Book Love Affair blog discussion for this book and the Tor reread outline by Leigh Butler.
I love the feeling of being absorbed in a richly imagined alternative world, as I used to enjoy in Everquest, and I experience some of that in these books. They're very long, with enough juiciness and intrigue to stay inviting, although they have their frustrations for this reader.
It has become more clear to me how women dominate in the Wheel of Time world. The breaking of the world legend turns female power (saidar) into the authority, and women dominate or are equals in most of the societies, as compared to our world. To the extent that it's not mere "political correctness" I find that angle interesting and compelling. Compare Jordan's WoT world to the Tolkien world of The Lord of the Rings: female characters there have a distinctly minor importance, Galadriel excepted. Is there a well-conceived theme of feminine and masculine principles organizing the thread of the Wheel of Time story and the trajectories of character actions? Mmmm... sort of, but not really. I'll see how it unfolds.