I can’t wait for my 40th birthday!

I know, that seems weird to everyone, but earlier this year the announcement of the publication date for the Wheel of Time final book was announced, and it’s my 40th birthday.

I never thought I’d be looking forward to it, but it’s really amazing that I’ve been reading this series since the beginning of my adult life. Literally. I picked up The Eye of the World back when I was 20, and it’s been 20 years. Twenty long damn years.

What’s worse is that the original author of the series, Robert Jordan, died in 2007, with the series not yet finished. That sucked on so many levels it was heartbreaking.

Harriet McDougal, Jordan’s widow and editor, then asked newcomer Brandon Sanderson to write the end of the series, using the copious notes and passages already completed by Jordan. Sanderson was about the best choice for this, as his voice was new enough to not be etched in stone for readers and fans, and his style is, while faster-paced and more direct, similar enough to fit pretty well.

Actually, damn well. The last two books have tied up loose ends from all over the world, finished story lines that had gotten way out of hand, and advanced the action for most characters in ways that we hadn’t seen for, oh, six books. And these books didn’t skimp on facts or details, but were cleaner, quicker, and a return to the power of the stories that had captured our hearts and minds all those years ago.

So yes, my 40th is going to be great. The final book, the end of the series. Of course, there are no endings or beginnings, just the turning of The Wheel…

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