Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan
The Crossroads of Twilight (book 10) is positively the worst book in the series and this is a shame. The long and the short of it is, NOTHING happens! It appears to be a filler-in about what is happening in Randland as Rand is cleansing saidin, so occasionally, we have some “hopeful” dialogue which forces the reader forward in the hope that something – ANYTHING – will be of interest.
Perrin has lost his wits – all of them! He is a love sick cub filled with only one essence called Faile. Tedious! She has (thankfully) been kidnapped and is being her ambitious self with the Shaido as he is hunts for her. One can understand a man distraught over his wife’s kidnapping, but does it have to be so-o-o-o-o- drawn out, so heavy, so …. I liked Perrin in the early books ( before he married that over-ambitious Faile and then he lost all his personality), but now he is simply too pathetic for words!
Egwene is simply too good, too correct and too full of her own self importance to be of any real interest. I have my doubts that she will truly support Rand. She wants Rand under her thumbs and the man must do as she wants or else …
Elayne must have a palace filled with wardrobes for the amount of dresses described in this book go beyond thinking! The plot around the throne issue is now seriously thin and it makes for boring reading.
Thankfully there is always Mat to keep some of us still mildly entertained, but even the whole Mat-Tuon saga is slow.
Rand is by far the most interesting and likeable character in the series, yet for some bizarre reason, Jordan has kept him tucked away and we are given brief flashes of him, via the other characters and one brief encounter towards the end of the book. This lack of Rand does NOTHING to advance the plot but only serves to frustrate the reader.
Seriously, unless Jordan comes up with something scintillating in his twelfth book, (the last book in the WOT series) the series will have failed dismally. The first five books were a great read and kept the reader interested and then it all went to the Pit of Doom thereafter, almost as if Jordan had lost interest. Furthermore, perhaps Jordan needs to reconsider his editor. Someone needs to get the man back on track! Fast!
Submitted by Andrew Agathangelou
Perhaps, like the title, the whole WoT series is at a cross roads, and has been since the sixth book in the series. Jordan needs to decide whether to finish the series off, or continue. From the sixth book to this book, the tenth, the main plot has literally stopped, while numerous sub-plots have suddenly appeared which add nothing to the overally story. In fact, the sub-plots are actually destroying the storey, along with the endless detail which also serves to bog the main story down, and detract from the main plot.
In the Crossroads of Twilight, it is possible to not read entire pages or chapters, and still understand what's going on. In fact, if the reader chose not to read at least one of the novels between the sixth and Crossroads, he or she will still be able to follow the plot of the next novel. So what does this tell us?
For a start, credit the reader with a modicum of imagination. We don't need this endless detail of staring, stroking/smoothing clothes, braid tugging, pages devoted to decribing clothes, buckles, belts, studs, poise, type of walks etc etc. The reader can fill in the details for themselves, provided a basic decriptive framework is provided by the author.
Move the main plot forward. The fact that so little happens really just makes the reader lose interest, if the huge amount of wasted detail has not done so already.
This will be the last Robert Jordan book I shall buy. It was with great reluctance I bought this novel, and I bought it in the vain hope that the whole story might move forward. How disappointed I was. Jordan now needs to bring this whole WoT series to end, in just one more novel. Maybe, just maybe, he might bring a little respect back to his series.
Submitted by Brys
As many others have already stated, very little of any significance happens in this book, and far from reversing the trend of worsening novels in the series, it has merely confirmed it, with ever more inane, pointless and stereotypical characters introduced, who, after his necessary 50 page description of their clothes, do precisely nothing. Any character who may have been interesting before is barely mentioned, and when they do do something (though rare this is), it was actually an action you predicted at the beginning of the last book.To make things worse, Jordan is hardly the most skilled author. If his prose was good, perhaps this would be acceptable. Unfortunately, it is little better than most fantasy, and doesn't come close to the great stylists in fantasy.
And here I refute the claim that detractors of this series need simple action fantasy full of explosive entertainment - Personally, I have read and particularly enjoyed Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast, Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities (which has no plot, but here, at least, it works), M John Harrison's Viriconium and Franz Kafka's the Trial, to name a few who are not the most fast paced of authors.
Submitted by Holly Taylor
What has happened in this series and in this book in particular is that Jordan has too many main characters. Each chapter has to be devoted to developing a different story line because all the characters are spread out across the nations. In the first book everyone was together, one group, one plot. Now with 20 main characters in action, the story is confusing, and slow. As much as I love each and every one of those people, for goodness sake kill off a few so we can get to the point!
Submitted by Meghan Sullivan
In truth there's nothing novel (get it?) in this book, and nothing novel to say about it since it's all been said. Or HAS it?
The tenth book in the Wheel of Time series has a myriad of problems, not the least of which includes the fact that pretty much NOTHING happens. Yet M_O_R_E minor and inane characters are introduced; why is anyone's guess. I've read many fans think Robert Jordan has lost control of the story, and I for one have to agree. Worse I can't remember half the characters, and those I do remember all sound like the same person (btw are there ANY redeeming qualities to the bossy, snotty women in this book or the spineless men who follow at their heels?).
This book gets 3/5 simply because Robert Jordan could write about paint drying on the wall and I would still read it; he's that good. The publishers know it too and might have suggested the latter. We would all be happier for it.....