Top critical review
The conclusion draws near...
on November 19, 2013
I can say that this volume was a sight better than the last one, but the pace is only minimally better. As I have suggested in any previous reviews I have done, you should start out this epic from volume one. It is a long read, however, as Mr. Jordan can get quite wordy at the most inconvenient times (like when the world is on the brink of ending)
For the most part, much of the subplots that were developing over the last two or three volumes gets the majority attention with this one. Let it be known that while these subplots can be interesting, none hold the excitement and fervor of the main characters plotlines. There is a little more of the main character, which is good news simply because he is so bad-ass. Mat and Perrin also have decent turns over their respective story arcs.
The payoff of the conclusion to this 20-year marathon is right around the corner, as someone else takes over the writing tasks for the final three volumes. Any fan worth his salt knows this already, and indeed, said fan has most likely read most volumes several times. I myself am re-reading the series, as I have read everything up until A Memory of Light, except it was so long ago, I wanted to intake it all while its fresh now that the series is completed. I would recommend this to any epic fanstasy fan. The long-windedness of the series as a whole might turn off quite a few people, but the payoff is worth much of the trouble it took to get to this point. Re-reading it as I have affords me a little more patience when judging the books. When many of the later volumes were published, it was hard to be satisfied when they were only being released once every two years. Reading the series as a whole, one can better appreciate the whole of the world Jordan painstakingly created. I always got the impression that he wants the reader to know the whole world, not just the world the main characters occupy (although, the latter part is hella good it does get attention).
It's worth the wait.