Lord of Chaos: More of the same

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsbook review Robert Jordan The Fires of Heaven, Lord of ChaosLord of Chaos by Robert Jordan (on audio)

I could almost copy and paste my review for Fires of Heaven right here and it would be mostly suitable because Lord of Chaos is more of the same. This is another metropolitan-city-phonebook-sized novel with a potentially interesting story that is bogged down by its excruciatingly slow pace, regular insertions of backstory, constant descriptions of the garb of every major and minor character (garb which keeps getting smoothed, straightened, or otherwise adjusted), and too many mentions of expanses of bosoms, spankings, sitting on knees, sniffing, snorting, and braid yanking. (I swear, if I have to read “good stout Two-Rivers woolens” one more time…)

In Lord of Chaos some of the most interesting WOT characters are absent (e.g., Egeanin and Lan), some of the formerly interesting characters have become almost intolerable (e.g., Siuan and Aviendha), and some who should have grown up by now just won’t (Nynaeve and Faile). At least we get to visit a new city — Ebou Dar… in which everyone looks and acts the same and all the women are looking for fights (with knives).

The only really entertaining parts of Lord of Chaos were Lews Therin’s mumblings in Rand’s head — I thought this was clever and amusing:

“Where are all the dead?” Lews Therin whispered. “Why will they not be silent?”

Rand chuckled grimly. Surely that had to be a joke.

There is a climax at the end of the book that truly changes the course of the story (and I hope will serve to pick up the pace in the next novel), but it took entirely too long to get there and involved a sudden change in some of the characters’ normal behavior.
Rand’s got a hoard of Aiel maidens and wise ones around him everywhere he goes and then they suddenly decide to take a coffee break when a group of Aes Sedai come to visit? Huh? Well, I was puzzled, but at least there was finally some action, even if the events around it seemed contrived.

Robert Jordan is a smooth writer who’s got an interesting story to tell (thus, three stars), but he dilutes its power by drawing it out. This book’s plot should have been combined with the previous two books’ plots and then 75% of the words should have been removed. (There was so much repetition that we probably wouldn’t have missed anything!). Then, instead of three slow and repetitive novels, we’d have one great novel.

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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