After the first 2 books, I read someone's review of this one (book 3) suggesting it was slow, just a rehash of book 2. No, this book is new, and a good development of the characters. Instead of focusing on the main character Rand, it spends far more time on the other characters, and their progression from farmers and blacksmiths to warriors and heroes. This series continues to enthrall me, and I can't wait for book 4. That said, I do acknowledge that these books seem to all end with the inevitable "big battle" between Rand and the evil one, that of course settles nothing and leads to the next book. Maybe the next books will have more satisfying endings...
I was very reluctant in the beginning that this kind of book can be as interesting and wonderful narrated by some other voice that our own inner voice, while we reading (being so intricate and full of descriptions and all the rest that makes it unique) but quite rapidly I was convinced that it is mastery played and remain very true to the book's characters, I love it and I'm very glad that I did give it a try. Although I really loved Michael Kramer's narration, all the way, I don't feel the same for Kate's parts, in fact I was all the time tempted to skip her parts (quite often she forgets to change her voice while playing another character, and the male voices sound odd, somehow, and this does not happen with Michael's feminine voices, at all).
Otherwise, a lovely experience!
I read and enjoyed the first 2 books of the series and was looking forward to reading them all. After this one, I am stopping. This book could not have been any slower. It was like listening to a 100 year old man tell a story, going off on countless tangents that serve no purpose to the main story. Every time they enter a town do we really need to know what colour their shoes, socks, hats, and undergarments are? Dow we really care what kind of exports they have and why their fishery dried up 80 years ago? I kept waiting for these pointless observations to have meaning later and they did not. This story was 4 hours of average content surrounded by over 20 hours of filler. Very disappointing.
I read this book a while back and it became one of my favorites, but now that I have listened to it, I don't remember why it was my favorite. Now that I think about it, I think it was Shadow Rising that has the good parts. I can say that the book does get better near the end. Michael Kramer does a fine job of narrating the book and I would have preferred if it was just him. Kate Reading narration is not bad but all her male parts sound odd and her female parts sound the same. None the less, listening to the book is still rather enjoyable.
He did his best. Very good actually.
No just stinks.
I am amazed my favorite author (Brandon Sandorson) would pick this piece of bio decay up. I have to think he was sorry for the dead.
This book is amazing in that it goes nowhere for nearly 22 hours. Yes, that's right, twenty-two hours of characters walking in circles and saying "Blood and Bloody Ashes" around a thousand times. I am not kidding when I say that in the 22nd hour of the book all of the characters magically end up RIGHT WHERE THEY STARTED in the last hour of the PREVIOUS book! How formulaic! When this book ends you feel as though NOTHING was accomplished to move the plot forward.
Robert Jordan is a mediocre writer at best. His fantasy world is bland and missing any sort of real meaningful detail. The character interactions lack any sort of sophistication and border on cartoon like.
That is not to say that this book wasn't an enjoyable listen, in some ways it was and that is why I'm giving it two stars instead of just one. The last two hours of the book speed up the pace quite a bit.
The overall plot of the Wheel of Time is great but the route getting there needs work. The author, besides having trouble moving it along, is obsessed with dreams and visions, most of whom have little or nothing to do with anything. A book this slow is very hard to keep up with via audio. What's wrong with just telling the story without a dream sequence every other chapter.