Tue
Dec 11 2012 1:00pm

The Wheel of Time: A Memory of Light Spoiler-Free Review

A spoiler-free review of A Memory of Light, the final book in The Wheel of TimeHello, everyone. This is not a Wheel of Time Re-read.

It’s something even cooler, as you may have guessed by the art to my right. Or your right. Whichever.

Once again I have the distinct honor of providing for Tor.com one of the only advance reviews of a new release in the Wheel of Time series – this time for the last time.

I still have no idea how to feel about that.

But I do totally know how to feel about the book itself, so please click on to read my in-advance, mostly-coherent, and totally and completely spoiler-free review of the final novel in the Wheel of Time series, A Memory of Light, which is scheduled to be released on January 8th, 2013. (Please note that, in keeping with the spirit of the review, the comments should remain a spoiler-free zone. Any potential spoilers should be marked as such and whited out, and/or you can always comment on the spoiler thread for Chapter 2 here).

 

I finished reading the last book of the Wheel of Time at 6:26 AM Central Time on Tuesday, December 11, 2012, at the desk in my bedroom in my hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana.

In about six and a half hours, hopefully, this advance review will go live on Tor.com, so I’d probably better get cracking on finishing it, but I just wanted to mark that down, before anything else.

Some things are worth noting.

In a moment we’ll get to my traditional mess of mostly-off-the-cuff, flailtastic, spoiler-free and therefore no-doubt-incredibly-frustrating teaser commentary that I’ve done for each of the last three WOT books I’ve been privileged to review in advance here, so that you all can have your traditional torment fun of guessing what the hell I’m talking about before you get the chance to read the book yourself. But first I want to just kind of… sit here, in a way, and contemplate it.

Not just the book itself, but everything surrounding it and the series and the fandom and what all of it has meant for me personally, which has ended up being a shocking amount.

I don’t think I’m up to articulating all of that right now, though I’ve tried before and will almost certainly be making another stab at it in the near future. But contemplate it, yes.

But that’s okay, because currently I’m pretty sure you’re here just to hear about A Memory of Light, and what, in a non-spoilery way, I thought about it.

And what I think about it is, put as simply as possible:

Oh, what a treat you have in store for you, my friends.

Seriously.

If you are a Wheel of Time fan, and I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that if you’re reading this you probably at least nominally are, then be of good cheer, for this book is, in my opinion, pretty much exactly what you’ve been waiting for. Maybe that’s just the caffeine and the catharsis talking, but I don’t think it is.

The nitty-gritty of it all—the good, the not-so-good, the flaws, the non-flaws, the unanswered questions, the details, the analysis, the criticism, the *headdesk*s and the big sparkly Yays—those will all come. But for right now, just know that as far as I can tell in this moment, on the question of whether A Memory of Light is a fitting and satisfying end to the Wheel of Time, I feel pretty confident in saying that this book knocked it out of the park.

Well done, Team Jordan. Well done.

And… well, that pretty much sums it up, at least as far as things I can say without straying dangerously close to spoiler territory. And I really, really don’t want to spoil this for you, O my peeps. You should get to savor this.

As a result of my desire not to spoil this singular experience for you, my teaser commentary is perhaps unfortunately probably even vaguer than it was for the previous two volumes. But, well, them’s the breaks. Even more annoyingly (she smirks) some of the following reactions are in chronological order, but others are quite deliberately mixed up in the timeline. What can I say, I’m evil and I want you to get your AMOL fix properly.

Also, as an aside, I will not generally be noting DUN! moments in this teaser commentary. Mainly because if I said DUN! for every time I had a DUN! reaction reading AMOL, this entire entry would be a dull grayish-brown color. Ba dum dum. (Ba Dun Dun? Okay, I’m sorry, shutting up now.)

Right! So. Have some reactions, why don’t you?

 

  • “A familiarity,” indeed. Very funny, Team Jordan.
  • Geez, no consent issues here. I am not sure a proportional response is always actually proportional, you guys! What the hell?
  • Dammit, dammit, no, don’t agree, don’t agree to – DAMMIT. Well, there goes the neighborhood. You MORON. (Maybe?)
  • I have definitely been on the Internet too long, because everything I’m coming up with to comment on/wonder about re: this is SO not fit for polite company. Y’all would be SCANDALIZED. …Wait, what am I talking about, most of you have been on the Internet just as long, you’re just as bad. Never mind.
  • Hah, so sure of that theory, were you? Well, so were a lot of people. So much for that!
  • His pocket? Seriously?
  • And here would be where I get choked up for the first time. I suspect it will not be the last.
  • DAMN STRAIGHT, MAN. Thank you.
  • …Yup, here’s Choked Up Incident #2.
  • Huh. It just keeps coming back to truth, doesn’t it.
  • Wow, I totally forgot that ______ didn’t actually know that. And yes, dude, your timing sucks balls. Sheesh.
  • And here’s Choked Up Incident #3, and over a sparring session!
  • God, they are so WEIRD. I totally don’t know how to feel about this relationship. But then, apparently neither do they, so that’s… all right? I guess?
  • Holy crap, THROW IT AWAY RIGHT NOW ARE YOU CRAZY. …Wait, stupid question.
  • *blink* *blink* Well, I’ll be damned. Mentioned twice, even! I’m not sure if that’s a sop to shut me up or a nod that I was right, or both, but I don’t care, because awesome. The most likely option, of course, is that it didn’t have a damn thing to do with me at all, and ultimately it is totally irrelevant anyway, but I don’t care, because thank you. I am Pleased.
  • AHAHAHA. Just in case there were any trolls out there still insisting on it, eh?
  • God, FINALLY. Also: whoever had that development in the betting pool is gonna make a mint, yo. It wasn’t me, but that’s probably because I didn’t bother to guess.
  • Hey, don’t you know you’ll go blind if you do that? Heh heh.
  • Uh. Is that who I think it is? Because whooooa.
  • What? Are you kidding me? That is the worst name EVER! Ugh! I protest! I stomp my foot in your general terrible-nomenclaturing direction! Gah!
  • Learned a new word: abatis. Also, ouch.
  • Well, that wasn’t tense or anything. Also: PREACH IT, SISTER.
  • WHAAAAAT. That seriously can’t be right. …Can it? [later] Well, okay, I was right that it wasn’t right, go me, but that sucks almost as badly! Gah!
  • This would be one of those points in a story where there is really only one applicable phrase, and that phrase is oh shit.
  • Hey, no, that is NOT COOL. Whhhhyyy do you suck so much, seriously?
  • Ah, damn. Well, one prophecy fulfilled.
  • Ha ha ha, really? That is hilarious. I sort of feel like it is cheating. Actually there is no “sort of” about it, it is totally cheating, but it’s also kind of awesome in its blatant cheatiness. Or something. I am Amused.
  • *wide eyes* Now that would be a thing to see. Daaaaamn.
  • Well, there’s a finally dropped shoe that came out of bloody nowhere. I have no idea whether to be annoyed or pleased. [later] Oh. Well, that’s okay then. Good for you!
  • Holy Law of Conservation of Characters, Batman! When was the last time we saw ________, TGH? Heh.
  • ZOMG they are adorable. That is probably disturbing. It should be disturbing! Why isn’t this disturbing? STOP BEING SO CUTE DAMMIT YOU’RE CONFUSING ME
  • Yeah, well, dude, what did you expect? That wasn’t bringing a knife to a gun fight; that was bringing a knife to a Global Thermonuclear Warfare fight. Sheesh. Also: Damn. That sucks.
  • Well. That… that sucked more. Like, a lot. Wow.
  • And that sucked too. Clearly I have come to the portion where things suck, a lot.
  • Oh, yeah, that’s going to go well. [later] …Aaand it really, really didn’t. Toldja.
  • That is not how I expected that prophecy to be fulfilled. Awesome.
  • Well, jeez. Things can stop sucking anytime now! [later] Oh. Never mind. Sort of.
  • AHAHAHA. It’s like Alias, except without the blue rubber dresses. And less government oversight. And with, you know, magic. Okay, so it’s not really anything like Alias, but it was damn funny anyway.
  • Okay, it is RIDICULOUS that I just had Choked Up Incident #4 over this, but – but – NOOOOOO. Not fair! The sads, I have all of them right now.
  • …And so this wasn’t Choked Up Incident #5, so much as it was straight-up actual crying. Dammit. Dammit.
  • Wow, that was perfect. That was perfect.
  • You’re just going to have to imagine me flailing at this point, because I have no idea how to textually encompass my reaction to this revelation. Or to this entire scene, really, but especially that bit. I would almost have to *headdesk* at it, except for how diabolically clever it was. How can something be so awesome and piss me off so much in the same breath? Holy shit!
  • NO WAY. OMG YAY. Sorry, must clap like a seal for a moment, brb. Also, how did I not see that coming? My hindsight, she is so 20/20!
  • Oh, yeah. I was wondering when they would show up. Not that I’m particularly thrilled that they’re here, of course.
  • *falls over laughing* Oh my God, that is hilarious. And somewhere a certain someone is saying SO THERE, IT WAS RELEVANT, WASN’T IT. Touché, Team Jordan. Touché.
  • Holy crap, it’s like Jack-in-the-Box! Except with lots and lots of death! Awesome!
  • WELP, WE ALL KNEW THIS WAS COMING. But fortunately not in the way we were – expecting? Sort of? …And that does divide up nicely this way, doesn’t it. Well done.
  • And then:

Oh.

 

 

 

 

Right, walking away for a moment.

 

Maybe several moments.

 

Aaaand then I just kind of have to stop, because there’s nothing even remotely intelligible that I can say past a certain point without giving anything away.

But hopefully this has been enough to whet your appetites, and reassure you that, no, it is really okay to look forward to January 8th, O my peeps, for in my opinion something deeply satisfying awaits you.

And do make a point of savoring it, y’all. As a friend of mine reminded me, this is the last Wheel of Time book you’ll ever get to read for the first time. Maybe that’s only a blip in the grand scheme of things, but for those of you like me who have invested literally decades into seeing this to the finish, you owe it to yourself to enjoy this as much as humanly possible.

And don’t worry. You will. This I Foretell.

229 comments
Harsh Chandel
1. havnomercy
Finally... had been reloading this page for the past half an hour..

Thanks Leigh..

NOw to the article.. :)
Scott Silver
2. hihosilver28
So, Leigh...will we get the spoiler commentary on the hints once the book is out? I'm very intrigued.
Deana Whitney
3. Braid_Tug
Yeah! We do get something to fill our Tuesday!

Thanks for ripping into AMoL so fast Leigh! Hope you now get to read it at a slow pace to enjoy it all.

EDIT after read: Okay, trying not to think about them too hard, like Lisamarie, but it does look like "Leeh" shows up one more time in AMoL. So that is really cool.

Why am I getting goose bumps?
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
4. Lisamarie
I am trying really hard not to think too much about these so I don't spoil myself (or soil myself, hah)...but...omg. So excited. I hope that my hold at the library goes through fairly quickly, and then I am barricading myself!

Also - and this is 100% speculation, but I am kind of wondering if one of the trollish debunked theories is Taimandred. Haha.
Asha'man
5. Asha'man
Wow. I'm excited and, well, really sad this is going to be the last. I hope Team Jordan sends it out with a bang.
Liz J
6. Ellisande
If I get a little teary at just reading this, I'm going to be a hot mess the instant I have the book in my hands, aren't I?

Thank you, Leigh!
Asha'man
7. mrc1ark
Man I want this book so bad right now.
Asha'man
8. aleuthard
Salivating. No guesses, not even trying. I'm looking forward to being blown away. I love the way you write, Leigh. Just saying
Niraj Merchant
9. NirajMerchant
@4 That is what I thought too!

Thanks Leigh again for the awesome review.. This just makes it so much harder to wait for the 8th
Asha'man
10. Evelynne
Excellent. I've been skulking Tor.com all morning waiting for this. I can't wait for release day.
s r
11. Veovim
What has it got in its pockets, Precious?
Rand is going to defeat the Dark One by throwing the Ring of Tamyrlin into the Pit of Dhoom!

On a more serious note, I'm guessing that the troll comment refers to Taimandred.
Asha'man
12. Jur_Grady
I'm crying....
Damon Garner
13. IrishOmalley
*falls over laughing* Oh my God, that is hilarious. And somewhere a certain someone is saying SO THERE, IT WAS RELEVANT, WASN’T IT. Touché, Team Jordan. Touché.

Something from book 10? ;p
Asha'man
14. flippantwalrus
Just reading this got my heatbeat racing. Thanks Leigh, I'm so ridiculuously excited for the 8th now!
Keith Buttram
16. Wookster125
Couldn't help but think that the Choking Up Moment #3 might be a a sparring session between Galad and Rand or Lan and Rand (if Lan survived his charge somehow).
Ricardo A J Penteado
15. svstrauser
Yes.

I'm sure the book is great, and I look forward to reading it.

It's a pity I won't be able to do it, as you actually ruined it for anyone not living in the U.S., as we won't be able to buy it for ebooks. That is what we receive after all your hypocritical speeches about DRM.

Thank you, Tor. Thank you very much for your lack of respect for readers abroad.
Alice Arneson
17. Wetlandernw
I'm trying hard not to guess too much, and probably won't share guesses here, but... oh, I cannot wait!! Good thing I've got a lot to keep me busy in the meantime. Ah, the dilemma - I want to race through it as fast as possible and jump in to the spoiler discussions, but I also want to take it slow and enjoy it all to bits first...
Asha'man
18. akhenertai
The problem is I am not getting this book on January 8th... because I am in Brazil and there is no way of me getting it the 8th... and now I wannna!!!
Marty Beck
19. martytargaryen
Choked up moment #1: "this is the last Wheel of Time book you’ll ever get to read for the first time."

Thank you, Leigh
Sanctume Spiritstone
20. Sanctume
Thank you Leigh. I will stop reading and go to seclusion to prevent stumbling over possible spoilers from this point on. See you post January 8!
Asha'man
21. phaedrine
So exicted! I can't wait for the flailing and crying.

You should do a version where you include what parts elicited which reactions once we're past the spoiler zone.
J W
22. Susurrin
Holy crap but that makes me impatient to get my hands on that book!

Thanks Leigh!!!!
Jeff Weston
23. JWezy
One last thank you to Leigh, for all the laughs, insights, and effort you have put in. I feel like it was totally worth it, but I got to be a consumer. You had to write these things, and they were awesome.

And thanks to all my fellow consumers - we have been priviliged to be on a fun ride together. I am sooooo looking forward to reading this. Multiple times.

But now, I must go silent running. I will receive the book in January, but I will probably have to wait to read it on my own time, most likely on vacation in February, and I want to remain spoiler-free until then.

Until we meet again...
Asha'man
24. Roebyn
I'm literally bouncing in my seat right now...

Thank you for the great review Leigh. Ridiculously entertaining as always! I'm looking forward to and dreading January in equal measure. I cannot wait to read this book but I'm not sure I can deal with the mental anguish the end of the series will bring.
Maiane Bakroeva
25. Isilel
Enticing review, Leigh!

And:
that was bringing a knife to a Global Thermonuclear Warfare fight.
Gawyn, is that you?
Alice Arneson
26. Wetlandernw
Hey, we are keeping this thread spoiler-free, are we not? There are spoiler threads aplenty, so there's no reason this one can't be "safe." On the other hand, I can also understand not wanting to be "tainted" by other people's guesses, so there's that...
Tina Pierce
27. scissorrunner
Leigh,
this has been one amazing ride & I'm so glad to have jumped on!
January 8 will NOT be here soon enough - or will the end be too soon?
nah - not soon enough!
I now have a shiny new bookmark all printed out with reactions (OK, so it's a BIG bookmark) - just waiting to find the section they match in the book. Geeky? Maybe, but....
thanks for the fun!

(edit for spelling)
Asha'man
28. littleleicesterfox
Thank you Leigh (but not that much because you already got to read it!).

Now I have to go and find my TGH.

All this is so bittersweet, I ahve been reading this since 1993 and now, suddenly, it's finally coming to the end. I'll be able to finally let my husband read it!

But, through all the trials and tribulations, thank you Harriet, thank you Brandon and most of all thank you James Rigby for investing so much heart into something and caring enough about us all out here to conclude the whole thing. The entire thing has been a total pleasure. The bonkers theories, the pestering, the anticpation of every book coming out. All good.

I'm gonna stop as I'm making myself cry now. Glad I'm still stood here at the end of days :)
Lee VanDyke
29. Cloric
Oh my... trying not to think too hard about this. But less than a month to go!
Katie Frey
30. TalithaSedai
I'm also tearing up just from reading this review. I'll be a mess when I read the book... time to stock up on tissues!
Alice Arneson
31. Wetlandernw
TalithaSedai - Time to buy stock in the tissue companies!
Vincent Lane
32. Aegnor
"AHAHAHA. Just in case there were any trolls out there still insisting on it, eh?"

I am soooo betting this is a final and complete debunking of the Taimondred theory.
Kimani Rogers
33. KiManiak
Wow. Just wow. It feels so much more real now, with Leigh's spoiler-free review. Less than a month to go. I can hardly wait!

Thanks for doing this, Leigh (and Tor.com)! I look forward to Leigh's spoilery review, which I will allow myself to read right after polishing off that AMoL puppy!
Asha'man
34. Faculty Guy
So let's see if this works: spoiler-free review on December 11 followed by spoiler review on December 18 followed by Christmas Day followed by New Years Day followed by . . . 42?
Asha'man
35. zagk
Hi Leigh, could you revisit all of your vague commentary during the eventual re-read of this book? I'd like to see where all of these matched up.

Thanks for the whole re-read series, it's been great!
Rajesh Vaidya
36. Buddhacat
Leigh, thank you very much for evreything - this, the froup, the FAQ, the socials. It has been an awesome ride, and it'll be something to finally end it. Thanks.
William Carter
37. wcarter
I want need that book! Why...WHY ISNT IT JANUARY YET?! ::twitch twitch::
J W
38. Susurrin
@Scissorrunner That's an awesome idea. It should be a weird sort of drinking game at Jordancon. Everybody puts down their guesses if they are wrong they take a drink.!!!!
Katie Frey
39. TalithaSedai
@37 wcarter: Totally! The way I see it, the universe has had PLENTY of time (billions of years!!) to experience how thingss are BEFORE Jan 8, 2013. Isn't it time for it to be AFTER Jan 8, 2013 yet? I mean, seriously, we've all been sitting around in this pre-Jan 8, 2013 world long enough.

Edit:
@31 Wetlandernw: Good idea! I'm sure there wont be many dry eyes the week AMoL is published. =D
Asha'man
40. DougO
Thanks for the encouragement for all of us who have been waiting for this since the first book was released (and discovered by accident on the new book shelf at the library). I'll actually be glad to have a conclusion; it seems like all I do, nowadays, is reread all or parts of some of the previous books hoping to gain additional insight. I hope Robert Jordan is as thrilled about the conclusion as you obviously are, Leigh!
Alice Arneson
41. Wetlandernw
Faculty Guy @42 - Leigh will publish her spoilerific review on January 8, if she follows the usual pattern. Up until then, those who have ARCs just have to keep quiet.
Asha'man
42. Ghenjei
Scary to think I logged onto the usenet group over 18 years ago....
Thanks Leigh for the reread. Definitely restored my faith in the fandom.
Peter Ahlstrom
43. PeterAhlstrom
svstrauser@15:
It's a pity I won't be able to do it, as you actually ruined it for anyone not living in the U.S., as we won't be able to buy it for ebooks. That is what we receive after all your hypocritical speeches about DRM.

Thank you, Tor. Thank you very much for your lack of respect for readers abroad.
When the ebook comes out in April, everyone in the world will be able to buy it. Some from Tor (DRM-free), some from Orbit, and many will be able to buy it from both.

And before the ebook comes out, you can import the hardcover to wherever you live. A common suggestion is The Book Depository, which has free shipping worldwide.
Sharon E.
44. Sulin
WOW. Thanks, Leigh! I've got goose bumps already. I have January 8 off from work. I plan on hitting B&N as soon as they open, then heading home and barricading myself with book, coffee and....tissues. Methinks I shall need them.
Ben Goodman
46. goodben
@ 15 svstrauser

Tor does not own international rights to most (if any) of the books they publish. You aren't its customer. Complain to the publisher with the rights in your country, not Tor. Yes, its stupid, but Tor would likely be liable to civil prosecution if they sold to you.
Asha'man
47. BrazilianFan
Great review Leigh. So looking forward for the book on Janurary
Asha'man
47. B P R
So, is this the book Jordan went all George RR Martin on the characters? Or did Martin himself sneak in an rewrite it?
Asha'man
48. Runningbull
I almost don't want to read this book because that would be admitting that it really is over; some last first times are harder than others to accept.

But of course I WILL. I just intend to drag it out for as long as I can stand; no marathon reading sessions for me with this one (unless I truly can't resist)
Tricia Irish
49. Tektonica
I don't know...this just makes me....hungry!! And frustrated.

So jealous, leigh. And all that choking and crying? It's really not my style. Could we have a couple of good happy endings? Please?

I am eternally grateful to Harriet, Brandon, and Tor for completing this saga. It was so sad to learn of RJ's illness, for him, and his loved ones, and also, because I knew how committed he was to this master work, and his readers. I'm so glad he decided to share the ending with us all.

And now it's near. And although I'm so anxious to find out what he intended so many years ago when he started this story, I'm also sad that this wonderful forum will no doubt slowly wind down as the ride ends.

Thank you all.
Yuriev Olmos
50. Baikala
Great review!

Are you going to do more than one chapther per week of ASOIAF now Leight?
Asha'man
51. Blood_Drunk
I wonder if the comment about bringing a knife to a thermonuclear war fight is a comment about Padin Fain. I've given her all I got, but I just dont got the patience! I keep telling myself I am going to ration the last book. Just a chapter or two a day to make the experience last, but I have never been able to stop myself before. Not work, nor obligation, or even the lure of alcohol drags me away from my WoT addiction. We shall see if I am capable of restraint in January.
Asha'man
52. Craig C
Leigh,
I started re-reading the books in September so that the story would be fresh in my mind when AMOL came out. I found your thread on tor.com and it was a wonderful resource for me to use to flesh out some of the questions that I had from my initial readings.

The Shadow Rising had just been released when I decided to give the Wheel of Time a read, so it's been a twenty year journey for me. I've laughed and cried (and HEAD-DESKED) a few times but the overwhelming emotion has been awe. It was great in the 90's when it seemed like we got a book a year, then it was two and then three and so on...

Then Mr. Rigney became ill and the reality of this world impugned upon the fantasy one. I cheered the good blood reports that he listed for the fans and prayed fervently for his recovery even if he never wrote again. The September 2007 day was a terrible blow, the loss of a good man and great writer. Selfishly I did have remorse that there would be no more adventures with the characters and world I had grown to love.

The end is nigh come January 8th. It will be bittersweet and I promise to savor the read.

"Oh the savor"!

Thank you for the hours you spend providing your in-depth and expert analysis.

Two final thoughts:
@svstrauser - I buy books from England all of the time. If you are overseas and can't order it from America, give amazon.uk.co a try. Their release date is 1/8/13.

Brandon Sanderson - thank you, thank you, thank you.

pps. Leigh - your review spoiled it for me - I see through all of your obfuscations! :-p
Asha'man
53. K. Darien Freeheart
"As a friend of mine reminded me, this is the last Wheel of Time book you’ll ever get to read for the first time."
Damn you, Leigh!

As if this wasn't already a monumental moment in my life. You had to go and make it all-the-more poignant with that.
Manar
54. thelastgoodkiss
This had me literally shrieking. :)

I can't help but have guesses as to what a lot of your commentary is referring to! When you post your spoilery review, I hope that you include context for all this commentary!

Thanks for everything Leigh. This was great.
Asha'man
55. Daviddragon3
No beginnings, no ends, but this is an end and a new beginning. Thank you for your time, thank you for the moments you shared and most of all thank you for being there for me when you didn't even know I was there. Can't wait and yet not so sure what I will do with myself when it's over. Hmmm, see you on the other side. Let the dragon ride...
Katie Foreman
56. alenxa
@25 Isilel: That was my thought as well. :(
A.J. Bobo
57. Daedylus
No no no. January's coming too fast. I'm trying to reread them all, but I'm only in the middle of Winter's Heart. I'll never make it. Unless someone out there would be willing to clean my house and watch my kids for the next 4 weeks?

In other news, thank you for this, Leigh. And now I'm getting even more excited about the resolution of certain plotlines. (Assuming I'm right about what your vague comments are about. I'm probably not.)
Rich Bennett
58. Neuralnet
wow, I went through so many emotions jsut reading this spoiler free review... part of me cant wait to read the last book, part of me is sad the wait is over.

thanks Leigh (and really everyone else who participated in the old usenet newsgroups and here on the Tor web page) for all the speculation/wild theories and commentary. It made the waits between books a lot of fun and I will miss it.
Joseph Newton
59. crzydroid
"AHAHAHA. Just in case there were any trolls out there still insisting on it, eh?"

Oh man, I was totally going to leave a comment that this was thoroughly debunking that Demandred and Taim were the same person (which I thought was already pretty thoroughly done) but Lisamarie beat me to it. But maybe we do find out who Demandred is though?
Asha'man
60. Aduiavas
Now you've gone and made me curious :|

Jan 8th can't come fast enough!!
John Smith
61. TheHardTruth
Some very interesting tidbits! One question :

I just ran this review through the ol word counter...compared to her last two non spoiler reviews (TGS/TOM) - and it is MUCH shorter in length this time, feels a bit rushed - and definitely seems more vague and "bare bones" this year...anyone have any idea what all this is stemming from?
lake sidey
62. lakesidey
@61: Maybe from reading and reviewing it in a week? Combined with the fact that if she inadvertantly gives away the ending (or any part thereof) a gazillion people will make sure she dies slowly and painfully?

(And frankly, this is a fair bit more coherent than I will probably be immediately after finishing it. I'm glad she managed to put down this much at least.)

Thanks again Auntie Leigh for bearing with all us rascally ruffianly rapscallions and giving us a pre-Christmas treat :)

This month is going to feel like a year :o(

~lakesidey
Joseph Armao
63. joeyesq
@TheHardTruth I would guess the fact that she said she cannot say much more without spoiling us has a lot to do with it.
Alice Arneson
64. Wetlandernw
@61 - Probably from the difficulty of finding anything to say without TMI. This is the last book, so much is going to happen, and a lot of what happens has been thoroughly anticipated. She doesn't want to give away anything about how, or who, or... so on. And one can only type "omg omg omg" so many times before it becomes meaningless, right?

That, and she'd just stayed up all night finishing the book....
William Carter
65. wcarter
@39 TalithaSedi

Exactly. Have we not waited long enough? Many of us have been riding this crazy train for years, and yet somehow the 28 days between now and our ultimate payoff seem like an eternity.
Asha'man
66. Faculty Guy
TheHardTruth@61: Maybe from finishing an all-night reading at 6:26 AM and facing a 1:00 PM posting time?

And, MAYBE (hint, hint) we might get a more reflective and longer version of the spoiler-free next Tuesday? Since, as Wetlander points out, the spoiler edition probably won't come before the release date . . . and we gotta have SOMETHING next Tuesday!
Asha'man
67. Kristina Klis
Due to the fact that I am moving January 10th I really shouldn't of read this. I am so eager and ready for the last book and yet so sad. Thanks LB! and if I stop halfway and park on the side of the road to read I am blaming you!
Matthew Smith
68. Blocksmith1
Leigh....

Thank you so much for all of your hard work over these re-reads. I have laughed, cried, head-desked, gone cross-eyed, and even disagreed with you, but the insight and entertainment value was priceless.

Thank you also Team Jordan and Tor for making this book (and this site) realities. To be able to make RJ's dream to finish the series his way come true speaks volumes about the dedication and commitment put forth by Harriet, Brandon, and Tom (Doherty) as well as all the others (Maria, Wilson, etc). Your hard work is beyond appreciated.

Leigh's review has made me anxicited (yes just made that up) and I cannot wait. It describes the condition where you are sick to your stomach but are twitching with the need to get your hands and eyes on AMOL.

With respect to your spoiler-free review, the only thing I think I saw through is that (as RJ himself said) TAIM IS NOT DEMANDRED!!!!!!

Otherwise, they were suitably vague to make me wonder. Damn. And Hooray.
Matthew Smith
69. Blocksmith1
Leigh....

Thank you so much for all of your hard work over these re-reads. I have laughed, cried, head-desked, gone cross-eyed, and even disagreed with you, but the insight and entertainment value was priceless.

Thank you also Team Jordan and Tor for making this book (and this site) realities. To be able to make RJ's dream to finish the series his way come true speaks volumes about the dedication and commitment put forth by Harriet, Brandon, and Tom (Doherty) as well as all the others (Maria, Wilson, etc). Your hard work is beyond appreciated.

Leigh's review has made me anxicited (yes just made that up) and I cannot wait. It describes the condition where you are sick to your stomach but are twitching with the need to get your hands and eyes on AMOL.

With respect to your spoiler-free review, the only thing I think I saw through is that (as RJ himself said) TAIM IS NOT DEMANDRED!!!!!!

Otherwise, they were suitably vague to make me wonder. Damn. And Hooray.
Asha'man
70. BostonJake
I want to read it so bad. I've re-read this post like 5 times just trying to get a little fix. Thanks Leigh for this awesome re-read.
Matthew Smith
71. Blocksmith1
Leigh....

Thank you so much for all of your hard work over these re-reads. I have laughed, cried, head-desked, gone cross-eyed, and even disagreed with you, but the insight and entertainment value was priceless.

Thank you also Team Jordan and Tor for making this book (and this site) realities. To be able to make RJ's dream to finish the series his way come true speaks volumes about the dedication and commitment put forth by Harriet, Brandon, and Tom (Doherty) as well as all the others (Maria, Wilson, etc). Your hard work is beyond appreciated.

Leigh's review has made me anxicited (yes just made that up) and I cannot wait. It describes the condition where you are sick to your stomach but are twitching with the need to get your hands and eyes on AMOL.

With respect to your spoiler-free review, the only thing I think I saw through is that (as RJ himself said) TAIM IS NOT DEMANDRED!!!!!!

Otherwise, they were suitably vague to make me wonder. Damn. And Hooray.
lake sidey
72. lakesidey
Fwiw my guess is, the 'troll' thing is not Demandred, but 'who killed Asmo'.

@15: I suspect I too will have to wait to lay hands on the book - am in India and might have a long wait :P Guess that means no forums for me come new year....

Looking on the bright side, maybe when all of you Americans are done with the WoT forever, I'll still have this to look forward to ;) After all, this is the last Wheel of Time book I’ll ever get to read for the first time, as a friend of mine* posted on her blog today.

*You are a friend of mine, right, Leeh?

@51: A chapter or two a day? Difficult, with this one. The last time I tried that was with "The Name of the Wind". After over a month of abnegation and restraint worthy of a saint, having reached about 2/3rd of the way through, I gave in to temptation and finished the book in 2 hours. So much for self-control....totally worth it though.

~lakesidey
Liz J
73. Ellisande
For anybody who can read it slowly, I am in awe. I'm going to have a hard enough time not flipping to the end first...
Asha'man
74. rhandric
That was an enjoyable spoiler-free review, Leigh, but it has an unfortunate side effect: it makes the next 4 weeks crawl!

FWIW, I agree that the troll thing is Demandred (as the 'who killed Asmo' deal was nicely wrapped up in the Appendix if the text was too subtle. And of course one of the bits about prophecies is about his blood on shayol ghul, but it's hard to say which ;)

Come on, just 4 more weeks!
Asha'man
75. Hatts
This spoiler free review is beyond useless, I don't understand why everyone is jumping for joy over it. All I can glean is that Leah thinks we will like it, I have no patience to even try to parse her random list of reactions.

There are plenty of things that could go in to a spoiler free review. How was the pacing? Did it feel rushed? How did Brandon do with Robert's voice, were you able to tell which scenes were RJ scenes?

I feel like this spoiler free review was written for uber fans who actually do want spoilers and are going to try to match Leah's reaction to possible book moments... For the rest of us this is a big miss.
Gwen Potter
76. tariqata
I took a moment to think about the possibility of reading A Memory of Light slowly. But then I told myself to face reality (and remember the number of books that I've read cover to cover without stopping because I just couldn't). I've got a day-long team meeting to attend on January 9, so I won't start reading until after, but if my long-since-preordered copy has arrived by the time I get home, I'm pretty sure that nothing is going to be able to pry me away from it until I reach the last page.

I've been a lurker on all of the re-read threads, but I really really really appreciate both Leigh's incredible work and reading all of the comments and speculations! And I love having the opportunity to see someone else's first impressions of the new book - no matter how jealous I am that I have to wait another four weeks to make my own.
Chris R
77. up2stuff
Anyone know how to UN-read something?

Jan. 8.

Having more trouble waiting for that day than Christmas!!!!

I THINK the waiting just might kill me!

Edit... BTW, I ALWAYS forget to thank you Leigh, for the last few years worth of entertainment. I have re-read/listened to the series twice since I found the site, somewhere around Fires of Heaven.

NONE of my other favorite books/series have even been close to being as fulfilling as WOT since then. "Thankyou" just isn't a strong enough word.

Have a Happy Holiday!
William Carter
78. wcarter
@73 Don't do that. If you find yourself sorely tempted to, first pick up a copy of one of Brandon Sanderson's Alcatraz novels and try it there. The results are...punative...
Reading the ending of a series without the build up is a way to rob yourself of the full emotional impact.
Douglas Miller
79. douglas
My guesses:
Geez, no consent issues here. I am not sure a proportional response is always actually proportional, you guys! What the hell?
A certain event in chapter 2 (the audio's out somewhere on this site), I believe. And, well, at least it does have some claim to being proportional response.
God, they are so WEIRD. I totally don’t know how to feel about this relationship. But then, apparently neither do they, so that’s… all right? I guess?
Tuon and Mat? That's my guess, anyway. That, or Pevara and Androl. I expect both of those relationships will be quite strange.
AHAHAHA. Just in case there were any trolls out there still insisting on it, eh?
I agree with the "debunking Taimandred" group on this one.
Edit: Actually, on second thought, debunking "Olver is Gaidal Cain" seems a better possibility. Just have Birgitte and Olver meet, and one comment from her could do it.
God, FINALLY. Also: whoever had that development in the betting pool is gonna make a mint, yo. It wasn’t me, but that’s probably because I didn’t bother to guess.
Demandred's cover identity? One of the more obscure theories turned out to be right?
Hey, don’t you know you’ll go blind if you do that? Heh heh.
Staring at the eclipse featured on the cover art? If not, I got nothing.
Ha ha ha, really? That is hilarious. I sort of feel like it is cheating. Actually there is no “sort of” about it, it is totally cheating, but it’s also kind of awesome in its blatant cheatiness. Or something. I am Amused.
I can't even hazard a guess, beyond that Mat is probably involved, but it sounds fun. :)
Holy crap, it’s like Jack-in-the-Box! Except with lots and lots of death! Awesome!
Androl tossing explosives (provided by Mat) through gateways?

I think the arrival of the Ogier, massed and armed for war, is probably in there somewhere, but there are several possibilities for which entry is it.

Most of the rest sound interesting but I have very little idea what any of them might be.
Thomas Keith
80. insectoid
Wow, Leigh, you weren't kidding about the vagueness! Sounds like a gread read and finish to the WoT saga and I can't wait and why am I still sitting here I need to go build a time machine to take me to January 8 *twitchtwitchtwitchtwitch*!!

;)

Bzzz™.
Francesco Paonessa
81. ErrantKnave
Sweet Jesus, I got the sads just reading the review.

Thanks, Leigh!

28 days to go.
lake sidey
82. lakesidey
@77: Christmas fans get many Christmasses before their deaths. The valiant WOTfans taste of Tarmon Gai'don but once.

~lakesidey
Asha'man
83. Zeynep
I started reading your reactions, then realized that I actually couldn't, not even them. I'll sit here and seethe, I mean strain, and wait, and nnnngh but it's hard!
Asha'man
84. DrK
I am so pumped for the book right now! I can't wait for this book. Been ripping through the re-read, book 7 in the past 6 weeks so will be tight for finishing for the big day!

I can't believe it will be the last WoT book. In some ways I don't actually want to read it as it means there will be no more.

And on the spoiler tags...
"Choking up 3- sparring" - Please be Lan and Rand as some of their scenes are the best in the series... atop the Tower in TGH, after Moraine's "death" in Book5 and when they meet again in Book 8/9.
Katie Frey
86. TalithaSedai
Christmas is barely even worth celebrating with aMoL so close at hand! I'm just trying to get through this year asap, Christmas done and over with, so I can enjoy my own personal holiday...Jan 8-10, 2013!! I'm lucky enough to be able to take those three days off from work. I plan to read the book completly, re-read all the good parts (which I'm sure will end up to mean "re-read the entire book"), re-read choice bits and pieces from books 1-13 (anyone else get the sense this series will come "full circle" with a lot of callbacks and nods to especially the first few books?), and then hit the forums/websites to read the spoiler-filled reviews and participate in discussions. Yup, that'll be an enjoyable holiday. =D
Asha'man
85. mazza3
@75hatts, if you want that kind of review, leigh isn't your girl. this is the style of review that she's done for the past few books, so you should search elsewhere for a review of that nature.

as for me, f yes, leigh, thank you for doing what you do....
Asha'man
87. Tenesmus
"Holy crap, it’s like Jack-in-the-Box! Except with lots and lots of death! Awesome!"

-YES! Someone lights a cannon and opens a gateway right before it goes off. I wonder who will be the recipient?
Asha'man
88. The Real Bayrd
OMFG ...... i cant wait ... im drooling .... i needs it! I needs it! ...
Asha'man
89. Firemyst
Thank you, Leigh. I've enjoyed your previous spoiler-free reviews and certainly enjoyed this one. They are entertaining.

Sooo pumped!!! Thank you, Harriett, for the choice of BS.
Thank you, BS, for the grand style you've finished it!
Thank you, RJ, for giving us such a richly realized world with characters to love/hate/in between. To think all this came out of one man's vision amazes me!!
Thank you to everyone else who directly, indirectly, peripherally have had anything to do with this.

Can't wait!!
Asha'man
90. Rooish
I really don't like that "Oh" and "walking away" at the end!
Asha'man
91. Asha'Man
So...Good job to Team Jordan, but no "Good job" to Brandon? Or are you just including him in the good job to TJ?
Karen Fox
92. thepupxpert
Wow it is going to be a great holiday season just anticipating receiving the book! I'll definitely be checking in on everyone's comments and will probably try to read it all at once but more realistically will take a few days. Can't wait for the reread as well!
Craig Jarvis
93. hawkido
@15 Don't you have a bridge somewhere to be hiding under,
lest you get caught on fire or exposed to sunlight... depending upon the type of troll you are.

Don't blame TOR for international trade regulations on distribution.
Find your distributors in your country and troll them, and if it is your government that is misbehaving, then that is what Tar and feathers are for...

TOR wants this book in as many hands as possible as soon as possible, why would they restrict sales... This isn't an Ipod, or a Nintendo Wii... It doesn't get more popular the fewer people have it.

The US has the first ammendment that states our government cannot restrict books. It is not financially a sound policy to slow the sale of books due to used books, sharing books, public libraries, and piracy.

The only thing stopping you from getting this book in your grumpy green hands is in your country. Either your country's distributors or government is in the way, not TOR.

Companies make products in exchange for money. Good Companies make quality products and exchange them for money... What you are suggesting doesn't make business sense, and if it doesn't make business sense then there is a government involved.
Asha'man
94. Nornagest
The antispoiler revew .... this has gotten me even more desperate to read it NOW dammit!!!
Roger Powell
95. forkroot
Bless you Leigh for:
Oh, what a treat you have in store for you, my friends.
I guess I've always harbored a vague worry that the ending wouldn't be worth all the buildup and emotional investment that I've put in this series over the years. Jason Denzel's earlier non-spoilerific review didn't make me feel reassured (nor worse.) Somehow, some way, when I read the above sentence I just relaxed and smiled.

So Thanks!

P.S. I have a feeling that the reread of AMoL is going to be especially fun.
Bonnie Andrews
96. misfortuona
Leigh! You know I love you, right? But that love has not served me.
I have been painstakingly removing myself from the WoT universe so that I can remain sain-ish while waiting for the end of this 20 year rollercoaster ride.
Unfortunatly a spoiler proof review by my favorite TOR personality drew me in, and the twitching, ticking, and pacing have started in earnest.

Thank you for this... no seriously thank you. It wouldn't be WoT without the crazy.

Mis-with a start like this, 2013 is going to be incredible.
Julian Augustus
97. Alisonwonderland
Holy crap! This:
Hey, don’t you know you’ll go blind if you do that? Heh heh.
Onan's sin? In a fantasy book?
Chris R
98. up2stuff
@ 77.

HEAD-DESK, HEAD-DESK, HEAD DESK!

Nope, in case you are wondering, that didn't do it!
Sorcha O
99. sushisushi
But for right now, just know that as far as I can tell in this moment, on the question of whetherA Memory of Light is a fitting and satisfying end to the Wheel of Time, I feel pretty confident in saying that this book knocked it out of the park.

That is all that I wanted to hear - the vagueness of Leigh's reactions to the book is no problem, it's of a teaser about the final product. I'm just glad to hear that it lived up to her expectations, and has a very, very good chance of living up to mine (which are nowhere near as detailed as mine!), and it's doing nothing but whetting my appetite for the 8th of December and the chance to finally read the ending of this turning of the wheel, and seeing this story wrapped up. Looking forward to it Auntie Leigh, and thank you for all the recaps and the fascinating discussions that they have engendered!
Liz J
101. Ellisande
Gonna speculate the *blink* *blink* moment there to "shut her up" has to do with a same sex relationship that gets mentioned twice.
j p
102. sps49
I will always have the books.

But I will miss Leigh and everyone here for the rest of my Tuesdays.
T C
103. Freelancer
For those who have asked Leigh has, in the past, revisited her non-spoiled reactions and connected then with chapter and verse events to clarify. I rather suspect that she has already set down most of that work while prepping this post.

Also, if past behavior indicates future, the spoiler review will post very shortly following the book release. I would consider it reasonable to hold it for at least four days, so that people actually read the book before perusing such a post, but as always, this here is her joint, her rules.

Interesting, there are more reactions to which I have no guess this time, than for ToM. But of course, most of those guesses were marginal to massive misses.
Asha'man
104. Ftup8
Damn you TIME!!! Speed up already!!!
And damn you Leigh! How am I to live with this for the next 27days. I just want to quit work and reread everything until AMOL is released.
Chris R
105. up2stuff
Okay.... I swear I just watched the minutes on my clock count BACKWARDS. We have days of this.

As my little Dachshund does...(Inhales)....Humph!
Asha'man
106. Tenesmus
I am looking forwad to the Moiraine and Siuan reunion. Will probably be written from Siuan's POV, as BS has had some practice with it. Should be one of the teary moments above
Asha'man
107. Mz
Lakesidey- I'll be in Pakistan when this comes out! Won't get back to North America until the 15th. Trying to convince myself I can wait an extra 6 days haha.

I feel your pain.. :/ :P

And yeah. Thanks Leigh!
Daniel Goss
108. Beren
And now for something I’m sure absolutely nobody was waiting for: my traditional snarky attempt at humorous predictions based on Leigh’s reactions. Out of respect (and not just because I couldn’t find anything funny to say about them) I’m skipping the ones about getting choked up. And also the ones that I can’t find anything funny to say about.

Can you call it a tradition if it has only happened twice so far?

* “A familiarity,” indeed. Very funny, Team Jordan.

Someone asks Thom if he has any familiarity with publishing epic, multi-volume tales. Thom will reply that he doesn’t think it should take more than two books to tell the story. Three at the most.

* Geez, no consent issues here. I am not sure a proportional response is always actually proportional, you guys! What the hell?

Oblique referral to Rand’s response to Cyndanefear’s new . . . proportions.

* Dammit, dammit, no, don’t agree, don’t agree to – DAMMIT. Well, there goes the neighborhood. You MORON. (Maybe?)

Mat signs a Verizon cell phone contract that requires a two-year renewal, but has no provision for early upgrades. Always read the fine print, dude.

* I have definitely been on the Internet too long, because everything I’m coming up with to comment on/wonder about re: this is SO not fit for polite company. Y’all would be SCANDALIZED. …Wait, what am I talking about, most of you have been on the Internet just as long, you’re just as bad. Never mind.

Something something something something tentacles.

* Hah, so sure of that theory, were you? Well, so were a lot of people. So much for that!

Bela is conclusively proven not to be the Creator. Probably.

* His pocket? Seriously?

Same as the tentacles.

* DAMN STRAIGHT, MAN. Thank you.

No, that was a flush. A straight is where they’re sequential.

* Huh. It just keeps coming back to truth, doesn’t it.

Yes, Elayne, that dress does make your butt look big.

* Wow, I totally forgot that ______ didn’t actually know that. And yes, dude, your timing sucks balls. Sheesh.

No, Perrin did not know that it was Mat who killed his pet seal when they were seven. And the middle of his ‘special time’ with Faile is not the time to tell him.

* God, they are so WEIRD. I totally don’t know how to feel about this relationship. But then, apparently neither do they, so that’s… all right? I guess?

Neither Egwene nor Gawyn are really experienced in romance. Egwene’s constant re-reading of “Men Are From Shayol Ghul, Women Are Just Awesome” doesn’t help.

* Holy crap, THROW IT AWAY RIGHT NOW ARE YOU CRAZY. …Wait, stupid question.

Mat and Dav are out looking for a badger when Dav falls into a particularly large den. At the bottom of the hole is a shiny . . . it almost looks like a ring?

* AHAHAHA. Just in case there were any trolls out there still insisting on it, eh?

I’m not sure I would call it trollish to insist that Rand actually IS the Dragon Reborn, but this is where it’s conclusively, irrevocably proven not to be so. It was actually Nicola. Maybe you shouldn’t have used her as bait, eh Egwene?

* God, FINALLY. Also: whoever had that development in the betting pool is gonna make a mint, yo. It wasn’t me, but that’s probably because I didn’t bother to guess.

Sure, you would have guessed that Verin was really Rand’s great-great-grandmother on the Aiel side?

* Hey, don’t you know you’ll go blind if you do that? Heh heh.

Aand we’re back to the tentacles.

* Uh. Is that who I think it is? Because whooooa.

Keanu Reeves makes a cameo to yell at Perrin for ripping off his Matrix moves while fighting Slayer.

* What? Are you kidding me? That is the worst name EVER! Ugh! I protest! I stomp my foot in your general terrible-nomenclaturing direction! Gah!

Mhplstyk Zxtriouaieie Sedai gives a long speech where she constantly refers to herself in the first-person.

* Learned a new word: abatis. Also, ouch.

That’s a cool word! Also, I’m sorry.

* Well, that wasn’t tense or anything. Also: PREACH IT, SISTER.

The sexual tension between Galad and Berelain results in an innuendo-laced conversation about “opening a dialogue” and “bivouacking troops” and “making sure there are correct amounts of manure carts.” Galad isn’t great at innuendo.

* WHAAAAAT. That seriously can’t be right. …Can it? Well, okay, I was right that it wasn’t right, go me, but that sucks almost as badly! Gah!

No, it was the other left.

* This would be one of those points in a story where there is really only one applicable phrase, and that phrase is oh shit.

Well, Nakomi was the first to openly mention urination, so . . .

* Hey, no, that is NOT COOL. Whhhhyyy do you suck so much, seriously?

Can anyone but Gawyn inspire this level of personal-suckitude-questioning? Tune in to find out!

* Ah, damn. Well, one prophecy fulfilled.

“The Fallen Blacksmith” turns out to refer to a hilarious pratfall involving Perrin, a set of stairs, a pillow, three harem girls, Bela, and two Tuatha’an dancing the Sa’Sara.

* Ha ha ha, really? That is hilarious. I sort of feel like it is cheating. Actually there is no “sort of” about it, it is totally cheating, but it’s also kind of awesome in its blatant cheatiness. Or something. I am Amused.

So Mat, you’re saying that’s it’s just your ‘luck’ that made Cadsuane’s horse spontaneously combust?

* *wide eyes* Now that would be a thing to see. Daaaaamn.

Leigh, we know the tentacle scene was surprising, but please stop coming back to it.

* Well, there’s a finally dropped shoe that came out of bloody nowhere. I have no idea whether to be annoyed or pleased. Oh. Well, that’s okay then. Good for you!

An Aes Sedai finally learns to fly! And drops a stiletto heel on Cadsuane’s head, killing her instantly.

* Holy Law of Conservation of Characters, Batman! When was the last time we saw ________, TGH? Heh.

Yeah, what happened to that chick that Rand walked around in the portal stone world with?

* ZOMG they are adorable. That is probably disturbing. It should be disturbing! Why isn’t this disturbing? STOP BEING SO CUTE DAMMIT YOU’RE CONFUSING ME

Umm . . . Idunno, baby trollocs? Cute little baby fade with no eyes?

* Yeah, well, dude, what did you expect? That wasn’t bringing a knife to a gun fight; that was bringing a knife to a Global Thermonuclear Warfare fight. Sheesh. Also: Damn. That sucks.

Gawyn brings his brain to an argument with a head of lettuce. Would be hilarious, but the fight was for naming rights to the twins.

* Well. That… that sucked more. Like, a lot. Wow.

Asha’man Dy’son Vac’um invents plotline that never loses suction.

* And that sucked too. Clearly I have come to the portion where things suck, a lot.

Dy’son’s rival Sho'Pvak starts a competing plotline.

* · Wow, that was perfect. That was perfect.

Word, y’all. Perfect!

* You’re just going to have to imagine me flailing at this point, because I have no idea how to textually encompass my reaction to this revelation. Or to this entire scene, really, but especially that bit. I would almost have to *headdesk* at it, except for how diabolically clever it was. How can something be so awesome and piss me off so much in the same breath? Holy shit!

Galad takes a poo.

* NO WAY. OMG YAY. Sorry, must clap like a seal for a moment, brb. Also, how did I not see that coming? My hindsight, she is so 20/20!

Hopper is back! And he’s brought the ghost of Perrin’s pet seal!

* Oh, yeah. I was wondering when they would show up. Not that I’m particularly thrilled that they’re here, of course.

yay. The Coplin’s are here to grump about Rand’s sub-par job of world-saving.

* *falls over laughing* Oh my God, that is hilarious. And somewhere a certain someone is saying SO THERE, IT WAS RELEVANT, WASN’T IT. Touché, Team Jordan. Touché.

It turns out this whole thing is the result of an insidious dress-wrinkling, dirt-causing force. All baths and clothing-discussions become retroactively vital.

* Holy crap, it’s like Jack-in-the-Box! Except with lots and lots of death! Awesome!

All around the cobbler’s shop
The Trolloc chased the Aiel
The Trolloc thought the dance was done,
POP GOES THE AIEL!

* WELP, WE ALL KNEW THIS WAS COMING. But fortunately not in the way we were – expecting? Sort of? …And that does divide up nicely this way, doesn’t it. Well done.

The final chapter is being split into three more books. They are titled “A”, “Memory”, and “Of Light”.

I only snark because I’m so jealous, so . . . take it as a compliment, maybe? I seriously can’t wait to see what really happens!

-Beren
Terry McNamee
109. macster
@75 If you know anything about Leigh and how she writes, you'd know by now that she doesn't tailor herself to the expectations or wishes of her audience. In which case, why are you here? Since clearly she won't do things the way you want her to. I admit that I'd like to know a few of the things you mentioned, but based on her overall reaction to how well done things were and how the book is a worthy conclusion to the series, I would guess that the book is in fact well-written and has good voice and pacing, or she would have mentioned otherwise. That and having read it in just a week and putting out her first thoughts, such detailed criticism and analysis probably won't come till later when she can re-read it more slowly and give us her reactions. Many things do only become clearer in their flaws and their strengths upon numerous re-readings. In which case, short of being full of spoilers there's nothing that she can really do in this review she hasn't already done. So...either be patient, or again, go elsewhere. I'm sure somebody somewhere has done the kind of review you're looking for, and if not...you're just going to have to deal.

@Leigh...I can't even begin to guess on most of your hints (though a few I do have strong suspicions about, especially after reading the other commenters), but overall I have to say that just reading them, coupled with the knowledge the book is almost here and is as good as we were hoping for, had me literally shaking. I can't believe it's nearly here, and yet is also still so far away. I've already reserved my copy. And I know I will be torn between going slowly to savor it ("Ah, the savor!" indeed) and tearing through it before re-reading it more slowly. But I have others in my household waiting on me to read it when I'm done, so I can't go too slowly anyway.

This will be an event, that's for certain. I can't wait to find out which theories are right and wrong, but overall I am more prepared to cry, to cheer, to finally see how these characters' stories end, and to see how the series comes full circle, what themes and messages return and are emphasized, what a true masterpiece Jordan and now Sanderson has made. And of course, I have to be grateful to you for your re-read and all you've done here, the other commenters, the discussion, the laughs...everything.

It's never been more clear and meaningful to say "there are no endings in the Wheel of Time, but it was an ending". And, at the same time, a new beginning, as most of us will likely read the series all over again to both see how it all ties together and to simply enjoy it once more.
Jay Dauro
110. J.Dauro
Forkroot

In one of Brandon's early comments about being asked to finish the series, he tells about going to Charleston to meet Harriet for the first time. The first thing he did was read the ending, and his comment was that it was fantastic.

In this interview he calls it "immensely and deeply satisfying"
www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AJha4g2Ybc

However, this is the guy who wrote the Mistborn series.

Actually, I am overjoyed to hear Leigh's comments. January 8th, get here quickly.
Asha'man
111. lanzacolina
Bought my copy for the midnight release party in UT with Brandon and Harriet yesterday. This is going to be fun.
Asha'man
113. deBebbler
30. TalithaSedai "I'm also tearing up just from reading this review. I'll be a mess when I read the book"

After finishing the post and starting to read the comments, I thought these *exact* words. . . right before I read them. :)

Leigh's post is perfect IMO because it fails to give away a single detail, yet answers the ONLY important question: Will this book make our emotional investment in this series worth it all?

I want to thank you Leigh for your steadfastly reliable (mostly, heh) and hysterically funny rereads. You gave me a chance to read every book in the series again for the first time, albeit through someone else's eyes. For this, you will have my everlasting gratitude.

Merry Chistmas to all, and get ready to start the New Year off right, with a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
T C
115. Freelancer
Reunions pending:

Moiraine - Rand
Moiraine - Lan (?)
Moiraine - Siuan

Each of those would be notable, and likely emotional. For Rand, cathartic in more ways than one; the premier name on the list of women who have died because of him turning up alive, may just wipe the list entirely, and it will restore faith that Min's visions are never wrong.

For Lan (assuming it is possible to occur), while we are unlikely to see a fresh crack in the stone wall that is his countenance, he would surely have questions regarding how the bond was destroyed if she was not dead.

For Siuan, who knows? At the last, each of the two expressed much less friendly thoughts about the other than might be expected. But then, they had spent well over ten years masking their operation to find the Dragon Reborn, and denying the closeness of their friendship was a major piece of that mask; so that even when Moiraine was confiding in Egwene, she projected an almost dismissive behavior about her feelings for Siuan, in favor of the needs of the moment. Siuan to Min, and later Egwene, did the same. Is it real, or is it Memorex?


Beren @108

Cute. But the Tinker women's dance is the Tiganza. It's the Saldaeans who dance the sa'sara.


J.Dauro

Well, I have to say that while I found the Mistborn trilogy to be excellent reading, with varied and sympathetic characters, an outstanding magic system and terrific plot movement, the conclusion was indeed slightly less satisfying than I'd hoped for. However, if you've read anything else by Brandon, you may find that's an exception, not a rule. Warbreaker, Elantris, His numerous shorts, all have quite strong finishes.

All that said, The Wheel of Time remains Robert Jordan's story, and since much of it was written to arrive at an established ending, I have never had any fears about it.
Daniel Goss
116. Beren
Freelancer @ 115

Yes, but the sa'sara hasn't been seen on screen yet, and I want to see if Brandon can do it justice.

And sa'sara is just a funnier word.
Jay Dauro
117. J.Dauro
Freelancer, I have read them all. I actually understand the ending to Mistborn, although it does hurt.


However, I really haven't worried about the ending here, since the first time I read Brandon's comments.
Michelle Bilokrely
118. GardenGnome
Is that a san'greal in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? Does polishing your sword make you blind ? And according to an interview baby myddral diapers don't flap in the wind :p
I am glad the book is satisfying. I hope we get to see some crazy blight monsters because they were visually fantastic.
Ron Garrison
119. Man-0-Manetheran
Beren! Hilarious!

Leigh! Thanks for not spoiling anything!
Barry T
120. blindillusion
And there was anticipatory silence....

I truly cannot wait for the 8th of January. Like so many others, I've been walking the road to Tarmon Gai'don for what seems an Age. Thus far, it has been worth every second.

Thank you Leigh. As someone above said...love the way you write.
Asha'man
121. Alviarin Nae'blis
@116. Beren
Freelancer @ 115
Yes, but the sa'sara hasn't been seen on screen yet, and I want to see if Brandon can do it justice.
Ah, I getcha. The two Tinker women dancing the sa'sara are Brandon One and Brandon Two. Don't worry - they're even better than feather dancers or the Seachan shea dancers.

Now we come to the great question over which trollocs have fought long wars on usenet:
Hah, so sure of that theory, were you? Well, so were a lot of people. So much for that!
AHAHAHA. Just in case there were any trolls out there still insisting on it, eh?
FYI, the correct word is trolloc; or trollop.
Ah, damn. Well, one prophecy fulfilled.
*falls over laughing* Oh my God, that is hilarious. And somewhere a certain someone is saying SO THERE, IT WAS RELEVANT, WASN’T IT. Touché, Team Jordan. Touché.
is Narg really Demandred? Or not? And why not?
Kurt Lorey
122. Shimrod
Very entertaining post, Leigh. Thank you so much.
Jonathan Levy
123. JonathanLevy
And then:
Oh.
Did anyone else automatically highlight the blank lines under this to try to reveal whited-out spoilers?

18. akhenertai

I also live on another continent, but I got ToM on the day of its release, having pre-ordered it from amazon a month or two ahead of time.
I've done the same thing this time, and I'm feeling optimistic.

77.up2stuff
Anyone know how to UN-read something?
Apply 6 consecutive chapters from CoT and call me in the morning.

108.Beren
Very clever!
Tony Berezowski
124. Tonybere
Well, this definately settles one issue. I am cancelling my order with Amazon today! I was willing to wait 3 - 5 days to save 33% on the book, but now I realize that it will be well worth the extra $12 to have this in my hands on the 8th! And so what if school starts that day! I'm sure my profs won't give us anything too strenuous before I finish it in record time.
Rob Munnelly
125. RobMRobM
Reunions - I for one can't wait for Rand-Galad, Mat-Tuon, Moggy-Nyneave....
Jonathan Levy
126. JonathanLevy
I'm particularly waiting for Nynaeve-Luca and Moggy-Liandrin. Not too optimistic about the latter one, though...
Asha'man
127. rhandric
@123 re: highlighting the lines:
YES! And I was slightly disappointed.

re: unreading
Or apply any of Perrin's story between losing and regaining Faile.
William Carter
128. wcarter
@RobMRobM

Ooh a Moghedien- Nyneave showdown. Though if Mogs has two brain cells to rub together it'll be assholes and elbows for her the moment she spots Nyneave

Mogs-Birgitte would also be nice You!? N---TWAP!! Arrow to the chest face...
Asha'man
129. Anwen
Thanks Leigh for your funny and insightful rereads. I'm looking forward to your reread of Memory of Light and I have greatly enjoyed this journey with you and all the commentors!
Sam Mickel
130. Samadai
Leigh, thank you for this. I was never worried that it would end badly, but having someone whose opinion I have grown to trust tell me that it is great, makes any doubts I might have had fade away.

Rand and Moiraines reunion is going to be one of the greatest moments of the book I think. I don't have a clue what any of her statements mean, well with the exception of one, but that is because I have read the released bits of AMoL.
Asha'man
131. DougL
Thanks Leigh, I look forward to first reading the book a couple of times and then reading your more sober looking reactions to it. I know you are doing GRRM, and I know you have a bit of a slog ahead of you with MoL, but what next? GRRM writes too slowly, so you can't sate our appetite with just those reads :)

Ah, what the hell, you see, I am a bit of a planner.
Theresa Gray
132. Terez27
Just because it hasn't been said here yet...
*blink* *blink* Well, I’ll be damned. Mentioned twice, even! I’m not sure if that’s a sop to shut me up or a nod that I was right, or both, but I don’t care, because awesome. The most likely option, of course, is that it didn’t have a damn thing to do with me at all, and ultimately it is totally irrelevant anyway, but I don’t care, because thank you. I am Pleased.
Pretty sure this refers to the gay male character Brandon mentioned.
Marty Beck
133. martytargaryen
POLL POLL POLL...

Do you usually read the chapter names of a new release before reading?

Will you for AMOL?

Me: Yes, No
Liz J
134. Ellisande
@132 Terez, I did at 101! *g* Though I didn't quote Leigh's whole passage, so it was probably too unclear what I was saying. But yeah, that's got to be it.

edit: I thought one comment could be for each, since I recall Leigh also regretting none of the f/f 'pillowfriends' seemed to be lasting relationships.
Theresa Gray
135. Terez27
Oh, sorry...I ctrl'f'd 'gay' and nothing came up. I considered using alternate terms but I figured that one was the most likely. :p Also, the male distinction is important. We've had plenty of lesbians, but no gay men, and that is the problem that Brandon was trying to address.
Asha'man
136. Can't wait
how about this for the ending:
-Rand dies in fight vs DO, but evil is halted for now
-Elayne gives birth to little Rand (one baby dies along with Elayne during birth leaving little Rand an orphan like his father)
and ends with these words: it's not the end, but it's an ending.
(and the wheel of time continues to turn with little Rand the next in line to suffer...)
Kimani Rogers
137. KiManiak
JL@123 - Guilty as charged. I was hoping that it wasn't just me.
Theresa Gray
139. Terez27
Didn't occur to me that Leigh would do such a thing.
Alice Arneson
140. Wetlandernw
Well, she probably wouldn't - but the rest of us would!
herid fan
141. heridfan
@Leigh Thanks a lot for the review! Very different from Jason's review but truly enjoyable in its own way.

Some guesses:
Geez, no consent issues here. I am not sure a proportional response is always actually proportional, you guys! What the hell?
Rollover to read (potential spoilers for Chapter 2 of AMoL): This has got to be the not so consentual thing from chapter 2.
His pocket? Seriously?
Fat man angreal in either Rand's or Demandred's pocket.
And here’s Choked Up Incident #3, and over a sparring session!
Rand sparring with Tam.
Holy crap, THROW IT AWAY RIGHT NOW ARE YOU CRAZY. …Wait, stupid question.
Rand doing something really dangerous like picking up Fain's dagger.
AHAHAHA. Just in case there were any trolls out there still insisting on it, eh?
Debunking Olver=Gaidal or Taim=Demandred
God, FINALLY. Also: whoever had that development in the betting pool is gonna make a mint, yo. It wasn’t me, but that’s probably because I didn’t bother to guess.
Demandred is finally revealed as Roedran.
Hey, don’t you know you’ll go blind if you do that? Heh heh.
Somebody looking at the sun during an eclipse.
ZOMG they are adorable. That is probably disturbing. It should be disturbing! Why isn’t this disturbing? STOP BEING SO CUTE DAMMIT YOU’RE CONFUSING ME
Encountering baby Trollocs in the Blight.
Yeah, well, dude, what did you expect? That wasn’t bringing a knife to a gun fight; that was bringing a knife to a Global Thermonuclear Warfare fight. Sheesh. Also: Damn. That sucks.
Galad bringing a sword to fight the DO or Moridin.
Hah, so sure of that theory, were you? Well, so were a lot of people. So much for that!
Not the foggiest idea what that's about but dying to find out.
*falls over laughing* Oh my God, that is hilarious. And somewhere a certain someone is saying SO THERE, IT WAS RELEVANT, WASN’T IT. Touché, Team Jordan. Touché.
Spoiler ahead. Rollover to read : something to do with the memory 27 about peaches being poisonous.
Alice Arneson
142. Wetlandernw
heridfan - this is still the a spoilerfree zone - some folks haven't read chapter 2. (I have, but others will not be pleased with the reference.) I flagged your comment, only so that you or the moderator - whoever gets here first - can white that part. (It's really, really hard to keep track of what you can say where, isn't it? That's the other reason I can't wait for January - it's driving me nuts.)
Thomas Keith
143. insectoid
JLevy @123:
Did anyone else automatically highlight the blank lines under this to try to reveal whited-out spoilers?
Congratulations, you're officially as crazy as I am. XD

martytargaryen @133:
Yes, but I'm going to try reeeally hard not to for AMoL.

Bzzz™.
herid fan
144. heridfan
@ Wetlandernw 142 I don't see it saying anywhere that we can't post spoilers here. If Tor doesn't want that they should make that clear.
Alice Arneson
145. Wetlandernw
Dude. The title of this thread includes the words "Spoiler-Free Review." It's generally considered bad form to include spoilers in the comments to a review which was carefully crafted to remain spoiler free. If you really don't think you're obligated to keep it that way, I'm sure the moderators will do it for you, but it gives you a bad rep.
Alice Arneson
146. Wetlandernw
Also - I was trying to give you a gentle heads-up, because there are some who will see that and come down on you like a ton of bricks.
herid fan
147. heridfan
@ 146 well, I edited it but I still think Tor should make the rules clear. I'm quite happy to follow written rules but I don't want to guess the unwritten ones.
Ron Garrison
148. Man-0-Manetheran
JonathanLevy @ 123:
"Did anyone else automatically highlight the blank lines under this to try to reveal whited-out spoilers?"
Well, duh. This IS the WoT Re-Read. It's just habit. ;-)
T C
149. Freelancer
I'm with Terez @139.


Alright, everybody get up. Pretending to faint, ha-ha, very funny.


Leigh has never "hidden" text in her posts by using white font that I know of, and she would certainly not do something as inconsistent as include a spoiler in a non-spoiler review. Not no way, not no how. So no, I didn't try to highlight the empty lines. I saw them as a visual cue to a notable pause before she continued her commentary, to add weight to the simple word "Oh", suggesting a moment of shock.
Don Barkauskas
150. bad_platypus
WELP, WE ALL KNEW THIS WAS COMING. But fortunately not in the way we were – expecting? Sort of? …And that does divide up nicely this way, doesn’t it. Well done.
I say this is Aviendha's "four at once" actually being twins for each of Aviendha and Min. (I normally stay away from the theorizing (Theory-ing?), but for some reason this has become my windmill at which to tilt for this series.)
Jonathan Levy
151. JonathanLevy
127. rhandric
re: unreading
Or apply any of Perrin's story between losing and regaining Faile.
I thought that was CoT. I've re-read it about six times but I can't remember anything...except for... could it be - a bath?

128.wcarter
And of course the arrow has 'Death' engraved into it with silver sparkles.

133.martytargaryen
No!

127. rhandric
137.KiManiak
138.Wetlandernw
143.insectoid
148.Man-0-Manetheran

So many! :)

To clarify, I wasn't suggesting that it was reasonable to expect whited-out text, merely that it was (for me) an irresistable urge originating from the GRRM re-read.
James Hogan
152. Sonofthunder
Leigh - just wanted to say thanks. :) I find it very odd indeed that I have now read your last WoT Spoiler-Free review...I'm slightly saddened, really - to think that no longer will we have a WoT book to look forward to. But oh - what joy it does bring me to know how much this ending("an" ending) satisfied you! And what a tease you are, truly! But I much appreciate you being vague, as I'm still determinedly spoiler-free and trying my hardest to maintain that status. I may have accidentally read that Chapter 9 excerpt, but surely that doesn't count?!

To the rest of you - thanks for being spoiler-free in your comments as well! It's nice to have a thread where I don't have to be quite as wary in scanning for potential spoilers.

And wow. Less than one month.

Whoa.
Theresa Gray
153. Terez27
Free@149—Do we have some kind of reputation for being at loggerheads or something? :)
Jonathan Levy
154. JonathanLevy
Freelancer: Yes, we have a reputation for being at loggerheads.
Terez27: I'm pretty sure we don't.
Freelancer: I happen to know for a fact that we do.
Terez27: I just checked and we don't.
Freelancer: Do too.
Terez27: Do not.
Freelancer: Do too.
Terez27: Do not.
Freelancer: Do too.
Terez27: Do not.
Freelancer: Do too.
Terez27: All right, you convinced me. We always disagree.
Freelancer: Good.
Theresa Gray
155. Terez27
Fail. Your ending requires too much suspension of disbelief.
Sam Mickel
156. Samadai
Perhaps we should take a poll? Who thinks they do/ do not have a rep for being at logger heads?
Once the poll is settled we could have a cage match between those on either side.
It could be done in terms of writing. the best written story wins.
Alice Arneson
157. Wetlandernw
Oh, Lordy.
::wipes eyes::

I laughed so hard my son was laughing at me!
::chokes off rising chuckles::

Not sure why that hit me so funny, but...
::gigglesnort::

Well, I can always use a good laugh. Thanks to Freelancer, Terez & Jonathan Levy - what a great start to a morning! Call me easily entertained, if you will, but that was just what I needed. :)
::snicker::
Heather Olver
158. Arila
Sounds like a roller coaster. I kept thinking "This is the one about Demandred!" "No, THIS one is the one about Demandred!" "No, really THIS is the one about Demandred!" Seriously, how many times do we finally find out who he is???

I'm so glad that it has both "clap like a seal" and "I must walk away" moments. Those are the ones you remember the most.

Great review Leigh, now we are even more rabid than we were before.
Cory Emerson
159. emer1284
Thank you Leigh. At this point, I would sacrifice Christmas to get my hands on this book.
Asha'man
160. Luke Al'Caar
*goosebumps*
Publius 75
161. publius75
It's too bad that so much attention is given to the 2 or 3 books in the middle that move slower than the rest because as a whole, the series is very good. I have read complaints about too much filler, and slow moving books in other notable series, but it seems the WOT is the only series where it is never overlooked up. Three slow moving average books out of a fourteen is above average in my opinion.

I wish I had time to finish my reread; however, I cannot risk running into spoilers like I did with ADWD. It's just sucks that some people on the internet purposely try and spoil a book for others.
Ron Garrison
162. Man-0-Manetheran
There has been some commentary about the Re-Read drawing to a close after we all talk AMoL to death. But it occured to me last night that at that point we need to begin again with EotW and review all the clues that were resolved in AMoL. Re-read the story in its totality. It's not the end and not the beginning. It's a beginning...
Kimani Rogers
163. KiManiak
MoM@162 - I am totally in support of that suggestion, and I think a few others have proposed that as well. I hope it is something that Leigh and Tor.com consider.

I wouldn't be surprised if they decide to take at least a few months' break between the reread of AMoL and starting up again, though...
Irene Gallo
164. Irene
@162 and 163,

Funny you should say that..... ;-)
Alice Arneson
165. Wetlandernw
Whee! Irene, you're really on a roll today! :)

(I just read your book-printing post. Good times!)
Asha'man
166. Yournamehere
yay! Really looking forward to this, been a long time coming ^_^
Asha'man
167. MartinCahn
@Leigh: Thank you so much for this.

@Beren: I think my co-workers think I'm bonkers now for all the LOL I did reading your comment.

@Brandon: Thank you for helping to finish what JOR started all those years ago.

@TeamJordan: Thank you for being there all the way, especially Harriett.

@Robert Jordan/James Rigney: Thank you for this world you so amazingly crafted, populated with the best characters ever and wrapping it all up with the most frustratingly convulated but every so satisfactory story anyone's ever written. I'm sure you are happy, looking over everyone's shoulder at the final words.

I can't wait to do the same on Jan. 8.
Thomas Keith
168. insectoid
Terez @153 et al:
*LOL* That made my day. XD

Man-0 @162/Ki @163:
But what would we call it? The "WoT Re-Re-read"? "Encore Re-read"? "Re-read Extra"? Hmm.

Irene @164:
Heh.

Bzzz™.
Philip Wardlow
169. PhilipWardlow
"God, they are so WEIRD. I totally don’t know how to feel about this relationship. But then, apparently neither do they, so that’s… all right? I guess?"

THAT's got to be Thom and Moraine your talking about there...!
Philip Wardlow
170. PhilipWardlow
"Oh, yeah. I was wondering when they would show up. Not that I’m particularly thrilled that they’re here, of course"


THAT's gott be the Whitecloaks with Galad
Chris R
171. up2stuff
JL at 154...

Last comment by Free should have been,

"No we don't."
Philip Wardlow
172. PhilipWardlow
And so this wasn’t Choked Up Incident #5, so much as it was straight-up actual crying. Dammit. Dammit.


That's where Lan Dies I'm betting
Sam Mickel
173. Samadai
@ Irene,

Whoohoooooo and YAY. You all are awesome!!!
Asha'man
174. MrMightyMax
Random thought - is there an upper limit to a steading? Like, could I find that limit and open a gateway at that point, and shove someone through?
Asha'man
175. dbnob777
Thank you very much, Leigh
Asha'man
176. LastToTheWOTParty
Ok, who has a tshirt with "WHO KILLED ASMO" on it? I need to wear it while I read AMoL ;)

To reflect a bit (more): I started reading these in 1998, tore through to book #8, and then realized there were no more. So I waited, and then book #9 came out, and I found that I had to reread all of them just to get caught up, and #9 turned out to be not so much a favorite, in fact it kinda hurt, and I thought OMG I don't think I can handle the waiting, especially if it's more like this! GAH. So I set them down for years, deciding I'd wait till it was all done before I'd finish. Then came September, 2007, which caused me to be even more disheartened that it would ever finish, although at this point I was no longer that attached to it.

Then came Brandon Sanderson and Leigh Butler, and the fastest read of 300+ reread posts in history.

And now, now I am back.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to Brandon and Leigh.

And now....TO JANUARY 8TH!!!!
Sam Mickel
177. Samadai
@ 176,

Did you miss that Asmodeans killer was revealed in ToM, or did you just want to wear the shirt for fun?
Asha'man
178. LastToTheWOTParty
Sam @177: Graendal, right? No, that was pure cheekiness ;)
wes carlton
179. Dorman
Savouring it! You Bet!!!

Thanks Leigh! You are an Interesting Lady!

Cheers!
T C
180. Freelancer
Let me just put it this way...



Real.

::Lights the match and walks away. Walks, because it's a slow fuse::
Jeff Schweer
181. JeffS.
Let's call it the "Reread Redux"
Let's start in September 2013. That will give me time to read AMOL 4 or 5 times to really get it down.
Asha'man
182. Wortmauer
If there's to be a re-re-read eventually, it needs to be conducted in the nature of a quest or mission. So that it can be called the Butlerian Jihad.

Yes, I do highlight for spoilers out of habit even in a context where none are expected. Like after the "Oh."

"Just in case there were any trolls out there still insisting on it, eh?": IMO has to be Olver = Gaidal Cain. Debunking Taim = Demandred won't be a specific little side trip just for the purpose, it'll be a whole plotline.

"God, they are so WEIRD." Yes, it could be Thom and Moiraine, but I'm pretty sure it's Mat and Fort.

"WELP, WE ALL KNEW THIS WAS COMING. But fortunately not in the way we were – expecting? Sort of? …And that does divide up nicely this way, doesn’t it." Something about the Finn clue about "the north and the east" and "the south and the west". Maybe N + E really means the Blight and Shara, which shall be as one under the King of Malkier. Or S + W really means Seanchan and the Isle of Madmen, under the Empress, may she live forever.

(Also ... "POP GOES THE AIEL" ... hahahaha ... thanks for that, Beren!)
Cynthia Ahmar
183. tenkuu
This is so awesome. I also hope you'll be revisiting these comments in another review, Leigh. I only wish the X manga would take a hint from WoT and bloody *finish* already. Although we readers of WoT really shouldn't complain about a two-year wait since it's been almost 10 years since the last chapter of X which ended with this. How do you like them cliffhangers? >.>
Jonathan Levy
184. JonathanLevy
155. Terez27

It requires a suspension of the laws of logic! :)

181. JeffS.
Let's call it the "Reread Redux"
And after that, we can re-read the re-read! Leigh will re-read her re-read comments, and re-comment on her re-read comments.

We can call it the WoT re-re-read!
Asha'man
185. Louis Theodore Tellman
I can't beLIEVE you blew the ending for me, Leigh!!!

;)

To say that this was spoiler free is a bit of an understatement. If anything, my mind is conjuring up all SORTS of possibilities. Now, I'ma hafta be distracted and irritable for a few weeks...
Asha'man
186. Arie26
Damn it, are you kidding me?! That was the biggest teasingest spoiler-free teaser ever. I am so excited to read AMOL!!!!
thanks Leigh, I have loved reading your articles over the years.
Best,
Alice Arneson
187. Wetlandernw
Wortmauer @182 - Yes, I did. Out of habit. :)

(Nice one!)
Don Barkauskas
188. bad_platypus
Wortmauer @182: "Butlerian Jihad" LOL

@ various: I completely respect people who haven't spoiled themselves with the Prologue, Chapters 1 and 2, and/or the excerpt from Chapter 11, but it is a bit frustrating to see speculation about things that have already been resolved in those parts. (I wonder how much more frustrating it must be for people who got ARCs and have read the whole thing.) Ah, well. It will all be clear in 25 days!
Asha'man
189. s'rEDIT
Can it be? It almost requires a suspension of disbelief itself!

OK, I have no spoilers, since I'm refusing to read anything in advance, but Leigh's review did prick a bit of speculation regarding
Yeah, well, dude, what did you expect? That wasn’t bringing a knife to a gun fight; that was bringing a knife to a Global Thermonuclear Warfare fight. Sheesh. Also: Damn. That sucks.

Well. That… that sucked more. Like, a lot. Wow.
I'm afraid it might be Olver. Remember he ran back to the tent to get the knife he'd hidden there?
Asha'man
190. instantdeath999
"Dammit, dammit, no, don’t agree, don’t agree to – DAMMIT. Well, there goes the neighborhood. You MORON. (Maybe?)"

Please, please don't let this mean Rand bows to the Seanchan.
Dawn Boyall
191. deebee
wortmauer@182

yup, me too. Guilty as charged!

Compulsive isn`t it?
Asha'man
192. Pansy
I'm just so excited, thinking of taking that day off work and locking myself in my bedroom with chips and soda and reading the day away... Thanks Leigh for the spoiler free teaser!
T C
193. Freelancer
I'll bet Wortmauer tried to highlight the empty space I left @180, and that's what drove him to his actions @182.

(BTW, the Butlerian Jihad line is a good one, but has shown up before on the re-read.)

I wonder how many others looked for hidden text @180.
Alice Arneson
194. Wetlandernw
Me. Habits are... habitual, and rarely conscious.
Kimani Rogers
195. KiManiak
Wort@182 and Free@193 -
I highlighted (highlit?) both spaces. I'll admit it; I'm not ashamed. :-)

The spoiler in the open space is a method that is used quite often in the Malazan reread, so it's almost a matter of habit.

Actually, its to the point where I do this wherever there's a large empty space in any post I read on Tor.com. Which is why I immediately highlit (highlighted?) the open space that our fearless leader provided above, thinking she had a nice little tidbit of info for us. Oh well...
Daniel Goss
196. Beren
Everyone's talking about highlighting the white space in the post, but so far nobody has even noticed what's under the snake-wheel symbol at the end.

Now THAT was an awesome place to put a spoiler.
Even if it wasn't used for that purpose.
-Beren
Asha'man
197. Wortmauer
Hmmm, time was, an extra inch of vertical whitespace on tor.com only meant the comment editor had gotten a bit overzealous about adding paragraph marks. Guess it's been awhile since they fixed that, since now we all immediately think "whited spoiler" instead of "buggy comment editor".
Freelancer@193: I'll bet Wortmauer tried to highlight the empty space I left @180, and that's what drove him to his actions @182.
Probably. Can't remember, it was like 18 hours ago. But probably.
(BTW, the Butlerian Jihad line is a good one, but has shown up before on the re-read.)
Oh well. I didn't remember seeing anyone make that joke yet. I just now went looking for it. Uncle Google seems to agree that wherever that joke happened, it wasn't here. At the least, it gives me plausible deniability for having stolen someone else's line, right?
Chris R
198. up2stuff
Beren @ 196...

Okay, get out your big rubber "SUCKER" stamp and thump it across my forehead.

I'm tired. I shouldn't have fallen for it, but I did.
Asha'man
199. Smuli83
If Rand bows to the seanchan..So the whole series is ruined!! THIS IS THE HARSH REALITY. Ifear the worst..I hope i m wrong!
Daniel Goss
200. Beren
Rand will never bow to the Seanchan.

We know that because:

Be sure to drink your Ovaltine!

-Beren
James Devlin
201. JimD
Never having read a single WOT word, I still loved this review! :-D
Chris R
202. up2stuff
Beren....

Must... Resist... Highlighting.... Last.... Comment....
Jeff Schweer
203. JeffS.
Beren @196 and up2stuff @198
Yep, me too. I went scrolling up to the wheel immediately and found
NOTHING.
IF we weren't all friends here, I'd call shenanigans of the low, middle and high order but that would only be because I'm trying to divert attention from my gullibility.
Thomas Keith
204. insectoid
up2stuff @198/JeffS @202:
Looks like we've been flimflammed, myself included! XD

Bzzz™.
J W
205. Susurrin
Beren, please stop you are giving my OCD OCD. I want to highlight every blank space I see even though I know it is going to be as fruitless as Grandma Susurrin's fig tree.
Asha'man
206. Zizoz
Sometimes I just select entire pages while reading them.

The problem with this is when it results in me accidentally getting spoiled when I don't want to...
Asha'man
207. Dr. Phil
Beren - you rock!
I'll be guffawing for the rest of the day... Brilliant.
Daniel Goss
208. Beren
@206 Zizoz
I do the same thing. It's almost a nervous tic where as I'm reading I'm constantly highlighting and un-highlighting what I'm reading. Drives my wife nuts.
@ all who liked my snarkiness at 108
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it!
-Beren
Asha'man
209. Sakaea
Now more than ever I can hardly wait for this to come out! I swear, I won't sleep til I finish it...then I'll probably read it all again, slower.

Tai'shar Team Jordan!
Asha'man
210. Makilish
Leigh,

that was awesome.
Asha'man
211. IvanaJ.J.
First, I really wish I was in your shoes... you know what sucks? That WE have to wait and YOU have already read it!!
Second, I have to start reading back in order to be able to continue smoothly...
Asha'man
212. CavalierKong
I read my first WOT book in 1991. For Xmas that year I got EOTW,TGH and TDR. 21 years later here we stand at the precipice, the conclusion imminent. This book cannot possibly meet my expectations, as I have never anticipated anything with such vigor, but this review along with Jason's open letter to Jordan have me holding out hope that this ending will be the beautiful culmination and resolution this story has promised for 20 plus years.

As we draw nearer to Jan 8th, each day gets just a little bit longer and each hour drags just a hair more.

13 days and counting...
Asha'man
213. Al'Hagemann
Please post descriptions of what caused your reactions after the book has been out for a while. (month or two)
Asha'man
214. YeaMikeyLikesIt
I didn't want to read this until I had finished rereading all the books in preparation for the 8th. Upon having read all the books again, I find myself even more attached to some of the characters, the three Ta’veren, Moiraine, Aviendha, Min and so many more. After reading your reactions, it sounds like some of your reactions may have been caused by a death or two. I am terrified that one or more of these beloved characters will die and as pathetic as it may sound, I don’t know how to deal with that. I am now excited and terrified of the 8th.
T C
215. Freelancer
@213

If Leigh follows her past formula, a number of days after the book is released will see her publish a fully spoilerific review, which will indeed marry the seemingly unattached reactions featured here to the scenes which inspired them. Reception with open bar to follow.
Thomas Keith
216. insectoid
Free @215:
Hm, I thought her past formula was to post the spoiler review on drop day, in order to drive us crazy with the desire to read it, even though we haven't read the book yet? :P

Bzzz™.
T C
217. Freelancer
insectoid,

You may be right. I'm accidentally merging in MY formula, which is to avoid all sites between drop day and finishing the book.
Asha'man
218. cruiserswim
I can not wait till next Tuesday. I have been looking forward to this moment since I started The Eye of the World which was five years ago for me. This is by far my favorite series I have ever read and this is definitely a bittersweet moment to see the this series finally end.
Asha'man
219. batbear
it's january 4 and i'm here in the Philippines, please please someone be nice and post a long spoiler by january 9, might not get the book until march... i. need. closure.
Asha'man
220. s'rEDIT
Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Amazon says it's shipping soon and will arrivew tomorrow by 8 p.m.

What? 8 p.m.? I'll be up all night, fersher!
Alice Arneson
221. Wetlandernw
s'rEDIT - Mine says the same. It's going to be tough to go to bed tomorrow, though I do have to be at least semi-functional on Wednesday...
T C
222. Freelancer
batbear @219

It's too bad the U.S. bases are all closed or buried. Back in the day, the Exchanges at Clark and Subic Bay always got books in on time.
Tomas Gerst
223. IamnotSpam
I finally have the book and will start soon reading to my hearts content. Back in my early twenties I said to one of my good friends that the way Jordan was writing there was a good chance one or both of us would not be around for the end of this story. Obviously I am here for it now but I have been very careful the last month making sure I did nothing that could even smack of being dangerous. No walking under ladders, safe driving ext. I will sit down tonight and try to loose myself once again in the story that I have been coming back to for the last twenty odd years. Ifs been a rough year, I lost my son at age 23 and I have had my hands full trying to keep my daughter and ex. sane while we adjust/morn/cry over his early departure from our current lives. Knowing that I had another ending to look forward/dread this January while I get another year older is a strange blessing that distracts from other thoughts. You know I could not find a single midnight release happening in Amarillo but I was there bright and early in the morning to get my copy. I hope that this will be the start of a great new year and maybe I will find another great story to follow that will get me through the latter years of my life like this one accompanied me these earlier ones. I want to thank Jordan and his wife for making sure there was an ending. Sanderson for making it happen for us. Leigh for being a new kind of partner in reading the stories again.
Thanks and God bless,
Thomas
Asha'man
224. MarkJuan
@219 batbear

No need, found tons of copies at National Bookstore in Manila last night (Megamall branch). Hope this helps :)
Asha'man
225. Braid_Tug
I know the full spoiler review is up, but I don't want to go there yet. I'm only half way done.

Yet I rather wish that somewhere there was a "Talk about the book at the half-way point."

I'm keeping track of my reactions, but really want to talk with people now...
back to work now.

back to work now.
j p
226. sps49
Aaaaaugh! I was coming back from vacay and the book was in the airport bookstore and I was BROKE!!!!

Talk about jonesing for hours! But now I'm enroute to get it.
Asha'man
227. Rosko
This is an outstanding book. Absolutely masterpiece.
Asha'man
228. JVE
Hey,

I've had a harder time reading your review then all the books together...

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