Rand al'Thor leads the Aiel out of the Three-fold land on a quest to unite the world before Tarmon Gaidon, the last battle. Nynaeve al'Meara continues her search for the Forsaken Moghedien, while the other Forsaken plot and scheme to bring about the death of the Dragon Reborn...
The story moves along at a much slower pace compared to preceeding instalments, switching from being plot-based to being character-based. Jordan allows each char to flow unchecked by a fast moving plotline. Other readers might find this change boring. The detailing of events becomes even more intricate, to the detriment of the plot itself. Every single thing is described vividly. It's like the author suddenly decides to allow his readers enjoy something other than the story.
The author's writing style changes dramatically here. He seems to give his characters too much leeway, but the effect, rather than being boring is even more exciting given its uniqueness.
It is in this book that the characters in the series finally begin to come into their own, as the author tries and succeeds in bringing the characters to life in the minds of his readers. I've actually started having dreams about the books!