Another colossal installment in Jordan's already immense saga (most recently The Shadow Rising, 1991), which many volumes ago proceeded past the point of intelligibility to outsiders. Series veterans, however, will recall that Rand al'Thor has declared himself the Dragon Reborn, and must gather allies and defeat his temporal enemies before the dread Dark One snaps his bonds and emerges from imprisonment in Shayol Ghul. As noted before in these pages, Jordan is not untalented; certainly he displays an active if tortuous imagination. But long ago he abandoned all attempts to stay in control of his material. Overwhelming, then--in sheer bulk if nothing else.