Review: Lord of Chaos

Lord of Chaos (Wheel of Time, #6) Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is another book in the series that I had to change my rating for. By memory, I had given it three stars, but now having read it again, I changed that to a four star review–really more of a four and a half star book for me. Why had I rated it three stars to begin with? Likely because it suffered from what I refer to as the I-State Syndrome. You know–Indiana, Illinois, Iowa. Everybody knows they’re there, but unless you grew up there or drove through recently, all you know is that they’re “somewhere in the middle” of the US, and you’re not entirely sure what they look like in person. In books, this translates to “I can’t remember what exactly happened in this one–it was in the middle somewhere,” but that’s too long to call a proper syndrome. I-State Syndrome is easier. Anyway. Any long fantasy series is going to start to suffer from this, as the events of different books sprawl together in your memory. But really, Lord of Chaos stands out for some very excellent reasons.

For starters, it has one of the best battle scenes in the series. Dumai’s Wells is a scene that I could still remember vividly, even years after having read it. Great imagery, great climax–fantastic stuff. Things really seemed to ramp up in this volume–the stakes were raised, and key characters were in real danger. Rand’s progressive communication with Lews Therin has always fascinated me, and his continued battle with insanity starts to come to the front here. The Black Tower development is fantastic, and I love seeing the Asha’man come into their own.

So why isn’t the book a five star? Well, it’s got some other sections that just bug me. I don’t really care about Morgase, plain and simple. Her sections induce yawns from me, and I’m not sure why she suddenly deserved so much of her viewpoint. Plus, Nynaeve and Elayne continue to do stupid things, this time in Ebou Dar. That’s always a downer. Those two things in conjunction are enough to bring the book down a half star. Such is life.

Still, I continue to really enjoy this series, and I have yet to read anything that would lead me to want to listen to any of the detractors of the series.

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