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View Full Version : My experience with A Memory of Light (Spoilers)


kivo
01-08-2013, 09:45 PM
It's over. When I finally put "A Memory of Light" down, I was mentally exhausted. Satisfied, but drained.

Getting the last three books early was a point of pride for me. A quest unto itself. First part identifying a location. Second part figuring out how to get it. The sum was proof of devotion and a sense of privilege. With the prior two books, my mother who lives in NYC kindly picked them up for me at the Port Authority bookstore and brought them out on a visit to see my kids here in Eastern PA. This time around, the bookstore wasn't selling it early. A poster on Dragonmount mentioned one place in DC selling it. That was the closest one I could see. I'd IM'd him earlier Friday evening but no reply by the time I went to sleep. I awoke too early on a Saturday morning, checked my phone on a whim and saw an alert that he replied. The bookstore was named. I looked it up on Google. I got in the car and drove. 3 hours and 15 minutes each way. All to get a book that would be in stores in a few days. Madness to anyone except some of those reading this here.

When I got home, I just read. Every waking hour from Saturday mid-day to Monday night (I took Monday off work well in advance, confident in my ability to locate an early copy). I started at the beginning, despite having devoured the first 110 or so pages through pre-release material prior.

I still don't know how I feel completely about all of the events of the book. All of the endings for these characters that I loved or had a love-hate feeling about. Some make me smile and others bring a sense of sorrow. The sorrow echoes a general emptiness I feel about it being the end of the series.

Not the sorrow of disappointment. I think Robert Jordan's ending is right, and I thank Brandon Sanderson and Harriet, and their supporting teams, for helping us get it. I'm satisfied with the book, it's something beyond that, at a different level. So many questions left. So much left open ended. That's the beautiful thing though. The glimmer of happiness stirring within the empty place the end of the series has created. The open threads give the series life beyond its conclusion. So many possibilities. Even if there truly are no outriggers, no further adventures, there is so much fodder for theories. And in that aspect, those of us here can keep it alive, with our theories of what happens next. I'm thankful to the authors for denying us full closure for that reason. It means we are not at the end, but an ending. And of course, a beginning.

Those are my thoughts after reflecting for 24 hours after finishing the book. Now I'm going to experience it again via audiobook, and let myself feel it more deeply, without the rush to know what happens next.

Thank you all for your entertaining theories over these past few years. I hope we don't stop and we keep this beautiful world alive, together.

Jalyn
01-08-2013, 10:58 PM
11 hours straight through.... That was heart wrenching and I have a bit of eye strain.

Random thoughts as they come to me now, spread across the entire thing:

One problem with reading like this is that you do miss things, I spent the last third of the book trying to figure out how the hell Emarin could be working with Androl when I KNEW we had seen him turned, because it made me almost cry. Missed the sentence that he'd been through two attempts but they hadn't yet turned him. (It annoyed me enough that I skimmed through until I found it.)

The scenes in the BT were horrific for me, the thought of waiting for someone to get around to removing your free will, to making you something that you don't want to be... I did find it interesting that the effort needed to turn someone wasn't based on how good of a person they were but how much willpower they had. Evin was... Yeah.

Just as horrific was watching the 4 main battle leaders slowly lose their mind as they tried to do everything right and just kept failing.

I loved Lan's starting the battle stories discussing the "good deaths" for morale purposes, and thought it lovely when Rand took up that mantle during his battle.

On a related note, I'm slightly annoyed that the only real sacrifice of a main character was Egwene. (Unless you count Gawain) Faile's decision to end her life so that she couldn't point to Olver was heartbreaking, but true (even if it didn't make any sense that she thought Olver could make it through without anyone seeing him carrying a horn that he had no way to hide.) Lan's death had me sobbing. (Actually, I got misty at his first POV, realizing that his death was going to really hurt when it came.) It was the good pain, though, just like the borderlander's evening toasts - the point where you realize that the fact that he had to lay down his life meant that it was worth it to do so. I also couldn't believe that I didn't figure that one out as soon as Galac tried and failed to take down Demandred. The scope of the deaths was amazing and heartbreaking, but story wise, the fact that so many of our heroes remained at the end meant that we were not brought into the heartbreak, we just watched them have it.

And the deaths that did happen, that would have gutted me - Bashere and his wife, Bryne and I'm sure others that I'm missing, happened off-page, taking away their effect.

I will admit to laughing out loud when Rand laid eyes on Roedran and was shocked that he wasn't Demandred. And when Hinderstap ended up being a plot point.

I really wanted more from Moraine. And Thom, for that matter.

Logain was much, much cooler before I got into his head, but I am very glad that his ultimate glory was about him making a deliberate choice to help people.

Loial felt off. I loved the conclusion of "as well bring a mountain down on your head as anger an Ogier," but his running off from battle so he could watch Lan and then his portion of the epilogue... Ugh.

And, the epilogue. I didn't like it. It didn't feel like there was any real emotion to it. Loial, again running around trying to get people to talk to him when Rand's dying and Perrin believes his wife to be dead. Loial believes in books, yes, but he also understands, deeply, pain and sorrow. I didn't need Moghedian's end, I was fine with her randomly being taken out of the story by dragon fire. Cadsuane is summoned to be Amyrlin with no ceremony, let alone the traditional one - and there is no mention of the black tower and how it's going to change everything? The Rand conclusion was ok, although it didn't take my breath away, but the fact that there is no indication that he is going to let Tam, at the very least, know he's alive is ridiculous. I did like Tam's POV blurb, but the above made it even harder. Perrin was breaking my heart, but destroying Faile's sacrifice in order to give him a happy ending was cheap, even if I guessed it was going to happen based on the Lan example.

I guess it felt like it was hitting too many points, too quickly, without really getting into the emotions of the character and that it touched on some of the wrong people.

Isabel
01-08-2013, 11:52 PM
11 hours straight through.... That was heart wrenching and I have a bit of eye strain.

Random thoughts as they come to me now, spread across the entire thing:

One problem with reading like this is that you do miss things, I spent the last third of the book trying to figure out how the hell Emarin could be working with Androl when I KNEW we had seen him turned, because it made me almost cry. Missed the sentence that he'd been through two attempts but they hadn't yet turned him. (It annoyed me enough that I skimmed through until I found it.)

The scenes in the BT were horrific for me, the thought of waiting for someone to get around to removing your free will, to making you something that you don't want to be... I did find it interesting that the effort needed to turn someone wasn't based on how good of a person they were but how much willpower they had. Evin was... Yeah.

Just as horrific was watching the 4 main battle leaders slowly lose their mind as they tried to do everything right and just kept failing.

I loved Lan's starting the battle stories discussing the "good deaths" for morale purposes, and thought it lovely when Rand took up that mantle during his battle.

On a related note, I'm slightly annoyed that the only real sacrifice of a main character was Egwene. (Unless you count Gawain) Faile's decision to end her life so that she couldn't point to Olver was heartbreaking, but true (even if it didn't make any sense that she thought Olver could make it through without anyone seeing him carrying a horn that he had no way to hide.) Lan's death had me sobbing. (Actually, I got misty at his first POV, realizing that his death was going to really hurt when it came.) It was the good pain, though, just like the borderlander's evening toasts - the point where you realize that the fact that he had to lay down his life meant that it was worth it to do so. I also couldn't believe that I didn't figure that one out as soon as Galac tried and failed to take down Demandred. The scope of the deaths was amazing and heartbreaking, but story wise, the fact that so many of our heroes remained at the end meant that we were not brought into the heartbreak, we just watched them have it.

And the deaths that did happen, that would have gutted me - Bashere and his wife, Bryne and I'm sure others that I'm missing, happened off-page, taking away their effect.

I will admit to laughing out loud when Rand laid eyes on Roedran and was shocked that he wasn't Demandred. And when Hinderstap ended up being a plot point.

I really wanted more from Moraine. And Thom, for that matter.

Logain was much, much cooler before I got into his head, but I am very glad that his ultimate glory was about him making a deliberate choice to help people.

Loial felt off. I loved the conclusion of "as well bring a mountain down on your head as anger an Ogier," but his running off from battle so he could watch Lan and then his portion of the epilogue... Ugh.

And, the epilogue. I didn't like it. It didn't feel like there was any real emotion to it. Loial, again running around trying to get people to talk to him when Rand's dying and Perrin believes his wife to be dead. Loial believes in books, yes, but he also understands, deeply, pain and sorrow. I didn't need Moghedian's end, I was fine with her randomly being taken out of the story by dragon fire. Cadsuane is summoned to be Amyrlin with no ceremony, let alone the traditional one - and there is no mention of the black tower and how it's going to change everything? The Rand conclusion was ok, although it didn't take my breath away, but the fact that there is no indication that he is going to let Tam, at the very least, know he's alive is ridiculous. I did like Tam's POV blurb, but the above made it even harder. Perrin was breaking my heart, but destroying Faile's sacrifice in order to give him a happy ending was cheap, even if I guessed it was going to happen based on the Lan example.

I guess it felt like it was hitting too many points, too quickly, without really getting into the emotions of the character and that it touched on some of the wrong people.


Weird how we can have such a different reactions. I totally loved the epilogue. I do believe Tam will find out. What did you expect. rand to do? Go to his own funeral pyre an shout that he is alive?

Jalyn
01-09-2013, 12:01 AM
Weird how we can have such a different reactions. I totally loved the epilogue. I do believe Tam will find out. What did you expect. rand to do? Go to his own funeral pyre an shout that he is alive?

Nope. Just a stray thought that it was something that needed to be done or that one of the girls would pull him aside soon, or at least some recognition that burning his body was going to be hard for his father. As (I think, spoilers are rough on an iPad) I said, Tam's POV was one of the few that really worked for me here, and the fact that as Rand is joyfully walking away he doesn't even think about him is rough.