Robert Jordan -- A Biography
Robert Jordan is one of the pen names of James Oliver Rigney, Jr (1948-2007). Born in South Carolina, Jordan served two tours of duty in Vietnam heroically meriting many decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star and two Vietnamese awarded Gallantry Crosses. He was a High Church Episcopalian by religious faith, and he was a member of the fraternity of Freemasons. After his war service in Vietnam, Jordan graduated from The Citadel, the Military College in South Carolina, from which he earned a degree in physics.
Using his enthusiasm for physics and history, his extensive experience and background and his plentiful personal interests, like hunting and sailing, Jordan built an epic fantasy world in The Wheel of Time series. His creativity was cut short in 2006 when he was diagnosed with the rare blood disease amyloidosis. It culminated in his early death after an unsuccessful participation in a study to test a new treatment for the disease. Though he wrote up until the end of his life, his work on the series was cut short by his death in September of 2007. One of Jordan's most important legacies was advocacy of his belief that "no man in this country should feel in danger because of his beliefs."
A Crown of Swords -- A Summary
In this complex seventh book of the fantasy epic, The Wheel of Time, Rand, Mat and Egwene attempt to overthrow the dark forces that have overtaken the land. Rand, who has grown unsympathetic and cold, prepares to fight Sammael of the Forsaken while Mat and his friends search for the ter'angreal, the Bowl of Wind, and Egwene gathers women who are channelers while organizing the march of Rebel Aes Sedai against Elaida, the false usurper in the White Tower, Tar Valon.
Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, escapes from the confinement imposed upon him by the Aes Sedai and prepares himself for the battle in Illian where he will fight against Sammael, the Dark One, and the Keeper's army. The Keepers have a dark and evil on the land. They keep the land in an endless heat wave that can be broken by the ter'angreal that Mat seeks; the Bowl of the Winds will release the power the Keepers hold over the natural climate and unleash cooling winds.
When Rand conquers Sammael of the Forsaken in the battle of Illian, he takes the Crown of Illian as his own. As he lifts it to his head, he pricks his finger on one of the decorative swords embellishing the crown. Because his blood is shed by the prick, the crown is renamed Crown of Swords. Meanwhile, Egwene, the new Amrylin Seat, has begun her preparations with the Rebel Aes Sedai to conquer the usurper Elaida, the false Amrylin Seat, and to take back Tar Valon.