There will definitely be spoilers and not just for this book but for any of my faulty memories of the entirety of the Wheel of Time. This is not a review, more me revisiting my favorite book series a decade later. I absolutely recommend reading The Wheel of Time series and it was the best book series I read growing up, so anything critical I say is just for love.
Things I was annoyed by:
I felt they spent too much time at the beginning of the book not leaving on their trips. Once they started leaving they spent so much time not accomplishing much at all. They just kept traveling and then Rand used some poorly explained magic. I wish they had spent a little more time in Cairhain and explored the Great Game with the houses a little bit more, because that was much more interesting than the first 2/3ish of the book.
The whole time people keep trying to not accept who they are. I get what Robert Jordan was trying to get across by it, the boys are scared of what an Aes Sedai would do to them. But I think this, unlike much of the rest of the series, is not as well written as I would have liked. Running away from your destiny is a story line that makes sense but can easily get annoying when all the character needs to do is accept it and move on.
The forced fighting between Rand, Mat and Perrin reminded me of the times in Harry Potter when Ron is upset with Harry over stupid stuff. I get that things like that happen in real life, but when the problems can be solved by the characters just saying one thing to each other it gets annoying. I wonder if it would have had a better effect if there was more explanation of Mat and Perrin not understanding and being a little scared of anything semi special about Rand vs thinking he is uppity for wearing nice clothes.
- Rand's interest in the statue that gets everyone in Cairhain so up panties up in a wad is flimsy and annoying.
- the overall pace is just slower except right at the end.
- still not my favorite of the books.
Things I loved:
This book has tons of cool parts that I forgot were in this one.
- Egwene in captivity (#foreshadowing) is well told and refreshing how quickly she gains power and control of her abilities unlike other characters.
- The last battle with the Horn of Valere and the heroes is always good.
- The various fights in the book are a little better as the characters become more competent but their abilities don’t astronomically rise in a completely unrealistic way even though it is fast for normal people.
- The 3 abilities of the boys keep growing with Rand (One Power), Perrin (wolf things), and Mat (weird ancient connection thingy to the motherland) all having an advantage.
- The use of them being Ta’averen is helpful with helping the 3 of them becoming more powerful.
My favorite thing is as more point of view characters are added it allows Robert Jordan to hide what Rand is planning. At first the new point of views are just required because the groups have split up, but then they are in the same place so the reader can be hidden from some of their thoughts and plans.
Overall still a good book even though I don’t like it as much. But I’m excited because I know that some of my favorite books are coming up soon.