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From listening to the interview with Brandon Sanderson which is included with books 12-14 (assuming 14 as not out until April, I understand), it is apparent that before the Lengend Robert Jordan passed away, he had written much (as much as 2100+ pages) on the final installment of this wonderful saga. So how much does Brandon put into this? The fact that it is actually difficult to figure out is, in my mind, a testament to Sanderson's ability, and I believe he deserves accolade for his work here and with book 13 at least. If you are out there, Brandon, high-five!
This book really takes the saga to new levels, as Rand struggles with Lews Therin for posession of his body and mind. The shining, personal battle at the end of the book, marks the beginning of Tarmon Gai'don, and as we progress through book 13, the pace really picks up. Not to take away from this book, however, as the storylines meld and Perrin Aybara, Goldeneyes, Lord of the Two Rivers really pulls his character to new levels, reaching to lofty heights, as he must, to stand beside Rand at the last battle. Having read this book once (I read each before listening), and listened to 3 times now, I will listen once more before book 14 is released. If you were to only read 3 books in the series, I would say 11, 12 and 13 are the ones you should choose, though of course that's just nonsense as you need context! ;) Listen to them all! Brilliant with a capital B.
As a side note, I am reading George RR Martin on the side, and I am finding it very exciting, having already watched the first book in series format on TV, A Game of Thrones. Like finishing with a girlfriend or boyfriend who was like no other, and you compare everyone in the future to them... that is how I am with every book since Wheel of Time. Does Game of Thrones compare to this? Surely, in many ways, not least of which excellent POV handling. And Kate Redding and Michael Kramer as male or female POVs on the audio works better than any other audiobook!!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Usually I wouldn't write a review before I had finished a book, but I just can't help myself... I'm sure that you hard core WoT fans out there won't need any further encouragement to purchase this one, but for anyone who does... Get it, now! :-) Seriously, it's good. Perhaps I'm just not as perceptive as I ought to be, but I've not yet noticed much difference from the quality that I'd expect of a book in this amazing series. So far, I think that Brandon Sanderson has stayed true to the characters that RJ created, and I think his style just works for this series. Needless to say, I am thoroughly enjoying this audiobook so far. I've already noticed quite a few plot lines moving forward and am learning answers to questions that I've really been waiting to find out about. I'd like to thank Mr. Sanderson for his wonderful work in continuing this series, Robert Jordan for caring enough about his fans to leave behind enough content for Brandon to work with, and of course, his wife Harriet for making a great choice of whom to continue his work. Very respectfully, Dominique.
35 of 36 people found this review helpful
If you would have told me this was written by a different author other then Robert Jordan, I would have called you a liar. This is how the Jordan of old used to write. It's only later on in the series is when he really started go get wrapped up in meaningless crap, and made it a chore to finish a book. The only difference I could really tell were things that I thought were improvements. Gone are the annoying storyline builds ups, only to have the reader jump to a different character at the crescendo. It was so refreshing to not have to wait another 300 pages to find out how a storyline progressed. This ain't 1960's television anymore, we don't need cheesy cliffhangers to make sure we keep reading.
At no point did I ever feel like I wanted to place a gun into my mouth to end my misery from slogging through a couple of chapters on etiquette or local customs.
Sanderson touched on all the favorites, Rand, Egwene and company, Matt, Perrin, all the major Aes Sedai and Aiel. Perrin was probably the least written about it in this story, but it really didn't bother me, as he had bigger parts in the last few books. Matt is always a blast and gets into some crazy situations in this book that just made me laugh. Sanderson does such a good job putting Matt's perspective on situations that it's always just so comical, "Why does this always happen to me!"
Rand is probably the biggest triumph of this story. The writing gets more complicated as his delves deeper and deeper into what it means to be the Dragon Reborn and all the emotions that come with that.
Kate and Michael are the only voices I can ever picture reading Jordan, as they do a perfect job. At times I forget that Kate is reading the male parts because she does such a great job capturing the character's essence.
I released a huge sigh of release after I read this book. The glory that is WoT is back, and is on track for it's continued greatness. The ending of this finished perfectly.
20 of 22 people found this review helpful