This book contains much more different point of views than the first five; we even get to see the inner thoughts of some of the Forsaken. Each POV usually contributes to a different plot, subplot, or thread which makes a really complex overall story, so if you thought the one in the first five books was way too simple (I am kidding), this book really makes matters much
more complex. This is also the point where the number of named characters became too great for all of them to be in the glossary at the end.
As usual to avoid the spoilers I will give the analysis of the character development and my thoughts about them. Any mention of the plot at this time would be a spoiler.
The Dragon Reborn himself is an interesting study about his true identity. Is he really reborn, reincarnated or his own person completely independent from Lews Therin? Do not expect an easy answer to this question.
Rand spends most of his time jumping between Caemlin and Caerhien while trying to hold the throne of the first until Elaine comes back, but she is not a big hurry to do it; I will comment on her later.
Perrin finally shows up, but I am sorry to say he is reduced from a person to a rug by Faile who firmly guides him. He has his brief moment of glory by the end of the book, but even then the scene is stolen by other characters.
Mat is interesting, as usual. His plot line makes an interesting and unexpected turn by the middle of the book. The way he gets treated by Wonder Girls (Nynaeve, Elaine, and Egwene) is inexcusable. Rand uses him as well, but at least he realizes it and feels regret doing this; most of the time he really does not have a choice. The Wonder Girls (ab)use his without a second thought.
Nynaeve at least has decency to avoid Mat most of the time. She also begins to shine as a healer who can hold on her own even compared to the great healers from the Age of Legends. She is directly responsible for one of the most emotional part of the book.
Anybody with the last name Trankand should be shot with belfire - simple as that with Galad being one possible exception: his is not in this book. Morgaise betrayed her kingdom - yes, what she did was a betrayal regardless of what her motivations were. Elaine does not care about her kingdom much as well: she prefers Aes Sedai intrigues to going back to her throne which Rand has real troubles holding for her. Do not even let me start on Gawyn, he moved to bad guys' camp in my book and firmly rooted in there.
The book is interesting and good enough to warrant easy 4 stars. The reason for 5 star rating? Two words: Dumai's Wells. This has got to be one of the most memorable battles in fantasy literature with even more exciting and interesting aftermath. This also happens to be the last book of the series which deserves five stars before the infamous slowdown; a must-read.
This review is a copy/paste of my BoolLikes one: http://gene.booklikes.com/post/753100/did-you-think-the-plot-of-the-previous-books-was-too-simple-this-one-complicates-things-by-tenfold