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The Wheel of Time #4

The Shadow Rising

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The seals of Shayol Ghul are weak now, and the Dark One reaches out. The Shadow is rising to cover humankind.

In Tar Valon, Min sees portents of hideous doom. Will the White Tower itself be broken?

In the Two Rivers, the Whitecloaks ride in pursuit of a man with golden eyes, and in pursuit of the Dragon Reborn.

In Cantorin, among the Sea Folk, High Lady Suroth plans the return of the Seanchan armies to the mainland.

In the Stone of Tear, the Lord Dragon considers his next move. It will be something no one expects, not the Black Ajah, not Tairen nobles, not Aes Sedai, not Egwene or Elayne or Nynaeve.

Against the Shadow rising stands the Dragon Reborn.....

1007 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published September 15, 1992

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About the author

Robert Jordan

617 books14.9k followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Robert Jordan was the pen name of James Oliver Rigney, Jr., under which he was best known as the author of the bestselling The Wheel of Time fantasy series. He also wrote under the names Reagan O'Neal and Jackson O'Reilly.

Jordan was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He served two tours in Vietnam (from 1968 to 1970) with the United States Army as a helicopter gunner. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with bronze oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star with "V" and bronze oak leaf cluster, and two Vietnamese Gallantry Crosses with palm. After returning from Vietnam he attended The Citadel where he received an undergraduate degree in physics. After graduating he was employed by the United States Navy as a nuclear engineer. He began writing in 1977. He was a history buff and enjoyed hunting, fishing, sailing, poker, chess, pool, and pipe collecting.

He described himself as a "High Church" Episcopalian and received communion more than once a week. He lived with his wife Harriet McDougal, who works as a book editor (currently with Tor Books; she was also Jordan's editor) in a house built in 1797.

Responding to queries on the similarity of some of the concepts in his Wheel of Time books with Freemasonry concepts, Jordan admitted that he was a Freemason. However, "like his father and grandfather," he preferred not to advertise, possibly because of the negative propaganda against Freemasonry. In his own words, "no man in this country should feel in danger because of his beliefs."

On March 23, 2006, Jordan disclosed in a statement that he had been diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis, and that with treatment, his median life expectancy was four years, though he said he intended to beat the statistics. He later posted on his Dragonmount blog to encourage his fans not to worry about him and that he intended to have a long and fully creative life.

He began chemotherapy treatment at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in early April 2006. Jordan was enrolled in a study using the drug Revlimid just approved for multiple myeloma but not yet tested on primary amyloidosis.

Jordan died at approximately 2:45 p.m. EDT on September 16, 2007, and a funeral service was held for him on Wednesday, September 19, 2007. Jordan was cremated and his ashes buried in the churchyard of St. James Church in Goose Creek, outside Charleston.

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Profile Image for Petrik.
687 reviews45.9k followers
February 9, 2022
Updated on February 2022

There are so many comments and I can't keep up with replying to all of them. I'm sorry! So, here it is. It's been almost three years since I wrote this review. I've decided to continue my journey with the series, and I highly enjoyed The Fires of Heaven! I will, however, let my review down below, which reflected my experience and disappointment on reading this book the for the first time, intact until (or IF, to be precise) I reread this book again. Until then...
I give up. Here’s where I say goodbye to The Wheel of Time.

The Shadow Rising is the fourth book in The Wheel of Time series, it’s been claimed by many fans of the series that installment is one of the better books—some even said it’s THE best–written by Robert Jordan before Brandon Sanderson takes over. I personally found this book to be the worst in the series so far.

Just like the extremely repetitive nature of the series, the only way I can explain why I found myself incredibly disappointed is, again, by repeating the cons that I’ve mentioned in my review of the previous three books. What I mean by this is that the story starts awesome, became extremely boring, and then a great conclusion again. Seriously, I read through the first 25% in a day, then it took me six days—with skimming Perrin’s story—to finish the remaining content. I won’t lie that a ridiculous amount of determination was self-forced on me in order for me to able to finish this.

A huge factor of why this series doesn’t work for me is that to me, it contained some of the most infuriating and annoying set of characters I’ve ever read in my entire life; at this moment if a bird comes over and peck them to death I’ll at least laugh and enjoy it more. The more I read Jordan’s prose, the more I realize just how easy the writing serves to push me out of my immersion. For a few days, there were moments where I literally stared at the blue sky and look at the cloud moves slowly for 15 minutes; it was more exciting than reading this. If this IS the best work, I can’t even imagine reading through the infamous book 7-10.

Honestly, I have not much else to say. From what I’ve read so far, there’s nothing in this series—except the fact that Sanderson finished the last three books—that makes me want to continue reading it. I know my reading preference, and I know I CAN push myself if I want to, but I have zero doubt that it will put me into a reading slump (I’m very close to one now because of this installment) or at least makes me hate reading fantasy for a while; Sanderson, one of my favorite authors of all time, finishing the series brilliantly isn’t enough of a reason for me to risk that.

I’m truly glad that a lot of people loved The Wheel of Time. It’s also a series that has sparked a lot of incredible modern fantasy work and I won’t deny that achievement. However, I seriously believe that this is a series that would’ve worked so much better if I were at least a decade younger and haven’t read through—in my opinion—tons of other superior fantasy work. For me, this series sounds better when someone else described what they loved about it rather than the reading experience itself; that’s not a good thing at all.

Trust me when I say that I’m genuinely saddened that I can’t love this series. I own two first edition hardcover of A Memory of Light, and I WANT to read and love through the series but I simply can’t. The Shadow Rising will be where I stop reading The Wheel of Time. I don’t know whether I’ll ever return to this series, maybe when there are no more interesting books in my TBR. But for now, this is it. The wheel weaves as the wheel wills, and it’s telling the man who calls himself Petrik to go Marie Kondo on this series now. In her words, this doesn’t spark any joy for me. Goodbye The Wheel of Time, other worlds more suitable for me awaits me.

You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,118 reviews44.8k followers
May 6, 2020
The best thing about reading this series is the constant reminder of how long it is. As I read this I frequently looked up at my Wheel of Time shelf, at the nine books I have yet to read in the series, which serve as a reminder that I’ve barely scratched the surface of this totally epic fantasy world. I have so much left to see.

And this really did get epic this time round. Rand decided to go and visit the vast Aiel waste and through the process discovered much about himself. I’ve criticised his character quite harshly in past reviews, but it’s good to see that he’s finally getting his shit together. He has grown up and discovered that destiny cannot, in fact, be avoided, so he grits his teeth and gets with the pattern. He knows what he must do; he knows that he must defeat the darkness and fulfil the prophecy to bind his true people to him: the people of the dragon.

“I surrender to it, and by surrendering, I control it.”

As always, this isn’t just Rand’s story. This does have the pretty standard fantasy trope of the light verses the dark, but the world is much more complex than that. It is full of factions that attempt to do good, namely The White Cloaks, though they are completely misguided and tend to do very stupid things. They are noble hearted men, for the most part, and they remain true to their cause but they cannot identify evil. These fools deserve pity more than anything. The same is true for the Aes Sedai; they attempt a controlling approach, and whist their cations are benevolent, they do lean towards tyranny. Sometimes they need to guide mankind, give him a gentle push, rather than try to control him directly.

The Mighty Wolf and the Absent Raven


So the world is rather complex, and one character that has remained absolutely true so far, to himself, and his friends, is Perrin. This book was his first taste of real heroism. He has gone past denying what he is capable of and just accepts the label men assign to him. To the people of the Two Rivers he is a hero and to his friends he is also a hero. He is a character I look forward to seeing him stand beside Rand in the Last Battle. He is very loyal, though a little flat. I don’t think he can develop much more. Mat is much better rounded and less constant.

And unfortunately this wasn’t Mat’s finest hour. There is little of him in this book. He follows Rand, and he gets a new weapon, though the significance of it is yet to be explained. He felt rather absent for most of the plot, but I suppose that’s what comes with being the travelling companion of the protagonist for a large part of the book. I hope in the next book to see a little more of him, a shift away from Perrin is in order I think to keep things a little evener. I miss his roguish adventures.

The future looks bright


The plot has progressed a great deal. I love the friendship between the three girls; they have a mutual respect and fondness for each other. Their relationships are much stronger than the three boys. Their individual character arcs are also very storng. These girls rely on each other rather than striving out on thier own. Nynervea is becoming my favourite of the three. Egwner’s dreams are growing in potency, and Elayne, the daughter hier, feels much less like a spare wheel this time round.

This was another strong instalment. I’m looking forward to finishing the series one day, though after 1007 pages I’m going to wait another year until I pick this up again.

Here's how I've found the series so far:

The Wheel of Time
1. Eye of the World- An unoriginal five stars
2. The Great Hunt- A reluctant three stars
3. The Dragon Reborn- A well-developed four stars
4. The Shadow Rising- A strong four stars
5. The Fires of Heaven- A slow two stars


“The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose in the Mountains of Mist. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.”


You can connect with me on social media via My Linktree.
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,983 followers
February 28, 2021
I dunno – The Wheel of Time may be just too much for me!

I have been aware of this series since about the mid-90s and have heard many of my friends talk about it. I even have a friend who really isn’t into reading but read the whole thing. I figured if someone who is generally a non-reader really got into it, it should be perfect for a voracious reader like me. So, I finally started the series a few years ago.

Now, after 4 books, my feelings have pretty much stayed the same on it for each book. Lots of characters, locations, and other world building elements all with crazy names to the point it is really hard to keep everything straight. Also, many of these elements will disappear from the narrative for extended periods of time so that when they return, I don’t always remember the relevance quickly because I have just been immersed in an already difficult to follow section for several hours. When I started book four, even thought it has only been a few months since I read book three, nothing sounded familiar because my brain was like “all of that was to complicated to hold on to – I need that room for some other stuff!”

I don’t know that I am the minority in my feelings on this book, but generally I do see people fawning over this series. Some say to stick with it because it really gets going after the first few books. But I have seen others say they got up to book 7 or 8 and gave up because it didn’t seem to be going anywhere or getting any better. Do I keep going with the hope it gets better? 10 more books to go seems very daunting if it doesn’t improve. I just keep waiting for the “click” to happen and everything to fall into place so that not only am I excited for the plot because I understand it more, but also that the ending of each book has more of a cliffhanger feel so that I cannot wait for the next book. At this point, I don’t feel like book four left me hanging and that I need to rush out and start book five.
Profile Image for Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews.
264 reviews3,931 followers
April 27, 2022
Check out my new youtube channel where I show my instant reactions to reading fantasy books seconds after I finish the book.

The best book in the series thus far, and a highly enjoyable read from start to finish

It's the hallmark of a great series when the book continue to get better and better as they go along, and while that's certainly not possible through all these books as this series is extremely long, it's certainly been the case in the first four books. This book is fantastic and hits all the right notes. For me, this is where I really am starting to understand why so many people are in love with this series.

I was a bit weary that this book went down the path at splitting up all the characters and having a bunch of mini-stories within the larger book. But it was done with precision and I'm thoroughly glad for what Robert Jordan did here.

The scenes in the Aiel Waste with Rand are amazing. I love everything about the Aiel and their culture, so to have so many pages in this book devoted not only to them as they currently are, but also delving into the history of what brought them to this point was incredible. I love the history here, and the sections that do a huge time jump backwards were some of the best that I have ever read in a fantasy book. As soon as you figure out what is happening and why, it's a jaw dropping moment and is extremely special to the reader.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the Perrin sections involving the Two Rivers. Without spoiling anything, it's a wonderful side-quest that his all the right emotional tones and does a great job at developing Perrin as a main character.

Likewise, the Nynaeve and Elayne plotline was incredible and action packed. The Sea Folk is such an awesome aspect to these books, and seeing Nynaeve turn into such a strong power in this world was wonderful.

The White Tower section was shocking, and I really didn't see the twist coming but love it and can't wait to see what is in store for Siuan and Leane.

I'm extremely excited to keep on reading in this series and continue this journey with Robert Jordan.
Profile Image for Kat  Hooper.
1,584 reviews403 followers
March 31, 2009
3.5 stars
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

In The Shadow Rising, things start to slow down. In fact, it often feel like the reading of the story must take longer than it took for the events to actually occur.

Part of the problem is that Mr Jordan tells us nearly everything except when the characters make a bowel movement. Also, he regularly launches into pre-set spiels in which he re-describes something or someone who we've encountered numerous times before or re-explains something we've been told dozens of times (e.g., Loial sounds like a bumblebee, Perrin likes to think things through, wet bowstrings are bad, trollocs eat anything as long as it's meat, Aes Sedai never lie but ....). Every time a Tinker shows up, you may as well skip the next two paragraphs because they invariably describe first the "eye-jarring" wagons and then the even gaudier clothes. The format is nearly the same each time. This is especially noticeable when reading the novels one after the other, of course.

A similar problem is that although Mr Jordan's world is large, diverse, and interesting, there is not much realistic diversity within a culture or group. Every Aes Sedai of the red ajah hates men, all the greens love men, the whites are arrogant without exception, the browns love books and don't notice the ink on their noses. All Domani women are seductive, and people from Tear use fishing metaphors. It gets to the point of ridiculousness when, even though they've nearly been destroyed by enemies, Tinkers are still cringing at the swords of the people protecting them. And the Aiel, who use spears and knives and are the fiercest fighters on the planet look disapprovingly at another culture's choice of weapon (the sword) and transportation (the horse). Oh, come on — get over it.

Another device that's getting annoying is the technique of giving the reader (and other characters) information by having a character say something out loud that they didn't realize they'd said. Or stop in the middle of a sentence that they realize they shouldn't be saying. Or stupidly have an important and potentially damning conversation in front of someone who they just met.

In addition, some of the writing is overdone. We occasionally hear of measureless steps, heartbeats that take centuries, moments that last forever, infinite slowness, bottomless drops, razor edges of something or other.

Okay, that's a lot of complaining, but that's what happens when you read these books contiguously. You start to notice this stuff and it grates on the nerves. But, even so, the slowly advancing plot is still unpredictable and compelling and the characters are mostly enjoyable. The best parts of The Shadow Rising actually focus on the secondary characters of Siuan Sanche and Egeanin. I truly enjoyed their stories and look forward to hearing what happens to them.

So, even with all my gripes, The Shadow Rising is still keeping me entertained.
Read more Robert Jordan book reviews at Fantasy literature.
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,261 reviews8,752 followers
January 4, 2022
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

4.5 stars

I'd forgotten how much happens in this book . . . Holy WOW.

This is the first (but not the last) book that begins with a several seemingly non-related POVs, and as impatient as I always am to "get to the good stuff," I always appreciate these early updates/reminders of what's going on with maybe less important subplots that maybe aren't a main focus of the installment at hand.

B/c really . . . even though you're just starting #4, SO MUCH has already transpired . . . Sometimes it's hard to keep track.

SO. Min (*whispers*), in disguise, returns to the White Tower, and everywhere she looks, she sees future violence and death.

But when or why?

No clue.

Which, Siuan, of course, uses as an excuse to keep her in the Tower. Not that she needs an excuse (b/c Amyrlin). She also decides that it would be best for Min to remain disguised (b/c sneaky Aes Sedai), so poor Min, who prefers to keep her hair short and dress in men's clothing, is forced to play a silly, simpering young miss while keeping her eyes peeled for anything that might be useful.

Meanwhile, somewhere not-on-the-main-landmass, the Seanchan are regrouping, but the High Lady Suroth is distracted by the new information she has in regards to sul'dam and damane . . .

What's an enslaving empire to do when it finds a flaw in its plan for world domination? *whispers* Suppress the new information and ignore it, of course.

And last but not least, a fatal character flaw is revealed in a certain usurping Aes Sedai.

I won't be able to say for certain until much further into my reread, but I'm pretty sure I could directly connect every, single crack in her foundation to this singular flaw . . . *unsuccessfully attempts to suppresses rage* OHMYGAWD, I HATE her!!

After all of that is out of the way, one of the coolest ( and creepiest) things that happens in the whole series goes down:

“As the seals holding the Dark One’s prison weaken,” she said after a time, “it may be inevitable that a . . . miasma . . . will escape even while he is still held. Like bubbles rising from the things rotting on the bottom of a pond. But these bubbles will drift through the Pattern until they attach to a thread and burst.”

Bubbles of Evil. So frickin' cool.

Other ridiculously awesome things I can only vaguely reference:

1. Snakes and Foxes.

Everything about this rocks my socks off. The idea of wholly alien worlds touching our own, a child's game for remembrance in dealing with the inhabitants of those worlds, Slayer disappearing into an entrance to one of those worlds GAH. I can barely handle all the awesome.

2. Rhuidean.

Both that it exists and that it's full of . . . what it's full of.

But more importantly, what Rand learns about the Aiel there. AND how he learns it. <------experiencing defining moments to a culture's history by reliving them through your ancestors . . . Are you getting what I'm saying about ALL THE AWESOME?

3. Perrin and Faile.

I love them. Yes, Faile's Saldean-ness can get tiresome, but I love that they love each other so much that it doesn't even matter.

Ask me again when I'm in the middle of the two-birds-for-two-shoulders traveling companions shenanigans and maybe you'll get a different answer, but right now . . . LOVE them.

4. Thatbadthingthathappens in Tar Valon.

Okay, so this one isn't ridiculously anything except a big ol' mess, but it's kind of a big deal, and warrants mentioning.

Poor Gawyn . . .

And those are most of the highlights.

Fair warning: this installment will shatter your heart.

More than once.

But it will also slowly reassemble it.

This is a series for readers who want to FEEL something. You only think you've experienced characters vividly in other books. THESE characters . . . they are real. This world is real. Its struggle is real. And YOU . . . You become part of it.

Jessica Signature

My other reviews for this series:

The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time, #1) by Robert Jordan
The Great Hunt (Wheel of Time, #2) by Robert Jordan
The Dragon Reborn (Wheel of Time, #3) by Robert Jordan
The Fires of Heaven (Wheel of Time, #5) by Robert Jordan
Lord of Chaos (Wheel of Time, #6) by Robert Jordan
A Crown of Swords (Wheel of Time, #7) by Robert Jordan
The Path of Daggers (Wheel of Time, #8) by Robert Jordan
Winter's Heart (Wheel of Time, #9) by Robert Jordan
Crossroads of Twilight (Wheel of Time, #10) by Robert Jordan
New Spring (Wheel of Time, #0) by Robert Jordan
Profile Image for Nicole.
749 reviews1,932 followers
March 9, 2021
I read the eye of the world in 2016. I loved it.
I read the Great Hunt in Sept 2019. loved it.
I read the Dragon Reborn in Aug 2020. I loved it.

In each case: the first month afterward, I’m so excited to read the sequel. Yet, the more I waited, the more difficult it was to read it. The first few chapters weren’t the easiest to get through. But once I did, I couldn’t stop reading.

Only this time, I just waited 3 months to read the sequel. And I was so sure Shadow Rising is going to become an instant favorite. Yet, it took me 25 days to finish during which I barely read anything else because I wanted to focus on it.

It was probably a mistake on my part, I shouldn’t have forced myself to read it. it only made it worse. I tried and tried and made so little progress that I only wanted to be done. Luckily, I love the characters. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have made it through. But even that glorious ending was overshadowed by my relief that it’s over.

You might wonder, why 4 stars and not less?
It wasn’t like nothing was happening. I think the writing style simply didn’t do it for me.
The story itself was great. Many parts were very interesting and some things FINALLY made sense. I truly loved the storylines in this one, I really wish it wasn’t so hard to read. This book takes place in many different locations after Tear, the White Tower, the Three-fold land, and two other locations I won’t mention because of spoilers. I also liked Rhuidean part. I also predicted many events! I’m not sure if that’s because they were obvious or because I was paying attention.

I enjoyed Perrin’s part but I have to admit: Rand was the star of this book. We barely saw him in Dragon Reborn but here? He was finally accepting his destiny (and thankfully no more doubt and hesitation) and taking charge. Even Perrin. This was so refreshing after seeing them so indecisive in the last books. And the girls splitting up made things more interesting. I wanted to see more of Min however she truly was an underrated character in this installment (not enough spotlight).

Rand’s development in this book was amazing. He surely didn’t appear so smart in the previous books but here we can see how much he’s taking everything seriously, analyzing, and doing his absolute best to do the right thing. His development impressed me.

While I haven’t seen the well-beloved Mat yet, he certainly grew on me. Not much after Dragon Reborn but now I don’t mind reading from his perspective.
I found most of the female characters a bit similar in a way that’s more like how men see them, especially how uptight they are. I still love them and I found this easier to accept in this book.
Moraine, the Amyrlin, Egwene, Elayne, and Min are my favorites. But now I’m more curious than ever about Aviendha. I might reread some of her parts in Dragon Reborn because all the Aiel women were very similar to me. I don’t remember much about her from the former book. I believe she’s going to be a major player in the future books.

Faile is probably my least favorite of the main cast. She’s too uptight. I like her and appreciate how loyal she is and love how much she supports Perrin but she has yet to grow on me. I feel bad for it but I simply can’t feel much towards her.

Sure, Mat still complained a lot.
Naynaeve still pulled her braid.
All the boys considered the other expert with women.
Both genders found the other a mystery.
And while their repetitiveness tired me at first, I don’t think these things will stop anytime soon. So I eventually ignored those comments and kept myself from rolling my eyes.

I’m honestly very much looking to reading the next book. I won’t read it anytime soon. I have them in mass market which is honestly a pain. I don’t know why they make them so unlikable. Tor can at least use different page quality, a more off-white one rather than grayish. Or add some margin. Or make them easy to open like the French livre de poche… I still need to buy 5 WoT books. Never buying mass market again. unless it was hella of a deal

Overall, I loved the story and the characters as always. And I can see why this book is superior to some of the previous ones. But the writing style made it difficult for me to fully enjoy it and appreciate it like I should’ve had.
Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
903 reviews1,812 followers
July 16, 2018
“If you plan for the worst, all surprises are pleasant.”

fourth book in WoT and I learned few things from last three book, 1) pack your bags to embark on a journey as one set of the character or the other is always on the move, and we hit the jackpot here with everyone on a journey of their own, 2) close your eyes if you don't want them in your brain because the girls would make you eye-roll in every time you meet them, 3) be ready for the dragging middle chapters. And if you somehow still end up liking the characters, world, and magic (like me), then you would be rewarded in end.

This book mainly has three plot lines; Rand & Mat going into Aiel Waste, Nynaeve & Elyane going to Tanchico to find Black Ajah, Perrin & Faile going back to Two Rivers to save from the Whitecloaks. While all the three plot lines were great, I loved Perrin's the best. He really came out of Rand's shadow and hold his own against Whitecloaks and Trollorcs. He was simply superb in his leadership and how he dealt with the whole situation.

Rand's journey was marvelous too, though it took almost whole book to see him in action but the build up to that final scene was amazing. He also got to know about his past, parentage, and got himself a bodyguard. Yup, it was funny to see his bodyguard shadowing his every move.

and in the end, few words for my favorite lady from the book, Nynaeve. She can drive me mad with her antics, and be stubborn like a mule at times but she has a heart of gold and always delivers when it matters the most. That's what she did here. Almost a novice and still she held her own against an old power. You are simply amazing, girl!!

So if you have patience and don't feel too bad for slow burns, this series is definitely for you.
Profile Image for Markus.
476 reviews1,561 followers
February 23, 2016
“The Shadow shall rise across the world, and darken every land, even to the smallest corner, and there shall be neither Light nor safety. And he who shall be born of the Dawn, born of the Maiden, according to Prophecy, he shall stretch forth his hands to catch the Shadow, and the world shall scream in the pain of salvation. All Glory be to the Creator, and to the Light, and to he who shall be born again. May the Light save us from him.

The People of the Dragon hold the Stone of Tear, and mighty Callandor lies in the hands of the Dragon Reborn. The prophecies are being fulfilled one by one. But in the tombs of Shayol Ghul, the seals are being broken. The Black Ajah grows stronger by each passing day. And the Forsaken return to the world of men, heralding the coming of the Dark One. And a group of ordinary men and women from the village of Emond’s Field are left to combat the Shadow Rising.

The Shadow Rising is in many ways the best book in The Wheel of Time series so far. But unfortunately there are a few negative parts too. For the first three hundred pages or so, our heroes do not take a single step away from Tear, though some of them try. The storyline is put completely on hold as Rand and his companions take a break in the Stone, which is rather unfortunate in a fantasy series that’s already this long. Still, the politics of Tear and the mysteries of its great fortress are interesting enough to keep the reader entranced even through the dreary chapters.

My main issues with this book lie with certain characters. The first of those is Faile, Perrin’s exotic love interest. As a knife-wielding rogue who ran away from her family to become a Hunter of the Horn of Valere, Faile could have been… no, should have been a very interesting character. However, that is not the case, as she spends the entirety of the book acting like a spoiled child whose stubbornness makes Rand seem rather normal in comparison. The second character is Aviendha, a Maiden of the Spear whose only purpose in this book is to yell at Rand and whine about him supposedly having mistreated Elayne. And the third is Dain Bornhald, a Whitecloak captain who has decided to blame Perrin for his father’s death and devotes his life to see him hang as a Darkfriend. Perrin’s innocence is completely irrelevant to Bornhald’s hatred.

On the positive side, the book is almost flawless otherwise. It has some of the best scenes in the series so far; in Rhuidean, the holy place of the Aiel, and in the White Tower. Characters like Rand, Nynaeve, Perrin and Egwene, who frustrated me immensely in book two and three, seem to have grown up a little. We also get to see more of the Forsaken reveal themselves, learn more about the history of the Aiel and visit new places. It is difficult to say any more about the book without revealing details about the plot, so I’ll leave you to figure the rest out for yourselves. But in the end, I would say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and that it was probably my favourite Wheel of Time book so far.

Wheel of Time reviews:
#1 The Eye of the World
#2 The Great Hunt
#3 The Dragon Reborn
#4 The Shadow Rising
#5 The Fires of Heaven
#6 Lord of Chaos
#7 A Crown of Swords
#8 The Path of Daggers
#9 Winter's Heart
#10 Crossroads of Twilight
#11 Knife of Dreams
#12 The Gathering Storm
#13 Towers of Midnight
#14 A Memory of Light
Profile Image for Anna [Bran. San. Stan].
289 reviews126 followers
April 14, 2023
The best book so far! I am committed! I bought the hardcovers :).

Spoilers below!!!

My favorite: Rand. Seeing him make his own decisions and finding his way was gratifying.

Most annoying person award: Nynaeve. Girl, don’t be that rude to everyone.

Increasingly more likeable: Leaving what I call his “Fool of a Took”-ways behind him and gaining memories of being a general as well as his use of the Old Tongue.

”Aah, go on and be a bloody Aiel chief. You have the face for it.” (Mat)

Not enough page-time : Lan. Stoic competence is my crack.

Character I want to see die the most: Dain Bornhald. No. Couladin. No. Bornhald. Fanaticism is worse than lust for power.

Highlight: Rand using his powers. Now that was cool. Can’t wait to see what else he’s capable of. There doesn’t seem much else left!

Awkward romance moment: Rand and Elayne kissing. The second-hand embarrassment was real.

Women in love: Elayne, Faile and Aviendha continue to stumble and blunder awkwardly. Jordan really took that sentiment I found best expressed by Lorelai Gilmore to the next level:
”I’m afraid once the heart is involved, it all comes out in moron.”

Weird fetish revealed (?): Women always having to face some task naked; nakedness as a means of humiliation for women. Butt pinching - the threat and execution of it. What’s up with that?
(I think the worst example is Mat threatening Berelain, the ruler of Mayene, with a butt pinch because she doesn't react to him greeting her in a hallway. So cringy.)

Biggest tease: Waiting for 140 pages to find out what Rand’s plans are after he announced he’d reveal them “tomorrow”. At least it was worth it.

Biggest surprise: Not being bored once in 1004 pages.

I am completely sold on this series. It has already gained another fan. On to book 5!
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews41 followers
February 26, 2021
The Shadow Rising (Wheel of Time, #4), Robert Jordan

The Shadow Rising is a fantasy novel by American author Robert Jordan, the fourth book in his series The Wheel of Time. It was published by Tor Books and released on September 15, 1992.

Rand al'Thor has just claimed the crystal sword Callandor to prove himself the Dragon Reborn. He is approached by Lanfear, who tells him of the Forsaken's plans.

However, the fortress known as the Stone of Tear is stormed by Trollocs and Fades, sent by another Forsaken (Sammael), while a third, Semirhage, sends her followers into the Stone, to oppose Sammael's forces. In defense, Rand uses Callandor to create a lightning storm killing all the Trollocs and Fades.

Rand then decides that he must travel to the Aiel Waste, to be acknowledged as the Aiel's prophecised leader.

Before leaving, Rand, Mat Cauthon, and Moiraine Damodred visit a ter'angreal that lets them talk to a mysterious snakelike race called the Aiefinn, who seemingly know the answer to any question. Mat learns from them that he must go to Rhuidean or die and also that he is destined to marry someone called "the Daughter of the Nine Moons".

Egwene al'Vere and the Aiel Aviendha are also summoned to the Aiel Waste, Egwene to learn Dreamwalking and Aviendha to become a Wise One. Thus, Rand, Mat, Moiraine, Egwene, and Aviendha all travel to the Aiel Waste. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز بیست و پنجم ماه فوریه سال 2019 میلادی

عنوان: چرخ زمان کتاب چهارم: قیام سایه ها؛ نویسنده رابرت جردن (جوردن)؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 20م

چرخ زمان یک سری رمانهایی از نوع «خیال‌پردازی حماسی (اپیک)» هستند که توسط نویسنده «آمریکایی»، «جیمز الیور ریگنی جونیور» با تخلص «رابرت جوردن» نگاشته شده ‌اند؛ «چرخ زمان» قرار بود یک مجموعه ی شش جلدی باشد، اما «جردن» آن را به دوازده قسمت و سپس به چهارده قسمت و یک پیش درآمد، افزایش داد؛ «جوردن» در سال 1984میلادی آغاز به نگارش نخستین کتاب از این سری با نام «چشم جهان» نمودند، که آن را در ماه ژانویه سال 1990میلادی منتشر کردند؛

کتابهای این سری: «بهار نو (2004میلادی) (به عنوان پیش‌درآمد و بیست سال پیش از رخدادهای نخستین رمان)»؛ کتاب نخست: «چشم جهان (1990میلادی)»؛ کتاب دوم: «شکار بزرگ (1990میلادی)»؛ کتاب سوم: «تجلی اژدها (1991میلادی)»؛ کتاب چهارم: «قیام سایه‌ها (1992میلادی)»؛ کتاب پنجم: «شعله‌های بهشت (1993میلادی)»؛ کتاب ششم: «ارباب آشفتگی (1995میلادی)»؛ کتاب هفتم: «تاج شمشیرها (1996میلادی)»؛ کتاب هشتم: «گذرگاه خنجرها (1998میلادی)»؛ کتاب نهم: «قلب زمستان (2000میلادی)»؛ کتاب دهم: «چهارراه شامگاهی (2003میلادی)»؛ کتاب یازدهم: «چاقوی رؤیا (2005میلادی)»؛ کتاب دوازدهم: «گرد آمدن طوفان (2009میلادی)»؛ کتاب سیزدهم: «برج‌های نیمه شب (2010)»؛ کتاب چهاردهم: «یادآوری از روشنایی (2012میلادی)»؛

چرخ زمان در جهانی روی می‌دهد که به ‌سبب ماهیتِ دوّارِ زمان، همزمان گذشتهٔ دور و آیندهٔ دور زمین است؛ در گذار روایت، اسطوره‌ هایی باستانی و تخیلی روایت می‌شوند که به تاریخ معاصر زمین اشاره دارند، ازآن‌جمله دو غول به نام‌های «موسک» و «مِرک»، که در افسانه ‌ها با نیزه‌هایی آتشین که تا آنسوی جهان می‌رسید، با هم ستیز می‌کردند، و برخی رویدادهای روایت منشأ اسطوره‌ های زمین واقعی هستند، مانند شخصیت «آرتور هاوک‌وینگ» در داستان که به افسانهٔ «شاه آرتور» در جهان واقعی اشاره دارد

روایت اصلی مجموعه سه‌ هزار سال پس از «شکاندن جهان» روی می‌دهد که به «عصر افسانه‌ ها» (که روزگاری بسیار پیشرفته بود) پایان داد؛ در طول قسمت عمدهٔ روایت، فناوری و ساختارهای اجتماعی جهان به اروپای رنسانس شباهت دارد، با این تفاوت که کفهٔ عدالت اجتماعی به نفع زنان سنگین‌تر است و برخی جوامع زن‌سالار هستند؛ در طی رویدادهای روایت تحولاتی مشابه انقلاب صنعتی در برخی از ملل داستان روی می‌دهد

صحنهٔ اصلی رویدادهای مجموعه بخش غربی قاره ‌ای عظیم است که نام آن در متون اصیل ذکر نشده‌ است، ولی رابرت جردن در مصاحبه‌ هایش از آن با عنوان «وست‌لندز» یاد کرده ‌است؛ در «وست‌لندز»، که از شرق با رشته ‌کوهی محاط است، چندین پادشاهی و دولت-شهر هست؛ در شرق این رشته ‌کوه بیابانی موسوم به برهوت آئیل قرار دارد که ساکنین آن را قبیله ‌ها و جوامع جنگجوی آئیل تشکیل می‌دهند، که در سکونت‌گاه‌هایی کوچک زندگی می‌کنند؛ در شرق برهوت آئیل کشور بزرگ و منزوی «شارا» قرار دارد، که با رشته ‌کوهی عظیم و منطقه ‌ای غیرقابل ‌عبور از برهوت آئیل جدا می‌شود؛ سراسر محدودهٔ شمالی این سه منطقه (وست‌لندز، برهوت آئیل، و شارا) را «پژمردگی کبیر» فرا گرفته ‌است که بیابانی آلوده و شیطانی ا��ت؛ در غرب «وست‌لندز» و آنسوی اقیانوسِ «مونرال» قارهٔ «شان‌چن» قرار دارد که عرض غرب به شرقش از قارهٔ دیگر کمتر است ولی از قطب شمال تا قطب جنوب کشیده شده ‌است؛ قارهٔ «شان‌چن» با آبراهه ‌ای به دو قسمت شمالی و جنوبی تقسیم شده ‌است؛ این آبراهه اقیانوس «مونرال» را به اقیانوس «آریت» متصل می‌کند؛ در شمالی‌ترین بخش قسمت شمالی «شان‌چن»، «پژمردگی صغیر» واقع شده ‌است که با پژمردگی کبیر طول جغرافیایی یکسانی دارد؛ در آغاز داستان «چرخ زمان»، ساکنان «وست‌لندز» از وجود «شان‌چن» بی‌خبرند؛ در دنیای «چرخ زمان» «رابرت جردن» در نیم‌کرهٔ جنوبی قاره‌ ای کوچک موسوم به «سرزمین دیوانگان» قرار دارد، ولی در مجموعهٔ اصلی از آن ذکری نرفته ‌است

روایت مجموعه در پایان «عصر سوم» روی می‌دهد؛ «عصر سوم» با «شکاندن جهان» آغاز می‌شود که پایان‌بخش «عصر افسانه‌ ها» بود؛ «عصر افسانه‌ها» در پی «عصر نخست» می‌آید؛ «عصر نخست» به‌ صورت ضمنی بر جهان معاصر دلالت دارد، و نام برخی از شخصیت‌های اسطوره ‌ای آن در خلال مجموعه آمده ‌است که السبت، ملکهٔ همگان (اشاره به الیزابت دوم) و ماترز درمانگر (اشاره به مادر ترزا) از آن دسته ‌اند؛

در عصر سوم در «وست‌لندز» رویداد تاریخی بزرگ روی داد: نخست «جنگ‌های ترالک»، که در آن هزار سال پس از شکاندن جهان موجوداتی از پژمردگی جهان انسانی را تقریبا نابود می‌کنند، و دوم ظهور «آرتور هاوک‌وینگ» که هزار سال پس از جنگ‌های «ترالک» «وست‌لندز» را فتح و متحد کرد، ولی وارثی نداشت و «جنگ‌های صدساله» پس از مرگ او بر سر تقسیم قلمروش درگرفت؛ در پی هر یک از این دو رویداد، تقسیم‌های سیاسی و ساختار ملل «وست‌لندز» به‌ کلی تغییر کرد؛ زبان کهن (که در عصر افسانه‌ ها رایج بود) در زمان روایت مجموعه زبانی مرده است، و تنها برخی محققان و اشراف‌زادگان به آن تکلم می‌کنند

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 07/12/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Dana Ilie.
404 reviews352 followers
September 24, 2018
The Shadow Rising did everything right when it comes to continuing a series by continuing to flush out the characters and their relationships in addition to moving the plot forward. There was a well done balance between character and plot development which moved the overall story arc along in a way that remained engaging and exciting for the reader.

Even with all this action the question whether The Shadow Rising is too long remains. I don’t really think so, or not by much anyway. Jordan manages to weave the four main story lines into a good novel as far as I am concerned. Although not as fast paced as the earlier book he makes good progress in each of them. Jordan has shown himself quite capable of handling the four main story lines in this book. The beginning of the novel is a bit slow, Rand hesitates too long. But then, that was Jordan’s point. This book is a change in direction for Jordan. If you do not like where he is taking it, there really is no point in continuing with the series, if anything, the story becomes even more sprawling than it already is. Still, I think this book shows Jordan is capable of more than he has shown us in the previous entries in the series. Maybe the series, and Jordan’s world-building in particular, is becoming too ambitious. If it is, it doesn’t show in The Shadow Risings. All things considered, it is a very satisfying read for people who enjoy epic (and yes, that implies it is long) fantasy.
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,640 reviews1,510 followers
May 2, 2016
I'm buddy reading this entire series a book a month with the great fantasy loving peeps at Buddies Books and Baubles

The great thing about that is that I know I have so many great people to discuss all the happenings in this book with. The bad part is that after taking a month to read a single book a few chapters at a time it feels like some of it happened so long ago and perhaps an entire season on one of your favorite shows has gone by and how do you sum that up without a review that is ten pages long? The answer is you don't so I'm just going to hit some highlights.

In my opinion this is Perrin's break out book. Much of the focus was on him and his struggle with the life of a blacksmith he thought he would have and the new life of a leader he is going to have. He goes back to help the people of the Two Rivers and you can really see how much he has changed from the country bumpkin he used to be. Overall Perrin's was my favorite arc in the book. Not just because he goes back to Two Rivers but also because I really enjoyed his love interest Faile. I know a lot of people aren't a fan of their relationship....but I'm not one of them. I totally love the banter and how each has a warriors heart and they fight with each other but always for each other.

So while Perrin is off in the Two Rivers Rand and Mat have their own journey. While a lot of this is still really interesting due to the time spent with the Aeil I struggle so much with Mat. I'm waiting for him to break out of his selfish thoughts and become truly great but currently he is busy going through mysterious doors and talking with alien people. When he isn't doing that he seems to be busy chasing women and playing dice. I'm hoping the next book he will grow a little more.

Rand however is very distrustful of almost everyone around him and keeps everything to himself. There is some headway on the Three women who will love him and I have a really good idea of where that is going but more than that we see how strong he is when he channels. Too bad he has very sporadic and sparse control of it.

Lan and Nynaeve finally got to have another semi-sweet conversation and I really did miss that in the last book. I wish we get a little more time with them together but Nynaeve is busy at the moment hunting Black Ajah and so little time for romance there.

Nynaeve and Elyane's was the other arc that was interesting because they are on a very dangerous journey to find the women who left the White Tower and have given themselves to the Dark One. Two against Thirteen doesn't seem fair odds but with a little company they might do okay.

This was my favorite book of the series so far. There is a lot more action and story progression. Plenty of danger and bad guys to go around between the Trolocks, Black Ajah, Forsaken and White Cloaks. It also seems that there are more dangers afoot than just those and I can see why the prophecies say The Dragon Reborn will break the world.

Very much looking forward to book 5
Profile Image for Claudia.
960 reviews553 followers
February 4, 2022
"The Shadow shall rise across the world, and darken every land, even to the smallest corner, and there shall be neither Light nor safety. And he who shall be born of the Dawn, born of the Maiden, according to Prophecy, he shall stretch forth his hands to catch the Shadow, and the world shall scream in the pain of salvation. All Glory be to the Creator, and to the Light, and to he who shall be born again. May the Light save us from him."

Loved each and every one of its 1000 odd pages. It's one of the crucial volumes in the series, a lot happens here, and our main characters are starting to get knowledge about the One Power, some talents even unknown to the Aes Sedai of today. Aiel history and the last days before the Breaking, as always, filled me with awe, and the last battle in Emond's Field gave me goosebumps for more than a few minutes.

It's hard to match its complexity and imagination in terms of worldbuiding. All the stars this time too.

Notes to myself, major spoilers:

(3rd read, January 16 - February 4, 2022)


“And when the blood was sprinkled on ground where nothing could grow, the Children of the Dragon did spring up, the People of the Dragon, armed to dance with death. And he did call them forth from the wasted lands, and they did shake the world with battle.”

A lot of things are revealed in this 4th instalment: Rand goes to Rhuidean and learns the history of the Aiel and his own, Mat, despite his shallow behavior, becomes a very complex character but little of that is shown here, Perrin and Loial take a different path from their friend and return to the Two Rivers to settle some scores.

From being an utterly nuisance and the most annoying character in the beginning, Faile finally breaks her shield and shows her true emotions.

Nynaeve and Elayne go to Tanchico in search of the Black Ajah and get a surprising new friend and an even more surprising enemy.

Egwene’s path take her to the Aiel Wise Women to learn more about Tel’aran’rhiod and Moiraine is still keeping an eye on Rand.

I can’t say more without spoilers, but a lot of other crucial events are taking place with consequences yet to follow.

I’m surprises how many details I seem to have missed on my first reading. Although the main events are still fresh in my mind and I know what happens next, there are lots of bits and pieces which makes more sense now and have a greater impact in the books to come.

And of course, I can’t keep the promise to me that I will stop after this volume, because I just can’t stop and leave those characters to go on without me. I must be there…
149 reviews6 followers
August 17, 2009
Until this book, I really enjoyed this series. But at #4, it starts to take a harried, complicated turn and I started losing interest in the characters because so few of them act realistically at all as far as emotions go. And the attitudes toward female characters finally wore thin. At least in George RR Martin's books, even though the women were treated like crap, raped, beaten, etc, they still maintain dignity, bravery, and are overall very well-developed characters. Almost all of the females in Robert Jordan's books are cruel, stubborn, naggy, spiteful, foolish, or simpering and frou frou. It got very tiring quickly with all the "Rand is so awesome!" crap, and his character went from a cool, down-home farm boy to some cold-hearted, cynic in just a few chapters. I understand per the plot that he would change, but I didn't expect it so quickly. I think the simple farmboy should still be around in there somewhere.
Profile Image for Choko.
1,221 reviews2,594 followers
July 20, 2016
*** 5 ***

A push to catch up with the BB&B read of the full series by August!

WOW!!! What an amazing book!!! Everything that happens here could fill ten regular books and make all of them burst with content! Once again, only superlatives come to me when writing about this series and objective review is impossible... Thus, I am only going to note that Rand is making strides toward establishing himself as The Dragon Reborn and havoc follows wherever any of our three Tav'eren step foot. The five kids from The Two Rivers are all learning and slowly but surely are establishing their influence on the web which The Wheel of Time weaves... There were battles and evil everything trying to corrupt the Light, and our heroes are doing the best they can, still stumbling and fumbling but determined as ever.

I have no words to express how much I wish everyone would give this enormous, but very readable work of Epic Fantasy a chance - it is more than worth it!!!

Happy reading to all and may you always expand your mind with books of the fantastic!
121 reviews58 followers
November 13, 2017
“The Shadow shall rise across the world, and darken every land, even to the smallest corner, and there shall be neither Light nor safety. And he who shall be born of the Dawn, born of the Maiden, according to Prophecy, he shall stretch forth his hands to catch the Shadow, and the world shall scream in the pain of salvation."

4.5 Stars: ✰✰✰✰½

In terms of overall content, this was the best book so far. Book Four of the Wheel of Time continued in the same vein as The Great Hunt, making huge developments in the worldbuilding, the characters, and the story as a whole.

The Dragon Reborn almost felt like a break compared to this book - it had relatively slow pacing, few developments in the story, even fewer developments in terms of worldbuilding, but a strong focus on characterization that carried into the heart of this book. There's something so cool about the way that Jordan develops the qualities and characteristics of each character - down to their weapon and clothing of choice. It gives each character in this book an almost iconic vibe to them, that I really wasn't expecting. I don't want to give any spoilers, because it's best experienced as you make your way through the books, but it's honestly a lot of fun to see it all unfold. We're not just discovering the story and the world, we're watching some seriously cool characters come into the fullness of their destiny. Perrin, of course, is still my favorite. His POV in this book had some of the best scenes and sequences of the entire series.

Regarding POVs - similar to The Great Hunt, there was another significant increase in the number of POVs in this book. Some of them were actually characters that we're meeting for the first time, others were characters we saw only in passing from prior books. This really did a great job of broadening the scope once again, showing us almost every corner of this vast world, and tying together many different elements of the story that have popped here and there throughout all of the previous books.

The way that Jordan develops the story in these books is honestly really unique and interesting to me. It's a weird analogy, but he writes almost like the way you sharpen a knife. In book one, we got a pretty full understanding of the plot, and the plot hasn't changed at all. It's just been sharpened. Each book introduces new elements, new ideas, and new developments, bringing us further along and honing the plot to a much finer edge. It might be too slow for some, but it's been great for me, as I have plenty of fast paced books to keep me occupied. This book had a few things in it that really changed the way you think about both individual characters and entire people groups as a whole. It was seriously good stuff.

The only reason I took off half a star is because this book definitely felt a little too long. I feel like certain aspects of it could have been condensed, resulting in a much better flow of the story. Just to put it into perspective, book three was roughly 24 hours long... This book was over 40 hours long. The length itself isn't a problem, as I've listened to books even longer than this one and loved them, it was more the fact that I didn't feel like it needed to be as long as it was that was the problem.

Overall, this is a series I don't think any fantasy fan should miss. I'm heading into the more controversial territory now, as many people seem to have mixed opinions about the remaining books in the series, but we'll see =]. I've genuinely loved reading these books.

For this review and more, check out my blog: Thoughts of a Thousand Lives. I have only just started it, and there are a few pages still being worked on, but I'd appreciate any thoughts or feedback!

Happy reading =].
Profile Image for Choko.
1,221 reviews2,594 followers
March 17, 2022
*** 5 ***

"...“Do not try to stop us,” Sulwin cautioned. Adan made his fist loosen again. “You are not Aiel,” he said. “You betray everything. Whatever you are, you are no longer Aiel!” “We keep the Way of the Leaf as well as you, Adan.” “Go!” Adan shouted. “Go! You are not Aiel! You are lost! Lost! I do not want to look at you! Go!”..."

This is my second time reading this book, and it is interesting the things you notice every time are slightly different than the other... To me, apart from the epic battle that is brewing between The Light and The Darkness, and above the interpersonal relationships between the characters we have grown to love or hate by this fourth volume of the Saga, this time the most impact on me had the way people refuse to change through the ages, despite plenty of disasters following the set of actions they have clung to for seemingly ever. We, humans, even tend to change our legends and bases of our religions and creeds, to such a degree, that they have nothing to do with their beginnings, but we twist them to fit what we think we want them to be and say about who we are... The original Aiel, the predecessors of the current guards and people Rand is hanging out with because of their skill as warriors, those Aiel used to abhor violence, any weapons that have no other use but war, and murder was a reason to be shunned by the clans, those remnants of the original Aiel are ridiculed now, and are not even called Aiel... How does a base for a whole People change so much, that they are known for their warrior prowess now, and look with condemnation to any whom they perceive as weak?

"...“Keep the Covenant, Jonai. If the Da’shain lose everything else, see they keep the Way of the Leaf. Promise me.” “Of course, Aes Sedai,” he said, shocked. The Covenant was the Aiel, and the Aiel were the Covenant; to abandon the Way would be to abandon what they were. Coumin was an aberration. He had been strange since he was a boy, it was said, hardly Aiel at all, though no one knew why.”..."

I have been fascinated lately about "historical content" and "historical perspective"... We tend to change our historical view depending on the time the work has been written and the time we, the readers, actually read it. This seems very much a theme in this series, since we have hundreds of generations' stories converging into our main timeline. What was the real meaning of a prophecy, what was the context when it was written, what were the attitudes of the people who wrote and rewrote it for posterity, and what does it all mean in the hear and now... Another of my favorite authors, Janny Wurts, deals with this same theme in a very different way, but just as impactfully... What lays in the heart of an Order, like the Aes Sedai here, is not necessarily what the Order stands for anymore... Just because you have a badge that should stand for the good guys, doesn't make your actions always good... Why do we always choose the easier, most radical way of dealing with things, thus causing collateral damage, instead of doing the hard work and sticking with the hard won ideals? Maybe the answer is that we are all human, but I resent that on principal, because once it touches you personally, then you want the hard work to be done and for you or yours not to be the ones lost in the crossfire... As the old saying goes, death, or anything as harsh and permanent is the easy way out, the hard way is figuring out how to live peacefully without losing yourself... I know, I am getting off on a tangent, so I will stop here.

"...“Fools,” Mat muttered, half to himself. “Hiding inside the wagons, as if that would make any difference to a Trolloc. They could all have roasted alive, easy as not.” “They are still alive,” Rand said, and Mat realized he had seen them, too. “That is always important, Mat, who stays alive. It’s like dice. You can’t win if you can’t play, and you can’t play if you are dead."..."

Great Book! Yes, it has its issues, but in my opinion, they are not enough to mar the book's impact! Recommend it to EVERYONE!
July 30, 2016
I'll write a full review when I have time (not to mention finally getting around to writing proper reviews for the last two books), but for now, here were some random thoughts I had after finishing "The Shadow Rising":

- Fourth book in the series, and this was my favorite one yet!

- Loved that we learned so much more about the Aiel culture in this one. More Aiel = more awesome!

- Jordan really raised the emotional impact this time around. Just that tender moment alone when Rand was so exhausted from being part of everyone machination's and took a moment just to "sit and remember a shepherd named Rand al'Thor"...excuse me, *sniff* I have something in my eye, *choke* I believe they're called...tears!!! :'(

- One of Jordan's greatest tricks, taking a character I absolutely despised in "The Great Hunt" and making me actually feel sympathy and affection for that person this time around.

- Nynaeve still remains my favorite WOT character so far! (Although, did every single chapter with her have to make a reference to her tugging her hair?!?)

- As much as Rand distrusts Moraine on the surface, he sure is learning from her...Rand has become a master manipulator in his own right!

- Liandran, Lanfear, and now Moghedien...Jordan sure knew how to write a magnificent villainess!

- I don't care if her eye color is all wrong for the part, Is they make a Wheel of Time movie, Eva Green should totally play Moiraine. Don't fret, Eva, you'll always be Moiraine to me!

Listing the Wheel of Time books in order of preference so far:
The Shadow Rising
The Great Hunt
The Eye of the World
The Dragon Reborn
Profile Image for Miche.
229 reviews16 followers
December 18, 2021
This book was a huge improvement when compared to the previous one. The plot advanced with a good pace and the world building was impressive. However, this is where I will stop reading the books written by Jordan. While I admire the world he created, his writing isn't to my taste. His female point of views are extremely annoying, as the only way he knew how to depict strong women was to make them bullies.

For my Goodreads friends that will continue the journey, I wish you lots of fun. It is time for me to take other journeys.
Profile Image for Tina Haigler.
297 reviews104 followers
December 13, 2020
"The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend."

Really, what can I say that hasn't already been said? This is the best high fantasy series I've ever read, hands down. So much so that I am reading it all the way through for a second time. I am not a re-reader of anything, but it's 2020 so anything goes. I know it's massive, but it's worth all the time spent, every second. Plus, honestly, with books this big and a series this long, you've forgotten the beginning by the time you've gotten to the end, and it's impossible to remember all the details, so it's almost like reading something brand new.

This series is easily my favorite fantasy series. I truly can't stress that enough. I won't tell you anything about the plot, you can read a synopsis for that, and sometimes a leap of faith is required. Well I feel like I've rambled on enough, so I'll just say this: Read it! Make this your to-read series of 2021. I doubt you'll be disappointed.

P.S. Since this is a series, and the plot is too intricate to include without spoilers, this will be my review for every book in the series. If you've read this one, then you've read the others. I stand by what I said. In my opinion this is the best fantasy series of all time, and that's all that needs to be said. Thank you Robert Jordan, for sharing your masterpiece with the world. RIP.

"The night's cold was already coming on."
Profile Image for Dylan.
234 reviews
August 27, 2022
“A wise ruler takes advice, but should never be seen to take it. Let them think you know more than you do. It will not harm them, and it will help you.”


One of the rare cases of expectations meeting reality. The Shadow Rising is one of the most hyped novels, I’ve ever read. I was somewhat cautious to read it because of those expectations, but I’m glad I undertook it. One of the fundamental strengths of the novel is how to build upon a culture, throughout the series, we have slowly been unveiling the truth of the Aiel and here it’s a full examination of their ins and out. Furthermore, it’s the culmination of many character arcs in particular Perrin, almost every plotline has something substantial going on. For a novel that’s almost 1000 pages, there is very little fat in pages beyond some repetitive aspects for the readers who read this novel as it was coming out.

World Building

The culture and worldbuilding in this entry blow the other novels away by a significant margin. Reading this novel, you have a feeling that Jordan very much wanted to write this novel but had to build the foundation first. I’ve briefly mentioned the Aiel but one of the most interesting aspects for me; was seeing their daily lives. The rituals, customs and whatever they do for jest, all these elements are engaging to me. Aviendha thoroughly explaining their culture to Rand and experiencing it, is truly amazing. One of the profounds pieces of worldbuilding and best chapters in WoT was Another interesting way Jordan builds upon culture is by taking elements from Eastern Philosophy and Religions from the East and incorporating that into the novel. A particular new character discusses some principles of Hinduism and Buddhism which I found intriguing to see a fantasy novel tackle.


One of the most impressive things about the novel is the plotting. It is extremely meticulously and purposeful. There are many POVs with their own plotlines and all complemented each other. Rand's plot line is the most unique, but Perrin’s plot is heart pumping and it’s my favourite. As a whole, this novel breaks the formula of Books 1-3 and caves into something of its own. The climaxes were glorious to witness for each plotline Min, Rand, Perrin and Elyane. Some I felt were very clever and adored the plot was able to make the world feel so open by the end. Anything can happen from now onwards and I’m excited.


The best aspect of TSR is that every character has time to shine. I’m not exaggerating but being quite literal. Rand is the greatest example, from that young boy in book 1 to where he ends up, his character growth is quite extraordinary. The same can be applied to Perrin, becoming a true leader, both men took responsibility and sincerely lead people. Mat is always a wildcard ever since the last book and the same applies here, but he also understands the importance of sacrifice in this novel even if it's unintentional. Elayne for the first time I enjoy her character a lot, it's not like she was bad in the other novels, but she wasn’t particularly noteworthy either. In the case of TSR, I thought she was an intriguing character who went through a lot. She understands the game of politics, she often is more cool-headed, quite knowledgeable in broad subjects and she often has to be the mediator between the troublemakers that is Nyaneve and Egwene. There’s a particular section with Elayne I thought to be quite cute. Now Nyaneve, yeah she always has one time to shine and here is no exception, I think Jordan wrote her well here and her love for Lan is probably the most believable here than in the prior 3 novels. Egwene stands out less compared to the other characters, in her plotline, she was able to meet some intriguing people and she learnt about herself on this journey. The exploration of Moraine I adored, and this is the novel I think you truly understand her thought process. Lastly, Min is just a fantastic POV and seeing how she uses her wits during her plotline was great.

Spoilers: this section will be a tad messy, so I will apologise in advance.


In Conclusion, this novel was bloody fantastic. It did everything it set out to achieve and more at the same time. Some interesting interweaving of philosophy, some nice politicking, some genuinely mind-blowing worldbuilding reveals, great character arcs and all of them had urgency. It expands the world and makes me excited about what is in store for the future.

Profile Image for Omerly Mendoza.
126 reviews18 followers
February 24, 2022
5 increíbles ★★★★★

El Ascenso de la Sombra se convierte en mi entrega favorita de La Rueda del Tiempo (de los libros leídos hasta el momento).

¡Disfruté muchísimo esta lectura!

En esta oportunidad, la historia sigue cuatro hilos. Tenemos el que se desarrolla en el yermo, la tierra de los Aiel, y definitivamente mi favorito. Me encantó por completo todo lo que tiene que ver con los Aiel y lo que se descubre sobre ellos me voló la cabeza. Regresamos a Dos Ríos, y me ha gustado porque desde la primera entrega había quedado olvidado. Un pequeño hilo se desarrolla en la Torre Blanca, estoy muy intrigada por todo lo que sucederá debido a lo acaecido. Me fascinó. El otro hilo nos lleva hasta Tanchico, una ciudad nueva para descubrir; al principio me parecía el hilo más flojo, pero después se volvió tan interesante como los demás.

Sin duda alguna, esta ha sido la entrega en la que más me han gustado los personajes. Primero aclarar que Loial sigue siendo mi favorito. Pero debo admitir que en este libro me gustó mucho más Perrin y Rand (dos de los protagonistas que no me terminaban de convencer). Mat y Thom me siguen fascinando.

El romance no es punto fuerte. Menos mal que estoy aquí por la trama, porque ha pasado de todo. Es el libro más largo hasta el momento, y por mucho el que más giros y descubrimientos tiene. Robert Jordan me sorprendió de principio a fin, los caminos de todos los personajes se cruzan de manera tan increíble. Y los personajes secundarios también me fascinan. A mí, particularmente, me encanta lo detallista de Jordan, sé que a varios no les gusta exactamente eso, pero a mi sí y lo disfruto mucho.

No sé qué más agregar a esta reseña, es la cuarta entrega y con lo recorrido puedo decir que esta saga será de mis favoritas. Y todavía me faltan diez libros, ¡qué emoción!
Profile Image for Valliya Rennell.
373 reviews234 followers
May 29, 2023
4.25 stars
**Although this is a spoiler-free review (spoilers are hidden), there may be spoilers for previous books (scroll down)**

This time I am keeping the spoiler-free section fairly small because there is so much I want to talk about. After the ending of The Dragon Reborn, the squads split up on many missions: Elayne, Nynaeve, Thom, and Juilin go to Tanchico in pursuit of the Black Ajah; Rand, Egwene, Moiraine, Lan, and Mat journey with the Aiel to the Three Fold Land for various reasons; Perrin, Faile, Gaul, Loial, Chaid and Bain go back to the Two Rivers in hopes of resolving the Children of the Light/Trolloc conflict; (and farther north, and somewhat unrelated) we get the perspective of Min who arrives at the White Tower and has a vision of a great catastrophe that is about to befall the Aes Sedai.

All the perspectives were engaging and furthered most of the characters. There were parts that I definitely enjoyed more than others, but overall the plot was well progressed, characters built up better, and more cultures explored. The story manages to pull out of the slightly formulaic flow it was starting to build up by book 3, and really developed into its own thing.

Overall, I can totally see why this is a favorite of so many people. It is filled with many small amazing, and great breath-taking moments. It's short comings for me were pacing and the confusion that sometimes followed the fact that so much was going on and I needed to go back and wrap my head around things. But thats because I'm stoopid sometimes :) Highly recommend.

Ok, now onto spoilers :)))

Books in series :
#0 New Spring: ★★.75
#1 The Eye of the World: ★★★.5
#2 The Great Hunt: ★★★.75
#3 The Dragon Reborn: ★★★
#4 The Shadow Rising: ★★★★.25
#5 The Fires of Heaven: ★★★★
#6 Lord of Chaos: ★★★★.25
#7 A Crown of Swords: ★★★.75
#8 The Path of Daggers: ★★.25
#9 Winter's Heart: ★.25
#10 Crossroads of Twilight: ★.5
Profile Image for Constantine.
859 reviews166 followers
June 30, 2020
Rating: Very Good

Genre: Fantasy

This might be an unpopular opinion, but The Shadow Rising is my least favorite book among the first four books in the series. This book is a favorite of the fans. It is still a great book but it did not surpass what the first three were. I feel somehow it gets more complicated without having a main focus. In the previous books, there was the main mission and there were side missions. The side missions or quests were as important and significant as the main one. In The Shadow Rising, I did not feel the same way. I felt there was a lack of focus on what should have been done by the characters. Some quests were better than others.

The Tower's events I find them to be extremely interesting. This was a big change in the direction of the story, we get to see how Min reacts with all that and how foolish Gawyen is! Perrin and Faile going back to Two Rivers to free it from the Whitecloaks that was another mission that I liked reading. It made Perrin become The Goldeneyes.

Rand along with Mat, Egwene, Moiraine, and Lan go to the Waste through a Portal Stone specifically to a city called Rhuidean. I was not very thrilled reading about the Aiel culture. Sometimes it felt tedious and distracting. There are parts that I enjoyed reading in Rhuidean but not everything. The ending of this book was not as epic as the last three books. Each ending of those books had something big happening, something significant. In this one there is an important event but the scale of it is not like the others. The end definitely makes a room for a lot of coming events or scenarios in the next book.

Overall The Shadow Rising was a pleasant experience. I went into it with higher expectations. Those were not fully met but still, the ride was very good.
Profile Image for Krell75.
299 reviews28 followers
April 27, 2023
E siamo giunti al quarto...
Anche questo romanzo soffre della collaudata sindrome di Jordan: lunghe divagazioni su particolari non rilevanti, ripetizioni di concetti espressi fino alla nausea, infiniti elenchi di nomi e cognomi di ogni persona incontrata ma senza alcun peso nella trama, dialoghi infiniti su tresche amorose a senso unico ogni tre pagine nate di sana pianta dal nulla, personaggi con la personalità appena abbozzata o inamovibile, e poi, il collaudato marchio di fabbrica di Jordan, il "copia che tanto non se ne accorge nessuno".


Le prime 300 pagine sono un susseguirsi di dialoghi da salotto, stile telenovela, per me noiosi e assolutamente privi di interesse su questioni amorose oppure sulla scelta degli abiti da indossare per fare colpo sugli ignari bersagli della loro passione. Inizio a preparare un litro di caffè.

Il caffè non fa effetto. Mi risveglio con un certo interesse per la presentazione del popolo del mare, purtroppo decisamente breve.
Poi arrivano gli Aiel e la parte nel deserto del Rhuidean che tutto sommato è anche interessante e ben curata, peccato che Jordan ha iniziato nuovamente a prendere idee da altri, stavolta dal "Dune" di Herbert e adatta gli Aiel ai Fremen senza alcuna vergogna. Riprende addirittura frasi e concetti: "L' umanità è fatta per le incertezze, gli sforzi, le scelte e i cambiamenti", quanto Dune c'è in questa frase? Tutto.
Le scopiazzature a Dune non finiscono, continuano con maggiore insistenza, non solo dai libri ma anche, dal finale del film di Lynch... la pioggia nel deserto! Tocco di classe, magari quel film lo ricordano in pochi.

Il viaggio di Perrin nei Fiumi Gemelli è una rivisitazione del ritorno degli Hobbit nella Contea al termine del "Ritorno del re". Assistiamo alla, permettetemi, ridicola resistenza organizzata da Perrin contro migliaia di mostri Trolloc affamati e centinaia di assassini Myddral che cadono stupidamente come mosche, battuti da semplici contadini e sbarbati giovinetti armati di archi storti e zappe arrugginite...non ho altro da aggiungere ma almeno ho davvero riso di gusto.

Jordan crede di scrivere fantasy epico ma fallisce su tutti i fronti, specie sui suoi personaggi.
La storia scorre come acqua sotto i ponti non lasciandomi alcuna emozione o meraviglia, le rarissime morti, sempre di personaggi secondari, risultano semplici fatti che vengono dimenticati voltando pagina.

Rand è già fuori scala, sembra imbattibile e la non simpatica Nynaeve con la sua frusta/treccia selvaggia potrebbe camminare sull'acqua e affrontare le fiamme dell'inferno facendo scappare tutti i demoni. Entrambi risolvono ogni conflitto e difficoltà al primo tentativo e senza problemi.
Perrin è un leader non per le sue scelte o azioni ma solo perché sono gli altri a dargli il titolo senza alcun motivo. Dobbiamo accettarlo e basta.
Mat... c'è anche lui? Povero Mat, oltre a giocare a dadi con una fortuna sfacciata ha una piccola parte del tutto incomprensibile nel Rhuidean che gli dona i ricordi di qualcun altro...ma dai? ancora una volta mi viene alla mente Dune e i poteri delle Reverende Madri del Bene Gesserit.
La sindrome di Jordan colpisce ancora.
Per il resto del romanzo Mat rimane passivo e si limita a seguire Rand tenendosi ancorato alla sua ombra.

I nemici sono la cosa più deludente della saga finora, continuano ad essere presentati sulla carta come terribili e imbattibili ma al primo scontro, o vengono battuti subito o vengono messi in fuga a gambe levate, ma che figura!

La medaglia d'oro per i peggiori in questi primi quattro romanzi è riservata senza alcun dubbio all'ordine dei Manti Bianchi, quante risate!
In quattro romanzi sono risultati inutili, bigotti fino al midollo, stupidi e ridicoli, davvero esilaranti. Forse Jordan voleva renderli la parte comica dei suoi romanzi...ci è riuscito appieno.

Cosa mi rimane di questo romanzo? A parte tre o quattro eventi utili alla trama generale, abbiamo solo le solite infinite descrizioni di edifici, camini e tegole rosse, e di ogni abito indossato da ogni abitante del mondo. Adoro il world building di Jordan sempre così vario e profondo...

E si, anche questo ho faticato a finirlo. Fortuna che l'ho già dimenticato.
Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,864 reviews2,242 followers
June 23, 2021
4.5 stars!

41 hours. 41 HOURS!!!! That’s how long the audiobook is and I BARELY was able to finish within my 21 day library hold. But I did it!!

So for those of you who don’t know, I am doing a reread of the WOT series about 17-18 years after I first began reading them. I remember this book, book 4, being one of my favorites of the 5 that I read. I feel like when you’ve reached this point in the series, you’re either invested in it or you aren’t.

There’s a lot that happened in this book and for spoiler reasons I won’t state them. But also, a lot should happen because this book is 1000 pages long. Perrin really comes into his own in this book. I mean, you can almost pinpoint the exact moment he leaves all of his boyhood behind and becomes a man. A lot happening for Mat too, and while it doesn’t seem as obvious in this book, it really comes into play in the next one if I can remember correctly.

One thing came across my mind during this reread was a same though I had reading these books as a teenager: why on earth are all these women madly in love with Rand? I don’t get it! He literally has like five different women pining after him. He must be dang handsome or something because personality wise, there’s not a lot to offer (Rand stands don’t murder me). Don’t get me wrong, love him as a character. But if I were to choose a crush in this book it would be Perrin or Mat.

Thanks for reading my nonsensical ranty review of this reread. Please consider picking up The Eye of the World this series is totally worth it. Amazing characters and world building, it’s all us fantasy lovers can ask for.
Profile Image for Jake Bishop.
287 reviews350 followers
September 7, 2021

An amazing display of worldbuilding, and character development. It is really the book where The Wheel of Time starts to differentiate itself, and becomes The Wheel of Time.

That being said, it doesn't pull on my heart strings the way some later WoT books do.
Profile Image for Mayim de Vries.
577 reviews881 followers
July 8, 2021
“Humankind is made for uncertainty, struggle, choice and change.”

What a book. What a book, and what a series! A total masterpiece of outlining, multi-threading, plotting, suspense, and adventure. Fiery, baroque, and magnificent pages upon pages of condensed, incredibly intricate writing, saturated with an orgy of ideas, meticulousness of characterisation, and precision of the plot.

And these ideas, and these delicious plot twists, these intrigues and schemes. If you think you know what to expect, reading this book will be like going on a tricycle through a minefield. Worlds, sub-worlds and alt-worlds, humans and humanoids, multiple locations connected in the most impossible ways. Words cannot convey my delight or my exaltation. Only now, after the three-book long prologue, one can really see and admire Mr Jordan’s genius and the gargantuan nature of his Wheel of Time. In the “Shadow Rising,” we can see how well-thought-out, coherent, logical and consistent the presented world is. And again I soaked in the atmosphere of the volume, which is almost without any weaknesses.

Each page, each a sentence, each word has its own weight, e.g. something that was briefly alluded to in the “Eye of the World,” here appears as a fulcrum of events. In a long series, it is important to be careful about all the hidden flavours; in this case, it is necessary because you can find them quite a lot if only you remain attentive. The amazing story of the Aiel origin was the pinnacle for me . The description of the world before the Breaking also struck me with its ingenuity.

In general, this instalment provides tons of answers to questions that have so far remained without any. The action also seems to be even more intense here than in the previous volumes even though there is no climax really, only the ever-increasing tension and the action is moving forward if not slowly, then at a sedate pace (I guess Mr Jordan never thought he needs to hurry).

Four sub-plots lead the way: Rand despite coming to terms with the role he is set to play in the unfolding drama, is still a man who is far from being a leader and he is trying to lead somewhere else than total destruction. However, he needs to learn that he cannot win this battle alone. Perrin fights for what is the most precious for him (and what a fight it is). On the girls’ side, we accompany Elayne’s and Nynaeve’s exploits of Tanchico, and Min’s, pardon me, Elmindreda’s stunts in the White Tower. The other characters are there but remain on the margins. This speaks in favour of the book as the reader does not get lost in ever-changing but is able to focus on the course of events, without fear that there will be a “jump” within a couple of pages.

In all of this, Mr Jordan manages not to bore the reader, not to choke us like the fire can be choked by adding too much wood to it. Quite the opposite, the reader follows several lines in the plot, is anxious about the fate of a multitude of heroes, and everyone is interesting, everyone is alive, and different. There veritable crowds of protagonists in this series, but Mr Jordan devotes his attention to each of them, gives each of them a characteristic feature, everyone has his or hers 5 minutes of the spotlight.

There are some weaknesses, alas. Faile stinks like an unwashed cat litter masked by strong perfume. After ingratiating herself with the group, she has been a constant source of infuriation for me. I simply cannot stand her and her every appearance was like the mixed cat-perfume odour that makes me want to faint and vomit at the same time (with the exception of the scene where Berelain snubbed her nose, so precious!). Then, there is this precarious detiny of man-sharing and especially Min’s predicament: to love somebody against your will?! It is awful. Terrible. Humiliating and totally against my understanding of love as an act of free will (not really an emotion per se). I was also a bit disappointed with how stupid and inept Liandrin and her Black Aajah proved to be because the two chits had it so easy in return.

Nevertheless, these are just minor (and surely idiosyncratic) points. Despite those, “The Shadow Rising” remains an incredible exemplar of elaborate weaving of all, even the subtlest threads of the story, into a splendid tale. What more could you want? Probably only the next volume.

Also in the series:

1. The Eye of the World ★★★★☆
2. The Great Hunt ★★★★☆
3. The Dragon Reborn ★★★★☆
5. The Fires of Heaven ★★★★☆
6. Lord of Chaos ★★★☆☆
7. A Crown of Swords ★★★☆☆
8. The Path of Daggers ★★★☆☆
9. Winter's Heart ★☆☆☆☆
10. Crossroads of Twilight ★★☆☆☆
11. Knife of Dreams ★★★★☆
12. The Gathering Storm ★★★★☆
13. Towers of Midnight ★★★☆☆
14. A Memory of Light ★★★☆☆
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