Friday, September 4, 2009

The Gathering Storm News Galore

Surprises indeed! Good ones too.

Plenty of most excellent news posted on Dragonmount tonight:

- We now have a confirmed release date for the advance prologue: september 17, the day after the second anniversary of Robert Jordan's passing.

- Tears from Steel, chapter One of The Gathering Storm is as of now available for free on A quick free registration on their site and you're on.

- Ebooks of the series will become available soon. All the details on Dragonmount.

- Dragonmount has a great opportunity to offer for fans to meet Harriet and Brandon more personally during the book tour (I'm very jealous now, since they're not coming in my area).

That's the summary, be sure to check the news page on Dragonmount linked above for all the missing details.

Linda and me will no doubt comments more on these news later - and definitely share our impressions of the first chapter and our first peek at Brandon's writing in the WOT universe, but for now if you'll excuse us, we have some reading to do! :)


Timmay said...

I've read the chapter, and though I won't comment on the specifics here I will say that I liked what I read.

As to the writing style, it is clearly different from Jordan's. It is more direct for one thing. However this doesn't bother me, my only concern is that it is done well. One can get used to a different style, while quality is a different matter.

Some may be concerned that a direct style may hinder his ability to lay out the subtle plots that are always lurking in the background of the WOT, however anyone who has read the Mistborn trilogy and Warbreaker can see that this style has not hindered him from doing so, and doing it well.

Wotmania handle - Rurouni_Kenshin

Linda said...

Yes, I believe that the chapter is mostly in Sanderson's 'hand'.

The chapter continues various issues of corruption of reality, health and morals that were begun in KOD, so it's developing the themes well.

Dominic said...

Rurouni, it's nice to see you :)

About the specifics, we will definitely discuss them in our post on the chapter, and you're welcome to join that discussion with us if you wish.

I guess we'll try to put that post in the next three days, I have to discuss the schedule with Linda first - and how we'll handle it.

For my comments... hmmm... I won't go into details now. I like what I read would be the short of it. I know after a few chapters like this I'll be immersed in the story telling (Brandon did a good start on that with this one!) and I'll stop noticing the differences in style after a while. This will show more for me in rereads of the book - as soon as the scene really started I was way too interested in what was going on, smiling when a theory was proven right, puzzle by a few new things and all. Much like reading WOT, finally!

The change of voice is quite noticeable, but it's not typical of Brandon. He's right, it's really an hybrid (one I wouldn't mind see him bring a bit into his own books - it suits him well, I think.). It's more direct than RJ's style. I don't think this will hinder him with the subtle plot points either. RJ played more with unreliable/ambiguous information, so very often people read volume in sentences that turned out later to be houses of cards. It's a great style for theorizing, but it could be frustrating at times. Let's say that was never the aspect of RJ's writing I loved the most, so that Brandon does it a bit less, and is a bit more direct, won't bother me.

Much of that chapter flows rather well - Brandon 'gets' RJ's descriptions, for the most part and it's a big relief as I love them so much.

They don't sound the same, and the grammar/prose is a bit different, but the spirit is really there. My only little grip is that while it's very RJ-like and it's gonna work perfectly for Egwene, Elayne or even Mat. Rand has stopped for some time now being so observant of the people around him, or interested in them. I doubt he knows what Bashere prefers to wear, for instance -he would not noticed that. Brandon made Rand a little too descriptive, and he explains too much. Rand by RJ was more detached. But it's nothing major - certainly not enough to make me feel this isn't Rand.

There's a line or two of dialogue by Cadsuane that made me cringe (I'll say which ones in the full post) and I felt were off character, but overall it's a very good start.

In all fairness, the first POV by a character in most WOT books always tend to irritate me a little, as RJ too tended to make the characters more introspective than usual and peppered their POV with reflections/reminescences they normally don't have. This flowed better in the later books, but there's no escaping the writer is cheating a bit to pack in some 'last week in WOT' exposition. So, I'll definitely wait for a few more chapters when I read the full book before I make my mind whether Brandon has Rand right or not. It's a good start, I'd say.

In any case, I can already say it didn't take me long to forget the writing and get into the story and the interesting new developments, and the little discoveries that Rand knew this or remembered that etc.

Most worries I still had are dispelled. The voice is different but that's The Wheel of Time still and much about it feels just right.

Dominic said...

"The chapter continues various issues of corruption of reality, health and morals that were begun in KOD, so it's developing the themes well."

Yes, I agree. Another of our little worries gone :) He got pretty much the right dosage of it, too.

SteelBlaidd said...

I'm very pleased though I think he needs a little work on integrating symbolism into his prose as smoothly as You guys have shown RJ did.

Linda said...

Especially at the beginning of the chapter? That's true, SteelBlaidd. But then plenty of readers have said to me that I and Dom see too much symbolism. Some readers think there isn't any in WOT at all (!).

Sometimes things have to be laid on with a trowel before people get the point. Like in KOD when we had lots of 'pillowfriend' mentions due to people being sceptical about what the term referred to.

Cairodin said...

The most noticeably "not-RJ" part, for me, was the very beginning with descriptions of the White Tower. It just wasn't described the way RJ would describe it. Even so, I decided it wasn't necessarily a bad thing, just a different thing. Soon after I lost myself in the story. (Though now that you mention the Rand bit, I agree.)

If Tears from Steel is any indication of how my TGS experience will be, I've nothing to worry about.