Thursday, 29 January 2015

Lord of Chaos - Robert Jordan


The White Tower of Tar Valon is broken and the Aes Sedai are divided. Two sets of eyes burning with saidar have turned to Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, who sits upon the Sun and Lion Thrones. Along with those of Tear, he has brought the lords and lady's of these great nations to heel and is determined to use their united force to destroy Sammael in the lair he has made of Illian. Thousands of Rand's Aiel are ready to die for him; a possibility they are going to have to confront as both factions of Aes Sedai try to win his favour and bind him to their Amyrlin . . .

Tension is growing as Rand's amnesty for men who can Channel begins to attract soldiers to his cause and the unseasonably hot weather has created a draught that threatens to starve the world. The weather should be turning into the cool breezes of autumn, but is instead hotter than the hottest summer day. The land drips in sweat and the Dark One's forces are everywhere. Elayne is determined to rectify this and restore nature back to its proper balance, believing that she may have found a powerful relic from the Age of Legends that may allow her to do just this. But finding the relic will be far from easy and she will need the help of her friends as she ventures into the cut-throat city of Ebou Dar.

The Good
Robert Jordan continues The Wheel of Time saga in his usual epic fashion and all of the tension that has been developing in the previous books is beginning to broil. The politics surrounding the Dragon Reborn and the Aes Sedai are beginning to develop, becoming more important and developing into things that I imagine will be important for later books in the series. Although this is not as exciting as some of the previous story-lines, it's still fairly interesting to read about and leads to a shift in Rand al'Thor's character, seeing him become colder like the champion he is destined to be.

The Bad
The main problem with Lord of Chaos is its plot, wasn't actually that good. I mentioned this in the paragraph above, but politics dominated the book to a much greater extent than in other books and the story was a little bland in places, with very little actually happening through most of it. I got the feeling that Jordan was using Lord of Chaos to establish a foundation for events later in the series, since he's invested a great deal of time in hinting at plans and developing events etc. I think this is a shame in a book of this length because he had ample opportunity to do this, while ensuring the book was exciting all of the way through and not just at its end.

My Thoughts
Overall though, Lord of Chaos is a superb example of epic fantasy at its best and I really enjoyed reading it. Once again, I cannot stress the benefits of adding The Wheel of Time to your 'to read' list if you're a fan of the genre and haven't already done so. You won't be disappointed and will quickly fall in love with Jordan's world as I have done. If you only read one book this year, it should be the first book in the series (The Eye of the World)!

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