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.
Listen to more books in The Wheel of Time series.
©2009 The Bandersnatch Group, Inc.; (P)2009 Macmillan Audio
"The Wheel of Time...is a fantasy tale seldom equaled and still less often surpassed in English." (Chicago Sun-Times)
"Jordan has a powerful vision of good and evil - but what strikes me as most pleasurable...is all the fascinating people moving through a rich and interesting world." (Orson Scott Card on The Wheel of Time)
After learning that Brandon Sanderson was going to be finishing the WoT series, I downloaded two of his books, and didn't enjoy them at all. The ideas were great, and the magic was great, but I really disliked his "voice", the way his characters acted and interacted; to me, it sounded like very forced comedic scenes interspersed with long, convoluted planning sessions.
That said, I am a HUGE Robert Jordan fan, and really need this series to end, so I went ahead and downloaded TGS about five minutes after it came available on the 27th, and started listening immediately.
I'm exceptionally pleased to report that I really enjoyed this book. Everyone important is in it, if only for a chapter or two, and for the most part, Brandon Sanderson has adapted his style to fit into Robert Jordan's world a little better.
That said, you can absolutely hear his voice, particularly in the sections of the book which feature Matt Cauthon. I found those sections a tiny bit offputting, but I think maybe that comes from personal bias rather than any actual fault in Brandon's treatment of those sections.
I felt that some of story arcs were actually improved in this book; RJ used to hop around a lot more, splitting a plotline in halves or thirds and then shuffling other things into it, creating mini-cliffhangers. In this book, it seems that we stay with some of the main arcs for much longer, often to their ultimate conclusion, and I found that to be very, very satisfying.
I'm looking forward to the next two installments.
Brandon Sanderson did a magnificent job in continuing Jordan's story, I barely noticed a difference in writing style! It's great that Kramer and Reading have continued to do the reading to keep the story as seamless as possible but Sanderson really comes through for us - I can't wait for the next book and will be somewhat sad when the third and final (really?) comes out and it all ends! Like many, I've read/listened to some of the first books, like, nine or ten times! This led me to try out Sanderson's Mistborn series, pretty good for a beginner, I'm definately hooked! The legacy lives on!!!!
I was hesitant to download this - it's 33 hours and after ABSOLUTELY NOTHING happened in the last couple of books, it was gamble. It paid off - Sanderson has managed to kick the storyline into gear without sacrificing any of the characters we know and love. Fantastic read, I literally couldn't turn it off.
I am not a "typical" sci-fi fantasy fan. I'm not even a fan of nonfiction! I was dragged into the Wheel of Time series kicking and screaming by a friend 10 years ago. And boy am I glad he insisted I read the first book. I was hooked.
I have patiently been waiting for Book 12 - the final book in the series - to be released after the death of the originator, Robert Jordan. I wondered how well another author could create rich scenes and characters with amazing depth based on Mr. Jordan's notes. I also did not think that all of the loose ends from Book 11 could be tied up in one final book.
I was thrilled to find out that the new author, Brandon Sanderson, not only stayed true to Mr. Jordan's style and plotlines, but he brought a new layer of wry wit to the Mat character that I found refreshing. And he also understood that the "final" book would have to be completed in three volumes to properly tell the tale and wrap up all of those loose ends.
Well done! I can't wait for the final two books.
I searched for best selling fantasy books about 6 months ago and The Wheel of Time kept popping up. I wanted a good book to fill in the space between the next Eragon and Nicholas flamel the Alchemest final books. I had no idea that I was about to take a non-stop journey through the best 12 books of my life. I compare it to eating some gourmet meal you didn't even know existed and then going back to plain bread. Everything is now much more bland in my world; television, video Games and other books. Fortunately I have my Aquarium, my career and my family. Of course I Also have two more books that once released I will certainly listen too a hundred times each before I die.
Brandon Sanderson took the notes of Robert Jordan and made it seem as the legend was putting the book together himself.
The Gathering Storm is my favorite book of the set so far... I envy all of you who have yet to make this journey starting with the first book, The Wheel of Time.
-Issac A Wilkerson
Sanderson's translation of Jordan's ideas is nothing short of a miracle! I re-listened to the entire series before listening to this one and I was not disappointed! I enjoyed this book more than any I have listened to in a long while. Kramer and Reading bring listeners into the lives of the characters in such a way that I feel like I know them...and I miss them already! I cannot wait for the next one! Thank you, Brandon Sanderson!
I'm a big fan of the WOT series. This book (after an intro section that is strange) is REALLY well written. I feel like Brandon Sanderson did a great job pulling together all those loose ends Robert Jordan left after his last several books. Robert Jordan seemed to lose focus in his last couple of books. This book portrays all of the characters very well and the narrators do a great job with the story. I would recommend this book. If someone is unfamiliar with the WOT series it will be difficult to appreciate what is happening in this story so I'd recommend reading the other books in the series first (particularly up through book 8).
Unfamiliar with Sanderson's work I was concerned that he would be up to the task, but he nailed it. The character action and humor were perfect and as usual the ending left me wishing for the next book. For others who are new to the series I would encourage you to start at the beginning of the Wheel of Time series by the time you are finished not only will you be a fan of WOT but also will know how great an accomplishment this work is.
And as always Mr. Kramer and Ms. Reading are outstanding.
Wow! I am so glad Sanderson completed this book. When Jordan passed away we not only had to morn a great writer but also the WOT and all the characters. The Darkness had won and the pattern was no more....but death is not the end when time is a wheel.... so the story lives again! Thank the light Michael Kramer and Kate Reading narrated, it would have been hard to listen to new voices. Matt has always been one of the best characters in this tale, but after this story he has moved on to my top ten list of favorite characters.
Well done Mr Sanderson. I didn't know if another author would've been able to pick up a story this complex in the middle and make it work. Brandon Sanderson had done just that. He clearly understands the characters and the world in which they live. I would even go so far as to say that the story moves quicker without losing any of the depth that Mr. Jordan brought to the story. If you're a Wheel of Time fan you'll enjoy this book. If you're new to the series don't even think of starting any where but the beginning. (Book 1 The Eye of the World)
I think this book is as well writen as the rest of the series.
Only thing I didn't like in this book is that the timeline changes between the caracters.
"Wonderful addition to the series"
When Robert Jordan died In 2007 many fans were worried that the greatest fantasy series of our time would never be completed, luckily the author had asked for someone to continue his work and his widows choice was the excellent author Brandon Sanderson.
Being the first of three final volumes, this is an excellent read, it brings the series back to a great height that had been slightly lacking in some of the previous novels. Characters are believably realistic and the torments that certain characters to through in just this novel makes up for a slight lacklustre in others.
The plot is virtually flawless, focusing on all the very important parts that are needed for Tarmon Gai'don and character completion.
This is a great series and the way that Sanderson took the mammoth responsibility of completing the series and actually holding up to Jordan's style and way of writing is amazing.
Done it! Listened while working through the whole 14 books. Not bad - not brilliant either. Too much describing of what are people wearing, limited dictionary of dialogues and male-female relationships/interactions painfully similar, predictable -boring (Mr Freud would find it certainly interesting though :)
Maybe because English isn't my first language, maybe I'm spoiled by other writers or maybe Robert Jordan just isn't my type of author but haven't I been working at the time of listening I would considered it time wasted.
Brandon has done an outstanding job at continuing from where Robert Jordan reached. I'd go as far to say I prefer Brandon's writing style and will be looking at other books from him in the future. I like that the audio narrative usest the same, brilliant, narrators. Michael Kramer and Kate Reading put life into this publication with their, joy to listen to, interpretation of the characters.
"The Begining of the end"
"The Gathering Storm" is the first part of the final instalment of the Wheel of Time, the epic fantasy series started by Robert Jordan all those years ago. For years myself & everyone else I met who loved the series kept on saying... "What happens if Robert Jordan dies before he finishes the series" well unfortunately that happened Mr Jordan passed away before finished WOT, thankfully it wasn't suddenly and he was able to prepare numerous notes... Brandon Sanderson was selected by Harriet (Mr Jordans wife) to complete the series and in my humble opinion he does a fairly descent job; he obviously doesn't try to emulate Mr Jordans style (& rightly so) but does an admirable job...
I really enjoy the Michael Kramer portions of the book, he has created voices for each character and his reaqding voice is fantastic... Wish I could say the same for Kate Reading, she mispronounce quite a lot of things the worst being one of the major characters names :S but hey it's such a great story that I can put up with it to get to the end
"A good effort"
A very good effort in trying to achieve the same style as previous books in the series but the book itself felt like it was just getting going when it ended.
Having read the previous 11 books I was a little dubious that I would be able to follow the complexities, particularly of the characters' names, listening to an audiobook. I took the plunge and I am happy to say that the reading is superb. The characterisations by tone and accents are delightful and I like the division between male and female voices. The story continues to be as enthralling as the previous books and if there had not been an explanatory prologue I would not have guessed that it was written after Robert Jordan's death. It is a brilliant job and with it I look forward to hours of happy housework and DIY. Book 13 is next on my list and then the bittersweet anticipation of the final volume later this year.
Yes, it's fantastically written but what you really need to know is that the narration is excellent. Dual narration really works - with a female voice for the chapters told from Egwene's point of view and a male voice for the male characters - obviously. I honestly think I enjoyed listening to this more than reading it. Indeed if I hadn't read it first the tension might have been too much at times. Powerful narration!
I confess I approached this book with some trepidation. I vividly remember the excitement and late night page turning of the early books in this series. I remember too the meandering and sometimes confusing turns of some of the books between 6 & 10 in the series. I remember the return of my excitement as books 10 and 11 refocused and seems to begin a headlong rush towards a thrilling climax. The writers death in 2007 brought the seeming certainty that the story would not be concluded.
The decision of the writers wife and agent to ask Mr Sanderson to finish the series working from Mr Jordan's notes seems to be a stroke of genius. Sanderson has recaptured the excitement and direction of the early books. The complexity and intrigue are still there, but the myriad threads of the story have been gathered back together as the story rushes breathtakingly towards what I believe will be a truly epic conclusion.
I would also compliment the readers of this book. It translates wonderfully and their interpretation of the characters really adds depth to the story. I enjoyed every second of this book and can't wait for the penultimate book in the autumn. I will undoubtably reread or listen to the entire series again before then.
"An excellent continuation of a fantastic saga"
The author has done a truly wonderful job of continuing Robert Jordans story. Like the other reviewers I found it difficult to notice any difference in the tone of the saga.
This is the first book in this series that I have listened to on audiobook and I really have to give credit to the narrators. Far too often i've been left cold by readers who failed to convey the emotions of the characters but these readers left me in no doubt as to what the characters were feeling.
First class job.
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