Friday, January 27, 2006

Review: _Knife of Dreams_ by Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time has been a popular series compared by some to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Eleven books have followed the stories of many interesting characters through several events leading to a final battle between good and evil. Now, the penultimate book Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan is out. Fans of the series have eagerly awaited for this volume, which is on the New York Times Bestsellers list. This latest entry in the series is an entertaining read due to its complex characters, detailed setting and dynamic plot.

The complex characters makes the book entertaining by drawing readers into the lives of characters, wanting to see what happens to them. Characters continue to change and grow since the beginning of the series. Rand al’Thor was not prominent in this book. All though the main character, his appearance was limited, but he suffered some changes. Egwene demonstrates her cleverness and strength as a prisoner of the White Tower. A main focus was on the character of Matt Cauthon. He struggles with protecting lives of people while courting the woman he loves. Other characters are changed by events as the author adds more complexity to his characters. They make the book entertaining while moving through an interesting setting.

The setting is interesting due to the author’s detailed, vivid descriptions. There is a well developed history the world with different cultures. Events from the past are linked to the present in a world following a pattern of ages. Readers learn how the throne of Andor is decided by a game among houses. The culture of the invading Seanchan empire is demonstrated through various characters. The overall setting contributes to a dynamic plot.

Finally, the book’s dynamic plot hooks readers and keeps the story entertaining. Switching through different plot lines and viewpoints, readers follow character that are spread out in different part of the land. Change is in the air as the final battle approaches. Rand tries to get a truce with the Seanchan in order to prepare for the battle. His friends Matt and Perrin are in far places dealing with the women in their lives. Perrin strives to rescue his wife from captivity while Matt tries to protect Tuon from assassins. The women in Rand’s life go through trials too. Elayne struggles to win the throne of her nation. Various servants of the Dark work their plots everywhere. Mr. Jordan keeps the plot movie with action and startling events.

Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan is an entertaining edition to the series with its dynamic plot, complex characters and detailed setting. Fans of the series should be satisfied that this book moves the story forward in several plot threads; a slow pace was the main complaint of the last book. This book is a good entry to set up what is coming. Hopefully readers will not have to wait too long for the last book.

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