The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose around the alabaster spire known as the White Tower. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.
More than 15 years ago, a friend who didn't like reading long books but owned lots of them lent a nerd who did like reading long books but didn't own any a book called The Eye of the World. After reading the first book that progressed the genre to bigger, more complex and more detailed heights than the Lord of the Rings, this nerd was cautiously excited that he had stumbled onto something great. So he borrowed the next book, The Great Hunt. And the next book, The Dragon Reborn. And at some point the friend didn't have any more and the nerd started buying them.
15+ years is a long time to do anything. Maybe it's that A Memory of Light comes out in the same year that I turn 30, but I can't help but look back nostalgically about where I was when I first read each book in the series. I remember having a conversation a decade ago about how Robert Jordan needed to hurry up (this was around Book 6) because of the possibility that he died before he finished writing it. I often think of that conversation and then think of how happy I am with the result of such difficult circumstances in getting out the 'last' book. Brandon Sanderson is somebody who wrote what is probably my favorite stand alone novel in the genre; the fact that he is who was chosen makes me happy for a number of reasons.
Unfortunately, no longer being surrounded by college age guys means that I don't really have anybody with which to talk about this. So, once again, I turn to the LSB community. What are you most excited about? What are you most disappointed by? What loose ends do you think won't get tied up? (This book is going to be roughly 910 pages, so I don't see how they can possibly tie everything up.)
Here are some of the things I wonder about:
- How do you reconcile the seemingly disparate Prophecies? At first there were differences between the main Prophecies and those of the Seanchan, but that could have been dismissed as just weird Seanchan stuff. But the last book introduced Prophecies known only to The Dark One/Forsaken (Moridin showed it to Graendal) and they seemed to disagree with what the 'main' Prophecies say. I can't help but feel that in most fantasies written by Americans, even though there's a definite Middle Ages in Europe feel to them all, that there is a very American 'we don't care about your stinkin Prophecies' thread in them, at least for the main protagonists.
- Building off of that, do you ever get the impression that certain countries in the TWoT (are supposed to) mimic or create a feel of a real country? For example, Andor reminds me of England. The Seanchan remind me of China.
- What is to become of Padan Fain?
- I don't frequent the sites that contain theories/spoilers/predictions for TWoT because I'm always afraid that I'll mix something 'fake' in with the canon, but has anybody read any interesting theories?
- Who do you think dies? Who do you most want to see live? How different is the world after Tarmon Gai'don?
- What would you do differently if you had been Rand?