Last week, I finished REreading the Wheel of Time. Now, I work towards the end, beginning with Crossroads of Twilight, the 10th book in the epic series.
Winter’s Heart involved a huge turning point, one that I had hoped would spell a new direction for the series that had begun to slow to a crawl. Well, as I said last week, slowing wasn’t quite the right word. Books 6-8 lacked focus, something I found and appreciated in book 9.
Crossroads of Twilight had no focus, and moreover, it really really did slow down. The book was a holding pattern, much of it taking place in the shadow of the big event from book 9. And I could understand some of that — SOME of it — but ultimately every character, every subplot, every nuance is exactly where it was at the end of the last book. Well, Mat made a bit of progress with his daughter of the nine moons, but just a bit. I think the part that really frustrated me came in Elayne’s viewpoint, when at the end is said something like “another day in her life.” UGH! If it’s just another day, why did I have to read about it in excruciating detail? How about skipping a bit to the part where something does happen.
Parrin’s wife is still captive. Egweyne and her army are still in a holding pattern outside Travalon. Elayne is still trying to solidify her claim to the lion throne. Rand makes one decision that I’m sure will turn out to be important in the next book, but for now it’s just one decision.
Worse, there was very little action here. A lot of politicking, almost no physical danger, and no climax to speak of, not so much as a heightening of tension. There was a cliffhanger at the end — something significant that happens on the last page — but all in all, I don’t know what the point of this book was. I might have thought there was more point if they had really dealt with the cleansing of the male half of the true source — even so much as to fight over whether it really happened or not — but they didn’t. It was more like, “Hey, what’s going on over there?” while everybody went about their day.
I will finish this series, but I did not care for this book at all.
Title: Crossroads of Twilight
Author: Robert Jordan
Published January 2003