Author: Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
Length: 1168 pages
(My) Rating: PG13
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Overall, I was happy with the conclusion of this series. Some characters died that I wish hadn't, but if no one died, it wouldn't have been a very convincing final battle. Those that died, did so epically, and, as Grig says (I'm paraphrasing), "Sometimes you do something so awesome, that you just can't top it, and you have to die."
That happened with several of the characters. I am sad to see them go, but they died in a fitting way.
On the other hand, some characters that I thought were going to die, lived. That was rather a pleasant surprise.
Sanderson and Jordan's writing mingled seamlessly in my opinion. I had heard that Jordan had written much of the final battle by himself, and so I was trying to figure out which parts he wrote, and which ones Sanderson interposed. I was unable to do so. The final three books built up well and supported the final scenes. Many things were explained, and unlike some series where I'm left saying, "..but what about this?" I can't think of a single thing that wasn't wrapped up. There might be some, but if they were, I can't remember them.
On a personal level, I disliked how little Rand did again. Yes, he fought the biggest bad of them all, but I wanted to have him involved in the conclusions of characters that have been hounding him since the beginning. For example, I wanted one final showdown between him and Padan Fain. Fain's ending was fairly satisfying, but distinctly lacking in Rand al'Thor. It ended up being, as Rand himself says, never about him at all. In some ways, it was much more about the other characters that Jordan created.
Events in this book moves swiftly and I had a difficult time putting it down, while at the same time, I struggled to finish. That was due mostly to my own reluctance to end a series that I had been reading for such a long time, and not due to the quality of writing itself.
The ending was happy, and that was a good ending for me. There were some parts I really liked, especially among the conversations between Rand and the Dark One. There were many interesting ideas that were tossed around, and that have made me think in the week or so since I've finished this book.
Overall, I really did like it, and I'm grateful that Jordan's wife made sure that the series was finished. It was a pretty proper ending. Though I might have done things differently, that doesn't mean that they were done well and appropriately. Many events that seemed to be unexplained finally found meaning and nearly all of Min's prophecies were fulfilled.
I appreciated that almost everyone got a chance to shine. Mat's character is a little weird, but that could just be him transitioning into becoming a married man. I distinctly disliked the Seanchan and their views about Aes Sedai, but I appreciated that Jordan didn't suddenly have them change their minds about centuries of beliefs and traditions. I thought that was well done.
It was a great book and a great series.
On my scale, this book is probably PG13. The majority of this book is a battle. There is nearly nothing in the way of sexuality, though there is one scene that is strongly implied between Mat and Tuon (at least, I think that was in this book). As always, I appreciate the way that Jordan handles those scenes. Though there are plenty of descriptions of action and war, Jordan does not dwell on the blood or violence. He tends to describe without being too graphic.