Review: Knife of Dreams, the eleventh book in The Wheel of Time starts off with Galad Damodred challenge and defeat Eamon Valda in a trial by combat for torturing and killing his mother, Morgase, the Queen of Andor. This leads to the group of Whitecloaks following Galad, determined to team with whoever is fighting the Seanchan and riding to fight in The Last Battle. We meet and watch Rodel Ituralde direct his troops against a larger force of Seanchan with damane, losing almost nothing in the battle while decimating the Seanchan. We see Suroth approached by Semirhage and charged with killing Tuon, who currently rides with Mat. And we find Egwene on her way into the White Tower, captured and shielded, where she begins to see how fractured the White Tower is…all of this in the prologue.
Throughout the rest of this book…
The rebels learn that Egwene has been captured, that she is not going to be executed, and yet she forbids them to attempt a rescue. As a captive, Egwene notices the near-hostility between the Ajahs and decides to work to heal the tower and bring down Elaida. Accepting her punishments while continuing to insist she is the Amyrlin Seat, she begins to sway novices and sisters to see her views.
Perrin makes a deal with the Seanchan in order to secure their aid in rescuing Faile from the Shaido, which involves large quantities of forkroot tea. Perrin’s forces, with the aid of the tea, the Seanchan, and Masema’s army of rabble, are able to rescue Faile and the rest of their captured friends. Perrin also learns that Masema will need to be eliminated after he finds he’s twisting people’s minds.
Mat continues courting Tuon while they continue traveling with Luca’s traveling circus. Still not really understanding her culture gives her a great gift and then goes directly against her in defense of the Aes Sedai traveling with them, which, surprisingly doesn’t displease her too much. He and his group split off from Luca’s and meet up with Talmanes who’s brought a small portion of the Band. Mat devises a plan to escape across the mountains by attacking Seanchan camps. Naturally, his plan works, and, true to his luck, Tuon’s most loyal Deathwatch Guards show up just in time to escort her back to lead the Seanchan on this side of the ocean. Mat agrees to work as a distraction for the Seanchan army searching for Tuon, while her Deathwatch Guards get her safely back behind their lines where she can properly take command, but not before she completes the marriage ritual, leaving him married, and now known as the Prince of Ravens.
Elayne is defending Caemlyn from the other houses when she gets an unexpected boon…thousands of former guardsmen who had left when Gaebril ran the city. She bargains hard when the leaders of the mercenaries fighting for her ask for more gold than previously agreed. She leads a group of three other sisters on a raid of a house in Caemlyn that they suspect of being a lair for black sisters. She’s captured leading Brigitte to force the Sea Folk in town to help her rescue her.
Knowing the prophecy says he must make a deal with the Daughter of the Nine Moons, Rand is suckered into a trap where he almost dies, but ends up with one of the forsaken as a prisoner.
Bottom Line: Another great book, Knife of Dreams provides a few new plot diversions while wrapping up a couple others. Interspersed with more action, it continues to push the overarching stories along, picking up just a little bit of speed.