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on September 24, 2017
Few dull spots, plenty of action and intrigue. People make plans and act on them. Things happen in this book, finally! You actually get a sense that the end of the world is near, rather than decades off. Very good.
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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.
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on September 5, 2015
I have two complaints on this one:

The middle section of the book focuses on Elayne for a LONG BORING time. Mostly royals arguing and Elayne complaining like a 6 year old, which seems to be her most prominent trait. After the last book I almost just gave up after that section.

The second being that one of the most important fights is again glossed over, almost as bad as Couladin's defeat. The fights whole perspective comes from a character who is knocked out the entire time. Come on Jordan, if you can drone on for hours about Elayne bitching about unimportant matters at least say what happens during one of the pivotal battles.

Mat's chapters are fantastic though and Perrin's are pretty good as well.
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on June 17, 2011
The eleventh novel in "The Wheel of Time" series is a much needed improvement over the past volume. Or the past four volumes, really.

"Knife of Dreams" far outpaces "Crossroads of Twilight" for the simple fact that things actually happen and plots actually resolve themselves in this book. Finally, readers are given resolutions that we have been waiting three books for. Perrin chasing after his kidnapped wife? Resolved. Elayne trying to gain the Lion Throne? Resolved. Mat fleeing Altara with the Daughter of the Nine Moons? Resolved. Rand's continued efforts? Advanced.

While CoT was a slow and stagnant mess, "Knife of Dreams" kicks the Wheel of Time back into action and actually spins out some worthwhile resolutions, and the later half of the book was actually enjoyable to read. While the Wheel of Time has always been a series that has required patience and given its rewards only after thorough digestion, I was laughing out loud with joy and satisfaction by the time I got to the last tenth of the book and things started wrapping up. Though the last four books made one heck of a mess, Robert Jordan was definitely doing his darndest to get things into shape, here.

Looking back, I am eminently glad that I didn't begin reading the Wheel of Time series until this late in its gigantic, plus four million sprint of slow paced but epic storytelling. I can completely understand those who couldn't finish the series, and if I had been one of them, waiting two or three years between books and then getting unsatisfactory novels like CoT, well, I might have joined them. This is the time to be reading the Wheel of Time, with Brandon Sanderson belting out the last few novels in the series with the speed and efficiency of a well-oiled machine. Now that I've finished all the novels that Robert Jordan managed to complete in life, we'll finally get to see what kind of job he does. I have high hopes, as I did after finishing "The Final Empire." Hopefully, the combination of the two authors will complement each other, with Sanderson's tighter prose inserting some vigor back into the Wheel of Time and Robert Jordan's carefully laid out notes preventing Sanderson from penning a horrible ending to the Wheel of Time the way he did with his own Mistborn Trilogy. At least I'll know that whatever happens was Jordan's plan, not Sanderson. I don't think I could take the indignity if he went and killed off another one of my favorite characters. (Rand, in this case.)


What a huge series this has been. . .
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on May 21, 2014
For Robert Jordan this was not the last book in the series but it was the last that he was able to write before his death. He elected to spend his remaining weeks or months making notes for his successor to be able to pick up the series and complete the fascinating story he had begun years before. Book 11 was, for me, a second reading in order to pick up where I had left off -- and consequently, where all the characters had left off -- now that I had books 12, 13 and 14 completed by Sanderson on Jordan's behalf. I have only just begun book 12 and I like Sanderson's writing style. Since he was a Wheel of Time fan during the years he grew up, he considered himself lucky to be able to write the end of the sequence. I consider myself lucky to be able to read such clear writing, and I'm looking forward to wrapping up this classic adventure in fantasy fiction. But it makes sense to me after such a long delay only because I reread Book 11, Knife of Dreams.
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on June 4, 2011
This series started out great, but by book six you could start to see a decline as Jordan started to change/lose his focus. Books 7 & 8 declined fast, and by books 9 and 10 the story's plot lines had all come to a standstill. I was having to force myself to read them, where I used to have to force myself to put them down. I couldn't take anymore, but I had read that this book was better, so I gave it a try. I am glad I did. This was Jordan back to his old form.

Over the last 4 books, or so (not including the prequel), Jordan seemed to forget about the main plot and main characters. It almost seemed, to me, that he had said that the series would take twelve books, and he realized that it wouldn't so he started creating a lot of filler characters, and inconsequential plot lines, to fill up space and leave the main characters and plot in limbo. Well, this book finally gets the story moving forward again. Just about everyone's story moves forward, some long drawn out sub plots are concluded, and some long forgotten characters are reintroduced (like all of Elayne's family, which she seemed to have completely forgot she had). Many will be glad to hear that Matt finally gets some decent page time and story progression after being neglected for so long. Rand also gets some progression (which is increased even more in book 12). Thankfully, many of the inane subplots are ended quickly, and more focus is spent on major plot points. Little time is spent on unimportant characters. It was like he suddenly realized how close to book 12 he was, and he had a lot of catching up to do. Even Elayne's story finally moves forward.

This was the most enjoyable book in the series I have read since book 6 (or maybe even book 5). I actually looked forward to reading it every day, and breezed right through it. It has been a long time since I felt that way about a Robert Jordan book. I'm very glad that I decided to give this one a shot. It was a very good read.
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on July 23, 2012
Knife of Dreams has two distinctions -- first, it is the last volume in the series written by Robert Jordan; second, it is the best Wheel of Time book in many many years. So given that, it's hard not to feel a certain kind of melancholy as you read through these pages and know that they are Jordan's last full contributions to the series.

With Path of Daggers, the series was driven into a cul-de-sac (well, several cul-de-sac's to be exact), and Knife of Dreams exists almost solely to get it back on track. Characters are reunited, plots are resolved and the Last Battle looms ever closer. Through it all, Jordan reminds his readers what made these books great in the first place -- the rich and complicated world, well-defined characters, and the most epic and entertaining battles in contemporary American fantasy. Mat's arc in Knife of Dreams is particularly satisfying, paying off much of what has been built over the preceding volumes. Perrin also reaches the end of a very long journey, and Rand finds himself in a drastically different place than he expected.

This is the start of the payoff promised in the early volumes of the series. It's sad that Jordan was unable to finish the series himself, but at least he managed to end his final contribution on a high note.
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on June 16, 2015
Book Eleven is one of my favorite books in the WoT series so far. I really thought the story progressed nicely. Without giving any spoilers away, we finally get some key answers and see our major characters in big, moving, events. Rand, Matt, Perrin, Faile, Egwene, Elayne, Nynaeve, Black Tower, White Tower, etc all have motion and movement in a big way. There are epic battle scenes and plenty of the Power being thrown around. This is a long book, but it moved along very smoothly. There is the usual RJ overkill on "smoothing of skirts" "Folding arms" "Glaring....GLARING!", but overall the book is just fantastic. Moves the series along nicely and has me ready for book 12.
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on May 17, 2016
This was a necessary book in the series and closed some plot arcs started a few books before, which could have been shorter. That being said, it was slower than the first seven books, but not as slow as the 9th and 10th in the series. If you were reading this as the books were coming out I could understand the anger in the reviews as it does not bring the main story line closer to its conclusion, however, it does have an entertaining story. Now with the other books available for the end of the series I think it would seem a more decent book.
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on January 14, 2017
Great improvement over the last book, but I wish Jordan would give a little more build up to important events. They always seem to pop out of nowhere. I'm not a writer, so I can't say this is the wrong way to do things, but IMO I would like the suspense built up a little. You can't have the minor 2nd progression on bass (Jaws theme) playing in the background, but maybe describe the mood and atmosphere so that we the readers sense something important is coming.
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