Book Review: THE SHADOW RISING by Robert Jordan

Title in black on white on grey wheel of time symbol
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 3 stars
Series: yes - book 4

*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for THE EYE OF THE WORLD, THE GREAT HUNT, and THE DRAGON REBORN*

Synopsis:

Book cover for THE SHADOW RISING: title in black on mountain -scape and cloudy sky below wheel of time logo

The Stone of Tear, invulnerable fortress of legend, has fallen. The Children of the Dragon have risen to the call of prophecy and march to the aid of the Light. Callandor, the Sword That Is Not a Sword, is held by Rand al’Thor, the man proclaimed as the Dragon Reborn.

But still the shadows lengthen and still the Forsaken grow in strength. If he is to fight them, Rand must master the male half of the True Source, a power corrupted by the Dark One, a power that drives men to madness, a power that may save or damn the world.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

This book, even by the standard of the others, was an odd one pacing wise.

I found the beginning bizarrely compelling and I can’t explain why. It’s several hundred pages of Rand not doing anything, and everyone else not really being able to do anything around him. There is honestly not much happening at the start. A few minor things by way of plot, and one big thing, but mostly it’s holding pattern scenes.

And yet it was the bit of the book I enjoyed the most? I got through it the fastest, wanting to see what would come next, even though there wasn’t really much. Maybe it was the frustrations of the characters boiling up that was compelling?

Then the characters separated into groups, and suddenly it all got a lot less engaging. The book both jumped around too much and too little between the characters for my interest.

The “too much” was because the POVs always seemed to switch at the most inopportune moments, and I started to get very confused as things didn’t feel explained enough. Goodness knows what was happening with Elayne and Nyaevae half the time – there was a new POV brought in there, another E- name character to make things even harder to tell them all apart!

The “too little” was the fact that there’d bet a lot of chapters from one storyline and have to wait ages (sometimes through several switches between two) to get back to another. Which meant by the time the book got back, I’d forgotten what had happened. Min is the first character to narrate the book, for example, and I had completely forgotten she was in it by the time she came back for a chapter (maybe it was two?)

Perrin and Rand are the focus of this book. It’s really nice that Rand is actually in this book, unlike the last, but I think I would have liked a smoother distribution. The girls really did feel left out of it. Perrin’s relationship with Faile was a lot of fun though.

Right, and now a pause with other books before onto the fifth instalment. I am going to try to read the entire series – I want to get to the end, but it is going to take a while!


Read my reviews of other books by Robert Jordan:

The Wheel of Time (this series):

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