Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Memory of Light Book Review, Thoughts for Thursday 20--Warriors + Blog Tour Stop

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Check out the Read and Review Hop, hosted by Anya of On Starships and Dragonwings!

I finally got to read A Memory of Light! And let me tell you: it was FREAKIN' AWESOME!!! 

Book 1 of The Wheel of Time series was published in 1990, which means it's a series nearly twenty-three years in the making. Now, back then I was attending first grade in good ole Taylorsville, Utah. I didn't pick up this series until the summer of 1999, just before my sophmore year in high school. Still, I've been reading it for more than twelve years. It's been a huge part of my life. I've said this before, but I've learned more about story-telling, characters, plot, writing style, and compelling events from this series than most other things I've read combined! The characters all feel like old friends. To have so many prophecies, so much foreshadowing over so many years and volumes, and now to see them all fulfilled is just surreal.

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Am I a little pathetic? Yeah, probably. But that unfortunate truth doesn't change facts.

The book is fast-paced and packed with stuff. (Nine hundred pages people. That's right!) It's difficult to talk about the plot in the fourteenth book of a continuing series, but suffice it to say that it's comprised of events leading up to the Last Battle, the Last Battle, and a few small things right after. The battle is the bulk of the book and I found myself completely immersed in it.

It was fabulously written. Sanderson did a great job of staying on track. There were so many characters doing so many different things all at once, but I never felt confused. I haven't picked up a WoT book in more than two years--since book 13, Towers of Midnight was released--but it took all of two chapters to make me feel like I'd read it only yesterday.

I can't even say how awesome this book was! It was full of nostalgia between old friends, inspiring pre-battle speeches, the tragedy of war and losing friends (characters) that we love, and the epic climax that's been promised since book 1. Yet, it was never condescending, quaint or sentimental. It simply was. And that made it all the more tragic.

We got to see everything we've wanted to for a long time. Perrin will face Slayer a final time; the wolves will join in the Great Hunt (totally awesomesauce, by the way) Mat will get to make (fantastic!) use of his battle knowledge; Egwene will lead the sisters of the White Tower into a battle that dwarfs the Seanchan siege of Tar Valon; and Rand will march into Shayol Ghol.

All the characters we've grown to love--Tam, Davram Bashere, Galad, Gawyn, Gareth Bryne, Brigitte and more will be at the head of armies. Of course many of the women--Min, Elayne, Aviendha, Siuan, Cadsuane and others--have even more important roles in the war. 

And don't even get me started on the awesomeness that is al'Lan Mandragoran. I will be in love with him forever! Yeah, he's just that studly.

I, unfortunately, am a weeper, and yes I teared up during huge sections of this book. Most often when they were busy killing off characters that I loved, but also because some of it was so powerful, it took my breath away.

For example, there's a part where Aviendha is put in charge of several teams of channelers that will guard the entrance to the Pit of Doom. This is because Rand is sure when he heads in, the Forsaken will try to head him off. The teams are there to make sure he isn't bothered and can focus on fighting the Dark One. Check out this excerpt:
High above, the sun shone in a turbulent sky. Some storm clouds, in patches, some deep black, others brilliant white. It wasn't a cloud that suddenly obscured the sun, however, but something solid and black sliding into place.
Aviendha felt a chill and found herself trembling as the light slipped away. Darkness, true darkness, fell.
Soldiers across the field looked up in awe, and even fear. The light went out. The end of the world had come.
Holy crap! Doesn't that just give you chills?

The final line of the novel (and therefore the series) is tied to the opening paragraph that is used for every volume, which I thought was beautifully done. The final prophecy at the end of the story was written by Loial, which is heart-wrenching in and of itself. So many times I had to just put my hand to my chest and sigh. Then keep reading.

Okay so I really need to be done gushing now. I've waited a long time for this book and it did not disappoint. I'm so sad to see the series end and dearly wish that the late Robert Jordan had survived to write more books, prequels, and spin-offs. I would have cherished every one. Now the world of WoT goes the way of Middle Earth--with nothing more to be written by the original author, and the literary world is a sadder place for it.

*Special thanks to the wonderful Brandon Sanderson for taking up the gargantuan mantle and finishing the series in Jordan's stead. He did an amazing job!

The final chapter of the Wheel of Time saga is everything we wanted it to be, everything we secretly feared it wouldn't be, and everything I could have imagined. Here's to Robert Jordan and the wonderful, sprawling monstrosity he created, and the obsession it created in so many millions of readers. May the wheel weave as the wheel wills.

Today's Blog Tour Stop is a Review over at Defiantly Deviant. Hop on over and see what she thought!

Thoughts for Thursday

Thoughts for Thursday is a new meme hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Readers may respond by either commenting on the quotes I put forward or contributing a quote of their own. Leave it in the comments or a link to your quote in the linky. Whoever comes up with the best one will get some swag and be entered to win a bigger prize later on!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

This week's theme is Warriors!

Victory is reserved for those who are willing to pay it's price.--Sun Tzu

It is a brave act of valor to condemn death, but where life is more terrible than death it is then the truest valor to dare to live.--Sir Thomas Brown

I know what I'm capable of; I am a soldier now, a warrior. I am someone to fear, not hunt."--Pittacus Lore, The Rise of Nine

It is much easier for warriors to fare well under conditions of maximum stress than to be impeccable under normal circumstances.--Don Juan Matus

I like to believe that I've got a lot of guardian warriors sittin' on my shoulder, including my dad.--Patrick Swayze

What do you apply these quotes to? Writing? Physical prowess? Something else? Which is your favorite?


  1. You know for a fantasy fan I have never read any Robert Jordan! I really need to!

  2. I just skimmed because I haven't read yet, but I love this series, and glad that it is a good wrap up.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  3. What a fascinating book series Liesel. Its rare that a book can pull you in so deep and be so moving.

  4. I kind of skimmed through your review as I don't want to have anything given away. But I did see you gushing abut how great an ending it was several times, and that is what matters. If I am going to spend a considerable amount of time and eyeball energy reading this series, I want the ending to be worthy. Your review reassures me that it is so.

  5. I don't know when I'm going to finally finish this series, probably a long time from now, but I'm so excited because everyone seems to love the ending :D