The Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan

This entry is part [part not set] of 12 in the series The Wheel of Time

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Book Eight in the Wheel of Time Series
Publisher: Tor Books; 1ST edition (December 15, 1999), Mass Market Paperback: 704 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 0812550293, ISBN-13: 978-0812550290

Although still enjoyable, this book was not as compelling as the preceding books. My favourite storyline in this book was surrounding Egwene and her adventures as the Amyrlin Seat with the Rebel Aes Sedai.

It is not really clear what the Path of Daggers is, but there is an old Seanchan saying: “On the heights, all paths are paved with daggers.” which I believe means that as Rand’s strength and power increases, his path becomes harder and more dangerous.

There was a slight progression of the characters development in this book with the most growth being shown in Egwene.  The book starts looking at the problem that Rand is becoming too hard. we are introduced to the idea that this will cause a dilema that will be counter productive to his final battle with the Dark One.  It brings forward the deeper concerns that in order to fight evil Rand must still be caring, trusting and loving.

This book did not have any kind of conclusion to any of the story-lines, in fact it has a cliff-hanger ending.  We also do not find out anything about Mat, so we are still wondering what is happening with the cliff-hanger from the end of book seven.

This book starts out immediately following the ending of Book Seven with Elayne, Nynaeve and Aviendha along with Lan,  the Sea Folk, the Kin and several Aes Sedai at the Kin’s farm where they successfully use the Bowl of Wind to fix the weather.  However, the Seanchan have arrived in Ebou Dar and due to the large surge of one power that is used to fire the bowl it is like a spot light for the Seanchan.  What transpires next is very exciting and well written.

The book briefly covers Perrin and reveals his secret mission.  There is a fairly lengthly story surrounding Rand and his adventures.

However, I have been hooked by Mr Jordan into the on-going story so I will definitely be reading book nine to hopefully find out what happened to Mat and Faile and to see how the overall story is going to progress.

****Spoiler alert, do not read any further, if you have not yet read the book****

Once Elayne and gang use the Bowl of Winds, they see the Seanchan so Elayne makes a gateway to a farm on the outskirts of Caemlyn.  She sends everyone away ahead of her and is starting to un-weave the gateway. This is a very dangerous thing to do since if it is not undone exactly in the reverse order of how it was made it can have very unpredictable consequences ranging from a huge explosion to a small fizzle.

When she is partially done the Seanchan arrive and start to follow them through the gateway.  Birgitte and Aviendha are able to delay the Seanchan until all three of them are able to escape a fair distance from the gateway.  Then Elayne lets go of the partially un-weaved gateway and a huge explosion goes off destroying all the Seanchan who have followed through gateway plus most of them on the other side.

The three of them escape with a few scrapes but are otherwise okay.  Then the whole lot of them proceed through Andor to the palace.  During their trip the Kin start to lose their fear of the Aes Sedai, the Sea Folk start to force the fulfillment of the Bargain and it is revealed that one of their group is a dark friend who has murdered one of the Aes Sedai as well as the Black Ajai that they were holding prisoner.

At the end of the book, Elayne arrives in Caemlyn and declares her claim to the Lion Throne.  She also tears down all the Dragon banners and tells Rand to get out of Andor, but she still loves him.

Perrin’s secret mission is to meet with The Prophet and get him to come to Rand for a meeting, which he is successful in doing. In the process Alliandre, the queen of Ghealdan swears fealty to Perrin.  They also meet up with Morgase the ex-queen of Andor and Elayne’s mother.  She hides who she really is and becomes a maid to Faile.  However, at the end of the book, while Perrin is away, Faile gets captured by the Shaido Aiel along with Alliandre and Morgase.

Egwene is able to get the rebel Aes Sedai to declare war against Elaida, then immediately after that she proves to the sitters that when the White Tower is at war the Amyrlin has full veto power in matters concerning the war.  In this way she is able to wrestle control back away from the sitters who thought they could manipulate and control her.  She also has several sisters swear fealty to her, this is something that has been virtually unheard of until now. Egwene then allows the rebel Aes Sedai and army a chance to rest for one month before Travelling to Tar Valon to start the siege against Elaida.

Rand finds out about the Seanchan in Altara and uses the Asha’man, Illianers and Bashere’s men to fight them off. They have some success but many losses.  The one power is also acting funny after the use of the Bowl of Winds. Rand tries to use Callandor but loses control and kills many of his own people.  He is successful in driving the Seanchan back, but at too great a cost. He then later learns that in order to use Callandor he needs to wield it with two women and with one of those women in control.  Rand and Lews Therin Telamon have a great problem trusting women who can channel so this is not great news to Rand.

When Rand returns to Illian, he is attacked and almost killed by traitorous Asha’man led by Dashiva.  However, he is able to defeat them although Dashiva escapes.

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One thought on “The Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan”

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