The Gathering Storm – Wheel of Time #12 Review

The Gathering Storm

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Tarmon Gai’don, the Last Battle, looms. And mankind is not ready.

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 Tor proudly presents The Gathering Storm as 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.

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.

This installment in this epic series focuses mainly on Rand and Egwene and the events happening around them. After a horrid experience involving Semhriage, one of the Forsaken, something inside Rand changes. He tries to make himself into an unbreakable force, frightening those closest to him with his coldness and sudden willingness to do things he would never have done before.

In the White Tower, Egwene has no knowledge of what is happening to any of her other friends, as she fights her own battle to have Elaida removed as Amrilyn.

As I was reading this book, in the back of my mind was the fact that this book was the first not written by Robert Jordan  himself. I’m  not sure what I was expecting, but the switch between authors was remarkable! Had I not known about Robert Jordan’s passing and Brandon Sanderson taking over, I would never have known that there was a switch. Sanderson is clearly familiar with the characters. He gets those little nuances for each character so well. I was highly impressed by how well he did. I’m really looking forward to the last two books.

I rate this book 4/5 stars.

Crossroads of Twilight – Wheel of Time #10 Review

Crossroads of TwilightSynopsis: In the tenth book of The Wheel of Time from the New York Times #1 bestselling author Robert Jordan, the world and the characters stand at a crossroads, and the world approaches twilight, when the power of the Shadow grows stronger.

Fleeing from Ebou Dar with the kidnapped Daughter of the Nine Moons, whom he is fated to marry, Mat Cauthon learns that he can neither keep her nor let her go, not in safety for either of them, for both the Shadow and the might of the Seanchan Empire are in deadly pursuit.

Perrin Aybara seeks to free his wife, Faile, a captive of the Shaido, but his only hope may be an alliance with the enemy. Can he remain true to his friend Rand and to himself? For his love of Faile, Perrin is willing to sell his soul.

At Tar Valon, Egwene al’Vere, the young Amyrlin of the rebel Aes Sedai, lays siege to the heart of Aes Sedai power, but she must win quickly, with as little bloodshed as possible, for unless the Aes Sedai are reunited, only the male Asha’man will remain to defend the world against the Dark One, and nothing can hold the Asha’man themselves back from total power except the Aes Sedai and a unified White Tower.
In Andor, Elayne Trakland fights for the Lion Throne that is hers by right, but enemies and Darkfriends surround her, plotting her destruction. If she fails, Andor may fall to the Shadow, and the Dragon Reborn with it.

Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn himself, has cleansed the Dark One’s taint from the male half of the True Source, and everything has changed. Yet nothing has, for only men who can channel believe that saidin is clean again, and a man who can channel is still hated and feared-even one prophesied to save the world. Now, Rand must gamble again, with himself at stake, and he cannot be sure which of his allies are really enemies.


Winter’s Heart ended with Rand and Nynaeve cleansing the male half of the True Source of the Dark One’s taint. I’m sure everyone who has read the series was eager to start Crossroads of Twilight to see the repercussions of such a thing. Such a momentous occasion must change everything!

But first, let’s see what every other character in series is up to in the days leading up to the event and those just after.

Faile and a few other women were captured by the Shaido Aiel and have been made gai’shain. Perrin is, of course, out of his mind with worry and rage. Many readers might feel for this couple, being separated by unforeseeable circumstances, but not me. I have dislike Faile from her very first appearance in the series. Honestly, I want her to die, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I don’t know what Perrin sees in her or why he loves her so much. His willingness to do just about anything for her is irritating. He was once one of my favorite characters in the series, but now, not so much.

Mat has finally found the Daughter of the Nine Moons, whom he supposed to marry. Hiding out in a travelling show, he has his hands full with the women he rescued from Ebou Dar, as well as the ones he kidnapped during the escape. Mat is a character I have wavered back and forth between liking and disliking. In the very beginning, he was Rand’s best friend, mischievous and easy going. However, the moment he discovers that Rand can channel, he gives in to all the superstition and fear surrounding men who channel. Earlier in the series, all Mat wanted was to get away from Rand as soon as possible. Now that he’s away from everyone he knew from the Two Rivers, he’s finally had a chance to grow from a boy to a man, even if he is still mischievous.

Elayne is trying to secure her place on the Lion Throne, while Egwene sits outside Tar Valon with her army and rebel Aes Sedai.

There is a lot going on in this series, but not much is actually happening. Time moves slowly as the narration goes between one set of characters to another, usually showing what happens to them in the same time frame. In over 800 pages, only about 2 weeks of time pass in the story. Only those that were with Rand and those who can channel saidin are even aware that it’s been cleansed. Everyone else who could sense what happened believes it was the Forsaken preparing some kind of weapon or something else equally as terrible.

So, the repercussions of cleansing saidin are still not known. Everyone seems to be sitting around waiting for things to happen. Only Perrin has any sense of urgency and only because he wants his wife back. Everything is supposed to lead up to the Last Battle. With four more books to go, I hope the pacing increases. As Brandon Sanderson finished the last 3 books after Robert Jordan passed away, I’m eager to see how his writing style differs.

Overall, I give this book 3 stars. It’s not amazing, but it’s not terrible either. It’s a good addition to the series overall and I look forward to starting the next book, especially as it will be the first in the series I haven’t previously read.

The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

My reading life this year has mostly been dominated by the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson. Honestly, I should have finished this series by now. I blame Netflix. Anyway, 14 books with around 700+ pages in each, it’s a long haul. I considered reviewing each book individually but there so much that happens in each book that I just couldn’t. My brain couldn’t handle it.

I first started reading this series about 10 or so years ago. I finished book ten long long before book eleven (Knife of Dreams) was published. As many of you may or may not know, not long after Knife of Dreams was published, Robert Jordan became very ill. Sadly, he passed away without finishing the series. However, Brandon Sanderson stepped in and, using the notes Jordan had left behind, wrote the last 4 books in the series. When I discovered all this and what it would mean for publishing time, I set the series aside and moved on to other books. I certainly didn’t lack for anything to read.

At the beginning of this year, I decided that I would finally go back to the Wheel of Time and finish it off. All of the books had been published and were sitting on my shelf gathering dust, waiting for me to read them.  Since it had been so long since I first read the books, and the series is so detailed, I went right back to the beginning and started again with the Eye of the World. It was almost like reading it all for the very first time all over again. There were only a few little things that I could remember, and those things were spread out across 10 books.

I was interested to see how my opinion of the books might have changed from the first reading. As has happened before, when I’ve reread a series years after initially reading it, I find my opinion and enjoyment have it has usually changed. (This was certainly the case with the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind). I remember thinking the Eye of the World was slowed paced, but not much else about the other books. As I’ve matured as a reader and a person, I see things I’m sure I didn’t notice before. For one, the female characters are nearly all the same. They’re haughty, snobbish, arrogant and usually have bad tempers. At one point, the female characters were getting very irritating, which may be a factor in why it has taken me so long to get through the series.

Today, I will be starting on book 10, Crossroads of Twilight, which was the last book I read before the earlier publishing hiatus.  I hope to finish the entire series by the end of this year, but with the way things are going, that my not happen.

Have you read the Wheel of Time? Please post any comments on the series you may have, but please keep in mind that as of the time of this writing, I have only read to the end of book 9, Winter’s Heart, so I would appreciate if there were no spoilers about the last five books posted. Thanks!