A Memory of Light: A Review and a Look Back

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I have now finished this final book in The Wheel of Time series, and I’ll get right to the obvious question: Are all the questions answered and all the loose ends tied up in the end? Well no, obviously, but the book does an admirable job of tying up most of the loose ends and bringing the series to a reasonable conclusion, though of course there are some questions that still remain. I won’t spoil the ending for anyone that is still reading or plans to do so in the near future, but I will say that the ending surprised me very much in some respects. There is one aspect of it that I honestly can’t figure out any explanation for, and I am wondering what Jordan’s intentions were, but overall, I found it satisfying and it made the journey through this series worthwhile. Continue reading

Towers of Midnight – Book 13 of The Wheel of Time

The latest book in the Robert Jordan series The Wheel of Time has been out for a few months and I finally finished it, which at 800+ pages is somewhat of an accomplishment .  We talked about book 12 here

This book is the next to last book in the series and the word from Brandon Sanderson, the LDS author and BYU creative writing instructor hired to finish the series after Jordan’s death, is that the 14th and last book in the series, A Memory of Light, will be out around March of 2012. 

Which means that this current book is essentially the middle book in a trilogy that Sanderson has been writing as the conclusion to this overgrown series.  Cue alarm bells. 

The good news is that, as he did in the last book, Sanderson performs a yeoman effort at searching out and tying down the plethora of flailing strands of character and narrative that Jordan left him with.

The bad news is that Sanderson can’t completely escape from the trap that writing the middle book of a trilogy places him in, partly, I assume, because this trilogy is  one that is both highly anticipated and fraught with enormous deadline pressure and fan expectations.

This means that the book is concerned primarily with moving all of the chess pieces to the required locations so that the scene is set for the last battle and other scenes that are to take place in the final volume. Continue reading