Top critical review
Preparing the ground for the finale
on 31 December 2010
If you've come this far with this sequence, you'll probably see it all the way to the end now in any case. As with The Gathering Storm, this volume benefits from a combination of Brandon Sanderson's sparer, faster style compared to Robert Jordan's and the simple need to push on to the finale in the next instalment. That said, it's less satisfying than The Gathering Storm as there is a strong feeling of pieces being set on the board in the right places for the conclusion, and along with a number of earlier volumes there are long passages where nothing actually seems to happen. You are asked to turn a lot of pages and invest a lot of time for sometimes limited reward. Despite this, there are a couple of fascinating plot twists and developments, and just enough resolutions to keep you going. But Brandon Sanderson has an awful lot to do in the final volume given how many threads are still floating around waiting to be tied up.