I’m in the sad process of reading the last book of the incomparable Robert Jordan. He was the architect of the wonderful fantasy world called the Wheel of Time. This brilliant wonderful writer left us too soon in 2007 and it is only through his courage and dedication that he left behind enough of his legacy to have one of his gifted followers, Brandon Sanderson, finish the saga in two final books. I have read and journeyed through Jordan’s world for now 13 books and the cast of characters have more or less become like friends to me. As in all good sci-fi/fantasy, this is the epic battle between good and evil, light and dark. For the dark to triumph means all must be undone, away from the light. The key figure is an ordinary man born into an extraordinary situation and gradually grows into powers that will either consume him or become what he needs to fight the lord of darkness. He is Rand alThor, the Dragon Reborn, or affectionately known to his old friends as sheep-herder. His friends and he, all hail from the small town of Edmond’s Field of the Two Rivers, a small farming community. His friends being Perrin Aybara, the blacksmith, who becomes known as Perrin Golden-eyes. Matt Cauthon, the charming rake, who, while still charming and rakish, becomes unbelievably heroic throughout the long journey. Lest we forget the ladies, there is Egwene alVere, the intended of Rand, and Nynaeve, the Wisdom of Edmond’s Field. Just a very small while later we get to meet Elaine Trakand, daughter heir to the kingdom of Andor, we then meet Aviendha, an Aiel warrior maiden, the Aiel are a nomadic desert tribe who become followers of Rand alThor. Finally, we meet Min, an incredibly capable and independent young lady, gifted with the sight or foretelling and she is never wrong. This band of friends are the ones who must find the inner strength to fight and resist all the obstacles, traps and lethal attacks from the dark side. This is the world that Robert Jordan paints so realistically and beautifully, that I would love to be a part of, to aid my friends in their important battle to save their world from an eternal darkness. The dark one is breaking the seals of his prison one by one and Rand is finding his strength, not just his external powers, but his inner strength as well. He cannot do it alone and all his friends play equally crucial roles in defeating the dark forces. Besides all the adventures each and every one of them go through, either together or on their own, these trials by fire really forge bonds of friendship beyond what they ever thought possible. Their characters are also hammered into stronger versions of what they originally were.
Right now I am halfway through the 13th book or to be more precise the last one in this wonderful series. I am taking such a long time finishing it because I don’t want it to end and I don’t want to say good-bye. I know that I’ll find another series eventually but I do get attached and I’ll be sad for a little bit. But if there was to be a fictional world that I could jump into, Robert Jordan’s world would be it.