Rand al'Thor has taken the Stone of Tear and with it Callandar, fulfilling the biggest and most recognized portents of the Prophecy of the Dragon. Now the world knows and dreads what it to come, but who will follow willingly and who will have to be forced into line? Now with the Forsaken Sammael in Illian is striking at him the next move or does the passage of the Prophecy that suggests it have another meaning altogether. With all this to worry about still his greatest concern in Saidin, and with no one alive who can teach him how to control it, will it destroy him before he can learn? With rumours of trouble in the Two Rivers Perrin Aybara makes his way back, ready to sacrifice himself, but will he find the situation more complicated than his plans allowed for, and with Faile trailing in his wake what will he not do to protect her? Nynaeve al'Meara and Elayne Trakand continue their hunt for the Black Ajah into the troubled city of Tanchico. With a threat to Rand hidden somewhere in the city can they find it before it can be used against him and is another of the Forsaken about to take a hand? In the north Min Farshaw arrives in Tar Valon, but is even the White Tower free of the worlds struggles? Will secrets long hidden be revealed and what will it lead to? Discontent? Rebellion? Treason?! The world is falling apart but does Rand al'Thor have what he needs to unite it, or is there one more thing he must attain before he makes his move?
The Shadow Rising is the fourth book written by Robert Jordan in The Wheel of Time series. This is the longest book in the series and is the first book not to contain a prologue. With the characters once again splitting up at the start of the book we follow four main plot-lines, although we do begin to see little snippets in some chapters that give us information on what is developing in the rest of the world. The book also is the first to develop and build on the romantic entanglements that have thus far only been suggested in earlier books. With Perrin and Faile coming together at the end of The Dragon Reborn we see their relationship develop as they head towards the dangers in the Two Rivers. Also we see Rand in his first romantic relationship with Elayne Trakand, although they go their separate ways early in the book. The translation twist in the passage of the Prophecy of the Dragon, quoted my Moiraine, is very cleverly done and could easily mean what she thinks it does on face value. At the end of the book however you can see clearly how it was not but not having the relevant information to see this before allows you to go through the whole book unsure of what the next move has to be. The pace of the book slows down slightly now; it is not a chase but there in no standing still with all characters constantly moving towards their differing goals.
Once again this book is a brilliant read and with Rand al'Thor thoroughly back in the picture we can begin to move forward again. Where in the last book you knew where you were heading almost from the start, this book allows no such knowledge. Everything that happens is a surprise with the characters themselves not often sure where they are headed and those that think they are keeping it close to their chest. It all combines to add an air of excitement and anticipation for the reader throughout!
10 out of 10!