My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What a relief. I so did not want to hate Robert Jordan’s last book, and I’m happy to be able to report that, on the contrary, I enjoyed the book very much. In fact, if GoodReads would let me, I think I’d give it 4.5 stars. Why, you ask?
Well, I’ll admit that some of it might well have to do with expectations. After the Epic Fail that was Crossroads of Twilight, my expectations for this book were right around the level of “hope and a prayer that it doesn’t suck.” So getting something actually good instead makes it seem that much better. (This is the same reason I think so many people loved Pirates of the Caribbean 1, but were let down by the sequels. The first one they expected to be awful. The second and third they expected to be great. Expectations are everything, sometimes.)
But beyond simple expectations, there’s a feeling in this book of finality–of things all coming to a head at last. Jordan’s gearing his characters up for some Really Big Stuff, and he does it very well. Yes, now and then he still devolves into a page turn stopping block of description, but Stuff Happens in this book. What stands out in particular?
Egwene in the Tower–I’d totally forgotten about this plot sequence, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Mat and Tuon continued to impress, especially the climax. Rand’s showdown with Semirhage was intense, and his continued preparations were fun to read. And who can forget Perrin’s section, where the Faile escapade finally comes to an end. Surprisingly, I enjoyed it–just wish it had come a lot sooner.
I continue to be let down by Elayne’s plot line, though. Thank goodness it got fairly tied up in this book. That has always felt like one big aside that didn’t really matter. But that’s just me.
So there you have it. I finished the reread in time for Brandon’s book to be released next month. Overall, I’m very glad I took the time to revisit the series. For the most part, the books are fast paced and interesting throughout. That’s quite the accomplishment, considering how many pages there are.
Would I recommend others do the reread? Not really. Not unless they’re Big Fans. But I DO recommend rereading Knife of Dreams. Not only will it remind you all of where the series is, but it’s a fun book to read. Can’t wait for #12 . . .