Four Is Enough?

I thought I would next tackle The Fires of Heaven, the fifth book in the Wheel of Time series. But I don’t seem to have the same enthusiasm I did with the first four books. After reading the prologue and one chapter of Fires, I’m getting a bad feeling.

The Prologue was a mind-numbingly gigantic info-dump that went on forever. Chapter One follows Min with Siuan, Leane, and Logain. It wasn’t terrible but Min is the only one I care about in that bunch. Then Chapter Two gets us back to Rand, who, I’m sorry to admit, is one of my least favorite character in the books. (Possibly eclipsed only by Mat.) Reading Rand and Mat chapters always feels like a chore.

Jordan’s prose in Fires seems much more verbose than I remember, too. And it was pretty verbose in the first four. Don’t get me wrong, it’s richly detailed and descriptive, and a worldbuilding tour de force, but it’s considerably more detail than is needed to advance a story. So I’m starting to think to myself, maybe the first four books is enough for me.

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