Tor announced today that the 14th and final volume in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, A Memory of Light, will be released on January 8, 2013. That is all.
io9′s impressive chart of the nature and rules of various magic systems in fantasy fiction’s most popular series (click the image to the left for a full-sized version) has been one of the most-linked fantasy topics in the last few days. This being Geekus, I thought rather than just repost the link, I’d take the time to obnoxiously point out a few errors I saw in the Rules.
1. In the Lord of the Rings entry, the section on hereditariness implies that the Maiar and Ainur are two separate, mutually exclusive sets of beings. In fact, “Ainur” is an umbrella term that encompasses all of the angelic, godlike begins subservient to Illuvatar, or Eru, the One: the Valar are the higher choir, if you will, and the Maiar are the servants of the Valar. All existed before Creation, and in fact the Valar and Maiar are merely those spirits who chose to enter the world they had created; other Ainur chose to remain outside of it.
Dragonmount‘s Theory Blog has an interesting post up about what the world of the Wheel of Time might look like post-Last Battle, based on small hints Robert Jordan placed throughout the books. The entry also has links to useful collections of Egwene’s dreams and the future histories spread throughout the series’ 13 volumes.
The post essentially posits that Jordan has foreshadowed the eventual reunification of the two sexes in the practice of the One Power, forming a “Gray Tower” from the white and the black, leading the wheel of time inexorably back towards a future that looks a lot like its past.
My question about the future of Randland is this: will the wheel of time continue to turn out age after age, causing the struggle between light and dark to continually repeat itself in one form or another, or, as Ishamael/Moridin has insistently argued, is there something different about this instance of the great battle? Will the wheel of time be broken or changed, for better or for worse? The theme of Jordan’s books seems to indicate a need for balance, light versus dark, male versus female, life versus death; is the implication that a light side victory merely means the continuation of the cycle?
Whatever the ultimate answer, the greatest thing about sites like Dragonmount is not the theories and explanations you can find there, but the fact that they serve as a convenient repository of information, providing things like collections of different types of prophecy or passage or event in one place, allowing you to form your own opinions and theories about the series. Incidentally, the previously-linked to WoT wiki is quite good, though it could use much better citation.
I just now finished A Dance with Dragons, the fifth book in George R. R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. I know, I know: what the hell kind of a geek are you, you ask. And you are right to do so. Most fantasy fans worth their salt finished ADWD shortly after its release, Bill included. But it had been a couple of years since I had read any of the previous books, particularly the lackluster A Feast for Crows, and I knew that a re-read was in order if I was to get the most out of the long-awaited sequel. We all spent six years waiting for it, after all, so it occurred to me that I should make the most of the experience. The book came out this August. I spent much of the late summer and autumn rereading the series, and due to work and other pursuits I didn’t finish until just the other day.
Rather than post a review at this late stage, I thought it would be a more interesting idea to have a spoiler-filled conversation with Bill about it and post it here. The result is a mixture of excitement and frustration, always laced with anticipation for the series’ final two books.
This conversation is spoiler heavy. That’s right, HERE BE SPOILERS. Read on at your own risk. If you’re in for some sweet, juicy spoilers, meet us back here after the jump.
Here is an interview of Brandon Sanderson by Leigh Butler. I have always liked how open Sanderson is about the writing process, and about his own work.
If you are not familiar with Leigh Butler, see her re-read of the Wheel of Time here. This is a good summary of the Wheel of Time, and I enjoy her insights on the work itself. Not sure it is worth starting from the beginning, because she has written a book’s worth of material herself. However, if you are mildly interested in catching up on the last few books before the finale (without actually reading them), this is a good method.
She is also reading and reviewing A Song of Ice and Fire here. This is not a re-read because she has not previously read any of Martin’s books, so her take is somewhat different. I am very surprised by how much she predicts correctly, and just how far off she is at times. Having read the books three times myself now, I have lost that surprised feeling, and its interesting reading someone’s reaction to key moments for the first time.