Monday, November 8, 2010

A Book Review, "Towers of Midnight", by Robert Jordan

Book Review

“Towers of Midnight”, by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

                So maybe I’m a purist. I’m biased. I started reading the Wheel of Time in high school and was immediately captivated. Every year, and at times every other year, I have waited in great anticipation for the release of the next book in the series. So, despite my gratitude to Mr. Sanderson for completing the epic work that is the journey of the Wheel of Time; after reading both the “Gathering Storm”, and now “Towers of Midnight”, I can’t help but feel a little disgruntled.

                How? While Mr. Sanderson has done the Pattern justice, he lacks the grand vision and depth that seemed to have come so naturally to the late Mr. Jordan. He has remained true to the characters and the story, but sadly, it is not the voice of Mr. Jordan that we hear as we read the two latest novels in the series. The details and colors on this canvas are not as vivid with Mr. Sanderson holding the brush; the visceral detail and gritty realism that made the characters of the Wheel of Time so compelling is conspicuously absent. There is no doubt that he is an artist in his own right, but his efforts pale in comparison. One is left with the feeling that the climax of this journey that should by all rights have been Mr. Jordan’s greatest triumph has been white-washed by both Mr. Sanderson and the editors at Tor Books. Instead, I believe that which has finally been published would be a great disappointment to Mr. Jordan.

                In the push to meet deadlines, and indeed the push to meet the demands of rabid fans like myself, both Mr. Sanderson and the editors at Tor have released a sloppy product. In all of the previous books that were published before Mr. Jordan left us, from “New Spring” to “The Knife of Dreams”, I could count on one hand the number of grammatical and spelling errors that I noticed. In the last two books alone, the sheer number of common mistakes was enough to elicit comment, and I am not the only reader who has noticed. Several of my fellow Wheel of Time fans have commented on it as well. This is not in keeping with the finest traditions of publishing that I believe that Tor has until this time upheld. By rushing this critical phase of publishing, the editors of Tor discredit themselves and do both Mr. Jordan and his fans a disservice.

 It is my sincere hope that greater care will be taken with the climax, the last book, and the Memory of Light.