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review 2015-12-09 00:00
Towers of Midnight
Towers of Midnight - Robert Jordan,Brandon Sanderson This is the book that truly returned this series to fulfilling its potential, at least for me. Numerous story lines and subplots are finally wrapped up to clear the way for the Last Battle. Perrin has finally stepped into his role and begun to accomplish what he was responsible for all along. Mat has returned to his irreverent character while fully accepting his role as a reluctant hero. Rand has truly embraced his role and begun the leader that was needed.

Beyond these three main characters there was a powerful, though short, subplot involving Aviendha. Her visions of the future serve as a reminder that the Last Battle, while necessary for the survival of all, does not guarantee the survival of all. Egwene alternated between a competence and arrogance. She is a competent leader in the White Tower and demonstrates her skill at both politics and battle. However, her treatment of Gawyn is belittling to him and unbelievably irrational. While she accepts the need to moderate herself before sisters, she demands almost unquestioning obedience from Gawyn, even when she has not ordered him to do something. She grows angry and frustrated when he does not act in accordance with her unannounced wishes. Her treatment of Rand is similarly disheartening as she assumes that his course of action is wrong with out analyses or review. Elayne is similarly frustrating and continues to serve largely as a waste of attention in this series. Her political maneuvering is mediocre, though it is painted as genius in the story. However, this is all somewhat unraveled in her treatment of Perrin. By threatening Perrin she overplays her hand to gain exactly the fate she is attempting to avoid. Her standing with lords appears to be more important that taking a course of action that is necessary to prevent blood shed, and she seems blind to reason solely because her prerogative is not accepted unquestioningly. Brandon Sanderson has done a wonder with the female characters in this story, though there was only so much he could accomplish with the frustratingly arrogant and one dimensional creatures created by Robert Jordan.
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review 2015-02-19 18:33
That silver lining didn't last long
Towers of Midnight (Wheel of Time, #13; A Memory of Light, #2) - Robert Jordan,Brandon Sanderson,Kate Reading,Michael Kramer

The author change did improve the quality of the writing in the sense of cutting down the purple in the purplest of proses. But as a downside of the improved craft, it highlights the disturbing content of the writing.

 

The misogynistic taint that undermines the so-called-but-not-really-powerful-after-all strong women of the series. The ridiculous premise of gender determining and distinguishing how people use and control the fantasy magic. That this is nothing but the boyz's story. The harmful allusion that insanity can be cured.

 

All the things I've mentioned before and conveniently forgotten.

 

And to add insult to injury, the White Wizard of The Wheel of Time series doesn't save herself but is saved by three men.

 

I hope Jordan is enjoying his reborn life as a woman who hates all things Wheel of Time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. Still shipping Mat and Birgitta.

 

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text 2015-02-10 14:15
Have I mentioned...
Towers of Midnight (Wheel of Time, #13; A Memory of Light, #2) - Robert Jordan,Brandon Sanderson,Kate Reading,Michael Kramer

...how much I hate this book's (series', authors) attitude towards pregnant women?

 

Not to mention the subtle undermining of female authority in all forms.

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review 2014-04-03 00:00
Towers of Midnight
Towers of Midnight - Robert Jordan,Brandon Sanderson Final rating: 3.5 stars.

This book has two very different parts which divide it exactly in the middle.

The first part: nothing at all happens. Yes, you read it right: the first 50% of the book make Crossroads of Twilight - which is considered the slowest Jordan's book - look like a non-stop action thriller. I just finished reading this one and cannot recall any event of some significance whatsoever.

The first chapter returns to POV of a lowly and completely irrelevant farmer who provided a ride to Rand and Mat in the first book of the series and promptly went to oblivion since then. Luckily (?) he is back with all his irrelevance, but we have to suffer several pages catching up on his back-story and current troubles with apple harvest. He meets Rand for a couple of minutes and a couple of words before going away - hopefully for good this time.

Most part of the book is taken by Mat and Perrin subplots and opposed to Rand and Egwene in the previous book. There were huge buildups for the former couple of characters which falsely led me to believe there will be explosive action throughout the whole book. Well, Mat spends his time thinking about the amount of lace to put on his coat; when he briefly thinks about making it pink - this is where it became clear that the joke overstayed its welcome.

As to Perrin: he still broods about not wanting a leadership role. He also has some problems with his wife, but unfortunately there is no marriage counseling in their world so he and the readers have to suffer. I forgot the last time Perrin did anything exciting and not saying his wife's name on every single line during his inner monologue.

To make a long story short, this was the first time ever I thought about abandoning the series - one book before the end of it, no less! Brandon Sanderson finally found his Jordan's vibe - unfortunately it came from the wrong part of the series.

I remember Robert Jordan said he planned only one more book in the series shortly before his death. Seeing it took Brandon Sanderson three large ones to do it I was sure Jordan would not be able to keep his promise. Now that I finished the second Sanderson's entry of the series I am sure the promise was quite realistic: the first half of this novel does not have any excuse for its existence and could be removed from the final edition without any loss whatsoever.

The second part starts with some very exciting and ultimately satisfying action from Mat. Unfortunately as soon as it stops, so does the plot movement. We have a lot of forgettable talks, meaningless movement of people, etc. After a while the action and excitement come back only to come to a screeching halt later. This whole part is one big roller-coaster of action and walking in circles. Come to think of it, the whole Mat's quest was underwhelming considering it took him two books to prepare for it. I also need to mention this book - number 13 of the series - was the first time I felt depressed while reading (Aviendha visions).

The final rating: 3 stars for the first half, slightly below 4 stars for the second half which gives 3.5 stars overall.

This review is a copy/paste of my BookLikes one: http://gene.booklikes.com/post/842219/brandon-sanderson-out-jordan-robert-jordan
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2013-05-17 01:58
Towers of Midnight
Towers of Midnight (Wheel of Time, #13; A Memory of Light, #2) - Robert Jordan,Brandon Sanderson

Caution: This review contains minor spoilers.

 

I have the impression that Brandon Sanderson, who has done an outstanding job with the Herculean task of finishing Robert Jordan's epic, The Wheel of Time, is tremendously fond of Perrin Aybara. I have this impression because there's an awful lot of Perrin in this book. I didn't count the chapters, but trust me: if you like Perrin, you'll like Towers of Midnight.

 

I don't dislike Perrin, but at this point in the story, there are several plot threads with rather interesting content, and I find most of those more engaging than his story. There's one in particular that I was dying to know about, and after 700 pages of mostly Perrin, I was getting extremely impatient. I won't post it here because it's too spoilery.

 

That's my primary complaint about Towers of Midnight, and it's why I'm giving the book four stars instead of five. I actually prefer the way Sanderson writes many of the characters, and if it had had more of any other character to balance the Perrin scales, I'd give it a higher rating.

 

On the plus side, Aviendha gets one of my two favorite scenes in the book; Mat gets the other. Again, I'll say no more, because they're both major spoilers.

 

PS: I still detest Tuon. I despise the way she treats Mat.

 

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