24 December 2012

Review: Towers of Midnight

Towers of Midnight
Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a lesson in even a great author not being able to completely rescue less than stellar source material all the time.

Towers of Midnight suffers from Middle Book Syndrome in a significant way, even though it's really more the middle of a final book. A lot of this comes through because of the focus on Perrin, a character who's arc always felt stapled on, and who's arc comes to a bit of a conclusion here. I have no real feeling one way or the other regarding warg stories on a whole, but seeing how, say, George RR Martin handles it compared to Jordan (and Sanderson by extension) shows the value and limitations in current literature.

With that said, the focus also shifts back to the Aes Sedai as well as some of the royalty scenarios. Some of my early favorite characters spend some significant time on board, and...well, I hate to say it, but not a ton happens for a lot of people except for Mat's story, which I've come to really enjoy, and the Elayne arc.

It's hard to review this book, quite frankly, because it's clearly an attempt to be a full book even though it's more a middle portion of a book. There's no way that the first Memory of Light volume could have been as successful if these plotlines were intertwined with it, and it's hard to fault anyone involves on an editorial decision to make sure a 2500 page tome doesn't have to be published in one volume as well.

So it's not to say Towers of Midnight wasn't good, or was even bad, but it does show the glaring problems in Jordan's story on a whole, and shows how difficult it is for even a master of the genre to make things right. With so much tied up, though, I am definitely looking forward to the final volume and seeing where everything goes from there.

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