Sep 17 2009 1:11pm

“What the Storm Means,” the Prologue from The Gathering Storm, available now!

As with previous volumes in the Wheel of Time® series, Macmillan is making the prologue for Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderon’s The Gathering Storm available for purchase before the hardcover is released on October 27, 2009.

The prologue, titled “What the Storm Means,” is available for $2.99 as either an ebook or an audio download. You can buy the ebook from a wide range of online retailers and it is compatible with nearly all e-reading devices, including the Sony Reader and the Kindle.

Click here to buy the prologue now.

M. Verzaal
1. z2al
...Amazon only has it for Kindle?
I don't really want to add another log-in/password, advertisments to my in-box to my collection, but it looks like it's either that or be patient...
Sadly I doubt I have ever had a month's worth of patience...
Maiane Bakroeva
2. Isilel
A pity that they didn't make it available on iTunes Appstore. Would have been perfect.
Philip Widing
3. prw2222
If you buy from the Kindle bookstore, you can use the free Kindle Reader app to read it on your iPhone. And Tor saves the effort of writing a special app....
Christopher Key
5. Artanian
and not a single version that isn't infected with DRM.

Oh well, I thought Tor had figured that out. I guess I'll wait for the non-infected dead tree version in a month, and they won't be getting any extra money from me.
Herb Schaltegger
6. LameLefty
I'm such a sucker - I've been reading this series since 1993. Of COURSE I just bought the Prologue for my Kindle. D'oh!
Jason Lyman
7. jlyman
No Kindle. No iPhone. No money. No prologue. I guess I just have to wait some more. So sad.
Bill Siegel
8. ubxs113
I find this really insulting. They release the first chapter for free but make me pay extra for the prologue when I'll be buying it in 6 weeks anyway? Am I going to get a credit of $2.99 when I buy my copy of The Gathering Storm because I already bought the prologue? Of course not.

For years people have been accusing Jordan (and Tor) of stretching out the series to make an extra buck and I always gave them the benefit of the doubt but now I can't help feeling that I'm being suckered. Especially after waiting for so many years since the last book and then they tell us it's really going to be 3 and now this ridiculous PR stunt. And I'm supposed to be so grateful that I just throw my money at you? Thanks for wasting 15 years of built up goodwill guys.
9. PresN
ubxs113@8 - please read Brandon Sanderson's blog at for an explanation about the 3 books- you can have either a massive, almost un-bindable book in 3 years or you can have 1 normal book every year for three years. I would rather have it this way. Additionally, how is it insulting that they're asking 3 bucks for the Prologue? If you think it's too expensive, then don't buy it- you're no worse off than if they didn't release it early at all.

That said, $3 is too much. The book comes out in only 6 weeks, and after waiting this long I can wait a bit longer. If it was 99c I'd reconsider, but at $3 only the really hardcore fans will buy it.
Kristina Blake
10. kab1
@8 They've been releasing the ebook prolouge books early since at least Winter's heart (book 9) this prologue release is nothing new.

As far as making us pay $2.99 for it, I guess that's what were paying for the early release, if you don't want to pay for the early release then don't! But I do agree that it be better priced at 99 cents. or to give us a credit towards the book price. But this is simply the publishing world, you might as well complain about how they often release only hardcovers first and we need to wait for paperbacks.

My last comment also disappeared (a first for me!). so the below is a restatement:
I'm not sure why people are commenting on no Kindle, no iphone- you don't need either, if you have a Mac or a PC you can simply download the book and a free ebook reader.

It's also available as an audiobook from audible- which works with any mp3 device, or simply play it from your computer. Thanks Tor for making it available as an audiobook!

Edit: I see PresN beat me to these comments!
Kristina Blake
11. kab1
Anyone want to chat about the actual prologue?

I really enjoyed it! The end was pretty cool, I was surprised Masema was killed off, but hey, one subplot wrapped up.....and still quite a few left to go! Faile was pretty bad ass.

I was a bit distracted as I was listening so I've have to give it another go later today and hopefully will have more stuff to say.
Jason Lyman
12. jlyman
@10. kab1

Yeah I realize that I don't need a special device to read it. However, I do need the money and if you saw the third "no" on my list I have none. The economy has hit us really hard and even a few bucks is precious.

But, yeah... anyway.
Eigor Maldonado
13. e-mann
Masesma being killed off is just what the story needed; one problem fixed but so many more to go. The part with Damadred makes me start to think that he really is with the Borderlander army in the south. Rand is right to stay away from them for the time being. Lastly, looks like Lan will have a good starting point for the army that he is suppose to be gathering in the north not just soldiers but also camp followers that are willing to fight as well.
14. Miythrandir
I was surpirsed by the way Faile was like, "Thanks for helping with the attack," and then takes out Masema. Wonder if Nengar or Bartu will cary on his wacky ways - hope not. Masema was a freak - I'm totally glad to see he bit the dust. Interesting how he thought he saw Rand tell him to kill Perrin. Wonder who it was impersonating Rand. Guessing Moridin or Demandred.

So Demandred has an army and it's secure. My guess is that he's referring to the black tower. I think the massive borderland army is a red herring. Only time will tell.

Poor Rodel. I hope he wakes up from being manipulated by Grandael.

I like how the farmer dropped his pipe while thinking a tornado was forming above him. That was pretty nifty.

Wonder if Grandael will get whacked off by the end - hope so. She's so full of herself.
Brian Pittelko
15. Mr. Thingy
I am with ubxs113 on this. I am paying once for the book. I am not paying twice for the prologue, even at 99 cents.
Mitchell Swan
16. mcswan
@14 Miythrandir

I doubt Nengar or Bartu survived. Cha Faile seems to have done for all of them.

I also think that Faile is showing the possibility of some redemption in my eyes for handling this; best part of the prologue.
Hugh Hill
17. ghenjei

Given the problems outside the US, and the crappy staggered release times (btw- NONE of them were available at the announced time), I hope you really improve performance for the BIG DAY.

People will really flip if that goes awry.

That being said: AWESOME (Fail, Masema, Demandred, Moridin and the hand, the Storm, even Nynaeve, in no particular order)

18. bleh i say
UK release anyone? Its okay, there's only 60 million english speakers here so i guess its not that big a market
Larry Scroggins
19. LeisureSuitLarry
Damn. I was really hoping to avoid buying this. I thought I could wait the six weeks until I have the whole thing in my hands, but after reading the spoilers in the comments I don't think it's going to be possible.

Is TGS going to be available as an ebook at or soon after release, or will we have to wait a year for it to come out as an ebook in order?
Ian Horn
20. IanGH
I'm with those who are waiting. $3 for a chapter that I get to read in six weeks is a bit steep. I already feel taken for a ride with the price of the hard cover but I've reasoned that one out already...

So now all I have to do is resist the temptation of reading the spoilers. Must... not... look... up...
21. syncap8
I don't have permissions to install an ebook reader at my work PC ... bummer. Guess I'm waiting six weeks with everyone else. :(
John Massey
22. subwoofer
First off- thank you Tor for putting this up for others to chat about it.

Second- I call "dibs out". Three bone is not a biggie- but I am Canadian so that equates to roughly $40 in our Monopoly money. And let's face it, why buy the cow when the book is coming out in a few weeks? "If you have to put your hand in an awkward place- you might as well shove it right up to the elbow". I've waited four years. I can hold out a little longer.

23. Jesse
Its too bad that this is only available in the US. It sucks even more that some people are posting spoilers on a page that is supposed to direct us to the prologue. dicks.
24. Shadar Auditor
I am South African and (after a bit of a struggle) managed to download the Prologue from
Can't believed I paid $3 (R24) for this but was worth it.
Only problem I have is it seems that there is a major skills gap between what Jordan wrote and what Sanderson wrote.
Alice Arneson
25. Wetlandernw
Jesse, you don't have to read the comments. Nobody's forcing you. Did you really expect it to just be a debate on whether or not to buy the prologue? Lame. Very lame.
26. dfchang813
3 dollars is nothing to me, I pay double that for tax and tip at lunch most days and after not reading Wheel of Time for so long this was a no brainer.

WOW. Well, most if not all of the prologue was written by Jordan and it did have that magic.

Got caught up in it . . . LOOOOONG chapter but it flew by like it was nothing. I'm hoping Sanderson can carry the torch and keep it going. Chapter One was promising as a continuation.

I really liked how the first part of the Prologue set the mood, gave an idea of the sort of person who lives in the Borderlands. Gave me all sorts of chills and evoked that "greatest generation" thing of our grandfather's generation who left their farm tools and went off to WW II to save the world.

Going from there and then seeing Rand from a Seanchan's point of view was great too. Gives you an idea of just how SCARY he's become to any normal person who didn't grow up with him. Also shows that Rand still isn't thinking too straight. Giving a message to some random Seanchan suldame even KNOWING the cultural issues at hand. Did he really think the message would get delivered in a timely fashion in the way he wanted? Much better to deliver it via one of HIS envoys . . . perhaps an Asha'man like Logain or Bashere again.

I always love Forsaken councils and this was no different. Kinda scary how few Forsaken there are right? Right now we have the following major groups:

1. Moridin and his slaves Cyndane (Lanfear) and Moghedien.

2. Graendal looking more and more competent as time goes on. I think she recently formed a semi alliance with Arangar.

3. Mesaana and Demandred with Semirhage taken out.

That's it, really. Everybody else is dead, balefired, etc. That's three groups of Forsaken which can be dealt with a lot more easily than 13 separate plot threads etc.

Also a REALLY interesting clue about why Rand is not to be harmed. Something awfully funky happened when Moridin and Rand crossed balefire streams, they seem to be linked somehow. Certainly when Rand lost his hand, Moridin felt it. I wouldn't want Rand hurt if I was Mordin either! Very, very interesting. Maybe Rand not being able to see is because of his link to Moridin and Rand's seeing the Saa floating across his eyes too?

I'm not sure that Rodel Ituralde is being manipulated by Granedal, there's no compelling evidence to suggest that. I think he's just doing his damn best to defend the country he loves against what he perceives as invaders.

Right now, of the 5 great Captains, we still have Ituralde, Bashere, Agelmar, and Bryne alive. I actually have wet dreams of the four of them talking war before the great battles and Mat joining in. Oh God, what I wouldn't give to read that scene!!

And of course, Masema finally meeting his end. Ok, there are all sorts of badass in this final scene but I'd like to start by saying am I the only one who felt a little pity and sorrow for Masema??

Yes, from a plot standpoint, he played utter havok and turned Perrin and seemingly every side character with him into a dull, plodding nightmare. In book terms, he also committed countless atrocities and turned an entire region into utter chaos.

But reading about how tormented he was when he saw his followers being shot down as well as his thoughts when he was just a boy, it also made me sad.

I also think Faile didn't take any pleasure in the killing. She was sad too. The man had obviously lost his sanity and needed to be put down literally like a rabid dog and she did what Perrin might not have been able to do.

I'd like to say that little scene again shows how badass of a writer Jordan can be. Faile's character went up several notches in my book the way she handled things here.

All in all, this was by far one of the best Prologues in the series and it gets me VERY excited for the last three books. I'm praying that as I read Brandon's work I get lost in the characters and story and don't get distracted by the tonal shift in style. I'm also hoping that Harriet is able to smooth out some of those differences as she edits.

Certainly from a STORY point of view, this looks like everything I could have hoped for after waiting over TWO DECADES for all the payoffs to start happening. I happier than a pig in dirt so to speak . . .

27. Abe1
That gut feeling I'm getting about Demandred, and a possible connection to the Borderland army just went up a few bars.

@26. dfchang813

Who is the 5th great captain?
Sharon Asbury
28. Dreadlady
It was Pedron Naill, the deceased Lord Captain Commander of the White Cloaks.
Joseph Blaidd
29. SteelBlaidd
dfchang813 @26
Re: your first point.

Except Rand doesn't know about the cultural hang ups. Mat might but he isn't there. Besides which its not just some random person, it's the highest ranking Sul'dam of a group that was the sole escort of what they thought was the Seanchen Heir I would assume she is authorized to approach the DotNM too. Any one else he sent might have to work his way through flunkies first and then explain the whole unlikely story. He probably figures the Sul'dam is more likely to be believed as she already has a trusted position.
Christopher Sandoval
30. crsandoval
Does anyone know if you can buy the prologue and then just print it out and read it that way?
S Diller
31. CuenDiller

With Jasons early review of the book, we can guess that Greandal succeeds in Moridins requests, and will take him to a place we could not even guess. But I can't wait until Cadsuane will teach him what he needs to learn.

you know, I never even tried to guess where Demondred was, but with the borderlander army is as good, if not better, then any.

Faile kicks ass!

oh yeah...I wonder who posted as Rand to Masema? Very interesting
32. Hopper
Moridin's hand! The possible implications of this give me chivers.
33. dms
Wow, i just bought it. I caved. Also, just 32 pages?? I read somewhere that it was long enough to justify the price. guess not. sigh. oh well, i think i shall go comfort myself by actually reading it now.
Elroy Skimms
34. elroyskimms
I'm not here to bitch about the $2.99 I paid for the Prologue. I gladly paid for it, because I wanted to read it. I'm not here to bitch about the format. I have no kindle so I downloaded the Barnes & Noble free eReader on my PC. I want to discuss the Prologue. That said:


1) I HEART FAILE. I've always thought of her as an interesting, but otherwise meaningless character. She has now made every page of her existence worth it. Masema should have died a long time ago. Kudos to her for offing him and all of his entourage. They were worse than Darkfriends. Darkfriends at least have a cause to support, albeit an evil super-being, but at least they have something. Masema's people raped and murdered because they could do it and get away with it. Glad to see them dead.

2) I noticed Moridin looking at his left hand, the same hand that Rand is now missing. I remember reading discussions about some sort of link between Rand and Moridin after they cross streams in Shadar Logoth. Graendal noticed that Moridin looks a little like Rand as well, which is something I don't recall reading about earlier. I wonder if the link between them is changing Moridin? His left hand is stiff and painful, only mentioned after Rand has his hand blown off. And now, we hear for the first time that Moridin is starting to look like Rand.

3) I read about the sword in Chapter 1, but it did not get mentioned in the Prologue that I can recall. So, we have to figure out on our own where it came from, or perhaps it will be revealed later in TGS. Any ideas on where it could have come from? A "centuries old" sword with a painted dragon on it that was "unearthed" recently and "they" gave it to Rand as a gift. And the sword was known to Rand from his own memories, while "they" did not know what it was. Any theories on that? Yes, I know it was in Chapter 1, but I was hoping for a reveal in the Prologue.

Could it be Justice? Though I don't know why Artur Hawkwing would have a dragon painted sword. But at least it would explain how Rand saw it, when the Heroes responded to the Horn of Valere. TGH only describes it as, "his great sword Justice at his side." Though I doubt Artur Hawkwings tomb and "great sword" would be forgotten about and unrecognizable. Then again, it was about 1,000 years old at that time, so it is possible. The Dragon painting is on the scabard, so perhaps the paint was added before giving it to Rand, as I doubt the paint and scabard were "power wrought." If Hawkwing's blade was "power wrought", it would easily last a thousand years or more. But a power wrought scabard? Sounds a bit frivolous.

Or perhaps Rand saw the sword in his trip to Rhuidean? But Rhuidean is mostly about the Aiel, and even when they fought, they only used spears. So I don't think the sword memory came from there. I will stick with the Justice theory.

"And men cried out to the Creator, praying, O Light of the Heavens, Light of the World, let the Promised One be born of the mountain, according to the Prophecies, as he was in Ages past and will be in Ages to come. Let the Prince of the Morning sing to the land that green things will grow and the valleys give forth lambs. Let the arm of the Lord of the Dawn shelter us from the Dark, and the great sword of justice defend us. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time." (emphasis mine)

Dick Fister
35. Sayle420
i am really sick of the money grab thats occured with this final book. it is not cool.
36. Hopper

Fortunately its not the final book, so we get to grab more money!


The thing I always liked most about Faile was that I saw in her the potential to do these kind of awesome things. Routinely pulling out her knives when somebody threatens Perrin felt like more then just an idle threat to me. Glad to see Masema finally gets his. I was surprised to see RJ cut to the chase so quickly with it, but definitely heaved a sigh of relief to see that plotline wrapped up.

I agree that the sword is Justice. I just can't think of any other sword mentioned in the book that would be significant enough for Rand to recognize. But there are some other possibilities that float to mind, such as that one guy they always talk about being the best swordsman of all time (beaten only by a farmer w/ a quarterstaff, took on 10 people at once... that guy). Don't remember his name off hand, but he has been mentioned enough that I could see him being somehow relevant to the plotline. But Justice holds more water for me. ...Which is hard to do for a sword.
Dick Fister
37. Sayle420
well i'm glad this has worked out for Tor so well.
Henry Loose
38. schrodinger
I don't care how much money I have to pay, I'm going to finish this series and then re-read it about 100 times (I just can't believe I have to wait 2 more years to start though). The first chapter and the prologue where exactly what I needed to keep from going insane; just enough to get me excited about the release of GS and just enough to assuage my addiction to this series. I hope that Sanderson will continue to do the excellent work that he has done on the first chapter (I really doubt that the prologue was any other than RJ).
39. Taable
@36 & 34

I agree that it is Justice. I'm not sure who gave it to him, but I think it will be what ties the Seanchan to him before the Last Battle. They surely will recognize it when he finally meets them.

I hope Tylee makes it. Her POV when the Trollocs jump out, not knowing what they were, was great. Such a common theme with RJ books is for the reader to want to shout to the character in situations like this.

About the Chosen gathering. Far Eastern Blight? Malkier anyone? About Moridin/Rand weirdness. The first thing that came to mind is that LTT voice started after Ishy's non healing brand. Any chance Moridin is faking being LTTs voice through that to help/get Rand to trust it? That connection could explain the Makeover and burning hand. And don't tell me that Semirhage supported the voice being real. Being a forsaken, and in league with Moridin, she lies.
Drew Riley
40. drewoftherushes
@30 The B&N E-Book Reader certainly won't let you print it, and if I had to guess I'm pretty sure nobody else will let you either.

There will undoubtedly be pirated copies from more tech-savvy users floating around soon, but I'm certainly just paying and reading right now.
Christopher Sandoval
41. crsandoval
thanks drew i guess i will have to download the reader.
Sarah Litchfield
42. sklitch
I managed to get it in the UK 24hrs ago from No problem. I had to dl the Adobe digital reader but that was no problem either (its free). IMHO $3 isn't much really. I thought it was totally worth it.

The Adobe digital editions reader also lets you print it.

As for the prologue itself. Wow! Yay to Faile, I hated Masema, thanks goodness he won't be irritating me in the last 3 books. Now just get rid of Fain as quickly and I'll be very happy.

This has got me totally pumped about the remaining books. I can't wait.
43. stargazer
I guess I'm a bit confused why there's so much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the supposed "money grab" with this one. First off, if you don't want to buy it, then don't! They're offering a bonus option, the ability to read this now before the book comes out, and it seems only fair to pay a bit for that.

I really can't begrudge Tor and their associates any attempt to make some money, especially in these days. Here we all are, on this web site they've provided us with (for free), having discussions in these forums (for free_, enjoying Leigh's readalong (for free)... _Somebody's_ got to pay the bills around here, after all. And really, three bucks isn't that much - I just paid more than twice that for a sandwich, y'know? Yes, I understand there are folks who are really hurting financially these days. But three dollars for a completely optional sneak peek just doesn't seem worth getting so upset about.

Peace, folks. After all - with the storm coming, we really can't afford to be fighting these people right now. ;-)
Drew Riley
44. drewoftherushes
And really, of all evil corporations to support, Tor is probably the least evil.
Jacy Clark
45. Amalisa
stargazer@43 and drewoftherushes@44:

Well said, both of you... :)
46. Hopper

I like Tylee too, but it was definitely cool to finally see some Seanchan vs. Trolloc action. This plus her thoughts on Perrin before the attack are good steps towards peace with the Seanchan. Although I'm sure having Mat being married to Tuon helps more, at least now there is a little proof that for them that, hey, there is something a little bit more nasty we could be focusing on fighting right now.
47. brad21088
Dang, people, quit the whining! This is simple economics. Tor doesn't owe any of us anything. They're a business providing a good, and it's your choice to pay for that good or not. Value isn't objective: I would've paid more than $3 personally, some of you would buy it only for less than $3, some wouldn't pay anything. Just like any other good! This isn't a barter and trade economy; Tor sets the price and you either pay or don't. Complaining is pointless and makes you look incredibly stupid.

Now, to discussion of the prologue (spoilers below):

Sooooo glad Masema died. Couldn't stand him. He represented everything that's wrong with religious fundamentalism. Faile continues to rock my socks.

I'm really starting to... not like, but... respect Graendal, in a way. She's one of the most badass of the bad guys. She's a cold, calculating, lascivious b*tch of course, but that's part of what makes her work as an antagonist. Compare her with Damendred, who is mildly insane and wants to rip the world apart just to get revenge on someone who happened to be more talented than he. What a loser. At least Graendal has the excuse of being pure evilness.
48. Miythrandir
dfchang813 @ 26

Excellent comments. Common sense would indeed seem to dictate that Ituralde is being patriotic and just defending his country. However, he meets up with Lady Basene in LoC chapter 6 (Graendal in disguise) and with her uber compulsion skills, I'd be surprised if she didn't work some mojo on him. Additionally, she forged a letter impersonating King Alsalam and had it given to Ituralde in attempts to cause chaos (TPoD ch. 12). Maybe she knows that Rand wants/needs peace with the Seanchan in order for the light to triumph at Tarmon Gaidon, and she's doing everything she can to prevent that by wiping out the Seanchan. Essentially, she's having the good guys take out the good guys. My suspicion is that we'll see this teased out further a bit in TGS.
49. altarego
It's too bad that the "insights" that people are exclaiming over are rather ham-fisted attempts of BS to expound upon the ideas that RJ layed down. I totally got the feel of RJ and his style w/re to the farmer in the Borderlands. It felt objective and removed, more in tune with the reader.

Once we hit the DF social, however, it all went to shit. The characterizations were unbelievable, Moridin acting like a petulant child. The whole basis for the meeting was ridiculous attempt at exposition and obtuse foreshadowing. I felt like I was being spoon fed the story.

Oh, and Brandon repeats Brandon's words regarding Brandon's ideas with proper names for Rand and Moridin and Greandal and Graendal's plans regarding Moridin's machinations regarding Rand...over and over and over...

Sanderson needs to realize we can read a few lines without reminding us that a particular character is talking or that he has to ask the same damn question 5 times internally before he suddenly changes him mind.

Look, having different voices is one thing - but that doesn't explain bad writing skills.
50. altarego
Oh, and for those of you gushing over the Faile/Masema thread - please, spare me. This part pissed me off most of all.

While the cold-blooded murder of Masema is within the character dynamic of Faile, it is *not* within her character to turn this into a public display complete with implied maniacal laugh.

And did we really need to see 4-5 pages of Masema, the supposed ruler of tens of thousands of Dragonsworn, reduced to a repentent, pants-peeing, little worm? The man is *Shienaran* if nothing else. Come on Brandon! Stop looking to your own imagination to make up character traits. Look to previous incarnations of characters (i.e. Ingtar, Lan, Agelmar, Bashere).

You can write with your own voice, but remember, the world rules don't suddenly change for you.
Alice Arneson
51. Wetlandernw
Okay, I just concluded that I'm probably not going to bother reading any of the discussions of the new stuff. Some (few) of you have had some good stuff to say, and I enjoy reading those, so I might just read those. (Hey, they're mostly folks I recognize from Leigh's reread. That might be an easy way to sort!) But all these people getting huffy about Mr. Sanderson's writing, or Tor actually making money (it's a business, duh!) get really old really fast. IIRC, the prologue was written entirely by Mr. Jordan, so accusing Mr. Sanderson of messing this up is pretty silly. If you want to know the end of the story, read it. If you just want to moan about "it's not RJ" then don't bother reading - or commenting.
52. altarego
@51. Wetlandernw

Please. All you have to do is go back and read the first 10-15 pages or so of Brandon's angst-ridden books (Elantris, Mistborn) and you'll see the direct comparison of styles. I bet I could pick out 90% of the lines written by either author out of the prologue.

More importantly, I've recently identified my bone to pick with BS's style: he writes too much like his books for his YA audience. That's where the endless angst, internalization, and constant bludgeoning of exposition comes in. I don't think BS realizes that his audience isn't 14 or 15yo, matter how much he thinks he is.
Alice Arneson
53. Wetlandernw
elroyskimms@34 - has now made every page of her existence worth it. - LOL! I've always more or less liked her, though like most she has her irritating moments, but this really caught me by surprise. Not sure why, but it did. But yes, I'm glad he's finally done causing trouble. At least directly. He's done so much damage already. *sigh*

FWIW, the dragon was painted on the scabbard, not the sword. I'm definitely confused, though; I was counting on the prologue giving us the clue as to where it came from. Guess we'll be waiting another 39 days...

Hopper @ 36 - Yeah, you're right that Faile's ability to do this kind of thing has been foreshadowed pretty thoroughly, so I don't know why I was so surprised. Guess I didn't expect it to come so baldly, a short scene in a prologue. Maybe because the most recent stuff involving her was so very... involved. :>

sklitch @ 42 - ...thanks goodness won't be irritating me in the last 3 books. Now just get rid of Fain as quickly and I'll be very happy. With you on that. I can see Fain's importance to the plot and all, but he just makes my skin crawl. Loathe that guy. *shudder*

altarego @ 52: My last response to you, if you choose to continue in this vein. I have not had opportunity to read Elantris yet, but have completed the Mistborn trilogy, and enjoyed it very much. It certainly is stylistically different, but that detracts nothing from his being a fine storyteller. Mr. Sanderson was born 37 years after Mr. Rigney, "out west" (Nebraska) instead of in the "old South" (South Carolina). Those two differences make all the difference in their writing styles, and it's silly to expect anything else.

If you really dislike Mr. Sanderson's writing that much, don't read it. (For that matter, if you dislike it that much, why did you read Elantris and Mistborn? Geez, dude.) He has said quite clearly that he's not going to try to imitate Mr. Jordan's style, for which I personally am grateful. Even a good attempt would have its problems, so it's much better for him to write in his own style. After all, those best qualified (and with the authority) to do so chose Mr. Sanderson to finish the series based on his existing work, and I'm happy to think they made a good choice. If you want to spend your time picking at it to prove you can differentiate between every word either author wrote... well, you must have a whole lot more free time than I do. And if I had the time, I sure wouldn't waste it being bitter that Brandon Sanderson isn't Jim Rigney. Get over it. If you wait long enough, someone is bound to do a recap that will give you the plot without having to force yourself to read something so obviously painful to you.
Alice Arneson
54. Wetlandernw
dms @ 33 By the way, my version is 60 pages text, 64 pages with all the titles and stuff. I used the Barnes & Noble ereader. I'm guessing it maybe depends on where you bought it and how it fits their reader.

Edit: And that's what I get for not testing something before I post... the number of pages on BNereader (and I expect most readers) depends on the size you choose for your text and window. The joys of ebooks. Guess we can find out how many pages the print version has in a few more weeks.
Henry Loose
55. schrodinger
@50 first, not murder, justifiable self-defense, of herself and perrin. second, Masema is insane; INSANE! he's not going to have rational thought processes, and, if you will recall, being around rand in The Dragon Reborn pretty much turned Masema into a hero-worshiping child, not capable of anything but being insane, as his entire world as he knew it was turned upside down. Thirdly, his forces were decimated in KoD, and he thought the "Lord Dragon" would protect them and he didn't, so I think he had a right to be a little shaken than usual. Finally, I really doubt that this was sanderson writing this, Jordan would have wanted to set the tone of the book the way he wanted to.
Henry Loose
56. schrodinger
@ anyone complaining about BS. The guy may not be a perfect copy of Robert Jordan, but the fact remains that he was chosen by Robert Jordan and his wife to finish the series because his style was the closest they could find to Jordan's own, and that he would, as a fan of the series, not take any major creative liberties that Jordan would not approve of. Also, as Sanderson has already said, his main influence in his career has been Robert Jordan, so essentially, instead of Pepsi, we're getting Diet Pepsi (in the sense that one is lighter than the other, not that one is worse ;) ). If you go around looking for differences to complain about, then I'm sure you will find some, but if you go into it with an open mind, it will be an enjoyable experience. Besides, as they say on AMC: story matters here. the author's style is not all important, and if you can't get past that, well, shallowness never really brought anyone much happiness anyway. Have fun, or not, it's your call, but I know that I will be heading north, to march for Tarmon Gai'don, no matter who leads the way.
57. Freelancer
Complaining about paying for something; childish and shallow. Do, or don't. If $3 is a burden, then you aren't likely among those who will be buying the hardback when it hits, even at a discount store. But the larger point is, the complete book is out in just over a month now, if you can't wait that long to read the prologue then pay; if you refuse to pay, then wait. Don't whine about a business doing business.

Complaining about Brandon Sanderson's writing in the prologue; misguided. He and Harriet might have touched this up, but this isn't Brandon's writing. The very detailed plot outlines, if not the precise words, are Robert Jordan's. The prologue was written before Brandon had been named. Harriet approves everything, if you have a complaint, she should be the target, not the man commissioned to do the work.

And on to the story...

Tylee is definitely going to have a part in solidifying the truce. She isn't sure what's happening yet, but she gets it. There's something bigger afoot than the Corenne, and as she says, We can't afford to be fighting these people. I'm sorry she lost her First Seargent, Mishima. He was a good man.

Moridin has become Rand's Corsican brother? And does it work the other way? Does Rand sense anything felt by Ishamael? No, Moridin isn't faking being LTT. He would have to be spending every waking hour figuring out when to "say" something as LTT in Rand's head, and there's no way Ishamael's ego could stand moaning about Ilyena.

Demandred's rule remains a mystery. It isn't likely to be the Black Tower. Taim is Moridin's minion if anyone's. This chapter makes clear how prominent he likes his black/red motif, and that is what has happen to the Black Tower. Moridin wouldn't be pleased with Demandred co-opting that, either as a ruse or for his own pleasure, and Demandred has too much pride to pretend to be another forsaken, when who in this age would be recognizing Moridin's theme anyway? No, we still don't know Demandred's lair.

I'm personally disappointed in the way Masema dies, for two reasons. First, it doesn't raise Faile's stock in my mind, it lowers it. Second, I wanted very much for him to face Rand and hear that he was wrong from this flesh and blood person he chose to pretend to follow. I wanted him, able to understand or not, to hear that he had done evil, had never been serving the Light as the prophet, before he died. I didn't want him asking the question if he had done well or had failed as he died, but to be wondering how he had gotten it all so wrong.
Hugh Hill
58. ghenjei
@52: while I generally do not subscribe to anti-BS views, I think your criticsm here is, while harshly put, the best summation of any problems I have with BS's writing (I read Elantris and the Mistborn trilogy when I heard he was filling RJ's immense shoes).

He does aim too much for the YA, angsty, Twighlight teen audience and that sneaks into his characters even when he tries not to.

That being said, I am enormously grateful to BS for doing such a FANTASTIC job. No one can write characters like RJ, but BS is really doing yeoman work here.

Sword: I really hope it's NOT justice. It would be too neat and deus ex machina for a storyteller of RJ's caliber. (TURAK! TURAK!)
59. MasterAlThor
Wow Wetlander and Free.

You put the hammer down much? I agree with the both of enough said about such.

I think I would have like to see Rand face down Masema. It would have been nice to see him wet himself in front of Rand.

Faile's killing him didn't really do anything for me. I don't think this makes up for her horrible personality. Yeah she loves Perrin but she doesn't treat him with the respect he deserves.

Demandred: I need to find him and kill him, kill them all. Wha? Oh sorry about that. Ummmm yeah. I'm gonna go now.

David Gibson
60. DrG
Quick question... Does it make me a terrible person that I since I can't download any e-readers out here (still in Afghanistan...) or buy the prologue, that I feel I am forced to read all these comments in order to glean the tiniest bit of insight to what is to come? Its killing me that I don't get to read the full text yet! Guess I'll just have to enjoy Leigh's Re-read that much more until I get home! Just in time for the real thing, might I add!
61. isriam
First, I have not had the ability of reading the prologue - not because I object to the nominal charge of $3.00 (tor is a business), but because I have not the means of paying on line for the copy. I have been reading the comments however. If I recall correctly, RJ wrote the entire prologue to A Memory of Light prior to his death. And even if he didn't the enormity of the task taken on by Mr. Sanderson is daunting. RJ's shoes are impossible to fill. The fact that Brandon is willing to try speaks volumns of his respect for RJ. To nit-pic Mr. Sanderson's writing by comparing it word by word to RJ's is disrespectful to both writers - in my opinion. Personally, I am grateful that Harriet was able to find someone as competent as Brandon to complete RJ's work and finish the story for us readers. Just my opinion everyone.
Hugh Hill
62. ghenjei

Help out DrG and send him a free copy! We owe him as he's in flaming Afghanistan.


I agree. A Rand / Masema confrontation would have been awesome, but the revelation that he was being controlled by one of the Foresaken was a nice consolation prize. The general consensus is that it was Demandred speaking to him in his dreams, right?
63. celestialblight
@62. Ghenjei: I just assumed that it was moridin pretending to be rand, that stirred masema into a rage over killing Perrin... but thats because Ishy is the forsaken that likes to play mind games where as I always thought demandred was a lil more straight forward than that. And Moridin is also the one that wanted Matt and Perrin killed as well and in the previous books the other forsaken didn't care about them at all, and imo moridin would have been driving masema into a fervor for quite awhile now
Alice Arneson
64. Wetlandernw
Freelancer @ 57 - You make a good point about the way Masema dies. My first reaction was just basic relief that he was gone, never to make me want to loose the Fist of Death again. (I react badly to any scene involving Masema or Fain - they just push all the wrong buttons for me. They're supposed to, I know, but AAARRRGGGGHHHHH!) So I was first just happy to know that he was dead, and it would only be the after-effects to be dealt with now. But... now that you had to go and say it, I agree that it would have been nice to have him face the fact that he'd made things much worse for the man he thought he'd been serving.

On the other hand, he was certifiably insane, so someone might have had to do an Ishy on him to make him sane enough to realize what he'd done. Or possibly, given that he's obviously been getting visions and directions from a Forsaken impersonating the DR, he might not have even recognized Rand when they met, and could well have denounced him as an imposter. Not that it would have made a lot of difference to Rand or most of his followers, but it would certainly have created more chaos. It's definitely less dramatic this way (is there such a thing as anti-drama?) but the possible complications of doing it any other way are kind of overwhelming to contemplate. So... I don't really mind this conclusion. It's sad, but it's done. (Like, if I minded, anything would change? Silly kids.)

BTW, from that first description of where the Forsaken were meeting, did anyone else initially think they were at the BT for a few lines? It obviously didn't fit Andor after a few sentences, but right at first...

Master Al'Thor @ 59 VBWG (I don't know if anyone uses that any more: very big wicked grin.)

I'm the first to admit I noticed a widely different style in reading chapter 1, and found it disconcerting for a few paragraphs, but I think the bitter complaining is just assinine. It reminds me of the quote from Himself, the one time he let himself go at a grouchy reader:
... A fellow once wrote me a long screed, back around The Great Hunt or perhaps The Dragon Reborn, complaining bitterly, and I do mean bitterly, about the complexity of the plots making the books unreadable. I shouldn’t have done it, but I wrote back suggesting that he try The Velveteen Rabbit as more his speed. In my defense, I can only say that it was late in the day, and I was tired.
It's kind of the way I feel about all the moaning, both regarding the sale of the prologue and the style of Sanderson's writing. Either get over it or just go find something else to do. Play with your toes or something. Or read The Velveteen Rabbit.

And for those who are wondering (or not) you might like to see what Mr. Sanderson has to say on the book 13 title and the prologue/first chapter releases.
Paul Usselman
65. pined
I have to go through the entire process, with some of these retailers, and at the very end, they tell you they can't or won't send it to Canada.
Don't send me promotional e-mail for products that aren't available to me.
66. Shadow_Jak
At last! Bless the Creator(s). it's so good to feed my WOT addiction, after the long long wait.
Just a couple of morsels... but still it's great!

Couple of quick thoughts...







Tylee's POV. The description of her attackers...
Were they indeed Trollocs?
The description isn't what we usually see. No mention of their size other than "something enormous charged through the underbrush". Otherwise...
She launched herself at the man who had tried to kill her...she saw what he was. Not quite a man--instead some creature with twisted features, the head covered in course brown hair, the too-wide forehead wrinkled with think skin...

After her initial surprise and being thrown (probably saving her life), she handles it with only two swords strokes.
She sees hundreds more, but no further mention of there size and no mention of individual differences among them.
Also no mention of fades leading them.

Could this be a new form of shadow-spawn?
Part of Demandred's army perhaps?

Also, from Graendal's POV, Moridin actually sent Semi to capture Rand!!!
That's a bit of a shocker for me.
Kristina Blake
67. kab1
okay thanks again to wet and free for your comments on all the whining. I was appalled at the amount of whining when I had first entered the thread. I've stayed away until now hoping that people might actually start commenting on the read. I do agree however that it's a bummer if you can't get it in countries outside of the US/UK.

As far as the writing not feeling like RJ, um yeah, I thought is sounded exactly like RJ at the beginning of a book. The beginnings of all the books are a bit "bumpy" as there is often introduction of characters/plot arcs that aren't necessary for the fanatics, but are important for the casual reader of the series.

While (as I said before) I was glad to see Masema's plot line wrapped up I do agree with Free @57 in that I was a bit disappointed that we didn't get to see a confrontation between him and Rand. I've been irritated by that whole thing (lack of a Rand/Masema confrontation) ever since Masema refused to travel to see Rand, but then did travel to save Faile. But, I guess it makes sense if we now know that one of the forsaken was urging him to kill Perrin. I will miss Rand putting the smack down on him for all of the violent acts Masema allowed/ordered in the name of the Dragon Reborn.

I was surprised that it was Faile that killed him. While I do feel that it was within her character, the whole scene was a bit shocking, can't quite put my finger on why.

As far as the sword being Justice. meh. I know Hawkwing was great and all, but if it does turn out to be Justice it's just kind boring (should have just had Rand say the name and left out the mystery).

The whole Mordin/Rand parallels arc just blew me away. So many possibilites there. I'm really now thinking (like others) that Moridin's Saa have something to do with Rand's eye problems. At first I thought it was just from the brightness of Semirage's fireball, but this is making me rethink that. Although he first feels something is wrong with his eyes only after that attack, correct?
When was the last time Nyn (or anyone) delved Rand? Was it Nyn in Camlyn? Was he delved/healed after the cleansing?
Susan Brownhill
68. SusanB
LOVED IT!!!!! So worth the $3. I do feel bad for those in other countries who don't have the opportunity for a sneak peak. It has certainly peaked my interest for the whole book.

I loved the scene w/Faile & Massema. I think it was perfect. Very much in Faile's character. She was protecting her husband. Masema wanted to kill Perrin & would try again if given the opportunity. Perrin would never authorize his murder (even though it should be done) so Faile took care of it. If Masema had threatened Faile, Perrin would have killed him.

@26...great comments I hadn't thought of the saa/vision relationship, but I think you are right.

As a few others have posted i too think Moridin is in Malkier. I also loved the Suldam point of view. It was great to see Rand from a stranger's view point.

Now I have to go reread KOD & the prologue again before TGS comes out.
aaron thompson
69. trench
Just finished the prologue and first chapter, and it was awesome. Especially since it was my first real WOT fix in 4 years. Im glad I was able to hold off of reading chapter 1 till the prologue was released, didnt want to read them out of order, it took inhuman patience.

First off i didnt have any trouble getting into the story, the voice never felt off to me, and i was swept back into Randland with ease.

That opening scene with the shienerian farmer was great and set the mood up wonderfully.
The storm is coming
The storm is coming

The scene with Falendre was great, it was nice to see Rand from an outsiders perspective. He has grown way to hard.

Tylee's encounter with the Trollocs caught me off gaurd, I never realised that Seandar had no Trollocs there. It was a great scene and I thought she might have feelings for Perrin (hope Fail dont stick a knife in her heart to). I think we saw some foreshadowing that she will help get the truce with the Seanchan. Im going to miss Mishima though.

Grendal just replaced Ishy as my favorite forsaken. Her Pov rocked and the way she delighted in watching Messana and Demandred squirm while trying to get Morridin's help was just fun. Poor Semirhage isnt gonna get a rescue, and apparently hurting Rand hurts Moridin to. I definetly think Rands vision problem stems from Moridins saa. I bet it'll be Grendal who makes Rand run around the yard shaking his fist at the sky.

Rodel's scene was great, i've been waiting for the Seanchan to fall into his trap for 3 books.

And we got are first Masema pov, which will also be our last Massma pov. He definetly deserved it, but I ended feeling bad for nut case. Fail was awesome but she has a long way to go to be redeemed in my eyes.

over a month to go, and then we wait for ToM.

The Storm is coming
The Storm is coming...
William Fettes
70. Wolfmage
Really enjoyed the prologue. Lots of nice POVs. Loved Tylee's first experience with Trollocs as was foreshadowed, and the Foresaken meeting was great. The hints about Morridin's link with Rand were interesting, and I love how Graendal sees herself as more sophisticated than the other Chosen. Maybe she will underestimate Messana after-all though - who we know very little about.

I disagree that Masema's death was disappointing. While a confrontation with Rand might have been somewhat more emotionally satisfying, I don't think it was necessary at all. Rand has far bigger fish to fry than Mesama, who is really a lower order problem more suitable for Perrin's league. I think it's always been written that way - same as the legacy Two Rivers stuff in tSR. Rand can't deal with everything. In terms of resolution, we know he was insane, and that he died in a fog confusion with the hint he may have been manipulated. I thought the climactic recollection of his sword-name-day was touching, and added a fitting bit of pathos for his highly flawed character. Doing it this way also helped redeem Faile for me. I realise that by design we're not expected to like every character, but I think the way she was written probably created exaggerated reader alienation of both her and Perrin than was really strictly desirable. I also know from his blog that BS was acutely aware of this as a reader himself, so I think he probably helped make that decision. Hopefully she continues to have a positive impact and I can start enjoying their plot arcs more.

I really enjoyed the style and pacing of the prologue though. It has elements of BS I really liked, like the faster pace with fewer embellishments (excluding the farmer scene which went a little long), but I'm not at all surprised RJ was more heavily involved in this than Chapter 1 which was clearly mostly BS. Hopefully some of the other important sections will benefit from that same blended style as well, as I think it works really well. I thought it was perfect.
Alice Arneson
71. Wetlandernw
Wolfmage @ 70 - Hey, hold on there! Not everyone dislikes Perrin and Faile. Some do - excessively - but some of us like them. :)

But... I totally agree with you that Mr. Sanderson will do an excellent job. I'm very much looking forward to the book!
William Fettes
72. Wolfmage
Wetlandernw @ 71

I know, but you must realise Faile is probably one of the least liked characters in the books from the upper tier counterparts of the Super Boys. Most of the fan sites I frequent confirm that this is a pretty common sentiment, and it's not just like other strong characters, such as Nynaneve, who polarise people both ways. I don't think that's an accident. Like or not, many people find her pretty annoying and her presence to be a taint on their enjoyment of Perrin. For example, I bet if you graph aggregate fan ratings of Perrin over the course of the books, his numbers would take a steady dive downwards, with the exception of the the Two Rivers campaign.
Daniel Berdine
73. rothaar
The style is different, but I'm not convinced it is entirely the change in author. Or, if it is, that this is a bad thing.

This is the beginning of the end, things are winding down, wrapping up, coming to a head. We see the characters start to behave differently as the feel this finality approaching. In the prologue, we see the farmers drawn inexplicably to the north. They pick up and go in a fashion that is obviously entirely out of character, and also completely different than the previous "the Dragon Reborn breaks all ties" wandering we've seen in the past.

I think we can all agree that if there is any part of the prologue and 1st chapter that was written by Jordan, its the farmers. So the theme of this being a turning point for behavior as well as the struggle is set intentionally.

As for the exposition: we have often learned significant new tidbits in the prologue that send a collective "oooooh!!" throughout the fanbase. Unlike RJs prose during the main body of text, these facts are often laid out quite clearly and deliberately. I felt like the prologue fit this perfectly. In addition, it seemed like all the characters, as well as events, were angling towards conclusion. Faile's scene was the most obvious, but we also see the agents of evil *finally* forming into some sort of cohesive force. The Forsaken exhibit the same crisper, moving forward change in action and dialog.

Given that all of this is established in the almost certainly Jordan-heavy prologue, it seems to me that is a large portion of what people are seeing as a voice change in Chapter 1.

That said, word choice and flow are clearly different and it does feel a little different. As expected. Not nearly enough material to condemn, if you don't like it, or celebrate, if you do. I'm happy so far, and going to try not to obsess over the issue.

Ituralde is probably under very subtle compulsion. He was exposed to Graendal and she knew who he was, and his actions are consistent with her orders and goals. However, they are also 100% consistent with what he would likely do anyway. I remember reading in one of the forsaken POVs that the best results with compulsion were those that coincided with what a person wanted to do anyway (I believe this was Moghedien telling Liandrin to Live) and elsewhere that the less used, the more creativity the subject retained. Graendal would have wanted to use a very light touch to preserve the efficacy of a brilliant general who wanted to do pretty much what she wanted, anyway.

Moridin/Rand connection: My thought reading this was not that they became linked by the BF crossing (tho that obviously did some funky things) but rather that as the "Avatars" (for lack of a better word) of the Dark/Light, they are linked together in some way. It has been strongly suggested that the dark cannot win outright unless the "Dragon" changes sides, and there has been a prohibition against killing rand since well before the BF incident (we have taken at face value that Moridin protected Rand from Sammael to uphold these orders). Perhaps the reason for those orders and the reason the dark needs him are one and the same: the avatars are linked. If Rand is killed (even before the BFing), they both die, and the wheel turns on without the DO breaking free entirely (tho perhaps his lesser minions manage to take over the entire world and rule it for a long long time).
74. Freelancer
Faile's summary execution of Masema does not raise her stock as a quality character. That she must "prevent her husband from doing the wrong thing", proves her lack of faith in his judgement. This is so not about whether Masema needed to die. If people's dislike of Faile stemmed from her manipulation of Perrin and her abuse of his kinder, gentler ways, this event should maximize their displeasure with her. Perrin's orders to the Wise Ones, the Aes Sedai and the Asha'man were to not harm Masema until he could be brought to Rand to be dealt with. While he would have been fine with Masema and all his men dying in the attack on Malden, that's wholly different than ambushing him yourself. The "Faile knows best" attitude was tolerable as long as it aided him in accomplishing his established goals, but this crosses several lines.

From a plot satisfaction standpoint, a three-book long arc that was founded upon Masema's acceptance of Rand's "invitation" but refusal to use a gateway, ending in his death at Faile's hands, and behind Perrin's back, this is very poor to me.


The "linked avatar" theory is interesting, and would have merit but for one issue. Ishamael died, was slain by Rand. If they were "eternally" linked as the champions of Light/shadow, then they should have both died then. Moridin is Nae'blis, but he is not the Dark One's earthly proxy. If anyone, that is Shaidar Haran.

It is commonly believed that Moridin knew what he was doing in crossing balefire streams while striking at Mashadar, intentionally forming a bridge between the two. It is after this that Rand begins seeing the face in his mind, and it is clearly not LTT, because LTT sees it as well, and is afraid. It is a third entity that was not there before.
William Fettes
75. Wolfmage
Freelancer @ 74

"Faile's summary execution of Masema does not raise her stock as a quality character. That she must "prevent her husband from doing the wrong thing", proves her lack of faith in his judgement."

I'd say it goes with the territory that if you think the act raises Faile's stock, then you probably don’t think Perrin judgement was correct in this instance. At some level it might be a betrayal, sure, but reasonable minds obviously differ about whether it was a real abrogation of the relationship as opposed to a necessary evil. Coming from the latter perspective, Masema's viewpoint certainly makes clear that left unmolested he would have simply gone forth and continued to proselytise elsewhere, starting a new cycle of violence and chaos. So the line must be drawn somewhere, and I don't think Perrin's decision was prudent in that regard.

"This is so not about whether Masema needed to die."

Well, he might be killed at another time on other terms. But Faile clearly didn’t feel that was a chance worth taking.

"If people's dislike of Faile stemmed from her manipulation of Perrin and her abuse of his kinder, gentler ways, this event should maximize their displeasure with her."

See, I think that’s part of it, but it isn’t just Perrin-centric loyalty and aversion to manipulation which makes her unpopular. Moiraine, Verin, and Siuan are all super manipulative yet remain fan favourites. In fact, I’d warrant a guess that many feel Faile subtle manipulations toward the fulfilment of the Lord Perrin Goldeneyes set-piece were up there with her best moments.

My reasons for disliking Faile have mainly centred on the fact that she is often immature, blowing up over trivialities and nonsense jealousies. Also, just the fact in both her presence and absence she drives an otherwise sensible character in Perrin to distraction, thus belabouring my efforts to read his increasingly neurotic and confused thoughts. I don't think she so much does wrong by him, she's just petty and makes him a struggle to read or care about.

Admittedly some of that is 'meta', but either way Faile killing Masema doesn't amplify or interact with those annoyances. Indeed, Masema himself was an annoying character within an annoying side plot, so in that sense Faile ending his life creates a nice bookend of surgical zero-sum gain.

"Perrin's orders to the Wise Ones, the Aes Sedai and the Asha'man were to not harm Masema until he could be brought to Rand to be dealt with. While he would have been fine with Masema and all his men dying in the attack on Malden, that's wholly different than ambushing him yourself. The "Faile knows best" attitude was tolerable as long as it aided him in accomplishing his established goals, but this crosses several lines."

I don't see how this should affect my evaluation, if I have no fidelity to Perrin's orders just because they're Perrin's orders. I think Faile does well to disregard them.

"From a plot satisfaction standpoint, a three-book long arc that was founded upon Masema's acceptance of Rand's "invitation" but refusal to use a gateway, ending in his death at Faile's hands, and behind Perrin's back, this is very poor to me. "

I can see how that might be annoying, but I never personally read Masema's presence in the books in such grandiose terms. For me, he was a mainly off-screen third tier obstacle, who was created as a nice unintended consequence of Rand’s emergence as the Dragon Reborn, who came to mirror aspects of Whitecloak fanaticism and Fain’s obsession. I never thought Perrin's injunction that he would take Masema to Rand ever made any sense, and by the later books it was pretty clear he was destined to be tackled by Perrin's entourage one way or another.

That said, I do get where you're coming from. Though I don't share your particular feelings on this issue, I have experienced similar feelings about other matters in KoD. For example, I did dislike the almost perfunctory way the Axe v Hammer climax happened as well as Aram's attack on Perrin. Both of these events were built up through epic multi-volume iterations of viewings, dreams and cryptic remarks (unlike Masema), yet they were resolved with a quick and (to me) unsatisfying fizzle, despite having some nice vivid prose. The Hammer v Axe distinction kinda evaporates when you just use the Hammer to smash heads, and Aram's attack never felt like it really endangered Perrin in any meaningful sense or had cosmic significance. I would rate them as probably some of the only prophetic inflexion points in the whole series which were unsuccessful. So horses for courses.
Elroy Skimms
76. elroyskimms
I'm going on the assumption that Perrin told Faile about Aram. I'm sure she would have noticed his absence. Faile sticking a knife in Masema's chest for his attempted murder of Perrin is just as much justice as him hanging from a rope. If Perrin can order executions of murderers, so can Faile. Unless her being his wife and a woman means she is less qualified to make those judgements... but lets not go there. Leigh would disapprove most vehemently...

Remember, justice is often doled out by the local Lord (See: Gareth Bryne). So Perrin and Faile are expected to see justice done. Consider how it would look if a Lord accuses a man of murder, the man denies the charge, and yet is still hung for it with no other witnesses. It would look bad (See: Tear pre-Dragon). I see why Perrin would want to avoid that. But, Masema earned his punishment. Perrin was willing to let him get away with it to save face and appear fair. Faile found a way for justice to be served without making Perrin look bad. I call it a win-win.

Elroy Skimms
77. elroyskimms
Wolfmage @ 75
The Hammer v Axe distinction kinda evaporates when you just use the Hammer to smash heads, and Aram's attack never felt like it really endangered Perrin in any meaningful sense or had cosmic significance.

I agree with the first part. There is little difference between the ax and the hammer when both are used as a weapon. Yes, that particular ax was designed as a weapon and wouldn't be too great for a lumber jack. But they are both tools, and both being used as weapons. Unless Perrin decides to follow the Way of the Leaf and use his hammer as a blacksmith only (which is a possibility), I think the difference is moot.

But, I disagree about Aram's attack. Perrin would have died had Aram not been shot by the Aiel. Perrin was down and Aram had him beat. It was the Aiel arrows that downed Aram and saved his life. Short in the text, yes. But it was down to the wire for Perrin against Aram.

William Fettes
78. Wolfmage
elroyskimms @ 76

"I'm going on the assumption that Perrin told Faile about Aram. I'm sure she would have noticed his absence. Faile sticking a knife in Masema's chest for his attempted murder of Perrin is just as much justice as him hanging from a rope. If Perrin can order executions of murderers, so can Faile. Unless her being his wife and a woman means she is less qualified to make those judgements..."

To say nothing of his general madness, his role in Randland's equivalent of the Reign of Terror, his ongoing intention to kill Perrin and his general threat to life, property and civil order. I kind of thought it went without saying that he was basically a terrorist and a legitimate target.

Masema's threat had ballooned well beyond the point of being a civil criminal case. He was a revolutionary leader who was successfully overthrowing the realm. Therefore, the proper institution for dealing with him is obviously military defence not criminal justice. Faile's attack is part of that military necessity - it wasn't a murder.
79. Freelancer
Three problems with the justice arguments.

1) Perrin/Faile are not the local nobility, they are currently in a nomadic state, in a land outside of Ghealdan, which is the only nation Perrin could rightly claim, due to Alliandre's oath of fealty. Therefore such justice as is cited is not theirs to dispense.

2) Perrin's currently standing orders do not permit the execution of Masema. Perrin is the acknowledged leader, not his wife. She is not less than he, but her only authority is with those who freely chose to follow her, which does not include Masema.

3) Rand's currently standing orders are for Masema to be brought to him, which also do not permit his execution.

In pointing these things out I reiterate that I am not interested in the least with whether it was for the best that Masema die or not. It most certainly was murder, whether justified, wise, etc. But more important to me, it is done without Perrin's knowledge or consent, showing that Faile has no faith in her beloved wolf regarding his judgement, in spite of him proving time and again that his judgements are reasonable and decent. She disobeyed him with no higher purpose than retribution. She put Perrin in the position of disobedience to the Dragon Reborn.

The "military necessity" argument is completely hollow. Perrin has Asha'man, Wise Ones and Aes Sedai who can easily subdue Masema anytime it's necessary, just long enough to gate to Caemlyn/Cairhien and bring him before Rand for valid justice and judgement. When a captive is toothless, summary execution is murder, if you follow a military line of thinking.
Henry Loose
80. schrodinger
@ Freelancer
your first two points make sense (although number two is a bit sketchy, as Faile is defending herself and Perrin from future attack (which masema was planning as she killed him) and I'm sure that Perrin wants to live, in fact, it's kind of necessary that he lives, otherwise, everyone dies). Your third point and conclusion kind of contradict each other, especially the toothless part. Rand's order not to kill masema is a tooth for masema to use, if he had chosen to use it. Perrin has to obey it, and so he cannot kill masema, while masema is free to kill perrin. All the Asha'man, Wise Ones and Aes Sedai will do no good against a good assassin (lets face it, aside from the Asha'man, they're pretty incompetent and the Asha'man only like to handle battles, not political intrigue), at which point it is game over. Faile, from her somewhat insane upbringing, realizes that masema himself is insane and won't quit trying to kill perrin until he is dead, so she puts the poor rabid dog out of his misery. Thus, one insane person kills another and its not quite murder, more in the pre-emptive self defense, kill a conspirator/ unknowing participant in treason who's also insane category. Crazy borderlanders.
81. DHolton
Thoughts and theories on the prologue:

Demandred's location:

He says in the prologue that his "rule is secure". Graendal then speculates on whether this means he's with the Borderlanders. This is possible, but so much emphasis is placed on it, it somehow seems too obvious (from a meta standpoint). Since he is evidently "ruling", one assumes he's acting as a king somewhere. He says "he's gathered his forces". The only country that isn't previously accounted for that we're aware of having any such preparations is Murandy, and King Roedran. Could Roedran be Demandred? To be fair, this was proposed on last week, but it went with the thoughts I was having when I read it.

Ituralde: I think it certainly possible that he's been influenced by Graendal, but I have the feeling his campaign against the Seanchan was not part of her plan. For one, Ituralde's been avoiding the "confusing and contradictory messages" from the Domani King (who's name escapes me atm)in order to get the campaign moving. This says to me that Graendal's primarily been operating at a remove thru these messages rather than directly. That being said, we do know that Ituralde met her once in her guise as a little old lady from Arad Doman (cue Beach Boys music). But I think that, like Morgase, he's been resisting any Compulsion, given that he's been avoiding those messages. Just a feeling, could be wrong. The war with the Seanchan is causing chaos. On the other hand Ituralde is bringing order out of that chaos.

Rand's new sword:
I can't be sure without rereading, but for some reason I got the impression that rather than the standard blademaster's two handed sword that it's a one handed blade. It seems unlikely the others would present him with a blade he couldn't use, but if it is Artur's blade, prestige could explain it. On the other hand, for some reason I have the impression Justice is a one hander...maybe I'm just crazy.

Rand's eyesight:

I'm not sure I buy the saa theory. If only because in the prologue Rand thinks to himself that it's slowly improving. This could be wishful thinking of course...On the other hand, since as far as I know, the trouble with his vision began after his fight with Semirhage, I always thought it was caused by the fireball she threw at him. Then I thought about it, and knowing Semi was the premier physician of her Age, she could have done something much more subtle...
Sydo Zandstra
82. Fiddler
Hi all.

I don't live in US/Canada, so it was some more trouble for me to get it. (On a side note, people complaining on having to pay, just consider it as 1-2 less beers on a night out)

I chose the audio version, since I don't have a Kindle (yet), and just finished listening to it, .

A few small remarks.

1. Audio stuff: that woman reading parts of it is really good!

2. Graendal: It was coming, if you read well, but here is our main female forsaken...

3. Masema: I can see why some people are disappointed on this plotline, but I'm glad he's out. Not because I hate him as a character, but because he was slowing the plot.

4. Although English isn't my native language, I always had the names right when it came to pronunciation. That being said, I was surprised hearing Mrs Aybara's name being pronounced as Fa-Eel instead of Fail.

5. For hardcore fans, who want it all, Harriet added a message at the end of the audio version.
Rob Trotter
83. shadar
Another thought re: Masema. Masuri and Rovair were visiting him. Sometimes with Annoura. Why?

Working on the assumption that Masema was controlled by Demandred, what is his influence on those AS? (And how did the WO realise masema was so crazy?)
84. germanFan
Hi, I just bought the prologue from one of the online stores eventhough I live in Germany. I just picked one I have never ordered something from before (and likely never will again), than I registered myself with a completely fictional US adress as my "shipping adress". Paid with paypal and got it. I don't know if this is legal but I think it doesn't hurt anyone.
j p
85. sps49
Demandred's doings are sufficiently nonexplicit that I believe/ agree he is referring to the Black Tower, not a regular army.

They could've met in Andor with some True Power illusion, but why? Why have your base in the Blight, also, though.

Masema- I think the Aes Sedai were just keeping up with Masema as just another tool in their toolbox. Duplicitous and untrustworthy, sure.

Faile and Masema- he is a threat. She recognized it and dealt with it.

Did anyone else think the ugly servant at Moridin's may have some other significance? He made somethink click in my head. Maybe Sammael is resurrected? Anyone? Bueller?
Henry Loose
86. schrodinger
hmmm... Bueller indeed. That is a very interesting theory... and a fitting punishment for Sammael's failures.

I just listened to the second chapter and i have to say, so far, something important has happened in everything we've seen or heard (I'll not spoil it for anyone). If the books continue at the current pace, I have really high hopes for the rest of the series.
Wendy Churchill
87. LadyTaurean
Does anyone else forsee Rodel Ituralde being named Steward of Arad Doman for the Dragon Reborn?
Alice Arneson
88. Wetlandernw
sps49 @ 85 Did anyone else think the ugly servant at Moridin's may have some other significance? Yeah, but I have no idea what. I thought Sammael was toast, not to be brought back, so I don't think it's him, but I suspect something... slippery.

Funny - this is the sort of thing I'd just forget right away in a regular-pace reading, but since we've gotten three separately-released pieces and this lovely forum to discuss them, I'm making all sorts of mental notes. Fun fun.
Eugenie Delaney
89. EmpressMaude

"Does anyone else forsee Rodel Ituralde being named Steward of Arad Doman for the Dragon Reborn? ".

Possibly, although I am unclear about the state of Seanchan control over Arad Doman. If the lands have been sufficiently Seanchanized, then they'd be under the control of the Dot9M and the PoftR, and Rand wouldn't needed to appoint a steward.
Henry Loose
90. schrodinger
In KoD, the chapter At the Gardens, Moridin has a meeting with some of the other forsaken and he mentions something along the lines of: it seems Sammael has resurfaced. He was referring to the vast number of shadowspawn moving through the ways to attack Rand where he was staying (I think it was Tear, my memory's a little fuzzy). This could go several ways... a few possibilities could be: that Sammael never died in Shadar Logoth, and he is acting on his own; that the DO "un-died" him, and gave him some anonymity from Moridin (this was also the same speech when Moridin tells the rest of the forsaken that nothing is to be done without his approval); or, as postulated by Moridin, it is someone impersonating him. This leads me to the ugly servant... it could be that Moridin has imprisoned Sammael, or whoever was impersonating him, on the orders of the DO, or it could be that the DO was taking out an insurance policy, having a backup plan in Sammael, in case Moridin became to uncontrolable (in this case, the insurance policy failed). Just some thoughts from an avid reader of WoT (most of which probably won't pan out : )).
j p
91. sps49
Sammy definitely died at Shadar Logoth, we have the Word of God that "Sammael is toast". I recall nothing in text or posted RJ statement regarding his potential DO reincarnation.
Henry Loose
92. schrodinger
thanks sps... so someone is impersonating Sammael or is claiming to be a forsaken... either way, they can control myrddraal and trollocs... and are separate from Moridin's control. Let the Lord of Chaos rule.
Mary O'Dea
93. thorn
i would totally buy this if i'd read the series so far. i've been waiting -- first of all to finish grad school, and now for the e-editions, since they're huge.

pacing, pacing, waiting for volume 1 in kindle format...
94. Freelancer

Masema was toothless. His men are dead, he has an arrow in him. The correct course of action is to bring him, bound and gagged, to Perrin and speak of Masema's intent to ambush Perrin. Then have the Asha'man gate the entire crowd back to Rand. If the Dragon Reborn wants to fry Masema to a crisp, that's fine with me, but now both Rand's and Perrin's directives have been subverted. So, in answre to your comment, Faile has already successfully defended against Masema's imminent attack. She should have stopped there.

Faile is not insane, I don't get people thinking she is. Are all people whose cultures differ from yours/ours therefore mentally or emotionally challanged?
95. Freelancer
I think it's pretty clear that Demandred sent the fades and trollocs to Tear to attack Rand's party. Moridin thinks it's Sammael's tactic, but Demandred has been holding himself aloof for all this time, he isn't about to use a tactic known to be his. Who sent Melindhra to watch and then kill Mat? It wasn't Sammael, the golden bees on the knife hilt is too obvious a red herring. The forsaken were doing everthing they could to point Rand at Sammael to make their plan work. Melindhra's knife came from either Rahvin or Demandred. Rahvin is history, that leaves Demandred.
Henry Loose
96. schrodinger
Freelancer@94 I'm not trying to say that Faile is certifiably mentally insane, just that she sometimes (a lot of the time) does irrational things. Also, thanks for clarifying, i did not know that you were talking about when Faile went up and finished the job, I thought you meant the idea of going after Masema; my bad. Finishing him off was a little on the side of murder, yes, although i don't think he would have survived with those arrows in him. (doesn't make it right, just saying).

@95 that makes sense
97. AleksisMichael
Faile is female the whole point is channeling or not... noble or not.... pompoous fool or humble genious, selfish or selfless, even good or evil, men are men women are women, thier all a litle crazy when trying to interact with the differences in style, in essence it is what sprang up all the difficulties trying to by pass all the differences of male and female in the Age of Legends by boring that hole to a suspected new source that would allow men and women to channel together and interact on the same level... its impossible...

oh i think its either a sword from antoher life between age of legends and the end of the third age, or more likely has to do with a terangereal or something more powerful that he used during hte sealing as a guiding flow for the seals, since it was suspecting it would take a full circle of females and males to do it properly and keep everything aligned so not to damage the bore worse opening it further by mistake in laying out hte seals....

eh i dont know about Masema, i was sorta looking forward to him being redeemed by Rand, ahh as for Perrin... what if one of teh male chanelers had set weaves of compulsion on htat other guy to kill him? since he was with Masema alot and Masema hd the same... i actually considered what if he could channel haha

I hope Robert Jordan and everyoen in his family and everywhere are happy wiht how things turn out it would be wonderfuly to know that
j p
98. sps49
Freelancer @95- Wasn't Melindhra sent by the Rahvin-Sammael-LAnfear- plus someoneIforget team to draw Rand to their trap in Illian? I'll have to look, but I recall someone reassuring Sammy that "if necessary, someone close to him will die, plainly at your order".
99. frugal
We found the prologue for free at If you set up a free 14 day trial account, download your one free book, being the prologue, listen to it and then cancel your membership it's all free and legal. Enjoy! And stop complaining about it!
101. Freelancer

Umm, yeah. That was Demandred with the others. I can't say he set up Melindhra, but one of them did. On the mass attack in Tear, I am convinced that was Demandred. First off, he goes bonkers every other time that he hears someone else has attacked al'Thor, and he didn't react that way in this case. His lack of protest is to me evidence against him. We've had enough other forsaken POVs to not consider Mesaana, Graendal or Semirhage. Moridin might have done it and then used his comments to the others just to keep them off-balance, but again Demandred would have displayed temper.
Birgit F
102. birgit
the best swordsman of all time (beaten only by a farmer w/ a quarterstaff, took on 10 people at once... that guy). Don't remember his name off hand


When was the last time Nyn (or anyone) delved Rand?

Ny Healed Rand's stump and noticed that something was wrong with his eyes.

It is commonly believed that Moridin knew what he was doing in crossing balefire streams while striking at Mashadar, intentionally forming a bridge between the two.

Moridin didn't do that deliberately, he doesn't really understand their connection either.

I'm going on the assumption that Perrin told Faile about Aram.

Perrin fights Aram just before running into Faile's group. She probably saw the body, maybe even noticed the fight.

In KoD, the chapter At the Gardens, Moridin has a meeting with some of the other forsaken and he mentions something along the lines of: it seems Sammael has resurfaced.

I think Taim might be a new Forsaken who uses Sammy's name.
j p
103. sps49
Confirmed by BrS; Sammael is gone gone- although the DO would've liked to recycle him, he couldn't/ wouldn't; the inference is Mashadar ickified poor Sammy.

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