November 6, 2009

The Gathering Storm

I finished reading this book late last night. For those of you that don't know - first off, shame on you - this is the 12th book in The Wheel of Time Series (of 14). These are meaty books; each one in the 700-800 page rage. The series started out strong and grabbed my attention early (1990-ish), and I eagerly awaited the books as they were released each one to two years. Recently the author, Robert Jordan, started to have health problems: a rare blood disorder, and so releases came further and further apart. After book 11, A Knife of Dreams, was published, Jordan passed away.

Does it make me petty that I was concerned that my story would never get finished?

Apparently Jordan thought ahead, got his estate in order, and dictated a lot to his wife in the last days before his passing. Less than a week after his passing, Jordan's wife read an online eulogy by Brandon Sanderson and brought him in for an interview. Sanderson started to work on the final book, A Memory of Light, with Jordan's notes - and swiftly found himself plotting out a 2000 page book. So with the blessing of Tor and Jordan's estate (hey, who doesn't like more money?), they split A Memory of Light into three books - The Gathering Storm is the first of those three.

So that was a really long way to tell about the book without saying a dang thing about it. So on to the review!

I loved this book. To weed out the "Oh he's a fanboi" responses, I tell you that while I love the series, some individual books have given me fits. Books 5, 6 & 7 were just slow, and Crossroads of Twilight, book 10, almost made me give up the series, I was that disgusted.

Sanderson weaves into Jordan's story relatively seamlessly. There is only a couple of times the "voice" seems different. It is darker than some others, but the story is getting darker.

As to the story, no spoilers here, the storyline is compelling. In these later books, the chapters switch between various characters, locations, plots, etc (ala Clancy). In the past, I had found myself liking some arcs, but really dreading others. Sanderson breathes life back into each arc, making each character important again - you can feel that they really are imperative to the ultimate climax, rather than just ancillary pieces to the main guy. The action parts are gripping and I had difficulty putting the book down, several times reading into the early hours.

Suffice it to say that I am no longer worried that my story will not get finished. I once again find myself anxiously awaiting the next book, and my inner cheerleader is urging Sanderson to get the next book out... now.


  1. Thanks for the review. I knew about Jordan's death and the and twisted in the wind regarding the series's fate. When I heard they were doing a deal to finish it up, I had mixed feelings but like any fan, you know I'd get it when it came out. But I totally lost track of the release date on this book. Thanks for the reminder, placing an order now! -Thomas

  2. Strangles enough its book 7 for me. I just can't get passed Rand's whining in that book. Its a reall slog for me to get through.

    I've shelved the whole series for a while (meaning until finished!) so I will re-read the entire thing, start to finish when the books are done.

  3. Haven't read it yet as I've been working on assignments. Haven't even bought it yet to stop temptation! Glad to hear it's good though, will hopefully get a copy inside the week.