If the cover art weren't a clue, Perrin takes center stage in this volume with a final confrontation with the Whitecloaks under Galad. This is something that has been brewing since 'The Eye of the World', so it was very satisfying. Perrin's and Galad's plotlines conjoining puts Morgase into an interesting position. Perrin also faces down demons of self-doubt, and a Forsaken or two with varying results. Faile and Berelain Work It Out and we can truly lay to rest the ghost of the Plotline of Doom. As a united force, Perrin's forces march towards the Last Battle.
Mat has reached Andor and must delay there until he either opens a letter from Verin, or he receives instructions from her. While he waits he strikes a deal with Elayne for Andor to start building Aludra's dragons. Elayne also has to get Queenie on Perrin for awhile. Long standing darkfriend/Black Ajah threats come to a head and some rash decisions are made. Mat is awesome, and less problematic than he was in 'The Gathering Storm'. As with Perrin, a long-standing animosity - in Mat's case with the Snakes and Foxes - is dealt with on a rescue mission with Thom and Noal.
Egwene and a united White Tower face down the lingering Forsaken threat - and something else - and take to the World of Dreams, with some unwitting assistance from Perrin engaged in battle with another old nemesis. The White Tower is whole and can prepare for the Last Battle, but now it must try to decide how they solve a problem like the Dragon Reborn.
Rand still holds on to his new zen-like state and heads to Arad Doman and then Saldaea to take care of unfinished business, and make amends. With the help of Min he begins to form a plan that could make the coming confrontation with the Dark One the last. Meanwhile Aviendha sets out for Rhuidean to become a Wise One. There she experiences the past of the Aiel, but is given something else, also. A vision of the future that changes much.
And then, at the Black Tower (FINALLY, we get a picture of what's going on), some people are troubled by the constant echoing laughter and rubbing of hands. Androl, a Dedicated with a bit part in 'Winter's Heart', becomes the central figure there along with Pevara of the Red Ajah.
As with 'The Gathering Storm', 'Towers of Midnight' (I don't fully understand the name) is clearing away old plotlines and advancing timelines so that all of our main characters are in sync at the start of the Last Battle. Sanderson does the best job that any writer could have, frankly. There are some reunions that we don't get to see and a whole lot of unanswered questions - but this is the penultimate novel we got and its pretty damn good.
The Wheel of Time
Next: 'A Memory of Light'
Previous: 'The Gathering Storm'