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Halfway into it. Verdict so far:


OK, I lied. No spoilers.

Better than Crossroads of Twilight. So is scurvy.

I'll post full opinion once I finish it.


EDIT: Done with the book.


OK, the book really *is* better than CoT. But it does not, IMHO, reach "really good" other than in a nod-and-wink sorta way.

The good:
- Resolution of Faile/Perrin. I just wish it had been Jim Hill's version.
- Mat & DotNM. Best part of the book, hands down. I actually enjoyed these scenes, a lot. Viewing Mat through an pair of eyes that does not really know what to make of him *works*.
- Thom & the Letter of Dooooooooom. Enjoyable section. Jordan finally grabs a thread that has been dangling for what, 6 books? Doesn't actually *resolve* it, though. Bastard.
- Perrin & the Seanchen. Intriguing alliance, made possible through Perrin's focus. There has always been something solid about Perrin, and frankly, a respect borne out from that feels a lot more believable than Faile. I still wish we had seen Jim Hill's version of the Faile/Perrin reunion, dammit.
- Less braid pulling, less sniffing, more crying. Good by a 2 to 1 ratio.
- Egwene. Interesting conceit, to play at Mata Hari when the enemy *knows* who you are. Yet it worked on some level.
- Seanchen. They finally get fleshed out from the "furriners with funny accents, numerous as grains of sand, implacable Return" cliche. They are a bit better now.
- Mat & DotNM. I know, I listed them already. Seriously. Best. Part. Of. Book.

The bad:
- Lord these people love to natter on. Shut up already.
- "It's a trap!" "Knowing that, we can safely spring it." *SNAP* "Oh, shit, there was a second layer." TWICE
- Pregnancy causes mood swings. We get it already.
- Not enough/well done enough large scale battles. Jordan always seems to write large battles well enough to be gripping. Here, not so much. Kind of a letdown.
- Red Ajah binding Asha'man and *only* Asha'man? And this was brought up as the freaking conclusion of the book? WTF?
- Not *nearly* enough face time for the Forsaken, what with the Last Battle Right Around The Corner, We Really Mean It This Time, Honest.
- Saidin is free of the taint! Whee! Absolutely nothing has changed due to this earth-shattering fact. WTF?
- Shaido run back to the Waste to lick their wounds, vow never to leave again. Um, thread resolved by autorial fiat, I guess.

Conclusion: Book 6-7ish in quality. Definitely a step up from the last several, but not a patch on the earlier works. I don't regret buying it, and at least Shit Happened, so KoD > CoT, but I was hoping for more.

There were enough threads resolved to see the end of the series looming. Thank God.

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dilickjm

December 2007

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