Knife of Dreams, the eleventh installment of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and the last he completed before his death, is a return to earlier in the series. Throughout Knife of Dreams, events that had been boiling around many primary protagonists for several books finally came to fruition. The Perrin-Faile-Shaido storyarc throughout the book led up to a combined assault upon the Shaido by Perrin’s forced and the Seanchan in Malden. Elayne’s quest for the Throne of Andor came to a successful conclusion, but a perilous one for her going forward especially after an attack by the Black Ajah. Mat’s unusual courtship with Tuon came to a ‘successful’ conclusion, but not without battles not just martial. Finally, Rand and Egwene continued on their respective paths to leadership though Egwene found herself undermining the White Tower from within as an ‘lowly’ novice while Rand continued struggling with his internal demons as well as unruly nobles just before a brutal meeting with Semirhage.
While there were negatives, one being unnecessary padding early in the book, they were quickly forgotten as events in the book picked up. Of the last four books before Knife of Dreams, only Winter’s Heart provided anything substantial (at least to me) while the others seemed mostly a collection of story lines with little happening. With Knife of Dreams, events seemed to be building and three words kept on appearing, more so further along in the book, the Last Battle. After finishing Knife of Dreams, it felt like the series had completed it’s long 2nd Act and was gearing up for the 3rd and final Act.