Monday, January 28, 2013

A Memory of Light

(Some The Wheel of Time spoilers included in this review.)

So I finished A Memory of Light, the final book in The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. The fourteen-book series I dedicated the last year of my life to reading. I love these books! My heart is a little sad to know that the story is over, but I'm glad I finally picked them up December 2011!

A Memory of Light is a great finish to the series. The book is nearly all battle scenes, which aren't my favorite, but Sanderson wrote them very well. Not as many people died as I thought would die, but I was surprised at who did meet the grave, including one very major character. Though I did like how he/she died. I admit I was in absolute tears every time I feared Lan's life to be in jeopardy, because from book #1 Lan believes he'll die fighting the Last Battle, so it would make sense for him to go. THANK YOU SANDERSON for letting him live. I would have needed therapy otherwise. He and Nynaeve's soon-to-be-happy-ending at the end of the book was great for me.

At first I didn't like how the actual battle between the Dark One and the Dragon Reborn was going, but I liked how it ended, and the epilogue... surprised me, in a good way.

Overall, I can't imagine how much strategic and war-related research must have gone into this book! It was well done, and I laughed out loud at several in-between parts, such as Mat and Rand's "who's done more awesome stuff" argument. (It almost ran too long, but Sanderson pulled back just in time and Mat's quip at the end of the chapter was awesome.) And, for the first time, I finally liked the Seanchan!

I only have a few gripes with the book. The first is that, probably to save space in an already 1,000-page novel, I could tell some scenes had been cut, because all of a sudden something would exist in the story that didn't compute with its previous scenes. Perhaps I just missed things, and if I did please correct me, but I have two examples. The first is Androl handing over the seals to Logain. When did he get them? (EDIT: Apparently he did, but it was very subtle and I missed it!) Last I recalled, he knew that Taim had them, and then all of a sudden he had them. How he got his hands on them is beyond me.

Second is much smaller, but since I'm such a raving Lan/Nynaeve fan, I noticed. There's one scene where Lan mentions a letter from Nynaeve that he's keeping under his breastplate. When did Nynaeve write him a letter, and how did Lan get it? I don't remember that at all.

Outside of that, I was a little bummed to not have more Nynaeve in this book, though I understand why she didn't have a ton of screen time. On the other hand, I'm really surprised that Moiraine didn't play a bigger part of the picture. Jordan/Sanderson spent all this time and all this angst bringing her "back to life" to get her into the last book, and then practically dropped her as a character after her big re-entrance. I thought there would be a lot more emphasis on her (not to mention my HUGE disappointment that I didn't get to see her and Lan reunite. I was looking forward to that scene more than ANY OTHER for this book, and it's skipped over. All we know is that they avoid each other. Why? Who knows.)

I'm hoping that any cut scenes might be posted on Sanderson's site, but... we'll see. (Also, Brandon, your editor isn't as sharp as the one who edited the books for Jordan. Just something I've noticed. And this is something I'm positive you won't read anyway.)

EDIT: My friend Melissa copied this from for me:

"Edited by Jordan’s widow, who edited all of Jordan’s booksA Memory of Light will delight, enthrall, and deeply satisfy all of Jordan’s legions of readers."

Well, isn't that awkward. But my point still stands. You don't spell Fortuona's name wrong in a paragraph that has her name spelled right in it three other times. Just saying.

REGARDLESS, I still give this book--and this series--five stars out of five. I loved it. I'm trying to treat my post-Wheel-of-Time angst with Star Trek, but it only bandaids it so far. Sigh.

Anyway, read the books if you haven't! (But feel free to skip over book eight... we all know it's the slowest of the bunch.) Tai'shar Jordan! Tai'shar Sanderson!

One mistake I made when I first saw this cover--I thought that was Egwene in
the background. It's not!



  1. Androl lifted the seals off Taim himself. It was in there. And I thought this last book was defeated by the series' own weight. I'm sorry, but I expected way more main characters to die--hoped for it, even. Not because I enjoy death, but I thought the Last Battle needed to be much more tragic. Leave it to team Jordan to not do what needs doing, though. And the main character's death you mentioned was very unemotional for me.

    This is what I get for reading Martin and Abercrombie. Now I demand bad things to happen in my fiction!

    I give AMoL 3 out of 5 stars. Sanderson did a great job. I'm sure I would have felt the same if Jordan had written the book himself.

    1. You're the second person to mention the seals lifting to me--I need to go re-read that!

      And yeah, I think the emotion in a lot of scenes could have been bumped up. I mean, take when Gawyn dies. Egwene freaks out for a moment, but we're TOLD there's an empty ball of pain in the back of her head. I wanted to get more emotions in there--I understand we're cramped for space, but a couple of sentences would have been nice! He was her husband (when did they get married??) too. And I don't think Elayne ever found out IC that her brother had been killed...

  2. Is this series adult? YA?
    Whatever it is, it sounds good. :)

  3. I've still got to read the last few, but after all this time, I'll need to restart from the beginning. And so goes another year of my life! LOL

  4. In defense of the editor, odd spellings are *all* flagged in Word whether they're correct or not. I'm dealing with that in my historical right now in regard to the Native American names. I started misspelling one of them half way through a scene and (luckily) caught myself and changed it. I guess what I'm going to have to do is add the correct versions to the word processor's dictionary.

  5. AHHH! I cannot wait to read this!! Love these books so much.

  6. I am starting on the second book now so I didn't read this post. But I agree that this is an awesome series. I am also reading Sanderson's The Way of Kings and thoroughly enjoying it.