Tuesday, 8 December 2009

FANTASY REVIEW: Wheel of Time: The Gathering Storm - Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson


The final volume of the Wheel of Time, A Memory of Light, was partially written by Robert Jordan before his untimely passing in 2007. Brandon Sanderson, New York Times bestselling author of the Mistborn books, was chosen by Jordan's editor ? his wife, Harriet McDougal ? to complete the final book. The scope and size of the volume was such that it could not be contained in a single book, and so The Gathering Storm is the first of three novels that will cover the outline left by Robert Jordan, chronicling Tarmon Gai'don and Rand al'Thor's final confrontation with the Dark One. This short sequence will complete the struggle against the Shadow, bringing to a close a journey begun almost twenty years ago and marking the conclusion of the Wheel of Time, the preeminent fantasy epic of our era. The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.


OK, I started this series way back in 1990, so as a long established reader I was sort of wondering what Brandon would do with what was purported to be the final novel in the series. That said, as you may know by now Brandon has been asked to write another two novels to help finish off the series due to the sheer volume of loose ends.

What perhaps is first worth noting is that whilst its still following the arc laid down by Robert Jordan it is written by Brandon and as such follows where his talents lie strongest. That of character narrative alongside emotional context. It is extremely well written and its going to be obvious to a great many readers that the right author was asked to finish the series so that the fans had the conclusion that they have longed for. Within the novel old favourites return and prepare the way for the final two volumes as the world moves at its usual Jordan pace and whilst in the last few novels it was dragged out, theres little in the way of that here. Whilst there are lulls and of course peaks the novel does do what the fans have been wanting, but if you’ve missed the rest of the series out go back to the first before even considering tackling this as you really won’t have a clue.

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