Reading The Wheel of Time: Dreams and Prophecy in Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World (Part 4)

Reading The Wheel of Time series banner

The use of prophecy and fated destinies is pretty intrinsic in epic fantasy. The tradition of prophecy as a plot device in western storytelling goes back at least to the Greek epics, if not farther, and although different authors have different approaches, the theme of characters having a glimpse of the future and choosing if and how to be motivated by it runs through many of today’s great fantasy tales. But the idea of time and existence as a turning wheel adds a specific flavor to Jordan’s universe, and it’s one I’m very interested to see play out.

Welcome back to week four of Reading The Wheel of Time! I’d like to do something a little different this week; I won’t be covering any new chapters, instead I’d like to look at the dreams Rand has had so far, as well as exploring what we know of the prophecy of ...

Reading The Wheel of Time: Fiery Magic and Icy Distrust in Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World (Part 3)

Reading The Wheel of Time series banner

Dramatic irony is a tool used by authors, often to increase suspense or to set the scene for a future action, in which the audience knows something that the characters don’t. Like when Romeo doesn’t get the message about the Priest’s plan and thinks Juliet has actually died, but the audience knows the truth and can only watch, helpless, as he kills himself to be with her. Dramatic irony can be employed in a variety of ways in stories, but sometimes an aspect of dramatic irony can be created that is outside of the author’s control; like if you’re watching an action movie and the hero thinks the bad guy has been defeated but the audience knows there’s still almost an hour left in the film, guaranteeing at least one more battle scene. Or when Mat decides that he and Rand and Perrin have escaped the Draghkar, “if it was ...

Reading The Wheel of Time: A Boy Leaves Home in Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World (Part 1)

Welcome to the first installment of The Reading of The Wheel of Time! I’m Kelsey Jefferson Barrett, and despite my lifelong love of high fantasy and the fact that I have fantastic librarian for an aunt who was largely responsible for my education in both science fiction and fantasy, I somehow never managed to pick up any of The Wheel of Time books before now. So rather than a reread, this series is going to be me reading Robert Jordan’s novels [insert dramatic announcer’s voice here] For The Very First Time!

I’m going to try to avoid spoilers in these articles as much as I can, but feel free to talk spoilers in the comments. That way those who already know and love The Wheel of Time can have fun of watching my reactions as I discover the mysteries, the characters, and the magic of these books. This week’s installment ...

The Grisha Trilogy Reread: Ruin and Rising, Part Three

RuinRising Well my friends, this is it: the last installment of the Grisha Trilogy Reread. I forgot how much more there was to get through in Ruin and Rising, so I hope you all don’t feel like I’ve glossed over too much. There’s so many themes coming together here at the end, still more death and loss, questions about fate versus choice, and the idea of power and long life weighed against an ordinary existence.  

Chapter 13 – 14: Summary

The group agrees to split into two; Mal and Alina will travel into the Sikurzoi with Zoya, Harshaw, and Tolya, to look for the firebird while the others find a place to stay in one of the nearby settlements. Misha is upset at being sent away with the others, but Alina watches Mal talk to him, complimenting him on his bravery during the Darkling’s attack and explaining about how ...

The Grisha Trilogy Reread: Ruin and Rising, Part Two

RuinRising So what do you call a love triangle with four players, instead of three? A love rectangle? Maybe some kind of three-pronged love star? I’ve been thinking a lot this week about the ships for Alina and the Darkling, Alina and Nikolai, and Alina and Mal. When you look at reviews for The Grisha Trilogy you see a lot of discussion about this topic, and while sometimes people’s favorite relationships are just between the two characters that they like best, there’s a lot of debate out there about who Alina belongs with.  Who is the best match for her, as it were. And I think that this question is more interesting for Ruin and Rising than it is for a lot of other YA novels and series, because so much of Alina’s life is about fate. The chance of being a Sun Summoner, the way in which the amplifiers change ...

The Grisha Trilogy Reread: Ruin and Rising, Part One

RuinRising Welcome back once again to The Grisha Reread! It’s kind of hard to believe we’re already on the third book, kinda like it’s a bit hard to remember that it’s only been two years since Alina unleashed her power on the Fold to save Mal’s life. I always have trouble keeping track of timelines in the novels I read, but I’m pretty good at tracking symmetry. Let’s see how that sacrifice and that love work out for our intrepid orphans in part one of Ruin and Rising.  

Prologue – Chapter 3: Summary

In the prologue of Ruin and Rising, we find the boy and the girl trapped in the White Cathedral, part of the Apparat’s secret tunnels. Prevented from seeing each other, the girl feels herself devoured by the darkness, leaving only the Saint behind. And the Saint is broken, weak and sickly, trapped by the Apparat despite ...

The Grisha Trilogy Reread: Siege and Storm, Part Two

siegestorm-cover Oh my saints, Vasily is an annoying person, even before he destroys the country. But you all knew that. Welcome back to the Grisha Trilogy Reread for part two of Siege and Storm. It’s time to sit through long political meetings, make alliances (for good or ill) and have the best laid plans of man and Grisha laid to waste by jealous idiots. This is a long one folks. Things are getting real in Os Alta.  

Chapters 13 – 15: Summary

Alina, Mal, Tolya, and Tamar walk down to the Little Palace, where they find a group of Grisha waiting for them, including Sergei, the Corporalki who had been Alina’s guard for a time when she was there the first time; Marie and Nadia; Zoya, Alina’s squaller nemesis; and David, the Fabrikator who fashioned the collar for the Darkling. When she explains that she has the King’s blessing to ...