Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Shadow Rising

**Links: Prequel * Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3**

The fourth book in the epic Wheel of Time series, The Shadow Rising is a more complex book than the first three. The characters are beginning to truly split into separate storylines, all still part of the same tale.

The Shadow Rising finds the characters in three separate groups. Rand, Mat, Egwene, and Moiraine (with Lan) are in the Three-Fold Land, the Aiel Waste. Rand is there to fulfill yet another prophecy about himself, but this one not about him being the Dragon Reborn. He is the Aiel's prophesied He Who Comes With The Dawn. He is to bind the Aiel together and rip them apart. Only time will tell what that will mean. Egwene is studying to become better at the Dream World, and her teachers are Aiel Wise Ones, women much like Aes Sedai. Mat is just blindly following, pulled by his fate as ta'veren.

Perrin, Faile, and Loial are in the Two Rivers, back to where this epic began. The Whitecloaks are ravaging the villages in the Two Rivers, hunting for Perrin because he had killed Whitecloaks in the past. Faile will not leave his side because of her love for him, and Loial was needed to guide them through the Ways, dark paths corrupted by the taint on the male half of the True Source.

Elayne and Nynaeve, with Thom, are in Tanchico, hunting the Black Ajah and whatever is in Tanchico that could be used against Rand. They are in a city in turmoil. With civil war and Whitecloaks in the city, refugees start riots regularly. How much danger could they truly be in?

I enjoyed this book, I really did. I especially loved how much focus was on Perrin and Faile (easily my favorite characters in the series). Epic fantasy fans, this should be a must read - if you're able to keep up with multiple storylines.