I’ve made no secret of the fact that I really did not like books 8, 9, and 10 of Wheel of Time. I stand by those claims. But I’ve never experienced a turnaround in quality so abrupt as in book 11. I went from thinking how horrible finishing this series might be to becoming excited once again. It’s like Christmas, where the last few gifts you opened weren’t very good, but then someone brings out one last hidden gift, bigger than any other, and you’re excited all over again.
Calling the pace of the last few books “glacial” is an insult to all glaciers, which move much faster than Jordan’s narrative in 8, 9, and 10. Here in 11, the pace gets cranked up. Every chapter has something important happening that moves the plot forward.
Not only that, but this book has some of the most incredible magical battle scenes I’ve ever read, which were a true delight to read. It reminded me of the earlier books, where the fights left me in awe of Jordan’s imagination.
I’m also impressed by just how powerful and pervasive the magic is in Wheel of Time. I feel like modern conventions put harder limits on magic, but in Wheel of Time, the magic of individuals can cause illusions over an entire continent and cause the entire structure of reality to shift. It’s an exciting, exciting read.
Onward to 12!