Author: Robert Jordan
Length: 980 pages
(My) Rating: PG13
The Shadow Rising is one of my favorite books in the Wheel of Time series. It was a happy addition for me after The Dragon Reborn, which had caused me to wonder if my favorite character had gone insane. The Shadow Rising really explained a lot of his actions in the previous book.
Rand has now accepted that he is the Dragon Reborn. Having conquered Tear, he now travels with the Aiel into The Waste to see if he can achieve their loyalty as well. As he proves himself to this hardened people with their strange culture, he learns more about his own history and future.
Egwene is also experiencing training with the Aiel, while Mat is compelled to come with them in order to save his own life. They both are permanently changed by what they will experience..
Meanwhile, Perrin travels to the Two Rivers to save his home from White Cloaks by giving himself up. Unable to prevent the woman he loves from following him, he must struggle with her stubbornness as he fights his own internal struggle with the wolves. Once he reaches his home, he is surprised to find that it is filled Trollocs and other horrors. He must put aside his own plans and become the leader and hero that he was meant to be.
The Shadow Rising does a great job of giving each character equal time and really moving the plot along. I really enjoy the Aiel and most aspects of their culture. Though it is probably one of the most foreign cultures that Jordan creates, I feel like it might be the one he put the most love into as well.
The history of the Aiel is revealed in an interesting and different way, and all of the characters experience fascinating growth.
As well-written as all of his series, The Shadow Rising stands out in my mind as one of the books that has a lot of really important events told concisely . While some of the later books begin to drag a little, The Shadow Reborn is fast-paced and interesting. I can't think of any complaints that I had in this book.
This is really the one where Mat, Perrin, and Egwene begin to grow as characters and becomes far more interesting.
Though it is the longest book yet, I find that it is a pretty quick read that I have a hard time putting down.
On my scale, this book is probably PG13. There is very little in the way of sexual content though the Aiel are not shy about nudity. However, though nudity is mentioned, it is not described. This particular book contains violence, but again it usually fairly non-graphic. Though there are plenty of descriptions, Jordan does not dwell on the blood or violence. The violence is an integral part of the story, but not the reason for the story.
The world that Robert Jordan has created also has its own swear words, which are inoffensive in general. There are a few British swear words that have made their way into the book, but those are few and far between.