Book Review: The Shadow Rising

The Shadow Rising (The Wheel of Time, Book 4) The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan


My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
As I’ve been reading through these books, I’m seeing a couple of things. First of all, I think I’d been too inundated with the “Jordan’s books never have anything that happens” arguments over the years. I’d retroactively given this book three stars, mainly because I looked at the cover and couldn’t quite remember what happened in this one. Since it didn’t stand out to me, I figured it must not have been all that great. Naturally, once I actually re-read it, I discovered how wrong I was. Perrin saving the Two Rivers has always been a favorite section of mine, as has the Rhuidean section with Rand and Mat. While Elayne and Nynaeve typically end up boring me, I do like the Moghedien section at the end. One of the great things about this series is how the pieces of it ebb and flow together. There are parts of each character’s storyline that I really love–and parts that typically make me bored. So while here I was always eager to get back to Perrin, at other times, I’m not too fond of what’s happening with him. (Anything with the Traveling People, for one thing). While I suppose you could argue that it would be better if the entire series was full of non-stop highs, with action and exciting things happening all the time, I’d argue that if that’s what you’re looking for, a 15,000 page epic series is the wrong place to find it.

That said, I have noticed myself start skimming in certain spots–primarily in descriptions. Over the years, I’ve become much more of a YA fan, and one of the things I love about YA is the sparse descriptions. Jordan is very good at description, but I just don’t want to read all of it sometimes. Then again, that might also be due to the fact that I’m rereading these, and all the descriptions were so memorable the first time, that I don’t really feel the need to reread them the second time. They’re still vivid in my head. I’m not sure.

In any case, the series has yet to reach a lull for me. Let’s see what happens with the Fires of Heaven.

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7 thoughts on “Book Review: The Shadow Rising”

  1. This was my favorite one the first time I read through the series. Having gone through it again in preparation for Book 12, I discovered that I enjoyed this one every bit as much as I did the first time through (especially the Rhuidean part, which might be my favorite part in the series).
    The big surprise for me is Book 5, which had some of the most exciting parts of the series…and some of the slowest… The second time through, I really noticed how much this one shines…

  2. Second biggest surprise of the series: Book 9 was a lot of fun. No surprise: Book 10 is still the one which should never have been written. (Sorry!)
    Things are going great! I’m 130k into my middle grade novel that should’ve only been 50k (so I don’t know what kind of book it is now), but I only need another 5k to finish it. Kara’s pregnant, due in October with a girl. We’re way excited about that.
    How things going for you?

  3. Wow
    People like you amaze me! All I can ever read is my text books, but you seem to read a lot of books in a year AND find pleasure in it! I checked out Confederecy of Dunces about 3 weeks ago, read 4 pages in like and hour and haven’t picked it back up. It is a rally funny book, I just can’t force myself to sit and read when my grade doesn’t depend on it…

  4. Re: Wow
    I don’t know–for me the biggest difference is reading because I want to as opposed to reading because I have to. When I’m forced to read something, it’s rarely as pleasurable an experience as when I choose to read it. Unfortunately, I think most of us are forced to read in grade school and high school, and that ends up giving everyone a bad impression of reading in general.

  5. 130k? Wow. That’s a ton. Congrats on the upcoming baby!
    I’m doing fine. Busy, but fine. Writing is . . . as it is. Finished the screenplay, and still waiting to hear about that and ParkerBoy. I’ve been writing a murder mystery party, but I’m taking a break from that now to plan some on my next book.
    Life is good. Love Maine. Kids and wife are all doing great. Miss writing group.

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