A Crown of Swords is the seventh volume in Robert Jordans epic fantasy series, the Wheel of Time. Following on from the events in The Lord of Chaos, the book begins with the aftermath of the battle at Dumai's Wells. Elayne, Nyneave and Mat manage to finally locate the legendary "Bowl of the Winds" that will hopefully reverse the endless heatwave created by the Dark one in his weakening prison at Shayol Ghul.
Egwene, the Amrilyn Seat of the rebel Aes Sedai has begun to recruit any women who can channel the one power, from Windfinders, Wise Ones and a previously unknown source. Her march towards the White Tower continues, ever closer to the inevitable confrontation.
Rand meanwhile prepares to attack the forsaken Sammael in Illian, before doing so he has to quell a rebellion in Cairhien, where Padan Fain severely injures him with the Shadar Logoth dagger. Lan makes a bigger appearance, having returned briefly in volume 6, and we finally see Lan and Nyneave getting together.
A Crown of Swords manages to wrap up quite a few of the story lines present in the Lord of Chaos, and Jordan continues to give some of the more interesting characters (like Mat) more prominence. Also very effective is the way he describes events from a characters own point of view, in some cases we even get to see the same event from different viewpoints which is excellent.
A Crown of Swords cleans up some of the story threads, and in a way is a bit of a "housekeeping" volume, which occasionally shows with a slow pace. That said, the quality of Jordans writing still elevates this above most fantasy fare and manages to captivate at the end with the showdown between Rand and Sammael.
Written on Saturday 16th January 2010 by Antony.
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