Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, leads the nations into the Last Battle with the Dark One to save the world from his dark forces once and for all. The time of the Last Battle is upon the world as the Third Age is days from coming to an end. The nations of the world have traveled to the Field of Merrilor, the border to the Blight, a Wasteland that houses the Dark One's prison in an effort to make plans for the oncoming battle. Rand al'Thor, the Destroyer of the Dark One, also known as the Dragon Reborn, continues to make plans to meet with the heads of the nations in an attempt to convince them of his plan to destroy the remaining seals of the Dark One's prison and replace them with new ones that will ensure the Dark One can never break free.
Rand calls the meeting and the nations are divided with half in favor of his plan and the remaining half against it. The most vocal being Egwene al'Vere, his old friend and now leader of the Aes Sedai (women who can channel the one power also known as magic). Egwene feels that destroying the seals will only lead to the Dark One breaking free and unleashing his forces on the world, swallowing everything in its path. As part of a compromise, Rand offers a treaty known as the Dragon's Peace, which would fix all the borders of the nations and outlaw all war. While many of the nation's find this reasonable, Egwene is still adamant the plan will fail.
Meanwhile, Rand's friend Mat Cauthon, searches for his lover and leader of the seafaring people the Seanchan who continue to have a love/hate relationship with the world's nations. Knowing her last location was in the city of Ebou Dar, Mat is horrified the city is being invaded by assassins who are on the hunt to find her.
Across the lands at the Black Tower, the training grounds for the outcast men who can channel the one power, inner-conflict has turned the members of the tower against each other, with one leader known as Taim forcing the men to swear allegiance to the Dark One. Knowing the men are needed to help in the war, the ambassador for the Aes Sedai known as Pevera makes plans for a rescue attempt of the remaining men who remain loyal to Rand and his cause.
Back on the Fields of Merrilor, dissension among the nations have reached a boiling point, with Rand and Egwene facing off and no compromise willing to be made. With the Dark One's forces approaching and a deal needing to be struck, the Aes Sedai Moraine who helped Rand when he first left his home in Edmond's Field and has been missing for years, reveals herself to the group. Rand is shocked to find her alive, but their reunion is bittersweet. Moiraine reminds them of the prophecies and that Rand must do this to fulfill his destiny. Moiraine strikes a compromise with Egwene asking her to go with Rand and destroy the Dark One's seals herself. Egwene reluctantly agrees as she knows how pigheaded Rand can be and not looking forward to the eventual power struggle.
Rand and Egwene along with Moiraine present the new plan to the leaders of the nations who all agree though Elayne, Queen of Caemlyn and now Carhein brings up the point that the Seanchan must be included in the peace treaties or the entire contract is null and avoid. Due to their unpredictably, she doesn't believe that they can get Tuon to sign the treaty but Rand promises to get the signature needed. Rand, impressed with Elayne's skills, promotes her to the Leader of the Troops of Light, asking her to lead the nations into war, while he takes care of the Dark One.
Elayne is not intimidated with the task, knowing she now holds the responsibility of the world's success or ultimate doom as well as her love for Rand and the world after the Last Battle. Elayne will lead her forces to retake Caemlyn due to its central location. Egwene will lead an army into Kandor to retake it from the Trollocs (the Dark One's Beasts). Lan Madragoran, Moiraine's body guard makes plans to retake the port city of Tarwin's Gap while finally Rand will lead the Aes Sedai into the Blight to fight the Dark One.
The Dark One's forces prove too much for the forces of Light. The battles drag out and Elayne finds it impossible to take over Caemlyn due to the overwhelming amount of Trollocs within the city. Refusing to let the city be claimed by the Dark One, Elayne commands her forces to set fire to it and then lead the Trollocs away from the remaining forces. The plan succeeds for the most part but then the tide changes in battle due to Elayne's generals making a series of tactical errors which leads her forces into a trap outside of the city of Carhein where she finds herself trapped.
Meanwhile, Rand travels to Ebou Dar and finds Tuon and the Seanchan. He forces her to sign the treaty and manages to get her to agree to lend her forces to fight, but only on the condition that Mat leads them as the general. Rand agrees and leaves and heads into the Blight toward the Pit of Doom where the Dark One's resting place and prison is located. Rand spreads out his forces to keep guard and heads into the Pit of Doom where the Dark One's eyes and ears resides. Nynaeve al'Meara, Rand's old friend and an Aes Sedai as well as Moiraine go with him as they are in possession of an ancient relic that could defeat the Dark One's warrior.
The Pit of Doom wreaks of death and decay, a place of pure evil where the True Source (the Dark One's power) radiates through everything. Deep within the structure, the trip come face to face with the Dark One's warrior known as Moridin. Rand and Moridin begin to fight, the powers of the Dark and Light surrounding them. As the battle rages on, Rand makes a misstep and punches a whole through the Pattern (the weaves of power that hold the world together) and comes in direct contact with the Dark One.
As the battle rages on, Perrin Aybara, Rand's dear friend and also a Speaker for the Wolves (he can read wolves' minds as well as travel through the world of dreams) knows Rand will be defeated if he is not protected. Perrin enters the dream world and comes in contact with a being known as the Slayer which has pursued him through the dream world consistently. Perrin fights the Slayer but his power is too much and he forces Perrin to leave the dream world after he is mortally stabbed.
Meanwhile, Egwene comes to the realization that Rand's plan to replace the Dark One's seals has been thwarted as the seals have been replaced with fakes by the Dark One's forces. Now the Dark One can be released whenever he wants and during at any point of the battle Egwene is able to make contact with Rand through her mind and warn him of such things. Knowing he must defeat the Dark One once and for all, Rand faces off with him outside of the Pattern after falling through a tear in the weaves of power.
However, this is not a battle of physical strength, but one of visions and wit. Using the One Power, Rand and the Dark One, fight by showing one another their visions for the world. For the Dark One, a place of darkness and turmoil. All hope gone. For Rand, a world of happiness and light, with no darkness, however; Rand notices something off in this world. He asks the Dark One why the people seemed Hollow and what he has done, but the Dark One tells him he has done nothing. Rand then comes to a horrifying realization. Whether the Dark One removes good or Rand removes evil, there is no winning as the choice of free will has been removed. Rand realizes that he cannot destroy the Dark One or the world will be a different kind of nightmare. One where no one has a choice to live the life they choose fit.
Back in Kandor, Egwene fights with her Aes Sedai, overpowered by the Dark One's forces. She is joined by Lan who was fighting with forces in the nearby city and together they realize that the rogue men of the Black Tower are marching against them under the Dark One's control. The men also can channel a deadly weave (spell) known as balefire which is so destructive it can remove entire cities from existence. Egwene begins to channel complicated weaves of the One Power, discovering a new and powerful spell that could undo balefire and counteract it. As the men descend on their forces, Egwene calls upon all the Power she can handle, and unleashes a force unlike the world has ever seen, eliminating the men from the Black Tower but also burning herself up. Egwene's last moment is of peace, knowing she has done all she can to assist Rand in his final moments.
Meanwhile, the battle rages on in the canyon outside of the Pit of Doom. Mat is given word that Egwene has been killed in battle and must face off with his arch nemesis Padan Fain, once a friend who turned to the Dark One's service. At the same time, Perrin fights off the Slayer after returning to dream world to find his wife Faile who has gone missing in action. Traveling through the dream world he locates his wife, alive but buried beneath dead Trollocs. Perrin defeats the Slayer and returns to the real world in attempt to make it to his wife on the battlefield.
Rand on the other hand, leaps through the tear in the Pattern to continue his fight with Moridin. Nynaeve and Moiraine have fended him off by channeling a protective barrier and Rand comes back to finish the job. Rand throws the ancient relic they've brought with them to Moridin, knowing that a man who holds it can then be controlled by women. Nynaeve and Moiraine, together with Rand use the power of the relic and Moridin to destroy the remaining Dark One seals and pull the Dark One from his prison. Realizing that the Dark One cannot be destroyed without the loss of free will, Rand throws the Dark One physically outside of the Pattern and permanently seals the tear, trapping the Dark One forever.
With the Dark One banned from the world, the Dark Forces and all of their evil being to fade away. Nynaeve and Moiraine call upon Mat, Perrin and Lan to help them with Rand who has been gravely wounded through his battles. They all pay their last respects. Min, Rand's lover and Aviendha his second lover promise to see him in the next age, one free of the Dark One where they can live happily forever. Rand then dies. However, not all is as his seems as during the final moment of the battle, Rand switched bodies with Moridin, so it is he who died in Rand's body and not Rand.
Watching his body burn on the funeral pyre, Rand slowly slinks away and steals a horse. He rides off into the sunset. The Wheel of Time turning and issuing in the Fourth Age.
Best part of story, including ending:
This epic final volume was an all-out battle fest. Every scene moved at a quick pace and all of the stories came to a head. I loved how Rand realized he must keep the balance of evil and good by not destroying the Dark One, setting aside his arrogance to do the right thing.
Best scene in story:
Egwene al'Vere's final moment where used her power as the leader of the Aes Sedai and destroys the opposing forces was a beautiful scene and one where we saw how much she loved Rand and was willing to give her life for the cause.
Opinion about the main character:
Rand finally redeemed himself after being a selfish and arrogant man for the latter half of the series, making horrible decisions and alienating his friends. He makes the ultimate sacrifice in the end, leaving behind his identity to live a new life free of the burdens of his calling.