Book Review: The Gathering Storm

The Gathering Storm

by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

In one word:  Fantastic!

This book, number 12 in The Wheel of Time series, is the first book written since the untimely death of Robert Jordan, the creator of the series and sole writer of the first 11 books.  Luckily, for fans of the series, Jordan had a chance to write a lot of notes and pass along orally to friends and family his plans for the end of the series.  After his death, his wife, who was also his editor, hired Brandon Sanderson to complete the series.  Based on the amount of notes, they decided this would happen over three books.  This book, The Gathering Storm, is his first book in the series and is a masterful work.  I’ve not read any of his other work, but he did a grand job of keeping with the style of the series.

Whether Jordan’s plan for the climax, or Sanderson’s style of writing, or a combination of both, this book picks up the pace of the story as it begins to reach its climax.  I found the book very engaging, which resulted in a number of nights spent reading too long.

In this book, we see most of the main characters, if only briefly.  A good deal of time is spent on the Aes Sedai and the White Tower and we get to see Egwene really come into her own amongst the Aes Sedai.  Rand’s growth and change were the most important parts of this book for me, though.  We get to see a young man with a ton of weight on his shoulders, the fate of The Pattern, it seems, and how he begins to lose his grip on his own humanity in trying to save the world.  And, at the very end, we get to see him grow.  I actually got misty-eyed when he realizes why he has to triumph over the Dark Lord.  Perrin and Mat make brief appearances, but are mostly being set up for (hopefully) bigger parts in the next book, as are Aviendha and Min.  Elayne is mentioned a few times, but never has a direct part.  Hopefully, she’ll be back in the next book, as well.

I know this isn’t the most informative review, but I don’t want to be the one to spoil all of the good parts for anyone who’s not read the book.  I highly recommend you read it, though… especially if you’ve been a fan and were losing interest over the last few books due to their slow pace.  The climax is on its way and you’ll not be disappointed by this book.

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