Knife of Dreams: Book Eleven of the Wheel of Time

The end of an era, but not the saga.

Knife of Dreams is the beginning of the end of the Wheel of Time saga, despite there being three books after it. Here is where things really start to heat up, and some plot lines begin to wind down or close. Following immediately after the parallel story told in Winter’s Heart and Crossroads of Twilight, Knife of Dreams again streamlines the timeline into one book at a time.

Knife hits on pretty much all the major players in the series, and all of them make great strides in their respective places. Mat sees the most time as he darts around Altara with Tuon in tow. His is a series of small skirmishes and clever maneuvers to see him and the Band free of Seanchan lands while returning Tuon to Ebou Dar to claim her rightful place as Empress. Oh, and he gets married. Yeah, it surprised him, too. Kind of.


Elayne also sees a lot of face time in this book, due largely to the fact that the issue of the Rose Crown is finally finished, if in a rather roundabout way. Because nothing she does can be easy or straight forward, Elayne has a lot more trials before donning her mother’s crown and ascending the Lion Throne, and in typical Elayne fashion, is ready to move right on to the next major task.

Perrin and Faile’s trials also come to an end in this book, with Perrin making an alliance with the Seanchan to root out the Shaido from Malden. Not that it is that easy, because nothing is. Perrin faces betrayal from an unlikely friend, but impresses the Seanchan commanders with his battle acumen. While his story is far from finished, Faile ensures that one troublesome member of his party does not get to see Tarmon Gai’don.

Rand is actually in the book, too, and his is the saddest parts of the book. His drive to become harder and harder starts to really show the flaws in that plan, and trying to forge peace delivers a Forsaken into his custody, but at a cost to both his body and mind.

Egwene only sees a little time in this book, setting up her showdown with Elaida more in the following book. Readers get to learn that she won’t be executed, and how Elaida thinks to bring her ‘back’ into the White Tower fold.

Knife of Dreams is both a great and sad book. Its greatness comes from its contents; the story moves well, the characters all face their trials head on and even the more side characters like Galad and Lan get some good development. It’s sadness comes in that it is the last book Robert Jordan got to finish on his own, as he passed away before finishing the series. While the author chosen to finish the saga, Brandon Sanderson, is an excellent writer and does a wonderful job, there is sadness in not knowing exactly how Jordan would have done the job himself. His notes, outline and even some straight chapters are used by Sanderson in the next three books, so the story has it’s intended ending, but it is not an ending Robert Jordan got to see to fruition himself.

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