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)
From listening to the interview with Brandon Sanderson which is included with books 12-14 (assuming 14 as not out until April, I understand), it is apparent that before the Lengend Robert Jordan passed away, he had written much (as much as 2100+ pages) on the final installment of this wonderful saga. So how much does Brandon put into this? The fact that it is actually difficult to figure out is, in my mind, a testament to Sanderson's ability, and I believe he deserves accolade for his work here and with book 13 at least. If you are out there, Brandon, high-five!
This book really takes the saga to new levels, as Rand struggles with Lews Therin for posession of his body and mind. The shining, personal battle at the end of the book, marks the beginning of Tarmon Gai'don, and as we progress through book 13, the pace really picks up. Not to take away from this book, however, as the storylines meld and Perrin Aybara, Goldeneyes, Lord of the Two Rivers really pulls his character to new levels, reaching to lofty heights, as he must, to stand beside Rand at the last battle. Having read this book once (I read each before listening), and listened to 3 times now, I will listen once more before book 14 is released. If you were to only read 3 books in the series, I would say 11, 12 and 13 are the ones you should choose, though of course that's just nonsense as you need context! ;) Listen to them all! Brilliant with a capital B.
As a side note, I am reading George RR Martin on the side, and I am finding it very exciting, having already watched the first book in series format on TV, A Game of Thrones. Like finishing with a girlfriend or boyfriend who was like no other, and you compare everyone in the future to them... that is how I am with every book since Wheel of Time. Does Game of Thrones compare to this? Surely, in many ways, not least of which excellent POV handling. And Kate Redding and Michael Kramer as male or female POVs on the audio works better than any other audiobook!!
"A Fine Return to the Wheel of Time"
I quit the Wheel of Time in 2004 after "Crossroads of Twilight". The frustration at the slow pace and long gaps between books was too much for me, I decided not to continue with WoT until the series was complete. Ten years later it's finally done and after a refresher with Leigh Butler's re-read of the first 11 books on the Tor.com website (and lots of referencing on the WoT Wiki) I got up to speed and re-read "Crossroads of Twilight" and then"Knife of Dreams". The horrendous pacing issues reminded me of why I gave up reading these but I was still eager to see what Brandon Sanderson had done with the story so persevered, and I'm very pleased indeed.
Sanderson did say that he would not copy Jordan's style but that he would use a style appropriate to the Wheel of Time, which he has done admirably well and he has captured the feel of the Wheel of Time perfectly. What is immediately apparent however, is much tighter writing and a seriously improved pace; a lot less time spent on describing every boot buckle and bit of lace, far less finger wagging, shawl adjusting and braid tugging. Whole chapters moving the plot forward and some great character development. Joy!
The Gathering Storm concentrates mainly on the story arcs of Rand and Egwene, balancing hopelessness with hope. Rand's descent into darkness and madness is depressing, agonizing and nearly hopeless as he reaches the lowest point of his struggle. Balancing that is Egwene's struggle to reunite the White Tower, however where we agonize about Rand, we are fuelled with Egwene's passion and fire, her fight for the White Tower leaves us full of hope and we see what a truly awesome character Egwene is becoming. The plot drives forward to both Rand's and Egwene's determining moments, which is immensely satisfying. We also see more of Matt, who has some awesome moments of his own, however Perrin's arc still remains very ho-hum, though I believe he finally comes into his own in the next installment.
The Gathering Storm has rekindled my original love for these characters, with whom I had seriously fallen out with over time and brought back that sense of excitement I felt while reading those first books way back in the 90's. Sanderson was without doubt the best choice to bring The Wheel of Time back on track and I can't wait to begin with "The Towers of Midnight"
With regards to the narration, the American pronunciations did take a while to get used to and the narrators, while not brilliant, are adequate. If we had the likes of Rupert Degas narrating, this would have been awesome. However, they do an ok job and are not a hindrance to the listening experience. I have got used to them enough that I am happy to continue listening to the next books.
"Love, love, love it"
I was gutted when I heard Robert Jordan had passed, and sceptical about the appointment of Brandon Sanderson to complete The Wheel of Time. But I worried unnecessarily. All my favourite characters are here, as I have come to know them and I was delighted when Rand, who has always been among my least favourite lead characters and frequently makes me agree with Cadsuane's and Nyneve's assessments, gave up his frustrating outlook; I like him a little more now.
Sanderson really does do Jordan's legacy justice. If you're worried about the story being told by someone other than Jordan, let me put your mind at ease - take this journey
"What's to say?"
If you're looking at Book 12, you're already hooked. If you've read the books and want to know whether it's worth listening to the audios then YES. For me, it meant I could engage with the story in a completely new way. I was able to continue with the humdrum routines while plugged into the world of Rand, Perrin, Mat, Egwene, Nyneave...
The books are heavy - it's really hard hoovering while holding one!
Long awaited and enjoyed from begining to end. Brandon Sanderson has done a fantastic job.
"Brilliant storytelling as ever"
It took me a while to get over the pronunciation of names and objects I had already given voices to in my head while reading the earlier parts of this epic in book form. However, once this happened, I was enthralled by the storytelling and really enjoyed the way the two narrators worked together. I didn't want it to end and waiting a year for the next installment is going to be hard!
"Well done Brandon Sanderson"
I have listened to so many of your books and loved every one so I was so exited at the prospect of you completing the series.
Seemless and brilliant.
I absolutely LOVED Book 12, dare I say it...best one yet. I listened hard at the beginning for differences between this and the previous books because Brandon Sanderson was involved, but I soon stopped and became more involved with the story than with any other book in the series.
Two minor gripes, but only because I noticed, number one - 'off of' was used several times, I hadn't noticed that in previous books, ugh, it's jarring. Second gripe - Kate Reading couldn't decide whether to say 'doman-ee' or 'doman-ay'. Perhaps I have missed something and she was saying the words correctly but hmm, after so many books, she wasn't consistent.
Bar those two things, I am very pleased and impressed, great job all round. Fantastic!
"The standout book of the series."
I felt this was the best book of the series. Maybe it was the anticipation of Sanderson taking over and wondering if it wouldn't really work with the previous books that meant that I was overjoyed when I realised that its completely seemless.
Of course the final book is great because you get the ending but this one fits in really well and stood out in my mind.
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.
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