I find myself struggling to begin this review for two reason. The first being that two months ago when starting this book we went to Peru for a week and my library hold came due earlier than I was expecting, with me finishing only three fourths of this book. I then had to wait patiently (actually rather impatiently) for this title to come available again as I was shunted to the end of the holds list. Secondly, so much happened! It was fantastic, heartbreaking, delightful, and terrifying all in one wild roller coaster of a read. This is the first book in the series that Sanderson has taken over the pen following Jordan’s tragic passing and honestly, I couldn’t tell a difference in the style of writing. That being said, I wasn’t scrutinizing or actively looking for a change within the text. Perrin and Faile’s sections, although brief in The Gathering Storm, did not improve now that they are finally reunited. Mat’s chapters continued to be my favorite, as he again finds himself in intriguing, yet harrowing predicaments. So many loose ends were tied up in this book, especially regarding Rand and Egwene, along with the supporting cast surrounding around their independent arcs. Sanderson/Jordan employed the full gambit of emotions within their arsenal, as I seesawed between laughing, crying, clapping, and annoyance at various points throughout this read. Overall, The Gathering Storm was a positively delightful addition to this literary world as Sanderson/Jordan begin to move the pawns in alignment for the impending Tarmon Gai’don. I pity my next read as I’m sure to be in a book hangover following this wild adventure!
- Did Rand finally heal himself? Honestly, his chapters were getting as insufferable as Perrin’s. It would be wonderful for him to finally be at peace and not so angry all the time. I totally thought he was about to kill Tam! Is gaining his humanity back what Cadsuane was supposed to teach him? Was the Choedan Kal corrupting him and causing the dark aura? Totally didn’t catch the first time around that he’d destroyed the powerful sa’angreal.
- What is in the letter that Verin gave Mat?
- Personally I loved Cadsuane being called a bully by Tam. She totally is one! That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy her banter though.
- I loved seeing Egwene finally heal the tower! The battle with the Seanchan was brutal to read, although it seemed fitting yet cruel that Elaida ended up in their custody.
- I was shocked that Verin was of the Black Ajah, but when she turned out to be a spy it totally fit her demeanor. I’m not going to lie, I cried at her passing. She was such a mysterious character throughout, who turned up at the oddest instances, and we didn’t know whether to trust her or not.
- I can’t decide if I like Tuon or can’t stand her. Am I supposed to root for her because of her association with Mat, but she attacked the White Tower and captured the Aes Sedai. Her meeting with Rand was anticlimactic for all the buildup.
- When will Egwene finally talk to Gawyn? I’m dreading Min’s vision of the two. I’m hoping its already passed when he helped her escape the Tower the first time but I’m doubting it.
- Will Mat and Thom go ahead and save Moraine already?
- Favorite part? It’s impossible to pick one but Gareth Bryne becoming Siuan Sanche’s warder and they finally expressing their feelings was definitely one of my favorites parts of this read!