The Gathering Storm, Book 12 of the successful Wheel of Time series was recently released, which is a neat trick, considering the fact that the author of the series, Robert Jordan, passed on some time ago. Jordan’s widow asked Brandon Sanderson, a successful author in his own right, to complete the series. Sanderson intends that the series will be complete with book 14.
I have mixed feelings about The Wheel of Time series. I have by turns been a big fan and completely frustrated by the ever-expanding, often-rambling nature of the story and cast of characters. I despaired of ever seeing a satisfactory end to it in my lifetime long before Jordan died. Turns out, however, that Sanderson is a steady hand on the tiller and may actually be able to see this bloated ship safely into the harbor. If you haven’t ever read any portion of this series, don’t expect me to summarize it here. for that, the best place to go is one of the many fansites, like this one, or this one Â or the wiki page.Â
The best things about this book are thatÂ it’s entertaining in a way that this series has always been when it was at its best, and it cuts out a lot of the agonizing dross that had come to characterize the series at its worst.Â Â Sanderson has shown himself to be well in control of the characters and plot of the series, which is saying a lot.Â The only negatives are that we are now at book 12 and the end is still two (large) books away.Â Book 13 is due sometime late in 2010 and book 14 the following year.Â My guess is that those projections are optimistic.Â Still, if you’re looking for an entertaining, engrossing read and you have some free time on your hands, the world of this series can beÂ a fun place to hang out.