The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan

The Shadow Rising
The Wheel of Time, book 4
by Robert Jordan

Rand travels to the Aiel Wastes, Nynaeve continues to hunt the Black Ajah, Min returns to the White Tower, Perrin returns to the Two Rivers.

I really enjoyed this addition to the Wheel of Time series. There is a lot going on plot-wise, we waste little time getting into the action, and there is also a lot of character development across the board. I think this might be my favorite book in the series so far. The former Two Rivers residents have split up once again, and with a growing cast of interesting characters, I liked having the story split up to see as much of each of them as we reasonably could.

They’ve all been away from home for a while at this point, discovering their powers, fighting evil, experiencing the world outside of their small town. I feel like they’re all finally letting go of some of who they were when they started their journey and acknowledging how much has changed. That certainly doesn’t mean they’re all grown up with nothing else to learn though. I loved seeing Egwene’s growth especially, as she lets go of who she thinks she’s supposed to be and embraces figuring out who she wants to be. Perrin got quite a bit of focus in this one as he makes his way home to ensure the safety of his people and start the next chapter of his own life.

Although Mat has certainly changed since the journey began, he still has a knack for finding trouble, and I’m not certain he’s entirely aware of how much trouble he has invited into his life. Even though his maturing is on a different timeline, I do love seeing his parts of the story because the magical items and places he tends to discover are so interesting. I have a lot of fun seeing what sort of trouble he gets himself into and how he deals with the consequences.

And of course Rand, Nynaeve, and Min all add a lot to this story too. Exploring more of the Black Ajah and White Tower trouble, and learning about the Aiel were all really interesting. Honestly, there’s just a lot happening in the book – characters, plot, world building. I think it’s a great installment and I had a lot of fun reading it and I’m looking forward to see where this story takes us next.