My least favorite of all the books so far, and I can't remember if I have said that statement for any of the other books, but Path of Daggers trumps them all. Even though this is a shorter installment, the majority of the book is excruciatingly, tortuously full of filler. The filler in this book is at an all time high. Jordan isn't even bothering to create new side plots and side trips, but painstakingly explains events and draws them out to ten times longer than they should ever take. The plot progression is so slow. It has slowed even more slower than the already slow pace that has been occurring.
Really, I almost feel like #8 should have been called Campsite Chats. The campsites are explained in the same detail over and over again. The talks that happen at the campsites are long, burdensome, and do absolutely nothing. Even using the Bowl of Winds takes sixty pages for Elayne and company to travel down a path, get to a building, and then immediately use it. Nothing else happens in between and it is all in one day. Perrin has little advancement other than the last few pages, other than he now realizes that in order for him to have a real relationship with Faile, he needs to yell at her more and be more stern. A very mature, adult relationship I would characterize that.
All of the Aes Sedai drive me nuts with the cattiness. During some scenes, I imagined a young child uttering the same lines. The young child would have had more believability. Recently, I read one of the books in the Dune series, and it had me thinking about a comparison between the Bene Gesserit and Aes Sedai. Although they are operating in very different circumstances, they are both powerful female groups who attempt to manipulate others for their own outcome. However, the Aes Sedai seem like a squabbling group of middle-schoolers who have no foresight or wisdom. Bene Gesserit would squash them like a bug.
Egwene has changed completely and I think Jordan gets caught up in his stereotypes and doesn't let anyone act differently once they are in a certain type of role or group. I don't believe the "chemistry" between Lan and Nynaeve...unless she does something really amazing in the bedroom, I don't understand how he could see any redeeming qualities in her.
I enjoyed the scenes with Rand and the treachery with the Asha'man, and I am glad Jordan did describe the battle with the Seanchan. I thought he was going to do his usual and skip through the action scenes. He has a habit of doing that. I am not sure why he would be interested in skirt smoothing and glaring versus swords clanging and fireballs.
The trollocs and all the bad creepy monsters have been missing, which there has been no explanation. The substitution of Jordan's attempt to write about political maneuvering falls flat, and the tiny snippets from the Forsaken pov is not enough. The Seanchan have been inserted in as the number one enemy and it is clear that Jordan is drawing this story out as much as he can. The first four books are very different from the second four books.
I will keep reading on because I want to see the series to the end. I have the hope that the next book will be better because I don't know how Jordan could make something even more drawn out than Path of Daggers.