Chapter 4: Gawyn! And he's less annoying again! And it looks like we might actually *gasp* get him on the right side without much more ado and weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth! The shock! He might be willing to ADMIT HE'S WRONG! WTF, people?
Chapter 5: More Rand the Bland. And Our Heroes are actually using their brains and *gasp* realizing what the "flashes of colors" are. And using them as needed. Le Gasp! Not to mention a (granted, brief) appearance by the Sea Folk that doesn't make me grit my teeth hard enough to break them! Although Cadsuane still needs a few slap-downs I think.
Chapter 6: I saw the first two words, was thinking that that was the name of Geezer!Farmer, and had to put the book down and walk away for a while. It's sorta okay though... I was wrong, but it's still another new character from the Prologue. -_- Fuck off, new characters!
And a quick shift back to Egwene in the Tower, which took me by surprise, since the chapters thus far have been pretty much focusing around one basic area, if not just one character. More weirdness with Bubbles of Evil shifting things around, which along with the rotting food and lack of growing things is just disturbing, and really makes me wonder how any sort of civilization is expected to survive *at all* after this.
Chapter 7: Nynaeve, without much braid-tugging or sniffing for a change, and her difficulties in being accepted as Aes Sedai. She is however showing more patience and wisdom as appropriate for, well, a Wisdom, which is welcome.
We also see Rand, who's being somewhat annoying, but at least realizes it and apologizes, which is a start. And Aviendha still putting up with Meaningless!Punishment. *sigh* Although at least this time we get the Aiel without any of the actual Aiel viewpoints.
Chapter 8: The rebel Aes Sedai (rebelrebel), and Siuan, and Gareth Byrne. I'd forgotten how Siuan and Egwene were meeting. The constant reminders that yes, Siuan was a fisherman's daughter like 40 fucking years ago for about 1/4 of her life get a bit grating again, but it's nice to see her actually admit to herself, at least, that she's falling/fallen in love. It's also nice to see some actual COMMUNICATION for a change. Except that I nearly keeled over from the shock.
Chapter 9: Perrin. Ugh. Now, I don't hate Perrin (although I'd like to see more of the wolves again), but Perrin has with him some of the more irritating parts of the cast. Like, well, Faile mostly. But she doesn't show up much, and we DO get to see a bit of Tam, so... not all bad. Although I could also do without emo!Perrin, but hey, whatever.
It also seems like he might be moving to rejoin Rand, getting some of the disparate plot threads back together again, which is welcome.