Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Memories of Light, part 1

I began reading Robert Jordan's epic fantasy series, "The Wheel of Time", in May of 1996.

 The series began in 1990, and by 1996 there were already 6 books out with a seventh on the way. I borrowed the books from a friend. She was excited to loan me the first one - then was shocked at how quickly I devoured it and was ready for the next one. She became increasingly concerned as I burned through all 6 currently existing books within a week - 5000+ pages - during a time when I really should have been studying for finals. It was, after all, the last few weeks of my last semester in college!


Avid reader that I was, the Wheel of Time pulled me in like no fantasy series had since I read the Lord of the Rings in 5th grade. (Still the best and most powerful read of my life!) After devouring the first six books, I had a torturous wait for almost a week before book 7 came out in Hardcover. I snapped it up immediately! I had to know what was going to happen!

Little did I know then that I'd be waiting another 16 1/2 years for the series to finish.

Or that the author would tragically die after a hard struggle to live long enough to finish, passing away in 2007.

Or that he would nobly and bravely leave notes and outlines with his wife and editor, Harriet, and entrust her with the task of finding someone to take those pieces and finish the story.

Or that Brandon Sanderson, the man Harriet chose, would do such a magnificent job.

Or that in the midst of our long mutual wait for the next book, complete with much *twitching* and impatience, I would find an online community (The Wheel of Time Reread at tor.com) who loves the books as much as I do and would, with much laughter and teasing and brilliant analysis, make the wait for the next book a fun and unforgettable experience, rather than just torture. To clarify - the wait was always torture! But it didn't have to be fun, and thanks to those folks, it was!

Because of the Rereaders, I've been able to share these books that I love with others. Because of that commuity, though the Wheel of Time has circled to a close, it's only *an* ending to the experience, not *the* end.

In that spirit, over the next day or two I'll do another couple of posts on AMoL, sharing some of my thoughts and experiences as I read the final, 903 page volume of the Wheel of Time - one of my all-time favorite books!

In the next post, I'll consolidate and repost the stream-of-consciousness non-spoiler reactions I shared with the Reread community as I read the book. Following that, I'll attempt to interpret my own comments, and figure out what I was reacting to at the time! That post will have spoilers, and will be labeled appropriately. For now, if you've not read Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, I order you to do so at once.

You can thank me later.

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