Brandon SandersonBeing reported at, well, basically every SF/F web site worth mentioning, Brandon Sanderson, author of Elantris and the soon-to-be-finished Mistborn Trilogy has been selected by Robert Jordan’s wife and editor, Harriet Popham Rigney, to finish Robert Jordan’s magnum opus, The Wheel of Time

Jordan, whose real name was James Oliver Rigney, Jr., passed away during the completion of the final volume of his genre defining, multi-volume series. Since his death, fans have been in the dark about the fate of the final novel and how it would see completion.

The official press release:

Tor Books announced today that novelist Brandon Sanderson has been chosen to finish writing the final novel in Robert Jordan’s bestselling Wheel of Time fantasy series. Jordan—described by some as Tolkien’s heir—died Sept. 16 from a rare blood disease. The new novel, A Memory of Light, will be the 12th and final book in the fantasy series which has sold more than 14 million copies in North America and more than 30 million copies worldwide. The last four books in the series were all #1 New York Times bestsellers.

Harriet Popham Rigney, Jordan’s widow and editor, chose Sanderson to complete A Memory of Light—which Jordan worked on almost daily for the last few months of his life—and will edit it. Rigney said some scenes from the bookwere completed by Jordan before his death, and some exist in draft form. “He left copious notes and hours of audio recordings,” she said. He also revealed details about the end of the series to close members of his family.

Sanderson, who acknowledged Jordan as an inspiration to him as a writer, has established a loyal fan base as the author of three fantasy novels: Elantris, Mistborn and The Well of Ascension (Tor), as well as a YA novel, Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians (Scholastic Press). Sanderson said, “I’m both extremely excited and daunted by this opportunity. There is only one man who could have done this book the way it deserved to be written, and we lost him in September. However, I promise to do my very best to remain true to Mr. Jordan’s vision and produce the book we have all been waiting to read.”

A Memory of Light is scheduled for publication in fall 2009.

– Source

Reactions, gathered from various message boards (Westeros.orgTerry Brooks ForumSFFWorld) have been mixed, so far, but I personally have absolutely no problems with the selection.

I had the chance to interview Sanderson (HERE) several months ago and he was easy to work with and clearly had a desire to continuously improve his craft. I’m also halfway through his first novel, Elantris and am enjoying it. I hear his next two novels are an improvement, also, which is always a good sign.

Dragonmount, a Robert Jordan oriented web site, has a terrific interview with Sanderson with regards to the announcement. Sanderson also dropped a nice bit of information on their forums:

Just a quick note to thank you all for your good wishes. I just wanted to let you know that I have now seen the notes, and while I can’t say anything specific without breaking my NDA, I will say that the notes are in far better shape than I had expected. Mr. Jordan’s staff are very skilled, and they have complied an outline for me that goes scene-by-scene. After reading through it, I’m confident we can produce a book that Mr. Jordan would have been pleased with.

Also, I WILL be more detailed in my descriptions for this book. I may need a fleet of people to help me get the clothing descriptions down, but I’ll do it!

It will be an exciting time for Jordan fans over the next couple of months as more news of the progress on the final novel comes to light. I know that this announcement has convinced me to reread the first several novels in the series and be sure to catch up by the time the final novel is released!

  • Chris (The Book Swede) December 10, 2007 at 11:37 pm

    How could you miss out this cool bit?!?

    “Also, I DO finally know who killed Asmodean, and I promise to include it in the book to finally answer that question for you.”



  • Joe Sherry December 11, 2007 at 6:56 am

    That’s what I’m excited about! I’m hoping for Chapter 12: I Killed Asmodean

  • Cory Gerleman December 11, 2007 at 9:39 am

    I just got chills when I read this announcement… Sanderson is a great new voice, and I have no qualms in regarding him my favorite new author. While their writing is much different, I’m excited to see the end result. Hopefully he uses his own voice, and does not try to just mimic Jordan. If so, I think it’ll be a great tribute to the author we all know and love.

  • RaiulBaztepo March 28, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo