Saturday, January 4, 2014

Book Review: Wheel of Time Book 14: A Memory of Light

(Amazing how much reading I can get done over Xmas break)

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson) is a series I've been reading since it was on Book 3 when I was in High School. It relates the story of a boy (later the man) named Rand Al'Thor and his long journey to become the 'Dragon Reborn' and fight the 'Dark One' in the "Last Battle'. 

Primary author Robert Jordan passed away before the series was finished but spent the last months of his life coaching a co-author (Sanderson) to finish the series for him. While you can definitely feel the difference in writing styles, Sanderson manages to fill those extra large shoes at least to a majority degree. 

Book 14 concludes the series and ties together the dozens of different elements that have been presented throughout the previous 13 volumes and 1 prequel although there is still some definite character development going on throughout this huge (over 900 pages) book. Most of it, however, is focused on the climactic 'Last Battle' between the forces of Light and the Dark One. Think Ypres for a visualization. The conclusion is quick. While many series give a 'This is what happened after' chapter, often occurring far in the future, A Memory of Light does not, leaving the future very open ended (although I don't think there will be any more).

If you've read this series, this is a must.  I've you've not read this series, I would recommend it (although the middle books tend to draw out). 

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Lazy Bike Commuter said...

"The middle books tend to draw out" may be the understatement of a lifetime.

I enjoyed the series overall, but I really think Robert Jordan didn't know what he wanted to do for a long time, and spent an awful lot of time with NOTHING happening.

tkdkerry said...

What Lazy said. I read maybe 7 of the books before I said "enough already" and quit.

Lazy Bike Commuter said...

Once Brandon Sanderson took over, stuff started to move along a lot better.

Rob Crawford said...

I occasionally try to figure out what would be in a theme park filled with attractions related to sci-fi and fantasy books. The Wheel of Time attraction has a queue that winds past exquisitely detailed dioramas showing the characters involved in the pivotal actions of the series -- sniffing, stomping feet, screwing -- and after an eight hour walk, ends about three feet from where it began.

But I gave up on them many, many years ago, so...

Phil said...

Hard to believe that series finally came to a conclusion.

I agree that the books started wandering with no real progress to the story line. I think, don't quote me here, that I made it all the way to the tenth book before I finally had enough.

Now that I know that there is a conclusion, maybe someday I will pick up the remainders out of a close out bin in a used book store and finish it.

Chase said...

A friend of mine said, "Brandon Sanderson writes Robert Jordan better than Robert Jordan did," and I am tentatively inclined to agree.

I was enthralled by the (over 200 pages long!) chapter "The Last Battle."

Rob Crawford, the characters didn't spend much time at all screwing, except perhaps for Min, who tried her level best to screw Rand sane. I like to think the eighth, ninth, and tenth books would have moved faster if she had succeeded. Oh well.