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Monday, January 07, 2013

The Wheel Of Time: A Bittersweet Ending

כ"ו לחודש העשירי תשע"ג

A Memory Of Light Cover
January 8, 2013 is the official release date of the fifteenth, and final, book in Robert Jordan's The Wheel Of Time series.  The title is A Memory Of Light (#14).  It is known as Book #14, as the prequel to Book #1, A New Spring, is considered Book #0. 

Jordan died while in the middle of Book #12, what was to be the last book.  Jordan's widow sought someone to complete the series, using her late husband's notes, including his outline for the ending.  Due to the large amount of material, the last book turned into the last three books.

The author, and The Wheel Of Time fan, she found for this endeavor was Brandon Sanderson.

A friend of mine bought a copy in a Jerusalem bookstore back in December.  Before anyone starts yelling "Zionist conspiracy," I will say that many people around the world were able to obtain pre-release date copies, often under the the condition that they not reveal any of the content until after January 8, or something like that.

To my good fortune, he finished it rather quickly, and lent it to me.  Of the 909 pages, I'm on page 174.  Although there is no comparison between the writing, in particular the dialogue, of Sanderson and Jordan, all Wheel Of Time fans have been waiting with baited breath for the continuation of the plot, and various subplot lines, and well as the answers to countless, unanswered questions, elements to which Sanderson does do justice.

In a nutshell, The Wheel Of Time series could be described as something of a Lord Of The Rings.  Yet, instead of three sets of characters set on three different stages, and engineering three parts of the plot simultaneously, there can be up to seven or eight, simultaneously occurring stages of interacting characters.

In addition, one minor character might appear in Book #3, disappear in Book #4, and the re-appear in Book #8, only to be raised in status from minor to major character.  So difficult is it to keep track of the characters and plot at times, the on-line WOT Encyclopedia have become a necessity, rather than a complement to the series.

When I finish Book #14, it will be bittersweet.  I have been told that almost all of my questions will be answered, yet no longer will I be able to look forward to what happens next, as there will not be anymore "next."

I recommend the Wheel Of Time Series to any fantasy lover, and to anyone enamored by the sword fights and magic, like those in the Arthurian legends.

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