I was going to write a rather incoherent review that anyone who hasn’t read all 13 books to date will not get, but then I saw Leigh Butler’s review on tor.com, which is pretty much exactly what I wanted to say, so I will link and refrain. Warning: Extremely spoilerific review, so don’t read unless you’ve read.
And I do mean exactly the same reactions, to so many things. I too thought Perrin‘s arc was awesome, though I don’t like Perrin that much, and I too thought Mat‘s rescue mission was rather underwhelming after waiting for it for so long, and I too don’t think he’s being written as well as he should be, or was earlier. I miss Mat from the Knife of Dreams! That is Mat as he’s really meant to be. Messiah Rand-Jesus Rand as Leigh calls it- is a little irritating, as I said on facebook, but I accept its inevitability. I miss old Rand, though. I identified with that angst, even when he was practically ready to destroy the world. I guess it’s a not-long-past-teenage thing.
I realize that there’s no way that they could have finished it off already, and I also understand that a lot of things have been accomplished in this book, but I’m still deeply dissatisfied at having to wait another year for so many, many old problems and new ones to be resolved. Rescuing Moiraine and convincing the Borderlanders is all very awesome, but the ending, just as in the last book, seemed just a tad anticlimactic.
Perhaps I’m ragging on it a little too much: it really was a great book. Maybe it could have been written better- no, Sanderson is not as good a writer as Jordan, although I suppose the publishers can always claim they “have different strengths”- but the story carried itself and the language didn’t interfere, or not too much. But then I hardly think I need to convince anyone who’s been reading the series to read this book, so I’m not going to spend any time on that.