Towers of Midnight Digital – January 31, 2011
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- Publisher : Tor Books (January 31, 2011)
- Language : English
- Digital : 864 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1429960639
- ISBN-13 : 978-1429960632
- Customer Reviews:
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tick-ticking. She’s a nothing character. Sanderson seems to have adopted some of Jordan’s frustrating writing habits. The novel ended well, though, with momentum and discovery. Happy to engage the final volume. Happy to get closer to the end of this whole, gigantic, hugely-flawed, bloated series, The Wheel of Too Much Time.
So, Towers of Midnight. A Memory of Light: Part Two, if you'd like to see it that way. The storm has gathered, the world holds its breath, and Tarmon Gai'don is nigh. If The Gathering Storm was about Rand's preparation for The Last Battle, then Towers of Midnight is about everyone else's. This one ties up a lot of loose ends, and yet it is perhaps the fastest paced book in the entire series thus far. It is longer than book twelve, and yet I finished it faster. It's just phenomenal.
I spoke at length about Brandon's efforts in my review for book twelve, so I won't harp on about it too much in this one. But I will say, he continues to do a fantastic job. Admittedly, there have been times where I'll be reading and will get an enormous pang of sorrow and deeply wish that we had gotten Jordan's version of a particular scene rather than Brandon's (beyond wishing we had Jordan's version of all the events I mean). But I think that is only natural in a situation like this one. That being the case though, Brandon deserves praise. There was some timeline weirdness in this one (where certain chapters were lagging behind certain other chapters because of the way books twelve and thirteen were split up) that I think he ended up handling it well, and he's done a really nice job of bringing his expertise to the POV interplay. We are getting more POVs per chapter here, and it makes the story feel interwoven and complete. And as I said, it was all but impossible to put down. That says enough right there.
So as usual I can't say a whole lot about the book itself. But this one is essentially Perrin and Mat's book. Perrin especially. He needed some major progress made in regards to his character development if he was ever going to be ready for Tarmon Gai'don, and that's what we got here. And Mat, he had some of my most anticipated material of the series; something I've been looking forward to since a couple books ago. It did not disappoint. We also have the return of Elayne POVs, which were satisfying largely because of her interaction with several other characters in them. As I said, the POVs are starting to overlap really nicely. It's something I had been looking forward to as we near the end and our characters start coming back together. Certain moments were just as satisfying as I'd hoped they'd be, and we have more to come.
As far as a penultimate installment in a massive, beloved series goes? It was everything I could have hoped for. There's not much more to say.
When I found out he had also contributed to the final portions of this epic tale I had no choice to give it a shot.
Sanderson has done a great job helping close the saga. He makes you fall in love with Mat, Perrin, and many of the characters through their ending days. He and Jordan have developed such relatable characters that you find yourself dying to find out what will happen to them next.
Sanderson has a style of his own and knows how to leave chapters on cliffhangers where you can't help to get to the next chapter for the character you were reading about. The next thing you know you at killing a whole book in one day. His writing style is insane.
If you have made it this far in the series, you know it lagged a bit in pacing in the middle books, but in the final three it has picked up momentum and you have to follow it all the way to The Final Battle yourself.
Unfortunately (because of the death of Jordan) it took the intervention of Brandon Sanderson to breathe life back into the tedium and finally get us to the Last Battle with aplomb. Sanderson has a great gift for cohesion in large novels, and having Jordan's vast panoply of characters wrap up and weave together their journeys and quests is worthy of the "Pattern" itself. So those of you who dropped out of the tedium, I welcome you back to what you find to be a very satisfying last three books.
Several other key characters have important moments, Matt facing multiple past foes, Aviendha becoming critically important to the Aiel, the borderlander army meeting Rand, Egewene juggling internal and external threats and multiple love stories progressing.
There is so much happening in this fantastic book. The last battle has begun.
Top reviews from other countries
Brandon brings Jordan's saga and this trilogy to a heartbreaking, climactic and epic end! Well worth sticking with the series to read these final 3 books!
Easily back to the series rip roaring best, was even better the second time I read these last 3!
It is obviously tricky to say much about this book without giving away spoilers. But it seems safe to say that it concentrates more around the activities of Perrin and Mat and those that surround them. Rand continues his strategies but his appearances are brief and clearly not yet the focus. Elayne, Egwene and Nynaeve get a fair share of the book and some Aes Sedai issues become resolved. Gawain and Galad are also featured heavily, more than they ever have been before. There is also some focus on Aviendha but I was left feeling uncertain about what was going on in her sections. There doesn't seem to be much of a need for them and I wonder if in some way they are to do with Jordan's proposed trilogy focussing on the Seanchan; which will now never be written.
Disappointingly there isn't much action from the Forsaken. Out of the few that remain some of them have still hardly been featured. Moridin still does very little, his appearances brief. But he and some of the other leading villains loom in the background hopefully ready to take on a more major role.
There is still an awful lot of seemingly unnecessary arguing between the various heroes of the saga and the undercurrent of latent sexism continues. I'm finding it a little annoying and textually repetitive that all the male characters think all women behave in a certain way and vice versa. It is particularly annoying with the Aes Sedai at times. After all the events across the series of books I would have expected at least some of the characters to have grown out of this. Surely all their horizons have been broadened by their experiences.
The above aside, this is a very enjoyable read and it is probably a better book than the previous five or six in the series. It's a promising sign that the final book might equal the greatness of the first few.
This book concentrates more on Perrin, Mat and Elayne than the previous book did and for the most part all their stories are brilliant. It takes time to get there, but the destination is worth the wait.
It is widely known that these last three books were originally meant to be one. In the Gathering Storm, it wasn't obvious and Sanderson had done a good job of choosing certain story lines to elevate over others. Perrin's wasn't one of them, so his story has been placed in this book. However, because of this we now have quite a huge continuity error. The first half of Perrin's story takes place during the events of the previous book and as such, certain things that you believe have already happened...haven't. It's like a huge flashback, which i wouldn't mind, but it's not styled like one. Again, I wouldn't mind if there were no crossovers, but the character of Tam al'Thor appears in both Perrin's story and Rand's story which is a continuation of the previous book. So you're reading along one minute about how he's gone back to the Two Rivers, and the next minute find him speaking to Perrin! In Ghealdan! While I would think anybody would be stupid to pick this book up first as it is clearly marked as book thirteen, I would think a new reader would get confused over this (though, to be honest, it's probably their fault anyway. I mean who reads book thirteen before even book one!). It could even get confusing if you hadn't read the Gathering Storm in a while. Fortunately these matters are put into perspective when we find out that Perrin witnessed Rand's activities on Dragonmount.
These niggles aside, Perrin's story is by far the best it's been since Shadow Rising, perhaps ever. He has to confront much of his past with the Whitecloaks, Slayer, the Wolves, all the while preparing his armies for the Last Battle and finally accepting the role of Lord.
The weak point of the novel. After gaining the Lion Throne, Elayne now has her sights set on Cairhien. So we have to go though yet another fight for the crown. Fortunately, this portion of the story is relatively short.
Aside from the ending, this is the best part of the book. Mat, Thom, and Noal set off for the Tower of Ghenjei. Once there the climax with the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn is exciting and quite creepily terrifying. The creatures were creepy in Shadow Rising, but here we see them really come to life.
The overall climax to the book is something that we've been waiting for since the Eye of the World. Throughout the book, we've got huge exciting battles with shadowspawn, but they're mere skirmishes compared to witnessing the start of the actual Tarmon Gaidon. However, that's not what I like about the ending, it's the less action oriented things. The fact that we get to see the armies of at least eight nations rallying together. A short and terrifying dream sequence that shows just how evil the Dark One can be. But my favourite has to be the end quote. It all leads to a feeling of dread and despair, leaving you truly scared for the Last Battle. This is a point few writers can accomplish. Most will have this kind of scene with a feeling of hope, epic potential, or just plain action, but not one of impending doom. This book scared me. But not because of the monsters, or the concept, or even the Dark One himself. I was scared for the characters. I was scared for Rand, Mat, Perrin, Faile, Elayne, Min, Aviendha, Egwene, Lan, Nyneave, Thom, Everyone. I have read this series on and off for the past ten years and I have grown to know and love these characters. The moment they have dreaded throughout thirteen books has finally come. And I am terrified they're not going to make it.
That is writing you don't read every day.
This is a truly epic book. In every sense of the word and I am looking forward to starting Memory of Light tomorrow. I'll probably end up in Waterstones and begin reading it knowing that it has already been delivered to my house while I was at work. Damn you Amazon! Get this stuff to me quickly! I'm sure you can get someone to open a Gateway instead of bothering with those pesky slow lorries!