Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Gathering Storm - Book 12 of The Wheel of Time

I've always been a Robert Jordan fan. Well, that is to say as long as I've know about him, I've been a fan. That's going on about 10 years or so now.
I remember after I had read The Lord of the Rings, thinking that no other author could ever be better than Tolkien. A friend of mine dissagreed with me, saying that Jordan was much better. I didn't believe him. That is, until he brought me his copy of The Eye of the World, book 1 of Wheel of Time. By the first chapter I was hooked and reluctanlty admitted that I had been wrong! (gasp!) With in a few months there were about 5 or 6 of us all reading the series and talking about it daily.
Just as I finished all of them, book 9, Winter's Heart, came out in hard cover. Since then I have been waiting 2-4 years for the next installment to come out. I always buy it in hard cover the day it's released. Book 12 was no exception.
2 years ago, as he was working on book 12, The Gathering Storm, Robert Jordan passed away. It was an extreamly sad day in the world and a great loss to the writing community. Before he died, he passed on all of his notes and plans for the series to his wife and editor Harriet. It was her job to find a replacement writer and make sure that the rest of this epic tale got told. Cue Brandon Sanderson, a long time fan of Jordan's and a well known writer himself. I can't imagine taking on the heavy mantle of Wheel of Time, but Sanderson did it with grace and dignity.
I wasn't sure what to think when I opened the first page. Was it apprehension? Perhaps a little. One never knows what to expect when reading a new author, especially one taking over a already well established series. The apprehension lasted only a few pages before I was swept away with the story.

Tarmon Gai’don, the Last Battle, looms. And mankind is not ready.

In this epic novel, Robert Jordan’s international bestselling series begins its dramatic conclusion. Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn, struggles to unite a fractured network of kingdoms and alliances in preparation for the Last Battle. As he attempts to halt the Seanchan encroachment northward---wishing he could form at least a temporary truce with the invaders---his allies watch in terror the shadow that seems to be growing within the heart of the Dragon Reborn himself.

Egwene al’Vere, the Amyrlin Seat of the rebel Aes Sedai, is a captive of the White Tower and subject to the whims of their tyrannical leader. As days tick toward the Seanchan attack she knows is imminent, Egwene works to hold together the disparate factions of Aes Sedai while providing leadership in the face of increasing uncertainty and despair. Her fight will prove the mettle of the Aes Sedai, and her conflict will decide the future of the White Tower---and possibly the world itself.
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Wow...wow... Did I mention wow?
This could be possibly the BEST Wheel of Time book that I have ever read!
This book renewed my love of Rand and strangely enough, in Egwene as well!
I've always loved Rand, but he's kind of taken the back burner compaired to the other Ta'verens, Mat and Perrin in the last few books.

Mat is usually my favorite of the three, but Rand outshone him with his dark broodings and strange outbursts. I enjoy being back in Rand's head and listening to him argue with Lews Therin. Perrin is still trying to get use to being a lord and is not sure where to lead his poeple to next, Mat is leading his troops through the forest and is getting into trouble as usual

As for the girls,

Egwene by far stole the show. This is her book for sure. I've never really liked Egwene since they left the Two Rivers, but now that she's captured and being held in the White Tower, she's became a power to recon with, not just for her strength in the power, but also for her brilliant mind and astute grasp of the situation at hand.
Nynaeve is as wonderfully moody as usual, Aviendha is around and is constantly being punished by the Wise Ones, Elayne thankfully isn't in it at all, and Min... well, usually I love Min, but I really didn't like her in this book. I can see why she made the chioces that she did, but I think they were the wrong ones.
There are also great cameos by the Forsaken

Semirahage's stole the show.
There were so many twists and turns in this book that I could barley put it down (and hard covers get heavy to hold after awhile)
And the end was brilliant!! I felt myself smiling as I closed the book after the last page. Often that is not the case with WOT where they leave you with a cliff hanger. This was not the case. I know that the next book, Towers of Midnight is due out next fall and the end was satisfying enough that I will be able to wait for it.
Overall Rating: 10 out of 5 stars!!

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Thanks to Dragonmount for all the great updates and galleries


  1. I couldn't read all of your post, to prevent spoilers, cause i'm only on book 3, The Dragon Reborn. But I love the series and I have 3 other guys at work reading them too. I'm also a geek at heart and love your Robin outfit! I was the only guy dressed as Batman at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight!

  2. I'm so glad you and your friends are reading them together. My friends and I did that when we discovered the books back in highschool and it made it all the more fun to be able to talk about it together.

    YOu've got a Batman costume? KICK-ASS!!! You, my friend, ROCK!!