Great to see the White Tower function normally. Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve were oddities and their progression happened when the Tower wasn't stable. Of course, Moiraine and Siuan were also exceptions considering how fast they advanced but it wasn't that odd.
Awesome to Moiraine and Siuan's relationship; Wish we got more in the original series.
New Spring's climax cannot compare to most of the WOT books but it serves its purpose quite well; That is to tell us how Moiraine and Siuan decided to deal with the Dragon Reborn, and how Lan comes to be Moiraine's warder.
Overall, a satisfying ending to such an epic series.
Arc conclusions for the Rand, Forsaken, Logain, Gawyn, Galad, and a few others were done well. But, there were some disappointments.
I liked how Rand's battle with the dark one was psychological rather than physical. Ishamael's reasoning for forsaking the Light was great. Graendal and Lanfear had pretty neat arcs. Demandred cutting down Galad and Gawyn was a hell of a threat during the entire last battle. Moiraine's part was good as well but nowhere as good as expected and I wonder if she should have stayed dead; Would have at least maintained the emotional impact. Logain's arc came to a great conclusion but I do wish we got more of him instead of his followers. Egwene got a great conclusion as well but the rift between Rand and her was weird.
There were a few disappointments but not "can't please everyone" sort, just plain disappointments. Faile and Lan should have stayed dead. Plot armor has always been a thing in WoT but there were too few deaths considering the magnitude of the last battle. These two characters would have had a much larger impact and better endings had they died. Perrin had a very important role but I never cared for Slayer. Padan Fain, however, got the most disappointing conclusion; Should've just killed him at Far Madding.
Can't think of many "can't please everyone" endings except we didn't get a reunion of the three boys or one between Moiraine and Siuan; Especially because of her death.
The writing style of the book was a bit annoying. Not only did we keep switching characters and places after every single chapter (kind of broke the flow. Wish Sanderson had done two or sometimes three chapters for the same char or place like Robert Jordan had) but also in time (back and forth). At times I was quite confused about whether the event was happening in the past or present.
I kind of understand Egwene's thing with the tel'aran'rhiod but at the same time, everything seems to be going her way. It's like she is a ta'veren but gets away without the unintended consequences that three guys have to face.
Perrin's plot of okay apart was the forging hammer scene; That was awesome. I wish his training and all this was shifted a bit earlier in the series as it seems too late to do this.
I loved all the Rand parts. I liked how the most we got was from other people's perspective; Showed people that he had either changed or was someone that they did not expect.
Moiraine is finally back! Though at the very end. But I did like the tower arc. Mat was pretty neat.
Now that was a wonderful foreword. I honestly can't tell much of the difference in writing style due to the change of authors; Sanderson has of course removed some of the redundancies, braid tugging, and spanking which I am grateful for but there doesn't seem much change overall. Quite a smooth transition.
I would very much like to love Gathering Storm given that Rand takes it to a whole new level... Only Egwene kind of brings it down.
I am kind of not liking Egwene and not in a good way. The only two moments I did like her are first due to Verin and not her, second during the battle against Seanchan where one could believe that it was actually Egwene. Verin's chapter was simply beautiful; I am so looking forward to focusing on her when I re-read the series. Now, I might seem like a broken record seeing how I mentioned this in a bunch of my previous reviews, but Egwene was never built up to be this sort of leader or persuasive person. On top of that, the excuse of ta'veren does not work for her. Unfortunately, she takes the spotlight of Gathering Storm. Since it seems to be at a point of no return, I am just going to read WOT as though she is a ta'veren; It will definitely make it an easier read.
Loved Rand through the entire book. His eventual breakdown has been a treat to read and him almost killing Min and Tam were the best low points one could have chosen for Rand. I am curious to see if he is still out of control.
It seems that my prediction of Moirane not returning was right, sadly. This would be the perfect time for her to return to Rand.
Mat's plot was neat; Nothing special. The village subplot was definitely very very out of the place for Wheel of Time. Very. He did provide a rather enjoyable comic relief; Never change Mat.
And, I am glad I didn't get much of Perrin and nothing of Elayne. Very glad indeed.
And the journey with Robert Jordon comes to an end...
Knife of Dreams would have been one of my favorite Wheel of Time books if not for Elyane and Perrin. Elayne is still Elayne and Perrin's plot improved a bit but not good enough. Both take a good chunk of the book too. The good thing is both of these story arcs seem to have reached conclusion (fingers crossed).
Mat got the most spotlight and how could that ever not be a good thing. His and Tuon's relationship seems the only earned one besides Rand and Min, and his tactics always make a great read. I'm not one to crave romance in fantasy but if it has to be done, this was a great way to do it.
Nynaeve's highlight was awesome! She has been quite likable since she got rid of her block.
Egwene's part was good though a bit forced. Things are working out too well for her and it never felt she was built up for some things.
Rand didn't get a big chunk but it was still a lot of fun. Finally, Lews Therin's threat feels very real and they even captured a Forsaken. Though he got his hands on the male a'dam and I don't understand that choice by Jordan so intrigued to see where he was taking this.
Moiraine is still alive! Yay!!! Though it seems she won't be back soon considering the name "Towers of Midnight"
Just an observation/theory, it seems that Jordan wanted the 3 Seanchan storylines to converge at the same time (Perrin's, Rand's, Tuon's) hence the "necessary" lengthening of Perrin's plot. But, he should have really just omitted it or put in as a flashback.