The Wheel of Time


The Wheel of Time
is a New York Times best-selling fantasy saga by Robert Jordan.  The series comprises fourteen mainline books, one prequel, and two resource books.  It has also spawned two graphic novel series, young adult editions of the first two books (with added prologue material), a video game, a roleplaying game, and a great deal of speculation about possible screen adaptations.  Publication of the main series stretched twenty-three years from The Eye of the World in 1990 to A Memory of Light in 2013.  The final three mainline books were penned by Brandon Sanderson from Robert Jordan's notes after the latter's untimely death in 2007.

The story of The Wheel of Time focuses on the main protagonist, Rand al'Thor, a teenager raised on a rural Two Rivers farm.  After the small community of Emond's Field is invaded by evil minions of The Dark One, Rand and several of his friends are spirited away by Moiraine Sedai, a member of an order of women who wield saidar, the female half of the One Power.  With Shadowspawn hot on their heels, Rand and his friends flee on a journey that will lead to the far ends of the world, sleeping under hedges and navigating the highest halls of political power.  

As the Emond's Fielders part ways to follow their individual callings, Rand learns that he is the prophesied, and feared, reborn soul of Lews Therin Telamon, the Dragon.  Born to wield saidin, the tainted male half of the One Power, somehow he must stay alive and unify a world that is erupting in war and chaos.  Madness lurks, the Forsaken are loose, a foreign empire is invading, and ever looming is Tarmon Gai'don, the Last Battle.  As the Shadow grows, Rand prepares for a final showdown with the Dark One while his friends, now powerful leaders of disparate factions, struggle to unite in common cause.  Hanging in the balance is humanity and a fate worse than death.

 

 Robert Jordan

Born in 1948, James Oliver Rigney Jr. was a native of South Carolina.  After learning to read at a very early age, he was tackling Mark Twain by age five.  He graduated from The Citadel with a degree in physics and served two tours in Vietnam, being decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star with "V", and two Vietnamese Gallantry Crosses.  Later he worked as a nuclear engineer until hospitalization for an injury convinced him to pick up his pen.

Also using the pseudonyms Reagan O'Neal and Jackson O'Reilly, Robert Jordan wrote historical fiction and Conan: The Barbarian novels before signing a deal with Tor Books to write The Wheel of Time.  With his wife, Harriet McDougal, as his editor, and the assistance of Team Jordan (Alan Romanczuk and Maria Simons), he wrote from the carriage house of his historic Charleston home.  A history buff with a large personal library, he collected pipes and antique weapons and enjoyed hunting, fishing, poker, chess, and cognac.  He was also an Episcopalian and Freemason.

On September 16, 2007, Robert Jordan died after a nearly two-year battle with the rare blood disease cardiac amylodoisis.  He left behind extensive notes and recordings, enabling his widow and Team Jordan to complete The Wheel of Time with the help of fan and fellow writer Brandon Sanderson.  Until the day he died he reassured his fans he intended to live a long, productive life and was already planning his next book series.  After his passing numerous philanthropic endeavors were begun by fans in his memory.

 

 Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson was born in 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska.  An apathetic reader until discovering the fantasy genre in 8th grade, he quickly became an avid fan of such authors as Robert Jordan, Melanie Rawn, David Eddings, Anne McCaffrey, and Orson Scott Card.  Returning to his studies at Brigham Young University after a Mormon Missions hiatus, Brandon decided to swap his biochemisty major for English and took up writing.  He penned several novels while finishing his degree and wrote for the BYU magazine The Leading Edge. 

In 2003 Tor Books offered to publish Elantris.  The Mistborn trilogy followed and at the end of 2007 Harriet McDougal, Robert Jordan's widow and editor, called with an offer to finish The Wheel of Time.  The first of the final three books was published in 2009, the second in 2010, and the final book in 2013.  

Brandon Sanderson is a prolific writer who regularly has multiple projects in the works.  In addition to continuing his Mistborn universe, he writes fiction for children, is working on an epic fantasy saga The Stormlight Archive, and has a podcast with fellow author Dan Wells and cartoonist Howard Taylor.  He has won numerous awards including the David Gemmell Legend Award for The Way of Kings.  He lives in Utah with his wife and three children.