While reading Lord of Chaos, I was at a loss about how to describe and grade this installment of the Wheel of Time. Upon finishing I came to the realization that Lord of Chaos marks the beginning of Act II of Robert Jordan’s epic creation. In Lord of Chaos many plot threads are begun throughout but only the primary plot of Rand dealing with the Aes Sedai, with the beginning of the Asha’men involved as well, comes to a conclusion.
Throughout Lord of Chaos there are many point-of-view characters to bring forth the various plot threads the book deals with. Many POVs are from the primary characters that have told the story throughout the series along with several new characters that added to the narrative, though some just a paragraph long. Because of all these POVs and plot threads, the climax of Lord of Chaos is very quick to take place. In the last 200 pages, days are literal compressed as events lead to the dramatic battle that highlights the book along with the resolution to the Rand-Aes Sedai storyline in the immediate aftermath. The one fault throughout the book wasn’t the compression of the climax, it was the unnecessary retelling of events in the first five books by the primary characters. While a few were important in terms of character development, the vast majority weren’t and it took up page space that could have been used for something else.
Lord of Chaos is an important part of The Wheel of Time series, when you read it I recommend you view it as the beginning of Act II of Robert Jordan’s epic tale. Viewing Lord of Chaos as a singular book will hurt your appreciation of it, but viewing the book as part of a greater whole will only add to your appreciation.