I really need to mention the reason for my rating of the book; it is a strange one. The only reason I gave this book 3 stars and not 2 which it deserves more is that I never
reread the books I rate with 2 stars while I just finished rereading this one. I mentioned 2 star rating as a big series fan.
What exactly happened during 600+ pages? Absolutely nothing, that is what. Another big part of the frustration comes from the fact that the previous book ended with a grand event which would surely change the history of the whole world and already changed the power picture among the major players, including the remaining Forsaken. Speaking of whom, I would love to see a POV from any of these just to know how the said event affected them, but it was the first book in a long time which did not have a POV of any of the Forsaken.
What remain are mostly 4 subplots which dragged on and on. Mat was the first guy with such subplot. His POV was mildly amusing, but nothing of note happened with him or people around him. He is stuck in a traveling circus and tries to balance his ragtag team with practically everybody doing the things their own way.
Perrin's POV is the most dreadfully boring one. He broods non-stop and does not do much except this. I did not suspect in the beginning of the series this guy would need Faile as a wet nurse every single moment and would fall completely apart without her. If I ever get around reading this book again, this is the part I will skip.
Elayne still tries to keep the throne while keeping even her more colorful group under some resemblance of control: Aes Sedai, the Wise Ones, the Kin, and last but most definitely not least the Sea Folks.
Egwene comes next with her rebel Aes Sedai group. This part is pure about intrigues and double-crossings with nothing being done. Well, not exactly. The bad guys keep killing people in the group left and right, but these seemingly "good" Aes Sedai are too busy scheming to look for a killer.
There were several good parts, but they were few and between. The only plot movement worth noticing came at the very end of the book (Egwene). The most interesting development happened to be in the White Tower, of all the places. It did not move the overall plot by much, but was quite satisfying nonetheless.
The last thing which needs to be mentioned: Robert Jordan is one of the greatest world-builders in fantasy. It can be clearly seen from the episode where Perrin visited a town to buy supplies; this town gave me creeps. The atmosphere, people and unexplained happenings were great. This was the best part of otherwise completely hopeless Perrin's subplot.
This is without a doubt the slowest book of the series. I am happy to say that at least 3 of the subplots which were dragging during several books will be resolved in the next installment of the series.
This review is a copy/paste of my BookLikes one: http://gene.booklikes.com/post/804462/a-lot-of-talk-and-intrigues-but-plot-moves-exactly-nowhere