Overview (No Spoilers):
I’ve been slowly but surely working through The Wheel of Time series and have been thoroughly enjoying Jordan’s increasingly complex literary creation. Having been forewarned by fellow bloggers that this marathon of a series slows to the pace of a unmotivated slug, I fully expected to find myself annoyed with A Crown of Swords. I know mid series novels that act to move pawns or be lengthy placeholders are a staple throughout literature and that The Wheel of Time would also eventually fall victim to this stereotype but I was pleasantly surprised with this seventh installment in the series. At this point I feel like I’m along for the ride, as I am delighting in seeing which plot twist will surprise me next. I do find that upon the introduction of the forgotten art of Traveling, along with Dream Walking and Gateways, where our characters can magically jump from city to city, my whole sense of direction and landscape have become a jumbled mess where it takes me a decent amount of time to figure out where Rand or Egwene happen to be and the significance of that location. This disorientation seems to be continuing with every subsequent novel, however at this point, my slight annoyance at this difficulty hasn’t detracted from my enjoyment of the story. Of the various, interweaving plot lines, Rand’s is by far my least favorite, and surprisingly Min is drawing my increasing ire with every scene she throws herself at the Dragon Reborn. That being said, I loved the other plot lines despite their pace appreciably slowing. I was especially entertained by Nynaeve’s reunion with a particular hunk and Egwene navigating the perils of management. Overall, A Crown of Swords was a wonderful continuation of an adventure that has captured my imagination and I’m looking forward to seeing where this journey is headed.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- It was interesting seeing Elaida being manipulated by Alviarin who we know is a Black Sister. I’d thought all along that Elaida must be a Black Sister, however she was just power hungry. What will happen to the 50 Red Sisters that are going to the Black Tower?
- What was the purpose of Sammael spreading out Sevanna’s forces?
- Why are the Seanchan attacking again?Can they be stopped? Is it because Rand visited them when he followed Aviendha through her spontaneous portal?
- What is Cadsuane’s agenda? What will she teach Rand?
- Rand finally meets with the Sea Folk!
- How did Liah survive in Shadar Logoth?
- Who helped Rand in Shadar Logath to survive and kill Sammael? Is he really dead?
- Will Seaine find Black Sisters in the White Tower?
- Mat is likely my favorite character? How will he survive the Seanchen? How will Thom and Juilin?
- Will Rand, Nynaeve, and Elayne be able to use the Bowl of the Winds?