Winter’s Heart: Book Nine of the Wheel of Time

See what happens when you mess with the weather?

Winter’s Heart, the ninth book in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga, is closely paired with the tenth book, Crossroads of Twilight. This caused some confusion when they were originally released, because readers were unaware that some of the things that happened in the later book happened simultaneously with things in Winter’s Heart. That’s okay, it’s straightened out and now Heart is firmly planted in the saga where it belongs.

That said, this book has both very little happening and the single biggest thing to happen in the world since the Breaking. It mostly follows the men (yes, Mat is back; the wall didn’t kill him) but there is some indication of what the ladies are up to.


Perrin, however, is straight forward and to the point. He hunts the Aiel that kidnapped his wife. That’s it. That’s pretty much Perrin’s story for the conceivable future. He is, as one would think from his storyline, a wolf on the hunt and not to be dissuaded.

Mat’s back, but stuck in Seanchan controlled lands. He finally gets to meet the woman that was prophesied to him in the Daughter of the Nine Moons and he decides to kidnap her. Why? Because he’s Mat. What else would he do?

Rand goes rebel hunting, but takes a slight detour to Andor to bond three women, as Min foresaw with her viewings. And he manages to get one of them pregnant in one night, so he’s nothing if not efficient in his work. We get to go to Far Madding, a city where the One Power does not work, making it a place that channelers tend to avoid, but gets put in prison because, as much as he says he hates boxes, he does seem to get stuffed in them a lot.

The end of the book contains what is easily the biggest moment in the world since the Breaking. I won’t spoil it for you, but it is an excellent read, even if the main components are basically incapacitated throughout it. This single event makes Winter’s Heart worth reading. The rest of the book is Jordan’s normal solid writing, if a bit slowly paced at times, but the ending, the ending is worth the cost of admission.

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