Nynaeve al'Meara and Elayne Trakand continue their search for The Bowl of the Winds in Ebou Dar, in the hope that it holds the key to reversing the Shadow-touched weather conditions on the continent. In the meanwhile, Aes Sedai plotting thickens, serving as a perfect backdrop to the eventual facing off of The Dragon Reborn Rand al'Thor and the Forsaken Sammael.
The book starts out with only a couple of scenes for about 1/2 of the book. Things only begin to pick up pace in the final third of the book, so there's a measure of patience required to read this book.
While the plot doesn't move along as quickly as in the previous books, it is no less intriguing than in antecedent books. It's like the slow unravelling of a blooming flower, or the steadily increasing velocity of a car as it picks up speed.
The characters are even better than in previous books. Asides the steady development of the already existing protagonists, there are a few new characters, whose development is just as thrilling to watch. Cadsuane, Olver, Nicole, Areina, and Olver, are all beautiful characters.
Just as well, there are new kinds of characters, especially the kinds with a lot of mystery about their identity. It's a lot of guesswork, and it makes for even more fun.
The author is able to make it so that readers can actually hear their characters thoughts. I think I'll have to stop describing the books as achieving a great level of realism. Fact is, realism is a rather shallow way to describe the story. It's just too real!
This book would be best enjoyed by someone who does not just want to read for its sake but also to enjoy himself!