Read: 3 March, 2015
Winter’s Heart is fairly standard fare for the series. Perrin and Faile’s relationship is still disturbing, though at least there’s a twist there. Unfortunately, it’s a twist that opens up far too many possibilities for mishandling – will Faile’s character grow by learning to properly submit? Will she be a damsel for Perrin to rescue? The twist has a lot of potential, but I’m a little afraid to hope.
Elayne’s return to Caemlyn and her struggle to secure the throne, by all rights, should be interesting. That sort of story is right up my alley. I also really like that Elayne is adamant that she must take the throne for herself, not be placed there by Rand, if she’s to be taken seriously (and she gets justifiably frustrated by all the Rand-initiated talk of him giving her the throne). Unfortunately, I felt like this whole sub-plot was taken over by Rand’s polygamy plot. We’ll see if it picks up in the next book.
Regarding Rand’s polygamy, I have to say that it’s refreshing to see a love triangle resolve itself in this way rather than the alternative. The agony of fiction love triangles is so done. It’s just unfortunate that Jordan chose to make it between one man and three women, rather than mixing it up a little. At least there are the green Ais Sedai… The polygamy becomes quite important in this book, as all four parties finally get to hash things out explicitly.
Mat is back, but not quite as bad as he’s been. He’s still pretty terrible, and his rape sub-plot is rather horrifying, but he’s kept too busy to spend much time being a complete douchecanoe. Don’t get me wrong, he still manages to fit a lot of his douchiness in, but it’s not as bad as it has been. Having clearly learned from his experience as a rape victim that rape is wrong, he learns the identity of his fated wife and the first thing he does is tie her up and kidnap her. Because he’s just that kind of character, apparently.
I’m liking the plot line about the Asha’man, and the fracturing, and the Forsaken infiltration. The problem is that I don’t really understand why Rand has paid so little attention to the Black Tower. He seemed to realize that the Black Tower was slipping out of his control, but rather than do anything about it, he basically just kept supporting Mazrim Taim until Taim became a full enemy – one with an army that Rand provided for him. I understand that Rand’s attempt to cleanse saidin has at least something to do with reducing the damage that the Black Tower can do, but this seems like too little too late.
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