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The Wheel of Time, Tome 3 : The dragon reborn (Anglais) Poche – 10 décembre 1992
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Heureusement, là, l'histoire prend une sacré tournure épique et on commence à être rassasié.
Les personnages commencent à s'assumer, le ton est trouvé, c'est haut en couleur. Je l'ai dévoré en une semaine.
Il y a des points de qualité, bien sûr:
- certes le clan des "méchants" commence à être clairement identifié et commence à abattre ses cartes
- certes on rencontre des personnages secondaires sympathiques, et c'est à partir de ce tome que tous les personnages jouant un rôle crucial dans le tome 14 final sont présents
- certes il y a de l'action
- certes un moment clé de l'histoire est abordé, la proclamation de Rand comme Dragon Reborn
Cependant, énorme point noir pour moi, on ne voit quasi plus Rand dans l'histoire. Dans les tomes précédents on voyait essentiellement l'histoire de son point de vue, ici il est réduit à une quasi figure décorative (ou mythique, tout dépend du point de vue) accomplissant de loin quelques actions. J'ai perdu hélas tout empathie avec lui, ce qui est gênant quand un des points m'intéressant le plus dans l'histoire était de voir la métamorphose d'un gentil garçon fermier n'ayant rien demandé en héros légendaire.Lire la suite ›
C'est un peu le problème avec un série composée de très nombreux tomes: afin de rester crédible, les évolutions sont très progressives, on introduit aussi de nouveaux mystères alors que les premiers n'ont pas reçu de réponse. Il faudrait presque prendre des notes sur l'intrigue. J'étais un peu perdue. Je ne pense pas que tous les tomes puissent être d'une qualité équivalente.
Heureusement, la 2e partie compense amplement ces premiers chapitres décevants (à mon sens): de l'action, des héros qui prennent leur envol, la découverte des Aiel, assez fascinants et nous voilà happés à nouveau. J'aime le fait qu'il y ait des personnages secondaires sympathiques: Loial, l'Ogier, Thom le barde, Lan le guerrier. Par contre, les personnages féminins me semblent plus agaçants qu'au début: Moiraine l'Aes sedai demeure froide et autoritaire, Nynaeve caractérielle, Elayne fade...seule Faile, chasseuse de la Corne de valère, m'a plue.
Le 4e tome, en cours de lecture, confirme cette impression globale: les jeunes héros deviennent plus adultes et se prennent en main. L'intrigue est aussi plus lisible.
Juste une petite déception: la disparition de Min (qui se trouve être mon personnage préféré avec Perrin) au début du livre.
Excepté ce petit défaut (qui est nécessaire pour la suite, j'en conviens) ce livre est parfait.
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After bringing most of the main characters together for the climax of Book 2, Jordan cleaves the group again for separate journeys to the city of Tear. Prophesy says that only the Dragon Reborn can wield the magic sword stored in the vault of that city's fortress. Some have complained that it takes a series of unbearable coincidences to get everyone to the final battle, which would be a valid complaint except that Jordan's world is designed in such a way that unbelievable coincidences can (and often do) occur, because of the overriding "will" of the Wheel of Time. This is a standard literary device, well-known to the ancient Greeks (the Fates) and Arabs (Kismet). It could potentially become a crutch, but in this book Jordan convincingly brings the threads of a number of seemingly diverse storylines together. The reason everyone ends up in Tear? - they all know (or are chasing people who know) that the Dragon Reborn will show up in Tear to claim the magic sword. It's only a matter of timing (they all arrive at the final battle simultaneously) that needs invocation of the Wheel's influence.
Curiously, this book focusses on 3 characters, two of whom are my least favourite in the series (Nynaeve, the petulant bully, and Mat, the selfish prankster). Fortunately, Jordan mostly steers clear of the constant and irritating internal editorialising by these characters that so plagued Book 2. Jordan also finally reveals Mat's "special power" (of the three "Ta'vern," we already know that Perrin can speak to wolves and Rand can channel the One Power). I will not reveal it in this review, but it is an ingenious and well-designed power that (so far) is correctly limited in its scope.
Book 1 was very good, but was clearly a travelogue to get us oriented with Jordan's world. Book 2 was a 400-page story trapped in a 600 page book, becoming unbearably repititious in places. Book 3 finally lives up to the promise of the series - we are now well underway with the adventure of the reborn Dragon.
Seriously, there are great elements to Jordans books but to think any of them are five star books is just fooling yourself. If you are one of those individuals who's about to click the "no - this wasn't helpful to me" button because the Wheel of Time books are some of the best books you've ever read, I urge you to read more books by better authors.
Here is what's good about the Wheel of Time: It's a huge epic fantasy of almost unparalleled scope. It's an immense sweeping saga of good versus evil that plays like soap operah in many aspects. It makes good use of fantasy cliche's such as ignorant farmers grow up to be heroes of the world and prophecies of a chosen one defeating evil. I like Wheel of Time because it is something I can get into. Robert Jordan gives you a world and characters you grow fond of without having it end after a few nights reading. Finally, Jordan's skill at writing alone keeps you turning pages. Nothing may happen, but at least it's enjoyable to read.
The bad: Way too many subplots and way too much development of irrelevent details. Many times, Jordans books seem to lose focus, and this one is no different. He tends to go off into lengthy tangents only to come to the heart of the story at the very end. The other thing (and I fault the editor for allowing this) is Jordan's use of "convenient" storytelling. I talked about this on my review of book two. It's annoying when the characters just seem to be able to do whatever they need to do whenver the script calls for it. When a character manifests some new power or ability, it should not be right when he/she needs it. That is a cheap way to tell stories, and any no-name writer would be reemed by their editor for trying to do so.
Fortunately, in The Dragon Reborn, the climactic ending doesn't make use of convenient storytelling (though other parts of the book do) and Jordan mostly succeeds in writing a book that is only a small part of the series yet works on it's own. Much of the book focuses on the three girls Nynaeve, Egwene, and Elayne and their learning to become Aes Sedai. This is all well and good, but aren't these supposed to be supporting characters? Jordan has still failed to really show a strong main character. Logic would tell you it was Rand, but he get's less screentime than anyone. Jordan's books would all be so much better if they were more focused. He spends too much time juggling way too many characters and all the events that happen with them. Of course, lovers of long fantasy epics don't seem to mind this, and since I am one, I enjoy the books.
In all, if you liked the first two books, you will like this one as well. It's better than book one yet not quite as good as book two.
One of the pleasures of TDR comes from finally meeting a few Aiel, and some pretty important ones. The girls meet Aviendha and Rhuarc, Perrin meets Gaul, and Mat nearly dances with a Maiden or two. We saw just enough of the Aiel to make us curious. Perrin also meets his falcon, Zarine Bashere, a character that tends to inspire some remarkable passionate reactions - you either love her or hate her, but either way, you have to feel a bit sorry for Perrin, who never knew what hit him.
As well, we got another glimpse of the White Tower, along with some real head-scratchers. Repeat readers will find many aspects of particular Ase Sedai behaviour questionable at best. Verin's reluctance to give Egwene Corianin Nedeal's notes on dreaming; Sheriam's curious appearance and calm demeanour after Nynaeve and Egwene discovers something strange (she exhibits quite a lot of odd behavior in this book, possibly a set up for what we find out later); and finally, the Amyrlin's mind-bogging decision to let the 3 girls go unaccompanied to Tear to hunt Black Ajah. I've turned that over in my head a million times, and I still cannot see the logic in it. I realize RJ needed them in Tear, but if these girls have great potential, why would she let them go without an escort?
PLOTTING: In TDR, we had 2 plot threads which expanded into 3, but unlike the first 2 books, RJ seemed less interested in the traditional chase journey, and focued more on the girls and Mat. All 3 threads met at the end, but not until the battle, which could have been written with a bit more clarity (How the Aiel got in there? Rand? Moiraine and Lan?)
CHARACTERIZATION: Finally, we got a book that isn't all about Rand. Instead, RJ works on expanding the characterization of Perrin, Mat, Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve. Mat and Egwene in particular receive the most attention. In Mat's case, this is a welcome development, as his character wasn't really developed much in the first 2 books, but with scenes like his quarterstaff battle and the tough slog through the Tairen mud, Mat becomes a true 3-dimensional personality - as well as the most likable.
PACING: An obvious pattern has emerged by now: slow beginning, a splitting of the plot threads, and a slow buildup to a grand finale, with a couple of false climaxes along the way to keep the reader interested. RJ would alter this pattern in future books, but it serves him well in TDR. He maintains a certain amount of suspense with confidence and ease; I quite like the timing of everyones arrival in Tear.
BEST SCENE: This one is tough. I'm going to go with Mat's remarkable 2-on-1 battle against Gawyn and Galad. Before this scene, we really didn't have any idea what Mat (and his luck) was capable of, but Mat's ability with the staff hints at the Old Blood running strong in him.
MOST POV: I think you probably could call it a fairly even split between Perrin, Mat, and Egwene, with the final nod to Mat. RJ worked hard to build up their characters, obviously in anticipation of future books.
OVERALL: TDR has many treasures between its covers to keep the reader interested, and the book is worth it just for Mat's adventures, let alone the rest of the plot. Still, it was clear that RJ had exhausted this pattern of plot threads, and was ready to try something more complex.
P.S. I'm sorry for my rambling on, and making the review so long. Hope it helps!
This third book contains many good parts that I enjoyed - the continuation of the glimpse of the Game of the Houses and the idea of the Forsaken having infiltrated much of the kingdoms' societies, the near-impossible prophecy of Rand having to storm Tear to prove himself the Dragon Reborn and the menace of the Black Ajah finally taking toll. However, much of the book is spent in Rand-space - waiting for Rand to decide what to do, looking for Rand, Rand being tormented by everything he sees from rabbits to grass and hills etc etc. This seems to go on for a few hundred pages and the tidbits of information in the midst of all this just aren't enough to stop the mind from wandering.
These faults (which are basically the same in the next book) largely spoil what could have been a much punchier continuation of the saga.
The scheming of the Forsaken becomes less muddled, although the reader is still very much in the dark as to what alliances have formed among the Forsaken. It becomes obvious for the first time that the Aiel will play a MAJOR role in Rand's destiny and he will need their help.
As far as the main characters are concerned, Rand himself is in flight practically the entire book and Jordan doesn't spend much time on him. The pacing seems a bit off; Rand should be out-distancing the rest of the companions (because they have several adventures along the way, i.e. Perrin and Faile, the wolf-man, etc.), yet Moiraine manages to end up in Tear at about the same time as Rand! Maybe I need to finish re-reading it to understand how that worked.
As usual, Jordan shows his mastery of immersing the reader in the setting. The descriptions of the Stone of Tear and the final battle within are outstanding. The conclusion is very satisfying and henceforth Rand begins a widely recognized ascendancy as the Dragon Reborn, with promises of a gripping saga ahead!