Knife of Dreams (abbreviated as KoD by fans) is the eleventh book in the The Wheel of Time series. It was published by Tor Books in the U.S. and Orbit in the UK, and released on October 11, 2005. It is 859 pages long.
Elayne gains the throne of Andor and also manages to root out the Black Ajah sisters in Caemlyn. Egwene, captured by the Tower Aes Sedai and reduced to novice white, begins undermining Elaida's control of the White Tower from within. Rand escapes a trap by Semirhage while at the same time capturing her and losing his left hand. Mat and Tuon get married after their party reaches the edge of Seanchan-controlled territory. Tuon then returns to Ebou Dar where she learns about a civil war in the Seanchan empire and the deaths of all of the Imperial family except her, which will make her the new Empress of Seanchan. Perrin defeats the Shaido in Malden with the help of the Seanchan and rescues his wife Faile. Unusual Trolloc attacks, the dead walking, ripples in the fabric of the world, and other events seem to indicate that the Last Battle is drawing near; several characters using different evidence confidently state that Tarmon Gai'don is close at hand.
- Main article: Mat Cauthon
Mat's thread of the novel is peppered with battles and world-rocking events as he travels into Altara with his cadre from the last novel. The contents of the letter Thom Merrilin received from Moiraine Damodred are finally revealed; it seems that the Blue sister is in fact not dead, but in the custody of the Aelfinn and Eelfinn. Though at first reluctant, Mat agrees to go to her rescue.
While attempting to escape Altara, Mat meets his supporter and comedic foil Talmanes, who has brought a large number of Mat's personal army the Band of the Red Hand south after working briefly for the King of Murandy. Mat is surprised to learn that the Band has grown in size considerably since he last left it.
The group finds itself in multiple skirmishes against an enormous Seanchan force sent to kill Tuon. Mat and the Band successfully mount a guerrilla campaign against the enemy forces, making good use of fireworks-turned-artillery. Thanks to foreknowledge provided by Banner-General Furyk Karede, Mat's army is able to finally destroy the Seanchan forces sent after Tuon. The book also sees somewhat of a closure for Mat and Tuon's 'romance'. After pitting each other in a series of psychological duels lasting this leg of their travels, Tuon, to the bewilderment of all present, completes the marriage Mat inadvertently started, giving him the Seanchan title Prince of the Ravens. While Mat harbors feelings for her that border on love, Tuon maintains it is strictly a marriage of convenience. The two part ways, expressing their mutual alliance, but firmly placing the needs of their constituents first. Tuon returns to Ebou Dar to dispense with the treacherous Darkfriend High Lady Suroth, and assume command proper of the Seanchan in wake of the death of the Empress.
- Main article: Rand al'Thor
Rand's portion of the novel deals with his preliminary preparations for Tarmon Gai'don. Realizing that he cannot possibly mount an offensive on the Dark One with his forces fighting the Seanchan, he arranges a meeting with the Daughter of the Nine Moons to negotiate a peace, or, lacking that, a truce. In the meantime, a large-scale battle against a horde of 100,000 Trollocs and Myrddraal ends almost disastrously, when Lews Therin manages to seize control of saidin in a moment of broken concentration on Rand's part. Sensing the madman's attempt to end the both of them by drawing too much of the Power, Rand forges a truce with Lews Therin, asking his cooperation while agreeing to let the both of them die at the Last Battle. Presumably this is the army which, according to Moridin, has been ordered in the Ways by someone posing as Sammael or Sammael himself.
The meeting with 'Tuon' also comes to a grisly end, upon Rand and crew discovering that the supposed Daughter of the Nine Moons about to meet with them was Semirhage in disguise. In the ensuing battle, Semirhage is captured at the cost of Rand's own left hand, lost when he failed to wrestle saidin from Lews in time. As an act of defiance, Semirhage delivers a revelation on Rand's condition. According to Semirhage, via Graendal's knowledge, Rand is afflicted with a mental disorder that allows him to communicate with his past self, a condition that is almost universally fatal. This only proves to steel Rand further, as he amasses his people around him to prepare for the coming, terrible storm.
- Main article: Perrin Aybara
Perrin disperses the Shaido threat and rescues his wife Faile using an alliance with Seanchan Banner-General Tylee Khirgan. To overcome the large number of Shaido Wise Ones, they lace the Shaido water supply with forkroot tea, which impedes channeling the One Power. Rand's father Tam has an appearance when he arrives with reinforcements from the Two Rivers. It is revealed that Tam does not believe in rumors of Rand's messianic role. In the course of the battle, Perrin's "pupil" and long time companion Aram dies while attempting to kill him, having been convinced by Masema that Perrin's golden eyes are a sign of the Shadow. In the process of the rescue of Faile, the Aiel Rolan is unfortunately killed by Perrin, although he and other "brotherless" Aiel had helped Faile and her friends several times during captivity, which was unknown by Perrin, and which Faile chooses to not subsequently reveal. Sevanna is captured and the Shaido, defeated and disgraced, are led by Therava back to the Aiel Waste - with the Black Ajah Aes Sedai Galina Casban in tow. Galina struggled unsuccessfully throughout the book to escape the Wise Ones' captivity, and betrayed both Perrin and Faile in the course of her attempts.
White Tower Siege
Egwene is captured in the White Tower after last book's attempt to seal off the harbor of Tar Valon. She holds contact with the Salidar Aes Sedai using her ability to visit the dream world Tel'aran'rhiod and forbids her rescue from captivity. Despite harsh disciplining she manages to spread rumors and doubt in the White Tower about Elaida's suitability as Amyrlin and maintain her dignity. Both the rebels and the White Tower send Aes Sedai to the Black Tower to bond Asha'man (the rebels as an offer from Rand to counter the number of Aes Sedai bonded to Asha'man).
Loial finally gets married and decides that he is going to speak to the Ogier at the Great Stump in his stedding, telling them that they must fight or perish as the Shadow covers the land. Loial and Elder Haman both take up axes during the Trolloc attack. Rand asks Loial to close all of the Waygates, but since he is going to the Great Stump, Elder Haman agrees to do it in his stead.
Lan makes a decision to ride to Shienar to fight. Nynaeve tricks him by making him pledge to take on any who wish to ride with him, and go to Fal Moran first. She then takes him to the coast of the Aryth Ocean at World's End in Saldaea, so he has to travel hundreds of miles to reach his destination. She then Travels ahead of him through the Borderlands to find the scattered remnants of Lan's Malkieri countrymen, asking them to join Lan on his ride to the Blight.
Galad confronts Eamon Valda, the leader of the Whitecloaks, for allegedly killing his stepmother Queen Morgase of Andor. Galad kills Valda in a duel and in the process becomes the leader of the Whitecloaks. He then decides to pledge his newfound following to the defeat of the Dark One at Tarmon Gai'don regardless of who the Whitecloaks must fight alongside.
Mazrim Taim meets with a group of Red Ajah sisters from the White Tower, and agrees to their proposition: since sisters were taken and bonded against their will by certain Asha'man, an equivalent number of Black Tower initiates should be bonded by sisters in fairness. In response to the sisters' surprise to the agreement, Taim says, darkly and cryptically: "Let the Lord of Chaos rule," a phrase which was an instruction by the Dark One to the Forsaken.
- See also the full statistical analysis for this book.
Knife of Dreams contains thirty-seven chapters, a prologue, and an epilogue, in twenty-seven different points of view:
|Matrim Cauthon||19.89%||Ch6 through 11, 68% of Ch25, 37% of Ch27, 25% of Ch36, and Ch37|
|Elayne Trakand||15.30%||Ch13 through 16, 80% of Ch17, Ch31, 33, and 35|
|Perrin Aybara||10.33%||Ch4,12, 52% of Ch26, 90% of Ch291, and 62% of Ch30|
|Rand al'Thor||10.23%||Ch18, 39% of Ch19, 66% of Ch20, Ch21, and 63% of Ch27|
|Egwene al'Vere||7.12%||20% of the Prologue, and Ch24|
|Faile Bashere||5.43%||Ch5, 10% of Ch26, 93% of Ch28, 10% of Ch29, and 28% of Ch30|
|Pevara Tazanovni||2.74%||16% of the Prologue, and 68% of the Epilogue|
|Galina Casban||2.42%||17% of the Prologue, 7% of Ch28, and 10% of Ch30|
|Suroth Sabelle Meldarath||2.07%||17% of the Prologue, and 32% of the Epilogue|
|Harine din Togara Two Winds||1.95%||Ch22|
|Furyk Karede||1.94%||Ch34, and 67% of Ch36|
|Galadedrid Damodred||1.77%||15% of the Prologue|
|Beonin Marinye||1.56%||54% of Ch2|
|Tuon Athaem Kore Paendrag||1.55%||38% of Ch26, and 8% of Ch36|
|Loial||1.39%||61% of Ch19|
|Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan||1.35%||46% of Ch2|
|Rodel Ituralde||0.94%||8% of the Prologue|
|Alviarin Freidhen||0.79%||6% of the Prologue|
|Tarna Feir||0.69%||32% of Ch25|
|Weilin Aldragoran||0.59%||19% of Ch20|
|Arymilla Marne||0.54%||20% of Ch17|
|Nynaeve al'Meara||0.47%||15% of Ch20|
|Quote||0.01%||1% of the Prologue|
|1 Chapter 29 has three points of view, two of which are from Perrin Aybara's POV. His first is 43% of the chapter and his second is 47% of the chapter.|
|Leigh Butler's Re-read of Knife of Dreams, featured on Tor.com|
|Re-read listing||Part 1 · Part 2 · Part 3 · Part 4 · Part 5 · Part 6 · Part 7 · Part 8 · Part 9 · Part 10 · Part 11 · Part 12 · Part 13 · Part 14 · Part 15 · Part 16 · Part 17 · Part 18 · Part 19 · Part 20 · Part 21|