Here are some things that I need to get off my chest. I am going to write this again, because the first time before I could post I lost the whole thing, so now I am starting over. Here goes.
Greandal killed Asmo. There were some neat hints in the text, but I knew it would be in the glossery at the end. One of the podcasts that came out shortly before the book warned not to read the glossery until after the main story was finished. I read the whole thing waiting and then there it was in black and white. So great, we should have been more specific though and asked not about who did it but how and why. That is still up for debate, so though one thing is ended there is still more for debate. I don't think this thing with Asmo will ever really end.
I agree with what was said earlier about the red veiled sharp toothed aiel. I think they are the men that can channel and were sent into the blight. There are some problems with it. Who did it since you need 13, but they could have been black sisters. And some freaky stuff does happen in the blight. Slayer and Fain to name two. But I was wondering, if it is the male channeling aiel, then what is happening in the black tower. There is some invasion of the body snachers stuff going on there for sure. Those men, and by the looks of it women as well, are changing. If it is the 13x13 that makes the aiel then why don't the men and now some of the red sisters in the black tower act that insane? It could be the aiel living in the blight or something there as i said earlier but I just don't know.
I like the idea of the dreamspikes. I have for a long time wondered how someone in the breaking could protect themselves and their hiding places from Traveling. I guess this explains it. But when did the dreamspike, if thats what it is, show up at the black tower. When we first read about the black tower in this book, the dedicated making leather used a gateway to cut the leather he was working on. It is later when the gateways stop working. Does anyone have a theory on when this happened? I don't think Taim left, he could have, but it I don't remember.
I have some issues with the writing that I want to talk about as well. I HATED the mention of "two years" ago to explain how long it has been since this series started. The first time it came up in the book it bothered me, and then each time it came up, it bothered me more and more. Then it was 5 times and I lost count. I don't ever recall time being described that way, and then with so many times in one book...well it just stuck out like a sore thumb. There was also the description of a trolloc I think as nine feet tall. That didn't seem right either, it was always someting more like half again as tall as a man or head and shoulders taller or something like that. And when the word transmigrated showed up I lost it. That is the term we use here, it is not something that someone in the wheel of time should say. That could be Brandon or RJ's way of writting it, either way I didn't like it. It took me out of the story, and that's what a writer should be trying to avoid.
Then there were the spelling mistakes. I don't know about you all, but I noticed a bunch. An aes sedai was refered to as a "he", Thom was spelt "Tom" in one paragraph, and there was some weird phrasing in one of the female POV's where they put the same word both before and after another word and the sentence made no sense. The word, which I can't recall right now, should have been either before OR after the other word and it makes sense. Not both.
I didn't like the timeline in this book. It took me forever to figure out when it was all going to pull together. Some of the scenes were less dramatic because of this. I knew Perrin and Galad were going to be seen together, but because I couldn't remember exactly when that all took place, and I knew Tam had to be picked up, I had no fear that they would come to blows.
I hated Nynaeve's testing. I agree that she needed to be tested. I don't think you are aes sedai even with the oaths until you have been tested. But I am a big fan of New Spring and this was nothing compared to what Moiraine went through. I remember when New Spring came out we were told that there would be things in it that won't happen in the main series, the testing being one of those things. Then it showed up here, and I was excited. But while I read it, I couldn't care less. I just wasn't feeling it. I didn't care one way or another. I expected her to fail or die, and yet I just couldn't care about the people dying around her. The scene just didn't have any substance. Not like in New Spring.
I did like the nod to Dragonmount and the inn keeper Denezel. I wonder how may other nods there were that I didn't catch. One of the podcasts mentioned Azi but I don't know who that is. There must be others.
And was it just me or was the Mesaana/Egwene battle anti climactic. Nicola's death seemed odd. I wanted to feel something for the girl, and it seemed fitting what Egwene said about her always trying to go further than she should, but there seems like there should have been more. Finding out who Mesaana was should have felt like a big deal, but that too didn't pan out. I think I would have liked to know more like with Asmo's death, there were the facts around Mesaana that should have been answered. Most importantly how she defeated the oath rod. I just always assumed it was because she didn't think of herself as a darkfriend. Sometimes the simplest explaination is the right one.
Elayne, Gawyn, and Galad all find out their mother is alive. That was what I most wanted to see, and when it happened. No tears, no feeling either way. I don't know why but I just didn't feel anything during this book. In tGS I cried when Verin died. I got heart sick when I thought that Leane was going to die in the basement but I couldn't even feel anyting for poor Hopper. The only emotion I really felt was when we were seeing the end of the Aiel. And that mostly because it seemed more of a spoiler than anything else.
This all sounds so negative. I really did enjoy the book. There were just the things I needed to get off my chest, and you people are the only ones I can talk to about this. There is probably more but that is all for now. So what about the rest of you...?