When American author James Oliver Rigney Jr. originally began writing his The Wheel of Time series, it was only supposed to be six stories. However, the series now consists of fourteen full length novels, and the latest installment may be the most exciting story of them all. You may be more familiar with James’ pen name Robert Jordan, but no matter what he’s called, this talented author has to be respected for entertaining the masses with his creative series of books. Now, The Wheel of Time series comes to an end with the audiobook A Memory of Light.
Completing The Wheel of Time
The release of this latest book is a bitter sweet moment for fans of The Wheel of Time series. While fans of the series will be glad to see the conclusion, the loss of Mr. Jordan is a true tragedy to the literary world. Not only was Robert Jordan a master of epic fantasy, he also penned books from many other genres. He wrote historical fiction under the name Reagan O’Neal, and a western under the pen name Jackson O’Reilly. This truly gifted novelist passed away in Charleston, South Carolina in 2007 with his last work of fiction unfinished.
If not for a chance blog post written by a fan of Mr. Jordan’s, the world may never have received the gift of A Memory of Light. Brandon Sanderson is a long time fan of the series and he, like many Robert Jordan fans, longed the loss of such a talented writer. He expressed his sorrow over Mr. Jordan’s death in a heartfelt blog post.
It was about a month later when Brandon received a phone call that would forever change his life. The person on the other end was Harriet McDougal, Robert’s wife and editor. She learned about the blog post from a friend and contacted Brandon to see if the young man would be interested in penning the finale to The Wheel of Time series. Of course, Brandon was delighted and honored by the opportunity. He had been reading the series for more than two decades when the first book, Eye of the World, was released.
Working only with Robert Jordan’s notes and outlines, Brandon Sanderson finished the last three books in the series and with them, The Wheel of Time series. In April 2013, A Memory of Light was released and it took only a few months to reach the top spot on many best seller lists. Though there was initially a negative reaction to the decision to delay the release of the book, this story has still become somewhat of an icon.
The reason for this series’ success is the very deep plot which involves a creator, a dark one, and men and women with the ability to ‘channel’ magic power. In the final installment, the dark one seeks to destroy the wheel of time and with it, all of creation.
Many people from the Westlands now believe the only way to stop the dark one is by pitting him against the dragon reborn. Though the armies of the Westlands gather in anticipation of Tarmon Gai’don (Armageddon) there are those who still believe the dragon reborn can stop the forces of darkness.
However, many people dismiss this notion as being ridiculous, because the first dragon that the wheel sent to protect the world went insane, as did all males who can channel. The first dragon killed everyone close to him, friends, family and associates before taking his own life. Since men are no longer able to channel, the One Power isn’t nearly as reliable as it once was, and it seems the True Power will eventually consume all the lands of the wheel.
The Dragon Reborn
Even though it seems the only one strong enough to stand against the dark one is Rand al’Thor, the dragon reborn, many people hesitate to put their faith in him. There are prophecies which say this dragon reborn must defeat the true power, but the enemies of the dark one don’t all agree with this intuitive idea.
The extremely thick plot is compounded by the fact that many factions within the lands of the wheel don’t believe in prophecy so they’re far less likely to put their faith in the dragon reborn. In fact, some of them believe that the dragon reborn must be killed by the dark one in order to prevent the end of time. There are also minions of the dark one who believe the dragon reborn must be defeated in order for the True Power to spread across all the lands, ushering in an era of complete chaos.
Rand realizes that the forces of the Westlands must remain united if they are to defeat the shadow so he calls for a meeting of the most prominent leaders. The meeting may have been a disaster if Moiraine Damodred hadn’t showed up and convinced Egwene al’Vere to go along with Ran’s plan. By quoting prophecies of the Dragon, the young woman is able to convince many of the leaders to unite against the shadow, and fight side by side.
When the battle begins, incompetent leadership by the forces of light seem as though they will ensure a victory for the shadow. However, Rand is able to secure assistance from formerly neutral parties such as Tuon, a descendant of Artur Hawkwing. Rand now has members of the light and the shadow planning to kill him. He also has members of both sides sworn to protect his life, making A Memory of Light one of the most interesting reads in the past 20 years.
Fortunately, this story is also available as an exciting audiobook. The A Memory of Light audiobook is very passionately read by Kate Reading and Michael Kramer. The emotions put on display throughout the entire reading really draw the listener in, enhancing the already superb plot. This option is ideal for fans of The Wheel of Time series who may not have enough time to sit, and read the book. Hearing the story read is also a great way for many people to enjoy the tale simultaneously.
A Memory of Light is definitely the best book in the series and it resolves all the plot twists which have arisen since Moraine first fled the village of Edmond’s Field with Rand al’Thor. Given that this is the finale to one of the most successful book franchises of all time, anyone who enjoys a great story would be well served to listen to the A Memory of Light audiobook. This story deserves a rating of five out of five stars, a real masterpiece.