This month, Robert Jordan’s 13th Wheel of Time novel — “The Towers of Midnight” — released posthumously with much pomp and fanfare. Jordan commanded a massive fan-base and co-author Brandon Sanderson, after taking over the reigns when the popular novelist passed away, seems to have lived up to fan expectation by producing excellent fantasy on par with Jordan’s work. With such talent, fan expectation, and production dollars put into the novel, one would expect a fabulous book release. And “The Towers of Midnight” has not disappointed — subsequently rocketing to the top of the New York Times bestseller list: ranking #1 as of this morning.
But all is not quite perfect in the Wheel of Time world. Despite this amazing success, a great deal of controversy has blown up around the fact that “Towers of Midnight” publisher, Tor, has not yet released the book in ebook format. In what may be one of the largest fan rebellions against a fantasy series, scores of ebook readers have taken out their frustration by posting 1 star reviews in protest on Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites:
Answers from Tor have been slow in coming, with very little in the way of official statements. Anecdotes from reviews, blogs, and forums would seem to indicate that the estate of Robert Jordan has requested that the books not be released in ebook form until well after the hard copy release.
Further confusing and annoying Kindle-wielding fans of Jordan is the fact that the prologue to “The Towers of Midnight” is currently available for sale at a $2.99 price. That’s right. A small teaser of the original novel is available in ebook form for sale while readers must wait for the complete novel. Again, readers are somewhat irate with a few claiming that they’ve been taken advantage of:
What all this means might well be difficult to surmise. But one thing seems clear: ebook readers don’t seem too happy about “Towers of Midnight” at the moment.