So, this isn't really anything close to a review, and promises to be even more rambly than most of my book discussions. Forewarned is forearmed and all that.
I finished a Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, the final volume in the mega and epic Wheel of Time series. I spoke a bit about the series a couple of weeks ago, so I'm not going to try and summarize much. Suffice it to say, this last book is the final showdown...tyng up loose ends, making some final plays, and the gathering together of people and nations and armies to fight The Dark One and his followers.
Yeah, that about sums it up: pretty freaking fantastic. Here are some thoughts in list form (to keep them semi-coherent):
1. So many times I've yelled at a character and questioned their choices and wanted to smack them repeatedly. Many, many characters in fact. But you know what...they've grown and learned and you really see that in this book. And it's awesome.
2. The important loose ends get tied up, but with a surprising amount of open-endedness as well. I mean, part of me wants a "flash-foward twenty-years" type epilogue, but the other part of me firmly believes the ending was just right. I saw enough to get a vision of what could be...and to feel that these characters I'm so fond of still have life after the book is closed.
3. Brandon Sanderson makes me want to read battle scenes. That is no small feat.
4. One of the things I love about this series is the overarching theme of Hope, and you really see that in this book.
5. This book was quite an emotional roller coaster I spent a lot of time stressed out, crying, or fist pumping.
6. Lots of twists and surprises. Lots of moments with me going "what?! what?! what?!"
Slightly Spoilery Section:
8. Oh Egwene...you became such an awesome amazing leader. And the true definition of a badass. I will miss you. (although...I won't miss Gawyn, sorry. Not that I wanted anything to happen to him! But seriously...that guy is so. dense.)
9. Lan!!!!! Seriously, this guy...
10. Loved that Mat and Rand finally got to see each other. Loved their interaction
11. Talmanes! Who knew you were so cool. (and I seriously enjoyed the firing cannons out of a cave with no entrance. Genius!
12. Oh Mat....you're the best. Seriously. You really proved (once again) in this book that at your core you care about people and about doing the right thing. Like Rand said -- you're a hero who will deny it to his last breath. I so much loved that memory Egwene had of you jumping in to save that child's life when you were a kid. And I hope you can somehow manage to completely undermine the crazy Seanchan society (especially that whole thing with enslaving women who can channel).
13. Min....finally, you grew on me.
14. Moirane, I wish we'd gotten a little more time with you, but I'm so glad you were around. One of my first fist pumps was when you showed up at the fastly deteriorating meeting and completely schooled everyone. You're my hero!
16. Loved the father-son interaction.
So, those are some of my thoughts at this point. Well done, Robert Jordan and well done Brandon Sanderson. I feel I will be talking about this book to anyone I can in the next few weeks.