For the Wheel of Time fans out there, you are of course all aware that the new-and final-book in the series came out last night, A Memory of Light. For those of you who are not Wheel of Time fans…I’m sorry. Luckily (for me) Brandon Sanderson and Harriet McDougal came to my lovely city on release night and I was able to wait in line for about 3 hours to get a signature. With my fiance and the Kid. The Fiance was fun, the Kid however ended up staying up way past his bedtime and was quite crabby by the time we arrived home. Still…totally worth it. After the very long wait I was ridiculously nervous, but I was able to stammer out a question to the both of them that I hadn’t seen answered anywhere. What author would they have waited in line for as long as I had? Brandon Sanderson immediately said, Terry Pratchett. Harriet seconded him. I must say, awesome answer.
I’ve been reading WOT for several years and have been looking forward to reading the end with great anticipation. Like most other fans I worried that when he passed away the series would never be concluded, or that if it was, that they wouldn’t be able to find someone who could do it justice. It would be daunting to take on such an expansive story, so close to the conclusion. As much as people complain about the length of the series or certain elements within the books it is plain fact that Robert Jordan was a master at world building and for those of us who love to look at the scenery and culture and history as we are being fed our stories, he couldn’t be beaten. At least in my opinion.
I think Brandon Sanderson and the team of people that helped him craft the last three books will be successful at it. The past two books, while noticeably different than the ones penned by Jordan himself are well in line with the story. The same careful thought was put towards realizing a detailed world, with fully developed characters to inhabit it. I noticed a few differences of course, but these mostly consisted of comments that seemed slightly out of character. There is only one instance, a joke from Mat, that I remember from the Gathering Storm where the difference was significant enough that it knocked me out of the story.
In my infinite wisdom I planned very badly and am only at The Shadow Rising (number 4 in the series) in my reread. This is the very last chance to do a full reread with a brand new book waiting at the end. Besides, it’s been so long since I read the previous book that when I read the first twenty pages I realized that I had absolutely no clue what was going on. Best to figure that out before going forward.