Review: A Crown of Swords, the seventh book in The Wheel of Time spans only eleven days, but quite a bit takes place in that short period of time.
In the aftermath of the battle of Dumai’s Well, Rand hands the Aes Sedai who swore fealty over to the Aiel Wise Ones for oversight. Elaida, having received the last message from Galina that Rand is in hand on on his way to the White Tower, believes things are still in hand and going smoothly. Galina, who managed to survive the battle, finds herself a prisoner of the Shaido.
Perrin and Rand have a fight about how Rand’s harsh, uncaring treatment of the Aes Sedai, which ends with Perrin leaving Cairhein with his contingent.
Elayne, Nynaeve, Aviendha, and Birgitte visit the Sea Folk where they strike a bargain for help using the Bowl of Winds. They also stumble upon The Kin, a large group of women who can channel, who are able to lead them to the Bowl of Winds.
While out making peace with Cairhein’s rebels, a strange fog appears and fighting ensues. Mordeth, formerly known as Padin Fain, who has been hiding out with the rebels, uses the fog to strike Rand with his cursed dagger. Aes sedai are able to slow Rand’s descent toward death, but it takes the discovery that Asha’man can also heal with the power to save him.
While trying to watch over Elayne and Nynaeve in Ebou Dar, Matt finds himself the plaything of queen Tylin, discovers Whitecloaks are hosting dark friends, and witnesses the Seanchan begin invading the city.
Having just recovered from the attack from Fain, Rand leads the invasion of Illian, drawing out Sammael. Rather than destroying the city he thinks of as his, Sammael draws Rand to Shadar Logoth, where Rand is able to defeat him, sealing his capture of Illian.
Bottom Line: While not quite action-packed, this book is packed with some critical hooks in the story, some large, some small. We see Rand’s and Min’s first kiss…and more…right before Rand meets Cadsuane Sedai for the first time. We see a number of Forsaken involved in plotting ans scheming on their own plans and with their own grudges. We see two instances of the influence of Ta’varen on negotiations with the Sea Folk. We learn of The Kin. We see the rebirth of the male use of the One Power to heal…and Rand dispatches another of the Forsaken. All in eleven story days. So, while not chock full of fight and chase scenes, this book has plenty of forward motion with critical changes to the overall story.