Original cover of Winter's Heart, showing Perrin Aybara leading Annoura, Balwer and Gaul
|Series||The Wheel of Time|
|Publisher||Tor Books (U.S.) &
|Publication date||November 7, 2000|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||668 pp (U.S. hardback edition) &
640 pp (UK hardback edition)
|ISBN||ISBN 0-312-86425-6 (U.S. hardback edition)
& ISBN 1-85723-984-9 (UK hardback edition)
|Dewey Decimal||813/.54 21|
|LC Classification||PS3560.O7617 W55 2000|
|Preceded by||The Path of Daggers|
|Followed by||Crossroads of Twilight|
Winter's Heart (abbreviated as WH by fans) is the ninth book of the Wheel of Time fantasy series written by American author Robert Jordan. It was published by Tor Books and released on November 7, 2000. Upon its release, it immediately rose to the #1 position on the New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller list, making it the second Wheel of Time book to reach the #1 position on that list. It remained on the list for the next two months. Winter's Heart consists of a prologue and 35 chapters.
The book's title is a reference to the increasing coldness of Rand al'Thor's personality and to the return of winter following the reversal in the previous book, The Path of Daggers, of the unnatural heat caused by the Dark One's manipulation of climate.
Winter's Heart was the first Wheel of Time book for which the prologue, entitled "Snow", was first sold as an ebook in advance of the physical release of the book. "Snow" was released by the Scribner imprint of Simon & Schuster in September 2000, two months before the publication of Winter's Heart.
Many of the events of Winter's Heart take place simultaneously with the events of the next book, Crossroads of Twilight. Perrin Aybara and his followers pursue the Shaido Aiel who kidnapped his wife, Faile Bashere.
Elayne Trakand attempts to solidify her grip on the Lion Throne and put down rebellious nobles.
Mat Cauthon, making his return to the series after his absence in the previous book, is trapped in the city of Ebou Dar in Altara, which is under Seanchan occupation. He plans his escape, but in the end, his plans are disrupted by the interference of a Seanchan noblewoman named Tuon, who is revealed as the Daughter of the Nine Moons, heir to the Seanchan Crystal Throne. Mat, having heard a prophecy about him marrying the Daughter of the Nine Moons, kidnaps Tuon instead of tying her up and leaving her behind.
Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, is bonded as a Warder by Elayne Trakand, Aviendha, and Min Farshaw. He hunts down Asha'man traitors in Far Madding and kills most of them. Lan also kills Toram Riatin in a duel. Caught by guards, he is imprisoned for a short time but is set free by Cadsuane and the other Aes Sedai who followed him. Rand and Nynaeve al'Meara Travel to Shadar Logoth. There, defended by Cadsuane Melaidhrin's Aes Sedai and loyal Asha'man against the Forsaken, Rand and Nynaeve link and use the Choedan Kal to cleanse saidin of the Dark One's taint so that men who channel will no longer go mad. Whilst using so much of the One Power, the access key (of the female Choedan Kal) is destroyed.
The Cleansing of saidin
During the course of the events of the book, Rand al'Thor made an extraordinary claim: he believed he had discovered how to cleanse the Dark One's 3000-year-old taint on saidin. He discovered how to do this upon careful questioning of the Aelfinn, as well as of Herid Fel. His preparations bore great fruit when he and Nynaeve al'Meara used the two most powerful sa'angreal ever made (the Choedan Kal) to funnel the taint into Shadar Logoth. Rand al'Thor did this by creating a funnel of pure saidar and forcing saidin through the funnel. The evil in Shadar Logoth, which was born out of pure hate for the Shadow and the Dark One, attracted and reacted with the taint of saidin, and the two forces annihilated each other, removing the taint from saidin, as well as destroying Shadar Logoth.
In Knife of Dreams, it has been confirmed that saidin is clean, by both Aes Sedai and Asha'man. However, according to Jordan himself, though sane channelers no longer need to fear its destructive effects, it does not restore any already affected by it to their former selves (as far as madness is concerned, presumably the rotting sickness can now be cured).
During the cleansing, a battle took place between the forces of light and the shadow. The forces of light under Cadsuane split into several groups of Aes Sedai and Asha'man linked to be ready for the upcoming attack. The Aes Sedai Sarene and Corele linked with the Asha'man Damer Flinn, while Elza (who is secretly Black Ajah) and Merise linked with Jahar (one of Merise's warders, wielding Callandor). Nesune, Beldeine, Daigian linked with Eben Hopwil. Verin and Kumira linked with a Sea Folk Windfinder Shalon. The former Damane Alivia fought without being linked, helped by a set of Angreal and Ter'angreal presumably made for battle, and by virtue of fact that she was (and is currently) the strongest and most experienced female channeler for the Light in the series thus far.
The forces of the Shadow consisted of Cyndane (formerly Lanfear), Demandred, Osan'gar (formerly Aginor, who we find out has been masquerading as Corlan Dashiva, an Asha'man), Moghedien, Graendal and Aran'gar who was formerly Balthamel and now is in a female body but still channels saidin.
During the fight, Osan'gar was killed by Elza (ironically a Black Ajah), Eben Hopwil by Aran'gar and Kumira by Graendal. It has also resulted in the utter destruction of the female Choedan Kal and its access key, which triggered the mass suicide of Amayar along the Islands of the Sea Folk, who believed the giant statue's destruction to signal the end of their Age of Illusion.
- 2000, U.S., Tor Books (ISBN 0-312-86425-6), Pub date November 7, 2000, hardcover (First edition)
- 2000, UK, Orbit (ISBN 1-85723-984-9), Pub date November 9, 2000, hardcover
- 2001, U.S., Tor Books (ISBN 0-312-87775-7), Pub date February ?, 2001, hardcover
- 2001, UK, Orbit (ISBN 1-84149-071-7), Pub date November 1, 2001, paperback
- 2002, U.S., Tor Books (ISBN 0-8125-7558-X), Pub date January ?, 2002, paperback
- 2003, U.S., Rebound by Sagebrush (ISBN 0-613-61150-0), Pub date July ?, 2003, hardcover (Library binding)
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- Concise summaries of each chapter from http://www.dragonmount.com/
- More detailed summaries of each chapter from http://www.encyclopaedia-wot.org
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- Review at http://www.proudestmonkeys.com/
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