Genre: epic fantasy
Cover: I prefer the bland Dutch cover of my own copy
Tarmon Gai'don, the Last Battle, looms. And mankind is not ready.
The final volume of the Wheel of Time, A Memory of Light, was partially written by Robert Jordan before his untimely passing in 2007. Brandon Sanderson, New York Times bestselling author of the Mistborn books, was chosen by Jordan's editor---his wife, Harriet McDougal---to complete the final book. The scope and size of the volume was such that it could not be contained in a single book, and so Tor proudly presents The Gathering Storm as the first of three novels that will make up A Memory of Light. This short sequence will complete the struggle against the Shadow, bringing to a close a journey begun almost twenty years ago and marking the conclusion of the Wheel of Time, the preeminent fantasy epic of our era.
In this epic novel, Robert Jordan's international bestselling series begins its dramatic conclusion. 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.
Well, this is different, writing an English review for a book I have read in Dutch. Which was not easy, let me tell you. It has been years since I read a book in Dutch (with the exception of my favourite children’s books, which I regularly re-read, especially when not feeling well). And I was extremely irritated by the simplistic use of language, I am certain that is not the way the original book was written. Why read in Dutch then? Well, I have read this series in Dutch since the first book was published in 1990, and switching to English doesn’t feel good now. Especially as some of the names are different.
Another thing that was difficult, it has been at least 4 years since I read the previous book, which was published in 2007. And I did not remember some important things at all. Like: Rhand has lost a hand? Really? When did that happen? And how did he get that new sword he is using?
But I still heartily dislike most Aes Sedai, like Cadsuane, who just wants to play Rhand like a puppet. The evil Elaida, who gets what she so richly deserves from the hands of the Seanchan, who are “not important at all” according to her. Egwene is not a Dreamer, and she is just exaggerating. There is only a little big of page time for Perijn (Perin?) and for Mart a bit more. Aviendha is still struggling with becoming a Wise Woman. I hope she gets the chance to marry Rhand in time, as it all seems to come to a conclusion fast. There was no update at all on Rhand’s first love Elaine, who seems to be pregnant with twins and is Queen of Andor. Also no news on the White Cloaks (Witmantels) who are a party of purists and hypocrites and racists, whom I despise. I also miss the Ogier, I really liked the one that journeyed with them in the beginning.
I did enjoy the parts with Egwene, and how she is trying to heal the divided White Tower. She is strong, and is growing in her job of the Amyrlin. And of course the parts with Rhand himself, what he is going through, and how he deals with all the losses he causes.
I liked the action, the battle for the White Tower.
I do recommend this series if you love epic fantasy, but you HAVE to read them IN ORDER. You will be horribly lost otherwise. So many characters to keep apart, it is kind of difficult, but it came to me rather quickly again.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian