Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

This entry is part [part not set] of 12 in the series The Wheel of Time

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Book 13 of the The Wheel of Time
Publisher: Tor Books (Nov 2 2010), Hardcover: 864 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 0765325942, ISBN-13: 978-0765325945

This is another entertaining book in the unfolding story of the Dragon Reborn (Rand al’Thor) and the Two River’s gang in their fight against evil. This book effectively pulls together numerous storylines that have unfolded in the previous volumes. The story itself is really complex and includes many characters and story lines.  The most pivotal people are Rand al’Thor, who is the main protagonist, and his friends Mat Cauthon, Perrin Aybara, Egwene al’Vere and Nynaeve al’Meara. Of course there are many more people and characters both good and bad. The basis of the story is the growth and adventures of the characters on the path toward the final battle of good (Rand as the dragon reborn) and evil (The Dark One.)

The Towers of Midnight is the 13th book in a series of fourteen books plus a prequel that centres on the Dragon Reborn and the last battle. James Oliver Rigney, Jr., (Pen name Robert Jordon) is the sole author of the prequel through to book eleven.  Unfortunately he passed away in 2007 before completing the series but he did leave copious notes. Brandon Sanderson, an accomplished author, agreed to complete the Wheel of Time (WoT) using these notes, outlines, completed scenes and dictated explanations. This book falls under the epic fantasy genre since it has magic in the form of the one power, which is only available to a very limited number of people.  There are no elves, dwarfs, goblins, but there are evil people, Trollocs (similar to Orcs,)  Myrddraal (similiar to Nazgûl,) and the Dark One (the antithesis of the Creator, Similar to the Dark Lord in Lord of the Rings.) The story is told in a third person narrative from many different characters, although most frequently from the Two River’s gang. Most of the books also have a prologue and some have an epilogue.

This is one of the best good versus evil fantasy series around. It certainly is in the same league as the Lord of the Rings series, and includes some of the same premises, although not the same tone. This book is well written and continues in a style similar to the earlier WoT books. There are many resolutions revealed in this book.  There is a fair bit concerning Perrin, including resolving his issues with the Children of the light. There is an exciting action scene between Perrin and one of the forsaken, who goes by the name of Isam. Egwene is in the White Tower searching out the forsaken Mesaana, who she finally meets up with in Tel’aran’rhiod with some interesting twists, lots of action and an interesting result.

There are several engrossing story-lines surrounding Mat.  His battle against the Gholam was scary and exciting.  His journey into the Tower of Ghenjei to face the Aelfinn and Eelfinn and ultimately to save Moraine was well written and full of surprises. It is great to have Moraine back in the story and who her next warder becomes is a big surprise. Rand reveals to Egwene his upcoming plans for his fight in the last battle to mixed emotions. Since Rand’s transformation in book twelve, he has become the embodiment of good and dispels corruption wherever he goes. He prepares to hold conference with his followers on eve of the upcoming final battle.  Lan also attracts followers as he marches towards battle in the borderlands.

If you have read the previous books in the series then this is a must read.  I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a complex and intense epic fantasy. To read the whole series is a big time commitment but well worth the effort.  It is with great anticipation that I await the final book in the series.

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