Friday, May 21, 2010

Robert Jordan - The Gathering Storm

Rating: A
Description: Tarmon Gai’don, the Last Battle, looms. And mankind is not ready.

How do you begin reviewing an 800 page book?

How does one review a book that you have such an emotional connection with - passionately, or take a step back and attempt being impartial?

As I described earlier , this series is one that I started and it lost impact for me towards the last few books.
Robert Jordan died before he finished the planned final book 'Memories of Midnight' , leaving behind a manuscript. Brandon Sanderson was elected by the editor (RJ's wife) to complete it. He decided that it was simply too big and rewrote it into a three-part Grand Finale.

The Gathering Storm is Part 1. This is one great book, even to someone who read the last RJ novel years ago, and so didn't remember much.

I solved that issue using the 'cunning' method of skipping those names/situations I had forgotten :) .
Highly recommended, for the fans of the series who have perhaps not read the last two books - yes, this means you!

It helped that Brandon Sanderson focused on core characters, mainly Egwene and Rand. No more wandering Plotlines starring people you can't remember!
Reading this book gave me a good look into Egwene's mind, probably the best since she was made Amyrlin. Brandon Sanderson finally got closure on a couple of big open issues, and resolved some of the major prophecy threads left dangling.
*mild spoiler below* Click through to read

Closure on -
1) Who the Black Ajah members are - Dear God, Verin shocks and awes
2) Egwene re-uniting the White Tower and defending against the Seanchean attack (prophecy!)
3) Rand finally choosing Why he is fighting the Dark One, and not simply being a pawn tossed around

The entire book was in many ways, true to the original writing style of the first three books. It was tautly written, focused on a few key characters, in a linear writing style. There were no big frustrating jumps in time either, no verbosity, no skirt-twitching ad nauseum, so my interest in this wondrous series was rekindled.
A welcome return to the once-again fascinating Wheel of Time series for me! This is partly why I cannot be too impartial here.

Some very detailed reviews and interviews are here,doing a better job than I could:

As always: 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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