The Wheel of Time is generally acknowledged as one of the best high fantasy series of novels in history. Many have this series in their Top 10. I would probably agree. Especially after this book – the 14th and final novel of the set (therefore there may be spoilers here, so beware).
Jordan was a master at creating characters and personalities, perhaps second only to Steven Erikson. And he’s even better at creating a storyline. The world that was created here – complete with national and continental traditions, dialects, beliefs and attitudes – is without parallel. And that includes other in-depth worlds such as the Forgotten Realms, Dungeons and Dragons, Dragonlance, Middle Earth and others. That being said, Jordan did have a weakness – he carried his description too far. We don’t need six pages to describe a room that the characters will have perhaps one page of dialogue in – and then never enter again. Where Erikson went overboard with character background, Jordan went overboard with setting the scene.
When Brandon Sanderson took over after Jordan’s passing, it removed that shortcoming. Sanderson is better at getting to the point, setting the scene without overdoing it. He also did well in carrying on Jordan’s vision, as well as maintaining the many different character personalities. In fact, I think he made the character Matrim Cauthon even funnier. I really Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy – I found it very entertaining, as well as a very unique angle for a fantasy world.
Now onto the final book. A Memory of Light.
I can’t think of a book that I enjoyed more. I’m sure there are many, I just can’t think of one. This novel is as good as it gets. Do you enjoy action? Non-stop. Every character that you enjoyed in books 1-13 are now together, each with their own role in the final battle. It was reckoning unlike anything you’ve ever seen. If you think you can put the book down where there’s a lull – good luck with that. If there were any doubts about The Wheel of Time as a Top 10 series, this book puts them to rest. The battle, the emotion, the heart-wrenching deaths, the glorious successes – all here, about 50 times over. I would recommend this series if only for the final book alone, it would be worth the months of investment you give to the reading the others.