A couple of years ago, the author behind one of my favourite series of books died. And it was a very sad thing. One of the sad things was that he died before finishing his work – the Wheel of Time had a minimum of one book left, to tie up all the loose ends that he’d created in the previous eleven books.
And he did create a lot of ends to tie up. The cast of main characters is huge, and the different threads of the story are many. It’s the biggest single story I’ve ever tried reading, and makes The Lord of the Rings look like a Janet & Jon story for four year olds.
Last week, his estate’s chosen author released the first of the three volumes that will make up the final book. And I got to read the opening paragraph again:
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gives it birth comes again. In one Age, called the third Age by some, ag Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose around the alabaster spire known as the White Tower. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.
It’s been a couple of years since I last read those words, and many years since I first read them. But they still give me a tingle that I very rarely get from a book. And the rest lived up to the promise.
It was, in short, a very good imitation of Robert Jordan’s writing style, and it seems to have answered more questions than it asked, which is a rare thing in this series. Two more books to read, apparently, before the series is finished; likely another four years.
I can’t wait to read them, and I dread having read them. For it means that there will be no more to look forward to.