1. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    A Memory of Light: The Final Book of the Wheel of Time

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Agreen, Jan 9, 2013.

    It's finally here. Just picked up my copy, and I'm already loving it after the first scene. After Crossroads of Twilight I'd lost faith in the series, but Knife of Dreams did just enough to keep me going, and each of the last two books are amongst my favourites in the series. While it's tragic that Jordan himself did not finish the series, I think Brandon Sanderson has done as well as anyone could. I think the ending is a foregone conclusion at this point-

    It's been hinted at for so long Rand sacrifices his life to stop the Dark One, there's no way that won't happen. But seeing as this isn't A Song of Ice and Fire, I think Rand will be reborn/resurrected somehow.
    but I'm excited to see how it all plays out.

    I'll add more to this post when I read further. For now, please remember spoiler tags, at least for the first few weeks after release.
     
  2. BallerGamer
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    BallerGamer Active Member

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    Haven't read the book yet as I'm only one book 3, but I'm surprised this thread has no responses lol, I thought arguably one of the most influential fantasy series would have gotten much more attention. I guess there's not many fantasy or Wheel of Time fans here?
     
  3. patrickgoggles
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    patrickgoggles Member

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    Seriously? They finally finished the series? Woo! I stopped reading the books because A)Lost Interest B)Everytime a new book came out I had to reread the series because I forgot what happened. I decided to wait until the series was done before picking it up again. I guess I know what I'm doing for the next couple of weeks.
     
  4. patrickgoggles
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    patrickgoggles Member

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    Whoops, double posting. And apparently I cannot delete my posts. Sorry.
     
  5. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    Yeah, if someone had told me back in 2000 that the Wheel of Time would be completed before A Song of Ice and Fire, I never would have believed them, but here we are...

    It's worth it to pick the series back up- as bad as Crossroads of Twilight was, Knife of Dreams was decent and each of the final three books are (pending the last 700 pages of AMOL) fantastic. The climax of The Gathering Storm is extremely powerful, actually my favourite scene I've read in any fantasy novel.
     
  6. Khaelmin
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    Khaelmin Active Member

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    I remember reading the first book at some point and was really disappointed. I really did not expect I would be reading the Lord of the Rings all over again, just with different characters. I know that had changed in the subsequent books, or so I'm told. And the action was so damn diluted. I quit the series gladly. On the other hand, no hobbits, so I guess that's a plus.
     
  7. BallerGamer
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    BallerGamer Active Member

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    I might be derailing a little bit but I was disappointed too in the first book. Not because it was a blatant ripoff of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, but because it lacked vision. Which is odd coming from the Wheel of Time, but to me it's pure imagination without Tolkien's literature values and realism. I'm still enjoying it, just because I'm a fantasy nut, but I was expecting a lot more.
     
  8. kev675
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    kev675 Member

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    WHat is the Wheel of time about anyway I am a fantasy fan also
     
  9. BallerGamer
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    BallerGamer Active Member

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    It's one of the biggest fantasy series around spanning 14 books. It's a bit standard; farmer boy discovers he's supposed to save the world and goes through this wild adventure of being chased by evil ones and changing lives while he's at it.
     
  10. patrickgoggles
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    What do you mean it was just Lord of the Rings all over again? Wheel of Time had a father-figure pass on an object to his country son telling hm to go on a journey across the world that would involve his two other country friends, a wizard character, a ranger-like character, while the entire time being chased by blind shadow creatures leading bands of humanoid beast creatures and there's...uhm...fireworks?

    ...

    It is Lord of the Rings! I never made the connection! Even freaking Lan! In my defense, I read Wheel of Time first.

    I still recommend the series.
     
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  11. Speedy
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    The best thing about this is Brandon Sanderson can now work on his personal books once more.

    The man re-read the whole series EVERY time he wrote one.

    Love the mans work, and hope he did Jordans work justice. Can't imagine anyone else being up to it.
     
  12. BallerGamer
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    BallerGamer Active Member

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    By golly he really did that?

    And I remember reading a couple of weeks ago after finally completing A Memory of Light he was 80% with the prewriting phase of his next book in the Stormlight Archive and 8% done with the writing. This man's work ethic is unbelievable. I guess that's why most fans joke around that he's a robot.

    What's funny is that whenever he's stressed out about writing his books you know what he does? Other authors may take a break, go on vacation, travel, pick up a hobby. What Sanderson does is he writes young adult novels. Yep, when he's stressed out he writes more!
     
  13. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    I can't imagine anyone else stepping in to finish it. While there are a few times it's obvious someone other than Jordan is writing it, which makes things a little awkward, on the whole he's done an excellent job.

    As happy as I am to have WOT finally completed, hopefully he focuses on his own series now. It took me a while to get into it, but I ended up enjoying the Way of Kings, and by his standards it's been too long since the last book...
     
  14. Speedy
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    Got the chance to meet him in Brisbane last year. How someone can be that good at his trade, and be such an great man to the people is insane too.

    What's cool is his a hardcore nerd as well. Almost missed one of his functions in Australia because he was playing a game of might and magic (or something like that), which turned into an all nighter almost.
     
  15. Bimber
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    Bimber Contributing Member

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    Well i can't really compare Wot with Lotr as they are both great art and both deserve admiration.

    As for the last book was a little disappointed, maybe had too high expectations as it was the last book after all, but think its mostly that it is the last book and still feel sad there wont be anything new to add to it, after all these years its been around kinda grows on you :/

    Plus sad we wont get the two extra novels Jordan promised that are connected to Wot :(

    As for Sanderson i'm a great fan of his work and always keep an eye for anything he publishes and think his best work is yet to come.
     
  16. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    I just finished it tonight. I liked it a little more than Towers of Midnight, and a little less than The Gathering Storm, because Gathering Storm has my favourite moment in the series. Of the Jordan books, I'd put it around Winter's Heart and Lord of Chaos, but well behind books 2-4. Thankfully it isn't a debacle like Crossroads of Twilight. In a way, there was always going to be some measure of disappointment with this book. Personally, I've been waiting almost twenty years to see how the Wheel of Time ends... and some people have been waiting longer than that. What book could possibly live up to those expectations? That said, I am satisfied with the ending- it's not as great as it might have been, especially if Jordan had a chance to finish it himself, but it's good enough. Much better than I expected as recently as 5 years ago. I think this is the book that suffered the most from the loss of Jordan, if only because it's by far the most important of the Sanderson books. Still, he did an excellent job when faced with the daunting task of ending a series of this magnitude, especially considering for the most part the book is a 900+ page series of battle scenes.

    The thing is, a series as monumental as WoT- one that spans an unprecedented length both in terms of time and actual word count requires an almost unparalleled investment from its audience. There had to be some extraordinary moments along the way, enough to keep you going after the 7000th braid pull, the 400th ruler who knows the prophecies of the Dragon but just doesn't know if they can trust Rand, the 10,000,000th Trolloc slain, the 10th book in its entirety. For me, those moments are Dumai's Wells, Rhuidean, the Cleansing of the Taint, and my favourite moment of all, Rand's moment of revelation at the end of The Gathering Storm. With the exception of the last one because it's more recent, I've considered those amongst my favourite moments in any book for well over ten years- they've fundamentally shaped my understanding of fantasy, as both a reader and writer. Going into A Memory of Light with the expectation that it would surpass those moments would have left me very disappointed. Fortunately, it produced some remarkable moments. The sad irony is that my younger self had always wanted the last book in the series to be all about The Last Battle and nothing else... while over the years I've grown cold to battle scenes, and while I think Sanderson did a mostly excellent job with the battles, almost all of my favourite scenes were the ones that didn't involve fighting.

    Now for some specific moments, first what I didn't like:

    Of the three he worked on, this one seemed to have Sanderson's voice the strongest. On the whole, I think I prefer Sanderson's own work at this point- the high's aren't as high but his worst book is still miles better than CoT. But Sanderson is responsible for the worst line of the series: 'He was going to lose... with style.' He also managed to work in 'epic,' the internet meaning of 'epic,' albeit ironically.

    So much of Demandred was awesome... I just get the feeling there would have been a little more if Jordan had finished it. As is, there was a hint at greater depth, but it wasn't explored as deeply as it could have been, and as I'd liked.

    I found the Lanfear scenes awkward. It felt like that story was building to a different conclusion, and honestly, it seemed to contradict the point of the ending. That all of the Forsaken are ultimately, irrevocably, irredeemable is a little disappointing given that the ending at least made an attempt at being more than a straight forward black and white morality. That being said there was a brutal irony to the fates of the forsaken in this book- Lanfear's seductions defeated by Perrin's love for his wife, Demandred falling not to the Dragon, but the man that trained him, Graendal broken by Compulsion, Moghedien just fading away and being forgotten about... by way of subjection as a damane.

    Never thought this would be a complaint about a Wheel of Time book, but things felt rushed, and there weren't so many pauses for breath and character beats as I'd have liked. In particular, I wish there'd been more for Moiraine, who's role seemed so minor. Also, the whole Alanna problem resolved itself way too easily.

    I liked the idea of the final confrontation and conversation between Rand and the Dark One more than the actual execution. I can live with a few lame jokes and memes here and there, but more than any other point in the last three books this is where Jordan's absence was felt most keenly. I'm not saying I think Sanderson botched it, I think he handled it as well as he could. It's just if any moment in the series needed Jordan, and Jordan alone, this was it. It was a compelling, inventive, and satisfying ending, a much better one than I expected to be honest, but on an emotional level it didn't come close to affecting me on the same level as Rand' s revelation at the end of The Gathering Storm. That moment on Dragonmount was, to me, the real climax of Rand's arc, and therefore the series.

    Finally, this is probably my Dumai's Wells love slipping in, but as much as I loved the individual moments of the Last Battle, it wasn't as compelling as previous battles on a strategic level. The battle at Merrilor was supposed to be contested between the greatest general of this age (Mat) against (one of) the greatest general(s) of the previous age (Demandred), but instead Mat came across as competent, and Demandred as an idiot. It was hard at times to get a clear picture of exactly what was going on. It also wasn't as exciting as it could be- from early on it was clearly a matter of time before the Horn sounded and the tide turned. I mean, we all knew that had to happen on at least one of the two fronts, but I could have lived without it happening twice!

    I don't quite get what was going on with Tuon- my understanding was that her leaving the field was a gambit orchestrated between her and Mat to catch the Shadow off guard- which, it was, except the book tried to make it seem like it wasn't? Was she Compelled by Graendal in an attempt to keep them away? Perrin and Rand both had a measure of closure, I could have done with one more scene with Tuon and Mat at the end because I'm not sure what to make of their ending.

    What I did like:

    Androl and Pevara.

    It's probably going to be controversial, but I loved the way the final confrontation between Rand and The Dark One actually happened. A war of ideas, symbolised by the various possible realities that could unfold based on the results of their struggle and The Last Battle on the whole, is pretty awesome in theory, and a few of the scenes were simply incredible. In particular, the world in which the Dark One triumphed, but made the world believe he'd lost... that scene was one of the most powerful and disturbing in the entire series, and I would gladly read a book set in that world. If only so things could be made right. That scene was my second favourite in the entire book. Just wish the 'world without evil,' had been a little more compelling- I wish the arguments against it were stronger than 'they are happy and vapid and they aren't exactly the same as I remembered!'

    Surprisingly, given the inevitability of a 'light triumphs over dark' ending, the only scene I felt was trite was the non-death of Lan. Had he died, that would have been such a magnificent, perfect moment for him. Instead, I felt his survival cheapened his role in the book on the whole, and especially his victory over Demandred. It just felt like it undermined the entire thematic core of his character arc.

    Egwene has never been my favourite character in the series... but damn. Her death was easily the best scene in the book, the most emotional, and one of the very best in the series. Just after she started to win me over... Caught me completely by surprise too- if I made odds on which characters would live or die, she'd have been most likely to live. Amazing end for her character though, and this was a very strong book for Egwene. She wouldn't have been my first choice for a major character death, but the more I think about it, the more sense it makes.

    I loved that the Shadow, at least until the battle at Merrilor, actually pull off some pretty clever tactics- teleporting in the Sharan army was fantastic, but the Compulsion of the four great generals may have been even better.

    Speaking of the Sharans, they were probably the thing that most surprised me in the book, and stood out the most, but I'm not quite sure which section to put them in. They'd been hinted at in the past, and I'd hoped they would show up, so when they did I was very excited. One of my favourite things about the Wheel of Time is its variety of cultures, many of them quite unique and interesting. The Sharans were definitely interesting, and the first few scenes with them were some of my favourites. But by the time the Last Battle was going on, they felt like palate swapped Trollocs and Dreadlords, with their sense of identity removed. I wish we'd spent more time with them, seen more of their culture, their relationship with Demandred, and what led them to be the only nation of humans fighting on the side of the Shadow. I think there was so much room for material there, but in the rush to keep the story going, it kind of got left out.

    I loved Rand's ending. Everything about it. Perrin's was satisfying as well. I wish there'd been a little more Mat at the end though.

    Cadsuane as Amyrlin, in retrospect, makes an extraordinary amount of sense, but it was still nice to see it happen. Egwene was the perfect war time Amyrilin, but Cadsuane is probably the best choice to help put the world back together again. I loved that she saw Moridin's body leaving, knew it was Rand, and just let him go.

    The last line- both the last line of the narrative, and the final quote- was absolutely perfect. In the sense that I can't think of a better last line.

    As for the Lord of the Rings comparison they obviously cover many of the same tropes, and are both epic fantasy inspired by mythology, but WoT draws on a wide enough variety of source material, and features well more than enough unique elements to stand on its own. Same genre, similar basic story, but very different books. But yeah, Eye of the World is by far the most like LOTR, fortunately it starts branching off on its own from there.

    It's a very long book at the end of an immensely long series, and this is just a first impression. I might have more to add later.
     
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  17. Bimber
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    Mostly what i felt after finishing the book :D

    Jordan promised two more books like i said one was to be about Mat and Tuon and the other about the Sharan's and Dem story so guess that was why we never saw much about them or got much in the last book, makes me really feel sad to never know how Dem filled there prophesies and became for them the dragon slayer.
    As for the battle for me it was bad as lots of errors were in it and stuff that didnt make sense as the numbers were wrong, at the end it seemed the light side had so few while in the past books other numbers were shown, the ashaman, the aile and aesedai and other armies were kind altered for this last battle and there numbers are confusing as well as the sea folks and the women from the guild(cant remember there name now still on my morning coffee).
    But yeah it did need Jordan's touch and think many of the stuff would have been deeper explored, but can't really complain as at least we did get an ending.
    What bothered me most was the death of many important characters that died just simple peoples death, yeah i get that not everyone gets to have epic death scene, but still left a bad taste in my mouth to see some die like that.
    Other stuff annoyed me like why was Moghe left alive? they shot a canon at here from what seemed from close range so dont see how she stayed alive, and i loved that scene was funny, and if she stayed dead would have been better imo than taking here as dom, but guess it was left in Jordan's notes for all we know she might had a future role to play in Mat and Tuon's book.

    Well this is the stuff just from top of my head now before i rush to work.
     
  18. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    Now that it's all over, what were your favourite events/scenes from the series? For all that I griped about it at times, looking back it had some awesome moments along the way...

    Replying directly to your spoiled text:

    Interesting about the two books, it would have been nice to read them. The Forsaken were always some of my favourite characters, just because of their connection to the Age of Legends and the fact that they were, for most of the series, the closest we came to seeing the Dark One.

    Yeah, the numbers of the armies was just wrong at times, and there are a few points where the timeline is off. They somehow had half their army left after the one in Kandor lost half, Lan's lost two thirds, and Elayne's lost half?

    Mog living was weird, but I also thought it was funny when a cannonball landed next to Galad and Demandred and it didn't even bother them. I guess death by cannonball wasn't brutal enough, so she had to get taken by the Seanchan instead.
     
  19. Bimber
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    Bimber Contributing Member

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    Well now that i'm at work can reply without rush :D

    hmm well there were many but guess it was expected from 14 books...

    I loved Mat and the scenes when he met Tuon were some of the best for me, felt cheerful and like a chance to just relax and enjoy, Dumai's well was such an epic scene that i guess made a high standard of what to expect in the last battle so guess that might be one of the reasons why the last one wasn't that epic for me, Rand's talks with Luis in his head were great fun for me and was sad when he didnt talk anymore.
    The dragonmount scene was also among the best for me, the black tower stuff was interesting but kinda feel a lot was left out and that it could have been explored deeper, guess there are many more that i loved but cant remember them all now, the last book for me was love/hate one, as much i love it there was stuff i hated and kinda feels it was all rushed and squeezed in, but still left tones of questions unanswered :(
    Like why was Moraine important for the last battle as was mentioned by Min, just dont see it as it is now that she was that important to it, and mostly felt her role was so small when compared to the first few books, also who was that old woman in the aile lands we were promised an answer to that too, Verin's letters to Rand and others, it was also said her letter to Rand was very important for the last battle, also what did Arthur say to Tuon after Mat told him to talk to her, and the meeting after the battle with her was just so poorly written for me was hoping for more, probably few more that cant remember now.
    As for the forsaken also felt there role was some what small and got beaten way to easy at times, after picturing them as the big bad masters of evil with great power and knowledge, Dem for me had a real great role and guess that was how i pictured a forsaken would be like.
    The ending left lots of stuff for the readers to imagine how it went after, but i kinda liked how Lotr ended and gave us a full follow up as what happened to everyone at the end, so was kinda let down we didnt have it here too, after all this time spent with those characters feel like cheated as wont ever hear from them again and wont know what happened to them after it was all done.
    As for the deaths yeah Egg had such a great and epic one and still feel sad she was dead when i think of the scene, even tho i also didnt like her much, Bella had a great death too and was sad but not so much, and Suan's and Gereth's death was so poorly done for me that made me actually pissed, they were some what important figures, For Suan i felt it was like in all that mess oh yeah and there Suan died and now lets move to the next scene, so ok i thought now i expect Gereth to have one last epic fight as he goes mad and charges the enemy lines and as a great general of the time inspires his troops one last time, but no we didnt get even that he just charged and died.
    And to answer your question yeah i think Moh was using her tricks to make Tuon stay out of battle. And like you i liked the other stuff more than the battle, and felt if we had less pages of confusing and misleading battle and more focused on other stuff might have been better, but who knows how many notes Sanderson had or how much freedom, as think Heriet had a lot of influence on the story line ,i know she asked for Bella to be killed so who knows what else.

    feels nice to talk about the book finally :D
    most of my friends didn't read it, just convinced one to start reading it and he loves it but by the time he gets to the last book will be years, was also on dragonmount.com but you can't discuss much as the place is a mess now with everyone jumping in with there own impressions and questions.
     
  20. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    If you look on Sanderson's site, he has a transcript of a chat he did with fans which answer a number of questions about the book. Except three of the biggest ones
    He isn't allowed to discuss the true identity of Nakomi (Aiel woman Aviendha saw in the wastes in Towers of Midnight, and presumably who Rand saw on his way out after sealing the Dark One), how Rand pulled off the body switch (seems to be similar to how Dark One switched the bodies of the Forsaken), and how Rand lit his pipe in the epilogue. (Jordan didn't even leave notes on this, and wanted people to figure it out for themselves. I think it's an after effect of his directly manipulating the pattern- he doesn't channel any more because he can reshape the pattern itself)

    Apparently Moiraine's role
    was all about helping Egwene and Rand reach an agreement so that the forces of light would be united. Beyond that, Rand probably picked her to join him in the final confrontation because he trusts her, and she wasn't as important to the war effort. I still think both her and Nynaeve had much too small a role in the final book.

    In exciting news, Sanderson is releasing a short story in the next few months called 'River of Souls,' which reveals more about
    Demandred, and his time amongst the Sharans. Demandred's always been the Forsaken I've found most interesting- like Lanfear he's a pretty tragic figure, he should have been a hero, and instead he ended up being one of the most dangerous villains. Sadly there won't be any novels about Tuon and Mat, because Jordan didn't leave detailed notes for them.
     
  21. Bimber
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    Bimber Contributing Member

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    Yeah checked it out but not much was told most of the stuff is still RAFO and fear it will stay that way :/

    got a question for you:

    which character did you like most and why? and which nation did you like most? one of the reasons i love WOT is cause so many nations are in it and you can feel how each is different
     
  22. Bimber
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    double post
     
  23. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    Rand's been my favourite character from the start. His absence is the main reason I dislike Crossroads so much- I was so excited to see follow up with him after the Cleansing... and it just didn't happen.

    I also like Mat, his plots were often the most unpredictable and exciting, and he himself is always entertaining.

    Not to say I don't like Perrin, it's just, Towers of Midnight and a few other parts aside, he often got stuck with the least interesting plots. However, I think I like Faile a lot more than most people in that I think she's okay- sometimes annoying, sometimes funny.

    Of the side characters, Logain, Verin, and Cadsuane are my favourites. Verin's reveal in Towers of Midnight was another one of those brilliant little moments in the series that played with my expectations. Her scenes were always interesting. Logain's choice during the Last Battle was one of my favourite scenes in the book. From his first appearence he was one of the characters that interested me most. Cadsuane in some ways was the perfect Aes Sedai- just on a completely different level of understanding and sheer presence than everyone around her, mysterious, one of the most knowledgeable and powerful characters in the series, incredibly stubborn... but for all that she still managed to be a decent person sometimes.

    The character that grew on me the most was Galad- I couldn't stand him at first, but I liked the way he learned and grew as the series went along.

    My least favourite characters were Elaida and Gawyn. Elaida was an excellent antagonist though, and as much as I disliked her I felt bad for her in the end. Gawyn just never worked for me on any level- unlike his brother, he never seemed to learn from his mistakes.

    I don't really have a favourite culture- what I liked about them all is that they were all believable, each of them had their unique traits and foibles to make them stand out. Probably the Ogier though, if they count. As a literary creation I think the best were the Seanchan, even though I greatly disliked them. It's incredible the amount of research Jordan must have put into them.
     
  24. Bimber
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    Did you read new spring?
    One of the reasons why i loved when Cadsuan showed up, as she was so mysterious in New spring and hoped she would show up again but had my doubts as she was said to be very old even then

    One thing i learned from Jordan's writing is how important research is for a good story, all of his nations have bits and peaces from so many cultures, the Seanchan's most famous symbol the box-shaped ship was a well-noted Chinese description of Western European ships during the seventeenth century. Or the way how the Aiel greet each other by saying "I see you" (also used in Avatar) is based on a Zulu greeting, and so many more can be found hints to show their origin. Got to love the small details, got to admire the amount of research he invested.

    As for characters:
    Fail for me was strange, when she showed up she was some what more fun to me than when she got married,
    as for Galad and Gwyen yeah think it was meant to be some kind of irony at what life can do to you, at first Gwyen was the easy going one and some what fun but ended up bitter, and i always loved Galad i just love characters that see the world either right or wrong.
     
  25. GoldenGhost
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    GoldenGhost Contributing Member

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    I just finished the book moments ago, and a lot of my feelings have been described so far.

    A part of me feels mind-fucked, and betrayed, and hollow, yet deeply relieved and happy--at the same time.

    In terms of characterization, I feel this book may have some strong points the others lacked, outside of Asmodean's glimmer of light in his 'redemption.' These being the arcs of all the main characters, Demondred's, and the rather serious representation of Ishmael as not only one of the Forsaken, but just another lost soul who was doing what he felt was right, and not because he's simply evil.

    I feel some of the other Forsaken's arcs were rushed, almost forgotten at times, and their scenes were stuck in at moments where Sanderson remembered they needed to be mentioned.

    I think out of all the POV's, Sanderson's representation of Mat really shined in this one, you could really hear the voice and feel the interpretation of the world.

    But I feel as a result of the intensity, all the POV switches, which were rather erratic and quick, it was really hard to stay connected, as if the book really relied on your previous experience with the series and the characters. I feel some of the characters were glossed over, would like to have had more POVs that told the story from the shadow's perspective, etc..

    In addition, the battle scenes and chaos were such a mess, it was hard to really grasp the whole picture. At one point, I stopped worrying about numbers and just weighed each scene based on who was winning at the moment, and who was losing, keeping it at that.

    I will say that I admire Jordan for allowing some of his most beloved characters, and supporting characters to die, for it added a sense of realism to an otherwise suspended reality.

    I loved the scene between Rand and the Dark One, really emphasizing the eastern influences embedded in the story, where it's not simply evil vs good, and good conquers all, but there must exist a balance for anything to be real in the end, for reality to make sense.

    Although, I hated the fucking caps.. I could understand he was yelling.. and it was getting seriously annoying.. Also, I think this scene contained maybe one of the worse lines in the series, where Rand is obviously yelling, yet a dialogue tag follows as "...he said softly," all in lowercase.. But these are just me technical pet-peeves, the same way he would tell thoughts, italicize them annoyingly, while, at times, write them out brilliantly through POV...

    shrug

    Though, I do admit, I have been removed from the rest of the series for a little while, and read this without refreshing myself, the book grabbed me up, and the plot moved at a steady pace, keeping me interested. Rather amazed at what I remembered about the story. I also did catch him lighting the bowl on his own in the end, but I thought nothing of it, for whatever reason. Maybe my mind is still mush, considering I just spent the last 4 hours at work (nightshift) reading. Sort of like Neo in the Matrix. Neo had spent so long trying to control things, but it wasn't until he completely let go... Rand had to completely let go, once on Dragonmount, and again in the end, which plays into the Ying and Yang concept of the Aes Sedai.. The Taoistic sentiment of "The Wheel turns as the Wheel wills," and the very paradox the Tao is based upon--Everything is nothing and nothing is everything (the last scene).

    I am curious about something.. You said Sanderson couldn't reveal the truth about certain things. Did he say specifically why? And did those answers hint at some other type of story being tailored around that information?

    I hope all that makes sense. I'm trying to think straight while feelings incited by the book still linger. I feel like I'm handing you guys threads of thoughts, when I should be handing you sweaters.
     

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