New poll - A Memory of Light

Monday, December 10, 2012

In the last poll, I asked which book you were expecting the most for 2013.  The most popular answer wasn't the biggest surprise but still, there was enough votes and it stood out.  January 8th 2013 is the release date of A Memory of Light, the final book in the famous Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and finished by Brandon Sanderson since the author's death.

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose in the Mountains of Mist. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.
Twenty-two years have passed since the release of the first book, The Eye of the World. Thirteen books later, with 44 millions of these sold in North America alone, the series has become a real phenomenon.  Video games have been made, with a real attempt on the horizon by Obsidian, comic book series were released and the rumors for a TV or movie adaptation never stopped.  In the last three years, the ebook editions were released by Tor and a great series of illustration by many talented artists was presented with them (see it here).

I still remember when I started reading the first book, I was nineteen years old.  Even if some of my friends told me that the series was dragging down after the fourth book, I liked it enough to go on, even after at least one Crossroad that felt harder than the rest...  I already had a big knack for Epic Fantasy but I was a bit disappointed early on to find similarities in term of plot with the Lord of the Rings.  Lan was too much like Aragorn, the Myrdraal like the Nazgul, the trollocs like the orcs and the quest toward Shayol Ghul was reminiscent of Sam and Frodo's quest to reach Mordor. Moreover, even though back then there were less stories with the prophetical farm boy destined for saving the world, it nagged at me.

But then, thinking back about it, I have fond memories of the series. It stands now as one of the core series when you list Epic Fantasy sagas and it deserve some praise. The scope eventually became gigantic, almost out of control at times (the whole Perrin rescuing Faile arc was simply awful) but characters like Rand, Mat, Thom, the Forsaken and even Nynaeve always compelled me to keep reading. I mention Nynaeve since I never liked the women in Jordan's books but I grew fond of her.  Her dedication for Rand is probably the source of it.

One of the most interesting aspect of this huge tale is the discussions it generated.  Speculations aplenty! The world felt complete, from the political struggles to the different nations, from the Aes Sedai to the Children of the Light, from the ruins of Rhuidean to the Ways or from the Ogiers to the Seanchan.  Some scenes were memorable; Lews Therin and the Betrayer....the fight at Dumai's Well... the battle with the Horn at Falme... Rand losing his hand... Mat with the Eelfinn... Rand on Dragonmount... to name only a few...

As for Brandon's involvement, I'm glad he was chosen.  He struggled with Mat a bit in The Gathering Storm and he was criticized for the decision of splitting the conclusion into threes books but with two books in, even if it's now time for the series to end, I think it was a good idea.  Kudos again to Brandon for stepping to the plate, the shoes were not easy to fill.  At least, the ending is the one Jordan envisioned.

Thinking about this ending that we will discover soon, I think it's safe to assume that good will triumph over the Dark One. However, there's still the fate of Rand to speculate about.  In the end, that's mostly his story, he's the heart and soul of the saga.  I think that he will live through it, not unscathed but alive.  I argued with a friend about that and I still think that he should die.  That can seem like an easy way to create a martyr factor to finish the series with a burst of emotion but with everything he's been through, he's ready for the big sacrifice, he would do it!

What do you think?  What memories WoT brings back for you?  What's your favorite scenes and characters? Are you waiting for the series to finish before starting it?  Have you read all the books and are eagerly waiting for the finale?  Have you started the series and abandoned?  Are you indifferent?

As for the poll: "Will you read A Memory of Light?"
  • The day it's released
  • Sometimes when I feel like it
  • I walked away from WoT
  • Over my dead body
  • A Memory of what?

You might also be interested in:

My reviews:
(my complete list of scores for the series are at the end of the index)
The Gathering Storm
Towers of Midnight

Amazing recap by Adam at the Wertzone Wheel of Time reread
Dragonmount WoT community
A Memory of Light prologue
A Memory of Light chapter one


Josiah Jubilee said...

without spoilers do you think he ended up pulling Mat's character off in the end? I'm about to start reading it, just wondering.

Dave said...

I'd say Matt was better in TOM, whether that's because Brandon got better with him or there was more chapters written by RJ in there.

BTW did it really bother anyone else how he described linking between men/women in the preview chapter? It was completely different than in previous books I'm not sure how that got through editing and everything...

shaneo52 said...

I think my story might be a little different, I was a big fan of Jordan's Conan books and read them all as far as I know. And I remember seeing the first WoT book and never quite broke down and bought the book.
I'd like to read it all some day.

Ghost said...

What I truly like about the WoT books is that it's the first series I read in which they show the prophesied farmboy savior being as a pretty lousy king. Rand made a lot of mistakes as king and I found that refreshing.

Unknown said...

Intersting share, thank you for review! I haven't read the series yet, though have most of the books, they just wait their turn, I have to finish some of my manuscripts first, and read some other gift-books by some authors friends...
Yet, I'd like to share an opinion of mine: don't you think every author should strive to create new creatures, the classical, old like kings, warriors with sharp swords, princesses, vampires, elves, dwarfs, wizards with sharp hats, fairies, etc. are too ordinary already? That's why I try some new in some of my books (weightless korks, glowing, living balls, Brown faces, fiery men, one-eyeds, night fruit, rock pieces, fish-keepers, etc...), I guess such characters/creatures sound and look much more interesting and could bring new, fresh blood in the genre?
Nice blog! Will be glad to follow you, keep up the good work! Let the wonderful noise of the sea always sounds in your ears! (as my water dragons' hunters would say).

Prateek said...

I just love the series though the men vs. women aspect of the books irritated me to no end and at time I just felt like walking away from the series but the whole story was worth it.

My favorite part of the story was the awakening of rand on the mountain and that time in aiel waste where after the battle mat calls out to rand and rand responds only when Mat calls out Lews Therim.

Anonymous said...

I'm over halfway through The Gathering Storm, and hope to finish Towers of Midnight by the time A Memory of Light is released. Put me down for reading it the day it comes out.

Sanderson has done a remarkable job; after the epic sprawl, wrapping the series in one book would have felt wrong.

My favorite parts were reading about the origin of the Aiel, how Engewe tried to unite the White Tower, and traveling the Ways. My least favorite parts were anything with Whitecloaks, Elaine, obsessions with spanking, and braid-pulling...

Dom said...

Can't wait to see what has been brewing at the Black Tower!

Doug M. said...

Had to vote; "A Memory of what?" ;)

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