If you've been following the series up to this point, you definitely want to continue. This is the second-to-last book in the series (the twelfth and last, tentatively titled "A Memory of Light," is currently being written, and the author hopes to have it out in 2009), and you can really see things being set up for the grand finale. There were a few story elements in this one that I was really waiting to see, and I can't wait to find out how Jordan ends this thing! After years of hearing about Tarmon Gai'don, with any luck we'll actually be able to see what happens soon!
Yes, this book spends a lot of time following Mat's and Perrin's plotlines, with smaller moments devoted to Elayne's and Egwene's. Aviendha and Rand hardly show up at all, which disappointed me a bit as they're my favorite characters.
There's still a lot left to do in the next book. It's going to be a big one!
While interesting and entertaining, when I finished this book, I felt like I had just read a 700+ page preview. In some ways, I think Jordan is getting tired. He spends large amounts of time and details on things that don't feel like they matter. In the last 10 books, he has created so many threads that it was page 400 before I really saw a character that was in the first book and page 500 before I saw a character that I was interested in. The book was satisfying, but if book 12 is that last book, I can't imagine it being less than 800 pages. Please god, just let him finish this series.