Crossroads of Twilight

One thing I can say for Crossroads of Twilight: it reads pretty fast. …yeah, that’s all I can say for it. I didn’t hate it as I was reading these last couple of weeks, but now I look back upon it and realize I can summarize what happened in about two paragraphs, and I kind of hate it all over again. It is a relief to me that I can start another book in the series immediately, and I really do understand why people rage-quit when this one came out.

From here on out, I remember almost nothing; perhaps ironically, from here on out is also the span over which I have been reviewing these books already. So even if it sounds ironic on first glance[1], it actually makes perfect sense. I’ve reread almost no books of any kind since 2004, and this series in particular I used to reread with almost alarming regularity. Anyway, it will be interesting to compare my thoughts now with my thoughts when the books were new after lengthy spans of time since the last one. Below the footnote, spoilers!

[1] Don’t start.

So, here is what happened in this book. The Forsaken: do not appear in any plot circumstance of relevance. Perrin: finds the town where the Shaido have captured Faile, sees a pack of Darkhounds wander by, goes shopping for weevil-infested grain, sees ghosts, tortures a Shaido POW, feels bad about it, symbolically throws away his axe. Elayne: works on politics, almost sees ghosts, takes a bath, notices the cleansing of the Taint. Mat: notices the cleansing of the Taint, leaves Ebou Dar (you thought he left last book? joke’s on you!), dates Tuon, sees ghosts, kills a sul’dam, feels bad about it. The Tower: notices the cleansing of the Taint, decides to ally with the Asha’man, houses the series’ first onscreen rape, has a slight political shift, does not capture any more Black Ajah. Egwene: notices the cleansing of the Taint, decides to ally with the Asha’man, rediscovers cuendillar and uses it to turn the siege of Tar Valon inside-out, gets captured. Rand: is tired, decides to ally with the Seanchan.

I… I wish I could believe that I had left out something important. Sure can’t place it, though. Oh, in case you are reading this instead of book 10 (which I did not quite want to suggest above the cut but which might well be the better option), I should specify that the rape victim in the Tower is Mesaana. She didn’t attend some appointment or other and got punished by the Dark One’s shadow puppet as a result. Which is externally troubling, if perhaps barely less so than whatever you might have been thinking before I elaborated. (If anything, it’s that “less so” that is the most troubling of all.)