Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, continues his effort to unify the diverse people of a discordant world against the Dark One in this fifth tome of the Wheel of Time series (begun with The Eye of the World ). While the Aes Sedai, women who channel the One Power, and the Forsaken, ancient disciples of the Dark One, strive to bend him to their purposes, Rand leads the clans of the Aiel in a war of unification. Rand must try to master his powers as a man who can channel, while eluding the concomitant madness, as two groups of women attempt to come to his aid. His love, Elayne, Daughter-Heir of Andor, and Nynaeve, both Aes Sedai in training, join a circus to evade an angry sisterhood, and Siuan Sanche, former leader of the Aes Sedai now stripped of her powers, and two companions seek other rebels in an attempt to avert the final doom. Jordan deftly weaves details from previous books into this narrative and includes a glossary so that new readers can pick up the saga at this point.