Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
The penultimate book in Jordan's sweeping epic fantasy works hard to bring together all the strands of earlier books in preparation for the battle between the Dragon Reborn and the Dark One that will decide the fate of the earth and of the magic that is its essence. As in the previous installments, the author follows many stories, from the progress of Rand al'Thor and his armies to the odd courtship between the roguish Mat and his almost-wife Tuon. From Elayne's struggle to keep the peace in Camlyn to the conflict between the magic-wielding Aes Sedai and their evil counterparts, the scope of Jordan's vision is immense and incisive. One of the major works of the fantasy genre, this novel, along with its predecessors, belongs in all libraries. Highly recommended. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
The previous book in Jordan's massive Wheel of Time, Crossroads of Twilight, may have come out in 2003, but don't let that fool you; the 11th tome in this epic fantasy is the one Jordan fans have been eagerly waiting for the better part of a decade. The breakneck pace, lyrical beauty and astonishing scope of the early Wheel of Time volumes established Jordan as one of the top writers in the Tolkien tradition. While more recent entries have maintained that beauty and scope, the pace has slowed to a crawl as the central characters dispersed in six directions. In contrast, the latest explodes with motion, as multiple plot lines either conclude or advance, and the march to Tarmon Gai'don-the climactic last battle between the Dragon Reborn and the Dark One-begins in earnest. Faile's captivity with the Shaido, Mat's pursuit of Tuon and Elayne's war for Caemlyn come to a close, while Egwene's capture brings the Aes Sedai war to the heart of the Tower. Jordan has said that readers will be sweating by the end of the book, and he's probably right. Sweating or not, they'll also be dreading the long year or two before the 12th installment. Agent, Nat Sobel. $750,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
The eleventh volume of that most colossal contemporary fantasy saga, The Wheel of Time, mostly develops things in preparation for the next and final volume. Despite rumors of Rand al'Thor's death spreading across the land, he is alive, and so are his five companions from Two Rivers, although it can hardly be said that people with so much at stake are also well. The Seanchan invasion hasn't turned the land into a replica of China, circa 1900-50, and so the fleets of the Athan Miere are putting to sea with, it would seem, an eye to seeing that they do so. Jordan brings dozens of minor places, from taverns to battlefields, vividly to life, and sees to it that the intrigues among the magic-wielding women of the Aes Sedai continue with a fervor and ferocity that is positively Byzantine and would make a sociology faculty blanch. Nor is it all a matter of the old Ajahs against the Darkfriends of the Black Ajah--not when the issue at stake is who is to control magic in the world to come if it isn't going to be the Dragon Reborn. That latter possibility, of course, looms over all the uprisings and downsittings in Jordan's superlatively executed world and its worthy company of characters. --Roland Green Copyright 2005 Booklist