Overview (No Spoilers):
Much to my friend Amanda’s exasperation, whenever I work out I count down until I end a set of exercises in fractions. A good example is let’s say in Crossfit we are rowing for 1000 meters. I would call out to Amanda every 100 to 200 meters how far we had yet to do fractionally or how much we had accomplished. “One-tenth of the way done!… One-fifth!… Three-tenths!… Two-fifths! … One half of the way done!” So as you can imagine, what was mentally satisfying to me was unbearably annoying for my dear Amanda. As such it became a running joke throughout our workouts to find different ways to count down until we finally got through the WOD (workout of the day). So tying this short aside into my book review, in this long Wheel of Time series I was amused to find myself doing the same thing as I was finishing each book. As such, upon finishing The Shadow Rising, I mentally rejoiced at being 1/4th the way through this series, although I had to laugh as I finished The Fires of Heaven that I was 5/16ths completed with the series. Silly prime numbers making fractions messy. As with the previous four books in the series, I again flew through this novel, excited to see where Rand’s story was headed. It should be no surprise that I was disappointed when one of my favorite characters (Perrin) didn’t make an appearance, however as this series continues to get more expansive, similar in scope of GRRM, I was at least preconditioned that authors can utilize the skipping of story lines in these long epic tales. While my favorite wolf character was sorely missed, The Fires of Heaven worked speed Rand’s story along at a potentially breakneck pace, although it was arguable Mat and Egwene’s characters that experienced the most growth. Additionally, Nynaeve is taught some valuable lessons regarding humility, as such is developing into one of my favorite characters, as long as she continues down this trek of self-reflection. Overall, I was highly entertained throughout this novel, often finding myself smiling at Mat’s antics, rolling my eyes at Nynaeve’s stubbornness, or even moved to tears by a particularly heartbreaking letter. Though I realize I’m about to enter the stage in the series fellow readers have forewarned me is rather sluggish, I’m still excited to see how the rest of this adventure develops.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- Due to me listening to this series on audiobook I’ve had to look up the spellings of names or quotes online. As such, I’m accidentally have spoiled so key plot points and deaths for me! It is the worst!
- Mat is probably my favorite character of this series! Especially as he fights his fate at every turn. Is he Manetheren’s King Reborn, like Rand being the Dragon Reborn? He was told that he would marry the Daughter of the Nine Moons, and we finally heard mentions of this person in the context of the Seanchan conversation in front of Rand and Aviendha. For that matter, what will the repercussion of the Seanchans seeing Rand in their own land? Will it somehow bring together Mat and his prophesied bride?
- What are the powers of Mat’s Spear?
- It is an interesting dynamic between Rand and Aviendha. Will he really get to ‘share’ all three the girls that are drawn to him?
- Will Siuan Sanche and Gareth Bryne fall in love? What did Min mean that she had to say by him to save hers and his lives? Will Leane and Siuan be able to be healed by Nynaeve?
- Will Logain be healed as well? Is that how he rises to glory again? Will he be an ally to Rand?
- Will Elaida really send Aes Sedai to Rand? How will he avoid them?
- Where is Morgase going? When will she be reunited with her children?
- Who killed Asmodean at the end? What harm will Rand wield with balefire?
- I enjoyed the chaffing that Nynaeve and Elayne experienced at returning to the Aes Sedai. Did the Aes Sedai reveal to the Wise Ones that Egwene was not a full Aes Sedai? I especially enjoyed the showdown between Nynaeve and Moghedien, and how she trapped the Forsaken! If Moghadien comes to camp with her will Dark Friends be revealed?
- I admit it. I cried when Moiraine died, despite not knowing where her loyalties were aligned, especially with her letter. Did she really die? Did she really kill Lanfear. I have a feeling that the powerful Forsaken can’t be killed that easily.
- Was the three story house being built in the Two Rivers for Perrin? He would hate that!
- Is Thom Elayne’s father?