"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton
This is where I chronicle my reading life. I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.
This is probably my favorite Wheel of Time book so far, and I can't place my finger on exactly why. All I know is that this book felt less "long" than the others have, and that I also felt more focused as I listened to it -- my mind didn't wander as much as it usually does, which meant I followed the story better, which, in turn, made it more compelling. Perhaps the main reason I enjoyed this one more than any of the others is that I still remembered the previous one fairly well, having read it about 6 months ago rather than the usual year break I take between these tomes.
But I think we saw characters deepening in this book moreso than they have in others, perhaps because a fair amount of time must be spent in worldbuilding with an epic fantasy like this. Even though Rand is one of my least favorite characters, I found his storyline to be compelling in this volume, probably because he was continuously moving forward rather than just angsting. The storyline about the divided Ai Sedai also interested me.
Overall, Jordan's treatment of the female characters was adequately done, although there are hints of "fantasies" other readers have noted about women punishing one another harshly. Still nothing egregious enough to interfere with my enjoyment of the story, and for the first time I felt tempted to dive right into the next book when this one finished. I refrained, but I think perhaps I won't wait a full year before bringing the next one out.
This review feels a little meandering, but at this point it's hard to say much "new" about the series, especially without giving spoilers for people who haven't read earlier books (rather than just avoiding spoilers for this particular book.) There were a few surprises, one of which I'm in denial about and feel will be affirmed in a later book. At least, it better be.