The Third Age is finally over. I powered through books 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 all in a row, which has left me exhausted, yet exalted.
Say what you want about it, but you can’t deny that The Wheel of Time is EPIC. I quipped on Facebook that they should retire the category of “epic fantasy” after this because nobody else could possibly write anything as epic. I’m trying to think of anything I’ve read that had a similar scope. Lord of the Rings, obviously, but that was only three tiny, tiny books. The only other books I can think of (that I’ve read) that came close in terms of sheer immersion were Stephen R. Donaldson’s The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant and possibly The Sword of Shannara, which I remember as incredibly epic in scope, even though it was only one book, and I read it when I was a teenager.
Wheel of Time completely dwarfed those two in terms of sheer complexity. The Last Battle. Wow. It was pure shock and awe in terms of how all of the plots and factions and characters wove together. As an aspiring author, I now feel like a toddler playing with plastic blocks.
It was bittersweet to read the Epilogue. Knowing it was the late Robert Jordan’s words. The end of the series. The last time I’d be seeing these characters. Knowing there would be no more, even though you could sense that the aftermath could fill many more books. And there are many things to be discussed. But alas, no more questions, no more answers. I picked up this series late in life. I can’t imagine what the people who have literally been with these characters all their lives must feel.