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Towers of Midnight (Wheel of Time, #13; A Memory of Light, #2)Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I haven't liked a volume of The Wheel of Time as much as I liked this one in a long time. Some readers have criticized the book, saying that Sanderson has made it too light, the characters too sunny.

Truthfully, though, they seem more to me, grown and changed, like the people I met. The story lines seemed more focused, the action more horrible, the bright scenes more lovely, than in years. Having dealt with an illness that leached all the joy and energy out of life for many years (thankfully passed), I think that Jordan's own illness had an inevitable affect on him, and the effect was that his own work became something in The Blight, trying to thrive, but leached of color and hope. Sanderson has restored some of that. He isn't Jordan, but he brought much back that was lost, and I cannot help but be grateful.

As always, I want to shake these characters sometimes. They are so totally human--both in their virtues and their flaws. And I mourn those we lose in this volume, and rejoice that some have found their way home, metaphorically or physically. And the last chapter is unnecessarily cruel--but it is war, and that is part of its definition.

There is a prophecy at the end that is making me crazy, because I know one character actually called another by one of the names in the prophecy earlier. I think I know who it was who said it, but can I find the line? Of course not!* It is a sneaky prophecy, as such things are. I love it.

Two things though, really stick out for me. I have rarely hated any "race" in any world, real or imagined, as much as I hate the Seanchan. Oh, certainly, something will be done in the last volume to redeem them, but it's going to take a lot for me to get past the pure white hatred I feel for their culture and philosophy.

But mostly, it is this. Even with all the destruction, deaths and triumphs in this volume, only one line made me tear up: "The Golden Crane flies for Tarmon Gai'don." Well, you had to be there.

*So, since I was out, I took my NOOK to the Barnes and Noble. There is this handy feature called "Read in Store" (free), and there is a another handy feature "Search." So, rather than continue my unsuccessful thumbing through the pages of my hard copy, I called up <i>Towers of Midnight</i>, activated the "Read in Store" feature, and searched the prophecy name. Voila! There it was.

Okay, I'm still glad I read it in hardcover, but now I'm beginning to really rethink the notion of holding onto hardcover versions of books I love. Often it's only a particular scene I want to re-read, so, maybe I will start selling/donating more of my books than I thought I would and use e-versions for archive more than originally anticipated. Must think on this.

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 18th, 2011 12:23 am (UTC)
I have to agree. I thought Sanderson did a decent job capturing Jordan's basic style while not trying to imitate it. It definitely was a brighter book than the others, but it wasn't until you said that that I realized it.

I too teared up when the Golden Crane flew for Tarmon Gai'don.

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )