After the conclusion of Crown of Swords, I very much wondered why it took a whole other book to continue on the same plot lines from Lord of Chaos. These two books should have been combined into one. Now, I understand that this could be said for any of the Jordan books, but #7 was mostly filler.
Cadsuane is an interesting addition, but it brings up the point that Jordan enjoys adding in new, random characters for no real reason. There are new Aes Sedai added in every other paragraph that I cannot keep up with. Poor planning on Jordan's part really. Why add in all these extra characters when the ones you have can suffice? Let them get involved in these schemes and have some action.
There was less Nynaeve than normal in this book, thank goodness, although Elayne picks up the tab. I did think her reunion with Lan was sweet under she started smacking him on the next page. Why do all the women resort to violence? Even Min! I clearly remember her kicking Rand in the shin. I don't understand how all of the men just take it. I am waiting for one of these girls to be thrown across the room with a black eye. Whatever happened to talking it out?
I like the plot line with Sevanna, Sammeal (supposedly dead - why can't it just be freaking clear?? Why did Rand walk away and assume?), and Graendal. I hope it actually culminates in something worthwhile. In fact, I enjoy all the Forsaken plot lines, and I wouldn't be bothered if we read from their perspective the rest of the way through and watched them destroy everyone. The Shaidar Haran...I am anxious to figure out what it/he is, and the future interaction with the Forsaken and Rand. Maybe the Dark One is getting creative with some new minions?
I disliked how it took the whole book to find the Bowl of Winds. The addition of the Circle certainly helps Egwene's faction. They better march on into Tar Valon in the next book. I am getting bored of this sitting around.
There was a lot of Aes Sedai scheming in the book. Pages of it. And this is all well and good in between battle scenes, but frankly I was bored of Min and Rand's romance, and Elayne and Nynaeve's rantings. Perrin keeps getting the short end of the stick over and over again. I feel like Jordan has no idea what to with him. All Perrin does now is get in marriage squabbles with Faile, the latter who did something useful for once.
Mat is always fun to read, but the plot with Tylin was done poorly. I think Jordan was writing from the perspective that Mat was getting some of his own medicine, but it was done in bad taste.
I don't understand why Rand took Min and went to the rebel camp. It was an easy way for Rand to get hurt again, but is this going to keep happening? Rand goes on a whim, opens a gateway, and goes somewhere randomly, and a big event occurs. An event that could have been written with some finesse later on.
Anyway, I have grown close to all the characters, and I want to see this series to the end. Crown of Swords is the weakest of the books so far.