Publisher Tor Books has made the first chapter of the upcoming book in The Wheel of Time fantasy series, The Gathering Storm, available for free from its website.
The last three books in The Wheel of Time are being written by established fantasy author Brandon Sanderson, who was selected by the widow of the original author, Robert Jordan, after tragically passed away in September 2007 to finish Jordan’s masterpiece. The first book, The Gathering Storm, has already been finished and will be published internationally on October 27.
But by registering today on Tor.com, Wheel of Time fans are able to immediately download a text or audio reading of the first chapter of The Gathering Storm.
The chapter begins with the standard Wheel of Time format:
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose around the alabaster spire known as the White Tower. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.
It then moves further into the main story of the book.
In comments posted underneath the chapter on Tor.com’s site, Wheel of Time fans appeared to agree that the writing style of the new chapter differed from Jordan’s style, but not in a bad way. Most expressed positive sentiments about the chapter.
“I can tell this is a different voice but it’s a good one and does pay respect to the rest of the series,” wrote one fan. Added another: “I could definitely tell it was not RJ writing this, not that it was badly written, but it will take a bit of getting used to.”
But even so, some readers have already filed small criticisms at Sanderson. For example, one wrote:
“If I had to offer any real quibbles, I would say it was a little self-consciously written in parts. I thought Rand’s internal thought processes, in particular, were a tad over-laboured and over-expressed compared to where he was at in the later books – whereby RJ kept him a bit more wrapped in mystique.”
Semi-official Wheel of Time site Dragonmount has also posted a slew of other news about moves associated with launch of The Gathering Storm.
For starters, the prologue to the book will be available on
October September 17 as an electronic book download for US$2.99 from vendors like Amazon.com. The whole Wheel of Time series will also be released as e-books, and the original books are to get new covers. And of course there will be a book tour associated with the launch, so far only in the US.
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