The Fires of Heaven

by Robert Jordan

Hardcover, 1993

Status

Available

Call number

PS3560 .O7617

Genres

Publication

Tor Fantasy (New York, 1993). 1st edition, 1st printing. 704 pages. $24.95.

Description

The Last Battle is approaching rapidly, for the seals of the Dark One's prison are beginning to crumble. The Dragon Reborn is closer to ruling the world, while the Forsaken Rahvin is meeting with three of his fellows to ensure their ultimate victory over the Dragon.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Kassilem
I don't think that I've ever had so much trouble trying to determine if I think a book should receive a three star or a four star. I absolutely loved the parts about Rand and Mat but I hated the parts about Egwene, The Wise Ones, or the Aes Sedai. Nyneave has become bearable, although I'm not sure how that happened, and I began to not mind Moirane at all, but while I used to like Egwene, I hate her now. I've always liked Min and Logain as well but their two companions, Siuan and Liliandra, I could do without most of the time. If the book focused only on Rand and Mat I wouldn't hesistate to give this a five star, but alas it does not. Perrin is not even in this book, but there is a lot that happens so I'm not sure Jordan could have fit it in at all. I expect he will be in the fore in the next book. I believe on my first read through this is where I began to skip through some of the women's narratives, since there was a lot I did not remember to this book. Luckily for me I am listening to it this time around as so cannot. These really are some great stories, but I wish Jordan had written his women less grating on the nerve. Regardless, I am determined to get through the next seven (!) books so that I can get to the three concluding books that Brandon Sanderson is writing for the series. I want to see this series to the end; but it's going to take some patience.… (more)
LibraryThing member alchemie
This was my second attempt at The Wheel of Time, and I just ran out of steam in about the same place that I did the first time I tried to read it. It's not that I actively dislike the books, I just can't muster the energy to keep reading them. The plot is interesting, the world-building is great, but I can't muster any emotion for these characters. I don't get their humor, I don't get their personalities, I don't get their complete and utter lack of ability to deal with people of the opposite gender, I just don't get any of them at all. And I'm sick of reading phrases so often repeated they feel like the punch line of a tired joke. Yeah, yeah, Aes Sedai faces are ageless and Nynaeve tugs her braid a lot. This isn't building depth or interest, it's just repeating the exact same description a million times. Oh well. I guess it's just not the series for me.… (more)
LibraryThing member Laatsch
While telling a story of epic, continent-spanning proportions, Jordan always keeps in mind that stories are about characters first. Having said that, keep in mind this is the book in the series where Jordan's notoriously thick writing style begins to take over.
LibraryThing member mattries37315
The Fires of Heaven is a good quality installment in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, however it doesn't rise to the level the first four books of the series. The narrative changes from the Aiel Waste headed west and in Tarabon headed east with several locations in-between seen from the perspectives of various characters. But of all the characters, it was Rand al'Thor and Nynaeve al'Meara who dominated the majority of the book.

One of the good things about this book is that all the point-of-view characters help give great context of the world Jordan created, visiting many of the nations that have until this book only been names but given no in-person description. Another is the excellent described battle scenes that happen throughout the book, especially around Rand including the final fight of the book. And finally seeing the reactions to the coup in Tar Valon and the breaking of the White Tower.

Unlike the other four books, there are minor things that seemed to bring down the quality of this book. The first was the pace of Rand's POVs in which most of battles take place, the largest battle almost has the sense of being the climax of the book only for seeming to set up to the final battle. Then there was Nynaeve's narration, which at many times late in the book are a bit wearing especially as she comments on her traveling companions. And finally one of the primary characters is missing in this book and it's noticeable.

Overall the good vastly outweighs the bad, however the "bad" is more evident than the previous four books but not enough to not recommend.
… (more)
LibraryThing member DWWilkin
We come to the fifth book of the sequence and we can see that there is pressure to start bringing us to a conclusion. One that Jordan will again fight and sidestep around so that the series grows.

We have had in most of the books so far three streams. In the first when the party splits after being chased in Shadar Logoth, it has set us up for this sequence in all the others. But here one of the three, which might have been a conscious play on three Tevern, though often those three combined in some way, one whole third is missing. Perrin.

That makes this one of the weaker books.

It is a book about movement. Get from the Aiel waste to the land of the Kingdoms. We have had that before, but it seems when we have, we have been grounded in places. Here, that is at the beginning and the end.

We are introduced to exciting characters, Valan Luca and the menagerie, what fun. But again the story is so large Aludra returns, has met Thom before, and Jordan drops the ball by not having them recognize each other.

Galad takes more depth, and here we start to question relationships. Did not Galad and Rand share a mother? Will that not come into play? When?

But I said how things look like they could be finished at the end of the book. We have a powerful group of Aes Sedai with an army growing. We have the old Sheniaran companions of Rand growing an army, we have an army of Aiel, and we have an army of kingdom men following Rand, and more in the last few pages. We keep killing Forsaken.

So we can get to the big battle in the next. But we won't.

Too many ideas. Have to make sure every single one is fed to the faithful and noting left out. This book also spawns the rudeness that was Robert Jordan in the great RAFO-Asmodean dilemma. I have read and not found out more than a half dozen times. You can only guess at the answer. Jordan and his Hubris make this one of the worst of the series.

Another example of his Hubris. A city surrounded by, after several days of siege, 160,000 warriors. Walls may give an advantage of 5 to 1, so there has to be over 30,000 defenders inside, but that is never written. Further, until this battle, those 160,000 enemy, Aiel, could easily take on any two regular kingdom soldiers. It was only the better warriors who could face them fair.

Rand Brings over 300,000 Aiel spears, and there is another 160,000 undecided. In the midst of all this, the only kingdom soldiers a few thousand, under Mat, are roaming the battlefield with a mission.

The numbers of the Aiel in relation to all we know of the world are out of proportion. In relation to all we know of those who were to follow and who remained behind. The battle is also hyperbole in that we do not have a map, so a unit is in a gully, surrounded by hills, a light forest hiding them. This is all on the plains in front of a walled city. Jordan wanted to talk about a great fight, and though a student of military history, did little to give us a believable battlefield, or battle.

So why read this, because you have to read it to get to the rest. There is good stuff in it. And more good to follow. It adds depth to the rich world, but it certainly looks like it was written with add a careful plan on how to bring us to a conclusion. The objectives were met by bringing Rand to the Kingdoms with the Aiel, and setting up a Tower dedicated to fighting the fight that Rand has to fight. But so much more should have been done. And, where is Perrin?
… (more)
LibraryThing member redderik
book 5 in the series. The intrique with how the power works is still good, but the fact that he will die or go mad from the taint is slowly becoming a side note. The side stories are well done, but I began to feel divided and harder to get into stories, wanting to know more about what happens to Perrin.
LibraryThing member slaveofOne
This book is one reason why I love the Wheel of Time!
LibraryThing member readafew
The 5th book in the Wheel of Time series. If you haven't read the first 4 in the series don't start here. This was a great book and all kinds of things were happening. Rand takes Cairhien with the Aiel from the Shaido. Matt shows his stuff as a general, wether he likes it or not. 3 more of the forsaken meet their end. The White Tower splits and Morgase disappears, and so much more. As long as Robert Jordan finishes this series it will be one of the best out there.… (more)
LibraryThing member Karlstar
In the ongoing saga of Rand and his friends, Rand finally travels to the Aiel, who would openly proclaim him the Dragon Reborn and follow him as his army - if he can prove he is actually the Dragon Reborn. He isn't the only one claiming to be the Dragon Reborn, as has happened over the years, but there are several right now.… (more)
LibraryThing member SonicQuack
Although book four slowed down the pace, it does not prepare readers for the lengthy political wrangling, tactical debate and shoe-horned action sequences that are presented in 'The Fires of Heaven'. The sheer volume of characters that are entwined in to the Wheel's weave is startling to begin with unless you are reading the books together. Although there are some great twists near the end, the seven hundred or so pages to get there are laborious at times. Jordan is an accomplished author, however his talents are best suited to skirmish and adventure, rather than detailing war. The action seemed lacklustre when it was desperately needed to keep the story alive. Definitely a middle chapter.… (more)
LibraryThing member jpsnow
The plot keeps rolling on. This one is far more suggestive - tiresomely in some sections.
LibraryThing member rbtwinky
The frantic battle at the end of this one is awesome! The trip along the way isn’t so bad either. We first start to see Mat’s talents as a general, and Rand’s starting to show his potential and power. The relationship with Aviendha keeps me reading too. Elayne and Nyneave get a little irritating in this one, but getting them to Salidar is great. The addition of Birgitte is a welcome one, and the warder bond is interesting. As a third read it was interesting, but more action than intrigue, and intrigue is what is fun to read the third time through.… (more)
LibraryThing member molliewatts
And the plot thickens...

Rand leads the Aiel out of the Waste, determined to stop the treacherous Couladin and his marauding Aiel before they totally annihilate Cairhien and more. He continues his study of saidin with the shielded Forsaken, Asmodean, whom he keeps by his side undercover as the gleeman, Jasin Natael. Moiraine stays glued to Rand whenever possible, desperately seeking to educate and prepare him for Cairhien and beyond, while Aviendha struggles uselessly against her forced companionship with Rand. Egwene continues her study of Tel’aran’rhiod with the Aiel Wise Ones, communicating with Elayne and Nyneave through the World of Dreams. Elayne, Nyneave, Thom, and Juilin journey with a traveling menagerie as they flee Tanchico and Whitecloaks, seeking to find the mysterious gathering of refugee Aes Sedai they have heard about. Siuan Sanche, former Amyrlin Seat, has been unjustly deposed and stilled by Elaida, an action that causes the unthinkable breaking of the White Tower. Siuan, her former Keeper, Leane (also deposed and stilled), Min, and the gentled false Dragon, Logain, flee the Tower and head for the same village Elayne and Nyneave seek to find - Salidar, in Altara, where Aes Sedai opposed to Elaida and her regime have gathered.

Aiel fight Aiel. Aes Sedai plot against Aes Sedai. A legendary hero returns. The Forsaken stalk and plot. And the Dragon Reborn will both control and unleash the fires of heaven in his bid to save the world.
… (more)
LibraryThing member JechtShot
The fifth installment of the Wheel Of Time saga continues Robert Jordan's quest to write increasingly long novels. A lot happens in this book, but it is really, really, really drawn out. I still love the world Robert Jordan has created, but I think in this book he may have gotten lost in "The Ways". There are a lot of character threads being woven into the wheel in this book and I hope some of them are resolved in the near term. I do look forward to seeing where our hero, Rand Al'Thor, The Dragon Reborn ends up next. On to the next, The Lord of Chaos here I come.… (more)
LibraryThing member FieryNight
So intriguing a series that I'm still reading after 8 books.
LibraryThing member DWWilkin
We come to the fifth book of the sequence and we can see that there is pressure to start bringing us to a conclusion. One that Jordan will again fight and sidestep around so that the series grows.

We have had in most of the books so far three streams. In the first when the party splits after being chased in Shadar Logoth, it has set us up for this sequence in all the others. But here one of the three, which might have been a conscious play on three Tevern, though often those three combined in some way, one whole third is missing. Perrin.

That makes this one of the weaker books.

It is a book about movement. Get from the Aiel waste to the land of the Kingdoms. We have had that before, but it seems when we have, we have been grounded in places. Here, that is at the beginning and the end.

We are introduced to exciting characters, Valan Luca and the menagerie, what fun. But again the story is so large Aludra returns, has met Thom before, and Jordan drops the ball by not having them recognize each other.

Galad takes more depth, and here we start to question relationships. Did not Galad and Rand share a mother? Will that not come into play? When?

But I said how things look like they could be finished at the end of the book. We have a powerful group of Aes Sedai with an army growing. We have the old Sheniaran companions of Rand growing an army, we have an army of Aiel, and we have an army of kingdom men following Rand, and more in the last few pages. We keep killing Forsaken.

So we can get to the big battle in the next. But we won't.

Too many ideas. Have to make sure every single one is fed to the faithful and noting left out. This book also spawns the rudeness that was Robert Jordan in the great RAFO-Asmodean dilemma. I have read and not found out more than a half dozen times. You can only guess at the answer. Jordan and his Hubris make this one of the worst of the series.

Another example of his Hubris. A city surrounded by, after several days of siege, 160,000 warriors. Walls may give an advantage of 5 to 1, so there has to be over 30,000 defenders inside, but that is never written. Further, until this battle, those 160,000 enemy, Aiel, could easily take on any two regular kingdom soldiers. It was only the better warriors who could face them fair.

Rand Brings over 300,000 Aiel spears, and there is another 160,000 undecided. In the midst of all this, the only kingdom soldiers a few thousand, under Mat, are roaming the battlefield with a mission.

The numbers of the Aiel in relation to all we know of the world are out of proportion. In relation to all we know of those who were to follow and who remained behind. The battle is also hyperbole in that we do not have a map, so a unit is in a gully, surrounded by hills, a light forest hiding them. This is all on the plains in front of a walled city. Jordan wanted to talk about a great fight, and though a student of military history, did little to give us a believable battlefield, or battle.

So why read this, because you have to read it to get to the rest. There is good stuff in it. And more good to follow. It adds depth to the rich world, but it certainly looks like it was written with add a careful plan on how to bring us to a conclusion. The objectives were met by bringing Rand to the Kingdoms with the Aiel, and setting up a Tower dedicated to fighting the fight that Rand has to fight. But so much more should have been done. And, where is Perrin?
… (more)
LibraryThing member kayceel
So, so so good! In this fifth book in the Wheel of Time series, Rand al'THor, Dragon Reborn is in the Aiel Waste, leading them back over the wall into the "wetlands," where they must fight a clan of Aiel who don't believe Rand is the Cara'carn (the Aiel's version of the prophesied Dragon reborn). Battles and bad guys galore, this adventures speeds along!

I've read all the books several times, but I'm loving listening to it! The narrators - aside from the fact that pronunciations vary between books and even between the authors - are great!

Recommended.
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LibraryThing member bookczuk
Moiraine gone; Lan off, but not to Nynaeve, Morgase MIA, rumored dead... is it any wonder that my first time through the series, I quit before the end of this book and missed Asmodean's famous words? "You! No!"
LibraryThing member DaddyPupcake
Lots of action. This is why I love fantasy fiction. The characters are evolving especially Rand. He is learning how to be a ruler and knows how to use his power. It was very hard to put the book down for the last four or five chapters.
LibraryThing member GoldenEyes
I must say I was dissapointed with this book, mainly due to the absence of Perrin! So I understand there's no BIG storyline for Perrin at that moment, but surely a couple of chapers to let us know how he's getting on in the Two Rivers wouldnt of hurt! The main thing that kept me turning pages so often was the hope and expectation of Perrin being in the next chapter!
I absolutely love this series so far, but im over halfway through 'The Lord Of Chaos' and Perrin has only appeared once at the beginning. Couldn't Jordan have bought Elyas into the Two Rivers just to give me a bit of spice? I do love all the characters he's created but Perrin is by far my favourite, thanks to the first four books, but now he's hardly even mentioned!
So that being the main reason for my dissapointment with 'The Fires Of Heaven', I'd just like to mention how drawn out the book is. At times it feels like he goes into too much detail in describing things, just to fill a few more pages, and although I love learning about the Aiel, I think he's throwing too many characters into the plot and I find it hard to keep track on who's who! But all in all a good read, not the strongest book of the series by far, but you wouldnt be able to skip this and still know whats going on in the next book. I'm enjoying 'The Lord Of Chaos' alot more than I did 'The Fires Of Heaven', but I just can't wait to get Perrin back frequently.
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LibraryThing member fyrefly98
Summary: Now that Rand has been to Rhuidean and proclaimed himself the Car’a’carn as well as the Dragon Reborn, he is beginning to fulfill the prophecies - including the one that says that he will break the Aiel. Many Aiel that learned their true history are succumbing to the bleakness, and joining the Shaido, one of the clans that refuse to accept Rand as the Car'a'carn. Rand worries about uniting the Aiel behind him in time for the last battle, but he is also worried about more personal secrets - such as the loyalty of Asmodean, one of the Forsaken, who is bound to teach Rand how to control the male half of the one power before he goes mad. He has other advisors as well: Moiraine, who seems to feel the need to reach Rand what she knows more urgently than ever before, and Aviendha, who is tasked with teaching Rand Aiel customs, much to her own discomfiture. Egwene continues her learning with the Aiel Wise Ones, and Mat continues to try to escape the pull of Rand and ta'veren.

Meanwhile, the split in the White Tower has left Elaida as Amyrlin; Min, Leane, Siuan, and Logaine on the run; and the "rebel" sisters who refuse to accept the coup setting up a White-Tower-in-Exile in a small town in Altara called Salidar. Nynaeve and Elaine, fleeing from the Black Ajah in Tanchico, join a traveling circus to avoid notice, not only by agents of the Black Ajah, but also by Whitecloaks, the Forsaken, and agents of the White Tower - for Elayne's mother, Queen Morgause, is pressing Elaida for her daughter's safe return, when she is not wrapped up by her new romantic interest, Lord Gaebril, who is more than he seems on the surface.

Review: I remember this book as being one of my favorites (maybe in close runner-up to The Shadow Rising), but in trying to summarize it, it seems like this book is a lot of people traveling to other places in order for the real action to begin. Not that this book doesn't have plenty of action - Aviendha's (accidental) discovery of gateways and flight to Seanchan lands, Mat's first (accidental) turn as a battle leader in the fight with the Shaido, Moiraine and Lanfear's fight on the docks in Cairhien, Nynaeve's fight with Moghidien in Tel'aran'rhiod, Rand and Rahvin in the Royal Palace in Andor. But most of that happens towards the end of the book, so most of the rest of it feels like a very extended road trip. (or rather, several road trips.) There's a lot of things that are set up in this book that become hugely important later - Salidar, the (re-)introduction of Gareth Bryne, the discovery of gateways, the consequences of Moiraine's fight with Lanfear, the escape of Morgause, the dice in Mat's head, the first meeting with the Prophet, etc. There's also a number of smaller scenes that I'd largely forgotten about since the last time I read the series - Nynaeve & Elayne's kidnapping, for one - that are actually very vivid and tense.

However, despite the fact that in summary it feels like a long time of waiting followed by a rush of action, that's not at all what my experience listening to it was. I was involved in the story throughout, and I rarely felt like it bogged down, even when there wasn't a ton of forward momentum in any of the story lines. The one problematic thing that I did notice is that this is when Jordan's gender relations start to acquire the blunt "men think women are silly and frivolous; women think men are careless idiots; neither gender can understand the other" cast that plague the rest of the books. This is largely down to the amount of time spent with Nynaeve's point of view; the device of "Nynaeve derides other people for being/doing [X] while obliviously doing [X] herself" gets tired very quickly, and it's used almost as much as her tugging on her braid and sniffing. Other characters do it too, which is why I got so annoyed with it, but Nynaeve's the worst offender, which is why my notes-to-self about this review simply say "Shut up, Nynaeve."

Overall, though, The Fires of Heaven is still this series on the upswing, and if it's not the best installment, it does contain a LOT of good stuff, and while it's easy to find something to complain about in a book of this size, the fact remains that it tells a good story with compelling characters, and is still engrossing enough to keep me involved for almost a day and a half's worth of audiobook time. On my original read, I gave it 5 out of 5, on the re-read and with a little more reflection, it's still 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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LibraryThing member Jefficus
The story is interesting enough but the character dynamics are pathetic. The gender politics is juvenile, and frankly, there isn't a single member of the scattered alliance of good guys who is open and forthright in his dealings with others. Everyone from Rand himself down to the lowest novice of the Tower is so tightly wrapped, secretive, and mistrustful that they do not deserve to win the fight. I am beginning to loathe each and every one of them. Drama should never come from characters behaving stupidly and withholding information from each other. This is just a camouflaged form of Deus Ex. The only reason I am going to continue with the series is to see how things might change under Sanderson.… (more)
LibraryThing member Ashles
While Jordan's writing has slightly improved in each of The Wheel of Time books so far, The Fires of Heaven shows the greatest improvement over the previous ones. A few times, I found myself stopping to admire the writing itself, unlike previous WoT books, where I'd be thrown out of the reading experience by clumsy sentences and phrasing. There's still plenty of room for improvement though, especially regarding the overuse of certain phrases and metaphors.

Plot-wise and avoiding spoilers, a lot of things bothered me in various ways (absences, losses, and a deus ex machina—well, okay, I did like that one...).

All in all, I enjoyed Jordan's improved writing skills, loved most of this book, and hated parts of it.
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LibraryThing member harpua
Book Five is done. Being it's summer, I'm really moving at a slow pace through these books, slower than I need to be. I had hoped to finish the series by the end of 2013 (with some time in between for some other books), but at the current pace, that doesn't seem likely.

Anyway, another good one is done. This is where Jordan gets a bit over descriptive and sometimes repetitive. I think this book could have been condensed down to a clean 400-500 pages (from it's 950+ in paperback form) with no loss to the essence of the novel. The first 900 pages seem to be maneuvering for the last 50 pages and it's big reveals. Strange to have not seen Perrin at all (except being mentioned briefly by one of the other characters), but if I remember from my first read through of this part of the series, that becomes a pattern where we won't see entire characters or plot threads for an entire book, then they'll be back next time. I am starting to forget what happens in the next few novels that I've read before, so it will be like coming at them almost fresh.

I thought by now, I'd be ready to move on to something else for a short break from the Wheel of Time series and I've got a lot of books I'm itching to get too, but I think I'm ready to jump right into book 6.
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LibraryThing member JeremyPreacher
This is what I think of as the beginning of The Dreaded Middle. Rand is becoming less sympathetic as a character, plot threads proliferate, bad things start to happen, and the focus of each individual volume becomes a lot less clear. The Fires of Heaven is still good, but not nearly as good as The Shadow Rising, and it's downhill for a while from here.

Note: In general, I can't review this series with any objectivity. I've been reading it since I was eleven years old, and it's thoroughly embedded in my brain.
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Language

Original language

English

Original publication date

1993-10-05 (Tor Books)

Physical description

704 p.; 6.35 inches

ISBN

9780312854270
Page: 0.2809 seconds