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Book Review: Path of Daggers (The Wheel of Time, #8) by Robert Jordan

Book Review: Path of Daggers (The Wheel of Time, #8) by Robert Jordan

This review is a copy of the transcript of my video review on Path of Daggers

Cover art by Chris Rahn

The Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Series: The Wheel of Time (Book #8 of 14)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 669 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 20th October 1998 by Tor Books

This was a bit surprising. The eighth volume and the second infamous slog novel of The Wheel of Time, Path of Daggers, was not as bad as A Crown of Swords.

“On the heights, all paths are paved with daggers.”

Without going into too many details of the previous book, A Crown of Swords was a big downgrade for the series for me. I went into that book prepared for the beginning of the slog, and even then, I was still shocked by how significant the downgrade was from Lord of Chaos, my favorite book in the series so far. Compared to that, with repeated tempered expectations, I went into Path of Daggers after taking a five-month break from the series. And hey, unexpectedly, Path of Daggers was good enough. I will even go far enough to say… there were some scenes here that were straight-up incredible. But this isn’t to say the issues from the seventh book have disappeared. I do have mixed feelings about Path of Daggers. The reality is not that pleasant. But several factors, like Path of Daggers being the smallest novel—not counting New Spring prequel—in the entire series, I ended up finishing Path of Daggers faster than I expected. 18 days! A Crown of Swords took me 35 days to read. The longest I ever spent on reading a single book. I am thankful that slow reading time is not replicated here. For this review, I will share my thoughts regarding Path of Daggers by sharing my opinion on each main POV character’s storyline.

“Words could hurt as hard as fists, the wrong words, words you never meant, let loose in a temper.”

Elayne dominated the first quarter of Path of Daggers. Come to think about it, I am pretty sure she statistically has the most POV chapters in this book. And the first half of this book is where I struggled the most. Your miles may vary. But I could not bring myself to like Elayne. Not yet. In comparison, Nynaeve is one of the most thick-headed and infuriating characters I’ve ever read, but even then, I can still assess it as a distinct part of her character. But for Elayne, there hasn’t been anything about her personality that felt likable or distinct to me. It is so weird to me that she constantly blamed and ridiculed Nynaeve’s and Lan’s relationship, and yet there were moments in The Fires of Heaven where she wanted Thom Merrilin for herself. I don’t think she has the right to judge Nynaeve for her genuine feelings for Lan. But besides that, the majority of her POV chapters are filled with the weakness of the series. And that is the lack of distinct female characters. There were so many inconsequential names and female characters, and once again, all they did was bicker and mock each other all the time. Like always. It is a pattern of the series. That said, I must admit the battle that transpired in Elayne’s POV chapter at the end of the first quarter of Path of Daggers was quite tense.

If the first quarter of Path of Daggers is filled with Elayne’s POV chapters, why did I say the first half of this book was difficult and boring? Well, because after Elayne, we have to read Perrin’s portions. We are eight books into the series now, and I genuinely have no idea whether I will ever feel fully invested in Perrin Aybara. Certainly not yet, or maybe ever. We will see how it goes by the time I reach the end of the series. His relationship with Faile is a massive pain and slog to read, and he ceaselessly and immediately cowers or follows everything Faile says. This transforms Perrin into a weaker character than he already was spiritually. His mentor even told him he needed to stand up for himself here! It has been 8 books long, and although it is possible there is a rewarding character development waiting behind this, I have a feeling this is not going away anytime soon. Out of the Ta’veren, Perrin is the one that feels the least developed. His character’s development has been stagnant since The Shadow Rising. His storyline with the Prophet did not turn into something interesting until his last two POV chapters in Path of Daggers. I remember The Fires of Heaven sparked my interest to continue the series again, and I must say, one of the reasons why that book worked so well for me is because it has no Perrin’s appearance.

“No plan of battle survives first contact,”

As I said, Path of Daggers was a mixed baggage for me, and although I have been (mostly) negative about my thoughts so far, Egwene somehow became the biggest pleasant surprise of the novel. Some of the issues I mentioned in Elayne’s POV chapters, such as the uninteresting and incomprehensible Aes Sedai’s politics, are evident. I do not know whether any of you experienced this, but I was reading this book with my co-bloggers, and they agreed with me. Sometimes, when reading Robert Jordan’s prose, the writing style can make English feel like reading a new language. It is not even because the words are difficult. I read the English words, I know what they meant, and somehow, they are not registered in my head. This happened a lot in A Crown of Swords and Path of Daggers, mainly during Elayne and Egwene’s chapters. But thankfully, in the case of Egwene’s POV chapters, they are balanced with great moments. Egwene pulled off an impactful move in Path of Daggers, and it highly raised her rank in my list of likable Wheel of Time characters. After everything that happened, I am curious to see where her story will lead. Although I still think her character development proceeded relatively quickly because the events in this book are done in a matter of weeks, I still found her character development satisfying.

“A secret spoken finds wings.”

Lastly, as expected, Rand al’Thor’s POV chapters are my favorites. It was starting to test my patience that we got two chapters of Rand in chapters 13 and 14, and then after that, none of him until the last 35% of Path of Daggers. So yes, patience is needed if you are a fan of Rand and Mat like I am. Even more so if Mat is your favorite character because he did not appear in Path of Daggers. Not even once. It was unfortunate because I have no doubt his presence would’ve made this book more engaging. But anyway, back to Rand. Unlike many of the characters in The Wheel of Time, with the exception of the three wives plotline, I am fully invested in Rand’s storyline. His constant internal struggle with Lews Therin never felt uninteresting, and in the battles against Seanchan in Path of Daggers, we get to witness the blazing power of The Dragon Reborn. Lightning, flame, destruction, and death were conjured. The Prophecies of the Dragon demanded blood, and he fulfilled it. The dead bodies accumulated will stamp his name in history, for better or worse. And there is also the matter of Aes Sedai and Asha’man that Rand has to juggle. I loved it. And I wish we had more of Rand’s story here. Rand al’Thor and Matrim Cauthon, and Sanderson finishing the last three books, are the strongest motivators for me to conquer the slog of The Wheel of Time.

“He needs to be strong, and makes himself harder. Too hard, already, and he will not stop until he is stopped. He has forgotten how to laugh except in bitterness; there are no tears left in him. Unless he finds laughter and tears again, the world faces disaster. He must learn that even the Dragon Reborn is flesh. If he goes to Tarmon Gai’don as he is, even his victory may be as dark as his defeat.”

There aren’t too many things left to say. I know this is the smallest book in the entire series, but it still felt bloated, and somehow, there was minimal plot progression and character development. However, as far as the slog installment was supposed to go, Path of Daggers was not as underwhelming as I expected. There were some pivotal and epic moments that were crucial to the narrative. And even though it is true the magnificent and epic moments needed patience and perseverance to reach, the overall reading experience did not make me want to give up like it did in A Crown of Swords. I cannot believe I am more than halfway through the series now. And that means I still have two more slog novels to go before the series allegedly returns to being great again. I will endure and persevere. It is very likely I will read the ninth book in the series, Winter’s Heart, either in December or January. The wheel weaves as the wheel wills.

“When you die, people begin to forget, who you were and what you did, or tried to do. Everybody dies eventually, and everybody is forgotten, eventually, but there’s no bloody point dying before your time comes.”

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Book Review: A Crown of Swords (The Wheel of Time, #7) by Robert Jordan

Book Review: A Crown of Swords (The Wheel of Time, #7) by Robert Jordan

Cover art by: Melanie Delon

A Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Wheel of Time (Book #7 of 14)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 902 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 15th May 1996 by Tor Books

Phaw! I can’t believe I’m finally halfway through The Wheel of Time. And the slog begins here. Phaw!

“Wounds to the pride are remembered long after wounds to the flesh.”

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Petrik’s Top 19 Books of the Year! (2022)

Petrik’s Top 19 Books of the Year! (2022)

Click here if you want to see the list of all the books I’ve read so far this year: Petrik’s Year in Books (2022)

Between 1st January 2021 and 28th December 2022, I’ve read 65 novels + 162 manga/manhwa volumes (69k pages).

Please read this first. There will be three rules I set in this list in order for me to give appreciation to more authors rather than having only a few authors hoarding this list. These rules allow me to highlight more authors, and at the same time, I’ll also be able to include both new and older books (many of them still need attention) that I read within this year.

  • Rereads aren’t included.
  • One book per series.
  • The books listed here are not all exclusively published this year; the list consists of the top books I read for the first time within this year. Non-2022 published books on this list will have their first date of publication included.

Do note that although there’s a rank to this list, I HIGHLY recommend every book/series listed below because I loved all of them immensely, and they received a rating of 4.5 (rounded up on Goodreads) or 5 out of 5 stars from me. Honorable mentions are for books I rated 4.5 stars but I didn’t round up the ratings. And I will also mention my favorite novellas first this year. Without further ado, here are the top 15 (or 19) books I’ve read this year! (All full reviews of the books listed can be found on Novel Notions and my Goodreads page.)

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Book Review: Lord of Chaos (The Wheel of Time, #6) by Robert Jordan

Book Review: Lord of Chaos (The Wheel of Time, #6) by Robert Jordan

Cover art illustrated by: Gregory Manchess

Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Wheel of Time (Book #6 of 14)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Classic Fantasy

Pages: 1056 pages (Kindle Edition)

Published: 15th October 1994 by Tor Books

Lord of Chaos could potentially become the best book by Robert Jordan for me. Let the Lord of Chaos rule, and rule it did.

“Asha’man, kill!”

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TS’s Monthly Wrap-Up : February 2022

TS’s Monthly Wrap-Up : February 2022

Hi everyone, I’m back with my monthly wrap-up for February.

With the shorter month and the Chinese festivities of the Lunar New Year (which means more time spent with family and friends instead of my nose in my books), I only managed to complete 5 novels, a couple of Sherlock Holmes novellas and a handful of short stories.

I’ll start with the novel which was the book of the month for me.

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Book Review: The Fires of Heaven (The Wheel of Time, #5) by Robert Jordan

Book Review: The Fires of Heaven (The Wheel of Time, #5) by Robert Jordan

Cover art illustrated by: Dan dos Santos

The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Wheel of Time (Book #5 of 14)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Classic Fantasy

Pages: 926 pages (Kindle Edition)

Published: 15th October 1993 by Tor Books

You’re not in Tel’aran’rhiod. The flaming ta’veren has indeed pulled me back into this series.

“Mat had not learned the lesson that he had. Try to run away, and the Pattern pulled you back, often roughly; run in the direction the Wheel wove you, and sometimes you could manage a little control over your life. Sometimes. With luck, maybe more than any expected, at least in the long haul.”

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The Shadow Rising (The Wheel of Time, #4)

The Shadow Rising (The Wheel of Time, #4)

The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

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.

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The Dragon Reborn (The Wheel of Time, #3)

The Dragon Reborn (The Wheel of Time, #3)

The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Not much actually happened in The Dragon Reborn but it was more engaging than the previous two books.

The Dragon Reborn is the third book in The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. The title of this novel may be The Dragon Reborn, this title implies that Rand will take the central role again, but the main characters of this book were actually Mat, Perrin, and Egwene. If I’m not mistaken, Rand has only like three or four small POV chapters. This doesn’t mean that Rand wasn’t important to the main story, the storyline still heavily revolved around him.

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The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time, #2)

The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time, #2)

The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The man who called himself Petrik will now review The Great Hunt, the second book in The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.

Everyone who’ve read the first book most likely knows what the title of this installment implies. The Great Hunt continues immediately from where the first book left off. Allow me to mention how ridiculously repetitive—and hilarious, I guess—the prologue of this book was. It starts with “The man who called himself Bors,” and within a single prologue, the exact phrase “the man who called himself Bors” was mentioned literally 34 times. The man who called himself Petrik could be wrong, but the man who called himself Petrik THINK that the man who called himself Bors, is in fact, the man who called himself Bors *gasp* *suspense* *CPR the man who called himself Petrik out of this SHOCKING revelation* The man who called himself Petrik was amazed by Jordan’s way of increasing his word counts by 170 words. Jordan could’ve just written “Bors” instead of “the man who called himself Bors” but he won’t, that 170 words is a matter of Light and Dark! The prologue became a firm reminder to the man who called himself Petrik that this will be a series—despite all the greatness—that is full of repetitive phrases; so far the man who called himself Petrik hasn’t been proven wrong.

Picture: The Great Hunt by Kekai Kotaki

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The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, #1)

The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, #1)

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Petrik’s rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Here it is, I’m riding the winds of time! Wheeeeeeeeeee!

Another massive fantasy series to finish, a new epic adventure to undertake. Like many modern fantasy readers, the last three books finished by Brandon Sanderson played a huge motivational drive in my attempt to start and finish The Wheel of Time. I honestly find this series to be even more intimidating than Malazan Book of the Fallen due to the sheer number of word counts in it. To give a bit of information on how intimidating this series is, the last two massive series I began and finished last year was The Realm of Elderlings (4.1 million words) by Robin Hobb and Malazan Book of the Fallen (3.3 million words) by Steven Erikson; the entirety of The Wheel of Time consists of 4.4 million words. That’s how gigantic this series is. If it weren’t because Sanderson is one of my top favorite authors of all time and the fact that I’ve completely run out of his adult fantasy books to read, I probably wouldn’t have started this series at all. That being said, no matter what the initial reason is, I’m really glad that I’ve taken the important first step towards conquering The Wheel of Time.

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