Book Review – The Shadow Rising

The Shadow Rising is book #4 (of 14) in The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. I had originally read up through book #7 or 8 as they were published, but then I felt like I wasn’t remembering enough of the details between the books and put them aside to read the entire series once it was complete.

Reviews of other books in the series:

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Here is the blurb:

The seals of Shayol Ghul are weak now, and the Dark One reaches out. The Shadow is rising to cover humankind.

In Tar Valon, Min sees portents of hideous doom. Will the White Tower itself be broken?

In the Two Rivers, the Whitecloaks ride in pursuit of a man with golden eyes, and in pursuit of the Dragon Reborn.

In Cantorin, among the Sea Folk, High Lady Suroth plans the return of the Seanchan armies to the mainland.

In the Stone of Tear, the Lord Dragon considers his next move. It will be something no one expects, not the Black Ajah, not Tairen nobles, not Aes Sedai, not Egwene or Elayne or Nynaeve.

Against the Shadow rising stands the Dragon Reborn…..

Goodreads tells me that this book took me nine months to read. I was also distracted by reading other books, but still — this one was a slog. This aligned with my memory of my previous read through and was not a surprise though.

In any case, Rand al’Thor has proclaimed himself as the Dragon Reborn, but then all of the characters sit around in the Stone of Tear and wait for him to do something. Rand is uncertain how to proceed and doesn’t trust anyone and so he debates his options for much of the book before anything more interesting happens.

Once our viewpoint characters leave Tear, the story picks up again, with Rand having to prove himself again to a different group of people. Meanwhile, many of our core characters split up and embark on different threads of the plot. Nynaeve and Elayne continue to ignore the rules of the White Tower while they pretend to be full Aes Sedai, and Egwene learns about a new aspect of her own power.

The scenes with Perrin are some of my favorite, but I felt like these also dragged on for longer than they needed to. I had to put the series down for a few months, but still plan on reading on soon.

Did you read the entire series? Did the pacing slow down for you at a specific point? Let me know in the comments (above).

Find more of my reviews here.

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