Tuesday, December 15, 1998

Review: "Path of Daggers" by Robert Jordan

While I absolutely loved the first few books in this series, it's getting a little tiresome for me. This is a great book, and I do like Jordan's writing style, but the length of the series is beginning to drag it down.

For one thing, I read the first book of The Wheel of Time seven or eight years ago, and it's been over two years since I read the last book. Not to mention that they seem to be getting farther and farther apart. There's just so much that I've forgotten from the earlier books, and with Jordan's work, you tend to miss a lot of things if you don't remember the details. There are a lot of people and events in this book that I know I'm supposed to be familiar with, but I just can't seem to place. While I'm sure some people have time to read all of them again every time a new addition comes out, I don't.

The second thing, is that I think the last few books have been stretched a little thin as he tries to pad it to an apparent 12 or 13 book saga. I just feel there's a lot of unnecessary scenes, with very little bearing on the story as a whole.

Finally, with all the sub-plots knotted in this tale, Jordan can only spend scant time on each one in each book. The quick treatment of each sub-plot makes this book seem disjointed, and it left me feeling just a little cheated.

I was glad to see Perrin Aybara return in this book, however. He has been one of my favorite characters from the beginning, and he was all but ignored in the last book. Of course, in this book, Matrim Cauthon is largely ignored - another problem with the convoluted knots Jordan has tied.

I know that after reading this review, a lot of people will think I'm bashing Jordan, and a lot of people will think I don't like his work. That's simply not true. I highly recommend this series, but I don't recommend that you begin it until he finally finishes it. I think it's something you can only appreciate when read all at once, not at yearly (or longer) intervals.