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View Full Version : A Memory of Light A Theoryland Non-Spoiler Review


Tamyrlin
01-04-2013, 04:28 PM
To my fellow Wheel of Time freaks,

An end to so much has come. In an unexpected way even an end to waiting, a parallel journey many of us began more than two decades ago when we picked up that mysterious and daunting blue book. At that time, none of us could have known how it would change us. How could we have known what was to come when he led us out of the small villages of our lives? How could we have known...and now that journey too is over, but the longing I feel persists. An emptiness remains. A bond has been severed, not quite tenderly. With imaginary threads, that masterful storyteller entangled us in the warp and the woof of the Pattern of an Age that was ending. We were swept like straw into a whirlpool and I, for one, know I have lived a greater life because of it, because of him...but you came to hear about a book.

For me, A Memory of Light is a book of moments, moments that grip the heart. That’s how it plays in my mind’s eye, many of which remain imprinted there. Two such moments among the many, after more than twenty years reading and discussing The Wheel of Time, made this a meaningful end to my journey. And I look forward to discussing them. You will experience your own such moments. Suffice it to say, I felt some small joy when a thing or two turned out just a bit as I had envisioned over the years. Some scenes and events devastated me too, but the majority of the book was the pleasant surprise of discovery and understanding. At times, A Memory of Light spoke with a voice of thunder, and I’m willing to bet that you will live the final third of the book, as I did, shaking. Though, it took reading that final portion of the book twice to appreciate Jordan’s overarching vision. I wasn’t prepared for the loss I felt, but there is a completeness that I now savor.

It is not a “perfect” ending. The book starts off slowly, almost torturously for freaks like me considering the tension built across decades, but it is compelling throughout. Some of you will dislike a few conversations between your favorite characters and others will feel a scene or two could have been handled better. I did. I felt similar things while reading Towers of Midnight, but I enjoyed A Memory of Light deeply. No, it was not my favorite book of the series. How could it be? After all, I created Theoryland and few theories survive literal endings. Yes, some characters here and there felt “off” at times. And I heard Brandon’s voice more in this book than I recall in the previous two, though that has never bothered me much. I assume some consistency errors will be found (or already have been). We have so much time ahead of us to discuss such things, and we will. But I hope, sincerely so, that such will not prevent you from finding meaning and solace at the end of your own journey.

But, fret not. Stop wringing your hands. We've been through this so many times together and the end is nigh! Prophecies will be fulfilled, some logically and others in surprising ways, but you do not know nearly as much as you think you do. I made that mistake too. I thought I understood the Wheel and the Pattern, those carefully laid out rules, some of which I helped nail down, piece by piece, year after year. Yet, even so I hadn’t quite grasped the totality of the Pattern failing and how it might reverberate across those very beliefs, even that all Viewings are true.

This End

No metaphor aptly describes my feelings since reading the final words of The Wheel of Time woven by Robert Jordan. It is done. And since finishing A Memory of Light, I haven’t known exactly what to say to anyone. Though, I have found some peace in the ensuing silence. Not that I can speak in much more detail yet, but I believe that I will be at a loss for words even then. This sense of loss and longing is something each will bear, some of us more than others, Harriet most of all.

To Harriet, Maria, Alan and Brandon, your sacrifices are greatly appreciated. Thousands of fans around the world will express their gratitude to you over the coming months and years for the work you have completed, as they should. Each of you has given up a piece of yourself to bring about RJ’s final vision, for which I am in your debt.

To the HCFFs, waiting with you will forever have been one of the most enjoyable parts of the journey; we filled the void with all manner of ideas and wonder for fifteen years! Thank you for making this crazy obsession feel normal.

To my friends of Theoryland, your companionship has been remarkable. You are this motley crew, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. You named me and I will never forget your trust. Our friendships will endure; a final legacy of this ending.

And to Robert Jordan, others have eloquently thanked you for your work and diligence and for the difference you made in their lives; I echo their thoughts wholeheartedly. I cannot thank you enough for this tale, the Wheel, and a most dear and meaningful promise, the simple advice that has brought so much light into this world: read and find out.

-Matt Hatch

fionwe1987
01-04-2013, 05:45 PM
Nice! I mostly agree. And as I think back, you're right. There are more "Brandon" stretches here. And as you said, we didn't know everything. Not by a long shot.

But we have tons to discuss still, reducing the feeling of something being severed.

Davian93
01-04-2013, 05:48 PM
Nice! I mostly agree. And as I think back, you're right. There are more "Brandon" stretches here. And as you said, we didn't know everything. Not by a long shot.

But we have tons to discuss still, reducing the feeling of something being severed.

Ugh.

fionwe1987
01-04-2013, 06:48 PM
Ugh.
Not necessarily, given the nature of the book. I'll leave it at that, for now.

Davian93
01-04-2013, 06:56 PM
Not necessarily, given the nature of the book. I'll leave it at that, for now.

I think I take your meaning...FWIW.

I'm cautiously optimistic I'll be able to get it tomorrow from a local bookstore that usually puts it out a few days early.

Olver_is_a_Forsaken
01-04-2013, 06:56 PM
The book starts off slowly, almost torturously for freaks like me considering the tension built across decades,
I've just finished Chapter 15. I felt the pace picked up in the last 3 chapters.

...I assume some consistency errors will be found (or already have been)... Yup. So far not too many.
There is a thread on Dragonmount already.

(I removed the link, since it would be quite spoilery. Hope you don't mind. - Tamyrlin)

fionwe1987
01-04-2013, 07:15 PM
Perhaps because the sense of anticipation was so heavy for me, I blazed through the early chapters, and didn't find them "slow".

InfamousOne
01-04-2013, 08:16 PM
I am being the dutiful, patient fan and I am stuck waiting until the 8th. I should have a copy waiting that evening when I get home from work. Until then, I will return to reading Towers of Midnight and being as patient as possible.

Thank you, Matt, for a spoiler-free review that sets me up for a heartrending experience I have been waiting almost 20 years for. While all good things must, by their nature, come to an end... you never want them to.

Ishara
01-04-2013, 09:59 PM
Gah. This made me absolutely itchy for the book. Can't wait!!

Khoram
01-04-2013, 10:08 PM
God I wish I could lay my hands on a copy right now! :(

4 days. Will I be able to make it? It's a good thing school only starts next week. I won't fall too far behind while reading aMoL. :D

Davian93
01-05-2013, 04:22 PM
Fourth independent store was the trick as I now have a copy... Woohoo!!!!

frenchie
01-05-2013, 05:27 PM
Forth independent store was the trick as I now have a copy... Woohoo!!!!

Damn you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mailinde
01-05-2013, 07:22 PM
Fourth independent store was the trick as I now have a copy... Woohoo!!!!

I cannot be more jealous.

Thanks for the review Tamyrlin! I've been lurking on Theoryland for a long time, and enjoyed the HCFF theories. :)

Brita
01-05-2013, 10:31 PM
That left me a little misty eyed.

I just burned through The Alloy of Law since my son gave it to me for Christmas and thus it is number one priority. Next I have to quickly read Gone Girl for book club later this month, so that when I get my hands on AMoL I am dedicated to it, heart and mind :)

Davian93
01-06-2013, 03:28 PM
Okay...finished it. Absolutely worth the 20 year buildup. The epilogue is perfection. You will all love it.

SamJ
01-06-2013, 03:29 PM
Tamyrlin - thank you for an intriguing review. You shattered all the shards of serenity I had gathered to see me through the final few days!

Am hoping for some strong action scenes from Brandon as cinematic, edge-of-your-seat action is something he does really well.

ShadowbaneX
01-06-2013, 03:31 PM
Damn you. How'd you get a hold of the book early?

Davian93
01-06-2013, 04:09 PM
Damn you. How'd you get a hold of the book early?

Perserverence...and a bit of luck. 1st place I checked had gone under. 2nd place supposedly had it in stock and the saleswoman was going to sell it to me but we couldn't find it on the shelves or in the stockroom. 3rd place had 6 copies in stock but they wouldn't sell it before tues. 4th place had 1 copy of it and I reserved it for tues in case I couldn't find it. 5th and final place had 1 copy sitting on the shelf and I grabbed it fast. Good times

ShadowbaneX
01-06-2013, 06:00 PM
I looked up some of the smaller book stores in town, but they're all downtown and I'm not about to go roaming out there on a Sunday afternoon.

Still, damn you.

Davian93
01-06-2013, 06:11 PM
I'm pretty exhausted. I read it from around 7 pm last night when I got home till 6:30 am, crashed till around 10 am and finished off the final 200 pages or so.

My thoughts (No Spoilers at all):

Some of the language/wording will make you cringe as its just a tad awkward.
The overall pacing and storytelling elements are excellent despite that issue.
There's an entire subplot/POV I could have done without but I guess I get why they used it.
Its amazing how many hits and misses we had over the years of theorizing.
Its a lot of Brandon but its Brandon at his best for a good bit of it.
The epilogue was pure gold...worthy of the very best writing in the entire series.

Tedman
01-06-2013, 06:57 PM
I'm pretty exhausted. I read it from around 7 pm last night when I got home till 6:30 am, crashed till around 10 am and finished off the final 200 pages or so.

My thoughts (No Spoilers at all):

Some of the language/wording will make you cringe as its just a tad awkward.
The overall pacing and storytelling elements are excellent despite that issue.
There's an entire subplot/POV I could have done without but I guess I get why they used it.
Its amazing how many hits and misses we had over the years of theorizing.
Its a lot of Brandon but its Brandon at his best for a good bit of it.
The epilogue was pure gold...worthy of the very best writing in the entire series.


+1.

I'd add theres one fight scene that I've been waiting years for, and it lived up to everything I'd hoped.

TomGlaser
01-06-2013, 11:39 PM
Man, I am so jealous of all of you, now. Hopefully the PX will have a copy, otherwise, I have to wait on Amazon.

arioch
01-07-2013, 09:21 AM
One thing I kind of wonder is how many of those hits and misses in terms of guesses/theorizing are stuff that wasn't taken care of in the notes and Brandon had to reconstruct them from fan posts.

Probably a small number, but non-zero.

That'd be a good question to ask in the post-mortem, 1-2 years down the line.

SixPips
01-12-2013, 09:15 PM
As much as I enjoyed this book, and TRULY I did, the last scene of the book pissed me off severely. Without giving any spoilers I feel that there were characters that behaved in manners that did not fit them in any way.

Fantastic book, 9.99 out of 10. I am aware you can't satisfy every little thing for every single fan, but it grates me to no end :mad: