"Towers of Midnight" is the thirteenth book in the epic "Wheel of Time" series and the second authored by Brandon Sanderson, following the death of series originator Robert Jordan.
The saga picks up steam in this volume as it moves forward several plot threads and resolves others, leading to the Last Battle between the forces of light and dark. It is a busy book with lots of action.
Among the storylines:
Rand plans to release the Dark One from imprisonment, so he can be defeated directly in battle, deciding the conflict once and for all. He begins to face and feel comfortable with his destiny.
Nynaeve's power grows to the point that she can heal madness in men, but the Aes Sedai still insist on subjecting her to their testing before they officially raise her to full Aes Sedai rank.
Perrin faces a trial for killing two Children of the Light many books ago; then attempts to reconcile his human and wolf halves and battle an old enemy.
Mat and Tom enter an alternate dimension to rescue a friend we have seen for many books.
Queen Morgase comes out of hiding.
Sanderson sticks to Jordan's outline but puts his thumbprints on the tale. Jordan often spent the first 90% of a novel building the world, the characters, and the dialog. He would save the action for the final 10%. In contrast, Sanderson leaps right into the action in this book. In the first half of "Towers," we see:
- Mat being pursued by the gholam - a mystical creature who lives to kill
- Bubbles of Evil popping up unexpectedly, causing unnatural destruction where they occur
- A battle in which the dark enemy launches monsters into the opposing army via trebuchet
A few books ago, I considered abandoning this series. I am now excited for the climax and conclusion in the next volume.