The Path of Daggers: Book Eight of the Wheel of Time

All Hail the Queens

The Path of Daggers, Robert Jordan’s eighth book in the Wheel of Time saga, sees the world march ever closer to Tarmon Gai’don and the Seanchan resurgent across the southern lands. This is a book demonstrating both kinds of power, that of the sword and words.

This book has a lot of the women taking a more prominent role, although Rand certainly has his moments. Elaine and Nynaeve fix the weather, then Travel to Andor to have Elaine start her claim to the throne her mother vacated due to Rahvin. Egwene continues to manipulate her version of the Hall to get a more firm grip on the rebel Aes Sedai, then goads them into beseiging Tar Valon. Even Aviendha begins to blossom as a character, finding herself immersed with Elaine in Andor after fleeing with them from the Seanchan.

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That’s not to say the men have nothing going on. Well, Mat doesn’t, but that tends to happen when a wall falls on you at the end of the last book. But Perrin, after being ‘banished’ by Rand, tracks down the self-proclaimed Prophet of the Lord Dragon in Ghealdan. His part in the story has the saddest ending, something that will consume him for several more books.

Rand, meanwhile, has a lot on his plate after conquering Illian and subduing a revolt in Cairhien. His major moves come towards the end of the book, when he attempts to once again drive the Seanchan from his shores. Callandor has a small flaw, however, that turns what should be a decisive victory into not so much of one. Follow that up with a small Asha’man coup and his story is a bit sour as well.

Overall, The Path of Daggers is a well paced book that greatly adds to the overall arc of Jordan’s saga. With over 30 different people providing their point of view for the reader, knowledge is coming hard and fast from all directions. There are major battles to enjoy and political manipulations starting to sate whichever of the two you fancy.

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