Synopsis: In the tenth book of The Wheel of Time from the New York Times #1 bestselling author Robert Jordan, the world and the characters stand at a crossroads, and the world approaches twilight, when the power of the Shadow grows stronger.
Fleeing from Ebou Dar with the kidnapped Daughter of the Nine Moons, whom he is fated to marry, Mat Cauthon learns that he can neither keep her nor let her go, not in safety for either of them, for both the Shadow and the might of the Seanchan Empire are in deadly pursuit.
Perrin Aybara seeks to free his wife, Faile, a captive of the Shaido, but his only hope may be an alliance with the enemy. Can he remain true to his friend Rand and to himself? For his love of Faile, Perrin is willing to sell his soul.
At Tar Valon, Egwene al’Vere, the young Amyrlin of the rebel Aes Sedai, lays siege to the heart of Aes Sedai power, but she must win quickly, with as little bloodshed as possible, for unless the Aes Sedai are reunited, only the male Asha’man will remain to defend the world against the Dark One, and nothing can hold the Asha’man themselves back from total power except the Aes Sedai and a unified White Tower.
In Andor, Elayne Trakland fights for the Lion Throne that is hers by right, but enemies and Darkfriends surround her, plotting her destruction. If she fails, Andor may fall to the Shadow, and the Dragon Reborn with it.
Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn himself, has cleansed the Dark One’s taint from the male half of the True Source, and everything has changed. Yet nothing has, for only men who can channel believe that saidin is clean again, and a man who can channel is still hated and feared-even one prophesied to save the world. Now, Rand must gamble again, with himself at stake, and he cannot be sure which of his allies are really enemies.
****THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE PREVIOUS BOOKS****
Winter’s Heart ended with Rand and Nynaeve cleansing the male half of the True Source of the Dark One’s taint. I’m sure everyone who has read the series was eager to start Crossroads of Twilight to see the repercussions of such a thing. Such a momentous occasion must change everything!
But first, let’s see what every other character in series is up to in the days leading up to the event and those just after.
Faile and a few other women were captured by the Shaido Aiel and have been made gai’shain. Perrin is, of course, out of his mind with worry and rage. Many readers might feel for this couple, being separated by unforeseeable circumstances, but not me. I have dislike Faile from her very first appearance in the series. Honestly, I want her to die, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I don’t know what Perrin sees in her or why he loves her so much. His willingness to do just about anything for her is irritating. He was once one of my favorite characters in the series, but now, not so much.
Mat has finally found the Daughter of the Nine Moons, whom he supposed to marry. Hiding out in a travelling show, he has his hands full with the women he rescued from Ebou Dar, as well as the ones he kidnapped during the escape. Mat is a character I have wavered back and forth between liking and disliking. In the very beginning, he was Rand’s best friend, mischievous and easy going. However, the moment he discovers that Rand can channel, he gives in to all the superstition and fear surrounding men who channel. Earlier in the series, all Mat wanted was to get away from Rand as soon as possible. Now that he’s away from everyone he knew from the Two Rivers, he’s finally had a chance to grow from a boy to a man, even if he is still mischievous.
Elayne is trying to secure her place on the Lion Throne, while Egwene sits outside Tar Valon with her army and rebel Aes Sedai.
There is a lot going on in this series, but not much is actually happening. Time moves slowly as the narration goes between one set of characters to another, usually showing what happens to them in the same time frame. In over 800 pages, only about 2 weeks of time pass in the story. Only those that were with Rand and those who can channel saidin are even aware that it’s been cleansed. Everyone else who could sense what happened believes it was the Forsaken preparing some kind of weapon or something else equally as terrible.
So, the repercussions of cleansing saidin are still not known. Everyone seems to be sitting around waiting for things to happen. Only Perrin has any sense of urgency and only because he wants his wife back. Everything is supposed to lead up to the Last Battle. With four more books to go, I hope the pacing increases. As Brandon Sanderson finished the last 3 books after Robert Jordan passed away, I’m eager to see how his writing style differs.
Overall, I give this book 3 stars. It’s not amazing, but it’s not terrible either. It’s a good addition to the series overall and I look forward to starting the next book, especially as it will be the first in the series I haven’t previously read.