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on 8 January 2013
No kindle ebook on release date! I won't be buying this in hardcover.
I only buy ebooks nowdays so it's dissapointing that the publisher treats its digital customers as second class citizens.
If I can borrow this book from a friend before its digital release I will not be purchasing this book, despite having waited for it for years. It seems that boycotting products is the only form of speech that publishers understand.
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on 20 January 2013
Well it had to end, and now it has i feel badly let down. The book is just poor, so poor it is hard to know where to start here.

In order to avoid spoilers i will restrict myself to saying that Brandon Sanderson has not been able to resolve this epic to my satisfaction. I find it most telling that he felt the need to introduce a new character with hitherto unknown abilities to make his absurdly convaluted story resolution pan out, that this character is needed to break 13 books worth of restrictions on how to use the one power is just pathetic storytelling. I feel also most strongly that the method for Rand to win was well shadowed on the series before now, certain characters had roles to play. In fact much of the series has been about establishing who where when and how Rand was to challenging the dark one at "the last battle", that was the story of everything. From the very start Mat and Perrin at the least had to be there at the end, there are others, but not according to this fool. Taking a deep breath i will set down my keyboard and let the inner rage subside.

We all took such a long journay with Jordan and his brilliant creation, its a shame that its ended like this. It was always going to be hard. Looking back, the huge number of storylines and characters should have been starting to be wound up several books ago. To be charatable to Sanderson, he was left with a lot to do, then again he has had three books to get with it. It is a shame he was not up to the task.

So i will stop now whithout addressing the multiple individual complaints about characterisation, plot details and organisation that i have because this review would run as long as a book and would reveal my nerdish knowlage of Jordans world. I want to end though with the memory of the brilliance of books 2 through about 8, they were shinny with light i will treasure them. I do not want to dwell upon the sad way "The Wheel of Time" has ended.
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on 9 January 2013
Very disappointed that the ebook date is several months away. I preordered this for download expecting it to be downloaded yesterday but will cancel my download now and get it from the library.
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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 January 2013
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 America alone) later, the conclusion has finally arrived. Can it possibly live up to the expectations built up over that time?

It is a tribute to the plotting powers of Robert Jordan, the writing skill of Brandon Sanderson (who took over the series after Jordan's untimely death in 2007) and the hard work of Jordan's editors and assistants that A Memory of Light is - for the most part - a triumphant finale. Given the weight of expectations resting on the novel, not to mention the unfortunate circumstances under it was written, it is unsurprising that it is not perfect. The novel occasionally misfires, is sometimes abrupt in how it resolves long-running plot strands and sometimes feels inconsistent with what has come before. However, it also brings this juggernaut of an epic fantasy narrative to an ending that makes sense, is suitably massive in scope and resolves the series' thematic, plot and character arcs satisfactorily - for the most part.

It is a familiar viewpoint that The Wheel of Time is a slow-burning series, with Robert Jordan not afraid to have his characters sitting around talking about things for entire chapters (or, in one case, an entire novel) rather than getting on with business. However, Jordan at his best used these lengthy dialogue scenes to set up plot twists and explosive confrontations further down the line, pulling together the elements he'd established previously in surprising and interesting ways. This reached a high in the slow-moving sixth book, which ended with what is regarded by many as the series' best climax to date at the Battle of Dumai's Wells. Steven Erikson (whose Malazan series is the most notable recent mega-long fantasy series to have also reached a final conclusion) used the term 'convergence' for such structural climaxes and it's fair to say that this is what A Memory of Light is: a convergence for the entire series. All thirteen of the previous novels lined up plot cannons in preparation for the Last Battle, and in the closing chapters of Towers of Midnight Brandon Sanderson started triggering them.

The result is not The Wheel of Time you may be familiar with. A Memory of Light is a brutal, bruising, 900-page war novel that kicks off with all hell breaking loose and doesn't pause for breath until the ending. The prologue starts with a well-paced sequence as we find out the state of play for the major characters, intercut with Talmanes and the Band of the Red Hand engaging hordes of Shadowspawn on the streets of Caemlyn. The rotation of scenes between the desperate street fighting and more familiar politicking is highly effective and is exhausting in itself. Immediately after this we alternate between Rand's attempts to pull together a coalition against the Shadow whilst a small group of Asha'man try to save their organisation from destruction against overwhelming odds. No sooner is that over than the Last Battle is joined in full force. Vast armies clash, channellers engage one another in One Power exchanges that dwarf anything seen before in the series and lots of stuff blows up. There's more action sequences in A Memory of Light than the rest of the series put together, more than earning the adage 'The Last Battle'.

The action sequences (which make up almost the whole book) are, for the most part, impressive but benefit from unpredictability. Jordan has been criticised for making his characters too safe, with almost no major character of note (on either side) dying in the previous books of the series. This limitation has been removed for the Last Battle. Major characters, middling ones and scores of minor ones are scythed down in this final confrontation with near-wild abandon. Some get heroic, fitting, blaze-of-glory ends. Some die in manners so unexpected, offhand and callous that even George R.R. Martin might nod in approval. Many of the survivors are seriously wounded, either in body or mind. Jordan's experiences as a Vietnam vet informed Rand al'Thor's arc in The Gathering Storm, and resurface here when one major character is tortured by the Shadow before being rescued, but spends the rest of the book suffering the effects of his experiences. The war scenes are suitably epic and exciting, but Sanderson remembers to include moments counting the cost of such a struggle.

That said, there is an annoying discrepancy in the Last Battle sequence compared to earlier novels. Based on the army sizes in previous volumes and the number of channellers in each faction, the good guys should have brought the better part of a million troops and five thousand One Power-wielders to the Last Battle, and the Shadow several times more. There is no indication that such vast numbers are present, which seems rather odd. There is also the fact that the channellers suddenly seem to be much less effective in mass combat than previously shown. This is most blatant when Logain is angrily told that he and a couple of dozen Asha'man cannot hope to defeat a hundred thousand Trollocs by themselves. Given this is exactly what happened in one scene in Knife of Dreams, I can only conclude that the channellers were deliberately reduced in power for this book, which is very strange.

For the most part, this is the level of problems A Memory of Light presents: something mildly irritating to those who prefer consistency from fictional works but ultimately not hugely relevant to the overall thrust of the narrative. Similar issues can be found with a number of very minor subplots that the novel fails to resolve (or even address) from earlier volumes. In some cases these may be examples of what Robert Jordan himself said would happen in the last book, with some elements left deliberately hanging to give the illusion that life goes on after the last page is turned. In other cases, it may be that Jordan did not draft out how those storylines ended, so Sanderson chose to leave them rather than risk too inventing too much of his own material. Sanderson even refuses to name an important river that Jordan did not name himself, resulting is a slightly awkward battle sequence where characters talk about the 'river on the border', the 'river on the battlefield' and so on, which is a bit laboured.

However, whilst the war scenes rage there is also a philosophical struggle at the heart of the book, and of the series. This struggle is shown in the confrontation between Rand and the Dark One in which their visions of the world and the Wheel are shown in conflict with one another. Robert Jordan was convinced that whilst there were certainly complexities and shades of grey in real life, he also believed that real good and real evil existed, and these ideas form part of the philosophical struggle that takes place alongside the battles. How successful this is will vary (perhaps immensely) from reader to reader, but is not helped by some muddling of the issues. The primary struggle of the books has consistently been Good vs. Evil, but in this philosophy-off the idea of the Creator personifying Order and the Dark One Chaos also arises, possibly as their primary roles. This is in conflict with the rest of the series and is also more tiresomely familiar and predictable. Once that interpretation arises, it's impossible not to think of the ending of the Shadow War in the TV series Babylon 5, and the resolution we get is not a million miles away from it (Rand even gets a line almost as awful as "Get the hell out of our galaxy!").

On the prose side of things, it's pretty much the same set-up as The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight: acceptable, faster-paced and a bit less prone to unnecessary introspection. Where Sanderson comes undone (yet again) is his very occasional use of terminology and language that Jordan would never have used, particularly modern words and terms. Though relatively rare, they still jar a little bit when they appear. The book's centrepiece is a single chapter that is almost 200 pages (and 70,000 words) long in hardcover, with some 70 POV characters playing a role. Apparently both Sanderson and Jordan wrote parts of this chapter, and a few minor inconsistencies aside their writing styles mesh very well. The very last section of the epilogue, written by Robert Jordan himself before he passed (including, rather eerily, Jordan's epitaph from his own funeral), is indeed a fitting way to end the book.

Taking everything into account, A Memory of Light is a lot better than perhaps we had any right to expect. The book is a relentless steamroller of action, explosions, plot resolutions, deaths and philosophical (if somewhat confused) arguing. Some elements are under-resolved, or a little too convenient, or not fleshed out enough. But that's par for the course with any ending to a series this huge. The big questions are answered, the final scene is fitting and the story ends in a way that is true to itself, which is the most we can ask for.
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on 13 January 2013
Lord knows the Wheel of Time series has flaws. All fans know that. Plot missteps, idiosyncratic touches which did not always work. Characterization that did not work for everyone.

Nevertheless, no series - none - has earned its ending volume quite like The Wheel of Time. Epic is a word that is overused, but for this series, it genuinely has to apply. No series earns its sacrfices, its twists, its darker moments, with quite the weight of this series. The scale, the depth, the engagement with characters taking dark, sometimes unpalatable paths, and, yes, the length, all contribute to this. None of its flaws overcome how much impact the journey of the series has had on me, and has truly tested the standard forms of the genre while making them feel real and emotionally satisfying; the role of any good reconstructionist.

Rand al Thor was the Chosen One, and no Chosen One ever suffered so much, transformed so much - even into places which were not pleasant - and actually earned the Chosen One label like he did. His journey was real, tragic and draining, and yet his position as prophesized chosen did not feel cheap, as it so often does, as he plainly was the chosen figure of the world for demonstrable reason, a force on the Pattern as much as the evil they all faced. And with a case of engaging, flawed, heroic, complex and yes, even frustrating, core characters, the series built a world of enviable complexity and idiotic humanity, that drew us in even when it dragged or annoyed. Even the seemingly two dimensional had true depth to them. People changed, grew, devolved and above all lived.

No world ever suffered like the world of the Wheel of Time, or at least not for so long in our memories building for book after book. We saw it approaching the end for so long, and believed it, building an apocalypse that matches the dread of the bleak brutality of Westeros despite the vastly different styles of writing. Whole nations seemed to have their own stories we only glimpsed, and yet did not feel tacked on but part of the overall chaos these characters experienced. The atrocities and heroics did not take place in some flimsy construct, but in a land which gave it all weight.

As a finale, A Memory of Light could be hard to follow sometimes, flitting about at light speed between seemingly hundreds of locations and characters coming together in, appropriately, one giant tapestry of epic conclusion. It was only ever going to be thus. As the final planned third of the final book, the glut of action was inevitable, and the confusing mass of characters, motivations and backstories is par for the course for Wheel of Time fans. There are moments of humour (mostly from Mat ;)), glorious heroics, heartbreaking sacrifices and moments of incredible tension as the costs of actions took on all involved.

It was well structured despite the action heavy focus, juggling the incredible weaving of plots with skill, and had moments of emotional power throughout, and I read it all in one day.

Was it perfect? No. I mostly adored the ending conflict and scenes, but without spoiling felt the emotion was undercut by some decisions. It did feel very rushed, as though some other plots should have been resolved or at least addressed in the previous two volumes, leading to some exchanges that just seemed too brief for the occasion, and for my own personal preferences, there was still too much focus on some characters I'm not particularly fond of, but that's on me. I do like being able to imagine the stories of characters beyond an ending, even if I don't necessarily care to see any (which is one problem I had with Mass Effect 3's ending - wondering what the point of all the emotion and energy put into the world and characters had been for if I couldn't picture how things might play out, for good or ill), and appreciated that the world of the books feels real to me, even after this epic story has concluded. There will be triumphs and disasters for these people and world, even if we do not get to see them.

I would thoroughly recommend this series despite all its flaws and length, for though its style might not be for all to enjoy, its development of character in sometimes unexpected directions, it's grand plot that attempts a truly world shattering, high stakes end of world scenario, without copping out on the scale, even if it does require splitting of focus in many places and among many people to keep a character focus to emotionally invest us. And A Memory of Light delivered on much of what was promised. It was a good Wheel of Time book, a mostly fitting conclusion which did not hold back and was not afraid to take risks with characters or plots. Not all of those I liked, even including with the ending, but any negatives won't stay with me in the face of all the good. I read the whole thing in less than 6 hours I was that gripped with its tale.

Well written, emotional, exciting, epic. Fans should be pleased with the finale we got (minor quibbles aside), and what a journey it has been to experience along with all its players. Nostalgia for the whole series makes me want to give it a five star, but four is still great, make no mistake. I look forward to many more rereads of the whole series, and recommend all do the same, with this book in many ways a glorious celebration of the series.
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on 20 January 2013
If you havent read AMOL then you probably shouldnt read this "review". Anyone who has read up to Towers of Midnight will have to read this but i dont want to spoil anything.

This book just felt weird. I can't help thinking it would have been radically different if Robert Jordan had been alive to finish it, that after 5 years he would have changed his mind about the ending and that this isnt the book it was supposed to be. Starting off with a 75pg Prologue that had major plot details in it was a bad start. Anyone that skipped it thinking it wasn't important should go back and read it now. That should have been the first few chapters. The main bulk of the book couldn't have gone any other way. It was tiring reading a 900 page battle but that's what the whole series has been leading up to, more specifically the near 200 page chapter The Last Battle. I was planning on giving this 5 stars all the way through, until I reached the ending.

I get how they wanted to leave the ending exactly as Robert Jordan wrote it but it was just awful. I was so angry after finishing it I couldn't sleep. I get what kind of ending he was trying to go for but I don't see how anyone can be happy with it. I like a happy ending where everything is resolved and you find out what happens to all the characters, not an ending that leaves everything wide open and ambiguous and leaves you feeling disappointed and cheated, where you feel like even the author doesn't care anymore about what happens to his characters. It didn't live up to the promise of the last thirteen books at all, but all it needed was for the Epilogue to be just another chapter and for the Epilogue to be a few years later telling what happened to everyone. All the characters futures are generally set up but it falls just short of saying what actually happens, which is what everyone has read fourteen books to find out.

I can't even imagine how the people who have been reading the series for 20 years feel. I'm glad I only got into the series a couple of years ago. That ending is going to be debated and raged over for years to come. Sanderson hyped the hell out of the ending in his blog posts when he talked about the time he had read it and acted as if it was just completely mind-blowing and exactly what the fans wanted, but from all the 5 star reviews i guess its what most fans DID want, unless they are all just extremely biased and think that nothing Robert Jordan or Brandon Sanderson can be anything but masterpiece. I'm hoping that Robert Jordan left at least a few more notes that can be turned into some short stories that will better explain the ending and what happened next.

Im glad its over but its a shame that the ending didn't do the book justice. When i cool down i might rethink my rating. Right now i still feel a bit too annoyed to write a proper review.
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on 13 February 2013
*******SPOILER ALERT**********

The ending of A Memory of Light can, alone, be considered to be acceptable but considering the scope and length of this series it was less than I desired. One could argue that endings are difficult and people will always find something to moan about. I somewhat agree with this statement but it doesn't remedy the fact, in my opinion at least, that the flaw that burrowed within The Wheel of Time did nothing but be inherited and indeed corrupt the ending to this series.

People can throw about such statements without any specificity. This can be quite annoying. So to be specific about that previous paragraph. What flaw do I mean?

The main flaw, in my opinion, is the love Y between Rand and his women but more specifically, within this, the portrayal of the relationship between Rand and Elayne. There is no consistent growth here. No solidification and maturity between characters. Elayne is still a stuck up, seemingly suicidal sociopath who gets away with absolutely everything she does and says. The woman should, quite rightly, have fallen by the end of this volume and yet she still draws breath. Every action she takes is self important, power hungry and completely unrealistic. This is made all the more worse by the fact that the main character, whose development throughout these books was very well executed, not only completely accepts this behaviour but also loves her. I find this ludicrous beyond belief.

I was never truly a fan of the love Y between Rand, Aviendha, Min and Elayne. I could almost have accepted it but for the completely selfish nature of the so called Queen of Andor. Even her selfless acts come across as utterly self serving. She never learns, she never matures, she never admits when she is wrong and therefore she corrupts the love interest of herself and the main character but also the "friendship" she cultivates between Min and Aviendha and in so doing makes the whole dynamic unbelievable and quite honestly, infuriating.

Jordan always portrayed his heroins or his generic run of the mill female characters, especially Aes Sedai (they seemed to be running off a factory assembly line at one stage), as being superior to men in his previous volumes. In many ways this made perfect sense considering the history of the series. But he worked on this relationship between both halves. It may have taken up to book 14 but it finally evolved with changing circumstances and by the end of it all it had reached a healthy balance. Almost like the balance between saidan and saidar. It was why I found the relationship between Pevara and Androl to be the true gem of this final chapter.

This cannot be said with Elayne and Rand for all of the apparent peace and love noted between the two. She never achieved the stability Min and Rand had. Aviendha and Rand never had that much time but the time that was allotted between them at least resembled some sort of balance. Elayne never achieved this with him but apparently he did with her. Furthermore, and setting Rand directly aside of this , I don't believe in Min and Aviendha's complete acceptance of her.

In my view, Rand only survived because of the foretelling's that said he would not only have children with Elayne but also with Min and Aviendha. There was obviously a time issue involved with this, the series ran for much longer than it should have. This would have been digestable if the relationship he had with Elayne and Elayne with the other two women had been healthy. But as it stands the entire scenario is unrealistic and so by extension, in my opinion at least, it makes the entire ending unrealistic as I feel the ultimate sacrifice was required of him (he raged over it quite enough throughout the series). To accommodate this it was convenient for Rand to carry out Moridin from beneath Shayol Gul and to then somehow, in someway, place his own soul in Moridon's body. Yeah...sure. He died, in a sense. But I felt it was rather cheap. But hey, more babies needed to be made. lol.

I was hoping the poor lad would just die and escape the nightmare that was Elayne. She obviously put compulsion on him or something. I was actually hoping she would somehow give birth early and to then take an arrow in the Last Battle. Imagine my disappointment...

All in all, Sanderson can't be faulted for the monumentus task he had to achieve. He did it quite well. All I am saying is that Elayne ruined a vast majority of this book just by being in it. As she did with every chapter of the series just with her presence.

On a positive note, Androl and Pevara made this book worth reading. I mean that with every fibre of my being. I just wish that kind of mature relationship was more pervasive in the early chapters of The Wheel of Time saga. It would have made for much more healthy, balanced and truly enjoyable reading.

But I just have to finish on a negative note here. After all is written, said and done. Would I reread this series? No, because Elayne is in it.
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on 16 January 2013
I have been reading the Wheel of Time for nearly 20 years at long last its done with Jordans death it would be a bittersweet experience even if this was a master piece, which i am afraid to say its not to be fair its a decent read and Sanderson is a accomplished writer who does his best however the fact remains that Sandersons strength as a writer lies in different areas then Jordans and the fact that this book centres entirely around the last battle proves a problem because the last battle should be epic a no holds bar fight agaisnt evil blood death mayhem and all that jazz instead we get meh lots and lots of meh.. you have beloved characters killed in a line or two moments built up over the course of the series example the coming of the Ogier in the most anti climatic way possible in a couple of throwaway paragraphs.

The confronation between Rand and the Dark one becomes not so much a contest between the Avatar of Light and the Eternal source of Evil as a third rate morality play between some imposter posing as Rand and a not particularly well written bond villain.

Also the sense of scale Jordan wrote epic in the biggest possible way armies of millions thousands of channelers new shadow spawn ( indeed wheres the Worms and other horrors the dark one empties the blight and yet its still pretty much just Fades and Trollocs) all should be present but no instead we get a few hundred thousand troops and a few hundred channelers i cry foul.

Some other reviewers have likened the way minor and middling characters are killed compared to GRRM however he always writes to have an impact even if its in how casual a character dies here well its more like clearing some closet space you need the room and its a chore you want to get over fast as possible.

Even before Jordans death the Wheel of Time had become a complicated mess you cant and shouldnt hold Sanderson responsible for that, and indeed if you want to fill the void of the Wheel of Time ending with a new series you could do a hell of a lot worse then stormlight archives sandersons own epic fantasy, however you can and should wonder why Sanderson choose to concentrate on relatively minor characters and ignore major ones and while he nailed Perrin and much improved writting Mat read Elantris his first fantasy novel and tell me that Sanderson didnt just take the main character put him in the wheel of time and change his name to Rand.

This isnt a bad book maybe realistically it is the best that could be hoped for however it is completely forgettable and that seems more than a little sad for 20 years oF a readers commitment.
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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 12 April 2017
I still can't quite believe that the epic Wheel of Time series is actually over! 15 books (don't forget the prologue!), 12.097 pages and over a year of reading (I read one book a month with a group of friends) and it's done. I actually put off reading A Memory of Light because I didn't want to reach the end but I'm so glad it went out on a high note. This series is absolutely huge and I was nervous about making the commitment to it last year but I have really enjoyed the journey that Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson have taken us on, and I can see why this is considered a classic.

I'm running out of words to use in praise of this series, just go back and read any of my other 14 reviews and it'll quickly become clear how much I've loved this world though. The characters have alternated between infuriating and amazing but the world is just so huge and detailed that it was very easy to get lost in. There have been a lot of highs and lows along the way but that is only to be expected in something so huge and the last four books have probably been my favourites in the whole series.

I'm not really going to say too much about the final instalment other than to confirm that it was a worthy addition to the series. There is just so much going on in this book, so many different plot threads that all needed to be tied together, so many characters who needed to get their final moments of glory, enemies to be destroyed and friendships to be celebrated. There were moments that I celebrated and others that broke my heart but overall I couldn't have been more happy with the ending. Is it perfect? Probably not but it came pretty close and overall this is a series I think every fantasy fan should read. I'm sad to say goodbye to these characters and if I'm honest I'm a little disappointed we didn't get an epilogue to show how our favourites are doing a few years down the line but I think we were given just enough that we can use our imagination for the rest.

I'm sad that Robert Jordan didn't get the chance to finish his epic masterpiece but I'm thankful that Brandon Sanderson was able to do such a brilliant job of the final few books and I'm glad fans weren't left with a million unanswered questions.
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on 29 September 2013
Overall, I really enjoyed AMOL, and this enjoyment was probably increased by my surprise at the feeling itself. I first picked the housebrick of a book up almost in two minds whether to read it or just let it wait. I just wasn't sure I was going to enjoy it and was approaching it a bit like a chore that I didn't really want to do, but knew needed doing. It didn't take too long before I was rewarded however, as I was sucked in not just by the desire to see this through, after some 11,000 pages of reading in the series, but also by the gripping writing style employed by Sanderson.

The scale of the book is immense, and as number 14 in the series, it has to be in order to bring everything together to a fitting close. I feel that there are just too many characters to keep a good track of, but for a series covering 14 novels, that's always going to be difficult - I think it's a case of introducing new characters as necessary but having so few as a percentage killed off. In a fantasy of this scope, I'd normally expect to see a fair number of these characters bite the dust before we get to book 14 - heck, if GRR Martin was writing it, we'd probably be left with just half a dozen named characters left and the last battle fought by heroic unknowns.

Speaking of which, I joked to a friend that I'd just started the last battle and I was only halfway through the book, so either it's a really long battle, or we have an ending like the cinematic version of the Return of the King - where we get half out of our seats to go home and then realise it's coming back to the screen with another 10 minutes of footage. And then another 10 minutes. As it happens, it was a really long battle. The actual battle itself is almost entirely encompassed in one single chapter, but that chapter is 190 pages long. It's a beast. To satisfy my curiosity, I just counted and between us, my wife and I have about half a dozen books that are barely longer than this one chapter in terms of number of pages. Counting up an average looking page within the chapter and extrapolating a figure from there gives a rough estimate of somewhere in the region of 70,000 words. For a single chapter.

Anyway, putting aside my amazement at the size of the chapter, I can see why it was done, and this bit for me is one of the best things about AMOL as a climax to the whole Wheel of Time series. There are 13 books leading up to this one, there's a cast of around a hundred named characters who are going to be involved in the last battle (I just pulled that number out of the air, but I really don't think I'm exaggerating much, if at all). To do it any justice, the last battle really has to be epic, and my word it delivers.

Sometimes, thinking back on it, it almost seems like the entire book is dedicated to the last battle and nothing much else happens. There's plenty I can remember happening before we get to the battle itself, but somehow those bits all seem to be just prologues to Tarmon Gai'don anyway, and in a sense that's exactly what they are. Over the last couple of books it's been gradually happening, and leading up to the last battle in AMOL we see the final threads all being caught and pulled together.

In the battle itself, as well as seeing a sequence of events befitting the build up we've been given, there's also some neat little extras. I think my favourite of these is probably the use of newly learnt magics, and mostly in the way gateways are used as more than just Travelling aids. I think this brings a big touch of realism to the battle, as you have commanders seeking every advantage they can get and people trying out new things, letting their imaginations loose with the powers they have at their disposal.

It takes something special to keep a battle going for 190 pages, even one fought over several fronts before they all pull together, but I think I've read enough of his work to realise that Sanderson is indeed something special. The last battle is a real life or death fight, one last roll of the dice for both sides, with everything thrown at it - the name kind of gives it away really. To have the last battle over in a few smaller chapters just wouldn't have worked. It really needed to be on a scale rarely, if ever, imagined in fantasy writing. Now, obviously I've not read every novel, or every series out there, but for me at least, this was epic writing on a scale never seen before.

I think if anything, the one part that I least liked about AMOL is the epilogue. I'd read that this was written by Jordan and added to the end of the book exactly as he'd intended it, and I like how everyone in the process stayed true to that as, after all, it's his story. For me, there was a noticeable change in the writing style when I turned that last page on Sanderson's writing and moved on to Jordan's. I also feel that the epilogue needed to be a bit longer, maybe a bit more fleshed out. To me, it almost seemed like it barely touched on a couple of major characters, and it's not until I went back to check that I realised there's actually a couple of pages split over two or three sections, but these characters still don't get the sort of send off I'd have thought they'd earned.
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