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Sylas K Barrett

Reading The Wheel of Time: Rand Plans, and the Band Dances in Robert Jordan’s Lord of Chaos (Part 5)

Welcome back to Reading The Wheel of Time! This week we’re covering Chapters Four and Five of Lord of Chaos. I especially enjoyed catching up with Mat, and the way that the narration in his chapter seamlessly recaps all the important information from previous books while also catching us up on where Mat is now. The most mischievous of the ta’veren seems to have changed a bit since we last saw him; he’s accepted the fact that he is ta’veren, and he’s even settling (reluctantly) into his new role as a military commander. He also makes a new friend. Somehow I’m guessing that little Olver is going to end up staying with Mat for a while.

I found Chapter Three especially difficult to recap because Jordan is doing that thing where he’s telling the chapter from Rand’s point of view, but he’s hiding some of Rand’s thoughts so that the plan to trap Sammael can remain a surprise for the reader. I understand why he does this at times, usually with Rand and Moiraine, or when we spend time in the POV of a powerful darkfriend, to avoid giving too much away, but I always feel like it makes the narration clunky and out of sync with the rest of Jordan’s writing. This may be more of a me problem than an objective analysis, but there it is.

Anyway, onward to the recap and the Band of the Red Hand.

[Now and then you have to waste time to save it.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Reading The Wheel of Time: Taim, a Seal, and a Farm in Robert Jordan’s Lord of Chaos (Part 4)

I’m very happy to finally be getting into proper chapters in Lord of Chaos, and it’s really interesting to see where Rand is and how much he’s grown as a channeler and a leader. We’re covering Chapters One-Three today, and we finally get to meet a character we’ve heard a lot about—Mazrim Taim. He’s quite something, too.

[Hope of salvation and fear of destruction, from the same source.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

The Wheel of Time Takes the First Step of a Long Healing Process in “The Eye of World”

Things are coming to an end for Rand and his friends this week on “The Eye of the World” the season finale of The Wheel of Time. Or are they?

(These reviews might contain some minor spoilers for the Wheel of Time book series. Please note that the comment section may also contain spoilers for those unfamiliar with the book series.) [Please note that comments will be temporarily closed over the holiday break, but will be open for discussion on Monday, January 3rd.]

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The Wheel of Time Solves a Great Mystery in “The Dark Along the Ways”

This week’s episode of The Wheel of Time brings us closer to the Blight, and to the season finale. Who will turn out to be the Dragon Reborn? Only Min can tell.

(These reviews might contain some minor spoilers for the Wheel of Time book series. Please note that the comment section may also contain spoilers for those unfamiliar with the book series.)

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Reading The Wheel of Time: Evil Smiles Abound in Robert Jordan’s Lord of Chaos (Part 3)

This week’s Reading The Wheel of Time is a little bit short, but there are some really interesting things in the last section of the Prologue. There are lots of great bits of world building, like more information about how the Trollocs were created, or the reference to the old duel from which the Dark One pulls the names Osan’gar and Aran’gar. There’s also some details I kind of hate, but we’ll get to those after the recap.

[“When Niall smiles, he is going for the throat.”]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

The Wheel of Time Reveals the Most Tender of Secrets in “The Flame of Tar Valon”

It’s time to swear our love fealty with a Sacred Oath Rod on this week’s excellent episode.

(These reviews might contain some minor spoilers for the Wheel of Time book series. Please note that the comment section may also contain spoilers for those unfamiliar with the book series.)

[The only thing that matters is what you do.]

Reading The Wheel of Time: Morgase Seeks Aid and Rumors Abound in Robert Jordan’s Lord of Chaos (Part 2)

Welcome back to Reading The Wheel of Time, where we say so long to getting through the Prologue of Lord of Chaos in two bits. I like a really meaty chapter but I gotta say, Mr. Jordan, sir, why is this so long? Why is it not chapters? How did you keep track of this many characters?

I did, however, catch a very important detail this week that takes us on quite the journey down memory lane, back to some time April 2018 when I wasn’t even halfway through The Eye of the World yet. I am very pleased with myself about it, and very worried for Morgase. But first, the recap.

[A slow horse does not always reach the end of the journey.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

The Wheel of Time Says Goodbye to Dear Friends in “Blood Calls Blood”

We say goodbye to Kerene, meet some new friends, and have a few reunions this week on The Wheel of Time, in an all-in-all very emotional episode.

(These reviews might contain some minor spoilers for the Wheel of Time book series. Please note that the comment section may also contain spoilers for those unfamiliar with the book series.)

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Reading The Wheel of Time: A Trip to Shayol Ghul and Salidar in Robert Jordan’s Lord of Chaos (Part 1)

Hello hello, and welcome back once again to Reading The Wheel of Time! After two weeks away, I am very excited to be starting Lord of Chaos. Which has oddly lost the “The” that has been in every other title thus far in the series, and which I find oddly irksome for some reason. I guess it’s fitting that a book about a Lord of Chaos would dispense with the orderly nature of previous books, but as a result I can only hear the title in the voice of Jeff Goldblum, like the way he says “Lord of Thunder” in Thor: Ragnarok.

More to the point, I’ve been getting some tutoring in summaries from Tor.com’s own Emmet Asher-Perrin, and I’m going to start running those sections very differently. I mean, you all have read the books, you don’t need an extensive blow-by-blow from me every week! And what better time to test my newfound skills and resist my completist tendencies than with this immensely long slog of a prologue that opens Lord of Chaos. We’re going to ease in by covering half of the Prologue, up through Elayne’s section.

Are you ready? I’m ready. Let’s do this thing.

[Severing. That was what it was called, what you name stilling for women and gentling for men.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

The Wheel of Time Grapples With Uncertainty in “The Dragon Reborn”

We’ve only seen women channel so far in The Wheel of Time. But oh, my friends, that is about to change.

(These reviews might contain some minor spoilers for the Wheel of Time book series. Please note that the comment section may also contain spoilers for those unfamiliar with the book series.)

[Sometimes the wind blows away from the tree.]

The Wheel of Time Heads East in “A Place of Safety”

Welcome to our spoiler review of episode three of The Wheel of Time. Please be prepared for me to be very, very excited about Lan and Nynaeve’s interactions.

(These reviews might contain some minor spoilers for the Wheel of Time book series. Please note that the comment section may also contain spoilers for those unfamiliar with the book series.)

[We’ve all had desperate moments.]

The Wheel of Time Brings Us to a Cursed Place in “Shadow’s Waiting”

It’s time for episode two of The Wheel of Time, in which Egwene learns more about how the Aes Sedai work, and everyone has some disturbing dreams.

(This review contains spoilers for “Shadow’s Waiting,” the second episode of The Wheel of Time TV series. It may also contain some references to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time novels, but will try to avoid important plot spoilers. Please note that the comment section may also contain spoilers for those unfamiliar with the book series.)

[He’s not the only one who met a face he’ll remember today.]

The Wheel of Time Sees Two Strangers Come to Town in “Leavetaking”

The first three episodes of The Wheel of Time are finally here!

Welcome to our weekly reviews for the The Wheel of Time series. Though the first three episodes dropped together, we’re going to talk about them separately! This review is for episode one: “Leavetaking.” The next review for episode two, “Shadow’s Waiting,” will go up in six hours, and the review for episode three, “A Place of Safety,” will show up tomorrow at 10am ET. (Each subsequent review will be available on the Saturday after the episode airs.)

(This review contains spoilers for “Leavetaking,” the first episode of The Wheel of Time TV series. It may also contain some references to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time novels—I will do my best not to talk about important plot or character points from the books that will result in spoilers for the future of the show, but as opinions on what constitutes a spoiler may vary from person to person, consider this a general warning. Please note that the comment section may also contain spoilers for those unfamiliar with the book series.)

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I’ve Seen the First Three Episodes of The Wheel of Time: Here’s Why You’re Going to Love It

The much anticipated arrival of Amazon’s The Wheel of Time series, based on Robert Jordan’s fourteen novel epic, is only days away now, and hype is strong both for long-time fans of the books and those who have never read them. With Amazon hoping for the next Game of Thrones-style hit and fans of epic fantasy eager to see what kinds of larger-than-life scenery, set, and story may be awaiting them, everyone’s wondering how well the series will live up to a pile of expectations almost as high as Dragonmount.

As a fan of the books myself (you can check out my ongoing read of the series here), I’m pleased to say that the first three episodes of The Wheel of Time are, in fact, excellent. They bring much of what I love to the screen and, dare I say it, make a few improvements along the way. And if you didn’t get that Dragonmount reference, never fear, the series does an excellent job of immersing new viewers into the world, striking that balance between giving you the information you need to understand the quest without much info-dumping or long voice over explanations.

[In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose.]

Reading The Wheel of Time: Death and Duty in Robert Jordan’s New Spring (Part 14)

Well friends, this is it! The last post for the New Spring prequel novel. We’re finishing up just in time to be fully invested in Lan and Moiraine when we see them on screen in a few weeks, and I for one am very excited. Hence all the italics I’m employing right now.

New Spring follows the same basic structure as the other novels. It opens with action, then spends some time on important characters and themes, has another little explosion of action around the middle of the book, then takes a little nap while doing some worldbuilding and gently seeding all the little details that will result in the final climactic battle. But because New Spring is shorter than the others, the ending does feel a bit rushed to me. We’ve spent all this time trying to figure out the mystery, and then the answers are dropped in our laps (not to mention Moiraine’s) all at once. Everything is tied up neatly in the space of a few pages, really.

Although maybe I’m just sore because I didn’t solve the mystery on my own. Nobody did, kind of—Moiraine just got close enough to be there when the saidar hit the fan, so to speak.

No, that idiom doesn’t work, does it? Well, I tried. I’m going to start the recap now. On to the rest of Chapter 25, as well as 26 and the Epilogue.

[Say a prayer for the dead, Moiraine Sedai, and ride on.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

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