Overview (No Spoilers):
The Wheel of Time series continues to expand proportionally in breadth and depth with every subsequent installment as our adventures with the youths of the Two Rivers grow ever more dangerous. As with any book in the middle of a long series, I find myself feeling apprehensive when picking up the next one is line as there’s always the worry that it will be the dreaded placeholder that moves pawns into place for the follow up novel. Needless to say, I have yet to encounter one of Jordan’s books that is not action packed throughout as I find myself binging through each book, often on the edge of my seat. The Shadow Rising is no exception as our ta-veren manipulated group splits up once again to venture out on their own separate missions. While all of our characters journeys contained danger and adventure, I found myself eager for more of Perrin’s story as he returns to the Two Rivers. His tale brings back many old and familiar characters who we haven’t glimpsed since early on in The Eye of the World. Additionally, we finally see Perrin’s impenetrable wall give way under Faile’s tenacious persistence although I did want to knock their heads together as their stubborn natures made for painful reading during a particularly stressful and perilous part of their journey. With the other key characters we witnessed life altering events for the Aes Sedai of Tar Valon, while Rand and Mat finally started to come into their own. Furthermore, our leading ladies were all testing their powers in impressive ways and learning their capabilities. Overall, there wasn’t a dull moment in The Shadow Rising as Jordan elegantly weaves the story through the many twists and turns at a pace verging on break neck.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- What did the ter’angreal tell Rand in the Stone of Tear? What did he ask it? What did its answer’s mean for Mat? Who are the snakelike Aelfinns they encounter here or the foxlike ones that Mat encounters in Rhuidean?
- Does Aviendha dislike Rand so much because she likes him and it would be disloyal to Elayne? Did Elayne send him the contradicting letters because of ta-veren?
- It’s interesting that Rand learned that Aiel used to follow the Way of the Leaf, whereupon they had deviated from their original ways. Therefore the Tinkers are ‘pure’ in contrast to the Aiel, who despise them. How will it affect Perrin that one of the Tinker’s grandchildren broke from their ways to pick up the sword? What happened to all the angreal, sa’angreal, and ter’angreal entrusted by the Aes Sedai that had to be abandoned along the way by the Tinkers other than the ones that made it to Rhuidean?
- What did Moiraine see in the three hoops ter’angreal?
- What are the lasting effects of Mat’s gifts? What is special about his spear and the medallion?
- Can Rand really trust Asmodean? What is Lanfear’s end game?
- How did Couladin get the dragon marks?
- When will Nynaeve learn to control her powers? She still grates on me but is slowly growing on me, especially as she learns to control her temper and is not so rude. I loved her battle with Moghedien! Where did Moghedien disappear to? Why didn’t she attack again? Will Bayle Domon actually be able to dispose of the collar that Nynaeve found?
- The interaction with Egeanin was entertaining, although I couldn’t believe how trusting Nynaeve and Elayne were being with a complete stranger. It was a good lesson that not all Seanchan were evil.
- Why does no one take Min’s visions seriously! So much damage at the tower! Siuan and Leane are both stilled and rescued by Min! This was definitely one of my favorite story lines but so stressful. What role will Logain play where he claims glory again? How will Gawyn turn out and why did he side against all the Warders? What will this mean for Egwene and what did Min’s vision of him potentially killing her? How will it play out that several of the Aes Sedai’s end up becoming damane in Min’s vision?