Lord of Chaos is book six of The Wheel of Time series. Mired in bloviated description, it plods for 986 pages only to end in a rushed battle scene and a confusing epilogue that begs more questions than it answers. Is Demandred disguised as Halima? Or, was it really Demandred disguised as Moghedien the entire book? Research reveals that no, Halima is not Demandred in disguise, despite the fact that she’s the only female character in six thousand pages to channel saidin, the male source of the One Power. It’s not nice to pull fast ones on your readers, Robert Jordan.
The book spends a lot of focus on Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve, yet strangely their storyline peters out in Ebou Dar as they search for a mysterious, but cleverly hidden ter’angreal thought to help control the weather.
The oddest thing in this book was the ceremony held as Egwene gets raised to Amyrlin. This series has been almost puritanical with only blushing, prudish references to nudity and sex, yet Jordan creates a scene in which all sitters, along with Amyrlin candidate Egwene, bare their breasts, declaring, “I am a woman” to prove that they’re female.
Mat Cauthon remains an insufferable misogynist who thinks women are all disingenuous schemers who wouldn’t last a day on their own if it weren’t for his protection.
Perrin and Faile, a pair who had been interesting characters in book five, seem wooden and flat. Faile’s ever-present jealousy and Perrin’s inability to communicate with his wife in any simple way became tiresome in their few scenes.
Thankfully, Loial is back, though sadly ignored, plot-wise for 90% of the book.
Despite the scrambled plot lines, the tedious repetition, and dozens of meaningless characters, I still want to know what happens to our crazy kids from the Two Rivers and Elayne, the daughter-heir of Andor. I can only hope that the characters deepen in upcoming volumes and that the writing somehow tightens. This book took me a few months to read, not just because of the flagging plot, I had to start reading other books to give myself a break from The Wheel of Time. On to book seven, albeit slowly.
October 2014 — January, 2015