Book Ten review go!

Sometimes, it feels like I write these recaps to tell fans of the series that it's not as good as they think, and detractors that it's not as bad as they think. For this book, I feel like the latter group should be my target audience. Everyone hates this book, right? And I should be the one defending it, right? People keep telling me that I should write a one sentence review, something to the effect of "Nothing Happens". Well, I'll prove you all wrong! Give me a moment to page through the book again, and I'll go over every major event that happened in this book!


Seriously, nothing happens. Know how for my last review, I delayed commenting on certain arcs because they weren't completed? Well, none of them were in this book. Faile is still captured, Perrin is still looking for her, Mat is still leaving Altara, Egwene is still besieging Tar Valon, Elayne is still consolidating power, and Rand is still hiding away. This is one of the big pacing fails of the series; at least one of the arcs should have been concluded this book. That, or content should have been cut.

So what does happen? Aside from the first third which is just every channeler everywhere acting gobsmacked? Well, some character development and foreshadowing. We get So Habor, the first time we get to see the Pattern starting to unravel. We also get a memorable scene of Perrin interrogation technique:


Okay, to be fair, it is a powerful scene. There's also Mat's scene at the end with Renna. I like it as an indicator of Mat's character. Unlike Rand and Perrin, he's able to make the difficult choices without tearing himself apart over it. And unlike Egwene and the other power brokers of the series who routinely have to make such decisions, Mat doesn't become colder as a result. He's able to become what he has to without losing himself. Erm, if that made any sense. It's something I see as key to Mat's development over the series, and despite there being a lot of Mat fans out there, it's not something I see articulated that often.

It's a good scene, sure. But it doesn't make a climax for the book. Neither does Egwene's capture ("Groan! This is going to suck, isn't it?"). There is no rising action in this book, no big finish, something every other book in the series had, for better or worse. This book is nothing more than watching all the characters being moved around like pieces on a board, getting into the places they need to be for Book Eleven. Necessary? Perhaps. Thrilling? No.


  • Achievements for Team Light: Dick all.
  • Forsaken count: Total of three dead, two erased.
  • Seals count: Total of four destroyed, three intact.

Join me next time, when things stop sucking so bad.