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
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!
"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 geek
“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.
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.
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 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.
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.
5 stars is i love and i will read agani and again. 1 is i hate and i never want to hear about it ever again. YES = :))) - NO= :'(
I'm not one of those who started reading this series in 1990, maybe (and thats just maybe) because i was 3 back then, but thats just a maybe.
I started reading this saga last year, and although i fell in love with it, I feel like I HAVE TO read the whole saga another couple of times to catch every single thing.
From the beginning of this book it was war, and I felt part of it, I was with Talmanes, Elayne, Egwene, Gawyn, Galad, Lan Mandragoran, Birgitte, Perrin, and Mat. I felt like I was with every soldier. Honestly I felt tired during this war, and when there was no hope, I really felt it, I was just staring at nothing when I was 75% through, couldn't focus at anything... elt like losing the will to live... I don't think I was ever emerged and engaged with any book as this one.
There were moments here that I felt like shouting saying NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! other times I wanted to dance. This book was packed with everything .
Kate Reading and Michael Kramer as always did a great job with this book, You can feel them loving what they have done, what I mean is these characters were not just characters, they were real people. Kate and Michael gave them life with there narration.
Brandon Sanderson did an amazing job, I'm a big fan of his books and he did a fantastic job with this one. I knew it was going to be a good and a great book, but it was truly an EPIC BOOK. Everything here was EPIC.
Thanks to Robert Jordan for his epic saga and thanks to Brandon Sanderson for doing a fantastic job for giving us a great end to this saga.
Correctly placing the WOT series into the proper place among the hierarchy of fantasy greats is complex. Setting aside the commercial success of the series, the quality of each book in the series varied widely. Starting off great with The Eye of the World, each subsequent novel got better than the one before it for quite some time. Robert Jordan hit his stride in the fourth and fifth books while the sixth, Lord of Chaos, is probably the finest book he ever wrote—these three books (4,5, and 6) are among the greatest in fantasy literature.
With the 7th book, Jordan began to slowly stumble. The trend for (7,8,9,10) was that each one was at least a bit worse than the one before it. The series began to ramble. Plot threads stalled, more and more characters entered the story line while old plot threads stayed unresolved. The story began to become convoluted where once elegance weaved the beautiful complexity. This culminated with the dreadfully dull, poorly edited tenth book. It may have been his health, or fatigue, or perhaps Jordan had just lost his way for a while, but there is no doubt that much of the early magic was gone. I kept reading--We kept reading—despite this in part because we knew the magic would come back and partly because in our extensive adventures with fantastically deep characters, we had grown to love them, and there was still joy in loving them walk nowhere fast. I am glad that Robert Jordan reversed this decline with his final book, (book 11) which was much better but still not at the pinnacle of his earlier work. We will never know if this redemptive trend would have continued had Robert Jordan not been taken from us so early.
What we do know is that Brandon Sanderson’—already on his way to becoming a legend for his own work—produced three contributions to the series that have all been magnificent. The have been brilliant not only because of Sanderson’s talent but because they were a labor of genuine love. He started reading the series as a teenager and loved the books and characters like we loved them. His work could not have been better. Here I will say what may be regarded as blasphemy among the Jordan die- hards: Brandon Sanderson not only helped save Robert Jordan’s legacy by finishing the series—he augmented it by concluding the series with stunning artistry and passion.
I am sad to see it end. I have lived so long with these characters that I can’t believe I will never see them grow or laugh or change again. It was worth it thought. This book is beautiful. This series is beautiful.
"A fitting tribute to Robert Jordan."
The triumphant finally to this much loved series.
There were times throughout the series that I felt the books had become stretched but the fast paced action in this book is everything us die hard fans wanted from the series.
Without giving anything away, there are more twists and turns in this book that keep the reader on its toes and causes you to question everyone's motives and actions.
If you haven't already read this series please do if only to get the background infomation to read this book.
A triumph for Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan.
"A Perfect End"
There are so many good, well developed characters, it's almost impossible to choose. Easier to pick my least favourite. Many people will disagree, but I HATED Perrin.
These two narrators are brilliant.
I loved the way Kate Reading played Nynaeve throughout the series.
The epilogue was very moving. I don't know if that was more because I had been on this fantastic journey watching these characters develop and live their lives, and it was all about to be over. I started the series in January, rarely did I stop listening.
Sanderson did a brilliant job, he was the reason I got round to WoT. The series did seem to have gone a bit stale after KoD, but Sanderson picked it right back up again.
"perfect ending to an incredible series"
Brandon Sanderson kept his promise to Robert Jordon's request . He retained all the characters in their natural state of play as pre-written by by Robert Jordon.
ABSOLUTELY, the entire series gave me many many hours of great listening. This has to be one of the best series i have ever listened to
The Eye of the World was one of the first fantasy books I read, so I have some significant emotional attachment to this series and cannot convey how excited I was to complete it.I absolutely loved the books that Brandon wrote and so I went into this book with very high hopes, but while it was fast paced and resolved the big plot points, I didn't find many of the resolutions very satisfying at all. I think I would have been happier not ever reading Robert Jordans ending and just sticking with my own imagination about what could have happened. It felt like someone just shouting at me 'THIS IS SO EPIC', while not being that epic. Characters that had been carefully nurtured for books and books were just thrown away for minor reasons and story arcs that had been building since the start of the book were just...ended.I think the two least satisfying resolutions were those of Padan Fain, who was built up through the entire series it seems for no reason, and Demandred who just came off as an idiotic nutter who just didn't know what was going on, again after being built up for about half the series.The book long battle scene also got a bit dull by the end.So yeah, if you've read the rest you're obviously going to want to finish it so whatever anyone puts is not going to make any difference, but at the same time...I wouldn't recommend bothering.
"So sad it had to end"
Epic, Involved, Awesome
Its like a bigger version of any fantasy book
Mat Cauthon and Cadsuan (maybe mispelt)
Towards the end of the final book i found myself thinking that maybe I shouldn't listen to it for a while as once its over its over. I found myself wondering what will fill the void left behind. I need to find something to listen too which will pull me in me as much as the Wheel of Time has done. Its almost like wondering if I will ever love again. Sounds stupid but that is how much I have enjoyed the Wheel of Time.
"Satisfying conclusion to an epic journey"
I signed up for an Audible account just so that I could listen to this audio book. This is the first of the series I have listened to before reading the book.
Michael Kramer, as always, puts in a fantastic performance. His voice sounds a bit gravellier these days (understandable given the length of time taken to finish the series) but is still a joy to listen to. Unfortunately Kate Reading still puts in the occasional wooden performance as if she’s reading word by word from an autocue. After 14 audiobooks I’m still not sure if this is her way of differentiating certain characters (if so, it doesn’t work) but it’s only noticeable for short stretches.
Brandon Sanderson has does a fine job of concluding Robert Jordan’s masterwork. There are plenty of satisfying plot twists. The action proceeds at pace (frenetic in the second half) and yet manages to weave the main character threads into a satisfying conclusion.
At times the battle scenes seemed a bit exhausting: fitting for ‘The Last Battle’ perhaps, but not as enjoyable as the mix of intrigue and action played out in the best of earlier books. However, that’s a minor quibble – if you’ve listened or read the other books, what are you waiting for?
If you’ve just discovered the Wheel of Time then start at the beginning: you’re in for an epic journey!
"Great ending to the fantastic wheel of time series"
It's in the top 10, with most of the other wheel of time books
I can't really compare this book with any other unless it was to compare it to one of the other wheel of time books. Sanderson has done a great job of completing this series on behalf of Robert Jordan
I've listened to all the wheel of time books & Michael Kramer & Kate Reading always bring the books & characters to life. I always enjoy listening to their narration after I've read the book, to see how much more life they bring to the characters than I had in my own reading.
They've made the wheel of time books some of the few books I enjoy more in audio format than in the original book format.
I often laugh & cry with the wheel of time books, especially when a main character died in this book.
The wheel of time should be in all fantasy fans collection
"The end was not what I expected"
I think the series became darker near the finish. I don't complane I knew that same of the people need to die (sense it was the last battle) but I would have left some of the dead alive anyway...
The end was a pit strange but can't say more so I won't give to much spoilers.
Hated the fact that the serie ended.
I spent in a car more than 2 hours per day and this serie has kept me awake in the mornings:)
I was hesitant, I have to admit it, but frankly I think that Brandon Sanderson has done a wonderful job, and his denouement is excellent, satisfying and tying together all the threads.
He did not shirk from allowing significant characters to die, but he also found ways to make them meaningful for those who find it difficult to accept the loss of a major character.
I have thoroughly enjoyed his interpretation of the end of this wonderful saga, and would have to admit that he sidesteps all of the niggling irritations that I worked hard to ignore in earlier books, such as the tendency to repeat things over and over.
Ranks in my top 5 audio books of all time
I love Rand for his suffering and his love. I think he encompasses all the best of human emotion and potential.
I enjoyed how well the readers voiced each character in the story. I could easily distinguish each one.
If it weren't for the fact that everyday life intruded, I would not press the pause button at all!
I am sad to see the end of The Wheel Of Time.
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