As Rand alThor, the Dragon Reborn fights off invading forces with his allies, his friends Perrin and Egwene put plans in motion to unite the nations against the Dark One and his invading forces. The Dark One, an ancient evil that is preparing to unleash his armies over the land is on the move. His dark army of beasts known as Trollocs and Myrrdraal are ravaging the land, where no town or city is safe. The climate is also in a state of flux as the Dark One uses his power to change the weather, creating a heat wave that is slowly destroying the regions of the world. Life has become a day to day struggle, and the hope of many rest on a few.
At the White Tower, the head of the Aes Sedai (women who can channel magical power known as saidin), Elayne Trakand has devised a plan to reverse the climate change. Elayne, an Aes Sedai as well as heir to the Caemlyn throne, confides in her friend Nynaeve and fellow Aes Sedai Aviendha that she believes they can fight the Dark One and return the climate back to its normal cycle with the help of an ancient relic known as the Bowl of Winds.
The three women sneak into the chambers that hold the relics deep within the tower and are able to locate it. Together, with a group of other Aes Sedai, the women channel the one power into the relic and are able to reverse the climate change and bring relief to the kingdoms from the never-wavering heat. Unfortunately, the victory is short lived as the sea-faring warriors known as the Seanchan, attack the city and the tower.
Elayne, Nynaeve and Aviendha flee the city and make their way to Andor. On the way, Elayne explains to the other women that it is time for her to take her place on the throne. She knows as the Dark One's forces continue to rise and the nations begin to rage ware, she will be a beacon of light amongst the darkness. Nynaeve agrees knowing an Aes Sedai on the throne would be a sign of power that many would dare not to defy. When they arrive in Andor, Elayne heads to the castle and makes her demands for the throne, which is rightfully hers.
On the road to Tar Valon, Egwene al'Vere, the Amyrlin Seat (leader) of a rogue group of Aes Sedai, makes her plans to lay siege to the White Tower and take over the entire legion of Aes Sedai. Unfortunately, her group of rebels are less than thrilled about the task and are worried they will be destroyed in the process. Egwene realizes she must show her true power in order to gain control of the women and uses her power to reveal just how dangerous she has grown. The women swear their allegiance to her and make plans to retake the White Tower at any cost.
Meanwhile, Perrin Aybara, speaker of the wolves and friend of Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn and future conqueror of the Dark One, travels with his wife Faile to the realm of Ghealdan under the orders of Rand to stop a false prophet claiming to be a servant to the Dragon Reborn. Rand sees him as a threat who could thwart his mission and plans of uniting the nations. When Perrin arrives, he finds a woman imprisoned by the false prophet named Maighdin and rescues her, putting her in the service of his wife. Unknown to Perrin, Maighdin is actually Morgase, who used to be the Queen of Andor. While in Ghealdan, Perrin demans that the Queen known as Alliandre give an oath to Rand, the Dragon Reborn. She at first refuses, but Perrin coerces her and she finally gives in, and swears her fealty much to her dismay.
In the region of Altara, the Seanchan forces are at war. The invasion in full swing, Rand al'Thor finds himself struggling to ward off their forces. He calls upon the nations of Illian and Asha'man with the hopes of defeating the Seanchan once and for all. Channeling the one power, a task men are forbidden to do since it can taint the mines of men, Rand tries to defeat the forces but finds the power to be unwieldy. Sensing something is wrong, he makes a psychic connection with Elayne where it is revealed that the one power is unstable due to the use of the Bowl of the Winds. Ignoring her warnings, Rand tries to channel not only the male side of the one power, but the female side, resulting in him losing control of the one power. This loss of control results in so much damage not only to his armies but to the enemies, that both groups are forced to withdraw.
Meanwhile, back in Ghealdan, Perrin cannot find his wife Faile. Searching the city, he comes to the horrifying realization that she has been kidnapped by the Seanchan forces. Enraged by such a bold move, Perrin gathers together a group of men to follow them in pursuit, swearing to destroy them if they harm her.
Back in Altara, Rand and what's left of his army begin their retreat. Broken and bruised, Rand is struggling to keep his strength due to the exertion of power he displayed on the battlefield. As they approach the road to the city of Cairhien, Rand and his group are attacked. Rand gathers what strength he has and fights off the attackers, who are revealed to be what is left of the Asha'man forces. Once allies, due to the destruction of their people, the leader known as Dashiva has declared Rand a traitor. The group attempts to kill Rand but he fights them off and forces them into retreat.
Rand swears as the Dragon Reborn that he will destroy those who oppose him and begins to weave his plan to make all the nations of the world come under his banner.
Best part of story, including ending:
This particular entry in the series was dull and had a tendency to drag on. Not much really happened minus Rand's battle in Altara, and the plot moved at a snail's pace. This entry felt more like filler than an actual plot movement.
Best scene in story:
I loved when Rand, the Dragon Reborn and future slayer of the Dark One channeled both sides of the one power, something that is forbidden to do and destroyed a huge portion of the armies. It was visually stunning to read.
Opinion about the main character:
Rand has grown very arrogant and cynical throughout the series, and has become one of my least favorite points of view to read about. His quest for power and determination to defeat all who oppose him is a far stretch from the young and sweet farmer boy we knew and loved in the beginning of the series.
The Dragon Reborn has to get strong enough in his power to fight the Dark One and save mankind.
The review of this Book prepared by Vicki Hart
Jordan basically continues the plotlines of the earlier books. The Bowl of the Winds is finally used, the army manages to get to Tar Valon, Forsaken start popping up like maggots (including some new ones) and war seems to be a-comin'
The review of this Book prepared by Michael Battaglia