Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan

Okay. I suppose it was inevitable. This had to happen sooner or later. There are probably only five people in the world that can make it through this entire series without running into this problem sooner or later.

This book was completely pointless.

I amend that. It is not COMPLETELY pointless. It’s just mostly so. There are in fact three very poignant scenes in these 800 pages.

I can sum up the entire book with:

Mat argues with some women, Perrin eats a chicken, Elayne takes a bath, Egwene has a headache and goes to bed early. Mat argues with some women, Perrin doesn’t like weavils, Egwene schemes. Cut to the three poignant scenes – one each for Mat, Perrin and Egwene.

I think another reason that this book is so (near) universally despised is that there is no ending, at all.

Let’s examine this for a moment:

Book 1: Rand fights three forsaken over a well of saidin in the middle of the blight while trollocs and myrdraal and giant worms converge on him and his friends.

Book 2: Rand battles Ba’alzamon in the sky above Falme while the heros of the Horn are called back for an epic battle to drive the Seanchan back into the ocean.

Book 3: Rand kills Ba’alzamon while Perrin fights in the dream world to save Faile’s life and Mat succeeds in infiltrating the Stone of Tear to rescue Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve.

Book 4: Rand breaks the Aiel, captures Asmodean and reveals Lanfear while Perrin fights off hordes of Trollocs to save the Two Rivers from the Dark One.

Book 5: After Moiraine is killed destroying Lanfear Rand has an epic battle with another forsaken while Nynaeve outsmarts Moghedien.

Book 6: Giant explody violent mayhem and destruction at Dumai’s Wells

Book 7: Rand fights Sammael at Shadar Logoth

Book 8: Rand runs away from an attack at the palace in Cairhien. (Okay this one is a little bit lame as well.)

Book 9: Rand and Nynaeve channel enough of the One Power to tear the universe apart and unravel the threads of time while every one of the Forsaken converge on their position and try to kill them and Aes Sedai and Asha’man are forced to work together to keep them safe.

Book 10: Egwene gets bonked on the head and has to drink mint tea.

I’m not even joking.

After 800 plus pages of listening to characters complain about things that didn’t need to even be brought up I could have used at least some people throwing rocks at each other or getting in a heated dispute.

Even the three poignant scenes that I mentioned earlier are made less poignant by the fact that they are preceded by three chapters of buildup that could have been summarized in a few sentences. I don’t know what Jordan was trying to do with this book other than become the most verbose author in history. My summary at the beginning of this review is almost enough that if I told you which three chapters to read after that you would not feel like you had missed anything.

Having written my own book I am shocked that Jordan had the patience to write something this complete in detail. I get bored with my own writing when nothing is happening and I take that as a clue that I need to change things. Jordan, however, persevered. He created a book that was nothing but nothing.

Don’t get me wrong the three previously mentioned scenes of poignancy are possibly three of the most important scenes in the series and they may have not stood out so much if they were hidden in their proper place as the first three chapters of the next book but I’m not sure that justified the blatant abuse of word usage. If there were laws about word conservation this book would definitely violate all of them.

I know there are people who think these books have been firmly entrenched in excess verbiage for some time. That may be true. At least the other books had an ending to supply a justification for such excess.

Crossroads of Twilight is not the worst book I’ve ever read but it is definitely the worst of this series. It is certainly well below my threshold of tolerance. After this I expect the next book to feel fast paced regardless of actual quality of pacing. I’ve seen anal retentive journals that were not this extraneous.

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2 thoughts on “Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan”

  1. I can’t wait.

    The nice thing is… I still have one more book to get through before needing to trudge through that one.

    *sigh* (I should have turned that sigh into a 1,000 page novel!)

    1. You joke about the sigh being a thousand pages but if you google ‘longest books’ you will find references to somebody who wrote thousands of pages of a single word and self-published it — merely to have the longest published book.

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