This was a tough book to get through. I can only imagine how much tougher it was for fans just a few years ago who thought that this book, the tenth book in the series, might be the end of the story–only to find out that it nudged the plot forward less than every book in the series before it.
Luckily, I read this book during a different era. All uncertainty that the Wheel of Time series might not have an end has been vanquished. I read this knowing full-well that the follow-up novel, ‘Knife of Dreams’ was well-received and loved, and I know Brandon Sanderson is doing a bang-up job finishing it up.
So for me, reading this was like reading something extra, like ‘Ravens’, or ‘New Spring’. It was mostly fluff, sure, but with an end to the series on the horizon, I’ll take all the WoT-fluff I can get.
I guess the main question I had going into this is ‘Can I skip it?’. I can only speculate on the importance of the events of this novel since I haven’t read the rest of the series yet, but the answer, barring a few minor events, is probably ‘yes’.
That is, unless you’re like me. Then it’s a must-read.