The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan
Series: The Wheel of Time #4
Published by Tor Books
Published on: October 15 1993
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The seals of Shayol Ghul are weak now, and the Dark One reaches out. The Shadow is rising to cover humankind.
In Tar Valon, Min sees portents of hideous doom. Will the White Tower itself be broken?
In the Two Rivers, the Whitecloaks ride in pursuit of a man with golden eyes, and in pursuit of the Dragon Reborn.
In Cantorin, among the Sea Folk, High Lady Suroth plans the return of the Seanchan armies to the mainland.
In the Stone of Tear, the Lord Dragon considers his next move. It will be something no one expects, not the Black Ajah, not Tairen nobles, not Aes Sedai, not Egwene or Elayne or Nynaeve.
Against the Shadow rising stands the Dragon Reborn...
I’d forgotten how much happens in this book . . . Holy WOW.
This is the first (but not the last) book that begins with a several seemingly non-related POVs, and as impatient as I always am to “get to the good stuff,” I always appreciate these early updates/reminders of what’s going on with maybe less important subplots that maybe aren’t a main focus of the installment at hand.
B/c really . . . even though you’re just starting #4, SO MUCH has already transpired . . . Sometimes it’s hard to keep track.
SO. Min (*whispers*), in disguise, returns to the White Tower, and everywhere she looks, she sees future violence and death.
But when or why?
Which, Siuan, of course, uses as an excuse to keep her in the Tower. Not that she needs an excuse (b/c Amryllin). She also decides that it would be best for Min to remain disguised (b/c sneaky Aes Sedai), so poor Min, who prefers to keep her hair short and dress in men’s clothing, is forced to play a silly, simpering young miss while keeping her eyes peeled for anything that might be useful.
Meanwhile, somewhere not-on-the-main-landmass, the Seanchan are regrouping, but the High Lady Suroth is distracted by the new information she has in regards to sul’dam and damane . . .
What’s an enslaving empire to do when it finds a flaw in its plan for world domination? *whispers* Suppress the new information and ignore it, of course.
And last but not least, a fatal character flaw is revealed in a certain usurping Aes Sedai.
I won’t be able to say for certain until much further into my reread, but I’m pretty sure I could directly connect every, single crack in her foundation to this singular flaw . . . *unsuccessfully attempts to suppresses rage* OHMYGAWD, I HATE her!!
After all of that is out of the way, one of the coolest ( and creepiest) things that happens in the whole series goes down:
“As the seals holding the Dark One’s prison weaken,” she said after a time, “it may be inevitable that a . . . miasma . . . will escape even while he is still held. Like bubbles rising from the things rotting on the bottom of a pond. But these bubbles will drift through the Pattern until they attach to a thread and burst.”
Bubbles of Evil. So frickin’ cool.
Other ridiculously awesome things I can only vaguely reference:
1. Snakes and Foxes.
Everything about this rocks my socks off. The idea of wholly alien worlds touching our own, a child’s game for remembrance in dealing with the inhabitants of those worlds, Slayer disappearing into an entrance to one of those worlds View Spoiler » when we know that Slayer is some weird Luc/Isam mashup person, AND that Cyndine is some alternate, depleted version of Lanfear . . . « Hide Spoiler GAH. I can barely handle all the awesome.
Both that it exists and that it’s full of . . . what it’s full of.
But more importantly, what Rand learns about the Aiel there. AND how he learns it. <------experiencing defining moments to a culture's history by reliving them through your ancestors . . . Are you getting what I'm saying about ALL THE AWESOME? 3. Perrin and Faile. I love them. Yes, Faile's Saldean-ness can get tiresome, but I love that they love each other so much that it doesn't even matter. Ask me again when I'm in the middle of the two-birds-for-two-shoulders traveling companions shenanigans and maybe you'll get a different answer, but right now . . . LOVE them. 4. Thatbadthingthathappens in Tar Valon. Okay, so this one isn't ridiculously anything except a big ol' mess, but it's kind of a big deal, and warrants mentioning.
Poor Gawyn . . .
And those are most of the highlights.
Fair warning: this installment will shatter your heart.
More than once.
But it will also slowly reassemble it.
This is a series for readers who want to FEEL something. You only think you’ve experienced characters vividly in other books. THESE characters . . . they are real. This world is real. Its struggle is real. And YOU . . . You become part of it.
Where do you fit?
ALSO, I’ll be keeping a spoiler-tagged record of the various bits of prophecy, things revealed about the Forsaken, etc. that accumulate along the way at the bottom of my Goodreads review. Fyi.
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