Fortune rides like the sun on high
with the fox that makes the ravens fly.
Luck his soul, the lightning his eye,
He snatches the moons from out of the sky.
from Crossroads of Twilight.
A writer who has tried his hand at historical fiction, westerns, and even dance criticism under various pen names, James Oliver Rigney, found his niche and a loyal world-wide following in the Fantasy genre as Robert Jordan, author of the Wheel of Time series. The much-anticipated last book of the 14-part series, A Memory of Light, has been released today, January 8th, six years after Robert Jordan’s death in 2007 and will be the finale of over two decades of The Wheel of Time series, the first book of which (Eye of the World) was published in 1990 by Tor.
Beginning as an archetypal hero’s journey when young Rand is yanked out of his comfortable farmer village life by mysterious and powerful forces of prophecy, it soon grows and splits into a true high fantasy epic following over a dozen characters across 14 books. With each hardcover averaging around 800 pages, it’s a series for people who enjoy multi-book epics and fans of Tolkien, Game of Thrones, and Shannara.
While books 1-11 were written by Robert Jordan himself, the last three posthumous volumes, The Gathering Storm (2009), Towers of Midnight (2010), and A Memory of Light (2013) are based are based on on Robert Jordan’s extensive notes and written by Brandon Sanderson, (Warbreaker, Mistborn, etc).
From what I hear, the first two books of this three-piece conclusion to the Wheel of Time series do justice to Jordan’s vision, and it looks like fans agree – both books topped the New York Times hardcover bestsellers list as number one when they came out. A Memory of Light has also been read and edited by Jordan’s widow, as have all of Robert Jordan’s books. Having enjoyed the first ten books before letting the series slip off my radar, I’m feeling both nostalgic and intrigued. Maybe it’s time to revisit Robert Jordan’s world and see the series to its conclusion.