The Wheel of Time, Finished After 15 Years

There are mitigating circumstances though; The Wheel of Time is a fourteen book fantasy epic by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson so it’s not some superficial piece of fluff like War and Peace or Lord of the Rings.

I started WoT about fifteen years ago on the strength of a recommendation by the Overmind’s mum. I rattled through the books that were available and then realised the series wasn’t even finished.

Snake wheelCue forward a few more years; more books released, another re-read and another cliffhanger waiting for the next in the series. This process repeated itself once more when either the 10th or 11th books came out, (I forget).

The series continued through the ill-health and death of the original author Robert Jordan and eventually the final book was released last year.

My original plan was to spare myself the pain of waiting for the next installment and finish up the series when all the remaining books were out. But then, it had been so many years and some of the events were so hazy I knew I’d do the final books a disservice by not re-reading them all.

So I never found out what happened. I’d remember the story, wonder and promise myself I’d read them again. But I’d feel like a climber at the foot of Everest; fourteen books. A billion pages. Most of which I could remember accurately enough to be familiar with but not familiar enough to skip.

The books sat on the shelf like the Great Wall of Verbiage; “Come at me, bro.”

But a couple of months ago I started again. This was partially due to long train commutes being conducive to rattling through text but also the use of the ‘one step at a time’ technique used by alcoholics and people quitting smoking;

“I’ll read this one to get back into it. But if I want to I can skip to the books I’ve not read after that.”

One book at a time 🙂

There’s loads of world-building going on in the story and I remember in the later books that sometimes bogged down the story. But while the middle part of the story was slower paced than the beginning it was also the part I remembered the least.

And while having dozens of plot-threads on the go was irritating it certainly meant the climax went along at a clip as they were all (mostly) resolved. A Memory Of Light (the final book) ends well too; emotionally satisfying with lots of tension right up until the end. It’s certainly a well-realised world that seems human and plausible without going full George RR Martin (everything is awful, forever and humanity sucks).

Glad I finished it, it was a great set of books. And now, closure!

A Memory Of Light
A Memory Of Light

Caveat; I’m the worlds worst reviewer or critic of anything. Unless the creator sets fire to my car I’ll generally quite enjoy most things.

With the exception of Jazz.


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