Crossroads of Twilight
Sometime last week, maybe the weekend before last, I finished the tenth book in the Wheel of Time series.

On the one hand, Jordan could write 20 more books before Tarmon Gaidon heralds its way onto a page and that would be delightful news. On the other hand, if they're all like this one, where a scattering of pawns and bishops move exactly one square while the queen spins in well-defended place, forget it. Bring out Lews Therin already.

I like Crossroads of Twilight because I like Wheel of Time, but it's a zoo exhibit, not a glimpse into the wild from behind a plateau.

Here come the spoilers. Mike, don't read or I'll have you put to the question.

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Well, why not start with the end. Kidnapping Egwene? Raise your hand if you care. We've been here before. I have no faith that anything interesting will come of it other than 3 or 7 more books where, due to frankly implausible lacks in communication, Egwene will end up okay with her arms crossed haughtily under her bosom and indignation steaming freely from her eyes.

Make her kidnappers Black Ajah who turn her to their ends, permanently, and all will be forgiven. Egwene became stupidly useless several books ago. Her inability to Travel due to policy is contrived. Her lack of interest in comparing notes with Rand is bizarre. Oh, he may be the Dragon Reborn now, but he manages to stay approachable to Nynaeve, Loial, Min, etc.

Perrin: more unbelievablely contrived miscommunications and/or inexplicable silences when a few words would do, but as this is true for almost all characters now maybe I shouldn't bother to point it out. Perrin, all you have to do is tell the Two Rivers men that you didn't sleep with Berelain. It's just that simple.

Faile isn't worth this brooding that seems poised to span a yard's length of volumes. I hope she does sleep with that Aiel fellow. Brood, brood, brood. Mope, mope, mope. Buy, buy, buy some grain. That's Perrin in this book. Oh, and now he's put his axe in the tree. Brilliant. How is he going to remain interesting and keep chopping off hands? Why doesn't he start penning verse in his weepy tent already?

Speaking of Perrin, why doesn't Rand ever come see him or Mat? With Traveling he could see both for a quick catch-up before brunchtime. So he doesn't know exactly where they are perhaps, but that information is a day's work away for an Ashaman.

And Bain and Chiad sticking to the old forms amongst people who are only Aiel derivatives is silly. Would they do the same if captured by the Aiel-playing Cairhiens?

The Red Ajah's decision to bond the Ashamen was one of the highlights of the book. Look! Something happened! Please let it move beyond talks and meetings in the next book.

The Mazrim Taim business is frustrating. Get on with it, get on with it.

Elayne is a ninny. Birgitte and Aviendha are still ninnyized by association. Cyndane, do something about Ilyena, will you? None of us are half as impressed with the child as her entourage is, I swear.

We know Loial has eyes the size of saucers, already. Find another word.

At least we had Mat and his "to hell with that" plainspoken, straightforward nature. Jordan wouldn't dare leave him offstage again. Yes, Mat even gets to kill someone before they become a problem. Praise the Creator.

Mat's shaking his head over the womenfolk has become almost as irritating as all the chicks of Randland who shake their head over the menfolk, though. Still, whenever Mat is allowed to appear in a chapter he does things. No brooding, no philosophizing, no extensive maneuvering to keep his character from getting information. Still, I see the taint on him. He better have at least four scenes in the next book, instead of the doled out two everyone got here, except for Rand with his cameo appearance.

And yes, the taint. Shouldn't there be more Ashaman whooping? Not a lot of slack-jawed awe over the end of sickly oil seeping into the soul. Did everyone just check it off their shopping list or what?

Bah, I can't continue. Someone has subscribed to alt.laurels.rest and crossposted to alt.plot.hover.

04 March 2003 |



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