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The Gathering Storm

Book Twelve of the Wheel of Time
Length: 32 hrs and 58 mins
5 out of 5 stars (228 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 best-selling 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 20 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 best-selling 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.

©2009 The Bandersnatch Group, Inc. (P)2009 Macmillan Audio

What the critics say

"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)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping from beginning to end

Brandon Sanderson did a marvelous job. I believe Robert Jordan would be very pleased. Excellent!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing!!!

Glad to see Brandon doing a great job with the series. To be Honest I was a little worried that he wouldn't have met my high expectations but it most certainly did. great job on the book!

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awesome

Awesome continuation of the story. Seamless, I'd say. This book has more action and ramps up the pace of events. I find the pace of the storytelling similar to the feel of the first book.

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good job

Sanderson did a great job so far. I'm getting increasingly frustrated at the egotistical aes sedai and their utter uselessness, egwene in particular needs a reality check.

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Quality!

The readers did exceptionally well with this one. Very clean editing, no mistakes. GREAT BOOK

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Great series.

I love this series. I binge listen to it often. Aside from some regional word differences, I really like the presentation. The only downfall being Michal Kramer changing his reading style and possibly microphone. He used to sound more jovial. Now he sounds overly produced and there's an annoying ring from the new recording process used to make him sound more hollow. I don't like it. I think his style from books 6 to 10 are the best.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • D. Ramirez
  • 2009-10-28

I normally wouldn't, but...

Usually I wouldn't write a review before I had finished a book, but I just can't help myself... I'm sure that you hard core WoT fans out there won't need any further encouragement to purchase this one, but for anyone who does... Get it, now! :-) Seriously, it's good. Perhaps I'm just not as perceptive as I ought to be, but I've not yet noticed much difference from the quality that I'd expect of a book in this amazing series. So far, I think that Brandon Sanderson has stayed true to the characters that RJ created, and I think his style just works for this series. Needless to say, I am thoroughly enjoying this audiobook so far. I've already noticed quite a few plot lines moving forward and am learning answers to questions that I've really been waiting to find out about. I'd like to thank Mr. Sanderson for his wonderful work in continuing this series, Robert Jordan for caring enough about his fans to leave behind enough content for Brandon to work with, and of course, his wife Harriet for making a great choice of whom to continue his work. Very respectfully, Dominique.

41 of 43 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Chuck
  • 2013-11-25

Best book since Book 1

Quite possibly the best book in the series since the opening book. Not that the other books were bad, but Jordan seemed to just drone on at times and the story seemed to stagnate at times. Sanderson does a masterful job of writing this book. It "sounds" just like Jordan wrote it, but there were very few places in this book where I felt like I was "nodding off" (as I had done several times before in previous books). Great start to the finale of this wonderful series.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ryan D. Gilbert
  • 2009-12-02

Welcome back Wheel of Time!!!

If you would have told me this was written by a different author other then Robert Jordan, I would have called you a liar. This is how the Jordan of old used to write. It's only later on in the series is when he really started go get wrapped up in meaningless crap, and made it a chore to finish a book. The only difference I could really tell were things that I thought were improvements. Gone are the annoying storyline builds ups, only to have the reader jump to a different character at the crescendo. It was so refreshing to not have to wait another 300 pages to find out how a storyline progressed. This ain't 1960's television anymore, we don't need cheesy cliffhangers to make sure we keep reading.

At no point did I ever feel like I wanted to place a gun into my mouth to end my misery from slogging through a couple of chapters on etiquette or local customs.

Sanderson touched on all the favorites, Rand, Egwene and company, Matt, Perrin, all the major Aes Sedai and Aiel. Perrin was probably the least written about it in this story, but it really didn't bother me, as he had bigger parts in the last few books. Matt is always a blast and gets into some crazy situations in this book that just made me laugh. Sanderson does such a good job putting Matt's perspective on situations that it's always just so comical, "Why does this always happen to me!"

Rand is probably the biggest triumph of this story. The writing gets more complicated as his delves deeper and deeper into what it means to be the Dragon Reborn and all the emotions that come with that.

Kate and Michael are the only voices I can ever picture reading Jordan, as they do a perfect job. At times I forget that Kate is reading the male parts because she does such a great job capturing the character's essence.

I released a huge sigh of release after I read this book. The glory that is WoT is back, and is on track for it's continued greatness. The ending of this finished perfectly.

27 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • T. Doolin
  • 2009-10-19

A Successful Transition

Many people were worried about the continuation of this epic series after the tragic loss of Robert Jordan in September of 2007.

Fans:
Fear no more!

All of our beloved characters are still there and RJ's vision is clearly still the driving force behind these books. Brandon Sanderson does an outstanding job taking our characters and adapting his style to give us a compelling read.

You can sense Brandon's voice more in some characters than others but that is not a criticism. He actually brings more depth to them while maintaining exactly who they are and who we love.

Michael Kramer & Kate Reading again deliver in this book and I'm pleased to know that they'll also be completing the series with:
Book 13 - Towers of Midnight
and
Book 14 - A Memory of Light.

You will love this book! Enjoy!

44 of 52 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gary
  • 2009-10-30

Bloody Excellent

Thank you Brandon a most excellent job.

The Wheel of Time has been brought back to life. The life that was in the first few books.(1-4)

I really enjoyed reading this book. (Well listening to it.) Could not put it down.

Each character got some air time and it was not too long winded coverage that I felt was in the later books.

Plenty of action happening in this.

It is also great to see that same narrators
used in the story. Very well read it brings much life to the story.

Again Brandon, A Big Thank You.
I look forward to the next book soon.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • kana
  • 2018-10-24

British accents?

Loved the story but what is up with the random British accents? They popped up out of no where this book and came to be a bit annoying.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • alisa
  • 2017-12-31

Michael Kramer... sigh

So here's the thing... this is the 12th wheel of time book. you would think that after narrating the other 11 gigantic books he would have consistent accents and pronunciations of character names. that's totally not the case. every time he reads a couple of chapters he switches up accents and pronunciation of names so much it actually screws with the fine details of the storyline... like maybe take notes ? the whole series would be a way more enjoyable I've with some consistency.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lisa
  • 2013-02-25

Slow writing style

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Repetitive descriptors which did not add to the story line

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Incisive editing

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

A little slow

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Possibly

Any additional comments?

Many good ideas in the story and writing, but not to my taste

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • 2011-02-26

Slow start, but worth the wait

For the first quarter or the book, I had a sick feeling in my stomach - nothing seemed to be happening, I was losing interest. I realize that some of what was happening now was build-up for the rest of the book, but much of it still seemed overstated and contrived. (e.g. Aviendha's rise to wise one, Ituralde's part, and of course anything to do with Cadsuane - ok maybe thats too harsh but who likes Cadsuane???)

But, then the book rapidly began "happening". From Egwene's fight to survive, to Mat's battles with the pattern, and Rand's struggle to hold onto sanity, it was certainly a ride to the end. The sheer amount of action and events that were initiated AND resolved is certainly much more than any other RJ book in a long while. Though I still think RJ is the better writer (believe it or not, I am one of the few who like how he describes every detail of the world he creates), BS is obviously a passionate and deserving author to finish this series. Highly recommended, as long as you are patient at the start.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jacob
  • 2010-01-06

Sanderson's marvel

Where Jordan often utterly failed at times Sanderson manages to not only succeed but exceed expectations. Jordan often wrote pages, even whole chapters that had no substance to moving the story forward, particularly evident "Crossroads of Twilight". Sanderson however, gives us Jordan's riveting story and extraordinary detail, with much less skimable dreck.

This book covers Egwene's storyline to a remarkable apex, Rand's madness, and who Verin really is. Perrin, Elayne, and Mat's storylines are barely touched. We are left with wanting much in the next two books, but this book leaves us with a feeling of accomplishment and no cliffhanger.

This is Kate's best reading of this series. She pours herself into Egwene's storyline and it really comes alive.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful