Some say that this is where the series begins to slow down, but to be honest, this book was incredibly important for me because of that, and how it fleshed out the world and connected me to the Wheel of Time.
See, I’m a fan of slow world-building and character development, and I recognize this series for what it is. Sure, for smaller trilogies and stand-alone novels, you need a faster plot—don’t get me wrong, I quite enjoy that, but I also understand and enjoy this book’s pace. Yes, parts of it can seem repetitive, or seem like nothing happens, but I liked getting inside characters’ heads and seeing what their thoughts were and reading through their brooding. Story through utter immersion, mmm.
I thought that the pace brought me a lot closer to some characters, and their focus and development made me start to like a few again (namely: our protagonist, Rand al’Thor. I actually like him now, since he’s finally accepted who he is, and lost the emo broodiness that I had to trudge through the last few books).
Jordan’s always been good at this, but his use of third-person limited viewpoint really shone through in Fires of Heaven. The characters have found their unique voices, and I always appreciate when a particular scene is seen through the eyes of one person, including their prejudices, experiences, and motives.
The women’s chapters in this book (Morgase, Siuan, Elayne) were particularly well done, and the few glimpses we got of Mat in all his awesomeness (holy battle commander, Batman!) has me excited for what his story line has coming next.
And the bickering between men and women, with the impossibility of understanding one another? So good!
Two minor quirks that bugged me are that Jordan likes to drive the same point home over and over again. The one that comes immediately to mind is Nynaeve giving her braid a sharp tug. I really should have started a counter on that one to see how often it comes up… The other is I can’t get over how prudey some of the characters are. For the same reason I don’t like regency novels, I can’t stand it when people go crazy over the sight of ankles and legs.
I’ll end with how unusual this read is for me, because I’m rushing it a bit. Brandon is coming on his tour, and I want to get as far as I can by then. I’ve never done such a marathon in the same world—I’d rather take breaks in between with smaller books.
Though the complete absorption is fun, and I haven’t gotten tired yet!