Today marks a very important day in the world of fantasy fiction. Today, the final book in the epic Wheel of Time series has been released. Entitled A Memory of Light, this staggering 14th volume of this series has been long anticipated by its loyal fans, yet came very near to never being released. As is well-known by know, the author of the Wheel of Time series passed away after a lengthy battle with a rare blood disorder, leaving the series unfinished. Eventually, author Brandon Sanderson was given the unprecedented honor of taking the notes, dictations, and piecemeal writings left following Jordan's death and assembling them into conclusion of the Wheel of Time saga.
I first discovered this amazing series back in high school when one of my good friends loaned me the first book in the series. I was immediately hooked, and proceeded to read through all of the available books as fast as I could get my hands of them. This fascination with this series carried me through college and through my adult life. Along the way, I reread the series several times, and shared my love of this series with friends, family, and even my future wife. All one has to do is look at the top shelf of my most prominent bookshelf to see how much I have treasured this series.
(In fact, the main reason I kept this particular bookshelf is because, at last, I owned one long enough to hold all fourteen volumes of the series, plus the extra books, on one shelf).
As an inspiring fantasy author, the Wheel of Time has done more to influence the way I think about the genre than anything else I know of. Several times, as some of my alpha readers have read over my current work in progress (of which I will write soon, I promise!), I have been told that something is perhaps too derivative of ideas within this series. Of course, each time I have argued that it is almost impossible to write anything in the world of fantasy without somehow touching upon something contained with the Wheel of Time, so far-reaching is the scope of this series. The Wheel of Time is, without question, the fantasy series by which almost all other works will be measured. In my opinion, it is preeminent in the genre, and I cannot imagine ever reading something else that would rival it for sheer power, scope, and length.
(Did I mentioned length? In fact, the entire series is approximately 11,000 pages long, comprised of over 4 million words!)
So if you've never had the joy of sitting down and reading this amazing series, there is no better time than now. The series is finished at last, and I for one cannot wait to enjoy every last surprise that A Memory of Light has to offer. So what about you? Have you read this series? What do you think of it? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Until next time...