I thought when I was listening to the 13th book, I was listening to the end of the series. I got to the end of the book and was shocked that that was how the series ended. I found out, with great relief that there was another book being edited and eagerly looked forward to its release. I was not disappointed! Brandon Sanderson is a master and did a superb job of finishing Robert Jordan's work. What a finish!
"The Wheel of Time" is the only "high fantasy" series that has truly hooked me. Fifteen books, and over 20 years later, it has come to a fully satisfying conclusion. Of course, "The Last Battle" is not a trivial affair, and lasts for almost the entire 41+ hours of narrative.
What I most enjoyed about this book, however, was all of the main characters "coming into their own", so to speak. Each character had fully matured and had his or her own voice. (I credit Brandon Sanderson with this wonderful development. It may be blasphemous to say so, but, while I'm sorry that Robert Jordan did not live to see the conclusion of his masterwork, I think Brandon Sanderson was much better with characterization - starting with "The Gathering Storm", the main characters did not seem so "cardboardy" and two-dimensional. Of course, Robert Jordan may have accomplished this as well, but he hadn't done so in the 11 preceding books.)
All of the "loose ends" were also neatly wrapped up in a masterly way (I didn't think that would ever happen!), and I enjoyed some of the surprising developments. I felt incredibly attached to all of the main characters.
I will also miss Michael Kramer and Kate Reading - I feel like I have been living with them for the past 20 years!
Also, having the narrative in "bits and pieces" fully captured the feeling of ongoing battles occurring in a number of places, but I can understand that some people might find it disconcerting.
Some people may not like the ending, but I do not see any "better" way for the book to end.
The only problem with the whole series? I do not think I would re-read it or re-listen to it. So much of the series was plot-driven, and now that I know the plot and know "what is going to happen next", the series has lost its magic for me. Maybe in another 20 years...
Plenty of action
I liked Matt because he was both humorous and heroic.
I preferred Michael because he took so many roles and did them well. He placed a great deal of emotion into his characters when needed.
Yes but it was a bit too long for that.
Wow! Just, Wow!
Matt has always been my favorite character throughout the series. While the final 3 books brought other characters from the "I can't stand them anymore" (Nyneave) to "I actually like this character", Matt still has the Laugh Out Loud moments. While Brandon had trouble capturing Matt in TGS, he got stronger in ToM, and nailed it in AMOL.
Both readers have always been wonderful, but Michael's voices have always stood out as amazing. Michael's voices bring a depth and warmth to the series. I loved the addition of the Dark One in this book
The epic conclusion to the most epic fantasy series in history.
One of the best.
Matt was my favorite. I liked the way his humor and cunning in battle added to the story
Their character voices add to the story and help in the character development.
No due to its length. Listened to it to and from work. Made a long drive enjoyable.
I felt this was no where near as good as the others in the series. I didn't care for the redundancy of words, some of the interactions, several of the fights, the rapid end. All in all, very disappointed.
This book is the last of the Jordan/Sanderson combination, and reading the series backwards would be even more confusing than forwards - so no to the first part of the question. As for Kramer, I struggled with epic nature of every spoken sentence and needed a change in the intensity. Reading was easier to handle, although some of her 'male' character voices made me giggle.
It was a mammoth task, nigh on impossible, to weave a finish out of so many careening strands. Well done!
ADVERSARY, intense, relief
Yes, had to be. It is the final book of the mammoth series, I had already made the commitment to read/listen to the past stories, the choice to ignore the final one was unthinkable. I wonder if anyone wandered into a bookstore, had a sneaky-peak at the epilogue, and walked off satisfied...
At times frustrating, always massive, and in the end rewarding.
To be honest, i knew all the characters so well, i didn't really like any of them, or dislike any of them. Throughout the series, Lan was probably my least disliked character but i'm a Rand fan overall.
Pronunciation. I haven't read any of these books, i've listened to the entire series twice in the last year and all my friends who have read the books (most for the last 10+ years) come to me to ask for pronunciation of names and places. Not knowing how to say 'odd' names/places is often a roadblock for fantasy books for me. Aside from Lord of the Rings, i don't think i've 'read' any other fantasy books (scifi fan at heart), but i've listened to dozens.
Throughout the entire series, i hated the way RJ wrote his female characters, he made me hate all of them. Sanderson redeemed some of them but i wasn't sad to see that others got what they deserved. I think the way Sanderson choreographed the events in this book was ingenious and i expected nothing less after reading his other books. If you can make it through the middle part of the series, the last few books are worth it.
Clearly this is a book for extreme fans of the series....
Not sure... I will start searching now.
Steven Pacey maybe.. I am sure there are many readers who would have done a better job.
None of them are memorable
I read the first 8 books and my interest in the series began to lag.. I was still curious how the whole thing would end though... I thought perhaps that Sanderson would bring some new life to the story.... But no..
Fantastic ending to an enormous story. My only complaint is that Sanderson hijacked the character Mat Cauthon and turned his dialogue into that of an annoying 15-year-old boy. It was a major character change and the editors should have kept him on a shorter leash. It doesn't ruin the end of the series, but it sours it quite a lot for fans of Mat.