Knife of Dreams (The Wheel of Time #11) ★★★★☆

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Title: Knife of Dreams
Series: The Wheel of Time #11
Author: Robert Jordan
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 823
Words: 323.5K



Synopsis:

From Tarvalon.net & authored by Toral Delvar

Galad believes that Eamon Valda has murdered Morgase and, supported by Trom, Byar and Dain Bornhald, challenges him to Trial by Combat . Although Valda is a blademaster and fights well, Galad dupes him into becoming too confident and kills him. Galad is told that this makes him the new Lord Captain Commander and he decides to take the Whitecloaks out of Altara to ally with anyone who will fight the Seanchan and the Last Battle. Even Aes Sedai or Asha’man if need be. Rodel Ituralde attacks camps in Tarabon, as part of his plan to beat the Seanchan out of Arad Doman. Suroth learns of this and sends the majority of the raken in Altara and Amadicia after him. She learns that Semirhage has killed the Imperial family and plots to kill Tuon so that she can be Empress. Moridin calls a meeting of the Forsaken and instructs them to find the Seals on the Dark One’s prison and to kill Mat and Perrin if they can be found. Harine attends a meeting of Wavemistresses, with the new Mistress of the Ships, Zaida. They learn that the Amayar have committed mass suicide because of their belief that the Time of Illusion is coming to an end. Logain arrives to tell them they are required to use all of their ships to take food to Arad Doman as part of the Bargain.

Perrin meets with the Seanchan and learns that the Prophecies of the Dragon mention the Wolf King carrying a hammer. He tells them he wants to feed the Shaido forkroot tea to stop the women channeling. They agree to his plan and requisition some forkroot, using a letter from Suroth, stolen from Masema. Tam arrives with more men from the Two Rivers. Once the forkroot has been added to the water supply, he attacks with Two Rivers archers and they break the Shaido with the help of the Aes Sedai and other Seanchan he has being dealing with.

Faile learns that one of the other gai’shain has stolen the Shaido Oath Rod and is given it. Rolan tells her that the Mera’din are considering returning to the Waste and will free her if they do. He warns her to be careful and she hides the Oath Rod in town. She takes Galina to a burned out house. Galina takes the rod out with her and is able to cause the house to collapse, trapping Faile and her companions. Rolan rescues Faile and is taking her to safety when Perrin arrives and kills him. Aram is killed attacking Perrin, having been corrupted by Masema, who escapes with a small number of his followers. Sevanna is captured by the Seanchan, as are over two hundred Wise Ones. Galina is caught again by Therava and told never to try and escape again. Therava leads a group of Shaido back to the Aiel Waste to rebuild the Shaido clan.

Rand sees an image of Moridin in his head and concludes that he is aware of him. He talks with Logain and is told that more than half of the Black Tower is in Arad Doman and Illian. Rhuarc is trying to bring order to Bandar Eban. Loial gets married to Erith and learns that the Ogier are discussing opening the Book of Translation so they can leave the world, ready to return when the Wheel turns again. Trollocs attack and are killed, but it is close, with Logain and his Aes Sedai perhaps making the difference. Rand tells Loial that he needs him to find the Waygates that were in cities in order to seal them, but Haman volunteers instead. Verin leaves. Nynaeve sends Lan to Saldaea, from where he rides to Shienar with anyone who will join him. Nynaeve persuades some Malkieri to do so and has pigeons sent ahead to encourage others. Rand goes to Tear and learns that the rebels have agreed to terms as long as Darlin is named king. Rand reluctantly agrees. They go to meet the Daughter of the Nine Moons and discover it is Semirhage in disguise when her illusion flickers. She attacks and Rand loses a hand but she is captured. She reveals that Rand is hearing Lews Therin’s voice and claims it is a madness, even more so for being real and that even Graendal could rarely save someone who heard a real voice.

Egwene is told that she will not be punished, just placed back in novice white. Beonin returns to the Tower and teaches Elaida and Tarna Traveling but is forbidden from teaching anyone else. Elaida is displeased with her for not holding the rebels back as much as she was instructed to. Egwene is defiant in the Tower, maintaining that she is the Amyrlin Seat. At first she is taught by Accepted, but after embarrassing too many of them, her lessons are switched to private lessons with Aes Sedai. She is sent for punishment several times a day for not using their titles and for trying to put ideas in their heads. The other novices and Accepted come to believe her and she begins to influence the Aes Sedai into seeing what a disaster Elaida is. She speaks with Mattin Stepaneos and makes him realize that Elaida has hid the truth about Rand from him. She encounters Beonin and instructs her to warn all the rebel spies that they were betrayed. After nine days, Elaida decides to have Egwene wait on her.

Elayne defends the wall in Caemlyn against sorties from Arymilla. She learns that many of the men thrown out of the White Lions by Gaebril because of loyalty to Morgase are supporting her. Reanne tells her that one of the sul’dam has admitted being able to channel and is now asking to be made damane. They learn that Aviendha has a Talent for identifying what ter’angreal do, but she is taken away by Wise Ones to continue her apprenticeship before she can finish aiding Elayne. Elayne has Mellar tracked and discovers that he visits two Black Aes Sedai. They learn that Reanne and several other Kinswomen have been murdered by saidar. She takes the Aes Sedai with her to arrest Falion and Marillin, but they are outnumbered as four other Black sisters are there. Asne uses a ter’angreal to disable her. They decide to capture Elayne and kill the Aes Sedai apart from Careane as she is one of them. Vandene kills Careane for killing Adeleas and she and Sareitha are killed. They flee, taking Elayne with them. Birgitte persuades the Windfinders to weave a gateway to outside the city walls. They rescue Elayne outside of Caemlyn, capturing five of the Black Aes Sedai and killing Asne. They are able to take men to hit the back of Arymilla’s attacking army, compressing them in the city streets and forcing them to yield. Those who can transfer allegiance to Elayne, do. The other six nobles (Abelle, Aemlyn, Arathelle, Ellorien, Luan and Pelivar) visit and, after talking, Luan and Abelle pledge to Elayne, giving her the support of enough Houses to be Queen of Andor. After this, the rest apart from Ellorien do so also.

Mat buys Tuon a horse and tries to find a way to escape. He asks Noal about Jain Farstrider and is told unconvincingly that he was a cousin. He encounters Joline slapping Bethamin and can feel the Power being used and so stops her; she slaps him, so he puts her over his lap and spanks her. He learns that Bethamin has channeled on her own. Joline and Edesina agree to teach her. Later, Seta also channels and they reluctantly agree to teach her as well. The Aes Sedai realize that he has a ter’angreal that stops channeling. Setalle shows great interest in it and he realizes that she used to be an Aes Sedai, something that she confirms. He talks with Aludra and they discuss canon-making. Leilwin/Egeanin and Domon marry. Tuon tells him that she suspects the Horn of Valere has been blown, putting him off his game plan. They meet a band of Tuatha’an heading for Seanchan lands in the belief that there is safety. Teslyn and Joline start pestering Tuon, telling her that she should stop the invasion. She places an a’dam around their necks, but Mat frees them again and instructs them to leave her alone. He learns from Moiraine’s letter to Thom that she is alive and captured and can be rescued through the Tower of Ghenjei, though it must be Mat, Thom and one more who try or the attempt will fail and even then it is not certain. He agrees to try, as does Noal. Olver is able to tell them how to get in, as Birgitte had told him. He takes Tuon to a hell and gambles until one of the other gamblers becomes suspicious, and so loses the next toss. On leaving, he is attacked by a group of swordsmen and kills them with his knives. He meets up with Talmanes, who has brought part of the Band, leaving Estean in control of the rest. Tuon is surprised at the affection his men have for him and that the discipline is not lax, and begins to see him in a new light, realizing that she doesn’t know him as well as she thought. He plans a series of attacks to divert the Seanchan and allow them to escape through passes in the mountains. The plan is going reasonably well, with the Seanchan commander believing Mat to have many more men than he has in truth, when Furyk Karede finds him. Mat tells him that he can have Tuon if he can get her safely back to Ebou Dar as he has realized that the Seanchan are trying to kill her. She says that she trusts Karede, so Mat agrees and she completes the marriage ceremony, as one part of the Foretelling she received from Lidya was that the man she would marry would carry her away and set her free. Karede leaves some of his own men as a diversion and they are attacked by ten thousand soldiers led by Elbar, all trying to kill Tuon, but the men are defeated by Mat, using a new model of crossbow, the Power, and fireworks. Tuon returns to Ebou Dar and strips Suroth of rank, naming her da’covale.

The rebel camp agrees not to free Egwene, on her orders. Romanda believes that there must be a way to put out all the older novices but is forced to reconsider when she learns of Sharina’s talent for the new Healing. Merise and Jahar arrive to offer to let the rebel Aes Sedai bond forty-seven Asha’man, explaining the significance of the number (fifty-one Aes Sedai bonded by Logain’s men, minus four Asha’man that have been bonded by Aes Sedai, equaling the number forty-seven to balance the two) and that saidin is clean. He tells them the story of a woman channeling saidin at Shadar Logoth and Romanda realizes it is probably Halima as she has remembered the connection between Anaiya, Kairen and Cabriana; she orders the arrest of Halima and Delana, but they have already fled.

Tsutama, the new head of the Red Ajah, tells Pevara to go ahead with the plan for Reds to bond Asha’man. Javindhra seems to be pleased at the chance to defy Elaida. Pevara meets with the other Sitters in the Black Ajah hunt and learns that news of Elaida’s disasters are filtering back, but are being kept to Sitters and Heads. The Black Ajah trail has gone cold as all known members have either been controlled or are out of the Tower. Tarna and Pevara, along with four other Reds, go to the Black Tower to ask to be allowed to bond Asha’man. Taim agrees with the words “let the lord of chaos rule”.

Throughout the world, ghosts and bubbles of evil become more common, food continues to spoil and buildings change, with corridors and rooms appearing, disappearing and moving as the Pattern weakens.

My Thoughts:

I don’t have much to say overall. This was an exciting addition to the series and if Jordan had been able to keep this tempo for the previous books, it would have done a lot to allay the cries of “nothing’s happening”. Sadly, it does prove that Jordan CHOSE to write the previous books as stultifyingly boring as he did, which just makes me as a reader feel bad.

This was the last book that Jordan wrote. It was published in 2005 and he died in 2007. I remember getting the news from (the as yet to be Mrs B) Miss Library and how devastated I was about it. I had been waiting for the next book to be published so had not read this one yet. When I heard that he’d died, I didn’t get around to reading this until 2012 when Brandon Sanderson wrapped things up with his trilogy.

This was a great example of how well Jordan could write, both in terms of complex plot and exciting battles and confrontations. It’s too bad his editor didn’t have enough guts to hold him to a higher standard for the previous books.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

28 thoughts on “Knife of Dreams (The Wheel of Time #11) ★★★★☆

    1. That is technically possible, but there isn’t enough of a “change” in the overall style from book 1 to this, to make me think that happened.

      But that is what a good editor is for. To curb things or extend things. And that is what his wife refused to do, She just let him write wild…

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I’m pretty sure he knew his time was limited. I went to a signing by him when Path of Daggers came out and he mentioned that he’d been diagnosed with a rare disease. He looked fine and acted fine, so nobody thought anything of it.
          I just figured he’d been cured. Then after his death everyone found out how serious it had been.

          Maybe he did do that? Whatever the case, it took Brandon Sanderson to finish the story and even he took 3 HUGE tomes to do so.

          Liked by 2 people

  1. Yep, this is the one I read besides skimming the first part of the first book. It was pretty good even though I was partly lost after rebelliously reading the series out of order. Shame on me. No wonder your name is Bookstooge if you married the library lady. Geez, talk about getting hooked up. ;P

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No.
      ♪That’s you in the corner♪
      ♪that’s you in the spotlight♪
      ♪losing your religion♪
      ♪trying to keep up with me♪
      ♪and you don’t know if you can do it♪

      While I am not a fan of rock music in general, sometimes there are pearls amongst the excrement.

      So if REM doesn’t think you can keep up with me, I would take a moment to reflect on the kind of life you’ve led to date. You Paddington Bear 2 killer! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, I’m not accusing you. I fully support you. Just another instance where the world is out of lockstep with me.

          Probably. I’m pretty sure I heard it on the bus to/from school. It’s amazing what gets stuck in the head of a teen that just sticks there, decade after decade 😀

          Like

            1. What really surprised me was that the “general viewer” rating was at 87%. I realize that critics and audiences usually disagree on things, but a “perfect” film by critics and a mere 87 from the audience? It just seems like nobody should have been surprised when a critic finally agreed with the audience.

              Like

              1. I’ll be expanding on this, but what you say is correct; there’s plenty of disatisfied customers in the UK in particular where people remember the tv show fondly. That’s why most of the hate for my review came from the US, I think. But I do think that the differences between the numbers of positive critics reviews vs public reviews is interesting, and reveals how out-of-touch the critical community can be.

                Liked by 1 person

                  1. Still waiting for mixtapes and Clear Pepsi to arrive….there’s a nice pic on my review of Paddington 2 with a picture of the original Paddington, who was no super-hero, but a charming, bumbling bear who struggles to put up wallpaper by his loved by his adoptive family. The way he should be.

                    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like Bormgans said above, I wonder how much the knowledge of his impending demise spurred him on. How long would he have stretched things out if he’d had a normal lifespan?

      I’ve very skeptical about Jordan. I don’t think he’d have pulled a GRRMartin, but I do think we would have been looking at least 20 books instead of 14.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think he was diagnosed until after Knife of Dreams was published. It was a quick thing.

        Jordan taking more books, not less, is always the smart bet, but he did promise to finish in one more book. Maybe we would have gotten an even more accelerated finish.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I checked up what I could and you are correct. About the diagnosis and publication date.

          Jordan had lied before about the number of books left. But either way, this goes to show he COULD have written the previous books to be more plot advancing and less filler.

          While Sanderson could be just as wordy, I don’t think he was any more loquacious than Jordan. So him taking 3 books to finish the story probably means that Jordan would have taken that much as well.

          I’m going to be taking a look at the final 3 books to see if I think it could have been done in 1. Considering how much I think Jordan was a liar, a conniver and a word cheat, I’m not expecting to come to any different conclusions than I’ve already reached 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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