The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon SandersonNot shocking, but The Gathering Storm, the 12th volume in Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestsellers list, knocking off The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.

From Brandon Sanderson’s blog:

If you didn’t hear the news, we got a call on Wednesday informing us that THE GATHERING STORM had hit the number one spot on the New York Times hardcover Best Seller list. This was accompanied by hitting number one on the independent bookseller’s list and being the bestselling hardcover fiction book at Barnes & Noble and at Borders. (And at the last one, I believe, we were the overall #1 book regardless of genre, which is impressive.) We did, in fact, knock Dan Brown out of the #1 spot—by a wide margin.

I can’t be the only one curious to find out how many units sold it takes to outsell a new Dan Brown book by ‘a wide margin’.

Sanderson’s thoughts on the impressive debut:

Either way, the last four Wheel of Time books had all hit #1, and I worried a lot that it would be on my watch where we failed to do so. It is a testament to the beloved nature of the series, mixed with the ardor of the readers, that we have weathered a change in authors without a dip. We actually outsold KNIFE OF DREAMS’ first week, which is amazing.

The thing is, I don’t feel I can take much—if any—credit for this. The reason this book turned out as well as it did (and thank you all for your kind emails, posts, and reviews) was because of the work Robert Jordan did before he passed away. He literally lay on his deathbead dictating scenes for you, too weak to write. He loved his readers dearly, and those of you lucky enough to meet him know that he was a truly kind and generous man.

Beyond that, the strength of this book is directly tied to the excellent storytelling that came before it. It doesn’t take much experience with construction to realize that the foundation of a building is far more important—structurally—than the roof. Robert Jordan’s skill with worldbuilding, characterization, and plotting was amazing. Working on these books has only increased my respect for his abilities.

So, congrats to Brandon and the Tor Books team for the momentous occasion!

  • Peter V. Brett November 10, 2009 at 11:03 am

    I went to Brandon’s NYC signing last night. He is a really nice person, and humble about his part in the success, but the truth is he turned out a book that seamlessly blends in with Jordan’s latter work, to the point where I doubt any reader would have been able to tell the difference had they not known. That is a damn impressive accomplishment, and he deserves credit for it.

    I just moved Mistborn higher on my TBR list.