The Wheel of Time Series
by Robert Jordan

The Eye of the World The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time, Volume 1)

A legend for our time--a legend of a world where evils long thought only fantasies appear in daylight, bringing death and ruin with them. Here is a legend of good and evil that captures the hearts of its readers, a legend that embodies greatness--the legend that is The Eye of the World.

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The Great Hunt The Great Hunt (Wheel of Time, Volume 2)

The eagerly awaited sequel to the critically acclaimed national bestseller The Eye of the World. The monumental task of retrieving the lost Horn of Valere--the legendary horn that will raise the dead heroes of the Ages--rests on the shoulders of Rand al'Thor. Here he begins the long journey of discovery

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The Dragon Reborn The Dragon Reborn (Wheel of Time, Volume 3)

Third entry in Jordan's monumental Wheel of Time series (The Eye of the World, The Great Hunt). Here, the various factions head toward the city Tear, where, in the Heart of the Stone, hangs the magical sword Callendor that none but the Dragon Reborn may wield. Young Rand, the only man able to use the One Power, already half convinced that he is the Dragon Reborn, strikes out alone. Rand's friend Perrin the blacksmith--he's accompanied by Moiraine, the Power-wielding Aes Sedai, and warrior Lan--suspects that he's turning into a wolf. The junior Aes Sedai, Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve take Mat to Tar Valon to be healed of his evil-magic wound; here, they are given the dangerous new task of flushing out the evil Black Ajah in their midst while evading the latter's deadly traps. Eventually, all will converge at Heart of the Stone, where Rand will seize Callendor and destroy their current evil opponent. Some good plotting here and there, and a rousing finale, but most of the rest is merely embroidered heroic travelogue. Not too bad--if you like monuments. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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The Shadow Rising The Shadow Rising (Wheel of Time, Volume 4)

Fourth in Jordan's colossal Wheel of Time series (The Dragon Reborn, 1991, etc.) and, again, all but unintelligible if you haven't read the preceding volumes. For series fans, then: Rand, now openly proclaimed as the Dragon Reborn, must journey to the lost city Rhuidean in the Aiel desert in search of answers and the fulfillment of prophecy. Perrin, the yellow-eyed wolf-friend, hurries back to Emond's Field, his home, now occupied by deluded religious-fanatic Whitecloaks and besieged by vile Trollocs and evil-magic Fades. Tar Valon, city of the Aes Sedai (women who can Channel the one Power), is sacked by traitorous Black Ajah serving the Evil One; meanwhile, Nynaeve and Elayne travel to the festering city Tanchico in pursuit of more Black Ajah, and where they hope to seize a deadly device with which their enemies intend to control Rand. Will the fiercely independent warrior Aiel acknowledge Rand as their destined leader? Can Perrin defeat both Trollocs and Whitecloaks? And can Nynaeve, alone, defeat a supremely powerful Forsaken, one of the Evil One's minions from the previous cycle of the Wheel? Such questions keep the narrative chugging along, despite much overblown description and general lack of control. A work of genuine and often stirring imagination--in that Jordan imagines everything: he imagines how dialogue might sound, battles might be fought, people might behave. Sometimes he strikes a note of real pathos or insight; more often he doesn't. Huge, then, and not entirely unrewarding. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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The Fires of Heaven The Fires of Heaven (Wheel of Time, Volume 5)

This is the fifth volume of a probable eight in Jordan's splendid Wheel of Time saga. The Last Battle is approaching rapidly, for the seals on the Dark One's prison are beginning to crumble and the Aes Sedai (the female adepts) are divided within their own ranks--entirely apart from the Black Ajah, who serve the Dark One (and learn that they are no match for his ancient servants, the Forsaken). Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, is somewhat closer to ruling the world, thanks to his various allies (including an army of the desert-dwelling Aiel). His comrade Mat Cauthon seems to be another reincarnated hero, while Nynaeve and Elayne, pursuing the Black Ajah, find themselves in company with Birgitte, another legend made flesh, complete with unerring silver arrows. A saga of this size inevitably has a middle several books long, in which everything is carried forward and little is actually resolved. With this caveat, Fires of Heaven upholds the very high standards of this major fantasy epic, with battle scenes, comic interludes, and character development all reaching perhaps the highest point in a work that has lacked for none of these. Roland Green
Copyright© 1993, American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Lord of Chaos Lord of Chaos (Wheel of Time, Volume 6)

The sixth installment of The Wheel of Time series (The Fires of Heaven, 1993, etc.), which is now projected to be an eight-book epic. Propelled by a number of ``Chosen''--who are something like fallen angels--and animal-human hybrid Myrddraal, the Dark One's plan to break free of his Shayol Ghul prison nears completion. Meanwhile, the one fated to oppose him in a cataclysmic showdown, Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, has persuaded at least some of the all-female, One Powerwielding Aes Sedai that he is indeed what he claims to be. Falsely accused of murder and opposed by legions of deluded, religious-fanatic Whitecloaks, not to mention the Dark One's unspeakable minions, Rand must unite the good-guy opposition if he is to sustain any hope of victory. So then as now: Enormous, imaginative, uncontrolled, and utterly unintelligible to outsiders. (First printing of 250,000; author tour) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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A Crown of Swords A Crown of Swords (Wheel of Time, Volume 7)

In the seventh volume of Jordan's preeminent high-fantasy saga, The Wheel of Time, intrigue and counterintrigue continue to roil. Unlike the fantasy series of Andre Norton (Witch World), Terry Brooks (Shannara), and Marion Zimmer Bradley (Darkover), unlike even Anne McCaffrey's beloved sf series, Dragonriders of Pern, all of which are multivolume but multigenerational in characters, Jordan's has readers follow the fortunes of the same five people who left their village as teenagers to play out their roles on the grand, world-saving stage. Throughout the saga, the characters (minor as well as major), the world, and the source of powers have remained remarkably rich and consistent--no mean feat, given that the books range in length from a paltry 576 to this book's bountiful 720 pages. As in the previous volumes, the focus switches among the various main characters as they carry out their parts of the quest to defeat the Dark One. Elayne, Aviendha, and Mat approach the bowl ter'angreal that is needed to stanch the endless heat wave; Egwene starts putting together a band of women able to channel; and Rand, the reluctant Dragon Reborn, comes further into his powers and faces a deadly foe. Amid all the Sturm und Drang, however, is a finely tuned comic strain that both leavens the story and adds to its development. This latest installment of a major fantasy epic definitely will not disappoint its fans. Sally Estes
Copyright© 1996, American Library Association. All rights reserved

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The Path of Daggers The Path of Daggers (Wheel of Time, Volume 8)

For millions of fans around the globe, the wait is over. Sequel to the international blockbuster bestseller A Crown Of Swords, this epic volume continues one of history's greatest fictional journeys and the most extraordinary work of American fantasy ever published-The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and worldwide best selling series-The Wheel Of Time.

The phenomenal tale that is mesmerizing a generation of readers now continues. The Seanchan invasion force is in possession of Ebou Dar. Nynaeve, Elayne, and Aviendha head for Caemlyn and Elayne's rightful throne, but on the way they discover an enemy much worse than the Seanchan. In Illian, Rand vows to throw the Seanchan back as he did once before. But signs of madness appearing among the Asha'man lead him to a fateful-perhaps fatal-decision. In Ghealdan, Perrin faces the intrigues of Whitecloaks, Seanchan invaders, the scattered Shaido Aiel, and the Prophet himself. Perrin's beloved wife, Faile, may pay with her life, and Perrin himself may have to destroy his soul to save her. Meanwhile the rebel Aes Sedai under their young Amyrlin, Egwene al'Vere, face an army that intends to keep them away from the White Tower. But Egwene is determined to unseat the usurper Elaida and reunite the Aes Sedai. She does not yet understand the price that others-and she herself-will pay

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Winter's Heart Winter's Heart (The Wheel of Time, Book 9)

Is Robert Jordan still doing the Light's work? Even loyal fans have to wonder. (And if you're not a fan yet, you'll have to read the previous 6,789 pages in this bestselling series to understand what all the fuss is about.)

Everyone's in agreement on the Wheel of Time's first four or five volumes: They're topnotch, where-have-you-been-all-my-life epic fantasy, the best in anybody's memory at the time since The Lord of the Rings. But a funny thing happened on the way to Tarmon Gai'don, and many of those raves have become rants or (worse) yawns. Jordan long ago proved himself a master at world-building, with fascinating characters, a positively delicious backstory, and enough plot and politics to choke a Trolloc, but that same strength has become a liability. How do you criticize what he's doing now? You want more momentum and direction in the central plot line, but it's the secondary stories that have made the world so rich. And as in the last couple of books, (A Crown of Swords and The Path of Daggers), Jordan doesn't really succeed at pursuing either adequately, leaving a lot of heavily invested readers frustrated.

Winter's Heart at least shows some improvement, but it's still not The Eye of the World. Elayne's still waiting to take the crown of Andor; the noticeably absent Egwene is still waiting to go after the White Tower; Perrin gets ready to pursue the Shaido but then disappears for the rest of the book. About the only excitement comes with the long-awaited return of Mat Cauthon and a thankfully rock 'em, sock 'em finale in which Rand finally, finally changes the balance of power in his fight against the Dark One. --Paul Hughes

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