After a disappointing volume that left the series in a holding pattern, this book was like the arrow suddenly released from the bow.
Mat and Perrin in particular underwent huge strides forward. I’d even say that they both changed somewhat. Perrin learned he was willing to do anything to protect his wife, and Mat…well, I’m not sure what Mat learned about himself, but he’s growing up.
The end of this book feels more on the brink than any so far. There is still a lot to resolve, but the end is near, and not just because the pattern is doing random weird things all over the place.
I confess that I did skim a bit here and there, most especially when the book slipped into minor viewpoints I was impatient to get through in order to read about my favorites. I even skimmed through Elayne’s viewpoint a bit, although she’s one of the main characters, because I wasn’t particularly interested in how she would get the lion throne, and I knew for sure that she would.
Egweyne the not-quite-novice was almost as engaging as Mat and Perrin. I wish it would have been resolved a bit, but there were three important resolutions in this book, which is about as much as I can really hope for. 🙂
The one thing this book lacked was, as I mentioned a while back, an overarching goal to tie it together. It felt very much like several parallel stories running alongside one another, set in the same world. The last battle may be nigh, but only Rand seems to be working towards that goal, and it still isn’t a concrete mission. I actually think Rand is making some big mistakes at this point, most particularly, not dealing with the black tower. He spent the entire book walking into an obvious trap and fighting the voice in his head. (Yep, still there…getting worse.) He’s in rough shape. Something has to give or he’s going to snap like a twig before he can get to the last battle.
Sadly, this is the last volume written by Jordan himself. The final trilogy was written by Brandon Sanderson, whose works I have never read. I know Jordan left behind detailed notes and instructions, before he died, so I have high hopes for the conclusion of this story, but I’m a bit nervous about it too.
Title: Knife of Dreams
Author: Robert Jordan
Published November 2