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A Memory of Light
by Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson
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Fate vs. Free Will (48)
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This book was just so boring and predictable and looonnnggg. Over 1100 pages to tell the story of one single battle. The only thing that surprised me was
In this final volume of Robert Jordan's 4,410,036 - word epic fantasy published over twenty-three years, Brandon Sanderson and the Jordan team have crafted an overall satisfying conclusion and, also. something rather unique: an entire novel that is a 909-page, 353,906-word battle scene. I found this admirable while, at times, feeling it was a bit much. Still, with so many storylines and character arcs to complete (those of heroes and villains, nobles and common folk, those with powers and those without), Sanderson can only be commending. He juggles them all with a skill equal to the gleeman Thom Merrilin. The work is a true achievement.
...Not that I don't have my nitpicks. I'll mention them, but they do not lessen my admiration for the work. Without spoilers, however, I can only generalize. My nitpicks include:
--the deaths of a few major characters lacked, for me, sufficient emotion;
--the Last Battle's chief antagonist (excluding "the Dark One") is the Forsaken Demandred, and I felt he lacked sufficient depth to his character [Note: however, in a cut chapter from this work entitled "River of Souls" (published in Shawn Speakman's anthology "Unfettered"), this lack is somewhat ameliorated, and I recommend it];
-- the denouement in depicting Rand's final acts, I found trite (even inappropriately self-serving and uncharacteristic of the hero as depicted in this work and the last).
To balance such harsh criticism, even if but nitpicks (truly), the book had, for me, two particularly marvelous scenes:
--the swordfight between Demandred and Lan Mandragoran, and
--the gleeman Thom Merrilin sitting on the slopes of Shyul Ghul, protecting the path to the mountain's entrance, and striving to find the right word he needed to describe the epic battle occurring below him.
As a last word, while I purchased each of the novels as they were published and, after reading the first five, then purposefully delayed (due to work and family obligations) my reading of the entire fourteen-volume series until this year (2022-JAN 2023), I am glad I have read it. As a very minor writer myself, I can think of no higher praise from a reader.
Excellent ending. Worth waiting 20 years to finish.
Summary: The final book in this epic series. Resolves the major conflict with the dark one versus the Dragon reborn and brings the whole thing to a close.
Things I liked:
It did actually finish the story.
The last battle was pretty exciting and was a decent pay-off for all the time we've been waiting.
Things I thought could have been improved.
The problem is that this series has been going for far too long. I always suspected that this would be a problem and it is. The characters have become too clichéd, the final conflict has been too built up and as a result there doesn't seem to be anyway to finish this off appropriately.
Highlight: Probably the final scene with
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The Wheel of Time (14)
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This book helps both leaders and companies up their game by discovering and embracing leadership styles.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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