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Joshua Hughes
Joshua Hughes

A Memory of Light: How Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson Collaborated to Finish The Wheel of Time Series


Wheel of Time Book 14 Ebook 21: A Memory of Light




If you are a fan of epic fantasy novels, you have probably heard of the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. This series is one of the most influential and popular fantasy epics ever published, with over 90 million copies sold worldwide and a TV adaptation by Amazon Studios. But did you know that the final book in the series, A Memory of Light, is also known as Ebook 21? In this article, we will explore the history, the writing process, and the content of this remarkable book that concludes a saga that spanned over two decades.




wheel of time book 14 ebook 21


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Introduction




What is the Wheel of Time series?




The Wheel of Time is a series of high fantasy novels that follows the lives and adventures of a group of young heroes who are destined to fight against the Dark One, a malevolent force that threatens to destroy the world. The series is set in a world where magic exists, but only certain people can access it. The magic system is based on a balance between two opposing forces, called saidin and saidar, which are channeled by male and female users respectively. However, due to a past event known as the Breaking of the World, saidin was tainted by the Dark One, causing male channelers to go insane and wreak havoc. As a result, female channelers formed an organization called the Aes Sedai, which became the dominant power in the world.


The series consists of 14 main books, a prequel novel, and two companion books. The main books are:


  • The Eye of the World (1990)



  • The Great Hunt (1990)



  • The Dragon Reborn (1991)



  • The Shadow Rising (1992)



  • The Fires of Heaven (1993)



  • Lord of Chaos (1994)



  • A Crown of Swords (1996)



  • The Path of Daggers (1998)



  • Winter's Heart (2000)



  • Crossroads of Twilight (2003)



  • Knife of Dreams (2005)



  • The Gathering Storm (2009)



  • Towers of Midnight (2010)



  • A Memory of Light (2013)



The prequel novel is New Spring (2004), which tells the story of how two of the main characters met. The companion books are The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time (1997), which provides an overview of the history, geography, culture, and magic of the world, and The Wheel of Time Companion (2015), which contains an encyclopedia of characters, places, items, and events from the series.


Who are the authors of the series?




The Wheel of Time series was created by Robert Jordan, the pen name of James Oliver Rigney Jr. (1948-2007), an American author who was born in Charleston, South Carolina. Jordan was a graduate of The Citadel, a military college, and served two tours of duty in Vietnam as a helicopter gunner. He began his writing career in 1977, writing historical fiction and fantasy under various pseudonyms. He started working on The Wheel of Time in 1984, and published the first book in 1990. He planned to finish the series with six books, but later expanded it to 12, and then to 14.


However, Jordan died in 2007 from a rare blood disease, before he could complete the final book. He left behind extensive notes and outlines for his successor to finish the series according to his wishes. His widow, Harriet McDougal, who was also his editor, chose Brandon Sanderson, a young fantasy author who was a fan of the series, to complete the task. Sanderson was born in 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English. He published his first novel, Elantris, in 2005, and gained recognition for his Mistborn trilogy (2006-2008). He also teaches creative writing at his alma mater.


What is the plot of the final book?




A Memory of Light is the fourteenth and final book in the Wheel of Time series. It covers the events of Tarmon Gai'don, the Last Battle between the forces of Light and Shadow. The book follows the main characters as they prepare for and participate in the epic confrontation that will decide the fate of the world. The book also resolves many of the subplots and mysteries that were introduced throughout the series, such as the identity of the Dragon Reborn, the nature of the Dark One, the role of the Aes Sedai, the prophecy of the Seanchan, and the destiny of the Forsaken.


The book is divided into five parts: To War, The Last Battle, His Blood on the Rocks of Shayol Ghul, The Choice of an Age, and Epilogue. It has 49 chapters and a prologue and an epilogue. It has a total of 909 pages in hardcover and 1,012 pages in paperback. It is also available as an ebook and an audiobook.


Main Body




Why is the final book called Ebook 21?




The original plan for six books




As mentioned earlier, Robert Jordan originally intended to finish the Wheel of Time series with six books. He had a clear vision of how he wanted to end the story, and he even wrote some parts of the final scenes before he wrote some of the earlier books. However, as he continued writing, he realized that he needed more space and time to develop his characters and his world. He also wanted to explore more themes and subplots that he found interesting. Therefore, he decided to expand his plan to 12 books.


The expansion to 14 books




However, even with 12 books, Jordan still felt that he had more to say and more to show. He wanted to give his readers a satisfying conclusion that would tie up all the loose ends and answer all the questions that they had. He also wanted to make sure that each character had a proper arc and resolution. Therefore, he decided to expand his plan again to 14 books.


The split into three ebooks




Unfortunately, Jordan died before he could finish writing the fourteenth book. He left behind notes and outlines for Brandon Sanderson to complete it. However, when Sanderson started working on it, he realized that it would be too long and too complex to be published as one volume. He estimated that it would be over 2,000 pages long and would take several years to write. Therefore, he decided to split it into three ebooks: The Gathering Storm (Ebook 19), Towers of Midnight (Ebook 20), and A Memory of Light (Ebook 21). Each ebook would have its own title, cover art, prologue, epilogue, and plot structure.


How was the final book written and published?




The death of Robert Jordan




Robert Jordan died on September 16th , 2007 at his home in Charleston after a long battle with cardiac amyloidosis , a rare blood disease that affects ```html The selection of Brandon Sanderson




After Jordan's death, his widow and editor, Harriet McDougal, announced that she would choose another author to finish the series based on Jordan's notes and outlines. She considered several candidates, but eventually settled on Brandon Sanderson, a young fantasy author who was a fan of the series and had expressed his admiration for Jordan's work. Sanderson was contacted by Jordan's agent in December 2007 and agreed to take on the challenge. He received a box of Jordan's notes and manuscripts, which he studied carefully and used as a guide for his writing.


The collaboration with Harriet McDougal




Sanderson worked closely with Harriet McDougal throughout the writing process. He sent her drafts of his chapters and received feedback and suggestions from her. He also consulted with other people who were involved in the series, such as Jordan's assistants, his brother, his cousin, and his friend and fellow author Tom Doherty. He tried to maintain Jordan's style and voice as much as possible, while also adding his own touch and flair. He also tried to balance the expectations of the fans with his own vision and interpretation of the story.


The release dates and formats




The first ebook, The Gathering Storm, was released on October 27th , 2009. It had 50 chapters and a prologue and an epilogue. It had 766 pages in hardcover and 861 pages in paperback. It focused on the characters of Rand al'Thor, Egwene al'Vere, and Matrim Cauthon. It also introduced some new characters and plot twists. It received positive reviews from critics and fans alike.


The second ebook, Towers of Midnight, was released on November 2nd , 2010. It had 57 chapters and a prologue and an epilogue. It had 861 pages in hardcover and 976 pages in paperback. It focused on the characters of Perrin Aybara, Matrim Cauthon, Aviendha, Elayne Trakand, and Lan Mandragoran. It also continued some of the storylines from the previous ebook and set up some of the events for the final ebook. It received even more positive reviews than the first ebook.


The third ebook, A Memory of Light, was released on January 8th , 2013. It had 49 chapters and a prologue and an epilogue. It had 909 pages in hardcover and 1,012 pages in paperback. It focused on all the main characters and concluded their arcs and stories. It also featured the Last Battle, a massive war that spanned over 200 pages and involved hundreds of characters and thousands of troops. It received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and fans alike.


What are the main themes and features of the final book?




The Last Battle




The Last Battle is the climax of the Wheel of Time series. It is the final confrontation between the forces of Light and Shadow that will determine the fate of the world. The battle takes place in multiple locations across the continent of Randland, such as Tarwin's Gap, Kandor, Caemlyn, Andor, Cairhien, Tear, Illian, Shayol Ghul, etc. The battle involves many factions and groups that have been introduced throughout the series, such as the Aes Sedai, the Asha'man, the Seanchan, the Whitecloaks, the Aiel, the Trollocs, the Myrddraal, the Forsaken, etc. The battle is divided into four phases: The Attack on Caemlyn (chapters 1-11), The Defense of Tarwin's Gap (chapters 12-20), The Battle at Merrilor (chapters 21-37), and The Strike at Shayol Ghul (chapters 38-49).


The Last Battle is a complex and epic spectacle that showcases the skill and creativity of both Jordan and Sanderson. It is full of action, suspense, drama, humor , tragedy , heroism , sacrifice , betrayal , redemption , twists , surprises , revelations , and emotions . It is also full of references , callbacks , foreshadowing , symbolism , parallels , contrasts , irony , and themes that connect to the previous books and enrich the overall story . It is widely regarded as one of the best endings in fantasy literature .


The character arcs and resolutions




A Memory of Light also provides satisfying and meaningful resolutions for the main characters and their arcs. The main characters are Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, the prophesied savior and destroyer of the world; Matrim Cauthon, the gambler and general, who has a connection to an ancient civilization and a destiny to marry the Seanchan empress; Perrin Aybara, the blacksmith and wolfbrother, who has a bond with the wolves and a duty to lead his people; Egwene al'Vere, the Amyrlin Seat, the leader of the Aes Sedai and a master of dream magic; Nynaeve al'Meara, the Wisdom and Aes Sedai, a powerful healer and channeler who is loyal to her friends; Elayne Trakand, the Queen of Andor and Cairhien, a skilled politician and diplomat who is pregnant with Rand's twins; Aviendha, the Wise One and Aiel chief, a fierce warrior and lover who has seen a bleak future for her people; Min Farshaw, the viewer and advisor, a seer of patterns and symbols who is devoted to Rand; Lan Mandragoran, the uncrowned king of Malkier, a legendary swordsman and warder who is married to Nynaeve; Moiraine Damodred, the Aes Sedai and Blue sister, a mysterious and influential woman who guided Rand in his early days; Thom Merrilin, the gleeman and spy, a master of stories and secrets who is married to Moiraine; Loial, the Ogier and scribe, a gentle giant and scholar who records the events of the age; Faile Bashere, the Lady of Saldaea and Perrin's wife, a brave and cunning woman who leads a band of refugees; Tuon Athaem Kore Paendrag, the Empress of Seanchan and Mat's wife, a ruthless and pragmatic ruler who commands a vast empire; Cadsuane Melaidhrin, the Aes Sedai and Green sister, an old and legendary woman who mentors Rand; Logain Ablar, the Asha'man and M'Hael, a former false dragon and leader of the male channelers; Gawyn Trakand, the Warder and Prince of Andor, Egwene's husband and Elayne's brother; Galad Damodred, the Lord Captain Commander of the Children of the Light, a man of justice and honor who is Rand's half-brother; Berelain sur Paendrag Paeron , the First of Mayene , a beautiful and ambitious woman who has a rivalry with Faile ; Tam al'Thor , the farmer and blademaster , Rand's adoptive father and mentor ; etc.


Each character has their own role to play in the Last Battle , their own challenges to overcome , their own growth to achieve , their own relationships to develop , their own secrets to reveal , their own decisions to make , their own fate to fulfill . Some characters survive , some characters die , some characters change , some characters remain . Some characters get what they want , some characters get what they need , some characters get what they deserve . Some characters are happy , some characters are sad , some characters are both . Some characters are remembered , some characters are forgotten , some characters are reborn .


The magic system and worldbuilding




A Memory of Light also showcases the magic system and worldbuilding that Jordan created for his series. The magic system is based on the concept of the One Power , which is divided into two halves : saidin ( male ) and saidar ( female ) . The One Power is further divided into five elements : Air , Earth , Fire , Water , and Spirit . Channelers can weave these elements into complex patterns that produce various effects , such as healing , traveling , fighting , etc. The magic system is also influenced by other factors , such as ta'veren ( people who bend fate ) , ter'angreal ( objects that enhance or modify channeling ) , angreal ( objects that increase channeling strength ) , sa'angreal ( objects that greatly increase channeling strength ) , dreamshards ( artificial realms created by channelers ) , Tel'aran'rhiod ( the world of dreams ) , etc.


```html religions , languages , etc. that make up the world of Randland and beyond . Some of the most prominent ones are the Aes Sedai ( an order of female channelers who have a complex hierarchy and politics ) , the Seanchan ( an empire that originated from a continent across the ocean and has a rigid caste system and a practice of enslaving channelers ) , the Aiel ( a desert-dwelling people who follow a strict code of honor and have a secret connection to the Aes Sedai ) , the Ogier ( a race of long-lived and peaceful giants who have a talent for building and singing ) , the Trollocs ( a race of human-animal hybrids that serve the Dark One and are bred for war ) , the Forsaken ( 13 powerful channelers who betrayed the Light and swore allegiance to the Dark One ) , etc.


The fan reception and reviews




A Memory of Light was eagerly awaited by millions of fans who had followed the series for years. The book was met with overwhelming praise and appreciation from both critics and readers. It was hailed as a masterpiece of fantasy literature and a fitting end to an epic saga. It was also a commercial success, reaching number one on several bestseller lists, such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, etc. It sold over 400,000 copies in its first week of release.


Some of the positive aspects that were highlighted by reviewers and fans were: the fast-paced and thrilling plot, the satisfying and emotional resolutions for the characters, the epic and cinematic scope of the Last Battle, the faithful and respectful continuation of Jordan's vision and style by Sanderson, the rich and detailed magic system and worldbuilding, the humor and wit that balanced the darkness and drama, the themes and messages that resonated with the readers, etc.


Some of the negative aspects that were mentioned by reviewers and fans were: the length and complexity of the book, which made it hard to follow or remember some details or characters, the uneven distribution of attention or development for some characters or subplots, the lack of closure or explanation for some questions or mysteries that were left unresolved or ambiguous, the inconsistency or contradiction of some events or actions with previous books or established rules, etc.


Conclusion




Summary of the main points




In this article, we have discussed the following points:


  • The Wheel of Time is a series of high fantasy novels by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson that follows the lives and adventures of a group of young heroes who are destined to fight against the Dark One.



  • The final book in the series, A Memory of Light, is also known as Ebook 21, because it was originally planned to be one book but was split into three ebooks due to its length and complexity.



  • The final book was written by Sanderson based on Jordan's notes and outlines after Jordan's death in 2007. Sanderson worked closely with Jordan's widow and editor, Harriet McDougal, to complete the series according to Jordan's wishes.



  • The final book covers the events of Tarmon Gai'don, the Last Battle between the forces of Light and Shadow. It also provides satisfying and meaningful resolutions for the main characters and their arcs. It also showcases the magic system and worldbuilding that Jordan created for his series.



  • The final book was met with overwhelming praise and appreciation from both critics and readers. It was hailed as a masterpiece of fantasy literature and a fitting end to an epic saga. It was also a commercial success, reaching number one on several bestseller lists.



Recommendations for further reading or watching




If you enjoyed reading this article or reading or watching The Wheel of Time series, you might also like these books or shows:


  • The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: The classic fantasy trilogy that inspired many other fantasy authors, including Jordan. It tells the story of a group of heroes who must destroy an evil ring that threatens to enslave Middle-earth.



  • Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson: A fantasy trilogy that showcases Sanderson's original and innovative magic system based on metals. It tells the story of a group of rebels who try to overthrow an oppressive empire.



  • Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin: A fantasy series that is known for its gritty realism, complex characters, political intrigue, and unexpected twists. It tells the story of several noble families who vie for the Iron Throne of Westeros.



  • The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski: A fantasy series that is based on Slavic mythology and folklore. It tells the story of Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter who gets involved in the affairs of humans and non-humans.



  • His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman: A fantasy series that is set in a multiverse where every human has a daemon, an animal companion that represents their soul. It tells the story of Lyra Belacqua, a young girl who gets caught up in a cosmic war between the forces of reason and faith.



Closing remarks




Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it informative and entertaining. I also hope you learned something new and interesting about The Wheel of Time series and its final book, A Memory of Light. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them with me. I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions. And if you haven't read or watched The Wheel of Time series yet, I highly r


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