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"A Memory of Light": A longtime fan remembers the journey

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(Read caption) "A Memory of Light" is the 14th and final book in Robert Jordan's epic series

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I must admit – I am a binge reader. I will go weeks without reading a book, but then something will catch my eye and I’ll read it in a couple of hours. After that I’ll make multiple trips to the library to see if they’ve got anything more by the same author. I’ll check out three or four and have them back in two days. When I’m on the wagon, I’ll stay up late reading and get up early the next morning to read more. Which is why Robert Jordan’s “The Wheel of Time” series has been one of the more agonizing experiences of my life.

I started reading the series when I was 13. My best friend, who had the locker next to mine in middle school, handed me “The Eye of the World” (the first book in the series), and I couldn’t put it down. I was drawn in by Rand Al'Thor, Mat Cauthon, Perrin Aybara, the mysterious witch Moriane and her dangerous warder, and the strange magic known as the One Power. Their long (14-books-long) journey to the Last Battle to fight the Dark One was just beginning. The fascinating detail of their world and the lack of annoying Tolkein-esque songs didn't hurt, either. I am well aware of the series' weaknesses (endless subplots, too much description), but the books endeared themselves to me. They are old friends now.

It’s strange having lived with these books for so long. It’s like being one of the kids from Narnia – there’s a secret world only a few page-widths away that only I and a few hundred thousand other nerds know about.

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