This was the best of the Wheel of Time novels, to my opinion, and I won't say anything about the plot for fear of giving it away. However, if you're looking for an action packed starting point into this series, I'd start with this one, it covers the other two and moves quickly.
Telling mostly of the females side and of Mat, this book continues the saga of books 1 & 2 without lapse of time! I can see how a wonderful book made it to the NY Times best seller list! It deserved it!
Of the first three of this series, this one was the best, in my opinion, and definitely held my interest to pull me kicking and screaming into reading the fourth, and so on. I had no problem following the plot of this book, but also in being able to follow the story of each character on into the next book. You could start with this book and read forward without missing entirely too much, but if you're anything like me, you'll want to start with book 1.
If you value your time and your money, I'd recommend you to stop reading this series at this point. The Wheel of Time was intended to be a trilogy, and the authors' decision of making it twelve books instead has certainly proved the be the downfall of this series. So why don't we read it as a trilogy? The end (no spoilers) leaves a lot of questions unanswered; however, it ends close to as it should have ended on the first place. Heed my advice, oh readers who have reached this far, for if you don't, you'll find yourself pretty soon damning the time you decided to continue reading this series after reading this review.