Ok I just finished up Lord of Chaos, and it hasn't scared me off yet. I was VERY upset that my favorite character was COMPLETELY omitted from book 5, in fact I almost decided to take a break from the series, but people said that LoC was one of the best in the series. They were mostly right about that. My main complaint was the major break in the falling action after Rand's capture by the Tower Aes Sedai. I had to go back and read the tangential tale of Elayne and Nynaeve in the city of Ebou Dar, because I was flipping so fast I was missing a lot. my claim is not that this piece of their story was unimportant, just that as the interlude between Rand's capture and the ensuing rescue attempt served only to break up the flow and frustrate me.
Favorite Character: Still Perrin by far. I love his begrudged acceptance of the things he has to do, and the celebrity he has become. Leading the Two Rivers against the trollocs was just the right place for him.
Favorite other guy: Rand has really come into his own, though it sort of happened over night. Each character seems to undergo major growth spurts between books, and we are left to fill in the blanks of how and why. Book 3 has Rand still a scared sheepherder fighting against his thread, but book for has a Rand cool and calm, almost resigned, full of secretive plans and intent on success. I had to double take and make sure I didn't miss something. That said I like the new Rand. I like the amnesty though the Asha'man are surely brutal. I like the Sammael must see the hammer, but not knowing what exactly Rand has planned. He seems to finally be getting a grip on what's going on, rather than just being caught up in it.
Favorite Girl: Elayne is letting her royalty show more and more, and has thus unseated her as my favorite Female. I was surprised to see Moiraine in her new light of self sacrifice, and sad to see her die, though it's a hard buy that she is actually dead. As far as I can tell she just went through the same gateway that Mat did, and I expect she and Lanfear will come out each in their own version of what that gateway does. So, it wasn't until Egwene was made Amyrlin that I had my new favorite girl. Pulling the strings deftly, she is. Her time with the Wise Ones made her into something new as well. She's more rounded now, more intense. Much less whiny.
Favorite Faction: The Aiel have won me over with their weird customs and violent reactions and strict honor system. Especially with the Warders becoming for me less of a faction. Each are individual in that they exist to protect one woman. What ever she wants is his interest whether he agrees or not.
Hated Faction: I still hate the Seanchan even with the revelations in Tanchico, but they have been almost nonexistent in theses 3 books. But over the last 3 books I've become less and less fond of the Aes Sedai. I don't hate them all, but most of them seem to think they know exactly what's what, and most of the time they haven't the slightest idea. Couple that with their self important attitude and there isn't much left to like. I like the current state of the Aes Sedai, 9 from the Little Tower forced into fealty, the White Tower now in open conflict with Rand. I like seeing those ladies who are always so sure that they have it all under control forced to squirm.
Pacing: The pacing has cleared up a bit for me. I think I came around on it when I could recall who I was reading about freely, instead of struggling to remember what person x looked like or where he came from. There is still a slight problem that I mentioned before of characters having spontaneous growth spurts between books, but I can live with it.
Magic: I only mention this again to say that I'm satisfied with the amount of information I've received on this front. I figured this would be fleshed out more fully while learning about the Male half of the source, and I was right.
Things I'm looking forward to: When I thought about writing this part, the girls had not become Aes Sedai yet, and I was HATING them being tied down by the whims of those women. But now they are Aes Sedai and there isn't much to look forward to in that regard any more. So other than that I'd like to see Nynaeve get rid of her block. I think it will take some event that she has no where left to turn but she can't be angry for some reason. Maybe something near death, but it would have to be something that wouldn't necessarily make her angry, caught in a fire, or maybe drowning, something that was no ones fault she could be angry with. I'd also like to see Lan get to her at some point.
I await the return of Mioraine I find it hard to believe her dead at all. I kept expecting to read about her experience inside that gateway.
Very curious about what is going to happen with Allana and Rand. I assume eventually Elayne will be warding him, and maybe Aviendha, I'm curios to see if Allana will pass him easily or put up a fight.
I'm also baited over Rand's designs against Sammael.
Rand mentioned that he has a notion to cleanse saidin of the taint, and I know a later book is called The Cleansing of Saidin. Looking forward to that.
So there we are through 6 books. I'm still burning through though not as fast as the first 3.