Third entry in Jordan's monumental Wheel of Time series (The Eye of the World, The Great Hunt). Here, the various factions head toward the city Tear, where, in the Heart of the Stone, hangs the magical sword Callendor that none but the Dragon Reborn may wield. Young Rand, the only man able to use the One Power, already half convinced that he is the Dragon Reborn, strikes out alone. Rand's friend Perrin the blacksmith--he's accompanied by Moiraine, the Power-wielding Aes Sedai, and warrior Lan--suspects that he's turning into a wolf. The junior Aes Sedai, Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve take Mat to Tar Valon to be healed of his evil-magic wound; here, they are given the dangerous new task of flushing out the evil Black Ajah in their midst while evading the latter's deadly traps. Eventually, all will converge at Heart of the Stone, where Rand will seize Callendor and destroy their current evil opponent. Some good plotting here and there, and a rousing finale, but most of the rest is merely embroidered heroic travelogue. Not too bad--if you like monuments.