The Shadow Rising Review

  • Author: Robert Jordan
  • Series: Wheel of Time #4
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • No. of pages: 1007
  • Dates read: 15.06.2021 – 16.07.2021
  • Star Rating: 4 stars
  • Challenge: Sequel

Plot: 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…

Before you venture any further this will be a spoiler filled review as its quite hard to truly say my thoughts without spoiling so do not read further if you haven’t read the book.

Ok, Book 4! 1000+ pages. It took me an entire month to finish this book and was the first ever 1000+ page book that I have completed. I just want to preface that there are probably loads of things that I have forgotten to mention or include in this review but there is 1000+ pages of content to review here so it’s inevitable really.

I am going to start off with my general thoughts on the book and then talk about some other points that I really liked.

Starting off with the writing and getting the more “negative” part of this review out of the way. The reason this book obtained a 4 star rating over my previous 5 star ratings is because the pacing, and sometimes the writing, just felt really slow at times. I know that with this series you have to be in it for the long haul and I am super prepared for that but sometimes my attention started to wane because it felt quite slow going. Especially for those slower scenes, when big moments of action happened I consumed 50+ pages in one sitting but when it’s just travelling from one place to another it would be a struggle sometimes to keep going.

In terms of plot, it was a solid 10/10. I love this story, I love following each characters individual journey and I love watching everything unfold and trying to make theories based on this new information I have received. Jordan is masterful with his plot and I find it so engaging. I also loved how this book was structured, for book 3 I loved how we followed everyone but Rand and in this book I loved how the characters are splitting apart and going on their own important journeys which allows us to get varying different stories at once. My personal favourite was Perrin’s story in the Two Rivers.

The characters as per usual are great. It can be daunting at times trying to remember all the characters from the past books as well as all the new ones but I liked all the new characters we meet and I love how the past characters were expanded on. There were a couple of interesting developments for our past characters; Rand learns about his past and who is biological family is, Egwene and Rand end their betrothal (thank god!!!), Siuan is dethroned AND STILLED!!! So much happened and at times I was super happy, other times I was super sad and one of the things that always has me sticking around with this series is the great characters. I want to see what happens to them and where they end up.

The world building is another incredibly strong element to this series. I don’t normally untilise maps in fantasy books, I never really need to, but every time I pick up one of his books I am constantly flicking back and trying to refer back geographically to this map and picture where the characters are etc. I loved some of the new additions to the world like Rhuidean and the mysterious lizard like people that give you gifts or answers. Every time I feel like I understand this world, Jordan adds something completely new. I loved learning more about the dream world as well, watching Egwene try and navigate it was so interesting.

Also, not enough Lan and Nynaeve moments. I can’t witness their first on page kiss and then not see them together for the REST of the book!!!!

Moving on now to things that stuck out to me.

  1. Egwene and Rand deciding that they don’t want to be together because they have changed as people was icing on the cake for me. Personally I have never vibed with that pairing. I actually found them to be quite boring. So this was refreshing for me, do I love Rand and Elayne…. not particularly.
  2. There is so much detail in this series which I love but I know I have missed so much.
  3. I loved the Perrin and Faile marriage scene but let me be honest I find them super frustrating at times. Like the core of their relationship I love, willing to do anything for each other and protect them no matter what but god are they annoying about it sometimes. The constant arguing over practically anything and everything.
  4. Lanfear is a girl boss and I will leave that there.
  5. Really liked Aviendha but does every girl Rand meets have to like him!!!!
  6. I loved all the scenes in the Two Rivers, I love going back and watching Perrin reflect on his journey and then watching all the Two Rivers stubbornness was amazing.
  7. I really liked learning about other people who can channel that aren’t connected to the White Tower.
  8. Siuan’s whole arc in this book is crazy!!!! Like my girl was stilled and everything. My brain couldn’t comprehend what was going on!!!
  9. Nynaeve being as strong as a Forsaken just sits right with me. It is accurate and I’m here for it.

So finally, some predictions going forward:

  • Moiraine will die at the end of the series.
  • Lan will be bonded to Nynaeve and they can be together.
  • Rand will die at the end of the series.
  • Galad will turn into a Whitecloak
  • Siuan will die
  • Nynaeve or Egwene will become the Amyrlin Seat, not sure who
  • One of the girls will kill Lanfear, hoping it’s whoever Rand ends up with
  • Nynaeve and Moiraine will be close friends by the end
  • Rand’s half brother can defo channel. My guess is it’s Logain????
  • Logain, according to Min’s vision, is going to have some kind of Prince Zuko redemption
  • Faile will die. I just feel it. They are already married and it’s book 4!

2 thoughts on “The Shadow Rising Review

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