The Shadow Rising

The Shadow Rising

Book - 1992
Average Rating:
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Perrin Aybara must return to Emond's Field to face the occupying Whitecloaks, while Rand enters the Aiel Waste and the forbidden city of Rhuidean.
Publisher: New York : TOR, 1992
ISBN: 9780812513738
0812513738
9780312854317
0312854315
Branch Call Number: SF Jord
Characteristics: 701 p., maps

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j
Jectoons
Jul 26, 2017

Jordan's fourth volume in a 14 volume long epic continues to deliver, with epic battles, fullfilled prophecies and a bunch of other cool stuff.
Without a doubt, this series contains the best example I've ever found of intricate, detailed world building; Jordan has made an exceptional job creating the environments and cultures in The Wheel of Time. Everything has a history, everything feels real and plausible; his magic system is intricate (I know The Power is not "magic" per se, but it can serve as such for the purpose of description) and well developed, too.
The story concerning the trials and efforts of the Dragon Reborn is also fantastic, with amazing and gripping moments, particularly massive battles or one-on-one encounters, mostly fueled as well by the richness of the world where it transpires.
I cannot say how thoroughly I enjoy both the world building and the story.
But the characters. The characters are almost as enjoyable as those two other elements, true, but they are, simply put, emotionally unrealistic. Jordan seems to build his characters based solely on their gender, and then adding extra details to make them "interesting". And while the whole "gender is a key element in the magic system and history of the world" thing is obvious, it would be silly not to note how much it hinders the progress of his characters.
It's almost painful to see how caricaturized the relationships are between characters of different genders. Like. Women are always plotting and trying to control men, especially by "making them think we dont want to control them", keeping secrets and always angry at how "men are always hotheaded and obnoxious"... which in the novel they are, for no reason! And men feel the same way about women, getting angry at not understanding them, at their ever changing ways....
So basically men and women in this book are caricaturized stereotypes of the real men and women. At the beginning I thought that would change, but 4 books in I find that it just wont. Which is a shame, since it hinders the reading of it, when you exhale in exaperation at how easily they would solve their problems if they didnbehave and treat the other gender as stereotypes.
Sigh. I will finish the series, but I will never be comfortable with the way Jordan writes characters. Everything else is great.

z
ZE1TGE15T
Mar 08, 2017

This was my least favorite yet. I made it through however. I still look forward to reading more WoT books yet.

The beginning was 200 straight pages of nothing happening. What's worse than the lack of events or anything for that matter, is that the author is literally writing that nothing seems to be happening. This book dragged BAD. I tend to like slower pace and detail on the mundane sometimes, but even I'll admit this was not a great novel in any sense. Jordan breaks away from this bore fest of bad writing by throwing Trolloc raids where the story's at it's worst.

It seemed like the author got so caught up in his main character's story line that he forgot what was supposed to unfold in Min's and Siuan's part of the world. I actually think he forgot, but then just added it where he was randomly in the story anyway. This story point of view seemed very un-concluded as well. Which was such a let down because I think this was the most gripping part of this novel. I also didn't like when and where the author focused on each character's part. For example: it'd be four straight chapters of Rand and company, a chapter of Elayne, Nynaeve and company, and then a bunch of stacked chapters of Perrin and company's story. The timing was bad. I don't know if the author lacked and editor, or a suggestive audience, or was rushed, or whatnot, but he seemed to make it out still writing after this.

I liked the time spent on the love plot. I always seem to think a bit more romance is needed in Fantasy, but this I think the author did well on. I only hope the remnants of what was good in this story will further unravel in future WoT books.

DBRL_KrisA Jan 22, 2017

Yes, you read that page total correctly; at 1006 pp., The Shadow Rising, Book Four in Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series, is also easily the longest book in the series. After temporarily meeting up in the coast city of Tear, our merry band of adventures is scattered to various destinations: some to Tanchico to find the Black Ajah (the renegade members of the Aes Sedai), some to the Aiel Wastes, and some back to the Two Rivers, to protect their home village from the dual threats of Trollocs and the Whitecloaks.
The problem with a series like the "Wheel of Time", with (so far) 14 volumes, each volume at least 600 pages (often over 800 pages)- the problem, I say, is that there are so many things going on, so many characters in so many locations, with so many new words to learn and people to remember, that it gets a bit (more than a bit) confusing. Each of the three or four divergent plot-lines in this volume alone would be enough for your average fantasy novel; trying to weave them all together into one overarching story is quite a challenge - for the author and, unfortunately, for the reader as well. Don't get me wrong - Jordan has told a very enjoyable tale here; it just becomes so... overwhelming after a while. And to know that there are still (at least) ten more books (rather large books) to go before the entire plot is resolved, makes me question my ability to finish the series.

t
TheRoadCyclist96
Oct 24, 2014

This is a great book. I highly recommend it.

l
LaPhenixa
Nov 22, 2013

Another great book in the Wheel of Time series, it is becoming a little bit harder to keep track of characters as new ones are continuously introduced, but the journey is captivating nonetheless.

unbalancedbutfair May 31, 2012

Again, Jordan does not disappoint. Instead of gushing like a little kid about the language, the brilliant characterizations, the perfect amount of description (not too much and not too little), the epic story itself I thought I'd mention a couple of things in this book specifically that are wonderfully done.

I've mentioned characterization and culture before, Jordan writes these effortlessly and brilliantly. Through this he explores power balances between the sexes in different cultures in amusing, thought provoking, eye rolling, and groaning brilliance. The individual characterization shines through (the women are not all the same; nor the men) and cultural difference come out, but none of it is preachy. It just is.

Another thing that really came out in this book is that there is no "right" perspective. He gives each character who narrates (and many take their turns) full shrift. We see through that character's eyes, biases, ignorances, and mistakes included. There is honesty here, but there is not a "true" narrator. And the story builds and the audience is richer for having the multiple views. It's subtle. So subtle you might miss it, like good camera work in a movie, but when you see it it's amazing.

Finally, the history comes out more. Things are joined that I didn't see and it speaks well of the depth of the story Jordan had to tell. He does not "pad". None of the information is extrenous, so much connects in ways that are invisible in the first 3 books.

So. Stop reading this review and read the damn book. It's worth your time.

j
julia_sedai
Mar 01, 2012

This book is amazing. Things are finally starting to get into motion and all of the characters are getting their own plot threads. I recommend that you keep reading this series!

RobbotheKingsBooks Nov 30, 2011

I think this whole series is one of the best written

j
Jakaru
Oct 25, 2011

The best of the series. Perrin and the Two River folks? Pure epic. What can I say more, it brought tears to my eyes. Only bad part is the rest of the series, though incredible, can't live up to this near perfect masterpiece of fantasy. If I had the option of giving more than five out of five stars this is the only fiction book I have ever read that would recieve such an honour.

b
blacktryst
Apr 27, 2011

Definitely more exciting than Dragon Reborn. This is where Rand Al Thor finally starts to weave his own plans and his own pattern.

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Jectoons
Jul 26, 2017

Jectoons thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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Rinehart_0
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julia_sedai
Mar 01, 2012

julia_sedai thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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