Thursday, February 7, 2013
The wheel has come and gone and come again and finally the story is told. It isn't the story but it is a story; a story of how a collection of people from a small rural village were fated to face the dark one and his minions in a battle for the world.
Fourteen books and tens of thousands of pages later the story has reached a conclusion and, quite frankly, I'm glad to be done with it. Sanderson had a yeomans task to try and save this series and he did a remarkably good job of it. Sadly, however, there were so many odd story lines floating around that he couldn't possibly have resolved them all in a satisfactory manner. Instead, some come to an abrupt end and others are left dangling and waiting on a conclusion in the readers imagination.
The primary story arch reaches a conclusion that is both satisfactory and lacking at the same time. Though, honestly, it would have been near impossible to conclude the story between Rand and the Dark One in a satisfying way. At least it is done.
The most consistent part of the transition between the two authors has been that a variety of the characters annoying quirks have remained incredibly annoying. Elayne and Egwene still seem to think they know how to do everything better than anyone and Rand is still moping around and whining about how every death in the world is his fault. I've never really understood how these maybe 20 year old people feel like they know the answer to everything. Granted, I was once twenty and probably thought I knew everything as well - but I was also never tasked with saving the world and thrust into situations that were exceedingly beyond anyone's knowledge - but it still seems like the main protagonists could look to some other people, on occasion, for some advice and guidance.
My favorite character in the series has been Mat. And, in general, he is still a fun character to follow but his dialog hasn't been nearly as entertaining or laugh inducing as it was under Jordan's care. Perrin, another popular character, is also in this book quite a bit and, finally, he isn't as whiny or mopey as he has been in the prior books. Both Rand and Perrin seem to be burdened with Catholic like guilt all the time and it was refreshing to see Perrin shake free of it in this book.
Finally, there is a little twist surprise to the ending. I won't talk about it anymore than that other than to say I am not a fan of it.