Knife of Dreams is the eleventh book in the The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. Now for those of you with no idea what the Wheel of Time is, it is a fantasy series that speaks of a never-ending battle between good (the Light) and evil (Shai'tan).
About 3000 years have passed since the last war between Shai'tan and the Light. That war ended when Lews Therin Telamon also called the Dragon, led a daring raid and imprison the Dark One with the help of a group of male channelers (wizards) known as the Hundred Companions. Female channelers had refused to assist, believing the risk of backfire too great to chance. Though the Dark One was finally imprisoned, he managed to spread a taint on saidin, the male source of magic in the world, bringing madness to any who channeled it. The taint quickly overcame every male channeler in the world, including Lews Therin and his companions, with catastrophic results that changed the world- known as the 'Breaking of the World'. From then onwards, Lews Therin was also called the "Kinslayer", as one of the first results of his madness was to destroy everyone close to him - family, friends, aquiantances.
3000 years have passed, and the Dark One is breaking out of his prison. The Dragon Reborn, who is Lews reborn, is the only person capable of defeating Shai'tan, on the other, the Dragon Reborn will still be prey to the madness caused by the taint of evil in saidin. The only man who can save the world is also the man to destroy it. That man is Rand al'Thor.
First off, Knife of Dreams is 784 pages long, so be ready for a long read. It is also the 11th book in the Wheel of Time, so there is a lot story you will need to catch up on. In short, don't read this if you have never read the Wheel of Time before.
For those of you who have read the Wheel of Time before, Knife of Dreams is a return to form for Robert Jordan. After the confusing detour that was The Path of Daggers (Book 8), Winter's Heart (Book 9) and Crossroads of Twilight (Book 9), Knife of Dreams get back to the meat of the story; Rand al'Thor, Mat Cauthon and Perrin Aybara. The series started with these 3 and the books work whenever the story stay with these 3. I don't care who gained the throne of Andor or who control the White Tower, as long as Robert Jordan keep the story on Rand, Mat and Perrin, the book work. Good news; they are in 3 quarters of the book!
Knife of Dreams ties up a number of loose ends exposed during the course of the series, and there were a mighty lot of them. Rand loses his left hand, Mat finally marry and Perrin defeats the Shaido in Malden with the help of the Seanchan. The Last Battle is close at hand and Rand begins moving all of the armies of the world to the north to prepare for the Last Battle.
Reading this book, you get a sense of urgency that was never there in the earlier 3 books. This might not be a good thing to say, but Jordan's illness might be a good thing for the series as the series was getting bogged down in some truly minor details. Knife of Dreams isn't as good as the first 5 books in the series that made Jordan his name, but it is a good read. And if you had lasted this long, why not finish it. The Wheel is still a great series and the Knife of Dreams is bringing the series to a good close.