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on May 25, 2016
Everyone dithers about.

That is basically the entire plot of this book explained in one short sentence. I have read a lot of books in my day, and have read countless reviews calling a book boring, or giving the accusation that "nothing happens". Usually it is hyperbole, but in this case it is the honest truth. Almost nothing happens in this book. Now, if you read the series up to this point, you know you will read this. But you really don't need to.

If you DO want to save several hours of your life, though, let me spoil the whole book in a few blurbs (and I'm not even worried about offending anyone with spoilers because non of this is ground breaking enough to anger anyone that they were "spoiled"). You can pick up the next volume Knife of Dreams, in which things do finally start moving forward again and not skip a beat.

Perrin- finds the camp Faile is being held at by the Shaido . he dithers about its outskirts, fretting about how he can possibly rescue her. Goes and buys grain in a creepy town (which ironically is about the most exciting chapter this book has. Yes. The most exciting chapter in the whole book is about buying grain). Oh yes, the Seanchan want to talk to him as it ends.

Elaine- dithers about in Caemlyn with a bunch of annoying bickering royals and followers, while feeling hormonal (because she is pregnant). Some outside forces plot against her, but Nothing happens.

Mat- is dithering about while traveling with Luca's circus, gets to know Tuon a little, otherwise nothing happens.

Rand- gets like 2 mere chapters here after cleansing saidin in the last book which should be an earth-shattering thing, but almost no acknowledgement is given in this book. Basically just spends time lying low, dithering about, and brooding as usual on how hard he needs to be. Nothing happens.

Egwene and the aes sedai- they dither about outside of Tar Valon, trying to figure out what to do to take the White Tower with minimal bloodshed. The other Aes Sedai are all as horrible and condescending as usual. Nothing happens until the very end, when she is suddenly kidnapped (which is basically the only real thing that happens in this book that moves the plot forward- but no joke, this happens suddenly in the last pages of the book and ends here. Its not like its well written, or an exciting sequence- it just happens suddenly. And the book ends.

Previous books have usually ended with a big Rand chapter where he does something huge and world changing- conquers a nation, attacks a forsaken, big battle, etc. Nothing like that happens here.
like this which is a mi
Now its not all bad. These are still the characters you know and love (or not). They are richly written, and in the end, you do get to spend more time with them, and their wants, worries, and aspirations. I'll give two starts for this. But nothing happens. If you go into a book and expect it to have a clear plot- beginning, middle, and end, if you will, you don't find it here. Even a book ddle part of a long series, generally at least has some kind of unique theme, adventure, set of events, or a particular adversary that it deals with which makes it a unique story. There is nothing of the sort here. Quite simply... Everyone Dithers About. The End.

So there you have it- Crossroads of Twilight. Nothing happens. Everyone dithers about. Enjoy.
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on August 21, 2016
At this point in the series, I have put too much time into it to stop. I will complete the series, but it has become a chore.

I am no longer convinced the author is even a good writer. Sure the overall story is good from book to book, but I tire of his relentless repetition in descriptions and themes. I am growing well beyond frustrated in hearing about cool Aes Sedai serenity, women sniffing and adjusting their shawls/dresses/divided skirts/etc, someone about to speak then snapping their mouth shut "with an audible click" (do people even do this?). I feel that I have read enough about the clothing in this era to become a tailor or seamstress and do a decent job at it.

I could have written this review for any of the recent books I have read in this series (I think I enjoyed the earlier books, but there are too many mind-numbing pages in between those and what I am reading now to remember clearly), but this one sticks out. There is little to no movement of the plot in this entire book; I could probably sum up the plot advances in something the length of this review. I have become quite adept at noticing when a paragraph will describe a character's clothing and appearance or every detail of a room I will never hear about again. When I come across such a paragraph, I skip it. I hate reading like this, but to keep my sanity I have found it necessary.

I still like a few of the characters, mostly Rand and Mat. Rand mainly because the plot usually jumps forward some when he is involved, and Mat needs no explanation. Perrin though...I really want to like him because of his connection with wolves (I am partial to wolves after books such as the Farseer Trilogy) but I cannot. He is just such a little bitch. Most of the other characters I have varying degrees of hatred (one of the only redeeming qualities of this book was that Nynaeve was blissfully absent) to mild dislike (Elayne is starting to get boring, but I used to like her).

I plead to the Great Lord to grant me strength for my arduous task of completing this series. Maybe the writing will get better when Sanderson takes over? I loved Mistborn...
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on November 2, 2016
Crossroads of Twilight has:

846 pages
271K words
30 Chapters + Prologue + Epilogue
22 Uniquie PoVs
45 Individual PoVs
And the plot arcs only moved forward 2 inches...2 measly inches.

HOW?????

Even Snails be like…dude catch up.

Part of the issue is that the first 55-60% of this book is just about what everyone else was doing while Rand and Nynaeve were trying to cleanse Saidin.

The Rundown:

Faile is still kidnapped by the Shido and Perrin is pretty much at the end of his tether trying to get her back.

Everyone still thinks that Perrin has a thing with that bitch Beralain (view spoiler)

Elayne is still trying to solidify her claim on The Lion Throne. I’m not sure if it is because she is pregnant but I was totally bored through her chapters.

Egwene is still camped outside Tar’Valon waiting to do something. She is still having headaches and she has no idea where they are coming from. *Yawn* Aes Sedae politics are boring now.

Siaun and Gareth Bloody Bryne are still pretending they don’t have huge chemistry…It’s minor but I ship them so hurry that arc up.

Rand is still missing all of the Maidens. No seriously what happened to them? He went into hiding but that is kind of done now so why hasn’t he reconnected with any of them.

Mat Cauthon still has those bloody dice rolling in his head Actually this was the one arc that was at all interesting to me. He kidnapped the Daughter of the Nine Moons *snickers*. I’m pretty sure that she is playing him more than he is playing her and IT IS FANTASTIC!
Loial is finally back. I’ve missed that Ogier so much. But he only gets a few token mentions and parts in this book. Maybe in the next he will get a bigger role.

The Seanchan are still invading they also aren’t advertising that their precious Daughter of the Nine Moons is missing. But at least some of the Seanchan PoVs were really enlightening and gave some added depth to their culture.

The Problem

There are SO MANY CHARACTERS. Look we are 10 books in and I can’t remember all the main players anymore. I had to look up on the Wheel of Time wiki who people were because I didn’t remember that so and so rescued Rand in book 5 or that this other Dude has like three different names but he is the same dude. And I’m going in order. I can’t even imagine how this worked for people who had years between books unless they reread them all going into the new ones.

I’m so done with Aes Sedea politics…because they are stupid. I want certain characters to meet so we can just resolve a few things. I want the kids that grew up in the two rivers together as best friends to freaking trust each other and not accidentally plot against that other *looks at Egwene*. I want characters that I haven’t scene for books and books to show up and do something or die. There are just too many loose threads everywhere. It is time to start resolving a few things.

In all of the last books there is a climax at the end. A build and then the last 10-15% is all action and chaos and stuff happening and so it leaves you feeling the book accomplished something. But the end of this book wasn’t like that at all and it really just fizzled. And some idiot from the Two Rivers ditched all their guards and didn’t tell anyone where they were going only to be captured by the enemy and that was the end. It just didn’t live up to the prior books at all.

My Ray of Hope

There is ONE more book to go before Sanderson takes over. So I’m holding out for that.
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on January 9, 2013
At the end of the previous book, Rand and Nynaeve used the Choedan Kal to cleanse saidin. They succeeded. Now Jordan writes a book that focuses on everyone else's reactions to the cleansing of saidin. Because of this, very little happens in this book and the plot suffers for it. Furthermore, Jordan becomes even more descriptive than usual, as if he felt he was a nineteenth century author getting paid by the word. Crossroads of Twilight is the nadir of the series.

A plurality of the book focuses on Egwene. Almost nothing happens until the very end.
Perrin/Faile - Nothing really happens. Lots of descriptions.
Mat - Nothing really happens. Lots of descriptions.
Elayne - Nothing at all happens. Lots of descriptions.
Rand - only appears for part of one chapter and in the epilogue. Nothing happens.

The rest of the book is taken up by POVs from people you don't care about. Although there is one scene that focuses on Alviarin that is pretty good.

For this book Nynaeve does not appear and for the first time there are no sniffs from her. Perhaps Jordan felt that sniffing got out of hand, because we are down to 10 - a number last seen in the Eye of the World.

Essande - I
Dyelin - II
Nisao - I
Tiana - II
Egwene - I
Kireyin - I
Latelle - I
Silk Shopkeeper - I

And for the 10 books so far Nynaeve still retains her Crown of Sniffs,

Nynaeve - IIIII IIIII IIIII IIIII IIIII IIIII IIIII IIIII IIIII II (47)
Egwene - IIIII IIIII IIIII II (17)
Elayne - IIIII IIIII IIIII I (16)
Aviendha - IIIII IIIII II (12)
Min - IIIII III (8)
Leane - IIIII II (7)
Moiraine - IIIII II (7)
Faile - IIIII I(6)
Suian Sanche - IIII
Bair - III
Elaida - III
Idrien - III
Lanfear/Selene - III
Larine - III
Melaine - III
Romanda - III
Teslyn - III
Amys - II
Cook at Inn - II
Deira - II
Dyelin - II
Feraighin - II
Lelaine - II
Liandrin - II
Laras, Mistress of the Kitchens - II
Joline - II
Tiana - II
Adine - I
Ailhuin - I
Alise - I
Alivia - I
Aludra - I
Balwer - I
Beonin - I
Berowin - I
Bornhold - I
Breane - I
Cadsuane - I
Caira - I
Carlinya - I
Corvil - I
Daigian - I
Edelle - I
Essande - I
Erith - I
Females in Crowd - I
Galina - I
Garenia - I
Graendal - I
Jeaine - I
Jeaine - I
Kireyin - I
Latelle - I
Lini - I
Marin al'Vere - I
Merana - I
Merilille - I
Nesta din Reas - I
Nildra - I
Nisao - I
Renaile - I
Rendra - I
Renee Harfor - I
Rhiale - I
Samitsu - I
Setelle Anan - I
Sevanna - I
Signet Ring Fellow - I
Silk Shopkeeper - I
Somara - I
Sorilea - I
Suroth - I
Tavern Wenches at the Woman of Tanchico Inn - I
Therava - I
Tion - I
Tylin - I
Vandene - I
Verin - I
Woman in Fal Dara - I
Women of Emond's Field - I
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on January 21, 2004
Finally! A book that gives WOT fans what they truly want: Elayne, Elayne, and more Elayne. Elayne sleeping. Elayne bathing. Elayne walking back and forth and thinking: you know, all the stuff that has made WOT great, but here finally focused on to the extent it deserves in this masterpiece of modernist prose. I haven't been this impressed with a book since I finished "Ringworld Throne". Even the last few books of "Sword of Truth" can't compare to this. Richard's 5 page long redundant monologues have nothing on Elayne's musing on the state of Andoran affairs as she paces in her room and frets over her dress. So anyways, the reviews on this book are fairly hysterical, and I probably couldn't top them, so instead I think I'll just summarize a few chapters about 1/3 of the way through the book in order to give a prospective reader an idea of what they're getting in to.

- In the first of these chapters, Elayne takes a bath. That's pretty much the extent of the action. We're introduced to her 3 maids and given extensive background for each one - obviously, how could the plot progress without backstories for her 3 useless maids? Also, we're given novel insight into Aviendha's reluctance to bathe - because 8 novels telling us that Aiel are uneasy around large quantities of water aren't nearly enough. In fact, there should be a whole chapter devoted to just this topic - perhaps 20-30 pages about how they aren't used to lots of water, because, you know, there is so little of it in the Waste. Also, the Waste is hot. You might not have picked that up - it's ok, don't feel bad, it sometimes takes an astute reader to notice the subtleties of Jordan's writing. Now, you might think 2 chicks taking a bath together could make for a really hot and steamy story. Think again. It's about as exciting as listening to 3 women talk about what clothes are suitable for a pregnant noble woman to wear. Which is another chapter, incidentally.

- Next chapter, Elayne considers getting back in the bathtub. It's awesome. To be honest, she did get interrupted in the last chapter by the Sea Folk - perhaps the only characters more annoying than Elayne herself.... Nah, nevermind, no one can match Elayne. Except maybe Faile. Or Nyneave. Or any female character. Not to say every female is exactly the same annoying, whiny, jealous, insecure disaster of a character. Except that they are. Also, Elayne meets some incredibly relevant minor nobles in this chapter. Bonus.

- Following this thrill-fest, Elayne meets with her chief clerk, and oh boy does the excitement take off! It's almost too much to bear. Thankfully the tension is broken when some Wise Ones come in, and thus begins the discussion of what types of tea are best for Elayne to drink during her pregnancy. This is perhaps my favorite chapter of the entire series because of the deftly used juxtaposition of the action-packed scene with the first clerk with the somber but intriguing discussion of tea.

I could continue, but all this talk of Elayne has me too excited to go on without rereading these sections. Suffice to say, we're treated to many more scintillating scenes with Elayne, some involving her brushing her hair, others about her dietary needs, and still more regarding local Andoran fashion. It's really what makes this book so great. In fact, after WOT is complete, I'm hoping RJ left extensive notes about his planned sequel trilogy called "The Adventures of Elayne: the Legend Continues". It will document her quest to gather the most annoyingly useless female characters to her royal court while simultaneously castrating every male character that she's forced to have contact with. Will Rand be part of this adventure? Only time will tell, but if he somehow survives the Last Battle I suspect he will kill himself rather than be forced to spend his life with 3 wives who, combined, are infinitely worse than any number of Trollocs. So here's to the future queen of Andor! May she live forever to grace us pages and pages of absolutely pointless text.
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on March 19, 2014
The most important things to know about this book:

1. Very little is accomplished in this book. It's all setup for various plot elements in book 11, and not effectively plotted setups either. I suspect someone could go straight from Winter's Heart (Book 9) to Knife of Dreams (Book 11) without being too confused and just treating this as a time-skip.

1.1.) The dead start appearing (more obviously and sometimes fatally), and reality starts rotting. That's kind of important, but except for one creepy scene along a path through the woods it's presented VASTLY much less interesting than it sounds. This is probably the meaning of the book's title, though.

1.2.) Perrin gives up the axe at last for the hammer. Not a spoiler since that's on the new non-Sweet artwork cover. (The scene depicted on the old cover, with Mat and the Empress in the wood, doesn't happen until sometime next book!! -- which lends evidence to a theory that this book is hugely expanded and decompressed material from what was originally part of Book 11. Incidentally, the scene on Sweet's cover for Book 11 doesn't happen until the final chapters of Book 13!!) Perrin literally accomplishes nothing else in the book, and doesn't especially set up much either.

1.3.) Egwene comes up with a plan to help with the siege of Tar Valon (where she's been for several books already); but in the very last chapter and scene just when something similar to 'action' might happen, her plan is spoiled and she's taken captive instead. This is very important for future books, but if you borrowed this from the library and read the last few chapters like a prologue to Book 11, you'd be ready to go.

1.4.) Mat courts the Daughter of the Nine Moons. Certainly the most entertaining parts of the book, but again so little is accomplished here that the original cover to CoT featured a scene with them that doesn't happen until Book 11! -- and even then, not a particularly important scene! If you absolutely must read this book, you should stick with Mat's chapters and the final Egwene chapters, plus the chapter where Perrin gives up the axe. (He goes out into the woods to meet some people sent by his ally Masema.)

2.) The series gets VERY much better, back to all its old strengths, starting (still with some staggering) in Book 11.

You could find Leigh Butler's catch-up notes at TOR.com's website (which are also for sale here at Amazon in print for a small pittance) and blow through the plot of this book in 10% of the time and 1000% of the entertainment value, which frankly I recommend.
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on April 1, 2004
I have read the wheel of time series avidly and enjoyed almost all of them. This one however was real let down. Instead of wasting time with a fil in novel Jordan would be doing his fan base a whole ot of good if he finally got down and back to the real story.
I know that some folks say thisis just a preparation for the the next release, but it was never done with any of the others, why this one.
I will buy the next true release of the Wheel of time series but nothing else from this series ever again unless of course he manges ot capture the imagination.
Sometimes you can get too saturated and an epic of this order has to be a difficult project but with todays computers and writing software, the job is no where near as difficult as it was 10 years ago. IN fact # 10 just seemed to be a software generated summary I hate to be a critic especially of this series, but the Wheel of time does go on and no one lives forever
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on May 21, 2003
Bought the book. Waste of money except that a complete series is worth more than one with a book missing.
I kept wondering (as others have it seems) why the characters can't get together every now and then (in a sort of WOT teleconference) to strategize, compare notes, or just complain to each other? The strongest part of the early WOT books was the interplay between these friends. Jordan has ripped them apart from each other (for no other reason than to sell more books it seems). And in the process he has obscured them by cluttering up the book with pointless details. We no longer know what is in their hearts. We used to know how Rand felt, and what he was thinking. We could see inside him. Now it seems that Jordan thinks we are Darkfriends as he won't let even us inside Rand's head.
Jordan has not replaced what he took away from us when he relegated our heroes to players in the ensemble. We don't get to know any others in depth. Are there no other heroes in the Lands of whom we should know? Seems not. We can't see into their hearts.
It seems Jordan has lost his way. There were six seals on the Dark One's tomb. That makes six books plus one more to tie it all together. Now we are book ten with more than a thousand characters? These are serious symptoms of an author with a writer's problem-- the opposite of writer's block it would seem.
Anyway. As many others have said, you can skip this book without missing a thing. I read the first couple hundred pages, skipped to end and never felt like reading the in-between.
And since I'm complaining, I might also add that I mourn the loss of Moiraine. Surely in the infinite possibility of fantasy fiction, she isn't really dead . . .
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on May 6, 2003
Where's Rand??? Almost 700 pages and Rand is only on 17 of them. Jordan has abandoned the story and did not resolve a single issue. Unless, it's that Aes Sedai need to be frequently birched.
This book is a MAJOR disappointment and is so filled with grammatical and typographical errors that it's distracting.
Mr. Jordan, please go back to true storytelling and editors, do your job. Otherwise, this is a cash cow that may be sent out to pasture.
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on March 31, 2017
Great turning point in series with prophecy and Perrin, as always Jordan does not disappoint. I cannot wait for the TV series to come out, I am so excited to see this put to MY BIG SCREEN....LOL
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