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Author Topic: A Memory of Light review  (Read 5149 times)

Offline tcsimpson

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A Memory of Light review
« on: January 21, 2013, 12:34:34 PM »
Death’s lighter than a feather. Keep those words in mind. They become a recurring theme throughout A Memory of Light, the final book in the Wheel of Time.

Wow. The final book in the Wheel of Time. When Jordan died, I never thought I would see, mourn, and celebrate this day. Through a friend of mine, I began this journey in 1991. Twenty-two years later, it is over.

It has been epic in every sense of the word.

People praise and others criticize this series. For those who claim, it’s so cliché, or has so many common tropes, remember when it began, those things were not quite so cliché then. For me, when I picked up Eye of the World and began, it was a wondrous world that reminded me of Tolkien and sucked me in. There I lived. There were great books and a few let downs in between, and then some great books. Jordan died. Sanderson picked up the reins and breathed life into the series even if he didn’t nail some of my favorite characters.

And now we have A Memory of Light.

The book begins with battle and ends with battle, the best battles this series has seen. It resolves many questions, many plots, and while some of it hurt, I was more than satisfied. It is a dream book for me, a catalogue of action, magic, and intersecting plot lines from so many points of view that comes together so seamlessly, I kept reading, mouth open many times, trying to absorb it all. Oh, it had its misses sprinkled in, the odd moment where the prose might have felt too modern or a character a little off, (Mat specifically, although I must admit Sanderson does a much, much better job with him this time around), but not once did I feel jarred out of the story. It was almost like reading Eye of the World again, but better. I was sucked in, and it would not let me go.

Sanderson got his bits in there, characters that were just him, like Androl and Pevara. Their storyline was quite enjoyable, to see that side, to see the Black Tower.

Egwene, Elayne, Aviendha, Nynaeve, Min, the women in general, are different. In a good way. You see their growth, you feel their decisions, your heart hurts for them, and at times you have no choice but to smile.

Perrin and Mat. What can I say? Finally, I did not feel as if I wanted to slap some sense into Perrin. Mat made me laugh, sometimes out loud. And when he got to show me his expertise in battle strategy, I was left breathless. It was as close to the old Mat as Sanderson has come, but still not the old Mat, because that one died in Jordan’s books.

One of my most enjoyable moments, and it’s a simple thing, was seeing more of the Shadow’s world through one of their eyes. I still say there should have been more of that in the series. I like world building though, so that really appealed to me. Ah, the Red Veils.

When it comes to Rand, I could follow his character all day. I felt a part of him, one with his goal, his struggle. I wondered how he would resolve it all and I was not disappointed. Tam’s POV in all this was a welcome breath, and at one point, pretty awesome.

However, my favorite character in the entire book is one, al’Lan Mandragoran. God he was good. So entertaining, so painful to see what he went through, and oh, oh so fulfilling at the end. ‘Death’s lighter than a feather.’ I smile.

The book is not without its surprises: the Horn of Valere, for one. And it is certainly not without its deaths.

People die. A lot of people. Some who you loved. Some who you hated. Some will go up in a blaze of glory. Some will die with a whimper and deserve better. They die nonetheless. Prepare yourself.

The end? Some had their issues with it, and you the reader, will see why. I have none. I could draw a myriad of conclusions from the ending, and I think that’s the point. You, the reader, must use your imagination and give that last bit whatever spin you wish. I’ll say if the Dark One can do it, why can’t the Creator? For me, the theme was freedom.

And so I put to rest my review of A Memory of Light. It will take a fantastic book to top this one for book of the year for me, maybe of the last few years.

The Wheel of Time lives even as it has come to the end of its lifespan. Death’s lighter than a feather.

Adieu.

Online xiagan

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Re: A Memory of Light review
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2013, 03:55:46 PM »
Great review. :) I like how you put your personal journey with the Wheel of Time in this. :)
I agree with almost all the points you made.

Only one minor correction:
Sanderson got his bits in there, characters that were just him, like Androl and Pevara. Their storyline was quite enjoyable, to see that side, to see the Black Tower.
Androl was actually written by Robert Jordan (most parts, at least the ones in the BT, afaik) to represent him. So you only got it nearly right. ;)
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline Jeryn

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Online xiagan

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"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline May

Re: A Memory of Light review
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2013, 12:17:08 AM »
Apologies for bumping older threads - but I'm new here so it's allowed :D

I am a huge fan of the Wheel of Time series, despite all the criticisms it has received.  I am so annoyed at Red Eagle Entertainment for getting the rights to a potential game, and then just sitting on it - being lame.  It's probably for the best though, because I would want a true roleplay game and other people who never read the books would end up ruining it.  Anyway, I digress.

## Spoilers ##

I was really let down by A Memory of Light :(  I was expecting so much more - I felt that it ended with a quiet whimper instead of the epic ending it could have had.   So many questions were left unanswered - who was the mysterious Aiel woman? Then at the end Rand just walks off and leaves everyone behind...doesn't even think about not seeing his unborn children grow up, or any of that.  I also wish we could have seen more about the Aiel's past and their potential future after Aviendah's decisions. 

I wrote a review of it on my blog - but I can't really call it a "review" more just a string of thoughts.
http://forfictionssake.com/the-end-of-the-wheel-of-time/


« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 12:47:21 AM by May »

Offline Arakasi

Re: A Memory of Light review
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2013, 09:16:24 PM »
Up until last month, I stopped reading the Wheel of Time series after Robert Jordan died, I think it should of ended there and then. But since I've been reading the series since I was in my early teens I gave into temptation and reread the whole series as well as reading the ones Brandon Sanderson wrote.

To me it didn't feel complete. There was barely an epilogue and considering the sheer length of the series this felt cheap. Also, more than a few characters where skimmed over and discarded as an afterthought. Overall the book felt rushed, condensed and unfinished. They had the last battle, and the moment it ended so did the book. We didn't get to see the emotional aftermath or the answers to some questions that were raised. I'm still confused on some points.

To be frank, I don't feel this is the book Robert Jordan would of written and I have mixed feelings on whether the series should of been continued at all. But I have great affection for the series as it was pretty much the first book I read outside school. It introduced me to the genre and this worlds mythology. I will never regret starting to read it but will regret saying goodbye to it.

Online xiagan

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AW: A Memory of Light review
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2013, 04:04:26 PM »
Some/most of you know that my opinion is contrary.

The quality of the books was already dropping in the end (CoT!) and I'm pretty sure that RJ wouldn't have been able to pick up all the strands and weave them back in, so I wasn't expecting it from Sanderson.
He had a lot to work with and I think the frame for the books was mostly there, as was the end and the epilogue, which were completely Jordan's.

I would've loved more aftermath too, but I don't believe we would've got it with Jordan either.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2013, 04:06:13 PM by xiagan »
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline Arakasi

Re: AW: A Memory of Light review
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2013, 11:31:48 PM »
Some/most of you know that my opinion is contrary.

The quality of the books was already dropping in the end (CoT!) and I'm pretty sure that RJ wouldn't have been able to pick up all the strands and weave them back in, so I wasn't expecting it from Sanderson.
He had a lot to work with and I think the frame for the books was mostly there, as was the end and the epilogue, which were completely Jordan's.

I would've loved more aftermath too, but I don't believe we would've got it with Jordan either.
]

I first noticed the series going downhill a bit in the path of daggers. Out of the whole series it is the one book that I found hardest to reread. I felt something went wrong there. If RJ was still alive I feel there would of been more books added to the series, but when Sanderson picked it up, the publishers just wanted it finished as quickly as possible.

I know it's a dreadful thing to say, but I fear that the same may happen to the song of fire and ice series.

 

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