Finally finishing “A Memory of Light” marks the end of an Era for me. Like so many others I fell in love with The Wheel of Time saga long ago. I remember searching my local library for something epic to read after I had devoured Tolkiens Lord of the Ring and other similar tales like The Belgariad and The Riftwar Saga. I always had the feeling that those stories were to easy, to short and I was looking for an experience that would be a real journey, one that would stick with me for a long time.

It was then that I found 7 of these huge, salmon-colored, 700 page-beasts sitting on the corner on the bottom of shelf and felt immediately drawn to them. A series this size, I thought with determination, should keep me busy for a while. I was 15 at the time. Since then I’ve re-read the series about 4 times over, whenever a new installment came out. I’ve read many other things in between, but the Wheel of Time was the one thing that stuck with me during all those years, because it wasn’t finished yet. At times I thought it never would.

I’ve closely followed this series through the years and was absolutely shocked when I heard about Robert Jordan’s untimely demise. I feared that this epic tale of love, honor and friendship would never reach its conclusion. Imagine the joy I felt when I heard that Harriet had enlisted Brandon Sanderson to pick up where Robert Jordan had left off. Unfortunately, that also meant that the long wait for the long awaited conclusion was going to be even longer, especially after Sanderson announced that they were going to split the final book into 3 full sized novels. In hindsight, I think this was a sound idea, as I have enjoyed both previous books very much and I think that things would have been rushed if this decision wasn’t made.

The Story

In “A Memory of LightBrandon Sanderson paints a vivid, emotional image of “The Last Battle”, a picture that spans nearly a thousand pages. This is the ultimate battle between the forces of men and the forces of evil and I think it’s only fitting that it takes so long. I would have been dissapointed if the whole thing would have been over in 200 pages or so, as is the case in most other novels, where the climax is usually relatively short, compared to the bulk of the story. Well, actually, in this case it’s the same. Only the bulk of the story is made up of 13 novels, averaging 700 pages each. So in relation, using only 1000 pages to describe the climax is right on par with other great fantasy novels.

The story alternates in rapid succession between the vast amount of characters that Robert Jordan has created in this epic journey. This is frustrating at times (as usual) but it also serves to keep the pace up, to show you dozens of different views of The Last Battle, painting a complete picture that comes alive in your mind.

The Last Battle is supposed to be epic, I mean, it is the final stand of mankind, so it must be, right? I think that what Sanderson did here, really does it justice, if it does not define epic all by itself.

A Memory of Light is full of twists and turns, of things I didn’t see coming. Events that had me cheering and hoping, only to be crushed when they turned out for the worst when I least expected it. I’ve felt pain as characters I loved died, some in heroic ways, other just by misfortune, I shed tears for some. I’ve felt joy and relief when someone came out of a battle in one piece and I felt the tension of battle at every twist and turn, in my longing to read on, unwilling to put it down.

This book was an emotional rollercoast right up to the very end and it leaves me both fulfilled and empty at the same time. A bittersweet ending, befitting the grandest epos I have ever read.


This series has stuck with me for over 12 years and a lot of the characters are very close and very real to me. This is one of the only stories where I can still remember the key players, by name and character long after I have put it down again. The Wheel of Time is memorable, it has shaped me in part and it has shaped my view of what “Epic Fantasy” really means. To me, having the series finally come to an end, is something that touches me deeply and it is with great regret that I leave it all behind me, in search for that one story that will touch me like this again. But, I’m sure that in time, I will pick it up again.

Random thoughts

Whenever I read reviews and comments about the Wheel of Time I’m always surprised at how many people complain about it being full of problems and shortcomings, both from Robert Jordan himself as Brandon Sanderson as his successor. I can honestly say that I’ve never experienced it that way. Sure, there were times that I got frustrated that the focus shifted away from a character just as things heated up, but it also kept me reading, kept me interested. I’ve had the occasionally curse at some boring passages on politics, but I’ve also noticed that through the years I’ve learned to appreciate things that bugged me before and I think that this series is great to help you grow as a reader and as a person.

Some nice quotes:

Galgan actually smiled. It was like seeing a boulder crack in half.

How was it Aes Sedai could be so perfectly emotionless, yet still let a man know they disapproved of him? Come to think of it, an Aes Sedai would probably follow a man off a cliff, too, if only to explain to him—in detail—all the things he was doing incorrectly in the way he went about killing himself.

“Are you smiling,?” Daerid asked. “Yes,” Talmanes said, satisfied. “Blood and bloody ashes, Lord Talmanes . . . that expression is horrifying on you.” Daerid hesitated. “You should probably do that more often.”

Best quote of the series, to sum it all up, when Mat and Rhand finally meet up again:

What did you do to your hand, by the way?”

“What did you do to your eye?”

“A little accident with a corkscrew and thirteen angry innkeepers. The hand?”

“Lost it capturing one of the Forsaken.”

“Capturing?” Mat said. “You’re growing soft.”

Rand snorted. “Tell me you’ve done better.”

“I killed a gholam,” Mat said.

“I freed Illian from Sammael.”

“I married the Empress of the Seanchan.”

“Mat,” Rand said, “are you really trying to get into a bragging contest with the Dragon Reborn?” He paused for a moment. “Besides, I cleansed saidin. I win.”

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