Fires of Heaven takes place immediately after The Shadow Rising, and we begin to see Rand in a role that we have not seen previously: as a conqueror. We might have seen him play similar roles, but this is the first time he has ever led an army on a civilization. It is interesting to see how this affects his character, pushing him more and more to become so hard he might break. Some of the other characters get some good development as well, though there is a significant absence in the character of Perrin who we don’t see for almost the entire book, and certainly nothing really happens to expand on his character.
The best thing about Fires of Heaven, as is the case with almost all of Robert Jordan’s books, is the ending which is fiery. The build-up and actual execution of the ending is well set up and leaves you somewhat speechless upon finishing the book.
One of the greatest weaknesses in the series is just beginning to become apparent and will remain a problem until about book eleven. I am referring to the extremely large amount of conversations and lack of action. Although conversation is not a bad thing, and Robert Jordan does a superb job of judging the routes these conversations could take given the characters involved, it seems to push away the fantasy action that we all kind of expect when reading a fantasy series. However, coupled with the ending, this is not as bad as you’d think…yet. It gets worse in later books.
Overall, there is a lot of value in this book, and you will finish it with a question that will last for another eight books: who killed Asmodean? And this will bug you for the rest of the series. It’s a great addition to an already thriving series, and one I’d recommend.