A Crown of Swords: Book 7 of the Wheel of Time

Things are heating up in the world. Literally.

A Crown of Swords, Robert Jordan’s seventh book in the Wheel of Time saga, sees Rand taking a firmer hand on the people surrounding him, while learning to enjoy his time with Min and those he truly trusts. Meanwhile, Egwene, now Amyrlin of the rebel Aes Sedai, uses her resources to learn and manipulate those who would have manipulated her as she works to depose Elaida.

After Rand’s rescue from the Aes Sedai loyal to Elaida, he returns to find Cairhien in revolt, in a small way. His justice is swift and merciless, but he restores a semblance of order to the war-torn realm and begins to use his power, both good and bad. He sends Perrin off on an errand under the disguise of an argument between them and prepares to face off against another Forsaken, Sammael, in Illian.

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Egwene, meanwhile, has claimed the Amyrlin Seat in exile and starts her work towards overthrowing her rival and reunifying the White Tower. Siuan Sanche, the former Amyrlin who was herself deposed by Elaida, begins teaching Egwene in not only the powers of the Amyrlin, but also in how to play the Game of Houses, which permeates almost everything the Aes Sedai do.

Nynaeve, Elaine and Mat are in Ebou Dar, the captial of Altara, searching for a way to reverse the oppressive heat wave initiated by the Dark One. They find and, with the help of other hidden groups of female channelers, use the Bowl of the Winds to end the heat and escape the returning Seanchan.

 

The book’s climax comes with Rand’s fight against Sammael and his conquering of Illian, claiming the Laurel Crown and having it renamed the Crown of Swords. His fight takes him to Shadar Logoth, first visited back in The Eye of the World, where a new/old face reappears.

Overall, Crown is a solid book that shows its characters growing in their respective roles, if unwillingly in Mat’s case. Rand continues his conquest of countries while Egwene begins to realize just what will be expected of her as time advances. Perrin gets a little face time in the book, but is mostly set up for bigger parts in future books. The world is starting to fall into shape as the Last Battle grows nearer.

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