The only real complaint I have about this book is that when you pause it, it will often skip ahead several minutes, so I'm always having to find my place. This has been a problem with a few books though, not just this one. Very annoying.
Narration: The narrators of these novels are amazing. I have been listening to Kate Reading and Michael Kramer of 9 books now, and I will never tire of their work. Excellent!
Audiobook: this particular volume was a little below the standard so far though. The 'tracks' were broken into 5 minute segments, which is nice, but often the "chapter" breaks would be in the middle of those tracks in places. Also, there were several sections where the audio wrapped and repeated itself. Still a great audiobook overall, but the quality would be 4 star for me.
Content of "Winter's Heart"
Much like “A Path of Daggers”, this volume in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time does very little to advance the overall plot of the series, and what progress is made is accomplished in a slow, plodding manner that is becoming the hallmark of the series. As with the previous several volumes, “Winter’s Heart” moves at a near crawl for 550 pages (of the 592 in the version I read) and then suddenly picks up in the final segment. Also like the previous several installments, this book introduced far more plot threads than it attempted to resolve.
I would also argue that the large plot resolution that appears at the end of the book feels very forced. In most narratives plot points this large has been worked up to with some vital piece of knowledge or understanding gained just before the attempt to resolve it is undertaken. This, however, is foreshadowed by the main protagonist at the end of the previous volume, with him learning nothing new and having already possessed the items necessary to do what was done several volumes back. All in all, it felt like, “we need to resolve this because it has been dangling for too long, so let’s end it”. I felt very much the same way when the fabled “block” of Nynaeve was finally removed.
There is also an increasing trend of neglecting one of the main plot line characters in each of the recent volumes (assuming Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, and Nynaeve/Elayne are the primary plot bearers). “Daggers” ended with one of those characters set to launch a battle that had been highly anticipated, only to have mentioned once in all of “Winter’s Heart”. Furthermore, it could be said that only one of the main characters had their plotline reach a real ‘resolution’ by books end. All in all, this feels very much like a filler volume, with scant advancement and entirely too much unnecessary exposition.
This book also provides a major turning point in the “love story” of Rand that only further demonstrates the author’s inability to write a believable romance. When coupled with the fact that he is obsessed with large, full bosoms to the point of nausea, one cannot help but feel he created a triangle for something more than “a different kind of story angle”. Not to mention it leading to a sexual encounter far too quickly and awkwardly. I would further add to this to say that the uncomfortable “relationship” Mat was subjected to in Crown of Swords was continued in this book, and this will forever be a point of distaste for me in this series. The entire plot line of Mat and Tylin was disgusting.
The villains of this story also suffer from overhype/under performance. They are presented as powerful, yet they are dispatched with little cost in many situations and have thus far proven incapable of accomplishing whatever schemes they set out for. At the end of this volume a whole group of them show up to stop the “heroes” and only accomplish taking out a few of what would be considered fourth of fifth tear ‘red shirts’ (Star Trek reference there, for those who aren’t super geeks). The Forsaken have also become very cookie cutter ‘bad guys’ as well. “I am darkness and evil and I will suck out your soul! Muhahah. The boy plans to use this thing and we will all gather when he uses the thing and we will crush him when he uses the thing!” …. “Dang. He used the thing and we didn’t kill anyone important.” I hope this improves in later books.
Though perhaps the real irritant is the simple fact that these novels are an ode to superfluous garment details (which must be smoothed or rearranged incessantly), lip licking, teeth baring, poleaxing, and talks of full, ample, impressive breasts/bosoms (that have arms perpetually crossed under them, even though that isn’t usually how that is done outside of the WOT world) - not to mention the array of overbearing, catty female characters that are meant to come off as “strong” rather than just arrogant and foolhardy. If this novel never walks Elayne Trakand into a severe loss due to her incredibly ignorant and childish need to run head on into stupid decision after stupid decision from pure arrogant pride, it is doing the remainder of the narrative a disservice.
While I am getting into the storey, and really like the narrators, the audio quality of this entire series has been sketchy at best, and this title takes it to a new level by looping back 5-30 seconds with no pause or warning. A decent listen if you're prepared to be patient with the recording
this is a great story I'm super excited to see how it ends
This is a good book. I love this series immeasurably. This is a good edition and I love audio books a lot, and these two narrators are very good at capturing different voices from multiple characters. Very well done, the only issue, and it is only slightly bothersome is that sometimes it will repeat a sentence or two. Still I enjoyed listening incredibly.
I read this series years ago, so I thought I'd pick up where I left off...i think I remember why I just stopped reading this book.
Author has created far too many characters of significance, I can barely remember who they are, much less get into their story arc. Furthermore, the characters are all pretty one dimensional and plot advancement seems to work like a video game - beat the next bad guy, obtain the next magic item. There is better fantasy out there.
narrator's voice is pleasant.
Love this book and the narration was great.
It was a good book, had to pay close attention to keep up with everything going on. Great narrators. They did a good job.
I have been hesitant about listening to audio books in the past, but listening to Winter's Heart changed my mind! I listened to it while driving 90 minutes to and from work each day. Truly made the commute go by quick.
I enjoyed Winter's Heart as well! I am most of the way through the series and this read was well worth it.
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