Winter’s Heart by Robert Jordan

winters-heartWinter’s Heart is book nine in Robert Jordan’s plodding Wheel of Time series. Mat Cauthon finally reappears from beneath the rubble pile that toppled him back at the end of book seven — only to fall into another sort of trap — he becomes sex toy to the Queen of Altara.

Mat spends most of book nine plotting and finally executing his escape — but not before he manages to (finally!) meet the Daughter of the Nine Moons — the woman Mat has envisioned he’s supposed to marry ( although as one of those nasty Seanchan, she doesn’t seem much the marrying kind).  This is just a sample of the frustrations of this series, where hundreds of pages go by and plot threads disappear or randomly reappear, sometimes books later. Case in point: Faile is currently held prisoner by the Shaido Aiel. Perrin has been (theoretically) searching for her for the entire book, but we have no proof, considering their storyline dropped off in Chapter 6 never to resurface in book nine.

What this series really needed was a strong editor. Long, meandering clothing and landscape descriptions could have been scrapped to speed pacing and flow. An editor could have helped weave a storyline that doesn’t drop character threads for so long you think they’ve crawled off the page and died of boredom, waiting for their chance to escape the wings and get on stage.

Loial the Ogier remains MIA — missing now since book six, Lord of Chaos, though research reveals he returns in book ten, Crossroads of Twilight — just enough to keep me plodding along, too.

April — August, 2015