In a series as long as The Wheel of Time you get a lot of ups and downs. And my reaction to reading a series changes each time I read it. Where the previous book, number four of fourteen, is one of the greatest in the series, this follow up drops in pace and all around quality.
The way I would consider this book is like this:
Start (first 200 pages) : slow, very dry and missing that touch of magic
Middle (200-400 pages): picked up the pace but a lot of filler content focusing on politicising
End (400 - 900 pages): the crucial elements fell into place, although they took their time
Sadly that's probably Robert Jordan's major flaw as a writer. He paces his novels so that everything happens in a rush at the end and the best parts are. His other flaws include writing secondary characters which are too numerous, one dimensional and similar to each other as well as his occasionally poor sentence phrasing. However that all said he is incredibly compulsive as a writer in his Wheel of Time novels.
I really don't know what else I should say about this book. In a series of fourteen novels when you've got up to this point as a reader you probably have an idea about whether you want to stop or continue. You're not quite up to 50 percent and you've almost seen all the good novels already. All I will say is that yes these books can be shallow at times, yes they can be generic, yes they can have patches of inane slow writing. However for the most part they are incredibly readable and full of interesting characters and ideas which have fuelled the fantasy genre. People talk about [b:A Game of Thrones|13496|A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)|George R.R. Martin|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1330834644s/13496.jpg|1466917] being the series which has been most important in continuing fantasy after Tolkien. I respectfully disagree. I would argue that The Wheel of Time and (what I've read of) The Malazan Book of The Fallen series are better works overall and the books that have fuelled interest in fantasy to a greater extent. However that is one opinion and one I'm willing to debate.