Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan (on audio)
I could almost copy and paste my review for Fires of Heaven right here and it would be mostly suitable because Lord of Chaos is more of the same. This is another metropolitan-city-phonebook-sized novel with a potentially interesting story that is bogged down by its excruciatingly slow pace, regular insertions of backstory, constant descriptions of the garb of every major and minor character (garb which keeps getting smoothed, straightened, or otherwise adjusted), and too many mentions of expanses of bosoms, spankings, sitting on knees, sniffing, snorting, and braid yanking. (I swear, if I have to read “good stout Two-Rivers woolens” one more time…)
In Lord of Chaos some of the most interesting WOT characters are absent (e.g., Egeanin and Lan), some of the formerly interesting characters have become almost intolerable (e.g., Siuan and Aviendha), and some who should have grown up by now just won’t (Nynaeve and Faile). At least we get to visit a new city — Ebou Dar… in which everyone looks and acts the same and all the women are looking for fights (with knives).
The only really entertaining parts of Lord of Chaos were Lews Therin’s mumblings in Rand’s head — I thought this was clever and amusing:
“Where are all the dead?” Lews Therin whispered. “Why will they not be silent?”
Rand chuckled grimly. Surely that had to be a joke.
There is a climax at the end of the book that truly changes the course of the story (and I hope will serve to pick up the pace in the next novel), but it took entirely too long to get there and involved a sudden change in some of the characters’ normal behavior.
Rand’s got a hoard of Aiel maidens and wise ones around him everywhere he goes and then they suddenly decide to take a coffee break when a group of Aes Sedai come to visit? Huh? Well, I was puzzled, but at least there was finally some action, even if the events around it seemed contrived.
Robert Jordan is a smooth writer who’s got an interesting story to tell (thus, three stars), but he dilutes its power by drawing it out. This book’s plot should have been combined with the previous two books’ plots and then 75% of the words should have been removed. (There was so much repetition that we probably wouldn’t have missed anything!). Then, instead of three slow and repetitive novels, we’d have one great novel.
The Wheel of Time — (1990-2013) Publisher: The peaceful villagers of Emond’s Field pay little heed to rumors of war in the western lands until a savage attack by troll-like minions of the Dark One forces three young men to confront a destiny which has its origins in the time known as The Breaking of the World. This richly detailed fantasy presents a fully realized, complex adventure which will appeal to fans of classic quests.
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That was my view as well, as you'll see in my soon-to-post review