A Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan

This entry is part [part not set] of 12 in the series The Wheel of Time

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Seventh Book of The Wheel of Time Series
Publisher: Tor Books (November 15, 1997), Mass Market Paperback: 896 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 0812550285, ISBN-13: 978-0812550283

This is another entertaining book in the unfolding story of the Dragon Reborn (Rand al’Thor) and the Two Rivers gang in their fight against evil. The writing was once again superb.  There was development in all the characters but Nynaeve shown the most growth.  The book has two main themes going on, one which centres primarily around Rand and the other centres around Mat, Elayne and Nynaeve.  There is very little in the book concerning Perrin or Egwene.

There is a bit more about the Sea Folk, first with Nynaeve with Elayne and then with Rand. We learn a bit more about the Sea Folk, particularly that they are renowned negotiators.

The story once again progresses slowly, but a lot happens. This book is called A Crown of Swords and the end of the book explains why. The story of the Crown of Swords does come to a conclusion, but the overall story is far from finished.  However, this book, more than any other so far leaves you feeling that you are in the middle of a story.  In particular, it leaves the situation with Mat as a total cliff-hanger.

I really enjoyed the book and I am anxious to pick up the next book in the series so I can see what will happen next.

****Spoiler alert, do not read any further, if you have not yet read the book****

Following is my summary of this book.  This book starts out immediately following book five, Lord of Chaos.  Rand has been freed from capture and is back in Cairhien.  However, when he arrives things are in disarray.  The Aiel are concerned that he deserted them and Colaveaere has crowned herself Queen of Cairhien in Rand’s absence.  Rand sets Colaveaere straight, and takes not only the crown away from her, but also all her titles and holdings.  He really should have her executed as a traitor, but because she is a woman he is unable to do so.  However, the shame of her situation causes her to hang herself.

Rand gets into a big fight with Perrin, that was pre-arranged, however, in the process Rand becomes really angry with Perrin and almost kills him.  Perrin and Faile then leave for some unstated purpose.

Rand and Min find out that Hedrid Fel, the eccentric scholar, has been brutally murdered because he has uncovered important information for Rand that the Dark One wants to keep hidden. While Rand and Min are consoling each other, they finally consummate their relationship, after which Rand feels very guilty and is ashamed that he did this against Min’s will. He then locks himself in his room for days.  However, once Min sets Rand straight that it was mutual she convinces Rand to go see the Sea Folk.  Which Rand does and his ta’veren nature helps him secure from them what he wants, which is for them to provide ships as he requires.  He then leaves the Aes Sedai to complete the negotiations since they require an agreement to fulfil their prophecies.

Rand is feeling very cocky after his success with the Sea Folk and so he decides to go to the Cairhien rebels to see if his ta’veren nature will help resolve things there.  He and Min sneek off and travel to their camp, where they are able to keep their true identities hidden.  However, Paden Fain is there and after the area is attacked by a bubble of evil in the form of a murdering fog, Rand is attacked by Paden.  Paden slices him with the evil and deadly knife from Shadar Logoth.  However, Rand turns just in time and the slice is across his old festering wound given to him by Ishamael (alias Ba’alzamon.)  Rand still almost dies but between the treatment he is given by the Aes Sedai and the Asha’man and the fact that these two wounds seem to fight each other he is able to recover.

Once he recovers he takes the Asha’man to Illian to fight Sammael.  When Sammaelrealizes Rand is in Illian he goes to Shadar Logoth.  Rand follows him and then a battle ensues. After Rand receives help from an unknown man who can access the true source, he is able to get the upper hand.  It appears as though Sammael has been destroyed after he is buried under rubble that is covered with the evil of Shadar Logoth.

When Rand returns to Illian the city is his and he is crowned the king with the Illian Crown of Swords.

The only interesting things that happened with Egwene is Moghedien was freed and she is able to get the rebels to slowly move towards Tar Valon. She also convinces Lan to go to Nynaeve in Ebou Dar.

Meanwhile Nynaeve and Elayne are in Ebou Dar with Mat, Thom and Julian.  They are searching for the Bowl of the Winds ter’angreal which will help them restore the weather.  While they are searching, they are able to enlist the help of the Sea Folk, but the Sea Folk demand an agreement which it seems the girls get the short end of but the details are not yet revealed. However, they do have the help of the Sea Folk, who are very strong weather manipulators to help them once the Bowl is found.

They also discover the Kin, a group of women who can channel, but have either been put out of the White Tower or else are wilders.  They invite them all to go to Egwene’s group of Aes Sedai to become novices and are shocked to learn there are several thousands of them.

Moghedien, Black Ajah, Dark Friends and forsaken are all in Ebou Dar looking for the Bowl.  Moghedien sees Nynaeve on a boat and tries to kill her. While Nynaeve is drowning she is able to finally break through her block to the one power in order to save herself. She is then pulled out of the water by Lan.  She is surprised and happy to see him.  She then convinces him to marry her and the service is completed by the Sea Folk.

Elayne and Nynaeve are having a difficult time finding the Bowl until they ask Mat to help.  As soon as Mat becomes involved the Bowl is found due to Mat’s ta’veren nature.  However, when they go to get the Bowl they are attacked by dark friends, the Black Ajah and a Gholam (only six of these were created during the war of the shadow, they are creatures which were created to destroy anyone who can channel because the one power can not touch them.  They are also very strong, very hard to kill and can move through very small spaces.) They are able to fight off everyone and Mat is able to hurt, but not kill the Gholam buy touching him with his medallion, which seems to be the only thing that can harm the creature.

They find the Bowl and decide to go out to the Kin’s farm to work the Bowl in a circle with the Sea Folk.  However, just as they are leaving Mat discouvers that Olver is missing so he can not go with them. He stays behind to look for Olver.  While he is looking, the dice are rattling around in his brain and he sees the Seanchan are attacking Ebou Dar.  Then he is knocked out by falling debry, but just before he passes out the dice stop rattling.

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