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176 of 189 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A triumphant finale to the series, despite a few missteps
The Wheel of Time is finished. That's a statement that's going to take a while to get used to. The first volume of the series, The Eye of the World, was published in January 1990. George Bush Snr. and Margaret Thatcher were still in power and the Cold War was still ongoing. Fourteen books, four million words, eleven thousand pages and over fifty million sales (in North...
Published on 8 Jan. 2013 by A. Whitehead

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3.0 out of 5 stars Too much in this book
Anyone who read up this far in the series is going to read this book anyway. I wouldn't say don't bother, there's some good stuff in it. But I think I was expecting it to be better.

Kinda torn on what star to give this book. I appreciate Brandon Sanderson had a difficult job to do. But I think he did better in the previous two books. There's too much crammed in...
Published 12 months ago by TempestS


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4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant (mostly), 16 July 2013
Awesome. That's the one word that best sums up the finale to the Wheel of Time.
Since Brandon Sanderson took the reins the story's pace and surged forwards - that may have been Robert Jordan's intentions all along for this final part of the story, but still, it is good to have the story moving forward quickly again.
Almost the entire novel is about the last battle, and what an awesome battle it is. It is on a massive scale, and this shows why Robert Jordan's invested so much time (and pages) into the set up (with the massive world, kings, armies etc.). There are a few things though that don't fit quite right - for example, ***spoiler alert*** the scale of the Gateway that is opened to release the lava from Dragonmount is awesome, but this same tactic isn't used during the final battle itself. ***spoiler alert end*** Also, Matt constantly gets praised for his brilliant tactics, but none of these are actually described - what is he doing that is so brilliant?
The ending itself also leaves a little to be desired. I won't go into any spoilers, but after initially feeling very satisfied at the ending, I was left feeling annoyed at a couple of incidents - the type that don't really fit into a well finished story (not the type where loose threads are always left open - that's fine).
All in all though, a great finish to a fantastic, epic story. (It's just a shame that books 8-11 were so poor and filled with too much waffle that was superfluous to the story.)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too much in this book, 15 May 2014
This review is from: A Memory Of Light: Book 14 of the Wheel of Time (Paperback)
Anyone who read up this far in the series is going to read this book anyway. I wouldn't say don't bother, there's some good stuff in it. But I think I was expecting it to be better.

Kinda torn on what star to give this book. I appreciate Brandon Sanderson had a difficult job to do. But I think he did better in the previous two books. There's too much crammed in here, and too much repetition in the battles. I broadly agree with most of the negative reviews in this regard. The 2nd half of this book lets it down especially. I think it could have been simplified much further and even split into two books.

But There lots of good idea's some great moments. and its worth reading for those alone. It feels like the balance is wrong. The end section is too short, the middle section too long. I'm a little disappointed in the ending, its not terrible, but its written lower standard than the rest of the book. It feels rushed.

Also I read the paper back version. Its poor quality. Its too narrow and the print too small. The quality of the paper isn't great either. I bought it because I had a voucher, and also I like to support the books. But I was really disappointed in this. I generally read a mix of hard back, paper back and eBooks. But is the worst quality I've seen in a long time. I hope this isn't a sign of the future of print.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just... damn. Epic., 11 Jan. 2013
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Without a doubt, I expected this to be epic, but I wasn't prepared for the scale of the Last Battle. From pretty much the first page right up until the last chapter, A Memory of Light delivers hard hitting, complex and fast paced action sequences interspersed with pacy dialogue and characters who die frequently.

How on earth BS managed to write this I have no idea, but I would heartily recommend it.

Just... damn. Awesome.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wheel of time... the ending, 14 Dec. 2014
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The final ending to an epic story. Have enjoyed the story immensely. Some of the characters it seems were impossible for the enemy to kill off despite mortally wounding them. The final ending left some questions unanswered regarding the central character Rand how he was able to become Moridin for example. Oh well as long as good triumphs over evil who cares.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Memories Become Legend, 28 Dec. 2014
As someone who has been reading The Wheel of Time saga right from the very beginning – that’s almost two dozen years of my life – writing a review of the final book was always going to be a bittersweet experience. Sad, inevitably, because, like it or not, the wheel has finally turned full circle and this really is the end; happy, hopefully, because the series could (and should) go out on a high note. Once I finished reading A Memory of Light I did indeed feel a conflicting range of emotions – but not the ones I was expecting! Yes, there was sadness, yes, there was joy, but there was also irritation, frustration, resentment and more than a little confusion. I purposely avoided Amazon and every other site that might have featured a review of the book until I finished it, for fear of spoilers and other people’s views colouring my own experience of AMOL. Once I did look at the reviews of the finale of the WOT I have to say my confusion only grew. Take the US Amazon page for example – at the time of writing it featured around 400 five-star ratings and 300 one-star ratings! I’ll go into more detail concerning the reasons for this massive diversity of reviews but, suffice to say, I found that I had very little in common with the opinions of those at either end of the spectrum. Instead, I found myself nodding as I read many of the two, three and four-star reviews. If that’s the sort of rating that those of you reading this post gave AMOL then you might agree with a lot of the things that I’m about to say – equally you might find yourself violently disagreeing! Either way, this is my own like-it-or-leave-it, bias-free, non-commercial take on the final volume of the series which, more than any other (sorry George R R Martin fans!), has dominated the fantasy bookshelves for the past two decades.

***SPOILERS – BEWARE!***

First, let me say a word about the aforementioned Amazon reviews of the book. This is a slight generalization but, for the most part, I found that a lot of the five-star reviews seemed to be praising either the series as a whole, or Brandon Sanderson’s (admittedly laudable) work in tying together the loose threads left by Robert Jordan after his death into a coherent narrative. The one-star reviews, meanwhile, were almost entirely made up of people protesting about the publisher’s decision to delay until spring the release of the e-book version of the novel. Neither of these seem to me to be a particularly valid way to rate AMOL. True, I myself would probably give the WOT series as a whole a better rating than the final book on its own and true, I’m as annoyed as anyone by the commercially motivated decision not to release the print and e-book simultaneously. However, it’s also my view that if you’re going to review a piece of work you should concentrate on the novel in front of you, ignoring what has gone before it as well as any other extraneous issues – so that’s what I’m going to do. I always try to be as positive as I can so I’ll start by looking at what I liked about AMOL.

I definitely liked the first third of the book much more than the final two thirds because, at that early stage, it really seemed to be shaping up to be a humdinger of a finale, as well as delivering on all the promise of the volumes that had gone before. The prologue expertly mixed frenetic action scenes involving relatively minor characters with more slow-moving developments in the meta-plot. Having some characters fight for their lives while others talked and considered weighty matters provided a pleasing contrast. When the major players started to take centre stage we were then treated to some nice character moments – the whole sequence involving the argument between Rand and Egwene at the Field of Merrilor, followed up by the reappearance of Moiraine and ending with the relief of Lan on the Malkier battlefront particularly stands out. The battle scenes, at least early on, were breathtaking – a real sign of Brandon Sanderson playing to his strengths, as well as finally delivering on all of the decades of buildup to the Last Battle. While we’ve seen some terrific action scenes before in the WOT, there is definitely an added edge to the ones in AMOL, given that we know that this is the last book, where no one is guaranteed to survive. After a few pleasingly brutal flourishes that might have impressed even George R R Martin, you are genuinely concerned every single time one of your favourite characters enters the fray – which is, I suppose, exactly how it should be when it comes to a book which is essentially about war. Oh yes, and if you’re a fan of Mat, this is definitely his book. He gets virtually all the best lines as well as stealing almost every scene that he’s in, in much the same way that Tyrion Lannister does in A Song of Ice and Fire.

So far so good, but even the positives that I’ve outlined above carry some hints about the weaknesses of AMOL. Let’s go back to the prologue, where the minor character Talmanes really gets to shine for the first time in the entire series. He fights heroically (killing no less than two Myrddraal on his own!) but then does virtually nothing in the rest of the novel. Had he been killed off at the end of the prologue that would have made more sense and been more fitting. Unfortunately, this is by no means an isolated example. Take Moiraine: yes, her comeback is memorable but after that first scene with Rand, what does she really add to the story? She’s a virtual passenger at Shayol Ghul. Thom Merrilin is one of my favourite characters in the WOT but, given his negligible impact on AMOL I really don’t know why he was included in this book at all. Another of my favourite characters, Padan Fain, makes such an insultingly brief appearance at the end of AMOL that I wonder why he was kept alive beyond The Shadow Rising – I mean, what did he meaningfully contribute to the series after that book? Slayer, meanwhile, was also kept long past his sell-by date. Whilst his Wolf Dream battles with Perrin were undoubtedly one of the highlights of Towers of Midnight, here they just feel like a tired re-tread and the conclusion of their personal feud feels hugely anti-climactic. Proof, if any were needed, that when it comes to the WOT, more is very often less.

Apart from Fain and Slayer, the other villains in AMOL were equally disappointing. Demandred, supposedly one of the greatest tacticians who ever lived, couldn’t work out that Rand – the Dragon Reborn, fated to battle the Dark One and all that – is in Shayol Ghul, erm, fighting the Dark One!?! As far as Moridin/Ishamael is concerned, it turns out that he wasn’t really bothered about serving the Dark One and destroying the Dragon after all, he just wanted to cash in his chips – a very dubious motivation, which wasn’t sign-posted at all in the previous thirteen books. As for Moghedien being caught and collared by the Seanchan, hang on – wasn’t that exactly what happened to Elaida in an earlier volume!?! The Dark One himself should have been much more scary and memorable, not just a disembodied voice philosophising endlessly with Rand in a cave. In fact one of the best potential villains was Tuon, a thoroughly unlikable character whose ‘romance’ with Mat is totally unbelievable. Not exploiting her full potential for villainy by getting her to betray her fragile allegiance to the side of Light was, I feel, a missed opportunity.

Then we come to the ‘heroes’ who died: Egwene, Suian, Gareth Bryne, Gawyn, Davram Bashere and Rhuarc. All of these deaths in AMOL have one thing in common – they were so clumsily handled that I felt absolutely nothing (other than a mild sense of irritation at the ineptitude of the writer). I really did come to this book ready to weep like a baby, especially following all of Sanderson’s tweets and hints that this is exactly what might happen to readers, but in the event I was barely moved. In particular, the fate of Rand himself felt like a massive let-down. Throughout the WOT, you feel that the series is leading up to his eventual death. Whilst his survival at the end of AMOL is not a problem in and of itself, his entire role in the book is very questionable. After the ‘last debate’ scene, he virtually disappears from the action and instead has a jolly-old philosophical discussion with the Dark One for six hundred pages while his allies are fighting and dying around him. At the end of the book not only does Rand survive, he has the god-like ability to light his pipe with a thought and is pondering which one of the three women who are after him he will end up with! Maybe I’m old-fashioned but I’ve always been uncomfortable with this particular love quadrangle and, even leaving this aside, there seems to be very little that is heroic about Rand’s actions in AMOL. To me, Rand’s survival is also one of several fairly heavy hints that AMOL is by no means an end to the WOT saga.

A lot of people have commented on the lack of resolution to the finale of the WOT. Once the Last Battle is over, AMOL ends rather abruptly. On one level, this might simply be viewed as Sanderson wanting to get things over and done with, presumably tired after having spent the majority of the last five years finishing off the work of another author while having a number of his own projects underway (The Stormlight Archive for example). However, a careful reading reveals that AMOL does a lot to set up the world of the WOT post-Tarmon Gai’don. After the defeat of the Shadow, having taken relatively minor losses, the Seanchan are perfectly placed to conquer – if, that is, they choose to ignore that pesky Dragon’s peace that they signed up to (not a huge barrier, one might think). How will the Aiel adapt to their role as upholders of the Dragon’s peace and, perhaps more pertinently, how will the other nations react to them doing so? Will the Borderlands unite under one banner – that of Lan and Malkier – following their horrendous losses during the Last Battle? Will the White and Black Towers be reconciled? Will the Two Rivers secede from Andor? Despite the deaths I mentioned above, most of the main players are still alive, mostly quite young, and occupy central roles in the world – Rand, Mat, Perrin, Nynaeve, Lan, Thom, Moiraine, Loial, Elayne, Aviendha, Min, Galad etc. Significantly, there is no Harry Potter-style ‘twenty years later’ chapter, showing things neatly wrapped up for all of the remaining characters. To me, all of this points pretty heavily to the fact that the publishers are far from done with milking this particular cash-cow and that further WOT-universe novels are planned. Needless to say, I for one won’t be buying!

So what went wrong? Inevitably – and this is no one’s fault – the death of James Rigney/Robert Jordan hangs heavily over this last book (even more so than it did over The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight). To me, this very much feels like Sanderson’s conclusion to the WOT saga rather than Jordan’s. It has not been lost on most people that many of the best scenes/sub-plots in AMOL involve minor characters like Talmanes and, especially, the Asha’man Androl, all of whom were either introduced or given important roles for the first time by Sanderson rather than Jordan. The last two thirds of the book are basically non-stop fighting – another signature of Sanderson’s style. Whilst he is very good at action scenes, the trouble with Sanderson in this respect is that he doesn’t seem to know that you can have too much of a good thing. I personally felt physically (rather than emotionally) drained after reading AMOL because of the relentless battle scenes – at times I felt like I’d been pounded by the One Power myself! Not only did the endless fighting just get boring after a while, it seemed to leave no room for smaller, character-driven scenes. A lot of the deeper themes in the series which Jordan originally introduced – what power does to people, the inevitability of fate, past lives, the dual nature of life and the cosmos – were totally lost in AMOL. Also, annoyingly, Sanderson seemed to either ignore or pay lip service to the many omens, prophecies, visions and viewings peppered throughout the preceding thirteen books. The resolution of these mysteries was one of the things that I was most looking forward to in AMOL but I still am none the wiser about, for example, who exactly ‘The Broken Wolf’ referred to in the Dark prophecy at the end of TOM was. Again, it may be that matters like this will be addressed in the inevitable WOT spin-off series but this seems lazy to say the least.

I’m aware that much of what I’ve said above is quite negative but, like a lot of people, I came to AMOL with expectations that were (perhaps unfairly) sky-high. My investment of time in the WOT over the years has been so great that (to paraphrase Tolkien) Jordan/Sanderson had incurred some pretty substantial narrative debts that I was really expecting to be paid off – with interest! I also came to AMOL with the experience of having read a number of truly great conclusions to some of my other favourite fantasy sagas – The Return of the King, The Deathly Hallows, To Green Angel Tower, Fool’s Fate etc – and was expecting nothing less from the WOT. In the end, although I was in many ways disappointed with what I got, it’s worth saying that I did still feel a definite sense of loss – as if I knew that there was an old friend whom I was never going to see again, at least not in the same way (gulp). Hang on, I think those tears may come after all…
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy ending, 13 Jan. 2013
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M. Cron (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is for both this book and for this series.

I can think of no other book or series of books that has left such an impression on me as the WOT series, from the moment I read EOTW about 15 years ago, I have been hooked, and despite some floundering in the middle of the series, as a body of work and imagination I believe it is without equal in the world of fantasy. It borrows themes and mythology from other series, other cultures and from our own history and melds them all into a world that I truly felt I could visualise and understand.

This final novel is pretty much everything it needed to be; a gigantic battle and a bringing together of all the myriad plots that have been building up over the last 13 books. Some of the endings feel a bit sudden given the time devoted to developing them throughout the series, but that is to be expected in a final novel. I was constantly surprised and saddened by the deaths in this book, particularly of primary characters that I would never have guessed wouldn't have made it to the end. However I felt that it was done well, and each of them made a lasting impression on me; some of the most heart wrenching deaths were of relatively small characters that we have known since the start.

Personally I would have liked a bit more time devoted to the epilogue, It's obvious that RJ wanted us to fill in the ending with our own imaginations, but it would have been nice to have been rewarded with some scenes from the amazing Fourth Age that comes about.

As mentioned in some of the other reviews, there is the odd moment where BS inserts a modern day phrase or word that jars with the rest of the book, but it is very easy to forgive this when you consider the herculean task the poor man had to take on. I think that he has done a superb job of bringing the series to a close and to all those who criticise I would ask you to consider how you would have felt had no-one wished to brave the storm and write an ending, and the story had forever been left unfinished...

A triumphant conclusion and a truly remarkable series.

Thank you Mr Jordan and thank you Mr Sanderson, the WOT has been a huge presence in my life, and I can barely express the sense of wonder and profound enjoyment that I have experienced through reading your story. I think that the tone of the reviews (ignoring the 1-star idiots with e-book rage) are testament to the affection with which both authors are held in the hearts of their fans.

Goodbye Rand, I'll miss you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great End to A Monumental Journey, 21 Sept. 2013
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Like many Robert Jordan fans, I was sceptical when Brandon Sanderson took over the helm of finishing off the remaining books of the Wheel of Time after Mr Jordan's untimely death. However, I needn't have worried and I am so grateful that he managed to so with such accomplishment.

There's not subtleties in this last book, just battles - death, bloodshed, more death etc. but what do you expect at the Last Battle? I particularly liked the fact that characters we had grown to love (or loathe) over the years finally had their part to play in the final denouement.

A criticism of Sanderson's approach was the fact that he spread the last "book" over three books rather than just the one volume. However, with such an abundance of material and so many resolutions needed to be made, I can now see why this was necessary. In fact, the only problem I have in this last book is that everything seemed a bit rushed towards the end. When you have spent over 20 years getting to know characters and then their fate is mentioned so briefly, this was a little bit disappointing. Also, I would have liked another chapter at the very end to round everything off - that is why I have only given it 4 stars.

Overall, though, no complaints from me. Thank you Mr Jordan for the best fantasy franchise since Tolkien, and hats off to you Mr Sanderson for a creditable "taking up of the helm" for the last leg of the journey.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent final chapter, 15 Feb. 2013
Like everyone else, I couldn't contain my excitement when the book was finally released given the huge wait for the final chapter.. The book is essentially a huge battle and is the culmination of many sub plots throughout the series and I was very gratified to see some thrilling conclusions to these.

Whilst the battle scenes are exciting and invigorating, the amount of prose dedicated to them becomes just a tad tiresome/repetitive as you read through the book. I think Brandon should have introduced some more pauses and breaks in the battle scenes however I guess there was a lot of conclusions to squeeze in to the final book..

Overall, the book was excellent and finally brings the series to a climatic end which I have to say played out somewhat differently to what I had expected so well done to the authors for keeping us guessing till the last!
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5.0 out of 5 stars At Last!, 27 Feb. 2013
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There were times when I thought that I might not live long enough to reach the conclusion but I am very glad I did. The last 2 vols. (13 and & 14) are pure vintage Jordan. If one was cynical it seems that Mr Sanderson was asked by the publishers to e x p a n d the story to provide the publishers with more funds. Where the Jordan story moved with great pace and inventiveness, the padding was slow and honestly a bit pointless. I have heard that Jordan had mostly finished the story before his death ( the last 2 volumes)
I especially did not read Vol 13 before the arrival of vol14 and I am very gald I waited as it remindes me of my reading the first 6 vols one after the other. It is a shame that we had to wait so long for the quality. I would suggest that anyone who started now would be best advised to concentrate on the Jordan Vols and then go to the last 2.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's been a long time coming - it was worth the wait, 14 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: A Memory Of Light: Book 14 of the Wheel of Time (Paperback)
The first wheel of time book was published 24 years ago - now finally the end of the story appears in this book. It has been a long wait, and the size of this series is pretty big by anyone's standards.

I would guess most people looking at reviews of this book will have already invested a lot of reading time into reaching this close to the end of the series. If you are looking at this as a book to pick up without having read the preceding 13 than you probably want to think again. For those that have made the journey already, you will not be disappointed by this book. Cover to cover it is action packed detail of the last battle, even still there are some story lines that didn't get as much coverage as they could have, but I think Sanderson has done a masterful job of completing the series that Jordan started.

Well worth the read.
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A Memory Of Light: Book 14 of the Wheel of Time
A Memory Of Light: Book 14 of the Wheel of Time by Brandon Sanderson (Paperback - 31 Dec. 2013)
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