Thursday, April 17, 2014
A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
Synopsis From Dust Jacket:
In the Field of Merrilor the rulers of the nations gather to join behind Rand al'Thor, or to stop his plan to break the seals on the Dark One's prison - which may be a sign of his madness, or the last hope of humankind. Egwene, the Amyrlin Seat, leans toward the former.
In Andor, the Trollocs seize Caemlyn.
In the wolf dream, Perrin Aybara battles Slayer.
Approaching Ebou Dar, Mat Cauthon plans to visit his wife, Tuon, now Fortuona, Empress of the Seanchan.
All humanity in peril - and the outcome will be decided in Shayol Ghul itself. The Wheel is turning, and the Age is coming to its end. The Last Battle will determine the fate of the world.
When I turned the last page of A Memory of Light, a journey I started back in 1994, came to an end. Part of me was relieved that I finally finished the series, the larger part of me was devastated that it was over. I had dedicated almost 20 years of my life to getting to know these characters. I fell in and out of love with many of them, some I never liked, but they all meant something to me. Many of the first ten books, I've read over and over again. It's impossible to have this much exposure to them, without getting a little attached.
A Memory of Light wasn't the perfect final book for me, but I'm almost positive that I wouldn't have been completely happy no matter what happened in the book. I wish that there hadn't been such a huge body count of reoccurring characters, over 50 when I stopped counting. Many of them were major characters, and while I know some of their deaths were necessary, I'm also sure some of them could have been spared. The major sacrifice, made by a central character and her warder, though horrific, was necessary, so I'm okay with that one. But some of the other deaths, even now, stick in my craw. Adding insult to injury, some of them were done off page, robbing the characters of a dignified death. They deserved better.
I also wished and prayed for at least one more scene of the three boys together, and that never happened. I would have loved for Rand, Perrin, and Mat to have connected one last time. For that matter, I would have loved to see the original group that left Emond's Field, have one more moment together, and that was dashed as well. I'm not sure, given the action in the book, that such a reunion could have been possible, but it would have been nice to see. It would have been a nice emotional closure point for me, I just have to wish for it after the book was over. Obviously there are major issues with such a wish, given the events in the book, but a reunion of those left would be nice to see.
And that brings us to the way the book ended, or didn't end. The Age, and the story up to that point, are over. There is nothing else that could prolong that particular story, but it's the aftermath that is still begging to be told. I want to know what happens after a certain character rides away, from what everyone but a few thinks is the end. I want to see that character explore who they are after all the events that have shaped their life, and the world, over such a long period of time. I want to see who they chose to reveal the truth too, who is brought back into the fold, and who is left out in the cold, never knowing the truth. I want to see certain relationships grow, others healed, and some come to an end. I want to see who the twins grow up to be, and who Olver becomes. I want to see how the young couple rule a kingdom they weren't expecting, and how another couple rebuild a kingdom once thought gone. I want to see how the world heals itself, and read Loial's book. Which means Loial has to know the truth, at some point int time, otherwise the tale will never be accurate. I want so much more, but that's because I can't really let go. I will be reading these books over and over again still, and I'll be praying for an epilogue at some point in time. I could even handle 14 of them.
And I still want Tuon and the Seanchan destroyed.
The Rest Of The Series:
The Eye of the World
The Great Hunt
The Dragon Reborn
The Shadow Rising
The Fires of Heaven
Lord of Chaos
A Crown of Swords
The Path of Daggers
Crossroads of Twilight
Knife of Dreams
The Gathering Storm
Towers of Midnight