Death’s lighter than a feather. Keep those words in mind. They become a recurring theme throughout A Memory of Light, the final book in the Wheel of T...more
Death’s lighter than a feather. Keep those words in mind. They become a recurring theme throughout A Memory of Light, the final book in the Wheel of Time.
Wow. The final book in the Wheel of Time. When Jordan died, I never thought I would see, mourn, and celebrate this day. Through a friend of mine, I began this journey in 1991. Twenty-two years later, it is over.
It has been epic in every sense of the word.
People praise and others criticize this series. For those who claim, it’s so cliché, or has so many common tropes, remember when it began, those things were not quite so cliché then. For me, when I picked up Eye of the World and began, it was a wondrous world that reminded me of Tolkien and sucked me in. There I lived. There were great books and a few let downs in between, and then some great books. Jordan died. Sanderson picked up the reins and breathed life into the series even if he didn’t nail some of my favorite characters.
And now we have A Memory of Light.
The book begins with battle and ends with battle, the best battles this series has seen. It resolves many questions, many plots, and while some of it hurt, I was more than satisfied. It is a dream book for me, a catalogue of action, magic, and intersecting plot lines from so many points of view that comes together so seamlessly, I kept reading, mouth open many times, trying to absorb it all. Oh, it had its misses sprinkled in, the odd moment where the prose might have felt too modern or a character a little off, (Mat specifically, although I must admit Sanderson does a much, much better job with him this time around), but not once did I feel jarred out of the story. It was almost like reading Eye of the World again, but better. I was sucked in, and it would not let me go.
Sanderson got his bits in there, characters that were just him, like Androl and Pevara. Their storyline was quite enjoyable, to see that side, to see the Black Tower.
Egwene, Elayne, Aviendha, Nynaeve, Min, the women in general, are different. In a good way. You see their growth, you feel their decisions, your heart hurts for them, and at times you have no choice but to smile.
Perrin and Mat. What can I say? Finally, I did not feel as if I wanted to slap some sense into Perrin. Mat made me laugh, sometimes out loud. And when he got to show me his expertise in battle strategy, I was left breathless. It was as close to the old Mat as Sanderson has come, but still not the old Mat, because that one died in Jordan’s books.
One of my most enjoyable moments, and it’s a simple thing, was seeing more of the Shadow’s world through one of their eyes. I still say there should have been more of that in the series. I like world building though, so that really appealed to me. Ah, the Red Veils.
When it comes to Rand, I could follow his character all day. I felt a part of him, one with his goal, his struggle. I wondered how he would resolve it all and I was not disappointed. Tam’s POV in all this was a welcome breath, and at one point, pretty awesome.
However, my favorite character in the entire book is one, al’Lan Mandragoran. God he was good. So entertaining, so painful to see what he went through, and oh, oh so fulfilling at the end. ‘Death’s lighter than a feather.’ I smile.
The book is not without its surprises: the Horn of Valere, for one. And it is certainly not without its deaths.
People die. A lot of people. Some who you loved. Some who you hated. Some will go up in a blaze of glory. Some will die with a whimper and deserve better. They die nonetheless. Prepare yourself.
The end? Some had their issues with it, and you the reader, will see why. I have none. I could draw a myriad of conclusions from the ending, and I think that’s the point. You, the reader, must use your imagination and give that last bit whatever spin you wish. I’ll say if the Dark One can do it, why can’t the Creator? For me, the theme was freedom.
And so I put to rest my review of A Memory of Light. It will take a fantastic book to top this one for book of the year for me, maybe of the last few years.
The Wheel of Time lives even as it has come to the end of its lifespan. Death’s lighter than a feather.
I was twenty pages from the end when I had to stop to write this review before I forgot what I had to say. I have never done that before.
King of Thorns is better than the first book. It is brutally brilliant, gruesomely good, and amid the carnage offers slivers of a rainbow before snatching it away in a world and future as grim and real as any out there.
Amid the wickedness that is Jorg Ancrath, you will find wit and wisdom to match. Sometimes almost too much for a young man of eighteen. But then, he is not a normal young man, or else why would Lawrence tell us his story? He is special in every way and so is this book.
From characterization, to prose, to style, to setting, King of Thorns is carefully laid out in ways that capture the imagination, whether good or bad or ugly. The writing just feels so natural, so Jorg. Take the two passages below.
"It being Sunday, the cook prepared a special treat for us. Snails in garlic and wine, with saffron rice. The snails came from local cliffs. A big variety as thick as a child's arm. But let's face it, snails are just slugs with a hat on. The main dish looked like large lumps of snot in blood."
"But they'll sing songs about Quick Jorg for years to come. Fast with one sword, faster with the other," she said.
Those two are just miniature snippets of hundreds of passages in this book that speak to the style, and in fact, are nowhere near the best there is, but are worthy examples.
Whether in act of defense, murder, or the twines of manipulation, Jorg tells his story in gripping fashion without any apology. Simply put, his will is indomitable, his hunger for revenge and power near insatiable, he's conniving and cruel, but he is no less spellbinding to read. At times, he has the tiny touches of compassion that make you think he's coming around, that he is human after all, before he disabuses you of the notion.
Five days it took me. This is the fastest I remember reading in a long time. I was simply transported into this boy, this tale, this world. And I want more. No. I NEED more.
There will be naysayers as there were for Prince of Thorns. To them I shrug. They simply do not understand Jorg or the condition of humanity than when driven to extreme circumstances, might surface in any one of us.
Thank you, Mr. Lawrence.
P.S I read those last twenty pages. The ending was nothing short of amazing with a great plot twist and some classic unscrupulous Jorg.(less)
It has taken me a while to write this review and mull over this book in my head. Again to me, it's a 3.5 but with Goodreads' ratings, I'll give a 4.
In...moreIt has taken me a while to write this review and mull over this book in my head. Again to me, it's a 3.5 but with Goodreads' ratings, I'll give a 4.
In ways, it's better than the first book. In others, it isn't. There's certainly more action. You do get a better feel for the races and what they look like. You have a better grasp of the world on a whole and the different factions.
Character wise, give me Dawson, Marcus, Geder and Cithrin, and away we go. Any other POVs were irrelevant to me. Dawson came off better this time, more rounded and less predictable and loyal to a fault. Geder simply makes me shake my head. While he's the catalyst of much that is happening, again for a well-educated person, I find how oblivious he is to being manipulated hard to believe. Marcus I thoroughly enjoyed. Cithrin's character as before, was well done. She showed a certain spirit, a certain will despite moments of despair and used that to drive herself to new heights.
The plot, although well-crafted, had very little in the way of surprise, but as told from different PoV's of all the major players, I guess that was to be expected. I was still hoping for an "Oh Sh*t" moment.
The prose and setting matched and at times surpassed the first book, painting a picture of this beautiful world Abraham has put together.
I think again my biggest gripe is the same as the first. This amazing, magical world with a lack of magic beyond reading lies.
It's a good book. It's well written. There is much to see and like in terms of plot and pace and characters. In the end, the things I found lacking ended up being those that I enjoy the most.(less)
In the Black Prism, Weeks betters what he did with Night Angel.
The Prism offers a wealth of fantastic wor...moreExcellent Read. Right now for me, it's a 5.
In the Black Prism, Weeks betters what he did with Night Angel.
The Prism offers a wealth of fantastic worldbuilding, good characters, action, war strategy, political intrigue, and plot twists to keep one coming back for more.
The magic system is well laid out. Simply put, a percentage of the populace known as Drafters have the ability to harness colors through light in a skill called Chromaturgy. This basically takes a force of will and belief to create Luxin which then can be used for everything from buildings to machines to weapons to fireballs. There are other subtleties. Let's say I enjoyed it very much.
The characterization is good. The characters feel real and are engaging. You can sympathize with some and others you want to kick in the butt. At times, one of them can get annoying with his personality traits, and well almost a second personality. They more than served the story, the plot, the politics and scope of the world.
As usual from Weeks, when the action gets going, it gets going. The clash of Drafters reminds me of the Secret Wars comic books, as they do incredible things. Of course there are touches of mundane fighting, but when you have the magic embedded in this world, that takes a back seat.
The end was well worth the ride, adding another twist in a book chock full of them. Some people might carry on about tropes or cliches, but for me, it's all about how they're presented. After all, there's just about nothing that can be done that is completely original. This is why I base my reviews of my enjoyment, rather than technical merits.
That is to say, I enjoyed this book immensely. Well done, Mr.Weeks.
Hmmm. Where to start. Well let's say the rating system here on Goodreads won't reflect this one correctly. I consider it a 3 and a half. But I'll have...moreHmmm. Where to start. Well let's say the rating system here on Goodreads won't reflect this one correctly. I consider it a 3 and a half. But I'll have to tag it with a three. Why not at least a 4?
Well, not that it wasn't a good book, because a 3 says it was a good book. Let's start with what I loved.
The world and most of the characters fascinated me. The plot was well-laid out and offered some nice surprises and fit together quite well throughout.
The many races, the histories behind them and the descriptions, foreshadowing and setting kept me going and made the world so believable. I could have used some more on the religions for me to better understand them since they ended up playing a big role at the finale.
Cithrin was a wonderful, amazing character. I was hooked on watching her maneuver, grow and change. The whole aspect of banking and dealing was phenomenal. She was so well done I felt for her and in ways, the book could have been just about her, Marcus and Geder and I would have been fine with it.
Geder had his good points but in the end he just seemed the same guy oblivious to the fact he's being used. When will he learn did I keep asking myself? For a well-educated person, he came off more than a little ... dumb, may be too harsh a word.
Marcus Wester, I enjoyed seeing him play the father figure and relive that old pain.
Dawson did little for me. He was basically "This is where x person's status should lie in society." Not once did he waver from that. He was simply too predictable.
Here's my issue with The Dragon's Path. I'm a magic and action man. When you have a book with such a vivid world, created by dragons and goddesses, I expect the magic to be more upfront. In this book, it was so downplayed as to be irrelevant although it wasn't. It is what made the difference in the end.
Lack of action. I like my sword fights. There wasn't a single one that stuck out for me in this book. In fact, my best memory is of Marcus practicing with some others and the very brief fight to hold the gates of Camnipol. The book just seemed slow at times because of this. All the nice plots and characters should eventually culminate in some nice action is how I feel. For the most part, this didn't.
For a lover of action and magic, this just did not bring enough especially considering the incredible potential there to do so. However, most of the main characters provide enough and the scope of the world and what is to come has made me get book 2 and I will be reading it. I'm hoping he goes more into what I enjoy in the next one. (less)