Winters Heart is the 9th volume in Robert Jordan's epic fantasy series, the Wheel of Time.
Now that the natural weather has returned to the land, Winter sets in with a vengeance, almost making up for lost time after the oppressive heat of the Dark One's spell.
Rand is finally confronted by the 3 women he loves, and doesn't escape unscathed, he is moving around and trying to track down the renegade Asha'man before his plan to purge the taint from the male half of the source, saidin. Perrin hunts despreately for his wife Faile who was kidnapped by the Aiel Shaido, led by Sevanna.
Mat makes a very welcome return, and we find he is stuck in Ebou Dar, recovering after a building fell on him, and being entertained by the Queen Tylin Quintara Mitsoba. Mat is determined to leave, but Tylin insists on keeping him around, and then the dice start rolling in his head, which is never a good sign, the last time that happened lead to the building falling on him. Could the dice have anything to do with Tuon, the Seanchan princess who is known as Daughter of the Nine Moons and is heir to the Crystal Throne?.
Elayne is in Andor, along with Aviendha and Bridget, securing the throne her mother recently vacated, but there are many enemies at large, and many nobles who would do just about anything to secure the throne for themselves.
The Forsaken are at large, and growing in both strength and numbers, it would appear that killing a Forsaken isn't always enough to keep them away.
Winters Heart is a return to form for Robert Jordan, after the last 2 volumes were slightly disappointing (A Crown of Swords and The Path of Daggers) this book really picks up the pace. There is a real sense of events finally starting to resolve and that the battle is really on for the future of the world. Rand makes a bigger appearance, as does the enigmatic Mat, one of the best characters in the series.
For those of you who have struggled a little through the last 2 novels, this is a real welcome return to get the plots back on track with also some fantastic battle scenes and some big shocks, can't wait for the Crossroads of Twilight, which has many events happening simultaneously with Winters Heart.
Written on Thursday 1st April 2010 by Antony.
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