Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Book Review: The Fires of Heaven

This is not the first time I've read this book, but I still enjoyed it very much. I'm still not sure what the title refers to... sometimes I miss the obvious. And sometimes I think authors toss words into a hat and draw some out to create titles of fantasy fiction novels. 

The climactic scene with Nynaeve and Moghedien is one of my favorite scenes in the entire series. The first time I read it, I SO didn't see what happens coming, and the surprise and cleverness was a thrill to read. I also like the stuff with Rand and Aviendha-- I think she's my favorite of his girlfriends. I did miss Perrin, though. This is the first book where one of our main characters doesn't have a story, I think, and it's too bad.

I also like many of the other scenes, but this time through I was struck by how repetitive some of the characters' inner dialogues feel. Maybe it's because I'm listening to them, so the pace is much slower than when I read the book version, or maybe it's just that Rand is in the early stages of his whiny-depressed-I-gotta-be-hard-as-stone phase. I look forward to the next few books, and hopefully there is less repetition. I've read them so many times that every time the characters describe how the One Power works, or what an Angreal is, I want to pull out my hair. And since I'm listening to the audio versions, I can't just skim through those paragraphs. I'm also thinking that if I had a nickel for every time a woman "folded her arms under her breasts", I'd have many a nickel. ;)

The story does move forward here in book 5, with Rand becoming more and more the leader he wants to be, the Aiel doing some cool stuff, and Siuan & Leane and Nynaeve and Elayne regrouping with the outcast Aes Sedai. I personally don't like the storyline with Morgase, and I almost wish she had been killed, or just faded into the background, because (SEMI-SPOILER) she seems to go nowhere for the remainder of the series, and I don't much care what she does next. And, in spite of all these years of reading and talking about the WOT series, I still don't know who killed a certain Forsaken at the end of this book, even though Robert Jordan said it should be obvious. Obtuse=Me.

Otherwise, though, a good, necessary installment in the series. Now on to book 6!

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