Okay, I've finished reading Robert Jordan's Knife of Dreams, which is volume 11 in the Wheel of Time--though sometimes it feels more like volume 100. Don't get me wrong, I like the series, but it's just way too long. I mean, 11 books so far and one more planned, with each book being thick enough to stun an ox with. Not only are they big and numerous, but several of the books in the middle of the series were completely unnecessary.
That is one of the major complaints I, and a lot of others, have about the series. The first few books were good, maybe even great, but towards the middle of the series, the plot stopped advancing. There were even a few books where the Dragon Reborn--the main character--would only be in one or two chapters. Not only that, but Jordan kept adding new characters and plots and cutting back on the older ones.
This is finally changing. The plot in this book actually moves forward. We Finally see Mat and Tuon married (Hey, it was prophesied so I'm not spoiling anything). We see advancements in Elayne's struggle for the throne and Perrin's attempts to rescue his wife. We here more of the Aelfinn and Eelfinn. We even find out something about Moiraine's fate.
There are still some problems though. There are so many characters and plot lines now that some of the major ones still get short changed. Lan is only in one chapter. Rand at'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, isn't in all that many either. Neither are Loiall, Aviehda, or Nynavere (sorry about any misspelled names, but they are very weird names and I don't feel like looking up the correct spellings). One of my favorite characters, the mysterious villain Padan Fain, isn't in it at all. Tying up all the lose ends is probably going to make the next book--which is supposed to be the final one--heavy enough to stun an elephant with.
I just hope there is going to be a next one. If you hadn't heard, Robert Jordan is seriously ill. By all accounts (that I've heard anyway), he's fighting well, and will hopes to be writing for years. I give this book 4.5 yo-yos. It's good, but the plot is kind of a tangled mess, and Jordan's going to have a hell of a time sorting it all out.