A Crown of Swords (The Wheel of Time #7) ★★★★☆


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Title: A Crown of Swords
Series: The Wheel of Time #7
Author: Robert Jordan
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 727
Words: 296K



Synopsis:

From Tarvalon.net & authored by Toral Delvar

Elaida sends fifty Red sisters led by Toveine to the Black Tower to gentle any men learning to channel, under the impression that there will be at most two or three men who can channel. She believes that raising Egwene means the Aes Sedai in Salidar will return to her, since if they were serious in their rebellion, one of the more senior Aes Sedai would have been chosen. She has secret plans working among the rebels. In Alviarin’s presence she has a Foretelling that the Tower will be whole again and the Black Tower rent. Mesaana teaches Alviarin Traveling.

Sevanna, along with the strongest of the Wise Ones who can channel, prepares to attack those holding Rand. They attack and are driven back. Sevanna and her Wise Ones summon Sammael, who arrives with Graendal. Moridin (probably) watches. Therava brings Galina, who has been captured. Galina is named da’tsang. Sammael brings them an Oath Rod. He gives them something he claims will let them Travel. They use it and it spreads them everywhere. Sevanna takes the Wise Ones with her. Shaidar Haran watches.

Morgase urges Niall to help her take Andor back as soon as possible. He learns of the Seanchan, but is murdered before he can tell anyone. Valda takes control and pressures Morgase into sex. The Seanchan attack. Morgase is taken to Suroth, who is angered by her use of Suroth’s first name. Morgase renounces the throne and the High Seat of House Trakand. She is stopped from commiting suicide by Lini. Balwer takes them away.

Rand gives the Aes Sedai into the care of the Wise Ones, to Taim’s displeasure. He takes Asha’man bodyguards. They Travel to a point outside Cairhien, then walk the rest of the way. They are told that Colavaere has taken the throne. Faile and Berelain are both acting as Colavaere’s attendants. It is revealed that Colavaere had Meilan and Maringil murdered. Instead of sentencing her to death, Rand strips her of her titles and exiles her to a farm. She commits suicide. Rand learns Aes Sedai are in Cairhien.

Rand goes to Caemlyn, hoping to find Elayne, and learns Caraline Damodred and Toram Riatin are setting up in opposition to him. He learns there are nine Aes Sedai known to be in Caemlyn. He leaves Morr there. Rand sends the army gathered in Tear off to Illian with two of the Asha’man, Hopwil and Adley.

Back in Cairhien, Rand tries to send Berelain back to Mayene after an assassination attempt. Cadsuane arrives and tries to provoke him, asking if he’s started hearing voices. Idrien arrives from the school and tells him of Fel’s death. Rand tells Min of this and they comfort each other.

Perrin and Rand stage a fight over the Aes Sedai prisoners, to give Rand an excuse to send Perrin away, though in reality he goes to Ghealdan with Grady, Neald, Masuri and Seonid, as well as Wise Ones. Loial goes with one of the Asha’man, Karldin, to visit the stedding and guard the Ways.

Rand convinces himself that he raped Min and withdraws completely. She brings him out of it and makes him see sense. They admit their love for one another. She tells of a viewing of Rand and another man merging, and one of them dying. Rand goes to meet the Sea Folk, taking Bera, Alanna, Rafela, Faeldrin and Merana, putting Merana in charge of them. Min sees that they will be loyal to him. His ta’veren effect helps in the negotiations, with the Sea Folk giving away much. He leaves Merana and Rafela to negotiate and goes with Min to deal with the rebelling nobles.

Caraline recognizes Rand but says nothing. His ta’veren effect works on her and Darlin, who reveals he would be happy to support Rand, but feels he no longer has a choice. Cadsuane and several other sisters are in the camp, as is Fain, with Daved Hanlon and Toram Riatin, who, due to Fain’s influence, hates Rand.

Toram and Rand duel with practice swords This is interrupted by fog attacking the camp. One of the Red Ajah sisters present is killed. Rand uses balefire, causing Cadsuane to slap him and tell him never to use it again. Fain stabs him with the dagger from Shadar Logoth. Samitsu partially Heals him, but she says she believes he will die. Darlin carries him out. Min tells the full story of Rand’s capture and they return to the palace in Cairhien. Here, Flinn tries his Healing, sealing the wound away.

Rand wakes two days later, having been Healed further by Corele. Min tells him that Cadsuane is to teach him and the Asha’man something they need to know. He hears the army is almost on Illian, so he Travels to Bashere and his men. He takes them and the Asha’man directly into Illian, where the Asha’man set off all of Sammael’s traps. He chases Sammael to Shadar Logoth. Here he sees Liah. While Rand is attacking Trollocs, Sammael strikes at him and he loses the Power. A man, probably Moridin, arrives and helps Rand. They both use balefire, with the streams crossing, causing double vision. He drops hints that Sammael is at the Waygate then leaves, claiming plans will have to be abandoned if Rand is killed. The man didn’t use saidin. At the Waygate, Rand sees Sammael turn to look at Liah, who Rand balefires, as she is about to be killed by Mashadar. Sammael is then gone. On his return to Illian, Rand is pronounced King.

Moghedien is taken by Shaidar Haran to Moridin, who has two cour’souvra, one of them hers.

Elaida is woken by Alviarin, who tells her that Rand has broken free and twelve sisters have returned. Alviarin takes control of Elaida by threatening to reveal both this and the fact that sisters sent to the Black Tower. She orders some sisters punished for keeping angreal and others praised, in order to cause dissension amongst the Ajahs. Elaida visits Seaine and sets her looking for traitors, which Seaine take to mean Black Ajah. Seaine enlists Pevara on the search.

Egwene struggles for some control over the Salidar Hall, using the fact that Sheriam, Lelaine and Romanda can’t stand each other to occasionally get her own way. Talking with Siuan, she learns Sheriam has sent sisters to the White Tower and hasn’t told the Hall because she fears Darkfriends. It occurs to her that Elaida may have done the same. She feels Moghedien escape, which prevents her taking advantage.

Nicola tries to blackmail Egwene about pretending to be Aes Sedai before she and Elayne were raised. Egwene threatens her and Areina in the real world and in Tel’aran’rhiod. She talks to Melaine, Amys and Bair and reveals she is Amyrlin and warns them of Moghedien. She has visions of Gawyn and Mat.

Theodrin and Faolain swear fealty to Egwene. Faolain also tells her how much she dislikes her. Egwene sends them to see if anyone saw Moghedien escape. She tells Siuan it shouldn’t matter how strong in the Power she is. Romanda and Lelaine complain about Delana wanting to name Elaida Black.

Halima “heals” Egwene’s headaches.

Elayne and Nynaeve go to the Sea Folk to get help with the ter’angreal they are looking for. They recognize the description as the Bowl of the Winds. After no success in finding it, they send Birgitte to Mat to tell him he is to help them.

Mat gambles on horses, with Olver as a jockey. He sees Mili Skane, a Darkfriend, and follows her to Jaichim Carridin’s place. On the way he picks up a signet ring of a fox scaring birds. Sammael tells Carridin not to go after Mat unless he gets in the way.

Mat goes to see Tylin and leaves a note about Carridin. Her son, Beslan, takes a liking to him. Returning to the inn, Mat is attacked by a man in his room. Birgitte visits Mat, who remembers Birgitte from Falme, and they talk in the Old Tongue. They agree to keep each other’s secrets. They get drunk, which affects Elayne. On Birgitte’s return she tells Elayne that Mat wants an apology and thanks for rescuing them from the Stone. Aviendha and Birgitte both agree that he is owed an apology.

Mat annoys Elayne and Nynaeve by saying that it was nothing when they apologize. They promise not to demean him and to listen to his advice. He moves to the palace. Upon leaving, they are accosted by Setalle Anan, who refuses to believe they are Aes Sedai and takes them to the Kin. When they insist they are Aes Sedai, Reanne throws them out and threatens to spread their descriptions. Setalle recognizes one of them as someone she met, but the woman claims it was her grandmother’s sister. Elayne begins to think about the ageless look. They are attacked on the way back to the palace.

Mat is pursued and caught by Tylin. The girls set him watching the Kin. He attends a festival with Beslan and his friends, where they are attacked by beggars.

Elayne is brought before the other Aes Sedai, who threaten to punish her for talking to the Kin. When she learns Carridin is claiming her mother is arriving, she loses her temper and threatens the others, who realize she stands above them. She forces them to go and meet the Kin.

Moghedien tries to balefire Nynaeve but is put off by pigeons. Nynaeve’s boat and bodyguards are destroyed. She almost drowns, but gives in, thus overcoming her block against the Power, and survives. Lan pulls her out. They get married and she fetches the Windfinders.

They go to the Kin, who agree to take them to the store of Power-related objects. Mat arrives, having just found it himself. They thank Mat, who is told of Moghedien by Lan. At the store, they are confronted by Falion and Ispan. Mat saves Elayne from a gholam, which is injured by his medallion. It kills Nalesean during the battle. They return to the palace, where Mat uses his being ta’veren to make the Windfinders agree to go wherever Elayne and Nynaeve want. Mat goes off to find Olver with his men, Thom and Juilin. The Seanchan attack and he gets trapped under a wall.

My Thoughts:

This would have easily been a 5star book, especially storywise, if Elayne and Nynaeve weren’t in it. Everyone else seems to be growing up, even Matt, but those 2? Bitching, moaning, complaining and generally acting like people who I would gladly kill. Their storylines weren’t huge but as silly as it may sound, it ruined everything for me. Ok, maybe “ruined” is a bit strong, but when a book goes down a whole star because of one of the smaller plotlines, I call that a “ruin”.

Everything else was what made this series the wonder that it became. While Jordan tends to being a bit too verbose, even that doesn’t truly stand in the way of the story or the skill with which Jordan weaves the various plot lines.

This book puts me at the half-way mark for this final re-reading of the Wheel of Time series. I am glad I am doing this but like I’ve said in previous reviews, this will be the last time I read this. I just can’t deal with the way that some of the women act. Nor can I put up with the supposed good guys being no different, in essence, than the bad guys. All Nynaeve can think about is punishing the various people around her who annoy her or “insert reezons”. She thinks exactly the same as one of the Forsaken and it just disgusted me.

For such a long book, I’m having a remarkably hard time coming up with something to say. So I’m done.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

44 thoughts on “A Crown of Swords (The Wheel of Time #7) ★★★★☆

    1. As I sit here on my comfy couch, bang pina colada energy drink in hand, I listen to the soothing sounds of the plow truck as it bangs and scrapes very loudly I might add, around the complex. At 5am…..

      Liked by 2 people

            1. Don’t hurt yourself. Wear your mittens and make sure your scarf is tucked in too. Wouldn’t want you to catch a cold.

              Unless by manual labor you mean grocery shopping. Then I recommend a speedo. People will get our of your way in record time.

              Liked by 1 person

                1. Phhht. No way we’re nearly good enough friends for me to help carry an oven down 2 flights of stairs!
                  That kind of things requires either a family bond or a real close friendship that has developed over years. And just because we’re siamese twins separated at birth by Psychic Grandma doesn’t make us family….

                  Like

                    1. Hahahaa.
                      I am quite comfortable with my manliness. Guns, machetes and snowshoes that would make a grizzly jealous help 😀

                      Of course, my inner iron core simply radiates masculinity.

                      Like

                    2. Just to complete your day, I carried the oven down two flights of stairs, managed to lift it onto plastic sheeting in the back of my X1, and when I reversed, it smashed backwards through the back windscreen….all I can say is, don’t mess with Psychic Grandma…

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. Really? Oh man, that sucks! I’m guessing an x1 is a car, maybe a truck?
                      And that is a sympathy like, not a “I’m glad your vehicle got smashed” like.

                      I knew I should have drone shipped you that machete from amazon!

                      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aren’t they though? I’ve never seen such synopses before. I am counting on them for that inevitable time when I wonder, in the future, if the Wheel of Time series was perhaps better than I remember. Then I can just read the synopsis and save myself the pain and trouble 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Quite difficult to understand the synopsis of a 7th book when you haven’t read any of them, but I applaud your ability to comprehend the convoluted plots and alien language. Don’t think it’s my cuppa, Tolkein & Martin spoiled fantasy for me forever, nothing ever matches up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never seen such detailed synopses like these before, but I am thankful for them if I’m ever tempted to re-read this series.

      Jordan really didn’t write a series of books, but a series that he just released in book form. If he’d had a good editor (his wife was his editor. And while she was a professional, the series showed how she fell down on the job too), I suspect we might have seen something a bit more like what Sanderson did for the final 3 books.

      If you liked Martin, what did you think of the tv show? and are you going to read the (mythical) final book if he ever writes it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had read the books prior to the TV show, and thought they did a great job of adapting it. They also did a good job at carrying on where he stalled IMHO. A lot of people complained about the last season being rushed, but it had to end somehow. I read the books again after the show ended and felt that actually the show improved upon the books (so unusual) as Martin can meander off into places and then never resolve them, book 4 in particular is a trial and slog to get through. I suppose I would have to read the last 2 (apparently) books if they ever happen, but I am not sure his heart is in it any more. He’s had plenty of opportunity and time, but spent it either with his wolf sanctuary or writing other books. That’s his prerogative of course. I also wonder how, when you’ve invested so much into building such a vast world, you can bear to bring it to a satisfactory conclusion. Maybe the TV people did him a favour by giving it an end.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. For me, there is a social contract between an author and the readers. If an author starts a series, they need to finish it. That doesn’t always happen and Martin is the most current aggregious example.

          I’ve never gotten into the books and everything I saw about the show definitely kept me away.

          So you were at least satisfied with how the show ended? I just saw so much criticism that I assumed it was universally hated.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes I was satisfied with the ending, it was a different season in speed and tone, as there were a lot of loose threads to bring to a conclusion. Perhaps there were better ways to do that, I know most people thought so, but most people were not involved in the making of it or under budgetary controls and time constraints, I think they did the best they could. It is one of my all time favourite TV series, went deep into politics, war, love, sacrifice, betrayal and redemption. The acting was superb and the characters arcs fully realised. The attention to detail in scenery and costumery was incredible (the special features on the the blurays attest to the pains taken to recreate Martin’s world) and that always fascinates me. It was obvious everyone involved in the show front and backstage gave it their heart and soul. And the dragons were amazing. I don’t get what people found to hate on it over, or dismiss it, it’s not as if there were anyone eating discarded baby corpses or the like 😉

            Liked by 1 person

  2. So…I think fraggle and savagddt already hit on this, but like I told you one time before, I started on Knife of Dreams, because it was just a convenient thing to read at the time. The story seemed epic, but difficult to follow and staticky, maybe because I didn’t read the others before it ( although I did start on book #1 before it got put in another person hands and it didn’t seem that way starting out ) I couldn’t imagine the length of the book if everything was re-explained in each book, but what I’m asking is do these books seem that way to you, even having read the previous book before it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are no “and in previous books” sections. Each book is not a self-contained story adding a bit to a larger story arc. This is ONE big fat story arc that Jordan artificially chunked up into multiple books. If you think of it as one 13,000 page book, that is probably a more accurate way to view it.

      The problem is that Jordan let his imagination run away and got stuck with 2 many threads to deal with.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, then my next question is that does he, as an author feel that it’s his obligation to tie all these and resolve all of them by the end of the series?

        Liked by 1 person

          1. hahahaa. You should know better 😉

            But while he really needed a good editor, him dying was the best thing. Because that meant Brandon Sanderson took over and finished the series in another 3 books and he DID have some better editors.

            So he tied up as much as he could. All the big stuff. Small stuff like the Super Myrdrall and the forsaken with the black eyes because of the true power, I can’t remember.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Wowzers . .. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Bookstooge with brutal honesty and it’s finest . . . all jokes aside I appreciate it. Me must have opted for the line editing only. 😂😂😂

              Liked by 1 person

    1. this series seems to have caught the imagination of one generation but not quite made the leap to another. I think Jordan’s wordiness and self-indulgence in terms of plots and characters are the main reason.

      Liked by 2 people

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