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A Memory of Light: Wheel of Time    by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson order for
Memory of Light
by Robert Jordan
Order:  USA  Can
Macmillan Audio, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, CD
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

It's been a long wait for Wheel of Times fans, and a sad one, given Robert Jordan's death in 2007. But Brandon Sanderson has finally completed this brilliant series that has been a big part of so many lives worldwide. And what an ending it is!!

I listened to the unabridged audiobook (42 hours, 33 CDs), masterfully read by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading. Each continues to impress me with their ability to convey a wide range of characters of both sexes, and with varying accents and emotions. In some audiobooks, it's hard to follow which character is onstage - not so with these excellent narrators.

As A Memory of Light opens, Rand is resigned to his fate, but determined to leave a legacy of peace behind him. Perrin seeks a way to physically enter the Wolf dream (something forbidden for good reason) and face Slayer. Matt (one-eyed after his previous adventures and rescue of Moraine) returns to Tuan and reluctantly assumes his role as Prince of the Ravens. In the Black Tower, Asha'man fight against incredible odds, hoping to save their leader, Logain.

Grieving the loss of her city of Caemlyn to a Trolloc army, Elayne assumes command of the forces of the Light. Egwene leads the White Tower into the Last Battle, and is surprised (and almost captured) by an attack from a surprising and powerful source. Faille takes responsibility for the Horn of Valere. Min's talent is recognized by Tuan who plans to keep her close. Matt risks all on one last throw of the dice. And Rand fights a very personal battle in the Pit of Doom.

All ta-veren have big parts to play, and Brandon Sanderson keeps suspense high throughout. He tells many, many tales of the Last Battle from individual points of view. We not only follow the key players we have grown to know and care for (Olver and Birgitte have especially memorable roles), but also plenty of intriguing minor characters. And it's not only redshirts who are sacrificed in this desperate struggle against the Dark Lord and his powerful minions.

I found A Memory of Light to be a splendid and highly satisfying conclusion to the series, filled with electrifying battle scenes, a steady stream of betrayals and surprises, and appropriately heroic roles for all who deserved them. I have to say, though, that I'm not too sure about the ending, which seemed just too good to be true. Surely Rand's efforts and trials rated a fate more like Frodo's, saddened as I've always been by it.

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