Wheel of Time pt 6: The end! Books 12 to 14 and final series ranking

The finale of this massive series! Reviews for The Gathering Storm, Towers of Midnight and A Memory of Light.

Wheel of Time pt 6: The end! Books 12 to 14 and final series ranking
Darrell K. Sweetโ€™s unfinished cover for A Memory of Light 

All Wheel of Time articles are at the button below:

#12 The Gathering Storm

Published: 2009

Read: Oct 6, 2022

โ€œThe end is nearโ€ฆ The Wheel has groaned its final rotation, the clock has lost its spring, the serpent heaves its final gasps.โ€

Honestly, what is peak fantasy if not this? Sanderson kills it from page 1 and takes the reader on an emotional journey with a beloved core cast of characters. This couldn't have been achieved without Jordan's imaginative thinking, thorough planning and detailed world building. And this is not wholly Sanderson's novel.

But there's no denial that Sanderson brings an increased pace, a well guided criteria of what is and isn't important to the story, and just a clear sense of purpose to every viewpoint and chapter. I found The Gathering Storm extremely difficult to put down, and am amazed that this is only the first third of payoff for this series's well-awaited conclusion. For those fans who had been reading for years, I truly hope this novel was everything you wanted and then some. Personally, I have crossed the 1 year mark of reading this series and am bittersweet as I charge towards its ending.

โ€œMay your death bring victory. May your knife draw blood. May your children sing your praises until the final dawn.โ€

Yes, there are moments of clunky writing and at some points the characterisation seems odd. But these are minor blemishes compared to the achievement that Sanderson, McDougal and the editing team were able to produce under the unfortunate circumstances of Jordan's passing. At times characters leap from nation to nation, and events occur without the narrative hesitancy we have witnessed in previous novels. This is all built off of the back of Jordan's setting development, and the strong sense of urgency in Sanderson's plotting all but hurtles us to the Wheel of Time's conclusion. Yet most importantly, Sanderson has both evolved character arcs and teed up individuals perfectly for the end. Every main character gets a moment, and a clear questioning or through-line of their development. Like earlier Jordan books, when a character ponders other events still occur around them and they themselves only provide new information to the reader. There are a few direct references to character histories, which I'm sure is beneficial for readers who read previous entries years before. I let it also pass in the massive scope of story, and because I'm hoping for payoff here.

โ€œWhat good is it if everything we know will fade? Great deeds or great tragedies, neither means anything! They will become legends, then those legends will be forgotten, then it will all start over again!โ€

The Gathering Storm was emotionally beautiful, astonishingly epic and still just a penultimate setup for Tarmon Gai'don, The Final Battle. I look forward to seeing everyone there, when the storm breaks.

#13 Towers of Midnight

Published: 2010

Read: Oct 24, 2022

โ€œNobody walks a difficult path without stumbling now and again. It didnโ€™t break you when you fell. Thatโ€™s the important part.โ€

A lot happening, and mostly set-up for The Final Battle. There are a few gems in the opening chapters, then a lot of trudging. This is mostly due to Sanderson having to wrap the less interesting characters and storylines after the awesome story of TGS.

โ€œI wonder if,โ€ Nynaeve said, โ€œwe sometimes put the White Tower โ€”as an institutionโ€” before the people we serve. I wonder if we let it become a goal in itself, instead of a means to help us achieve greater goals.โ€

Perrinโ€™s storyline varies greatly in interest, whereas Mattโ€™s pushes to a really exciting conclusion. They both have gems though, just a lot of logistical fluff in-between. Galad and the Whitecloaks have a larger role, Rand has a few touching then absolutely epic moments, Aviendha and the Red Ajah work away in the background at 'smaller' mysteries.

โ€œCourage to strengthenโ€ฆ Fire to blind. Music to dazzle. Iron to bind.โ€

The ending is strong, but I'm way more excited for the next book now that all the pieces are finally in place. 13 books (and a novella)! 13 months baby. Will finish The Wheel of Time by the end of November hopefully.

#14 A Memory of Light

Published: 2013

Read: November 25th, 2022

โ€œHe came like the wind, like the wind touched everything, and like the wind was gone."
-from The Dragon Reborn. By Loial, son of Arent son of Halan, the Fourth Age.

14 books (and a novella), 11,000 pages, 4.4 million words, 15 months. And it's finally over.

โ€œโ€˜And it shall come to pass that what men made shall be shattered,'โ€ Moiraine whispered. โ€œโ€˜The Shadow shall lie across the Pattern of the Age, and the Dark One shall once more lay his hand upon the world of man. Women shall weep and men quail as the nations of the earth are rent like rotting cloth."

Reading A Memory of Light was an emotional rollercoaster, a final rally of light against dark with some brilliant battle tactics and a lot of casualties.

Despite bringing me to tears, it doesn't quite reach the heights of previous moments in the series and at times seems to tick off large moments in a massive list. But this was truly momentous and I loved so many parts of it.

โ€œThere are no endings, and never will be endings, to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was an ending.โ€

I am definitely not re reading this series however :'-) If you're at this point already, enjoy the final ride.

Final Book Ranking

  1. #12 The Gathering Storm - 4.5/5
  2. #4 The Shadow Rising - 4.5/5
  3. #14 A Memory of Light - 4/5
  4. #5 Fires of Heaven - 4/5
  5. #3 The Dragon Reborn - 3.5/5
  6. #11 Knife of Dreams - 3.5/5
  7. #13 Towers of Midnight - 3.5/5
  8. #6 Lord of Chaos - 3.5/5
  9. #2 The Great Hunt - 3/5
  10. #1 The Eye of the World - 2.5/5
  11. #7 A Crown of Swords - 2.5/5
  12. #8 Path of Daggers - 2/5
  13. #0 New Spring - 2/5
  14. #9 Winter's Heart - 1.5/5
  15. #10 Crossroads of Twilight - 1/5


๐Ÿ“– Thank you for reading the article!

๐Ÿ“š As always, you can find more book reviews on my Goodreads account here ๐Ÿ˜ƒ