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Author Topic: [book] Wheel of Time 14: A Memory of Light (spoilers)  (Read 1942 times)
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Crusis
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« Reply #40 on: January 15, 2013, 04:29:58 PM »

I'm about at the halfway mark as well and --WOW has it been a good read so far. Sanderson's writing is much more workmanlike than Jordan's but it is good to bring so much closure. Still, I miss what an excellent writer RJ was, particularly in the first 6 books.
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Azhag
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« Reply #41 on: January 15, 2013, 09:31:44 PM »

Glad to hear people are liking it. About to embark on book 13, so only 1200 more pages til I can join you  Tongue
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Crusis
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« Reply #42 on: January 19, 2013, 02:37:35 AM »

I finished it today. Here is my one word review:

Glorious.
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Knightshade Dragon
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« Reply #43 on: January 19, 2013, 04:19:36 AM »

Ok...so I played the WoT game back in the day.  Should I start at book one and just begin cranking through them, or can I skip some of them like I did when I re-watched Star Wars?  (there is no redeeming quality to The Phantim Menace)
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Crusis
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« Reply #44 on: January 19, 2013, 04:39:52 AM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on January 19, 2013, 04:19:36 AM

Ok...so I played the WoT game back in the day.  Should I start at book one and just begin cranking through them, or can I skip some of them like I did when I re-watched Star Wars?  (there is no redeeming quality to The Phantim Menace)

The books are pretty slow between 7 and 10. 10 is the worst offender because nothing happens. And I don't mean that in a Seinfeld way. The problem is you have to read them all.

I've been reading this series for 22 years. I started the first one a few months after my honey moon and much like my lovely wife they have been in my life ever since. I don't know if any other writer has influenced me to want to write as much as Jordan has. Sure I write in a completely different genre but everything I learned about world building has it's foundation in reading his books when I was in my early 20's.
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ericb
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« Reply #45 on: January 19, 2013, 10:54:51 PM »

Quote from: Crusis on January 19, 2013, 02:37:35 AM

I finished it today. Here is my one word review:

Glorious.

Seconded.  It was an ending I was actually happy with.  Very, very nice end to an awesome series.
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Crusis
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« Reply #46 on: January 20, 2013, 02:28:21 AM »

Quote from: ericb on January 19, 2013, 10:54:51 PM

Quote from: Crusis on January 19, 2013, 02:37:35 AM

I finished it today. Here is my one word review:

Glorious.

Seconded.  It was an ending I was actually happy with.  Very, very nice end to an awesome series.

It's stunning that Sanderson was able to wrap up so many threads and deliver a satisfying conclusion. I'm tackling The Way of Kings next.

Spoiler for Hiden:
How about that 70,000 word chapter The Last Battle? At times I felt a little bit lost and also disconnected from the fight. I think this is a by product of reading books like Malazan and Joe Abercrombie because you really get to see the battles from the front line soldiers. This is really a minor complaint, though.

Sorry to see some major character deaths but it was bound to happen. As much as I love this series the characters have been bullet proof since the first book. Egewene was probably the most shocking death.

It was touching to see that Jordan wrote the epilogue before he died.
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xenocide
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« Reply #47 on: January 30, 2013, 06:38:07 PM »

Time for full spoiler discussion yet?  Almost started a new tread but decided to post here instead.

On to the book!

I am a huge Wheel of Time fan.  I am also a huge Brandon Sanderson fan.  I read Sanderson for the first time only after I heard he was taking over for Jordan and have subsequently read all his books (with the exception of Alcatraz books).  Sanderson had a ridiculously difficult task finishing this series and I think he did a fantastic job.  All that said, I liked A Memory of Light and found the ending satisfying but I did not love the book as much as many here seem to.  Don't get me wrong, this is not a negative review.  I liked the book a lot and think it is probably the best any non-Jordan WoT book could be, but I didn't love everything.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Rand's battle with the dark one was great.  I especially liked the twist of using Callandor against Moridin, I did not see that coming at all.  I also really liked Rand's ride off into the sunset moment.  My only complaint here is that this storyline kind of felt like a secondary storyline to the trolloc forces vs the army of the light.  This should have been the main storyline and at times it almost felt like an afterthought. 

I know the war is important and needed to be told.  However the war is my biggest complaint about the book.  There was just too much.  It got repetitive after a while.  I actually wish they had cut a couple hundred pages of war story and focused more on some character stories.  The war had the least WoT feel to it.  We had 1/2 of a 900 page book on the war, then they went to the fields of Merrilor and did it all over again.  Those first battle fronts could have been told in less detail.   

That said about the war, I did like Mat's leadership of the forces of the light.  His relationship with Tuon is great.  I do wish Demandred had realized at the end that is was actually Mat who had defeated him not Rand in disguise. 

Demandred's death.  I am on the fence here.  I did like Lan's fight with him and it did finally answer once and for all who is the biggest pimp when it comes to sword fighting in the WoT universe.  After building up Gawyn's sword skills for several books Gawyn gets easily beat.  Then Galad fairs better but still gets beat fairly easily.  That said, it kind of took away from Mat's victory.  All Mat's work came down to Lan riding off on his own which Mat had nothing to do with. 

Perrin.  So much done right, so much done wrong, so much not done at all.  While Perrin's storyline in A Memory of Light was very fun to read, it felt like the wrong storyline.  So much of Perrin's storyline since book 6 has been too drawn out.  After finally rescuing Faile from the shaido after the worst, most drawn out storyline of the entire series, Perrin still whines like a little bitch for more books.  Then he has one of the most awesome scenes in the entire series when he forges his hammer and accepts leadership. 

Perrin's battle with slayer was also drawn out too long.  Perrin should have killed slayer during their fight at the White tower and slayer should not have been in the last book at all.  Yes the scene in the last book when Perrin does finally kill slayer was an awesome scene, but it should have happened sooner.  You could have easily had Perrin go to the pit of doom in the wolf dream in the last book and for whatever reason you want to come up with have Rand's fight not be able to be affected from the dream.  That takes away his need to protect the pit in the dream.  Now you can focus more on Perrin leading the wolves.

For me this is the most important thing we did not see that should have been in the book.  Young Bull NEVER LEADS THE WOLVES!!  All through the last few books, even close to the end of the last book, when Perrin talks to wolves they keep asking him "Young Bull when are you going to lead us in the last hunt?"  Then he never does.  It is only implied when he fights the darkhounds.

Where were the wolves called by the horn when Mat blew it at Falme?  Yes Perrin has a thought "why can only humans be called by the horn?" But he does nothing to bring it about, it just happens.  This is what Perrin should have been doing in the last book.  I know not everything needs to happen "on screen" in a traditional way, but this should have.  Perrin needed a scene with him running, hammer in hand, at the front of a huge army of wolves.  Then he should have had his thought about the horn and then went to the wolf dream and done something to make it happen.  Then he could lead those wolves against the darkhounds. 

The rescue of Moraine from the Tower of Ghenjei was awsome.  Then Moraine is completely wasted in the last book.

Shaidar Haran.  I did not like his ending.  I know there was a ton of things to tell so some things need to end quickly, but I would have liked at least a little more here.

Where the hell was Sulin?  She should have never been sent with Perrin.  Another cool character wasted by the Faile/Shaido storyline. 

The black tower scenes I really liked.  Did not love the rescue of Elaine's forces at Cairhien by Androl.  If he could do that why not use is more at the fields of Mallilor?  I did like Androl as a character though.

The Aiel were underused in the last several books.  As characters, as fighters, as the huge army that we saw sent against Sammael that was never used again, as the great battle planers we saw used against the Shaido at Cairhien the first time. 

I liked Egwene's end.  Sad to see her die, but some main characters had to die and she had a good ending.

Padan Fain's end felt very rushed and tacked on.  Should have happened a book or several sooner. 

Alivia - should have been more "on screen" about how she helped Rand die.  Also would have been a cool scene to see her interact with the Seanchan again.

Would have been nice to see Loial's speech at the great stump.  However, if Jordan did not already have it written it may have been a good one to leave out, it would have been hard to get right and could have been really bad if done wrong.

Hope it doesn't feel too much like all I am talking about are the things I didn't like.  I did like the book but did find some things missing. 

 


 
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TheEgoWhip
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« Reply #48 on: January 30, 2013, 09:10:55 PM »

I liked the book, it was a fitting end to the series.

Spoiler for Hiden:
My only real complaint after reading was that after mentioning how much effort Rand was putting into leaving a lasting legacy of peace and prosperity the prologue ends 1 week after the last battle.  I know some of the visions during the last battle were meant to portend the possible outcomes but I felt it left room for one more chapter, possibly set 20 years later.
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xenocide
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« Reply #49 on: January 30, 2013, 10:26:43 PM »

Quote from: TheEgoWhip on January 30, 2013, 09:10:55 PM

I liked the book, it was a fitting end to the series.

Spoiler for Hiden:
My only real complaint after reading was that after mentioning how much effort Rand was putting into leaving a lasting legacy of peace and prosperity the prologue ends 1 week after the last battle.  I know some of the visions during the last battle were meant to portend the possible outcomes but I felt it left room for one more chapter, possibly set 20 years later.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I know where you're coming from, a chapter set 20 years later would have been great.  However, I do not think it would have been possible.  I don't think Brandon would have been willing to do that and/or I don't think Harriot would have let him do that.  Jordan's next books, Outrigger, were supposed to be about the travels of Mat and Tuon I believe, and Brandon and Harriot probably feel like a chapter set 20 years later would infringe on what Jordan had in mind.  With Outrigger and with Jordan having written the epilog himself and along with Jordan's strong belief that all story threads should not be tied up at the end to give the world the feeling to continuing on after the final page , I am sure neither Brandon or Harriot would have been comfortable with a chapter of that style being written.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 10:29:49 PM by xenocide » Logged
Azhag
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« Reply #50 on: January 31, 2013, 12:20:53 AM »

Spoiler for Hiden:
I really enjoyed the book overall. Nice to see them actually use things like gateways intelligently Tongue. I liked the overall ending, but the way Rand left rubbed me wrong. I accept wanting to get out of the limelight, but leaving his Twins? Didn't seem like Rand.

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JCC
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« Reply #51 on: March 24, 2013, 08:22:21 PM »

Well it took me about 2.5 months to re-read the series and read the 4 books I hadn't read. I had previously read books 1-11 (many of these multiple times) and had read the shorter version of New Spring. After finishing the last Jordan book "Knife of Dreams" I vowed I was not going to touch the series again until it was finished. I decided for this final read through of the series (at least for a VERY long time) I would pick up the novel version of New Spring, so there were 4 I hadn't read. I think I read New Spring sometime after book 4-6.

Reading them back to back does really help make the slower books more tolerable. I remembered being so fed up when some of those books came out and I had diligently reread the whole series only for the plot to barely nudge forward. Here is my basic feeling on the book quality and pace:

1-3 - Awesome. The books are all great and the plot moves along well. You don't really know how big this thing is going to get, and it often feels like Book 3 will be the last book in the series.

4-6 - These are all still very high quality. The pace of the story definitely slows down - especially in book 6.

Book 7 - The slowest book to this point. From my point of view, nearly nothing happens for the first half of the book but the second half is really entertaining.

Book 8 - The slowest and worst book to this point. Very little is going on and at this point I was getting really frustrated with the series.

Book 9 - Much better. More interesting things seem to be happening here, and a big plot point is resolved.

Book 10 - Definitely the low point of the series. It just drags and absolutely nothing happens. The climax is a big anti-climax and was a huge letdown back when this came out.

New Spring - I enjoyed this a lot. The part that was added to the novel version was much better than everything else. Very glad I got this.

Book 11 - I had only read this once years ago when it first came out. I really remembered nothing about it, but I had low expectations since this is where I vowed to wait for the series to end. On this read through I actually enjoyed this quite a bit. I felt this was on par with book 9.

Books 12 - 14 - I was very pleased with this. It did feel different from the Jordan books, but things are basically flying by here. I would gather the pace would have been quick for Jordan as well, since he had planned for book 12 to be the final book. Thumbs way up for the job Sanderson did.

I really enjoyed the ending overall. I wouldn't call it perfect, but so many of these types of series end poorly, and overall this one was very well done.

(some spoilery rambles)
Spoiler for Hiden:
I was pretty surprised by Egwene dying. I half expected a big balefire event to undo it, and I am glad that didn't happen. I thought the last battle stuff was awesome. I do think it might have been a bit long, but it was all very entertaining. I actually found the Rand vs Dark One "battle" (more like discussion) to be pretty dull. The final part with Rand at the end was great however. I have mixed feelings on Rand getting Moridin's body and leaving. I was glad he didn't die, but the body swap thing seemed like a cop out, and I didn't really like him leaving everyone behind... though I guess he could Travel to see people. I too would have liked a 20 years later epilogue. Perrin sleeping for so much of the book was disappointing, and GOD it took way too long to kill Slayer. Perrin was rendered fairly impotent though the latter half of the series. I found it ironic that the end had Perrin killing Slayer after several books of them feuding, and at the same time Matt killed Fain almost as an afterthought. It says everything about why at the end Mat was my favorite character (after being my least favorite though the first 5 books) and Perrin went from my favorite after book 4 to just being tiresome by the end. I was glad they made Rand likeable again for the last couple of books. I was half way starting to root for the Dark One for a while there. And Mat (as I said) was just awesome. He was by far my favorite character by the and his exploits made me laugh out loud often. I would have loved to read more about Mat and Tuon's marriage, but it's probably a good thing that I won't. (Always leave them wanting more....) My remaining complaint about the series - Who in the HELL killed Asmodean?!?!?!?! [Edit: I see Sanderson did reveal it via clues (and the glossary). I missed it.]

This was an often frustrating series at times but I ended up really enjoying this read through, and would feel much better about recommending it to someone than I would have been before reading these last 3 books. Thumbs way up.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 08:35:05 PM by JCC » Logged

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