Since 1990, when Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time® burst on the world with its first book, The Eye of the World, listeners have been anticipating the final scenes of this extraordinary saga, which has sold over 40 million copies in over 32 languages.
When Robert Jordan died in 2007, all feared that these concluding scenes would never be written. But working from notes and partials left by Jordan, established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson stepped in to complete the masterwork. With The Gathering Storm (Book 12) and Towers of Midnight (Book 13) behind him, both of which were number-one New York Times hardcover best sellers, Sanderson now re-creates the vision that Robert Jordan left behind.
Edited by Jordan’s widow, who edited all of Jordan’s books, A Memory of Light will delight, enthrall, and deeply satisfy all of Jordan’s legions of listeners.
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.
©2012 The Bandersnatch Group, Inc. (P)2012 Macmillan Audio
Seriously, this went on and on and on. True to Jordan's wordy style, but it was wrapped up nicely, and having read the entire series over the 10+ year cycle, I can say I am satisfied with the outcome.
I've had the pleasure of listening to all 14 books of this colossal series one after the other from start to finish with very little lag time between books. Unlike many long-time fans, I came late to the party, starting the first book just last summer. So I did not have to wait years for the conclusion. Taking it all in like this became so addictive that I think there may be a hole in my life now that it's all done. Hence, the second phrase of the title of my review.
This finale was incredibly intense. I would even describe it as exhausting. The final battle begins as the book opens and we are treated to one massive battle from beginning to end, scattered over multiple fronts. The forces of the Light are held teetering on the bring of complete failure and destruction, balancing on the edge of a knife everywhere at once. Unlike most novels, there is simply no downtime -- no breaks in the action. It is all taut suspense from start to finish. Hence the first phrase of the title of my review. I had to force myself to come up for air from time to time.
There were so many plot threads wrapped up in this final book that I feel like I need to go back to listen to the whole series again to make sure it was all concluded properly without cheating. Kudos to Sanderson for getting it all accomplished in what I felt was both a satisfactory and largely satisfying fashion. On the positive side, I was kept guessing and a number of my assumptions did not pan out as I expected. On the negative side, I was left feeling that some of the plot lines were resolved in a somewhat contrived manner. Nevertheless, the overall effect was satisfying. I was left wondering about some of methods by which certain results were achieved. In a series where every rule of the One Power and arcane implements employed was painstakingly explained, I found a few new concepts here that were barely explained at all. They just happened and I was left thinking, "Wow, okay, didn't know he or she could do that, but I guess that works."
As some other reviewers have opined, I was left wanting some more aftermath resolution. But I can't complain too much about this as it seems it's really just a side-effect of that fact that it is all over now and I'm left wishing it wasn't. So I guess this is really an indication of just how much I have enjoyed the series. My opinion of this series has only grown over the course of it and now that it is done, I would have to rank it among the best that fantasy has to offer. If you are someone who enjoys long, richly developed epics and never wants them to end, you can not do better than this series which will keep you fully invested for many, many hours and not leave you dissatisfied when it finally concludes.
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.
This was much better than I expected, and I did expect a great deal. There were a few minor annoyances with characters, but they couldn't be helped as their trajectory had been set long ago. Still, my first statement stands. Thank you Mat for all the laughs, and thanks Mr. Sanderson.
Just a guy that likes a good story.
The fact that no character was sacred. In war there is no guarantee of safety and that really came across which in turn kept you guessing until the end.
There are so many it is hard to pick just one. I think Thom Merrilin absently throwing a knife into the back of one of the black ajah and then stuffing her body into a crevas was definitely one of my favorites.
For Mr. Kramer it was definitely Perrin. For Ms. Reading it has to be Egwene.
Yes, though a forty hour listen in one sitting is unreasonable.
Even as I write this I am getting choked up thinking about this book, These characters became like old friends over the series and not all survive. On top of that the loss of a Master Storycrafter like Robert Jordan hits you hard as you read this. I loved this world, I loved these characters, and I loved this book. Hopefully there is truly no beginning or ending to the wheel of time because this is one reader who could do with a few more stories.
Disciple of the written word and Audible fanatic. I am an Urban and Epic Fantasy Fan. I also enjoy some Paranormal Romance.
I have been buying Robert Jordan books and reading them since the first 1 was published I've also we read them on audiobook and loved every 1 of them I was very afraid that after all these years at the end was going to be a letdown.
however this book had perfect narration and execution.
I was raised to the highest of heights and broke down to the lowest pits. I felt loss and joy.
this book made me hope and rethink what had come before. Sometimes it made me cry so hard I had to stop it to catch my breath. Then it would return with something to laugh about. in the end I felt satisfaction. I didn't feel left out left behind or unhappy and that says a lot for last book in the series. Those who have been fans of the series will not be disappointed.
The Audio edition is comparable to the Print version. It would be difficult to say which is better. I always believe that fantasy novels need maps and you lose that with audio books, but the narration really lends itself to Fantasy.
I loved that it ties up 90% of the story in depth. It may have been too much depth considering the last book was mostly filler to prepare you for this book.
Their reading was outstanding. I will look for them in the future
The ending was great and fit the characters.
Yes - but would recomend starting at the beginning
When Matt walked onto the battle field trading his clothes for armor then strolling back off the battle field and reclaiming his clothes.
Yes - Kate Reading is great - she makes every character come to life. She gives remarkable performance in every book I have listened to that she has narrated. I have only heard Michael Kramer in WOT - he and Kate Reading easily made visualizing the book.
Yes several times - I wanted to stand up and cheer several times - I laughed and cried.
It is sad that the series is at an end. I believe that Brandon Sanderson gave great honor to Robert Jordan. I wish there was more story to tell.
For many the ending of the Wheel of Time seems to leave a lot of loose ends. But, I think that was the point. My feelings at the end of this series are like those I feel at the sunset of a great day. I might become nostalgic for the light of the sun, but I look forward to creating a camaraderie with the stars.
The moral of this story is "choice" or "free will." You may choose to criticize this story. But, I ask you to open your minds to the uncertainty of life (whether it is in a wheel or not).
Thank you Michael Kramer and Kate Reading for sticking with this series for 20 years. Thank you Robert Jordan for giving me great books to listen to while I was young and struggling with dyslexia. Your love for audio books changed my life. Thank you Brandon Sanderson for finishing the series to give us all closure.
P.S. Brandon Sanderson, Way of Kings book 2 coming out anytime soon? I'd rather not wait another 20 years.
I would recommend this book to someone who had already read the rest of the series. It's nice to listen to at bedtime--I would also recommend it to insomniacs.
Nope. Kramer did okay, but Reading was not enjoyable to hear.
I'm glad this series is over. I'm glad someone read it to me while I did other things. To be fair, I'm not a fan of fighting/war scenes, and this was one long battle.
"A brilliant finish to a great series"
Best Series Ever
Matt. He was the reluctant hero. He just seemed so "normal".
What an amazing series. What an amazing finish. What an amazing job Brandon Sanderson did in completing the series. Oh! Sorry, do I keep saying "amazing"? Well, believe me, that doesn't even tell the half of it. Even with a loooooong wait between books, this has kept me on the edge of my seat. I was doubtful that the last book could do justice to the rest, but I was wrong in spades. What do I do now? I am bereft! No more Wheel of Time! Oh. Well. I guess I will have to go back to the beginning and enjoy it all over again. :-)
"All great things must come to a close...."
A Wheel of Time has been one of my favourite fantasy series of all time, and when Mr Jordan died I was devastated, not only was he a great author but his wonderful story was left unfinished.
Then Brandon Sanderson steps in, a great author with series such as Mistborn and his newer Stormlight Archive to fill the emptiness and bring about a close to this brilliant series, and i have to say what a great job he has done. A Memory of Light was such a treat to listen to and Michael Kramer and Kate Reading bought the story to life for me.
I would just like to say thank you Mr Jordan for creating such brilliant characters, a wonderful world for me to explore and Brandon Sanderson for finishing it in style.
I am sad to know that this story have come to a close, but all great things must eventually end...
There was certainly no way that the final battle would go smoothly, and this book is a tempest of epic proportions. You're in for a real treat as the series comes to a close. Everybody plays their part, but is the dark one able to be defeated or has it all been for nothing.... Enjoy :D
The best book i have read or listened to in over 20 years. The only shame is that it is all over.
"Great ending to an epic saga"
Well, it is with a sad heart that I finished listening to "A memory of Light". It is hard to say goodbye to characters that you have come to know as dear friends. The last book in this series is well written with great hops between different story threads. I would say that the first half seemed a little slow/mundane - especially when compared to "The gathering storm" and "Towers of midnight" but the ending was worth it. The final battle keeps your earplugs glued in your earholes, so make sure your mp3 player is fully charged!
"An End of an Era that was well worth the wait"
This had me hooked in the first few minutes of listening to it. I have been looking forward to reading the final installment of this grand epic adventure for the past decade and it didn't fail to keep me riveted.
It was certainly an enjoyable week at work listening to the final outcomes of Rand and his friends on my phone. Well done to Brandon Sanderson for stepping into some very large shoes to fill and a big thank you to Robert Jordan for bringing this story to the world - by the blazing backside of the sightblinder himself that was good fun!
"A superb ending"
A great ending to a wonderful series of books. Having read 1-13, this was the first in the series that I listened to rather than reading. I sort of regret it - the reading's very good, but the experience was less dense than my reading of the books. I think a full listen-through from book 1 would be great, as I did with Jordan's Fire and Ice series, but swapping medium didn't work for me.
AMoL was brilliant, it was packed with darkness, betrayal, suspense, excitement and most importantly hope! :) There isn't a better word to describe the last book of the series but bittersweet! Some events did fill my eyes with tears and feelings of disbelief and other times I was laughing at the victories.
In the earlier parts of the series I found certain characters annoying and stubborn... Yet I think all the characters transformed and pulled themselves together providing a powerful force against the darkness. The addition of quite a few new characters playing important roles meant back-staging quite a few main characters, which was disappointing considering we have spent so much time listening about how important those characters were.
That being said, I think I should give my opinion on the entire series now that it is at an end. I don't think I would recommend this series to anyone, unless you have lots of time and want a very in-depth working of the characters and the world they live in. However, I think as a whole because there were many plot lines that weren't completed in the last book, it made a lot of detail provided previously very pointless. I think the 14 book series could have been reduced to 6 books and still held a very amazing story without all the additional rubbish.
It seems to me that RJ was setting up a base for other books he may have planned to write, but now those will never be written and instead you have a whole lot of random rubbish to read through to get to the good bits. If ever they make an abridged version, then I would definitely suggest it.
Narrators were great as usual!
"Good - slightly strange narrators"
The book is great, although I miss the maps that you need to go with the narrative. The narrators are slightly strange in their accents but I forgive all of that weirdness because the world of the Dragon reborn would certainly sound strange to us indeed!
"A fitting end"
This book is among the best books of the series, up there with The Dragon Reborn and The Gathering Storm. Narration is certainly very good, but not excellent. However, the combination of alternating male and female narration was a big plus, given the often wildly differing perspectives between male and female characters in this series.
The reason I only gave the book four stars is that I felt that it should have been two books - there was arguably too much content for one book. In particular, too many story arcs ended perhaps a bit too abruptly. Also, there was a big battle in the book (guess which ;-)) that wasn't properly paced, although I could really tell that Sanderson had attempted to split it up into parts with breaks in between as well as he could. Don't get me wrong, the battle is great, but at times it felt like the fighting was taking up too much of the valuable limited available space of the book.
Another way to put this is that I guess I just love the characters too much, and can't get enough of them. An implied pretty strong recommendation of a book by itself, I suppose. :-)
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