“The end is near,” Moridin said. “The Wheel has groaned its final rotation, the clock has lost its spring, the serpent heaves its final gasps.”
At times, it’s obvious The Gathering Storm was not written by Robert Jordan. Brandon Sanderson does quite a job (it helps that I’ve read all of his own works and enjoyed every one of them), but it is different at times. That being said, I don’t think I’ve read another example of one author taking over another’s work, let alone at such a scale, let alone doing as good a job as was done here.
The Gathering Storm hits hard, with a disastrous attempt at negotiation between the Dragon and the Seanchan, an attack on the White Tower itself, and Rand growing ever darker and harder, to the point of terrifying those few friends he has left. It’s a bleak book, there’s no doubt about it, with a real feeling that perhaps winning this war may not be any better than losing.
Two more of my favorite scenes lie in this book (although there are many just below): Verin’s visit with Egwene and Veins of Gold. Just… wow. The first, all by itself, is a reason to re-read the entire series from the beginning. Jordan was a master of foreshadowing. The second… Well. The second takes the darkest the series has gotten and gives us a chance… just a glimmer of hope.
Well worth the read.