Laugh or Cry?

Memory of Light

On the way to work this morning I finished the final book, #14 in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.  I know I review more romance books these days, but my first love has always been science fiction/fantasy. However, in many ways this series was a romance though it’s probably classified more as an epic fantasy than that.

This series has been part of my life for years now. I didn’t “read” it. I listened to it on my commute to and from work. I’m not entirely sure my car will know the way without Michael Kramer and Kate Reading talking to us. Fourteen books – the shortest lasting over 23 hours up to 41+ hours of listening bliss. In full disclosure I did read the first several books starting back in 1990, but I hadn’t finished it (of course it wasn’t finished back then) and I wanted to start at the beginning to experience it all.

I know these characters. My commute isn’t that long, but every day, Michael and Kate started and ended my day catching up with my friends. And these books were crammed with friends. Fully formed, three dimensional characters with flaws and loves and foibles.

Three young men, nearly boys, who had never left their tiny sheep herding village are enticed away by Morraine Aes Sedai, following an attack on the village by trollocs and shadowspawn (There’s a whole other universe here so some of the words are not going to be familiar). This woman sees the true potential of Rand, Perrin and Matt and their impact on the woven pattern of time. After all, the darkness is coming and the Third Age will come to an end. The world needs heroes. But these boys? Talk about rubes. They know nothing about what they’re facing and no one is especially forthcoming with that knowledge.

I admit I was devastated when Robert Jordan died. The saga wasn’t finished! But he had foreseen that and chose Brandon Sanderson to continue the series for us. Robert chose well. He left notes and scenes and entire passages to help Brandon complete this heroic classic. I understand that the final passage was written by Robert, and having heard it this morning, I believe it. He loved this world he created as I do, and it became just as real.

I’m already missing my friends–though the ending does work for me. Of course, if it had gone on for another 30-40 books I wouldn’t have minded. That’s a great rating as far as I’m concerned. My special thanks to Tor Books for making this incredible journal available to me.

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