While this book — like all the others — covers a lengthy, often tedious journey to an epic battle, the battles were worth the time I spent reading the book. Bossy hypocrite Nynaeve squares off against dark wench Moghedien not once but twice. Rand defeats Rhavin in a balefire duel and finally learns that his well-meaning yet chivalrous unwillingness to put women in danger has cost him one close ally as Moiraine sacrifices herself against Lanfear.
While all of the characters (even Nynaeve) evolve and grow within the scope of this book, the ever-present stereotypical Women! Who can understand them?!? / Men! They’re all wool-headed fools! idiocy detracts from and cheapens what could become a much deeper narrative about men and women and relationships.
Perrin Aybara makes no appearance in book five. What’s going on in the Two Rivers? On to book six to find out.
September and October, 2014