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.
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