Wednesday, April 2, 2014 12:58:00 PM
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan is the greatest epic fantasy series written, and will be embraced that way for decades to come because it is not simply about one hero’s battle against evil, it is the inspirational tale of how to battle evil.The story centers on Rand al'Thor, a kind, intelligent and responsible youth from a remote farm. Narrowly escaping a brutal raid on his home, Rand learns that the malevolent Dark One is seeking him, and he ventures into the world to save his village and...
Thursday, February 27, 2014 2:53:00 PM
Having now reread A Memory of Light, I will revisit Act 3 of The Wheel of Time, comprising Books 10-14. The original post on Act 3 is here (http://greatlordofthedark.blogspot.ca/2013/01/the-wheel-of-time-act-3-books-10-14.html), posted before I had read A Memory of Light for the first time. I find it eerily on target, and rather than repeat it, I suggest you supplement this post by reading that one as well.Act 3 of The Wheel of Time builds on the concept that Rand must not only defeat the Dark...
Saturday, February 22, 2014 1:39:00 PM
A Memory of Light brings Rand's epic journey to a cataclysmic end in near perfect harmony with the rest of The Wheel of Time books.The majority of A Memory of Light is taken up by battle. A few early moments of respite allow the heroes to make their goodbyes before the final confrontation takes their attention, and in many cases, their lives. The clever placement of a scene where Rand crafts a treaty to guide the nations after his death informs readers what the world will be like after the...
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 2:03:00 PM
In this final section, glimmers of the future are shown and loose threads are tied up.Rand’s quest ended on exactly the last page of the story, and the epilogue has a scant sixteen pages to wrap up many loose ends, which it does quite successfully. Rand is blind and burdened with weight. After escaping the Pit of Doom, Rand realizes an unfamiliar woman is kneeling next to him, guiding him on what to do. The major clue to her identity comes in the following paragraph with the juxtaposition of...
Friday, January 24, 2014 1:04:00 PM
In this section, Rand defeats the Dark One.Perrin awakens after the battle is done. He argues with Chiad about why she won’t bend the rules for gai’shain, given that it is the Last Battle. “What good is honor if the Dark One wins the Last Battle?” Perrin snapped, pulling up his trousers. “It is everything,” Chiad said softly. “It is worth death, it is worth risking the world itself. If we have no honor, better that we lose.”Perrin’s surrogate father Master Luhhan comes to check on Perrin’s...
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 12:58:00 PM
In this section, in the most critical scene of the book, Rand can’t win by himselfRand sees Lan fall, reinforcing the fact of his apparent death. Through Egwene’s voice, he is reminded that the responsibility was not his, it belonged to Lan himself. Rand could easily have imagined Egwene’s voice in his head, but her recent death adds some doubt as to its nature. Rand changes the purpose of his list of names, from one of victims, to one of heroes, who died for causes they believed to be noble....
Saturday, November 30, 2013 3:20:00 AM
In this section, Lan fights the Last Battle.Leane is about to order the retreat of the remaining Aes Sedai, until Egwene shows up, devastating the enemy with her sa’angreal. Even at this late stage of the story, two new Aes Sedai is named. As Keeper of the Chronicles for ten of the last twelve years, Leane has better reason than anyone to know every Aes Sedai’s name and face. Had she not named these two, it would have been out of place, and it would be equally out of place if readers only saw...
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 1:28:00 PM
In this section, Mat commits all his resources to his plan.Tam fires arrows at Trollocs. Throughout the battle, it has been regularly shown that Tam and the other Two Rivers archers hardly ever miss. Having enjoyed some amount of success with their bows, the archers abandon them for lack of arrows. They enter the fray in wedges, trying to split up Trolloc armies assaulting the Whitecloaks.Making an example, Fortuona dispatches Karede, a beloved guardian, and others of her Deathwatch guards to...
Friday, November 1, 2013 1:47:00 PM
In this section, the heroes suffer setbacks and losses.Deep in the Blasted Lands, on the approach to Shayol Ghul, Faile discovers the village supplying the Shadow’s armies. Perrin awakens to find hours have passed and he is still weak from his ordeal. The rationing of healing for even heroes of his stature indicates how poorly the battle is going. Perrin insists Faile is alive even though her caravan vanished in a bubble of evil. As well he might, for the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills, and...
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 1:30:00 PM
In this section, the Last Battle begins!Lan offers the first point of view in this epic nearly 200 page chapter, the significance of which won’t be understood until the chapter ends. New Spring made Lan the central character of the series by starting with his point of view as the first window onto this world. With Rand as the central character through the main body of the series, it has long been assumed the Last Battle was all about him facing the Dark One. It is not at all obvious to readers...
Thursday, October 24, 2013 12:53:00 PM
In this section, the heroes show determination in the face of the worst odds yet.Perrin battles Slayer in Tel’aran’rhiod, showcasing a variety of tactics granting either of them a momentary edge. Perrin has no trouble running through the sky, but is so used to swimming that he can’t maintain his focus when underwater. Exhaustion impedes his ability to manipulate the World of Dreams, and Slayer finally hits him with an arrow. Lanfear finds Perrin, and scorns him, easily switching her favour to...
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 11:23:00 AM
In this section, the Great Captains are removed and Mat takes over everything.The next chapters contain a bit of overlap, as we see closely-spaced events from several perspectives. Since they all concern the erratic behaviour of the Great Captains and the events on the field, they mesh together well, though they remain strongly plot-driven.Lan investigates Agelmar’s tactics, and finds disturbing facts. Lan resolves the problem with dutiful competence. He doesn’t grow, he doesn’t learn, he...
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 11:46:00 AM
In this section, Egwene makes uneasy alliance with her personal Dark One.Egwene has good reason to detest the Seanchan, having endured a short time in their clutches as a damane. She is tolerant of their help when she first hears of their arrival, but the matter of who leads who must be decided. So, she and Fortuona must meet face to face for the sake of expediency, despite the risk to their status being seen doing so.She wore a glittering dress whose train extended a ridiculous distance behind ...
Friday, September 6, 2013 12:18:00 PM
In this section, Demandred finally appears in person, and the day dawns twice as Rand enters Shayol Ghul.Siuan and associates escaped the Sharan attack by diving through a pre-existing Gateway to fall hundreds of feet to the ground, and readers are informed of this via a short flashback. The flashback allows the author to skip right to the introspection by Bryne, which is the key element of the scene. A scene with Siuan falling towards a crash landing even as she surveys the battle from above...
Tuesday, September 3, 2013 12:29:00 PM
In this section, events are more dire than ever!Rand comes to see Tuon, more humble than last time they met. Mat establishes that his allegiance is with the Seanchan. Mat is the only character who could have made the linkage with this alien culture, as he is perpetually the outsider. Now he will truly be a man with a foot in each world, belonging fully to neither.Rand must concede the lives of many channelers to procure an alliance. Many times throughout the story, characters have had to act...
Monday, May 27, 2013 10:54:00 AM
(Sorry for the long delay, life intervened... how did I ever maintain this pace last year?)In this section, the Black Tower plotline is resolved!Contrary to established rules, it is now possible to enter Tel’aran’rhiod from the Blight, which is explained with the mild observation that barriers are weakening between worlds. Importantly, it will allow Perrin, Lanfear, and Slayer to later interact with Rand at Shayol Ghul while they are in Tel’aran’rhiod. While the story is rife with examples of...
Monday, April 1, 2013 9:12:00 PM
In this section, two ta’veren take to the field.With allies waiting for reinforcements, the failure to lure Trollocs out of Caemlyn hurts the heroes badly, though not personally. Androl too is failing to find a means of escape, adding to the building pressure, which culminates with Lan’s retreat from Tarwin’s Gap when faced with Dreadlords. At last, the Trollocs take the bait and pursue the Andoran army, falling into a trap of gunpowder and shrapnel. Elayne thinks the invention of these cannons ...
Monday, April 1, 2013 4:42:00 AM
In this section, the long war begins.The ink is hardly dry on the Dragon’s Peace before planning for the conflict begins. Splitting the conflict onto three immediate fronts in Andor, Shienar and Kandor allows the author to showcase more characters playing roles and to balance momentum, so that even if one battle front goes well for the heroes, other dire situations maintain tension. If there is a downside, it is that with so many plotlines to juggle, some may get only short attention, if they...
Monday, March 25, 2013 12:25:00 PM
In this section, Long-anticipated and hoped-for happy things happen.With the Last Battle slated to bring mankind to the brink of extinction, the author knows that some upbeat moments are needed to balance out these dire events, or the reader may grow weary. There are several reminders that this is the last quiet time the heroes expect to have, such as Rand’s shower with Aviendha. In the morning, she asks him for a future favour and he agrees to hear it when the time comes. Rand reveals more of...
Friday, March 22, 2013 1:50:00 PM
In this section, Rand returns as a point of view character while dire events transpire at the Black Tower.The familiar opening shows a world failing, withering, dying, awaiting the end. Rand’s appearance disrupts that imagery with happiness: Laughter broke the air.While Moridin’s forces feel assured of victory, Rand is more hesitant, concocting a plan he isn’t sure can work, revealing that he wishes to kill the Dark One himself. The key element of the plan involves breaking the seals on the...