My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Wow. What a difference a book makes. The series went from its low point last book to a fantastic book this outing. (Someone explain to me why they decided to have Perrin walking through snow on the cover. Yes, it’s called Winter’s Heart, and snow is a wintry thing, but still–why no Shadar Logoth on the horizon with Rand and Nynaeve being assaulted by all the Forsaken and protected by Asha’man and Aes Sedai? Seriously. Would have been a great cover . . .)
In any case, I almost gave this book a five star. (Elayne’s sections managed to bring it down for me. That conflict and Perrin chasing Faile both feel extremely contrived to me, and it frustrates me when I have to read them.) The book was very well paced, had tons of great action scenes, the plot advanced by leaps and bounds–seriously a great Wheel of Time entry. Yes, it was a bit spotty, with huge chunks of one plot line at a time, but I was okay with that. Each one stopped at a reasonable time, and each one (with the exceptions noted above) kept things interesting.
It also helped that Rand didn’t seem quite so Froot Loopy this time around–he had a plan, he stuck with it. Sure, he did some stupid things, but he’s trying not to go crazy–I’ll cut him some slack. Mat’s sections were fantastic. Love the reveal of the Daughter of the Nine Moons.
All in all, a great read. Makes me really look forward to book 12 coming at the end of October . . .