Wednesday, 10 October 2012

A Memory of Light: Wheel of Time Book 14 due January 2013

The Wheel of Time series will finally come to a close (or should that be "come full circle"?) with the release of the 14th and final book in the series, A Memory of Light, on 8th January 2013.

Roughly half my life has been devoted to this epic (in every sense of the word) fantasy series that began with the release of The Eye of the World way back in January 1990, so I am both excited and slightly trepiditious that we'll finally be able to read the series through to it's ultimate conclusion after 23 long years.

Like many, I was saddened to learn of the death of the series author Robert Jordan (born James Oliver Rigney, Jr.) back in 2007, but I'm not afraid to admit I was also damn pissed off. My initial thought on reading the news of Jordan's passing was along the lines of "How dare he up and die without finishing the damn thing off!". It felt like Stephen King's Dark Tower series all over again; a series that may well just end up left hanging, forever to plague loyal readers with questions of what might have been.

Fortunately for King's legions of fans, he did finally finish up his magnum opus (which took 22 years from first book to last), and now, with the 12th hour assistance of Brandon Sanderson, WoT fans will also get their much anticipated dénouement.

In the interests of full disclosure, I must admit that my interest had seriously waned in the series by the time the 11th (and supposedly penultimate) book was released. The pacing had by this time slowed to a snails pace, there were so many disparate and convoluted plotlines, and so many damn characters, it was all but impossible to keep up with everything, and almost as hard to care. But fortunately, with the help of copious notes and other material left behind by Jordan, Sanderson has managed to reinvigorate the series and re-inject life back into the characters.

The series was intended to have been completed in 12 volumes, and initially, Sanderson stated that he would need only one further book to take us all through to the end. But he obviously underestimated the herculean task which he had undertaken and it was not long before it was announced that three more books would be released (which, I laughingly recall, the publisher was adamant in stating that it was only one book that would be release in three separate volumes due to the size).

And so the waiting has continued.

But in just three short months, the waiting will be over. We'll all be able to read the ending we've waded through 4 million plus words on over 11,000 pages to get to.

All I can say is, it damn well better be worth it!

And for those of you who, like me, simply can't keep track of all the comings and goings of the 2,200 characters, let alone remember all that has transpired throughout the series, be sure head over to Encyclopaedia WoT; easily the most authoritative and complete online resource I have found on the books. The site includes complete chapter summaries for every novel in the series, detailed character notes, and a wealth of other information. All of it is crossed referenced so you can easily check up on extra details related to a specific character or setting, and the whole thing can be downloaded (either all or in part) for offline referencing. This is truly the ultimate online resource for all things WoT.