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Crossroads of Twillight


Owayn The Traveller
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Does anyone really like the book? Would anyone put it in their top 5 WOT of time books? Does anyone remember their reaction and thoughts on the book after finishing it.

Until yesterday Crossroads was the only book I didn't have un the series. I rectified that and bought it yesterday, thinking to myself it can't be as bad as I remember. Only half way through the prolouge and I'm beginiing to doubt myself. All the point of views. I don't care what all these Aes Sedai think!

I remember reading it when it came out. I was still in school at the time and the bookstore in town was and still is crap, so couldn't get the book. Also didn't have a car at the time so couldn't go and get the book either so thank the lord ruler for libaries.

It took three weeks before i could get the book as someone else got it first. My nemsis. I knew then how Demandred felt in always being second. So when I finally got the book I was yearing to read it. I was very disappointed. And now it looks like I will be again.

 

What does anyone else think of it as a book? Okay I know the book is ages old at this stage and people might not want to discuss it so here's sorry in advance.  :o

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My reaction was one of disappointment and irritation.  Disappointment that CoT didn't build off the momentum of a great finish in Winter's Heart, and irritation that nearly the first half of the book was spent catching the reactions of other characters to the climax of WH.

 

I've tried re-reading it a couple of times when I've re-read the series, and I find it a struggle.  I think the best parts of this book is the chapter The Mark (Shaidar Haran/Mesaana/Alviarin scene), and the Epilogue (Egwene's capture).  Those are the only good scenes I can think of that either show an interesting viewpoint or something momentous takes place.

 

What really grated on me was the bloated description that seeped into Mat's scenes, as well as Elayne's and Perrin's.  Ultimately, I feel the book was badly edited and could have been combined into KoD (the differences in quality between Books 10 and 11 are striking).

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I wouldn't rate it in the top 5, but I actually liked it. It let us know exactly where everybody was during the Light's greatest success in the last age. I thought the book was meant more as a set up for book 11, though, so I re-read it with that in mind. The book's title itself brings to mind a sort of calm before the storm, a gathering of people for one last rush. He's here, she's there, this is what they're doing. Attack.

 

You see the same thing this book accomplishes done in movies, when the scene keeps changing to show what the main characters are up to. As an example, the hobbit singing in the movie Return of the King. It's just a sort of quiet moment to let the reader catch their breath for what's to come.

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So far, it's #12 out of 12 for me.  Perrin was my absolute favorite character for books 1-8, and this was where he really got caught in the series' most ridiculous plot-hole.  It's bad when you find yourself wanting to skim over sections in your favorite book, especially when they feature what had once been a favorite character, but that's how I was with Perrin in this book.

 

Mat eventually replaced him as my favorite character, so I did like the Mat sections of this book, but his plotline is only one that moves.  And he's literally in the circus, so even that is kind of boring.  Rand is not featured in this book at all, since his plot had gotten ahead of the others, and during most the action in this book, he's sleeping.

 

In 270K words, here's what happened:

 

1)  Mat and the circus move North.  He flirts with a woman and eventually has to shoot another woman in the back.

2)  Elayne talks about petty politics.  Complains about being pregnant.  Complains about Windfinders.  Makes absolutely zero progress toward being named queen.

3)  Egwene talks about petty politics.  Has a dream.  Complains about Aes Sedai.  Off-screen, she discovered how to make cuendillar.  Makes false assumptions concerning the Forsaken and sends women to the BT.  Is captured at the end.

4)  Perrin buys some grain.  Arranges a meeting with the Seanchan that doesn't happen yet.

5)  The Black Ajah Hunters discover that Elaida may or may not be Black Ajah.

6)  Logain/Bashere/Loial find Rand, then immediately leave.

7)  Someone sniffs.

 

I understand that the reason I love RJ is because of intricate detail and convoluted plot, but there's not even any character development outside of Mat's sections.  The two primary female characters in it were very static, and Perrin is rendered generally useless.

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Top 5? No way.

 

Bottom 1? Yep.

 

Very disappointing. I remember quite a few people defending it as the natural slow down in the series-length run up to the climax of Tarmon Gaidon. I never bought that explanation. Every book in the series has the responsibility first to be a good book in and of itself, with climaxes and meaningful, moving scenes.

 

I said when I first read this book that it seemed to me that it was the first half of a very long book... a book that was getting too long to print in one go... so RJ/Tor decided to split it*. As if KoD was the second half. But, in the meantime, we had New Spring. New Spring was awesome, and I looked forward to more prequels, but at the same time I thought, 'no, no, no... fix this (CoT). Fix it.'

 

Don't get me wrong, WoT is the best epic fantasy series I've ever read. Yes, better than LotR... and don't even bring up ASoIaF. Let me know when that one finds a point. But, in the long run, CoT is a low mark for the series, making the discussion closer than it should have been.

 

*ironically, that's exactly what they're doing with the last three books, though it seems with more success.

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1. Lord of Chaos, Simply fantastic

2. The Eye of the World, First book gotta give props.

3. Knife of Dreams, All around good books

4. The Dragon Reborn, Love the climax, and Rand thinking hes going mad pieces are grand.

5. Crossroads of Twilight, A lot of Mat= Good

 

 

 

The only one I have a bone to pick with is Fires of Heaven, Waaaaaaaay to much Elayne and Nynaeve.

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I have to say that as much as I love the WOT this is my least favorite of the series. I love Mat, but even several chapters of him slogging along in Valan Luca,s wonderful traveling show (sarcasm intended) was not enough to put this one any higher on my personal list. Too much Elayne, too little of everything else and after 600 or 700 pages nothing had really changed. I am actually listening to the audio version of CoT right now and continue to find the same things distract me from my enjoyment of the series as a whole. Regardless, the Wheel of Time is my favorite fantasy series and CoT does have a place in the series as a whole, and i do enjoy it, it just does not thrill me the way most of the rest of the series does.

My top 5:

The Great Hunt

The Shadow Rising

The Fires of Heaven

The Dragon Reborn

The Lord of Chaos

 

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I have to admit, that so far I'm enjoying the book and wondering why I disliked it. I guess the enjoyment so far has to do with still not having finished the Mat chapters at the start. Also in not having the huge expectation of the plot advancing its not too bad.

 

By the way, where did Noal go when they found out about the seanchan at the circus? Or to whom did he go? Does it come later in the book? Its seems like it might be important because Mat was curious to know but got distracted.

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1. Lord of Chaos

2. The Great Hunt

3. Winters Heart

4. The Dragon Reborn??

5. Funnily enough, the Gathering Storm. It grew on me

 

Any Wheel of Time book that has more Mat or Perrin than Rand is not one of my favorites. Perrin is okay, Mat is great, but Rand is AWESOME. Such an indepth character.

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Heh, I'm like 80 pages away from finishing Winter's Heart, and I always hear about how much CoT is a disappointment. I'm probably going to try and just fly through it so I can get to KoD.

 

On the positive side, CoT setups future conflict and resolves some conflicts in the broader storyline. 

 

  For example, CoT Chapter "The Tale of a Doll" I believe should be of further importance in the next two books.  All I'll say here about it, since you haven't yet read it is look for "tensions" expressed, who is "loyal" to whom, and the limits of knowledge.

 

  Another example, CoT Chapter which should be highly important for future books in the series, is the Chapter 28 "A Cluster of Rosebuds".  Likewise, CoT Chapter 24 "A Strengthening Storm" has many unresolved story elements embedded within it...which might be written about in the book WoT book, Towers of Midnight.

 

 

 

Crossroads of Twilight is in essence a setup act for Robert Jordan's originally idea of finishing the series AMOL book. It's not by itself up to the standards of tEoW, tGH, tDR, tFoH, tSR, or LoC...in my opinion, however you'd be missing quite a bit if you fly through fast enough to miss the under the surface details.

   

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So far, it's #12 out of 12 for me.  Perrin was my absolute favorite character for books 1-8, and this was where he really got caught in the series' most ridiculous plot-hole.  It's bad when you find yourself wanting to skim over sections in your favorite book, especially when they feature what had once been a favorite character, but that's how I was with Perrin in this book.

 

Mat eventually replaced him as my favorite character, so I did like the Mat sections of this book, but his plotline is only one that moves.  And he's literally in the circus, so even that is kind of boring.  Rand is not featured in this book at all, since his plot had gotten ahead of the others, and during most the action in this book, he's sleeping.

 

In 270K words, here's what happened:

 

1)  Mat and the circus move North.  He flirts with a woman and eventually has to shoot another woman in the back.

2)  Elayne talks about petty politics.  Complains about being pregnant.  Complains about Windfinders.  Makes absolutely zero progress toward being named queen.

3)  Egwene talks about petty politics.  Has a dream.  Complains about Aes Sedai.  Off-screen, she discovered how to make cuendillar.  Makes false assumptions concerning the Forsaken and sends women to the BT.  Is captured at the end.

4)  Perrin buys some grain.  Arranges a meeting with the Seanchan that doesn't happen yet.

5)  The Black Ajah Hunters discover that Elaida may or may not be Black Ajah.

6)  Logain/Bashere/Loial find Rand, then immediately leave.

7)  Someone sniffs.

 

I understand that the reason I love RJ is because of intricate detail and convoluted plot, but there's not even any character development outside of Mat's sections.  The two primary female characters in it were very static, and Perrin is rendered generally useless.

And arguably, the 7th point is the most important of the book ;) Yes, this is definitely my least favorite of the WoT.  While I found Mat's chapters entertaining, Elayne's and Perrin's scenes were aggravating.  You make a great point about Egwene's discovery of cuendillar....offscreen??!! There definitely should have been a scene for rediscovering that skill!

 

On the positive side, CoT setups future conflict and resolves some conflicts in the broader storyline. 

 

  For example, CoT Chapter "The Tale of a Doll" I believe should be of further importance in the next two books.  All I'll say here about it, since you haven't yet read it is look for "tensions" expressed, who is "loyal" to whom, and the limits of knowledge.

 

  Another example, CoT Chapter which should be highly important for future books in the series, is the Chapter 28 "A Cluster of Rosebuds".  Likewise, CoT Chapter 24 "A Strengthening Storm" has many unresolved story elements embedded within it...which might be written about in the book WoT book, Towers of Midnight.

 

Crossroads of Twilight is in essence a setup act for Robert Jordan's originally idea of finishing the series AMOL book. It's not by itself up to the standards of tEoW, tGH, tDR, tFoH, tSR, or LoC...in my opinion, however you'd be missing quite a bit if you fly through fast enough to miss the under the surface details.

Perhaps.  I had SUCH a hard time getting through CoT, and I honestly tried re-reading it again but (at least in my case) it took a good deal of willpower to do it.  The endless description and petty bickering really drove me nuts while reading it.  But having said that, I'm sure there are some foreshadowing scenes as you indicated that will play out over the next two books.

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Perhaps CoT just is a book to be read at a slower pace. I generally experience that I read the early books in the series faster than the later ones, probably in part because of the broadening of the series so that there is so much going on everyone. I think, perhaps CoT is more enjoyable when one does not try to get through the plot, but enjoys what there is. I do think it is very important, in my opinion, there is a huge difference between the end of WH and the beginning of KoD, and CoT makes that transition.

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Its not a book you would enjoy that much reading for the first time cause your impatient for plot progression, significant plot progression but once you know what happens after it ,like Perrin actually doing something in Knife of Dreams. And in fact that was the biggest stickler for me ,Perrin not rescuing Faile, because it dragged on for so long and wasn't getting any nearer to its climax or conclusion. In my opinion its a better book the second time around. It just took about 5 or 6 years to convince myself to  read it again. How long has it been out?

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Its not a book you would enjoy that much reading for the first time cause your impatient for plot progression, significant plot progression but once you know what happens after it ,like Perrin actually doing something in Knife of Dreams. And in fact that was the biggest stickler for me ,Perrin not rescuing Faile, because it dragged on for so long and wasn't getting any nearer to its climax or conclusion. In my opinion its a better book the second time around. It just took about 5 or 6 years to convince myself to  read it again. How long has it been out?

 

The problem is, even with rereads, it just doesn't come off as a complete story.  I mean, in the absence of significant plot movement, you need to provide some character development, and it does very little of this.  I've read through the book perhaps 3-4 times, and I always want to skim over sections, even now that almost all of those plot-threads have been finally resolved.

 

The biggest problem is the GAPING Perrin plot-hole.  His stroy arc hit the ground and was dragged along behind the trailor for about 600 miles.  Think about it:

 

He's supposed to be helping Rand to stabilize Ghealdan by reining in Masema and offering assurances to the Queen.  the instant that he caught Masema, there's no reason for him NOT to send Grady/Neald to find Rand and tell him that Masema was unwilling to simply Travel.  Especially when he finds out that Faile is captured.  I mean, he says that he'll deal with the DO himself in order to rescue Faile, but somehow, he avoids sending people to Travel to look for Rand.  The fact that he actually HAS Traveling and is kept forcefully sequestered from the rest of the story-arc is increasingly ridiculous with every new development.  Supposedly, he's keeping his purpose secret, since he and Rand staged that big fake falling out.  But Rand probably would be his best bet for finding an army that could take out the Shaido.  And Rand was actively looking for where the Shaido had gone, so it just makes sense he'd have sent help.

 

But instead, Perrin finds the Seanchan, which is perhaps good for the story-arc, but insanely tedious since he actually doesn't even meet in this book.  And then there's So Harbor, which has to be the silliest tangential stop in the series.  I mean, if they're Traveling to buy grain, then why are they even bothering to get it semi-locally?  They could have just gone to the big storehouses in Tear or Illian, and probably would have had a better chance at finding stuff that wasn't spoiling, and they would have finally gotten news from the rest of the world.  But he's kept willfully ignorant.  Instead, this is over two chapters worth to set up just buying grain and getting it back.

 

Then there's Elayne.  I actually like her a lot more than most people, but even I got really tired of her sections in this book. "Stupid Windfinders," "Stupid Kin," "Stupid Men."

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A big failing of CoT was that it didn't resolve ANY story arcs that had been carried over multiple books-Perrin's rescue of Faile, Elayne securing the throne of Andor, etc.  While I can appreciate what one person stated about having a change of tone/catching one's breath between WH and KoD, there has to be SOME character development and plot resolution.  Quite frankly, this book failed on both counts.

 

Since some others have done their top 5 books in the series, I feel compelled to do so as well ;)

1. Great Hunt

2. Fires of Heaven

3. Eye of the World

4. Gathering Storm

5. Dragon Reborn

6. Shadow Rising

7. Lord of Chaos

8. Knife of Dreams

9. Crown of Swords

10. Winters Heart

11. Path of Daggers

12. Crossroads of Twilight

 

Oops, I meant top 12.  Well...I've never been accused of being good at math ;)

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I LIKED it!!!

 

Now, COMPARED to the other 11, it is my second least-fave. (POD is my LEAST).

 

But, in its own right, I liked it...but I FAR from LOVED it lol. Now. The BEST Part of that book was that it was really Chapter 1 of Rodel Itulrades's story and he is AWESOME.

 

Other COOL parts in it:

 

1 So Harbor.

 

2 Mat shooting a woman in the back...(never thought I'd see THAT day.)

 

3 Perrin hacking that dude's hand off.

 

And even, now, years after intially reading it, I find the undeniable slowness of it a bit endearing.

 

OH!!! - And I HAVE to make sure I echo Dida's post above: ''The Tale of a Doll'' is a GREAT Chapter!!! ... Of course, I really like Furyk Karede!!! :)

 

My Conclusion: As part of the series its pretty bad, definitely bottom couple.

 

In its OWN Right...its not THAT bad and has several cool parts.

 

Liked it. Didn't Love it...and, over time, it slowly grows on you.

 

JMO

 

 

Fish

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I'm not even done with the prolouge and I already have bad feelings about it.  Although I'm hoping all the Mat will lift my spirits.

My Top 5:

 

1) The Fires of Heaven

2) The Great Hunt

3) The Shadow Rising

4) A Crown of Swords

5) Winter's Heart

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