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StoneWolf

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A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five
George R.R. Martin
Progress: 18/1051 pages

A satisfying end for an epic journey

A Memory of Light - Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson

Let me start this review by explaining my history with the series. I've been reading the Wheel of Time (WoT) books since I was in junior high school, on the recommendation of a friend. Thats about twenty something years ago (after finishing the book I talked to said friend on facebook to recommend he finish it as well; he's about two or three books in the series behind) So finishing this one was a momentous occasion for me. I felt like celebrating with a fancy dinner and wine afterwards, however, it was 3 am at that time, so I did not.

 

If you've never read (WoT), prepare for a truly epic tale. And reading. Alot of it. The entire series all 14 books is probably at least 10000 pages long very likely more. You want to start at the beginning. WoT is not a series you can start in the middle and pick up on. At all. There are so many characters, plots, subplots and things to remember that many readers have felt that in each of the long waits for the next book its better just to re-read them all again before the latest one even comes out. You'll be looking for The Eye of the World (Robert Jordan) should you choose to start at the beginning.

 

Now enough backlog, lets get on with the review shall we?

 

The WoT series is a literary soap opera, thoroughly engrossing through and through set against the backdrop of a coming apocalypse in a fantasy world. Thats the basic nutshell for the first 13 books. Well in the 14th book the long awaited apocalypse finally arrives, and we're treated to an epic scale battle that not only ties up loose ends, but brings the series to a satisfying conclusion. 

 

Old differences are resolved, hatreds put aside and we see everyone come together for a last stand against evil. I love that, the concept of the last stand, survivors battling against terrible odds to the last man, and Robert Jordan certainly laid the foundation right (for this who weren't aware of it, he died in 2007. The series was eventually finished by Brandon Sanderson of the Mistborn Trilogy, after being selected by Jordan's wife and editor, Harriet Jordan, for the job). Sanderson wrote the three remaining books using an extensive collection of notes left behind by Jordan for that purpose.

 

The book really conveys a feeling of dark and hopelessness befitting a world shattering apocalypse, although Sanderson apparently does not have the penchant Jordan had for ending chapters on nailbiting cliffhangers as Jordan was fond of doing (there's none of that here). In previous books it was always frustrating, however, it made me want to keep reading and reading and READING nonstop until I finished each book. There's none of that here. Instead of devoting entire chapters to singular subplots, or characters, Sanderson seems fond of jumping his viewpoints around in his chapters.

 

All in all its thoroughly engrossing, a well done ending for an incredible, long running series and well worth the read provided you've been through the 13 previous books already so you know what the hell is going on.