Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan

A Crown of Swords (Wheel of Time, #7)A Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I re-read this book, and wanted to add more thoughts to my original review.

I'm still plugging away at the Wheel of Time series, and it is taking me a while. Finishing up book 7 was a hard one for me, and it is a little hard to explain why. It was like when I assign a task to one of my kids, and I check in on them, and they seem to be working away at it and at the same time making no progress. This book seemed to be moving along--there were lots of pages with words, and characters were going here and there and doing things--but the plot just didn't progress as much. The big let down for me was the ending. There were two climactic events; the finding of the Bowl of the Winds and the defeat of Sammael. The former came first, and lived up to the promise implied by the build-up before hand, while the latter was anti-climactic and unbelievable at the same time. Rand is going to leap off his sick-bed to go after a villain that has been the focus for almost 3 books now? Really? And there isn't a face-off, an exchange of witty insults, or a mighty struggle between powerful foes? Disappointing.

Another disappointing facet to this story that continues to be a growing theme is the "powerful woman who everyone leaps to obey for no reason." Basically, Jordan is trying to create powerful women as central characters in his story. Great idea. Unfortunately, rather than actually have them be powerful, he has them be bullies. Rather than beat people who need to be beaten, or show actual leadership qualities, they just stand around bossing people around and they stare at people really hard. Lame. And unrealistic. If a Cadsuane or Sorilea were up against a real villain, the villain would laugh at their frosty stares and then murder them. If they gave an insolent youth "the rough side of their tongue" that insolent youth would laugh at them and then continue in their behavior. Why do I know this? Because that is what happens in the real world. Mean people, immature people, and bullies in general don't just change behavior because someone they don't know stares at them. Yet this is such a common occurrence in this series that you'd think Tarmon Gai'don is just going to be a staring contest. Pathetic. What would be a remedy, in my opinion? Actual power. A political edge. Dirt on the person being bullied. Some kind of actual leverage.

So 3 stars for this one. I'm still enjoying the overall journey here, but as with all journeys, some parts are less appealing than others, and that describes this book perfectly.