the wheel of time

by robert jordan

3.72 avg rating
Book 2 of 57 in the Most Influential Fantasy Books
10519 votes 33 comments

The Last Battle has started. The seals on the Dark One’s prison are crumbling. The Pattern itself is unraveling, and the armies of the Shadow have begun to boil out of the Blight.

The sun has begun to set upon the Third Age.

Perrin Aybara is now hunted by specters from his past: Whitecloaks, a slayer of wolves, and the responsibilities of leadership. All the while, an unseen foe is slowly pulling a noose tight around his neck. To prevail, he must seek answers in Tel’aran’rhiod and find a way--at long last--to master the wolf within him or lose himself to it forever.

Meanwhile, Matrim Cauthon prepares for the most difficult challenge of his life. The creatures beyond the stone gateways--the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn--have confused him, taunted him, and left him hanged, his memory stuffed with bits and pieces of other men’s lives. He had hoped that his last confrontation with them would be the end of it, but the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills. The time is coming when he will again have to dance with the Snakes and the Foxes, playing a game that cannot be won. The Tower of Ghenjei awaits, and its secrets will reveal the fate of a friend long lost.

This latest novel of Robert Jordan’s #1 New York Times bestselling series--the second based on materials he left behind when he died in 2007--brings dramatic and compelling developments to many threads in the Pattern. The end draws near.

Dovie’andi se tovya sagain. It’s time to toss the dice.

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Tattersail | 2012-10-10 05:48:40
Very good, enjoyable fantasy series. Even with the slight drag in the middle of the series, the Wheel of Time is one of the best series' out there. However, getting through all of the books may take quite a long time.
FiFi | 2012-10-23 12:23:05
Brilliant series - lost it in the middle and turned more into a screen play than a novel. I really do not care what minor characters are wearing in finite detail - just plot padding.
Anonymous | 2012-11-29 06:43:34
After reading this series every other book has felt too fast paced. Recovering with another series and then coming back to it later I realized how epic it is, not just in story but in its very writing style. If anything Jordan wins the quantity award in my books.
Anonymous | 2012-12-05 12:08:01
My personal favorite series thus far, followed by ASoIaF. The first 6 books are amazing, but books 7-8 slow the plot down drastically, and actually make it bigger (more to tie up). Book 9 is pretty cool and has some amazing scenes in it, but book 10 on the other hand should have just been deleted entirely with like two bullet points from it put into another book. Books 11-13 are back on track though for "most amazing series". As a whole, the series is more than worth trudging through some slower sections to experience IMHO the most amazing epic fantasy there is out there. Goodkind, Lawhead, Brooks, Salvatore, Eddings, and Williams (slowest author in existance) got nothing on Jordan.
Anonymous | 2012-12-23 07:53:29
I LOVED the series! If you enjoyed WoT please please read Terry Goodkind's The Sword of Truth series - it will not disappoint.
Anonymous | 2013-03-22 05:34:32
Brilliant introductory portion, but the authro seemed to get lost in his own plot jungle about book 5. Characters he had built up to be bigger than life were suddenly just dumb or overeager or really dull. Not the first series to stall-out (Dune, The Bellgariad), but by far the most spectacular crash and burn I have encountered.
Anonymous | 2013-04-04 03:22:52
The quality of his writing is fabulous but it does drone on! Still is good though. It is aimed at more people who might are very patient readers.
Anonymous | 2013-07-04 07:46:54
Read some of these once when there was nothing else. Absolutely dreadful: childish politics, infantile characters, lost plotlines and embarassingly bad writing.
Anonymous | 2013-08-11 05:59:20
Dodgy Dune rip off sadly, although it seems many disagree.
Anonymous | 2013-10-23 08:35:10
Very good. Too much description about wall hangings and attire. The books start out strong but after book six you want to gouge your eyes out. Boring. I think Jordan got too full of himself. But it gets better again after about 3 or 4 more books. Sanderson writes some good stuff when he takes over the last couple of books. But the last is filled with battles and it gets old after a few hundred pages. Jordan spent so much time developing the characters but then it just ends and you never get much of a picture of how they feel afterward or how they will proceed in their lives. Disappointing to say the least. Unbalanced on the whole, but definitely should be read.
Anonymous | 2015-01-27 07:18:11
IMO The Wheel Of Time is one of the best epic fantasy of all time. Although the books were somewhat tarnished when Jordan tried to milk as much out of it as possible. It would probably be better if one or even two books were eliminated(somewhere between book 9 or 11).
Horatio Falcon | 2015-02-05 07:46:11
I don't really get why people are so down on Wheel of Time. I can absolutely understand if somebody was a fan, following along with the series, and gave up when book 10 came out, because, hey, is this guy ever going to finish this damn series? But now, with the presence of hindsight, I personally feel as though Wheel of Time is far greater than the sum of its parts. The grinding to a halt in the middle books has been exaggerated somewhat, I think. First of all, in my opinion, the first 6 books are all various levels of very good to great. Considering how long they are, that's already considerably more content than most fantasy authors put out, much less quality content, but that's not the end either. I admit, book 7 is not as good as any of the books that came before it. But it's not THAT bad - the plot does still move forward to some degree, and there are some interesting scenes and bits of character development. I would categorize it as "ok," neither particularly good nor particularly bad. Now book 8 really is a problem. Virtually nothing happens in it beyond the anti-climactic conclusion to the Bowl of the Winds supblot, and the only reasons to read the book are for a small handful of cool scenes near the end - Egwene's manipulation of the war vote, Rand's loss of control, the infamous "Cup of Sleep" chapter. Hardly enough to justify a full book. Book 9, then, is an almost complete return to form. I don't know why this gets lumped in so often with the others - except for the admittedly very lame Perrin subplot that drags on for another 2 books, Winter's Heart is just as good as the first 6 books, with probably the best ending to any Wheel of Time book, and one of the most significant plot advances. Book 10 is atrocious, and there's nothing to salvage it. Nothing happens in it, and it should have been reduced to, at best, a 20 or 30 page coda to book 9. But then, with book 11, everything's ok again. Book 11 tends to be overlooked with the awfulness of book 10 and the return to form that the Sanderson books represent, but book 11 is every bit as good as the first 6 books, and maybe even better than a couple of them. Jordan ties up the loose of the ends of the more superfluous subplots, there are some dazzling set pieces and a lot of plot advancement to set up the theoretical final book. It's excellent. The Sanderson books are generally well regarded and don't need much defense, but I will say that I think that the series as a whole ends better than it's given credit for. So, what's the tally? By my estimation, we have, out of 14 books, 11 strong entries, one mediocre entry, and two bad entries. I understand not everybody will agree with me on this, and I'm not stating it as objective fact. But I prefer to focus on the good in things like this, not the bad. Also, like I said, the series as a whole is far superior to the sum of its parts. I have my own complaints with the series, but on the whole, it's an excellent and, quite frankly, genre defining entry to the fantasy canon.
Phil Bakes | 2015-02-15 12:44:25
The first three books are amazing, but writing becomes incredibly repetitious after a few volumes. He should have limited the whole series to 3 to 5 volumes. Some great imagination, but vastly overwritten.
Anonymous | 2015-02-23 12:49:04
Seriously? I almost lost hope to see WoT in the rankings. Which shocked me. I saw really hm.. arguable things before it. It deserves so much more than a lot of the others.I admit it gets draggy, but it's one of its kind. I got annoyed when reading it and quit it few times, but.. but... this is the most vivid world created by a book for me. And you say this barely deserves to make the ranks? Nothing else I have ever read can compare. Plot whatever. The world that has been created... epic is not enough to describe it. And even the writing had a special charm for me. When Sanderson took over - well, I stopped reading. It was more intense, but something was lacking for me, it wasn't Jordan( It's sad he couldn't finished himself. Because the ending was bound to be packed with more action,just S. got credit for it.I'm sure Jordan would have written it's his story after all). I will finish it someday for the sake of my curiosity. But still the world of WoT stands out like nothing else - and just for that it's worth checking out, not for the cheap all-the-same entertainment. Books will never be the same after it.
Anonymous | 2015-03-02 06:11:44
Best series ever, apart from the final book
Anonymous | 2015-03-14 11:08:00
One of the most solid "worlds" of fantasy created. Jordan believed in his characters and, I believe, tried to force a slow pace so that the characters will really mature and grow in their new role. They have more depth than the usual simple boy/girl champion of good that discovers magical powers and instantly rises to the expectations of the world to fight. The plot turns and twists and thickens but somewhere after the 7th book Jordan lost it. The slow pace burdened with the countless repetitions were probably signs of a writer's block or an inability to handle the stories of an immense number of secondary characters. I think he refocused around book 11 and the plan of the story of the "final battle" was brilliant; but ... his untimely death led to a stalemate. The story could not have been told by someone else and even the wishful attempt of Sanderson, though it provided a long expected end for the series, didn't rise to the expectations. Many things were left untold and although Sanderson claimed not to stray from the molds of the characters created by Jordan it is obvious that he failed to comply. All main characters (and many secondary get ... out of character!). Mat becomes a lucky fool and a buffoon instead of mischievous and a cunning strategist. Rand pales to almost nothing, no depth or color, a thing that gets unnoticed mainly because he looses feelings grow hard. And many more characters loose depth probably because the new writer didn't recognize the full width of their slowly built up personality. Also unfortunately many events are just rushed, poorly explained and unexplored. The story of Demandred and the Sharans, for example, should have been a small epic for the dark by itself. Nonetheless one of the best epics ever told. Unfortunately the writer left us early and the work was unfinished.
Anonymous | 2015-03-27 06:44:12
Investing such a large amount of time to a series such as this makes either fall in love with the world and its creation of characters or want to get on with it without respecting its sheer magnitude. For those that want any entertaining and easy ready, this series is not for you. For those who are fascinated with political and military facets overlaying a complex and very descriptive world of imagery, I highly recommend. This series is a challenge for those starting to really dive into the world of the epic sci fantasy genre. Robert Jordan was a master of his craft and although not all of the books are a masterpiece in their own specific right, the overall series as a whole are what make the essence of good sci fantasy writing such a popular literary genre today. I had read the series a number of times before Sanderson picked up the final volumes, and coming from a world immersed with the flow of Jordan's style, I feel that Sanderson did an excellent job, with respect, finishing this epic series. For those that argue that Sanderson can't finish a series, need to check out his many works to be proven that this is an inaccurate belief. When finally completing this series (after the many years of waiting for that conclusion) I was left both feeling complete and saddened by loss of my fictional world and its characters. I can only attest this to Jordan's genius in writing those characters so well, that I would be left feeling like I missed those characters I grew to love. I would recommend this series to those who can appreciate the true art of writing a complex multitude of separate plot lines forming ultimately together for the greater good of an overall main story.
ChuckieLuv | 2015-04-23 02:02:36
Loved the first 3, but it spun out of control. More does not equal better. Too long, too many plot-lines that never were satisfactorily tied together, too many races and characters (did we really need the Seachan?), just too much. Also the world really never made any sense (even for a fantasy world). For example: why does the Dark One bother w/ Trollocs when he could just make more Myrddraal, grey Men, dark hounds or other more powerful creatures? There may well be a reason, but the mechanics/economics of their creation is never explained. Just gets muddled and confusing and repetitive. Plus, probably due to Jordan's passing, the conclusion is very anti-climatic and disappointing. I read it to the end, just to finish it, but ultimately thought TWOT should stand for "The Waste of Time".
ChuckieLuv | 2015-04-23 02:30:51
What's more: Rand as a character is completely uninteresting. Of the 5 main characters from Edmond's Field he by far far far, the least compelling. He has no personality to speak of and seems only to exist because he's the Dragon Reborn.Also I could never believe that Min, Elayne and Aviendha, all strong females, fell in love w/ him, unless it's b/c power is the ultimate aphrodisiac I found myself skimming through his chapters just to get to Mat, Perrin or Egwene's. It was my first fantasy series I ever read and now that I've read more I realized how poor it was.
Tim Leigh | 2015-06-08 09:16:40
This is a brilliant piece of literature....if you can take the time and read it in as short a time as all winter. That way you can keep track of all the complexities and appreciate the nuances you will otherwise simply forget.
Anonymous | 2015-06-24 06:01:30
People complain this book is too long or unreadable because of the ending (both Jordan's and Sanderson's). Personally I could read another 14. Look at the comments on this list of books; wot has the most for a reason. I'm will never say that wot is perfect but not many books come as close as it dose. Yes the middle books are a little slower than the rest but there still good wrighing. Sanderson may not have finished it as well as it could have been finished but who could have done a better job after jordan died. The wrighting is the best; you will not find any better. If you read epic fantasy you should be able read your way through the "boring" parts. Compared to asoiaf the wot is Shakespeare and asoiaf is Twilight. Many people will disagree with me but i m a diehard and I don't care. Wot is my favorite series ever... You should stop complaining about the length and read it.
Anonymous | 2015-07-27 04:18:36
Nice writing style and good start to the series, but a decent series (at least 3 stars) has to keep your interest throughout and motivate you to open the next book. As it stands, the only reason I continued reading in the middle of the series was because I wanted to feel the accomplishment of doing so, not because I enjoyed it. The plot got messy and disconnected, and to be frank I think this series would be so much better if Robert Jordan didn't try so hard to lengthen it.
Anonymous | 2015-10-03 06:26:53
Nynaeve just tugged her braid.
Anonymous | 2015-10-31 06:07:08
What I like about Jordan's WOT is that he doesn't push the plot but lets you spend time with all the characters and get to know them. Naturally you will be more inclined to follow certain characters than others but overall i'm thankful he takes his time telling a story right rather than rushing off towards the end.
Orenthal | 2015-11-16 01:47:30
The shadowspawn are like those dirty muslims. Ugh. Good thing they all got slaughtered in the end.
Mitch | 2015-12-18 02:46:47
It's scary to think, but considering all the glowing reviews of this series, it seems a lot of people suffer from the same OCD Robert Jordan had. This series starts out like it's going to be the greatest thing to ever happen to fantasy then gets so bogged down in unnecessary detail that, only those unaware of how many other great books there are, will ever get around to finishing it. Book 7 nearly killed my love of reading, I wanted to finish it so bad. Finally, I gave up and moved on to much better books. As I told a friend who thought of reading this, "in the time it takes to read this series, you could read 6 better ones." Beyond that, no character development, childish antics by people who the fate of the world relies on, and he stops to describe every decoration to obsessive detail. It's too bad Mr. Jordan decided to milk this one for all it's worth instead of just making a great story. Avoid.
Anonymous | 2016-01-09 11:32:42
I remember reading this series when I was much younger and what I remember the most about it is that it didn't make a lot of sense in some places. Important places. I need a story and all of its elements to make sense. Despite its name, magic cannot exist simply "because". Similarly, if someone has to do something then their actions and behavior while attempting to do that something should also make sense. Things like that. Basically, the world and all the happenings within that world should make sense-even if only to that particular world. I don't remember tons about WoT but what I do remember was feeling frustrated that much of the story/world did not make sense. And that it got SOOO slow and bogged down at one point.
Anonymous | 2016-03-18 06:43:20
This is the absolute best series I've ever read. A Song of Ice and Fire is a close second and is the only series that has invoked within me anything close to the feelings of excitement that I felt while reading WoT.
Anonymous | 2016-06-14 12:48:33
It is a pity that Jordan died.. else I think it would have been more than 13 books and it would have been better than EPIC
Anonymous | 2016-07-22 05:12:13
There is something quite compelling about the world created by the late R. Jordan, but his tenuous grasp of grammar made his books nearly unreadable for me. He made at least one grammatical error on *every* page, and that sort of thing really trips me up when I'm trying to just enjoy the story. I'm not trying to be snooty or superior here - some of us just cannot avoid noticing basic mistakes such as comma splices. It doesn't help that his characters are, in my opinion, flat and astonishingly unlikable at the same time (imagine that!). In particular, almost all the women are harridans one would go out of one's way to avoid in real life, and you could switch any two names and nobody would notice the swap. Next: his story is drawn-out and convoluted and lacks elegance. Complicated plots are only good if the author has the skill to lay them out well. Otherwise, they just end up a tangled mess that cannot be resolved in a satisfying manner. You could quite honestly cut out two thirds of the material in the series and not lose a thing of importance. The final nail in the coffin was his propensity for ridiculous names. No, simply shoving apostrophes into a string of letters in places that are linguistically senseless does not make the name more "fantasy-like". It just makes the names unpronounceable and, frankly, rather silly. A lot of my friends do like his books, and despite my censure I must admit that he did manage to make his world feel large and memorable. That's quite a feat to be fair. I suppose if I were less OCD about grammar and if I had not been exposed to so much good fantasy literature before picking up the Wheel of Time, I might have liked it too.
Anonymous | 2016-10-28 09:40:06
Well the fantasy started good, mysterious and adventurous. It was good for the first three books, then the series just twisted direction. Rand became overly serious and suspicious for no reason. Mat became an ungrateful guy who depended on luck. Perrin somehow got married and became sidetracked, and somehow managed to become a lord 'though he claims he doesn't want to be one'. Egwene 'a very ambitious person' dumped Rand because he could channel 'that part makes no sense to me'. In later books there was almost no adventure, the story became predictable, people just fell in love unrealistically 'I mean Lan and Nynaeve, Rand and his three, Egwene and Gawyn, ps:how did a smart girl like Egwene end up with a fool'. And what baffles me is that of the five who left Emond's field only Egwene 'who was the wisest' had a tragic end while reckless guys like Rand and Lan managed to survive. Well this is my first epic fantasy book and it was realistic 'if you take out the romance part from it ps: Elayne:Rand I am very fond of you. Rand:I'm also fond of you.... the next moment they are kissing'.
Anonymous | 2017-05-17 10:31:08
I got 5 books in before I was finally worn down by the relentless sexism. The characters never stop complaining about the opposite sex. I've never read anything with so much gender-based moaning.
Anonymous | 2017-10-13 07:23:32
The Magnitude of Robert Jordans creation is undeniably the best out there. Yes it has its slow points and dull points, but when you look at the whole once you put down the last book you will see it. Rand, Perrin, and Mat are not just characters in a book. In the end you know them better then you know most of your real friends. Only a handful of writers out there are able to do this. It saddens me to know I will never be able to read another book from Mr. Jordan. R.I.P Robert Jordan your writing brought light to the darkness that was my life.
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