The fact that The Gathering Storm is the 12th volume in a series might give you an idea that I think its worth a read. There are definitely problems with epic fantasy, as George RR Martin has found out, the longer a series gets, the more spread out the characters get and the harder it is to progress the story without hitting the 300,000+ word barrier per book.
And to be honest things were starting to drag in the last two or three volumes. This came to a head when Robert Jordan sadly contracted what turned out to be a very rare and terminal disease. But he did write extensive notes and partial chapters so the series could be finished.
So it’s with this in mind I picked up volume 12 a couple of weeks ago after finishing the absolutely excellent Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie. Chalk and cheese really, Abercrombie has written a thoroughly modern fantasy with dark humour and swearing, where Jordan/Sanderson have written classic high fantasy.
So far (over 500 pages in!) I am loving it. The story has really picked up pace and there have been a couple of real twists that have left me wondering where things are going.
Will post again on it once I have finished 🙂