While I didn’t review the rest of the books in The Wheel of Time series, I’d like to review the last book, A Memory of Light. It seemed like reviewing all 14 books would overwhelm whatever else I posted during my reading challenge in 2011, but one review can’t hurt, right?
As we’ve discussed before, I’m not a big fan of happy endings–many stories seem too forced and joyful at the end, when real life is never so neatly wrapped up. I don’t demand that all my books be 100% realistic, but I wouldn’t mind more ambiguous/uncertain endings! Even though I had some issues with Rand throughout the series, I largely enjoyed these books (plus I got to meet Brandon Sanderson two times!). And the ending….oh, this series had a good ending. There were some happy parts, some upsetting parts, and so many “OMG what?!” parts. I started reading this book while on vacation in Hawaii, and it was totally worth doubling the weight of my carry on bag.
Brandon Sanderson, the author picked to finish Robert Jordan’s wonderful series, has always been pretty open about how the last three books were originally designed to be a single book (and at the most recent book signing at Powell’s Harriet shared that Jordan even planned for the book to be a trilogy way back before it turned into an epic fantasy series!). I’m sure every reader was as happy as me when it was turned into multiple books so every story line, even for more minor characters, could be resolved. Did they all end the way I wanted? Not at all! But was it realistic to what probably would happen in a war-torn world with so many competing factions? Yes, so I’ll only cry a little when good characters die.
I don’t want to give away any major plot points for people new to the series so I won’t give a plot overview, but I do want to say this: The Wheel of Time is an amazing epic fantasy series, and I completely enjoyed my time with these books. I’m already planning to reread the series every few years, and I’d like to go back to reread A Memory of Light once on its own to make sure I caught everything (Sanderson loves to hide small but important details). The length of the books may be off-putting for some, but I can’t think of a better way to spend your time!