The Wheel of Time is an interesting study in fantasy series reading. The world and character building are top notch. The overall story arc is interesting and engrossing. And, Jordan has weaved a complicated tale of good versus evil that has this reader hooked.
I can see why some readers have issues with this series and some fantasy in general. While the pacing isn’t bad in The Shadow Rising, it does drag in a few areas. Then you are hit with action that is heart pounding (one scene in particular had me jumping off the couch – “What did Jordan just do???”). If you are already invested in a series or just a lover of big, wordy books, then you won’t have an issue. I love words. My husband, though, wants a writer to get to the point. When I tried to read a passage to him, his reaction was less than positive. This series isn’t for him.
My only real complaint is something I mentioned in my review of book three. There is a good bit of repetition in Jordan’s writing. The specific example that always comes to mind is Nynaeve tugging her braid. Because he mentions it EVERY.SINGLE.TIME she is on the page. Another example that really started bugging me was Jordan stating that characters were unconsciously doing something. I know that it’s technically acceptable to say that Nynaeve tugs her braid unconsciously. But, he uses the word ALOT and because of all the grammar police out there that like to say it should be subconsciously instead (they are incorrect, by the way), I still picture Nynaeve pulling her braid in her sleep. It wouldn’t be something that would normally bother me but because he chose that word so often it became an ongoing joke in my head.
Anyway, this was a great book (outside of my own neurosis) and I am fully in love with this series. 4/5 stars.