Finally. The conclusion of a series that took 20 years to and the author's death before we could read the final words that Robert Jordan had always maintained he wrote before any other part of this this epic fantasy series. At last, The Last Battle is here. Rand, Egwene, Perrin, and Mat, along with all of those who been influenced by them since being spirited out of Edmond's Field by Moiraine, must make a stand against the forces of dark. This is the moment they have been moving towards, one final showdown against The Dark One and the Shadow. On final battle that has been foretold, and one final act of desperation that we know is to end with the death of The Dragon Reborn. And this time, at least for the reader, it is not just an ending
it is the end.
It took me a very long time to read this book. In part it is because this book has been a backbone to my adult life. I started reading it in college, introduced to it by my then boyfriend. I became active in the online world surrounding this series, and it was as a result of that involvement that I met several of my closes friends, and also the man who would eventually become my husband. I don't think that I was ready to close the book on that chapter of my life. However, it's not as if finishing the book was going to change all of that. My friends are still here and so is my husband. The other reasoning may have had to do with the length of this book, not normally a problem, but almost every single page was consumed with war and battle. 909 pages of battle. It wears on you after a time. I can't argue with how it was written, or if it was necessary. Of course it was. This is after all, The Last Battle. And it was magnificently done. Brandon Sanderson, has really done the series justice, when he took up Jordan's pen. There were surprises, sadness, victory, death, and survival. There was one section of the book towards the end that I cried for nearly 50 pages. It was hard to see characters that you've grown to love die, often in a violent and bloody manner. Others just barely survived, and for that I was grateful. I was afraid that all of them would be sacrificed for the sake of the story.
In all, while it could get bogged down in the details of battle and war and tactics, this was a fitting conclusion to the series. All the ends were tied up, and it left you with hope for the future. I really appreciate that it really is the end. Often times with series that I love, at the conclusion I am still left wanting more, to see what happens next. This time, I am not. This final book is what we've been promised for so long, and while not perfect, it is exactly what was needed.