Wheel of Time #13: Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

Read: 23 May, 2015

Where The Gathering Storm mostly focused on Rand and Egwene, Towers of Midnight brings us back to Perrin and Mat. Sanderson has explained that, while Jordan had originally intended only one more book, Sanderson felt that the material really needed three. And the divide in focus between these two books shows that they had originally been planned to be one. We saw the same problem in George R.R. Martin’s A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons. And, as in Martin’s books, I felt it gave the two books an uneven feel.

That’s certainly not to say that I didn’t enjoy it. Cruel as it may be to say, and sad as the precipitating event was, I find myself glad that Sanderson took over the series. I find that his version of the characters are more compelling, and are capable of a greater range of emotions. And while some of the very uncomfortable gender dynamics remain (I don’t think it would have been possible to eliminate them entirely, given the worldbuilding and characters Sanderson had to work with), they’ve been quite muted. The greatest change, though, is in the pacing. The books are just as long, but so much more exciting to read!

I have little to say about Towers of Midnight in particular, though. Things happen, the resolutions are all much as anticipated. In fact, I can only recall one moment in the book that bothered me. (SPOILERS: It was Noal’s death, which felt so meaningless. Mat tried so hard to come up with a phrasing that would protect his party from the Eelfin and Aelfin, yet left a gaping loophole. Noal was only put in the position of having to sacrifice himself because of this absurd mistake. Not only that, but we then learn that the time he bought the rest of the party was unneeded in the first place because Mat had the key to get out of Eelfinn/Aelfinn lands the whole time anyway! He was a somewhat interesting background character who just died, seemingly for no reason at all.)

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More books in the Wheel of Time series:

  1. Series: The Wheel of Time
  2. Prequel: New Spring (graphic novel version)
  3. The Eye of the World (graphic novel version)
  4. The Great Hunt
  5. The Dragon Reborn
  6. The Shadow Rising
  7. The Fires of Heaven
  8. Lord of Chaos
  9. Crown of Swords
  10. The Path of Daggers
  11. Winter’s Heart
  12. Crossroads of Twilight
  13. Knife of Dreams
  14. The Gathering Storm, with Brandon Sanderson
  15. Towers of Midnight, with Brandon Sanderson
  16. A Memory of Light, with Brandon Sanderson

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