Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Last Battle Begins

Posted by: Joely Sue Burkhart
Very few books have affected my life so much and for so long as Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time fantasy series. 

For me, it all started Christmas break 1993.  I was attending graduate school at Texas A&M and my friend wanted to go to the mall.  I thought she was nuts -- brave the mall with all the last-minute holiday shopping?!?  But that's where the bookstore was and she HAD to get a book. 

That was the magic word (books!) for me, and so off we headed to the bookstore.  I got another surprise when she bought a hardcover.  I mean, we were poor college students.  I'd NEVER bought a hardcover before.  There'd never been an author I couldn't wait a year or two for paperback.  Naturally, I had to know who this author was and why she had to buy it.

The book was Robert Jordan's The Fires of Heaven (book 5).  It'd just come out and she planned to read it over Christmas break.  To prove to me how good the series was, she lent book 1 to me.

The next day, I was back at that crazy mall buying the entire series and my first hardcover.

I've bought all of the books since then in hardcover, agonizing for YEARS in between books.  I have so many memories of haunting bookstores (this was B.A. Before Amazon and the ultimate pleasure of preordering a book so that it's on your Kindle as soon as it's available) hoping and praying the next book had come out.  Or breaking out into a Lanfear discussion over Thanksgiving dinner with my brother.  Or laughing as we tried to pronounce Nynaeve on the plane to Birmingham with Wanda.

It's hilarious how many random people I've run into and ended up talking about these books.  (So when/how to you think Moraine's coming back?!?  Who's Demandred?!?  All plots and conspiracies in the book.)

When Robert Jordan passed away, millions of fans were devastated.  He'd lost the Last Battle...before he could WRITE the Last Battle we'd all invested so many years in.  I have yet to read Sanderson's books to finish the series.  I've been buying them, but saving them for one last read.  I swore to my best friend, Wanda, that as soon as the last book came out, I would re-read the entire series from the beginning.

Book 14 - A Memory of Light just released, the final book in this beloved series.

I guess I'd best get to reading.

Have you ever invested years and years on a series before?


  1. My husband bought Eye of the World at some point, but has such a backlog of books, that I ended up reading it first. I was hooked from the first Trolloc attack and urged my husband to move it up his queue. Oddly, it took him until book four to get utterly hooked on the series, but since then it has provided many hours of dinner conversation, especially now that my sons are old enough to enjoy the story, too. (We sometimes play the game, each trying to name one character whose name begins with each letter of the alphabet. Yes, we are geeky.)
    Enjoy your reread and the new books!

  2. Oh, Nicole, that sounds so fun! I wish my husband or my sister were into the series so I could gab with them. I have some friends at work who read Jordan, but I'm in MO and they're in MN, so we don't just sit around and chat books very often!

  3. Yes, say matter of fact, I have. I'm starting book 1 of the WoT over as soon as I finish my current book. I'm be calling or emailing you soon!

  4. Yes, say matter of fact, I have. I'm starting book 1 of the WoT over as soon as I finish my current book. I'm be calling or emailing you soon!


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