But with the previous book, Crown of Swords, and now with Path of Daggers, the series is in a bit of a holding pattern. Path continues the halting gait of the current plot line: Rand is still on the brink of losing it, all the while juggling the political machinations around him and again taking to the field against the Seanchan. The rest of the Two Rivers kids and company don't seem to be moving much faster. Egwene continues to slowly consolidate her hold as the "true" Amyrlin (finally getting closer to Tar Valon and the inevitable confrontation with Elaida), and Nynaeve and Elayne keep on wandering toward the Lion Throne, again on the run from the Seanchan. Mat Cauthon is barely mentioned, and fellow ta'veren Perrin keeps busy with politics in Ghealdan. The ending does provide promise, though, that book nine might match the pace and passion of the previous books.
If you're already hooked, you could sooner overcome a weave of Compulsion than avoid picking up a copy of Path of Daggers. But if you're new to the series, start at the beginning with the engrossing, much-better-paced Eye of the World. --Paul Hughes