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.
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©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)
When I heard that Brandan Sanderson was finishing the series, I listened to his mistborn series and found that I had confidence in his ability. After listening to The Gathering Storm twice over I am completely blown away. I love how the story focuses more centrally on Rand throughout it. Amazing, thank you Brandon for bringing us the ending to the best fantasy series ever written.
I was very satisfied with Brandon Sanderson's work and so happy to know that we will not be cheated of a conclusion to the story for this turn of the Wheel. Mr. Sanderson's style is different from Robert Jordan's, but not markedly so. The characters have remained true to themselves and the action moves a little faster under his careful stewardship of this beloved tale. Michael Kramer and Kate Reading do a masterful job as always of telling the tale through tone and tempo as well as voice. This remarkable tale of the struggle good and evil around and within us all lives on!
Like many other fans of the series I used to reread every book whenever a new one was released. Once the series passed 4 or 5 books, however, I found it difficult to find that much time. Again, like many other fans as the length of the series increased so too did my aggravation at the apparent lack resolution. The characters had followed their disparate paths and sometimes their relationships with each other were tenuous at best. About a month before the release of The Gathering Storm I started to read (and sometimes listen to) the story again, from the beginning. With the gigantic scope and the story arcs of each character being distinct it was hard to see how they all drove towards the same goal. The time between the books was probably a factor in how I perceived the story. The reread gives me a new appreciation of the series.
The Gathering Storm begins to weave all of the loose threads into a pattern that's beginning to make sense again. I once again enjoyed reading the sections with Egwene and I really haven't in quite some time. Some of the reviews that I've read have complained about how accurately Matt is portrayed. Personally, I thought he was pretty accurate. I'm also pleased with the shift in Rand's story. Typically I prefer my protagonists to be more likeable, unless they're being written as anti-heroes, and Rand is no Elric or Covenant, so the change was a welcome one.
I recently read (or heard, I don't remember) Brandon Sanderson describing CoT as the perfect pitch; he just basically needed to square off and swing well. The ball has come away from the bat and it's headed for the fences. Now we just need to see where it lands.
I was really quite upset when I heard the news of RJ's early death. I have followed the wheel of time for years and I have truly enjoyed it. While still saddened with the death of RJ, I think Brandon has done RJ's work proud. Thank you very very much. I'm so looking forward to the next two books in the series. Great Job!!!
I was in despair that i would never get to finish the series when i heard about the death of Robert Jordan a few years ago, so when i heard that it was going to be finished by someone picked by his wife, and editor, i was hopeful and i wasn't disappointed, other than having to wait two more years to finish the series. Naysayers aside, this is a wonderful book and it truly is well done, and while its not just like the other books in style its so close that it doesn't matter and Brandon Sanderson does such a good job at catching the characters that I didn't feel like i was reading someone else, that being said this isn't 100% Robert Jordan it can't be and while we all wish he were here to finish this series he is not.
This is a great beginning to the concluding trilogy of the Wheel of Time. Brandon Sanderson is an awesome writer (I am a big fan of the Mistborn saga) and does an excellent job on this one, managing to remain objective and discreet, keeping Jordan's style intact. Additionally, he brings on lots of tension during the action scenes and he is very good at describing dark, ominous and ambient moments in the story. The plot is finally moving along and I come to really enjoy the series again (like I did in the past, reading the first 6 volumes).
There is still a dozen of main characters, but somehow their stories seem to flow together, and that is something I really missed during the tiresome and boring 8th, 9nth and 10nth books of the series.
The narrators are excellent and I highly recommend the enhanced version.
I am looking anxiously forward for the next book!
Thank goodness Robert Jordan's wife was the person choosing the writer to continue Mr. Jordan's WOT series. I was wary in the beginning, but soon forgot about it and just enjoyed Mr. Sanderson's WOT interpretation! I loved seeing loose ends tied up and clearly saw how the final battle is very close approaching. Also, a big thank you for continuing with Kate Reading and husband Michael Kramer as narrators. I am looking forward to the last two books.
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!
"I love where Sanderson took it up. pace is up..."
I love where Sanderson took it up. pace is up... great story! excited now... the last battle is certainly coming soon.
Brando did it right. This book will not let you down! Always good to know with an author switch.
loved it. really flowed well with a bit of humour. go MIN. she is cool
"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.
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