This is the first book after Robert Jordan passed away and Brandon Sanderson took over. This is definitely where things start wrapping up and the books become great. Sanderson definitely had some great moments in the book, mainly having the characters kind of recount how much their lives have changed since the first book. It definitely helps to tie all the books together.
Just to recap some of the stuff that happened:
-Rand decides to attack Graendal. He tries to outwit her by sending a guy to her. Graendal uses compulsion on him and when he returns, Rand uses balefire to destroy the palace. The weaves of compulsion disappear and Rand knows that she is dead. It was a pretty evil thing to do. He kills hundreds of people in the palace.
In fact, Rand is starting to go really insane. He almost kills his own father and then decides to go Ebou Dar to destroy the Seanchan. Yet he starts seeing how the people act under the Seanchan and realizes they are not nearly as bad as he thought. At least the Seanchan seem to have things under control and the people are happy.
Rand flees to the top of Dragonmount and decides that he will destroy the world. There is no point to any of it. He uses the Access Key and starts to take in more power than is safe. He has a philosophical debate with himself about the value of the Wheel. Then Lews explains that it is good that lives are reborn, gives people the chance to correct their mistakes. Rand agrees to this and decides to destroy the Access Key. He is actually smiling and somewhat happy. Sunlight shines down upon him.
-Egwene continues her captivity and keeps helping to bring down Elaida. The Seanchan attack the Tower and Egwene links with some Novices and Accepted. She then gets a powerful weapon and uses it to destroy many of the Seanchan.
The Tower decides to make her the Amyrlin Seat and the Rebels are accepted back into the fold. They learn very quickly that Egwene is a powerful leader. She forces the Aes Sedai to retake their oaths, which leads them to a few Black Sisters.
-My favorite part was probably the emergence of Verin. She shows up at Mat’s camp and says that she will transport his men to Caemlyn if he agrees to do whatever it says in the letter she gives him. She says that he can ignore it after thirty days, but if he opens it, he needs to follow what it says.
Verin then shows up at Egwene’s room. She tells a lie to Egwene and that causes Egwene to realize that Verin is a Black Sister. Verin explains that when you take your oaths to the Dark Lord, you cannot break them unless you are dying, especially the oath about not giving up any darkfriends.
It turns out that Verin was a double agent. She went to the Dark One in order to study him and learn everything she could. She has a book with names of almost all the Black Ajah. She also has detailed notes about the Foresaken and where they are located. She sacrificed herself to save the world. It was a pretty awesome moment.
-I am hoping that at some point we see a fight between Gawyn and Galad. Who do you think would win? Gawyn defeats three Warders at the same time during a sparring session. Galad was always said to be the better swordsmen (at least I thought he was), but Gawyn had to have surpassed him, right? Also, if Rand still had his hand, would he be able to defeat Galad or Gawyn?
I started the next book and it is already exciting. I am ready for the Last Battle!