The bonds and wards that hold the Great Lord of the Dark are slowly failing, but still his fragile prison holds. The Forsaken, immortal servants of the shadow, weave their snares and tighten their grip upon the realms of men, sure in the knowledge that their master will soon break free…
Rand al’ Thor, the Dragon Reborn, knows that he must strike at the Enemy, but his forces are divided by treachery and by ambition. Even the Aes Sedai, ancient guardians of the Light, are riven by civil war. Betrayed by his allies, pursued by his enemies and beset by the madness that comes to the male wielders of the One Power, Rand rides out to meet the foe. – Goodreads
This book was a mixed bag for me. There were a lot of interesting threads throughout the book, but there were some major writing issues as well this time around.
First, I do really like the way Jordan shows character growth through how childhood relationships are changing – for better and worse. None of the characters are the same people they were two years ago when they left the Two Rivers and these changes should have ripple affects on their oldest relationships. I like how nuanced these changes are too, and that they are not just full breaks in friendships.
Now for the issues I had:
Jordan could have cut a good 50 pages from the book by simply removing most of the “men/women are trash” thoughts that characters had. Having a character every now and then comment that “men could be so bullheaded” or “women could be so crazy” is fine, but it got to the point that it felt like a character was making a disparaging comment like this on every other page. This alone would probably not have been enough to knock the book down a star, but then the ending happened.
The rest of this review is on the next page as it contains major spoilers for the end.