The past 3 books have mostly been awful, if judged on their own and not as a whole with the entire series.
This one is definitely better, but only because of the Mat Cauthon story line. I would have thought I would enjoy Perrin's as well, but it is attached to yet another situation where a bunch of female characters are being held against their will. And, of course, as soon as she is rescued, Jordan immediately writes another set of his female characters to walk with bravado into another obvious situation for things to not go as planned and one of them gets taken against their will.
I agree with many of the other reviews. Jordan is as verbose as ever, but everything reads rushed and sloppy. I can't help but feel that there was too much time spent on things that just don't have enough literary value to the story.
It's worth it just for the Mat Cauthon parts, though. Mat has consistently been the most interesting and consistently quality reading character out of all of the later books. Perhaps making up for the fact that he spent so much of the earlier books annoyingly under the influence of or chasing the dagger from Shadar Logoth.
Unfortunately, far too much time is spent on story lines that do not advance the story. And within those useless story lines, Jordan goes into great detail about irrelevant things. Who doesn't want to hear about Elayne's sore nipples or nausea? Or how dissatisfied she is with having to drink weak tea and eat tasteless food all the time?
Time passes very slowing in this book and you even go back in time. Saidin isn't even cleansed for half the book.
This book is mostly filler, very stretched filler. It gives us a lengthy status update about character development for characters are really don't care about very much.
The voice talent in Kate Reading and Michael Kramer are excellent, as always.
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