“There are no endings, and never will be endings, to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was an ending.”
A Memory of Light is the final book in what is probably one of the greatest American fantasy series ever written. Jordan has crafted a masterpiece with this series and the last book is a send-off that honors Jordan's creative vision. The final book feels like all of the climaxes of the previous books combined into one. It is a non-stop action ride that had me weeping one moment and cheering with joy the next.
In this entry we follow our lovable cast of characters as they all play their part in the final battle as well the events leading up to it. Almost everyone makes an appearance and it is truly amazing to see our main characters come together as pieces of a larger puzzle. The parallel story telling comes to a head as the multiple plot threads flow together to form the tapestry that is Tarmon Gai'don. The "Last Battle" chapter is definitely the longest chapter in any wheel of time book, following multiple characters as they all try and fight the shadow. The White and Black tower both play massive roles in the story and a few new characters get introduced to our merry band of heroes.
Highlights - Spoilers
I'm not sure it's appropriate to say the entire book was a highlight, that wouldn't be decent for an honest reviewer. So for the sake of journalistic integrity, there were a few stand out moments that I could talk about specifically. There were two very memorable scenes for me, one involving Rand and the other Egweyne.
The entire confrontation with Rand and the Dark one exceeded my expectations. Rand coming to grips with the fact that the world needs darkness and that without it, the lights victory would be hollow. People need a dark side and I think Rand's entire arc symbolizes this beautifully.
Now, I know that in the past I haven't been the biggest Egweyne fan, but I thoroughly enjoyed the part she played in this story. The way she went out was quite spectacular and her battle with Taim brought about a satisfying conclusion for both of those characters. When Egweyne named her new weave "the flame of Tarvallon", I had a slight fan girl moment and for the first time in a while was able to see Egweyne as the badass she is.
Overall I think this novel as a whole is a nonstop action ride that ends this series with a bang. There were a few character conclusions that weren't quite satisfying and I would have preferred a few more deaths (I like sad endings), but this is an epic fantasy story so I knew what I was getting into. Recommending this book to people is easy but most people who are reading this review have probably read the book already, and most likely love it. The wheel weaves as the wheel wills, and ages come and pass. This was as good an ending as I could have hoped for, and moving forward, I don't think another series will achieve what Jordan did here.