Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson: A Memory Of Light
Spoiler Space is a dedicated discussion area for people who have already read a book and want to talk about plot details we'd rather not reveal in our review. While we don’t usually provide spoiler areas for books, this one seemed likely to prompt enough late-breaking discussion to justify it. Converse to your hearts’ content.
This is mentioned in the review, but to be more specific, re: Rand vs. the Dark One: That’s it? The Dragon’s walking tour through a handful of potential realities is a premise the books have used again and again (most notably in the Aes Sedai testing ritual—a ritual revisited as recently as Towers Of Midnight, the book directly preceding this one), and while there’s some mildly interesting stuff there, it isn’t particularly dramatic, frightening, or suspenseful. All of this is followed by a generic philosophical discussion, Rand once again learning that he has to move on from the deaths of others, and then him doing the thing everyone’s been saying he needed to do for a million pages now, with a minimum of fuss. Even the final reveal, that he didn’t actually die, is more perfunctory than moving. This is the problem with a long-running fantasy, especially one like the Wheel Of Time, which worked to subvert some standard fantasy tropes even while fully embracing a standard fantasy structure (farm-boy hero discovers he’s the Most Important Man In The World). Jordan and Sanderson spent all this time developing the world, layering in the narrative obfuscations and delays, until finally, when it came time to deliver the big finish, there wasn’t much more to say.