Nothing happens

Path of Daggers. Book 8 of The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. Nothing. Happens.

Spoilers follow for a 14 year old book.

Elayne, Nynaeve and others use the bowl of winds and change the weather. An occurrence that felt missing from book 7. It is near the start and is the biggest happening. They are then attacked by the Seanchan, travel to Andor with a dizzying supporting cast, walk to Caemlyn and Elayne declares for the throne.

That is the big plot. Overall the event in the book? It snows.

Perrin travels to Ghealdan. Queen Morgase and Queen Alliandre are pulled into their wake. He meets with Masema. Finally Faile is kidnapped by the Shaido. Lots of started plot threads.

Mat is absent.

Egwene and the rebels walk to near Andor. She plays some politics and firms her position as Amyrlin. Then she travels to Tar Valon. Here we spend time reinforcing existing knowledge.

The tower Aes Sedai discover how to hunt the black Ajah. The black tower bonds Aes Sedai. Those were big events happening in same chapter but with no main characters present.

Finally Rand. He gets madder. He survives two assassination attempts and leads a failed (kinda) assault on the Seanchan.

Gah.

Lots of setup. No forward motion.

I remember being annoyed when it came out. It still annoys me.

The big change in the book is many of the characters begin to grow beyond their flaws. A bit.

Fortunately I can start the next book tomorrow.

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10 thoughts on “Nothing happens

  1. Dave Silvestri says:

    Unfortunately, not the only book in the series where nothing happens…

    Worst one for me, and the final nail in the coffin, is when Egwene starts the book in a box, escapes, and finishes the book in a box again.

    Useless book, and the last book I read in the series. I have no interest in re-reading the series, which I’d read twice until that point.

    • That is Knife of Dreams. The last Jordan book. Odd. I thought that was a fine return to form after the previous three. Perrin, Rand and Mat all see major subplots resolved.

      And the Sanderson books are completely different beasts.

      The Egwene plot does barely inch ahead though. Really it will barely move in the next three books.

      • Dave Silvestri says:

        That doesn’t sound right… I never read Jordan’s last book… or the prequel one… I was fed up by then. But I definitely read the one where Egwene starts and finishes in a box.

        • Not sure. She is captured at the end of Crossroads of Twilight. Hmm. Maybe she is in a box at the start of that book.

          Did you read the cleansing of Saidin? That is Winters Heart and she in the missing character in this book.

          • Dave Silvestri says:

            Yep I read Crossroads of Twilight and Winter’s Heart. She’s in a box for all of CoT, after not showing up in the previous book.

            That ended it for me.

            Winter’s Heart was the first book in a while that felt like things were happening. Followed up by a lot of nothing.

            Add an almost 3 years before Knife of Dreams… and I had no interest in returning to the series.

  2. Suellen says:

    I stopped reading even before that. The first three books were great but as the series went on (and on and on and on), they needed some serious editing.

    Maybe Jordan was getting paid by the word or soomething…

    • 🙂 yep. The biggest drawback is editing and pacing. The first three books are taut and action packed. They can be read as a little trilogy on their own I think. Rand faces the Dark One at the end of each and truly wins in the third.

      Each book after has a bit less. There is a lot of extraneous stuff to trim.

  3. Dave Silvestri says:

    Each of the first three books, especially the first, were written as such to end the story, just in case the series didn’t sell.

    By the end of the third book, TOR realized what a cash cow they had and the series exploded into far too many books… streched out to make as much money as possible.

    • I dunno. I think Jordan wrote the series he wanted. There is a lot of fat though. The bowl search, Faile’s kidnapping, rebellious Lords, etc.

      These four are all annoying. Plots setup in Path that won’t finish until Knife.

      Tor certainly just let him write. And they made him write shorter books after Lord of Chaos. But I don’t get a cash cow feeling. I just see a story that got away from everyone.

      In The Shadow Rising they separate and do their own things. Not yet have they all been brought back together…

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