Yeah, the girls were sort of terrible to Matt in that one. That's something that lingers for a looooong while and I never liked that. The next one is pretty good as I remember it. You're almost to the point where I caught up to the series as it was releasing! (#8 Path of Daggers was the most recent one when I started.)
Book Six done. Seven arms under breasts, one arm under chest. The book really ticked me off, even for how insufferable the women can be, they were REALLY insufferable this book especially with how they treated Matt who, while yes he can be a prick, always had the best intentions for them and the girls always treat him like dirt. Not a lot was accomplished in the book in terms of plot though I'll give it credit, that ending with the Asha'man was easily one of the best and most memorable endings, Jesus Christ they were turning people into red mist!
Well onto Book 7!
Well I have only been tracking variations of arms under breasts. That's not mentioning the countless times of "the necklace between her breasts" or whatnot. Nevermind Nyaeve's braidpulls, how about how women constantly "sniff" their disapproval (I didn't know that was a thing) or someone screaming (especially Matt) "bloody ashes"!
Really? Only seven total by book 5? I swear it was more. Either he really starts hammering it in later or its just such a distinctive phrase it stands out.... but its defnitely been a fandom joke forever. Shame you haven't been also tracking Nynaeve's braid pulls.
ANd yeah, that was the volume with no Perrin. WHich I never cared for since he's one of my favorites.
Book Five...done! Again, three months, I need to get quicker! The story decided to focus on just two major plotlines, Rand and Nyaeve's. No Perrin or anything. I liked it alot, had a really nice climactic battle though some events did kidna happen out of nowhere. Bet you anything Morraine isn't dead. Arms under breast count: Seven! (Counting folded arms under bosom as well as folded their arms under their breasts!)
Book Four done. It took me...3 months? Geez, I'm getting slower. Which is weird because book four is my favorite so far.
It felt like the most well put together, I was engaged with all of the plot threads, especially Perrin's and it had a nice, climactic finale that was well set up and not another random Balzamon battle. The women are still infuriatingly annoying but that's par for the course.
Arm under breast count: Four
Onto book 5!
I think book three is the last time there's a random Balzamon confrontation. Rand is in position now for... stuff, so the dynamics of the world start shifting a bit.
But yes, the gender politics are one of the weakest points in the series.
Also the women are starting to become infuriating. Morraine is still fine but Egwene, Nyaeve and Elayne are just irritating, Mat risked so much to save their lives and they chew him out, what bitches! It's like whenever two people of the opposite sex talk, it's always "I'll never understand women!" (which can be funny) or "Ugh, Men are idiots" (not as funny...). Like there are more dimensions to inter-sex interactions I would think!
Okay, I've been pooping on it too much, I still like the world, characters and lore for the most part even if the pacing doesn';t encourage a lot of binge reading. Two months...I need to pick up the pace. Onto Book 4!
Book 3 done...did it really take me two months!?
Arms under breasts count: Two
Thoughts: I liked it, it was an interesting structure where it focused mostly on Matt and Perrin and almost nothing on Rand. Which made it weird that he came in by the end and stole the whole show. Honestly, I'm noticing a pattern with these books where we have to have a climactic battle at the end against Balzamon who shows up out of nowhere. It's getting old fast. Also was hoping for more from Belal, not a fan of magic flames that can eradicate them.
<This series handles gender relationships very weirdly.>
Yes. Yes it does. Jordan wrote strong, indepedant female characters that get half the screentime... but he also wrote them with some slightly sexist hangups.
And that particular love octahedron doesn't quite go that smoothly. For a couple reasons.