#1 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2504 posts) -

24 hours or so until the 29 year journey comes to a close with it's last instalment, A Memory of Light (Book 14).

I've been a massive fan for 4 years now and was surprised to see a lack of topics about it. Seriously, in my humble opinion this'll be the culmination of one of the greatest works of English fiction ever put to paper.

Anyone else getting the jitters waiting for this book? What are you looking forward to?

Personally, my number 1 question is whether Rand will die at the end or not - it seems so certain that he will, which would actually make it a surprise if he didn't. Plus, what is Demandred doing?

Can't wait.

#2 Posted by YoThatLimp (1900 posts) -

Crazy, are all 13 worth going through? Good on him on finally finishing the series, hah.

#3 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2504 posts) -

@YoThatLimp said:

Crazy, are all 13 worth going through? Good on him on finally finishing the series, hah.

Sadly, the original writer Robert Jordan passed away before finishing the "last book", which was instead taken up by Brandon Sanderson, writer of Mistborn (another great fantasy series).

The last book became 3 (books 12-14), which sounds like a cop out, but considering each is a full sized, 50+ chapter tome, it's been a great ride to the finish.

To answer your question, the series dips at books 8 and 9, but if you get over that hump everything else is fantastic and this last one is looking to truly rock. Epic fantasy at its very best.

#4 Posted by YoThatLimp (1900 posts) -

@selfconfessedcynic said:

@YoThatLimp said:

Crazy, are all 13 worth going through? Good on him on finally finishing the series, hah.

Sadly, the original writer Robert Jordan passed away before finishing the "last book", which was instead taken up by Brandon Sanderson, writer of Mistborn (another great fantasy series).

The last book became 3 (books 12-14), which sounds like a cop out, but considering each is a full sized, 50+ chapter tome, it's been a great ride to the finish.

To answer your question, the series dips at books 8 and 9, but if you get over that hump everything else is fantastic and this last one is looking to truly rock. Epic fantasy at its very best.

Ah okay, that makes sense. I feel like that is how 'A Song of Fire and Ice' is going to go, a second author will need to pick up the reins. This has always been a series I wanted to read but was a little intimidated by the sheer number of books, I will have to check it out!

#5 Posted by indieslaw (341 posts) -

I think Demandred is posing as the king of Murandy. The band of the red hand did some work for him, and he solidified what used to be a disparate kingdom. But he's stayed strangely out of the limelight. What I have no idea about is Demandred's connection to Taim. Seems like there is one.

By the way, the release party is in the town I live in, so I'mma try and make my way there. If anyone's interested, I'll try and post updates.

#6 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2504 posts) -

@YoThatLimp:

Yeah, I'd definitely check it out - though, of course, my opinion is a bit bias : P .

But let's put it this way, the last couple of books have been averaging well above 4 stars on Amazon and Good Reads (the latter having 29,000+ reviews for Towers of Midnight alone). The series is definitely worth trying out if not sticking with.

@videorob: Hah, nice!

No release parties that I know of in Sydney - I'll be getting my copy via audible.com anywho.

But yes, I don't know man - Moridin seems to respect what Demandred has done, and he gives him plenty of space to do it, too. I can't see anything coming out of a backwater like Murandy that'd be particularly useful when compared to hordes already pouring into Camlyn etc. My guess is he's doing something in the Isle of Madmen or Shara - I can't believe that those two massive continents will have nothing to do with the last battle. Hints by Sammael be damned.

#7 Posted by indieslaw (341 posts) -

Do you want to add a spoiler tag to the thread title? Just so we can talk freely? :D

Speaking of Sammael, I don't understand why he hasn't been recycled. He wasn't balefired, he was consumed by Mashadar in Shadar Logoth. Shouldn't he have been able to be snatched by the dark one?

Also, who was it that Aviendha ran into on the way to Rhuidean, Nakomi or whoever? Was it Verin? The timeline gets a little muddled in these recent books.

Also, the red-veiled Aiel with filed teeth freak. me. out. Aiel men who can channel have wandered north into the Blight to slay sightblinder for years and years... has the shadow been collecting and turning them? Like in the black tower?

The shadow's arsenal has been super disturbing lately. Genuinely disconcerting.

#8 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2504 posts) -

@videorob: To my understanding I can't change the title without contacting a mod - and there isn't space for the tag I think.

Anyway, we have these helpful spoiler boxes.

The sight-blinders or whatever they're called are SO cool - and it makes so much sense. I wonder how many there are? [Double spoilers if you haven't read the prologue for Memory of Light] Considering Isam is like 40-50 years old (assuming he's in the same range as Lan) that means they have 40-50 years of Red Veiled Aiel in The Town at a minimum. He makes it sound like it's relatively rare to capture one, after all they're still Aiel, but considering how many Ashaman have been turned to the shadow in addition to them, the enemy has a heck of a lot of male channellers - and about 100 black ajah if I remember correctly (Eggy quotes how many they caught at some point, but a lot got free, I remember it being about half).

But yes, Nakomi could be Verin - but I doubt it, since Verin was waiting around for Mat for quite a while. Some speculate she's a long living member of the Jenn Aiel still wandering around - others that she's just in Aviendha's imagination. We'll see if Baer meets her when she goes to Rhuidean, but honestly I doubt we'll meet her again - the character had a purpose and she fulfilled it.

As for Sammael, it's a full mystery. Jordan confirmed that he was dead, perhaps something about Mashadar stopped him from leaving the world of the living (ie, maybe his soul was trapped within Mashadar) - and Mashadar isn't friendly to the Dark One, or perhaps the destruction of it by the concentrated taint destroyed everything to do with it too. Who knows? Either way he isn't coming back - thankfully. Rand has enough on his plate, especially as Taim is now a Foresaken too.

Man, things are really heating up coming into the last battle. I have no idea how the events are supposed to happen all in one night and the day after as they seem to be.

Plus, that's all just on the surface. For example, what do you think;

  • Is this the LAST last battle? ie - will the world of The Wheel of Time get set to linear time by this fight?
  • If not, do you think there will be anything special about THIS last battle? Or will it simply be another turning of the wheel?
  • Do you think Rand needs to die for the series to end satisfactorily?
  • What do you think about the two women on the cover? I believe it's Moiraine and Alivia.
#9 Edited by John1912 (1857 posts) -

I used to LOVE the series, but after about the 7th novel I couldnt stand them anymore. I love the chapters with Rand, Matt, and Perrin, but fuck me I cant stand the women centered ones. It would prob be fine if he actually spent 50% of the time on the male characters but the women were making up 90% of the damn books.

#10 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2504 posts) -

@John1912: I kindof felt that way when they were being damn useless at everything - but once you get to book 10 or so, they go from 0-badass pretty quick.

Aside from Elayne, I like the women's chapters most of the time now - and Min's and Cadsuane's chapters are all awesome (since they essentially give insights and perspectives into what Rand has to do in the lead up to the last battle). Egwane is awesome (I hate her personality, but that chick kicks butt), and Nynaeve actually becomes quite likeable.

In either case, yeah - the middle of the series is weak, but the last few have more than made up for it.

#11 Edited by John1912 (1857 posts) -

@selfconfessedcynic said:

@John1912: I kindof felt that way when they were being damn useless at everything - but once you get to book 10 or so, they go from 0-badass pretty quick.

Aside from Elayne, I like the women's chapters most of the time now - and Min's and Cadsuane's chapters are all awesome (since they essentially give insights and perspectives into what Rand has to do in the lead up to the last battle).

In either case, yeah - the middle of the series is weak, but the last few have more than made up for it.

Hmm. well might try and pick one up again if thats the case. I forget which one I left off at 7-9 I think. Yea, that was a large part of the prob is NOTHING happened in the women chapters. It was just 20-30 pages of haughty women looking down their noses at men as complete morons. They are like, look at that stumbling baboon over there. Hes lucky Im here, he'd trip over his own feet and kill himself, that thing hes doing, yea that. He only does that because I allow it, and it suits my interest!

Fuck forgot about Min. I was just trying to figure out how many women chapter centered figures there were, Got to about 6 before I couldn't remember anymore and knew I was still short. Too many characters in those books. It speaks volumes (pun intended) to Roberts intelligence that he is able to craft such a deep character filled world, but man. He could have toned it down quite a bit to better serve the overall story imo.

#12 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2504 posts) -

@John1912: The whole women-looking-down-on-others thing is very intense while the 3 musketeers run around hunting the Black Ajah, ditto with many of the Aes Sedai chapters until book 10. Heck, I still hate most Aes Sedai after what was books 1-9, just not the POVs (eg. Siuan Sanche is pretty cool too).

But once you get to there, not only do the chicks get cooler, but Perrin + the two rivers folk come back in huge force and the stuff Matt gets up to can leave you speachless (and in stitches, it really is pretty funny sometimes - even outside the context of a fantasy novel).

The Rand chapters get to be some serious high-fantasy stuff, and eventually you even get some pretty damn cool Lan chapters. Seriously, things really do pick up once you get to book 10 and beyond.

#13 Posted by Sanity (1896 posts) -

I enjoyed the first 3 books and need to get back to the series... its just such a massive time commitment.

#14 Posted by Svenzon (718 posts) -

@dudy80 said:

I enjoyed the first 3 books and need to get back to the series... its just such a massive time commitment.

Tell me about it. I bought the first 5 books or so, read the first and stopped halfway through the second. Back then no one knew when (or even if) the series was ever gonna end either.

#15 Posted by TobbRobb (4598 posts) -

Man I have almost all of them lying around... It's pocket versions though so I have 24 something books? Stopped at 17 way back in the day. Don't even remember why, It's probably the dip you mentioned. But if it's almost finished I might have to get back on it, mostly good memories from that series.

#16 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11621 posts) -

I have my copy pre-ordered and ready to go for the midnight launch at the bookstore where Sanderson himself will show up. I'm pretty stoked, you might say, although I am somewhat afraid of being surrounded by people who enjoy fantasy books far more than I do, something I didn't realize was possible until I went to the midnight launch for Sanderson's last book, The Alloy of Law.

@John1912: Thankfully there is far less "Oh these woolheaded men and their silly ways, we are so much more clever than them!" (followed immediately by Elaine/Nyneve/Egwene falling into an obvious trap) in the latter books than there is in the mid-series hump. I can sympathize, but it does get better.

#17 Posted by notdavid (837 posts) -

I've been looking for an excuse to get into this series, but I don't want to get invested in a long-ass series only to be disappointed by the ending. If it doesn't suck, I'll start digging into it.

#18 Posted by Cyrus_Saren (534 posts) -

It seems I should really step up and finish up the First Law trilogy so I can get started on this series. I have the first book already.

#19 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2504 posts) -

@ArbitraryWater said:

I have my copy pre-ordered and ready to go for the midnight launch at the bookstore where Sanderson himself will show up. I'm pretty stoked, you might say, although I am somewhat afraid of being surrounded by people who enjoy fantasy books far more than I do, something I didn't realize was possible until I went to the midnight launch for Sanderson's last book, The Alloy of Law.

I am so jealous right now - the only time Brandon has been in Sydney over the last year I had commitments from work. Also, hi-5, the mistborn series rocks.

@notdavid: Yeah, I suspect I'll be posting about it here or on goodreads no matter what. Here's hoping the series comes to a satisfactory conclusion - though I don't really doubt that it will (probably a dangerous position to be in, but w/e)

@Cyrus_Saren: The First Law series is pretty darn good itself - though much much darker than WoT. Hope you enjoy the ending.

#20 Posted by Hunter5024 (5612 posts) -

Damn it I missed my deadline. Still on book 8. Am I past the lowest point yet anybody?

Online
#21 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2504 posts) -

@Hunter5024: You are in the dark times - things only start looking up as you get through book 10 (though apparently it was worse than I remembered, looking back through the chapter summaries). I think pretty much the only good things to look forward to are the Mat, Loyal and Rand chapters.

That said, once you get to 11 all of the slow build from 8-10 pays off.

#22 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11621 posts) -

Well, I have my book. Signed and everything

#23 Posted by Hunter5024 (5612 posts) -

@selfconfessedcynic: I wish you had lied...

Online
#24 Posted by Mezmero (1868 posts) -

Geez has it been this long already? Last book I read was 10 around the time of it's release and it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. I think I made it half-way through New Spring before dropping the series entirely. Should I finish New Spring if I jump back into this nonsense? I feel like I've been away too long to remember like 80% of the characters and plot points.

#25 Posted by indieslaw (341 posts) -

Yeah, I went to the release here in Utah. The Q&A was fun, but I spent more hours at BYU than I'm entirely comfortable with. I asked a question, and got a RAFO, which was spelled out to be Read And Figure Out. When I have Brandon personalize the book later (too busy that night), I'm going to ask him to write that out.

Um, so I wasn't expecting the cosplay. There was a gleeman there, and I didn't realize that that's what the patchy cloaks looked like. Plenty of Asha'man, but I got the feeling that those guys wore those coats all the time, and just happened to also wear them at a WOT release party. And the most beautiful woman I've ever seen was there dressed as Min. Just, you know, FYI.

Harriet read part of the book. That was fun. She got some standing ovations. The BYU bookstore started getting RIPE towards the midnight hour, as you might expect.

I didn't do the thing I've done with the last 4 books or so, which is to sit down and read them straight through in like an 8-12 hour marathon session. I'm still only about halfway through. So there's still plenty of speculation to do.

That said, here are some still uninformed guesses:

That said, here are some still uninformed guesses:

I think Rand is going to try to make this the LAST battle, fail, die, come back somehow, and seal away the dark one, restoring the balance, as the dragon is meant to do. But it would be BAD ASS if he slew the DO. I'm really also hoping the creator shouts in Rand's mind again, like in the first book.

I think Rand coming back is going to have something to do with Nyneave healing death. One of the absolutes of the series is that death cannot be healed, and another is that anything that cannot be healed, Nyneave can heal. That said, I think this will be a healing specific to Rand... I don't see the world going immortal after this.

I think I can't speculate on the cover, because I know too much. Too bad.

The red-veiled Aiel continue to creep me out. Seriously, they are the most unsettling thing about any of these books. Also, the Turnings, it's nice to see that finally payoff.

Rand's making things grow... I wish he'd pop in and chat with the Tinkers.

#26 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2504 posts) -

@videorob: Man. Min is my favourite of the women in the series. Well, her, Cadsuane and Moiraine tie for that spot - but yeah.

In any case - I'm down to the last third, don't walk to talk about anything yet for fear of spoiling people by accident.

It's pretty good so far, let's just say that. And there are definitely some surprises.

#27 Posted by Zekhariah (697 posts) -

I'm looking forward to it, but at this point I'm not worried. It seems like Sanderson got better between the first and then most recent WoT book that he wrote, so it seems likely that the series will have a good conclusion (even if deus ex machina already figures heavily into it). Although, I'm also less invested in the series than I was when I started reading them ~15 years ago. But there is no way I will miss out on seeing the end.

My experience with the series has been a bit more positive than what I have seen with Song of Ice and Fire actually. For all the (deserved) criticism the books received, it felt like the characters and world were still reasonably interesting and dynamic. Even when written into corners. The slow bits of SoIAF can be a bit more grating. And Jordan never really fell down an ugly rat hole like good ol'Terry Goodkind.

I would not consider it past the lowest point, but I think you are getting to the point where only one of the character's viewpoints will be not super great.

#28 Posted by Hunter5024 (5612 posts) -

@Zekhariah: Is it Perrin? I kind of already wish Faile would just fall and snap her neck.

Online
#29 Posted by indieslaw (341 posts) -

Ta'veren is Old Tongue for Deus ex Machina.

I just finished the book. I loved it, but I was going to anyway.

#30 Posted by Splodge (1256 posts) -

Have the book sitting on my bed. Started reading these in 2001. This has been a long time coming.

I was pretty sad when RJ died. It was something me and my friends had joked around about, "Imagine if he died before finishing the last book". Dang :/

This is gonna be awesome :)

Online
#31 Posted by ripelivejam (3794 posts) -

three or four books could've been cut from the series and i wouldn't have minded one bit. drags in ways that the ASOIAF series can only dream of (so far, i've quite liked/loved every book in that series but if grrm pulls the same stuff in TWOW i may find my opinion of him finally swayed...)

elayne is pretty much a terrible character.

last one i read was The Gathering Storm which was an upswing for the series and best since Winter's Heart but had an overly trite ending IMO and still kinda aimless in spots.

looking forward to finishing it eventually. glad sanderson was able to tie up jordan's work and hopefully bring closure to the series.

#32 Posted by Veektarius (4771 posts) -

I'll be reading this for sure, and am totally caught up, but unlike many, my enthusiasm for the next entry has actually been dimmed by Brandon Sanderson's contributions. There have been some great scenes... most everything with Rand, I think, but my favorite character used to be Mat and he's just not the same without Jordan.

#33 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2504 posts) -

I finished the book a couple of hours ago. I'm going to say only a couple of things about it. (No spoilers)

  1. Every scene with Tam was wonderful - one in particular is amongst the best in the series.
  2. There are some twists here that may not be clear unless you've been paying attention - specifically to Min's viewings / the answers by the 'fins. I'm thinking of one moment near the end to be specific - if you didn't realise what was happening when it happened then at least for that one (a pretty big one), they DO give an explanation, it'll just sound flat to you. For me, however, it was an OMG I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN IT moment, which was awesome. Other small details are very referential to foretellings / answers / prophesies given throughout the series, but go without particular explanation.
  3. Noone is safe. I'd love to say more here, but I wont.
  4. I really liked it, and felt it did manage to bring closure - which I honestly didn't fully trust that it would.

@Veektarius: I'm a person who liked Mat a bunch in the past, but liked him just as much in spite of his changes post Jordan. In some cases I like him more (he's even funnier now than he ever was IMO).

I am apparently in the minority by a long shot - or at least, amongst those vocal about it. To me his arc makes sense considering he's a married man now - but w/e.

@ripelivejam: Elayne totally redeems herself in AMOL in my opinion - but that statement should not be taken beyond its face value.