The Wheel of Time is a long and epic story. Long and epic narratives, for whatever reason (perhaps its the way in which they hint at reality) tend to be my personal favourite types of tales. However, as with book 8, Winter's Heart
meanders on slowly and I maintain my stance that the content of books 8,9 and 10 could have been better delivered as one novel. That said this book interests me enough to like it for the most part.
The novel has some very apparent negatives such as the (again) plodding pace and introduction of plot points/characters which serve little purpose in this section of story. The other negatives are again the negatives of the entire series. The writing is workable but it's hardly brilliant and the male and female dynamics tend to be rather grating at points.
The positive aspects of this novel, however, are far more apparent than in the preceding volume. The reader can see several key plot points brought to a nice conclusion. Elayne becoming queen at last; Elayne and Avienda becoming first-sisters; Rand, Elayne, Min and Avienda becoming bonded; Mat meeting the Daughter of the Nine Moons; and the taint on Saidin being removed.
And, unlike in the previous novel, Mat - the drawcard character for me - returns and features in several different sections of the novel. The other positives are again apparent: the magical ideas, the likeable main characters and the world-building.
If you intend to read this series I'd recommend it if you are a fantasy fan. Keeping in mind that the first volume is weak (particularly in the writing) and then from volume 6 up to volume 8,9, 10 the pace and magic start to drop in tempo. Still, The Wheel of Time is one of those series that I love because of what it is: 'uncomplicated', Tolkienesque, epic fantasy full of imagination.