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Towers of Midnight

CoverI will say right off that Towers of Midnight is the THIRTEENTH book in the Wheel of Time series, and so anyone not familiar with the series needs to go back to the beginning and read the first twelve books before starting in on this one. It may take you awhile, but believe me, it will be worth it. Once you're caught up to speed on the first twelve books Towers of Midnight will offer you something that you've been waiting for. What is that?

Resolution. Robert Jordan was a master of creating narratives and interweaving them to create a world where major characters can effect one another in major ways without ever even having met, but with all of these intricate story lines resolution of the major plot points has been long in coming. But it is here. Brandon Sanderson, writing for the now deceased Jordan, answers questions that have been plaguing readers for four or five books now. In this penultimate novel, true identities are revealed, characters come to realizations about themselves and their cultures, and major moves are made that will plunge the world into chaos as the last battle approaches.

Here's a heads up on what the major characters are up to. Rand, fresh from his life changing revelation at the end of the previous novel, sets about trying to put right the world that he has torn asunder, while also keeping an eye on his upcoming confrontation at Shayol Ghul. Perrin and Faile are still stuck herding an army and a group of refugees toward safety, but soon they cross paths with a group of whitecloaks. The confrontation will lead both parties in a direction they never imagined possible. Mat is once again in Camelyn, but he is less than thrilled when he discovers a bounty has been placed on his head. While dodging assassins, Mat also has to deal with the sinister gholam. Thom, Mat and Noal all still have a difficult task ahead of them, the rescue of Moiraine Damodred from the Eelfinn and Aelfinn. Aviendha completes her training to become a Wise One, but is disturbed by new revelations concerning the fate of the Aiel. Egwene is struggling to piece the White Tower back together, a task made more difficult by the knowledge that among the Aes Sedai lurks one of the Forsaken. Woven throughout the novel is an account of Lan's journey toward Tarwin's Gap and a battle which he cannot hope to win.

All over the world plans are in motion, and no one knows who will survive the coming conflict. Many questions will be answered in this novel, but still more are left to be resolved in the fourteenth and final installment of the WOT series. Look for the final book A Memory of Light in the fall of 2011.

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