This post is very much a follow on from the other weeks’. Watching my girlfriend work her way through the 900 strong page book however weakened my resolve to listen to them all, and so, the morning after she finished, I began. The following morning, having done a six-hour shift at work and slept for a good seven hours, I finished it. I’m not necessarily proud of this feat, but I think it was worth it. That it’s taken me this long to write my review of it is a testament to how emotionally draining the book was (Alright, that’s a little bit of a lie. The emotional fatigue only lasted about a week. It’s mostly because I’ve been working a lot recently, and haven’t got round to posting.)
It wasn’t the best book in the series, not by a long shot, but it was a satisfying ending to the series. The final climax occurred in a way that very few people could have seen coming, and the tying-up-but-not-completely-closing of over 20 years of sub-plots was done very well. As I said, for nearly a week, I kept finding myself stopping what I was doing, struck with the realisation that various characters were dead. Not that I wouldn’t find out what had happened to those that survived, because, well, they were still alive and I needn’t worry. It’s weird.
This is all the more impressive, considering that while it would ordinarily be considered a testament to the author, in this instance, it was not the original author who completed the series. After Robert Jordan died in 2007, his widow and editor chose fantasy author Brandon Sanderson to finish the series. I’m pretty much in awe of Sanderson, as not only does he write phenomenal Fantasy books, he also writes them with an astonishing speed. Seriously, check out his output! So for him to have completed a trilogy of this length, with so many people invested in it, while still writing his own fiction, it’s an impressive thing.
There’s been a lot of controversy about the publication; mostly in that the eBook version will not be published until the end of April. The stated reason is that Harriet, Jordan’s wife, (who’s 82 years old btw, and thus can not necessarily be expected to have grasped the eBook zeitgeist), wants the book to top the NYT Bestsellers list, in tribute to her late husband. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this, because on the one hand, I do love my Kindle, but on the other, if we’re talking about convenience, paperbacks are more convenient than hardback, and they never come out at the same time.
What I know I don’t agree with is the hundreds of people who have been review-bombing the book on Amazon because of this, with no actual bearing for the quality of book. Or the people who, within a couple of days of the publication, had scanned the book and uploaded it online. And most especially not the people who have posted some horrific abuse of Harriet and her husband’s memory online.
As I said before, if you’ve not already read the Wheel of Time series, you’re not going to pick up the final, 14th installment, but for everyone that gave up on the series before now; it’s worth picking it back up, just for this ending!