A well-balanced installment with important character developments
A Crown of Swords is a well balanced installment of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series, especially when looking at it as part of the series' 2nd Act. The book's various story lines pick up where they left off in the previous volume, Lord of Chaos, and either continue or come to a conclusion that quickly leads to a new one taking its place and either bringing together or separating the large cast of characters. Unlike the previous installment, A Crown of Swords seems to be better paced as Jordan stuck with a story line for several chapters in a row until it came to an appropriate place to transition to another story line or for the next book. Throughout the book, a variety of character developments take place with the most important happening with Nynaeve followed by Mat and Rand.
There were a few things that were somewhat of a drag, mostly the usual complaints one hears from longer time fans like in-depth detail on clothing, hair pulling by a certain character, the interactions of various women with one another, etc. The one that continues to be a personal problem to me is that the climax at the end of the book seems rushed with all of it occurring during the last chapter of the book. But since these "problems" or complaints have been present throughout the series an objective reader does get use to it.
Overall, A Crown of Swords is a good read and I recommend you continue reading The Wheel of Time series with this book.