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  1. Apparently most people have an actual numerical ranking? I don't really have a precise ranking, though I do sort of group the books mentally. -TDR through LoC are my favorites, with plenty of action intermixed with enough breaks for character development, but while still having sufficient character viewpoints that even the minor characters actually have import. I'd say TSR is my favorite among these, but I love all of them. -EoW and TGH are solid, but you can definitely tell that RJ was still sort of figuring some things out, both stylistically and in terms of the world, limitations of the magic system, etc. They're interesting, but I always get a bit of an unpolished feel whenever I read them. -WH and KoD through AMOL all have their moments, but also have notable flaws. I still enjoy reading them though. -CoT, PoD and to a lesser extent CoS: Blech. When I reread the series recently, I pretty much skimmed over these. I'll be fair and say I understand RJ's intent that "the Dark One's touch on the world is making things sort of freeze in place and slow down". I just don't think it works. Honestly, I actually think some of the legit criticisms people have of the way AMOL wrapped things up (e.g., ultra-fast pacing, lack of character reunions, many minor characters essentially vanishing, Moiraine) were heavily rooted in the fact that there's little to no action for like 1,500 pages in the middle of the series. Absolutely, BS could have written AMOL better, but there was just way too much left to "hey this needs to get handled before the Last Battle" that caused issues.
  2. Min discovered it in her studies. Right before Rand uses it to take over Moridin, there's one sentence which goes "Min had figured it out. Callandor had such flaws" (then he goes and describes them). It's not a "mains does everything" as much as it is that the one sentence gets completely buried in the revelations about what Callandor is. Min has been studying the Dragon prophecies in general (and Callandor in particular) for several books, so it's not out of nowhere that she figured it out. But in order to keep the reader unaware as to what exactly Rand's plan was, all of her discoveries about the flaws (and passing that information to Rand) happen off-screen.
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