The audio version of book 4 is over 40 hours long, but it never felt “too long.” I like to dip into this series only about once every few months, but each time I do, I find that I’m happy to hang out there for the duration.
I don’t always pay attention to the more nitty gritty aspects of trolloc battles and political maneuverings, but I enjoy following along with the main characters. I particularly enjoy the wide variety of women characters as well as the variety of cultural customs regarding women’s roles. Warriors, mystics, healers, schemers, heroes, guardians, prophets, demons, bar maids, and more… the women are by far more complex and interesting than the men.
I also appreciate the way some of the subcultures in the WOT universe turn traditional Western ideas about gender roles on their head, as a way of poking fun of their absurdity. Here’s one of my favorite examples from this book: When Rand has a hard time understanding why a woman is the head of a household instead of her husband, he’s told:
“Because she is roofmistress, you stone-headed wetlander. A man cannot own a roof any more than he can own land! Sometimes you wetlanders sound like savages.”
A man owning land… the very idea!