I give up. Here’s where I say goodbye to The Wheel of Time.
The Shadow Rising is the fourth book in The Wheel of Time series, it’s been claimed by many fans of the series that installment is one of the better books—some even said it’s THE best–written by Robert Jordan before Brandon Sanderson takes over. I personally found this book to be the worst in the series so far.
Just like the extremely repetitive nature of the series, the only way I can explain why I found myself incredibly disappointed is, again, by repeating the cons that I’ve mentioned in my review of the previous three books. What I mean by this is that the story starts awesome, became extremely boring, and then a great conclusion again. Seriously, I read through the first 25% in a day, then it took me six days—with skimming Perrin’s story—to finish the remaining content. I won’t lie that a ridiculous amount of determination was self-forced on me in order for me to able to finish this.
A huge factor of why this series doesn’t work for me is that to me, it contained some of the most infuriating and annoying set of characters I’ve ever read in my entire life; at this moment if a bird comes over and peck them to death I’ll at least laugh and enjoy it more. The more I read Jordan’s prose, the more I realize just how easy the writing serves to push me out of my immersion. For a few days, there were moments where I literally stared at the blue sky and look at the cloud moves slowly for 15 minutes; it was more exciting than reading this. If this IS the best work, I can’t even imagine reading through the infamous book 7-10.
Honestly, I have not much else to say. From what I’ve read so far, there’s nothing in this series—except the fact that Sanderson finished the last three books—that makes me want to continue reading it. I know my reading preference, and I know I CAN push myself if I want to, but I have zero doubt that it will put me into a reading slump (I’m very close to one now because of this installment) or at least makes me hate reading fantasy for a while; Sanderson, one of my favorite authors of all time, finishing the series brilliantly isn’t enough of a reason for me to risk that.
I’m truly glad that a lot of people loved The Wheel of Time. It’s also a series that has sparked a lot of incredible modern fantasy work and I won’t deny that achievement. However, I seriously believe that this is a series that would’ve worked so much better if I were at least a decade younger and haven’t read through—in my opinion—tons of other superior fantasy work. For me, this series sounds better when someone else described what they loved about it rather than the reading experience itself; that’s not a good thing at all.
Trust me when I say that I’m genuinely saddened that I can’t love this series. I own two first edition hardcover of A Memory of Light, and I WANT to read and love through the series but I simply can’t. The Shadow Rising will be where I stop reading The Wheel of Time. I don’t know whether I’ll ever return to this series, maybe when there are no more interesting books in my TBR. But for now, this is it. The wheel weaves as the wheel wills, and it’s telling the man who calls himself Petrik to go Marie Kondo on this series now. In her words, this doesn’t spark any joy for me. Goodbye The Wheel of Time, other worlds more suitable for me awaits me.
You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)