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Jordan continues his Wheel of Time saga (after The Eye of the World and The Great Hunt ). Three thousand years ago the Dragon led the male mages of the world into entrapping the Dark One, but the cost was high: all male mages, then and thereafter, were driven mad. Now the Dark One is breaking free, and the only salvation may come through Rand al'Thor who may be a reincarnation of the Dragon and who must obtain the sword Callandor, held in the city of Tear. All of Rand's companions from the previous books find themselves, willing or not, moving toward Tear for a confrontation with evil traps. Jordan's fast and absorbing adventure novel will keep the reader too entranced to worry about plot inconsistencies, numerous coincidences, lack of character development and Rand's inexplicably infrequent appearances. As light fantasy, however, it proves an enjoyable diversion. (Nov.)
As the seals of the Dark One's prison continue to weaken, Rand al'Thor struggles to master the madness-tainted power that marks him as the Dragon Reborn. At the same time, his friends and companions become caught up in the roles laid out for them by the Web of Destiny. Though it borrows from a multitude of legendary and literary fantasy sources, Jordan's multivolume series continues to exhibit a freshness that makes it a welcome addition to any library's fantasy collection.