My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was a noticeable dip in the series for me. I think the biggest problem I had with it was that the conflicts of the series seemed to drastically change with this book. For one thing, the Forsaken take a dramatic turn for the worse, going into hiding much more. Yes, Sammael is still there, and you’ve got some machinations by Moghedien and others, but there just wasn’t a big enough oomph for my tastes. Even the climax of the book fell short for me. It suffered from a case of the “not as good as . . .” blues. The battle scene wasn’t as good as Dumai’s Wells. The duel with the power wasn’t as good as many others. The bad guy wasn’t even 100% for sure killed.
This was a book where it seemed to me like Jordan started to get too focused on his characters. The conflicts are no longer as “the fate of the world lies in the balance.” They’re more “Rand is going crazy. Or is he?” or “Watch in wonder as Elayne tries to manipulate other Aes Sedai.” I don’t know–I wasn’t loving it here. There were still pieces of goodness here and there, but way too much description and machinations to slog through to get to them.