The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon brought us the first chapter of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson’s The Gathering Storm, 11th volume in the Wheel of Time series, and now they, along with several other online retailers, have made the 20,000 word prologue, reportedly written mostly by Jordan, before his death, available to purchase for $2.99.


In “What The Storm Means,” Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn, struggles to unite a fractured network of kingdoms and alliances in preparation for the Last Battle. As he attempts to halt the Seanchan encroachment northward—wishing he could form at least a temporary truce with the invaders—his allies watch in terror the shadow that seems to be growing within the heart of the Dragon Reborn himself.

Dragonmount explains why the eBook costs $2.99:

This is the 4th time that the prologue to a Wheel of Time novel has been released online as an eBook. The previous prologues were published by Simon & Schuster. If you’re wondering why you have to “pay twice” for this content, keep in mind a few things: First, you don’t have to buy it. It is being made available to you over a month early, and you’re paying for that opportunity. Also, the prologue is about 20,000 words, which is close to 100 pages in some books. Thirdly, if you would rather not pay, you can still get free content from this book in the form of chapter 1, Tears from Steel, which is currently available for free from

My favourite excuse? Well, you don’t have to buy it!. In any case, at 20,000 words, the prologue is more of a novelette, than anything, and when one considers it in that sense, $2.99 seems fair(ish). Still, it would have been a good show of faith by the publisher to release the prologue for free.

The prologue can be purchased at the following places:

If the prologues from previous volumes are anything to go by, this is sure to be a meaty look at what The Gathering Storm has to offer. I won’t be downloading it myself, since I never made it past A Crown of Swords, but I’m certainly getting closer and closer to jumping into an extended re-read of the series. Maybe I’ll be ready by the time the real final volume is out!

  • Jeff C September 17, 2009 at 9:55 am

    I wonder if the entire ebook will be available on pub date? I know they are releasing the series in ebook format 1 per month..but certainly the ebook for The Gathering Storm will publish simultaneously with the hardcover? Or maybe not, Tor is really inconsistent about releasing digital versions of their new releases. And I am prettydarnclose to posting a rant on the blog about it (about the lack of simultaneous ebook releases for fantasy in general, since Pyr fails at this too). Sorry Aidan, got a bit off topic there.

  • aidan September 17, 2009 at 9:58 am

    I’d be shocked if they don’t, especially after the news about how well Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol sold on the kindle in its first day of release. Hell, the profit margin on eBooks is bigger, compared to hard copies, so I can’t see how they’d want to leave that early money on the table.

    I’d be interested to see what you have to say on the subject, Jeff.

  • Jacob Topp-Mugglestone September 17, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Yes, I’d think they would as well. I probably won’t be downloading this one – I’ve got plenty to tide me over til November. Plus, of course, I haven’t got anything to read it on. :P

  • YetiStomper September 17, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    I’ve never gotten past Book 5 myself. Wanna start a re-read group? I’d participate.

  • Jacob Topp-Mugglestone September 18, 2009 at 4:43 am

    Well, I’d be interested in joining one, too – I’m very new, though, so that might be a problem. ;)

  • Mendel September 18, 2009 at 5:45 am

    I’m interesting in doing a re-read group; however, I am waiting until they are released on the Kindle. I just got one last week and am loving it so far. I believe they are going to release them in e-book formats starting in October and continuing with one a month. Aidan might be able to confirm this since I believe I read it on his blog.

  • […] by Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, and it looks like Tor isn’t done yet. In addition to the prologue and Chapter One of the novel, is giving its members a look at Chapter Two, via a free […]

  • Joseph September 24, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Eh…I’ll just wait for the full release, thanks Tor.

  • Megan September 30, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    I honestly forgot the next book was coming out soon, but I just happened to have finished re-reading 1-11, so I’m excited for #12. Being home sick this week, I thought it would be great to read the prologue online, until I found out it wasn’t free. The reasoning offered for charging for the content is silly. There is no way I’m paying even a penny to read it early, I don’t care how long it is. It is NOT stand-alone content. Now, I might understand if they released it for free only as an incentive to pre-order (even pre-pay), but I see no point to paying twice.

    Back to wallowing in misery on the couch.