What is it?
Who wrote it?
What did I like?
Fires of Heaven is another fun adventure in Jordan’s epic fantasy universe. He continues to dive deeper into the characters and culture of the world he’s created, and personally I think it keeps getting more interesting the more I read. Unlike the last book which had a good-sized chunk dedicated to the amazing Perrin Aybara’s point of view, this book actually spends a lot of time back with Rand Al’Thor, the series’ actual protagonist. I’m sure it varies somewhat, but most of the perspectives come from either Rand or the feisty, mothering hen character Nynaeve Al’Meara.
Just being honest here: I like Nynaeve. A lot. She’s the brash, bold kind of character who says what she wants to say without any fear of how it’s taken, although in this book she struggles a bit with her self-identity, though. She’s back to her old self again by the end of the book.
The same old themes of men vs. women and light vs. dark and faith vs. selfishness run deep and true through the whole story. I especially like getting to know more about the culture of the Aiel, the strange tall red-headed people who live in the deserts. Jordan truly outdid himself in creating their culture. While I am fascinated reading about them, however, I don’t think I’d ever want to meet one!!
Without giving anything away, a character does die in this book. And I have to admit I was somewhat surprised by it. After I thought about it for a little while, I could see it coming, but when it happened, I was kind of shocked. It wasn’t a character I expected to lose.
Overall, it’s a great read. Long, yes. But a good read.
What didn’t I like?
I really don’t have anything that I disliked about this book. There was an abundance of setting detail, I will say. And that’s not my favorite thing in a book to begin with. So I may be guilty of skimming setting detail paragraphs. Not all of them, but some.
I still don’t like Egwene, though. I’ll tell you that.
Should you read it?
If you’re a fan of high fantasy, you should read the Wheel of Time. I’m still amazed at how well Jordan managed to make all of his books fit together. And even though each book seems to be getting longer and longer, they don’t feel like long reads. I get so caught up in everything that’s happening and the vividness of the characters that I don’t even notice the word count.
If you love high fantasy, you need to read these books. And if you’re a student of great writing, Jordan has a lot to teach those of us who love creating universes.