Friday, December 31, 2010
Brandon Sanderson has done it again - mostly. For those who are unfamiliar with Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, it's a Lord of the Rings-style fantasy epic that began in the early 90s and still has not come to a conclusion. The books are enormous (regularly pushing 900-1000 pages), the scope has broadened to hundreds of characters, and, this being a fantasy series, the fate of the world is on the protagonists' shoulders. Robert Jordan plugged away for about 6 books of stellar quality, and then he lagged for several volumes that saw main characters forgotten, plotlines stagnate, annoying plotlines introduced, and very little happen. The series started to pick up with the publication of The Knife of Dreams - Things Started Happening - but then the poor guy got sick and died. Fortunately his wife and editor picked a younger author to finish off the "last" volume. That volume turned into three - and thus far it's been a good "final trilogy." There aren't many slow moments so he can be forgiven for expanding it into three books... a lot needed to happen to achieve resolution. We're currently hurtling toward The Last Battle (yes, it's even capitalized in the book), and people are Doing Things and Stuff Is Happening. And it's entertaining and well written. I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it, but I'd highly recommend giving it a shot. My only quibble is the voice of Mat, one of the main characters, who seemed a bit off, though not so much that his long-awaited chapter wasn't mostly fulfilling. Can't wait for the (really) last book!