SpeculativeFiction


Lord of Chaos


Lord of Chaos, the 6th book in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, marks a turning point for the series. It is the last book that can be effectively defended as lacking major flaws. In some ways it is almost a victim of its own bloat... almost, but not quite, for the high points of the story are very, very high.

We are witness to Rand's struggle to control the nations he has conquered; between Tear, Cairhien, and the Shaido, his political plate is more than full.  Yet his forces gather to launch an assault on Sammael in Illian, even as two factions of the Aes Sedai vie for his attention and favor.  In this novel Rand and Egwene, his childhood friend from the Two Rivers, become polarized figures pulled in different directions by the forces of the adult world.  Indeed, as events take shape, it becomes clear that the tale Jordan seeks to tell is one of gender-based conflict as much as the simple conflict between good and evil.  The nature of saidin and saidar is such that they work best in harmony, yet the Dark One strives to keep them separate, working desperately at cross-purposes, mistrusting and divided.

There is more than enough of both politics and action in this 700-page (hardcover edition) volume to satisfy anyone.  Though some sections seem interminable, they are amply counterbalanced by the frantic pace of events towards the end of the book.  There is more than enough impact and oomph in the climax to leave the reader salivating for the next book, even if the first few hundred pages left
something to be desired.

This entry was published Mon Jun 13 02:31:18 CDT 2005 by Matthew and last updated 2018-06-27 01:25:51.0.

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