Brandon Sanderson has, after being approved by Tor Books, has announced the title of the 13th, and penultimate, volume of The Wheel of Time series:

Towers of Midnight

Sanderson on the title:

We’ve been calling it Shifting Winds up until this point, but that was never intended to be the final title. After a long round of conversations with Tor and Harriet, we settled on TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT as the title. There are various reasons for this, which I’ll go into more once the book is out next year. I’m pleased, however, as this was the title I suggested. It’s actually appropriate in an interesting way. Harriet was the one who came up with the name for the first of the three, and the second one gets the title I proposed. And so, we will (as I’ve been saying for a while) use Mr. Jordan’s title for the final of the three, A MEMORY OF LIGHT.

I thought for a while on that last choice. If you’ve been following along these last couple of years, you know that my original intention was for this to be one book. When it was split, I still wanted it to be one book in name, in an attempt to honor Mr. Jordan’s wishes that it be one book. (I still plan to suggest an omnibus edition at a later point, but the three books together will probably be too long for that to be an option.) Anyway, I was going to have A MEMORY OF LIGHT be the title (along with a subtitle) for each of the three books. When that fell through, I was left thinking on my next step.

Mr. Jordan named the final book A MEMORY OF LIGHT. It’s one of the things we have from him, and I wanted very badly to use it. But at the same time, he named the three books AMOL, and I wondered if it wouldn’t be better to let fans think of them as AMOL together, never using the title itself in case we managed to get that omnibus done. In the end, however, I decided that the title was simply too good not to use. I can’t count on that omnibus, and I feel that using the title on the last third of the book is the best way to honor Mr. Jordan’s wishes. It wasn’t an easy decision, and some will disagree with it.

Over on the Terry Brooks Forum, Adam from The Wertzone, sheds a little light on what the title might suggest about the book:

This is a reference to the Towers of Midnight located outside the city of Imfaral in Seanchan. The significance is that the Towers is a fortress complex with thirteen spires, and was the place where the a’dam was created (or at least handed over to the first Seanchan Emperor). This to me suggestions that the book will resolve the Seanchan plot thread ahead of the Last Battle in the finale book which is, as it should be, A MEMORY OF LIGHT.

As hype for the upcoming release of The Gathering Storm reaches a fever pitch, every little bit of news like this seems to be making fans of Jordan’s series more fantatical. Even I, someone who stopped reading the series mid-way through, can’t help but have a bit of the excitement rub off on them.

What do you think of the title?

  • Jacob Topp-Mugglestone September 19, 2009 at 2:48 am

    Glad to hear this one’s related – I don’t mind TGS, but it sounds a little generic. I generally prefer titles that give either some hint at the contents; or are associated with the theme of a book. I like this one

  • Joe Sherry September 19, 2009 at 6:32 am

    Towers of Midnight is a fantastic title. Sets a sense of mood, and like Adam said, also ties into the world (and probably setting). It’s also a great lead into A Memory of Light, what with Midnight in the title.

  • Adam Whitehead September 19, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    There are probably other interpretations of the title, such as the Black and White Towers, for example, but it is interesting the title is a literal location/event in the series. That has been done before – The Eye of the World, The Great Hunt, The Dragon Reborn, Lord of Chaos, A Crown of Swords etc. I also don’t think the book will take place in Seanchan, but that the book will see the Seanchan finally align with Rand against the Dark One.

  • Jacob Topp-Mugglestone September 20, 2009 at 2:51 am

    I’d think so as well, with the final events of KoD… But I really need to reread those books.