The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.
There are several "dark" moments (especially at the end...), several plot twists and surprises, and many parts that made me laugh out loud. All in all, a very enjoyable book to read. And of course, what else would we expect out of The Wheel of Time, right?
But...come on!! First Moiraine, and now....I won't spoil it, but it would appear that yet another main character has died at the end of this book. YEEAARRRGH! I'll quit reading the series pretty soon if Jordan doesn't stop killing off my favorite characters!
But, seriously, do you really WANT this series to end? I was surprised to find out that some people are getting impatient, saying that it's lasting too long. I say that these people are very close-minded, or maybe SIMPLE-minded. Can't you see that there are so many characters and plots, the series ISN'T going to wrap up in just a few books? Maybe if it was ONLY about Rand, but..it's not. The Wheel of Time series is about an entire world, a world with it's own history and politics. It's about an entire cast of characters, and the parts they play in trying to save this world. And most of all, it's about the battle of Good and Evil. There is not a more timeless tale then that.
After the end of Book 6 (Lord of Chaos), it seemed that the series had regained its direction. But in ACoS, Jordan introduces numerous "new" characters (most notably Moridin), new concepts, and new intrigues. The pacing slows to a near crawl for nearly 600 pages before erupting to the uncertain ending. Worst of all is the dithering by Rand, the messiah figure who is paralyzed by inaction for most of this book and Book 8.
The first five books of this series are great. But book 6 is an interlude from the non-stop action and this book begins the series descent into unabashed authorial self-indulgence. To wit: The Wheel of Time Series is now at 10 books plus a prequel and a guidebook but less has happened to the characters and the plotline in books 7-10 than did in any two books of the first five. The 10 books are probably seven times the length of Lord of the Rings and at least two or three more sequels are likely.
If you're prepared to stick it out to a (hopefully) colossal ending, then get this book, the execrable Path of Daggers and the others. If not, get out now and save yourself the grief so many other disappointed fans have endured.
Things actually kind of happen in this book. Kinda. I'm now going to try to get through book 8, and hope that Jordan keeps the "Mat knows women, Perrin knows women, but I'm a clueless Messiah foretold in the Age of Legends as the defeater of the Dark One. . .but even I am powerless against feminine wiles of my strong-willed co-protagonists!" to a minimum.
(PS. Lan is too cool for that annoying, stubborn to the point of being mentally retarded pony-tailed woman. Seriously, their relationship makes no sense. Grin and bear it, I guess.)
Quit while you're ahead