Nighttrain in the brown paper bag and get your quick fix while the rest of us wait for the master vintor to distill yet another vintage wine. I highly recommend this series to any fan of high fantasy.
am 10. Mai 1999
Don't get me wrong, I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Jordan. But it seems that with every passing novel his prose and vision weaken on an almost exponential scale. Where is the fast pace and clever turns of the first three installments, or at least the character development of books 4&5? Jordan's insistence on restating every character's history and motivation is a particularly annoying feature, and while the three central characters retain some portion of their original literary value, I have given up all hopes of his writing a real female character, or even allowing one of his existing ones to grow up. Enjoy the paycheck, Mr. Jordan, but don't expect to recieve any more of my book-purchasing money. The thrill is gone, and I'm bored with what should have been the best fantasy installment of the decade. It has become a standard by which other novels should be judged, but instead of as something to aspire to, as an object lesson, "Millions of copies sold and 1000 page-novels can't substitute for tired prose, flat characters and half-baked plots." To anyone who has waited to purchase this, forget it and pick up the latest Martin or Modesitt.