Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Memory of Light - A Review & Notsalgia

This post is a little different than my normal format for my book reviews. It'll be set up with my long nostalgic walk down memory lane of how I came to discover the Wheel of Time series, then it'll be my normal set up of brief synoposis and review.

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How I came to discover the Wheel of Time Series

I was first introduced to this series in the Spring/Summer of 2000. My co-worker, Laura, had told me that I just had to read this series. I remember her loaning me the first book. And before I'm too far into it, she loans me books two and three as well. So I was like ok, I'll give it a shot. I typically liked the same sort of things that Laura would read and if she was recommending it, it had to be pretty good.

So that summer, I first discovered the world of Robert Jordan and what jokingly became known as "Randland." At this time, books 1-8 were out, so I didn't have to wait for them to read. Sometime around mid July that summer, I told Laura that I didn't think I'd want to read the rest of the series because I wasn't too interested in it. She asked me to try to get through the first three books, and if after that I didn't like it, then ok. So, I'm in the middle of reading the Great Hunt (book 2) when I told her I wasn't too interested in it. But I finished reading it and started the Dragon Reborn (book 3). I was set to head back up to school within a few weeks for my final semester of college and I wanted to decide on whether or not to ask Laura if I could borrow the rest of the books and pack all of them to read at school. All of a sudden things started happening in the book and it was one of those that I couldn't put down! Laura laughed when I asked for the rest of the series to take with me to school.

Once school started, I found myself very little time for reading. I was student teaching and was very busy. I think during that semester, I managed to finish the Shadow Rising (book 4) and Fires from Heaven (book 5). Of course I'd have questions. So I would email Laura pretty much weekly with questions as to why did Rand do that or which Forsaken was still alive. Or what did Min's viewings or Egwene's dreams mean. Things like that. I have to admire how patient Laura was with me as she answered what questions she could. Others she'd tell me that I'd find out later in this book and to just wait. That was really hard for me - the waiting that is. I'm the girl who likes to read the ending first because I want to know what will happen!

Thankfully for me, since I got into the series late, books 1-8 were already out when I started reading them. Winter's Heart (book 9) came out shortly after I graduated from college. Laura read it, and then passed it onto me.Then the waiting began. Crossroads of Twilight (book 10) came out in 2003. I'd forgotten everything I'd read in the other books and had to reread them - though I started with book 3 when I reread them. After the excitement of Winter's Heart, I found Crossroads of Twilight to be a disappointment. I mean nothing happened (at least nothing really major)! Book 11, Knife of Dreams, came out in 2005, and once again I had to reread. By this point, my favorite character of the three ta'veren (Mat, Perrin, and Rand) was in fact Mat. He just a lot more interesting to read about after what happens to him in book 3 and then again in book 5! So when he got left in a very critical situation at the end of book 7 and he didn't make an appearance at all in book 8, I was like REALLY!!!!

Then Robert Jordan died. I knew that there was supposed to be only one book left in the series when Jordan died. Like many fans, I wondered if somehow, someway, the series would be finished. Or would the fans never know if Rand was successful in the Last Battle. Or if Mat's luck stayed with him. Or just what was happening with Perrin and the rest of the characters we'd come to know over so many books. Then word came out that Brandon Sanderson was going to be working with Jordan's widow, the publisher, and using all of Jordan's notes to finish writing the series. I couldn't be more thrilled. One of my friends had introduced me to Sanderson's books, and I loved them. Then word came out that the final book of the Wheel of Time Series - A Memory of Light - was going to be split into three books - The Gathering Storm (book 12), Towers of Midnight (book 13), and Memory of Light (book 14). Knowing that Sanderson wasn't Jordan, and couldn't be Jordan, I was just grateful to have the series finished (at last) that I was happy to read the books. I think that Sanderson did a good job in writing the final volumes of the series and filling in the gaps that were in Jordan's notes.

This time, when the books came out, I didn't have to do a massive reread. I'd found a site online that offered the summaries of the books, so whatever I'd forgotten, I was able to catch back up quickly and enjoy the books.

Now onto my review....

Book synoposis and my review

 The Last Battle has arrived. The forces of the Light gather on the fields of Merrilor while Rand al Thor, the Dragon Reborn himself, heads to Shayol Ghull to face the Dark One in a battle for the world. Perrin heads to the wolf dream to fight Slayer. Mat heads south, away from the upcoming battle, to the Seanchan troops in Ebu Dar to reunite with his wife. The Aes Seadi under the leadership of Amyrlin Egwene al 'Vere are prepared to throw all they have the behind the Dragon Reborn. Never has the world been so desperate and hope for survival depends solely on the outcome of Rand's fight.

This book was full of action. And deaths. The Last Battle itself really does fill the majority of the book. There were several things I was happy to find out. Demandred's location was finally known. Several of Min's viewings come to pass and it was great to see Mat, Perrin, and Rand all fight on different battlefronts, each tailored to his own strengths. Yes there are some deaths. Quite a few actually. Of the three major character deaths, only one of them really surprised me. And the way that character dies is pretty awesome! Where all the loose ends tied up? No. But the major threads were tied up. And I'm ok with that.

I read this book for pure pleasure. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of fantasy, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin, Brandon Sanderson

Rating - I've debated between four and five stars for this. Mainly because the 5 star reviews are trying to counter the 1 star reviews of it not being out on the Kindle right now. In my opinion it's really a more of a 4.5 star rating than anything else. So for amazon purposes, 4 stars.











2 comments:

  1. Excellent review, Dawn, and sweetly stated how you came to know the series :) Well done and glad you finally got the conclusion, blessings!
    Kara

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! And yes, this was the one over 900 pages. Imagine if all 3 parts of what was supposed to be the final book weren't split up into 3 books?! I'd still be reading it.

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