I finally finished The Fires of Heaven, the fifth book in the Wheel of Time series. I say “finally” because, compared to the three Hunger Games books, Fires of Heaven reads like an encyclopedia.
Apparently this is the book where most people gave up on the series, and I can certainly see why. It’s kind redundant at this point to say “half of the text could have been removed without any effect on the plot,” but it’s never been truer. Yes, yes, it’s all very rich and imaginative detail about the world. But in writing, story is king.
There are three main storylines in this book: 1) Rand leaving the waste with his Aiel horde, 2) Nynaeve and Elayne returning from Tanchico, and 3) Siuan Sanche, the former Amerlyn Seat, searching for the exiled Blue Ajah from the Tower.
Perrin is not in the book at all, which sucks for me because he’s the only one among the ta’veren that I don’t constantly feel like smacking upside the head.
[spoiler] Apparently each one of these books is basically about Rand defeating another one of the Forsaken. Most of this book, Rand talks about Sammael as his adversary, but in the end Jordan pulled a switch-a-roo and he actually went after Rahvin, who is Gaebril, the guy who ensorceled Queen Morgase. Everyone thinks Morgase is dead, but she just went underground.
So Morraine finally dies in this book, something that I’ve been expecting to happen for quite some time, considering how often she talks about her own demise with Lan. And in this book in particular, her behavior radically changes in a way that telegraphs both her imminent death and the fact that she knows it’s coming soon. On the plus side, she took Lanfear with her, which was a bit of a surprise to me. Of course, we never saw the bodies, so I have to assume they aren’t really dead, and they’ll be back in another book. Because everyone knows that in fiction, if there’s no body, or if we didn’t actually see them die, they aren’t dead.
I have to admit I wasn’t sad to see Morraine go. She has had no significant role in these books since the first one (besides being a constant irritant, that is).
Nothing new to report with Nynaeve or Elayne, except that their constant cat-fighting is getting very, very old. Nynaeve somehow managed to help Rand defeat Rahvin in the end through the dream world thingy, but I’m not precisely sure how that happened. Jordan has a way of describing scenery and history in excruciating detail, but he is not great at writing clear action scenes. [/spoiler]