2011-07-24 · in Books, Wheel of Time · 251 words

Brandon Sanderson continues the Wheel of Time series after Robert Jordan's death; this is the first of three Jordan-Sanderson books to complete the series, making fourteen in all. The plotting is Jordan's, but the words are largely Sanderson's — and he does an excellent job.

While Sanderson's style is distinctly different from Jordan's — and this is obvious right from the introduction — I didn't find the transition jarring; he does a decent job of the full range of Jordanian fantasy from private thoughts to big set-piece battles. Most of the characters' voices are spot on, with Egwene being especially good, and Rand and LTT being very convincing; Mat changes the most, although I suspect that's because he's just an enormous amount of fun to write.

No complaints about pacing either: things happen. This book is primarily about the reunification of the White Tower — which makes it an Egwene book, really — while Rand attempts to forge an alliance of nations and avoid going insane in the process. The plot comes together neatly, and it's pretty clear where it's got to go next. Sanderson also manages to weave in a few interesting worldbuilding details that I wasn't expecting (e.g. the scene with Cadsuane and the innkeeper); the world's got to change, but it's nice to see more detail of what's there already.

Sanderson clearly has a great deal of love and respect for the series; it's nice to see it in good hands. And yes, of course I'll be buying the next two...