I pasted what I had for this review in Word, and it was 4 full pages, and still not done, so I decided to shorten it...
While this series is one of my favorites, it's not one I recommend to everyone. Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series is a long journey, both wonderful and painful, that I had to listen to twice before I could truly appreciate it's coherent beauty. While most of the books I couldn't put down, a couple got quite long, and all tend to have A LOT of detail - from what people are wearing to what everyone is thinking about every facet of what they're about to do...
Robert Jordan passed away, before completing the series. Mr. Jordan's wife then made the two best decisions possible for the series, given the heartbreaking loss of her husband:
1. Ask Brandon Sanderson to complete the series
2. Do it in three books instead of one
What Brandon Sanderson did with completing Robert Jordan's series, was the work of a true master. Mr. Sanderson is not just a great writer, he truly loves this series. You can see it in his work - he knows and understands each of the characters - and is emotionally attached to them as Jordan was, and as I am. I mean no disrespect to Robert Jordan when I say that Brandon Sanderson channeling Robert Jordan is as good as, if not better, than Robert Jordan alone.
After 20+ years of marching toward the final battle, as confident as I was that Mr. Jordan had this story done right, I was honestly prepared to be at least a little disappointed, but I was not. These last three books were awesome, and I feel this part of my life (yes, I mean this series) is complete. Thanks Mr. and Mrs. Jordan, and Mr. Sanderson. Also, thanks to the narrators Kate Reading and Michael Kramer who were there for the whole series!
I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.
It was good to finish something started so many years ago. Mr. Snaderson does a great job of bringing the series to a satisfying close. A lot of the fanboys may disagree, but I believe Mr. Sanderson did a better job finishing the series than Mr. Jordan would have done. Sanderson is much better at action and this book is non-stop action from page one. I believe the weakest points of the series are the elements of Mr. Jordan's that Sanderson is forced to shoe-horn in. Jordan definitely didn't have this worked out nearly as well as he said he did.
There were so many. I think I liked the part where Moiraine makes her return and saves the day.
There are so many good scenes I couldn't honestly pick one.,
that is physically impossible. This book is LONG. They could easily have made two books out of this but I am glad they did not.
The book is long and very dark in points. I had to take a lot of breaks in reading it. Sanderson did a great job and should be commended as the end of the series had been built up so big that no one could have satisfied everyone. He came as close as anyone could have, including Mr. jordan himself. The series tanked for a while but the last three books are much better than what Mr. Jordan was putting out near the end. If you made it this far in the series nothing is going to stop you from finishning anyway. The form didn't ask but the narrators are excellent as well.
"The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass.
What was, what will be, and what is,
may yet fall under the Shadow.
Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time..."
In A Memory of Light, the Wheel of Time series comes to a conclusion since its first book (The Eye of the World,1990) opened the door to Jordan's fantastic world of magic, politics, religion, savagery, and intrigue. Since that first novel, readers have passionately waited in anticipation for the next novel in the series, and then the next, passionately cheering and arguing after reading each same novel in the series. Here, the very last in this phenomenally epic saga is finally available at Audible, and the anticipation has been no less strong, the cheering and arguments no less passionate.
Think of it: This grand telling has birthed over forty million printed copies in over thirty languages. It warrants a longer and better than typical review. So, let's.
One of my favorite writers, Brandon Sanderson, respectfully took the reins from the deceased Jordan, who passed in 2007, and bravely took up the incredibly daunting task of completing what Jordan would never be able to do: Tying in Jordan's style and notes combined, take the the series to completion, and thus closing the Wheel of Time appropriately. Sanderson moved forward to do exactly that, and successfully completed both The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight. Each novel achieved number 1 New York Times hardcover best-seller status, and rightfully so.
Sanderson and Jordan’s widow, who edited all of Jordan’s books, have done what is almost impossible to achieve: Meet the demands of millions of fans worldwide by faithfully adhering to the author's passionate dream of breathing life and completion into this final novel, and in the telling, take us one last time on a powerfully heart wrenching journey that satisfies, thrills and moves.
Will I give away plot lines or provide spoilers?
Read my other reviews, and you know I NEVER do. However, here's I WILL tell you: This novel will stir you, excite you, satisfy you as it weaves together the final strands of this fantastic tapestry of The Wheel Of Time! Many questions will be answered, and story lines closed. Epic battles will be fought, and heroes and villains thrust to the very limits of their being. You will stay up nights, wringing your hands, cheering on your favorites, be completely surprised, you'll maybe even shed a tear or two. At the end of it all, when the last words are spoken...You'll be satisfied.
I have been an Audible listener since 2006, and have literally HUNDREDS of audiobooks in my listening library. This last novel is a RARE OCCURRENCE. Similar series facing the author's death and so much storytelling yet to be completed DIE off. They fade, and the readers left thoroughly disappointed. Not so here.
If you have loved, or even liked, the Wheel Of Time series, you owe it to yourself to buy this audiobook. Devour it, as the series has devoured millions across the globe. This Audible book is a MUST OWN. It has my very HIGHEST recommendation.
Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Jordan, and Mr. Sanderson for an incredible journey.
And an appropriate farewell.
Proud to be a nerd
“Loial son of Arent son of Halen, had secretly always wanted to be hasty.”
As a hasty human, I listened to this book almost non-stop, narrator on 2X (3X for the slow parts) so that I could get to the end. Waiting almost 2 decades for Tarmon Gai’don made me impatient. I’ll certainly listen to it again, this time on normal speed, but wanted to jot down a few things in a spoiler-free review for my fellow impatient humans before I start over and savor it more slowly.
I feel that I should warn people that A Memory of Light is one of the most exhausting books I’ve ever read. Half-way through and I was already battle weary. Three quarters through and I felt that the whole thing was hopeless. None of the preceding books have come close to approaching the intensity of this final volume. It truly felt like the end of all things. It was glorious. It was heartbreaking. It was so many things but, like most WoT books, it wasn’t perfect.
First, a few of the good things. There are so many surprises that I never felt that I could anticipate what was going to happen next. Many threads are tied up, most in a satisfactory manner. Talmanes gets more screen time (I’ve always love Talmanes). You really get the feeling that the entire world is at war, and it’s done in a way that is believable.
The Pervara and Androl storyline almost stole the show. I just couldn’t get enough of them. I’d love to see a follow-up short story about these two in a fantasy anthology like the Legends series.
Good people die. GASP! Oh yes, while Team Jordan doesn’t exactly go about it George R.R. Martin-style, they definitely make up for lost time in weeding down the character list. Some of the deaths are meaningless, some are tide-turners and not all of them were as touching as they could have been. The death of a few of my favorite characters left me feeling oddly detached, while the death of another character had me bawling more than I did for Dumbledor.
Now for the not so good. There are a few deus ex machina contrivances that grated on me, but the worst was about Perrin. Perrin’s special abilities have never been particularly spectacular and it really feels like they got amped up so that he wouldn’t be overshadowed by the other two ta’veren boys. I’ve never been a huge fan of Perrin’s storyline once he married Faile, so maybe it’s just me.
Mat, one of my favorite characters, has deteriorated into not much more than a clown. I didn’t mind his comic relief bits so much in the last two novels, but he’s a pivotal character in this novel and has become almost a parody of Mat.
Everything Padan Fain. Sad waste of a potentially great villain. I really haven’t cared about him since he left the Whitecloaks and here it almost seemed like he was thrown in as an afterthought. I wish they would have just left him out of it. Terrible.
Another reviewer stated that some of the accents for characters have changed, and I have to agree. I’ve just spent 3 months listening to the 14 previous books and there are several minor differences in the ‘voice’ of some characters in this final novel. It was mildly distracting in the beginning, but nowhere near as the egregious differences in Roy Dotrice’s erratic narrations of the first/last Song of Ice and Fire novels.
Unlike Tolkein’s Return of the King, we don’t get a lot of wrap up. If I had to summarize the flow of the novel, it goes something like this, maneuver, maneuver, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, reposition your troops, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, end. Sure, it’s Tarmon Gai’don, but I guess I’m one of those people that prefer a bit more exposition about what happens afterward. These are our friends, some of whom we know better than our own family members, and I would have preferred to know more about what happens to them when the dust settles as we’ve been assured that there won’t be any sequels or prequels.
As far as my rating, I take away ½ star for pacing, ½ star for annoying plot devices, ½ star for missed opportunities, which leaves 3 ½ stars. I’ll round that up to 4 because, though it often infuriates me, The Wheel of Time is an old friend and I love it despite it’s flaws.
Yes, as long as they have read the rest of the series. The Wheel of Time has been the most satisfying work of fiction I have ever read. Over the years it seems like the characters have become real people who I grew up with but only get to talk to about once a year. The entire world that Jordan created has so much detail and history that it seems more real than the exotic places I had not visited that actually do exist. Anyone who is willing to give this series the time it takes will be well rewarded in the end. If you have not read the rest of the series you should not read this book. Not that you would not enjoy it but, you would not get nearly the pleasure out of it that you would if you took the time to really get to know the characters.
When it was revealed that Matt was a darkfriend. Just kidding.
The readers did a great job giving all the characters distinct voices and accents. I love that they kept the same readers for the entire series. I also like having a man and woman read the characters of the same sex.
The ending of the book (about 4 hours) was amazing.
The first 13 books of the series felt like a very satisfying marathon. Sometimes it felt like it was taking a long time but it was always good. This last book felt like a 42 hour sprint to the finish. There is so much packed into this last book. I'm sad to see it end.
I read, I write; I listen
The last book in the epic saga “The Wheel of Time has finally been written. We all know it wasn’t exactly the book Robert Jordan would have penned, that would have been impossible to duplicate, but we have to give thanks to Brandon Sanderson and the many folks that had supported Robert Jordan’s work. They have given us closure to a series that began in 1990, and for a while thought might never be completed.
Although all writers have their own style I believe Brandon Sanderson did a great job of blending his to Robert Jordan’s No one could know the Characters deepest thoughts and tendencies in the Wheel of Time better than Robert Jordan, and some of that insight was missing in the last books, but Brandon Sanderson is a very talented writer of fantasy fiction, and his painstaking effort to keep true to Robert Jordan’s vision is a homage to the late great writer.
“The Memory of Light does exactly what all of us WOT fans have been wanting; completion. It deserves five stars.
Master of None
This was a very fitting and satisfying end to a saga that was perhaps the most epic in scope since Tolkien. While the merits of Robert Jordan's style has been hotly debated, and the individual books have been received with varying enthusiasm, the importance of the series cannot be ignored.
In A Memory of Light, fast rising author Brandon Sanderson does an admirable job of pulling together the overwhelming number of plot threads that Jordan wove through his masterwork. From the Dragon Reborn himself to the shaggy pony that accompanied him in the first chapter of the first book, we learn the fates of all the characters that have intrigued us, frustrated us, drawn our sympathy, and pulled us into their lush and complex world. While the story is brought to a close, enough mystery is left to remind the reader that there are truly no endings to the Wheel of Time.
Readers Kate Reading and Michael Kramer, as always, bring life to the characters and light to the rich environs of the novel.
For fans like myself who have literally grown up along with the Wheel of Time and its cast of characters, this book is exciting, heart-rending, and satisfying, though more than a little bittersweet. I salute Brandon Sanderson for the passion and professionalism he brought to this beloved series, and I fondly extend my thanks to Mr. Rigley, whose life work has rendered him truly immortal in literature.
I found this to be a satisfying ending point to a great series. Everything was wrapped up by the end but I would have liked to see the epilogue extended out a few years to see where they all ended up. I thought Brandon Sanderson did a great job bringing Robert Jordan's vision to life. I am glad that he elected to finish out this series so that we all could see this circle completed. Michael Kramer and Kate Reading delivered a performance that you have come to expect form them.
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
Given the journey it was hugely important that the last stanza lived up to its billing. In my view it does. There will be those who are disappointed with the very end, but generally the threads are well woven together and the ultimate duel is a great revelation. I won't give it away, but it suffices to say that it is not Almoth Plain again, or Dumai Wells, but something deeper and more considered.
Sanderson is to be congratulated for rescuing this epic work that seemed on the verge of expiring with its erstwhile creator, prematurely. His rejuvenation is the hall mark of the series after its fantastic beginning with the WOT.
The Narration is steady and consistent. I still felt the doubling up of character voices was unnecessary (for example, Talmades might be read by Kramer or Reading, meaning that the character sounded different depending on who was narrating), but overall it enabled a long piece of narration to remain interesting.
Fans will be happy, I think.