My opinion of this particular book has improved upon reread. Maybe it helps that sense of impatience that I don’t have to wait several years for the sequel to come out, because for certain things are still edging forward slowly, but there was something compelling about the hard lessons Rand had to learn over the course of this book: That he is not invincible and that madness awaits all the men under him who channel.
Much of this book is spent following Rand in his dealings with the Seanchan — the invaders from across the ocean who collar women who can channel. Egweyne learned the horror of that firsthand. Meanwhile, Egweyne (no longer collared, obviously), is maneuvering to attack the white tower and gain control. Elayne, Nynaeve, Aviendha, and over a hundred women who can channel flee from the Seanchan early in the book, and then proceed to march to Caimlyn where Elayne must take the Lion Throne. Perrin has some chapters as well, after arguing publicly with Rand (not entirely sure why that was necessary). He goes after the prophet of the Lord Dragon, who is doing horrible things in Rand’s name. Mat is noticeably absent, after he got caught in an explosion at the end of book 7.
Book 9 will be my final reread. After that, it’s new material for me, but having read book 9, rereading book 8 felt different. It sets up the events in the ninth book fairly well, and for that I share a bit more enthusiasm than I did for the last two books.
Title: The Path of Daggers
Author: Robert Jordan
Published December 1999