On Audible since the late 1990s, mostly science fiction, fantasy, history & science. I rarely review 1-2 star books that I can't get through
As must be true for so many others listening to this book, it is the conclusion of a series I started two decades ago. Fantasy was a bit of a different place then, and the WoT series was, to my teenage sensibilities, amazing. Giant fantasy novels featuring prophecy and magic and hidden identities. It was like reading Tolkein again! Or the Belgariad! Awesome!
A lot has changed in those decades, however, and much of what defined WoT (including lots of "borrowing" from Tolkein and other sources) in epic fantasy is now either completely out of fashion (think the grimdark worlds of George RR Martin), or else has been reconfigured by other writers (JK Rowling's take on prophecy and evil). So, in some ways, it is nice to get back to the intricate world-building, humble farmboys-turned-saviors, hideous Trollocs, and other fantasy staples. Besides, I have invested so much time over the years, including in some of the truly awful books in the middle of the series, that I had to finish this.
Given this context, this is a very satisfying book. After reading various Wikis to get up to speed, I found myself thrilled to see the old characters again, and to see most (if not all) of the many threads of the immense plot brought to a reasonably satisfying conclusion. Sanderson deserves credit for somehow managing to deal with the thousands of plots, viewings, and minor characters that Robert Jordan introduced, and he does it impressively, switching between nearly 100 points of view in various chapters. He also manages to slightly tone down Jordan's somewhat upsetting take on gender politics. Both of these are no mean feat, and I have to admit that I got somewhat emotional as some of the characters I had known for 20+ years met their various fates.
All of this (plus excellent reading) makes this a really worthwhile conclusion to an epic fantasy series. Not the best series, mind you, but one that deserves praise for both its ambition and its satisfying ending. I wouldn't start WoT from scratch, at this stage, but I am happy I experienced it.
After spending months listening to the entire series, the question naturally arises: "What now?" The answer is obvious: listen to more books by Brandon Sanderson!
The last volumes of The Wheel of Time written by Sanderson were, for me, the best. The writing remained true to Jordan's style to the extent that I wouldn't have suspected that another author was involved, if I hadn't known this before reading. But major flaws (in my opinion) in the series were missing. Jordan tended to describe in detail and name hundreds of minor characters. Some of these characters would appear much later on without explanation, so the only way to remember who they were was to look the character up on the Internet. Reading the books on a Kindle would have been easier than listening to the Audible version in these cases, because one could use the search function to find previous mentions of the character. Also, Jordan made the main female characters so obnoxious, that it was hard for me to get past the first couple of volumes. This wore off (or maybe the characters matured) in the course of the series, and in the volumes written by Sanderson the annoyance was gone. Jordan also tended to leave lots of loose ends that were never clarified. I didn't notice this happening in the volumes written by Sanderson.
There was one thing about the entire series that did put me off: Rand loving and mating with three beautiful women who were willing to share him with each other. This was more of a (male) author's dream rather than a believable story plot. This was Jordan's doing, though, and not Sanderson's.
I found the actual ending to be rather weird and less than satisfying, but that doesn't alter the enjoyment of reading the volumes written by Sanderson.
Michael Kramer and Kate Reading were, as always, excellent.
Robert Jordan’s final installment of The Wheel of Time series, written by Brand Sanderson, was released back in January. It was the culmination of his epic saga that finished with a bang, thanks to the help of Brandon Sanderson. A MEMORY OF LIGHT successfully concluded the series with tears of joy and sadness. The endings for all the characters that we have followed for years were all wrapped up nice and tight. The book was drawn together in a neat bundle with exciting plot lines, characters, and paths that took unexpected and rewarding turns throughout. A MEMORY OF LIGHT was all that I could have expected for the ending of an epic so massive that it took twenty years to finish.
Lover of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, and westerns in all media, including old-time radio dramatizations.
Those who are considering purchasing this book probably already know that the WOT series had it's highs and lows. Jordan started off brilliant, then slowly faded in the middle of the series. However, I believe that those works were essential to the series. No disrespect intended to the great storyteller Robert Jordan, but Brandon Sanderson completes this epic work with a skill and passion that equals, or exceeds, the early Jordan work. This is EASILY my favorite book of the series. If you are new to WOT, do yourself a huge favor, and start at the beginning. If you are a life-long friend, you will leave 'A Memory of Light' with many unanswered questions, but having really enjoyed the ride.
Brilliantly conceived by Jordon, masterfully written by Sanderson, beautifully executed by Kramer and Reading.
My HIGHEST recommendation.
I had so many feelings about this book. Excitement that I was about to begin the last book of the Wheel Of Time. Riveted as the last battle played out. Regret as I grew closer to the end of the book. Sorrow as some of my favorite charterers fell. Joy as others became heroes, and ultimately shock that this is the end.
I have to admit that I am a late comer to the Wheel Of Time. A while back I began this journey attempting to get through every audiobook in the series before this last book came out. I didn't quite make it, but it seems that the characters of the Wheel Of Time have been a part of my life every day for a long time. I have watched them grow from farmers to kings and queens, and from heroes to villains. It will be strange putting on my headphones and listening to something else.
May Robert Jordan rest in peace knowing he brought such a masterpiece to the world, and many thanks to Brandon Sanderson who wrote three of the best books in the series including an awesome ending. A Memory Of Light was everything I hoped it would be.
Tieing up all the loose ends was very well done. I had trouble turning off my book to do other things.
GOOD, FAMILIAR but LACKING continuity with prior books.
When a new book comes out in a series, I try to relisten to at least some of the preceeding books. I am always amazed then to find that the same narrators suddenly have assigned different voices, pronunciations and accents to characters they have established so firmly in previous books. It seems that everytime I am totally entranced by the audiobook, one of those changed characters shows up and breaks the spell. Perhaps Kate and Michael should familiarize themselves with their own characterizations. All in all I enjoyed it but the change is a Narration NO-NO.
No just as nice
That would be to big a spoiler to put in a review. The ending was and wasnt as expected.
Matt of course the scoundrel of the bunch.
The Wheel weaves as the Wheel will
I have listed to several books now from the Voice Actors and they are fantastic. They actually have me enjoying the audible version more due to the color and emotion they project into their performances.
Excellent capstone to the series. Middle of the series was uneven and pandering. Probably could have gotten rid of 5 books. Took so long that I hardly remember the earlier books.
Elayne seemed to be the richest characterization and depth. Wish they had spent more on Lan's character.
Cherry on top
Too many. All of the loose ends were tied up.
You can't fall in love with the characters, especially Matt, without their wonderful performance.
It's too long...
I never expected book 14 to be the best, but it was, without question, the finest book of the series.
Yes, there are going to be things I missed the first time & I've listened to each of the other books in this series at least twice each :)
Also there will come a time when I want to walk through this world again, from start to finish.
Favorites charactersssss! Naturally Rand Al Thor, as he is THE main character, but also Perrin, Mat & Avienda. Secondly Eqwene, Elaine, Nyneve & Lan.
Yes, but this series is the one I'm most familiar with them. I enjoy their narration, although I found that the accents & tones they used with particular characters was not as constant in this book as it had been in past books. Also I would have liked to have them team up a little differently, I would have Kramer voice only & all the male thoughts (narrations) & Reading do the same for the females.
This book was the final battle for the powers of good against evil, all the characters that I'd come to know & love would be in that fight. Therefore I knew that not everyone would make it through alive & so I sat on the edge of my seat, almost holding my breath, as time & time again one or another of them came close to death.
This entire book is the climax of the series & couldn't have been done better!
It is a wonderful ending to The Wheel of Time series and has not left me wondering what will happen next. Nor has it left me wishing that another series will spring from this one.
Kudos to Robert Jordan for leaving notes & instructions on how he wanted the final story(s) to work & to Brandon Sanderson for stepping in so well that you can't tell what parts are his additions.