Friday, April 26, 2013

Thank You Brandon Sanderson!

Some of you may know by now that my favorite books of all time are "The Wheel of Time" books by Robert Jordan. I started reading these books shortly after I got married almost 20 years ago. I've been a fan of Tolkien since my father gave me "The Hobbit" when I was 10 years old. So when I began to read "The Wheel of Time" books I instantly noticed that Jordan was able to create vivid worlds that transport the reader, much like Tolkien. The details and vibrant words instantly drew me in and I was hooked. The story is of three young men who grew up in a small village only to have their quiet life disturbed because people believed that one of them could be the hero prophesied to come forward and save the world. From this moment on, the struggle between good and evil ensues taking the reader into this world, exploring every culture and creature within it. The reader gets to meet so many characters that at least one of them is bound to be your new best friend. This is what happened to me. These characters became real to me and I couldn't wait for the next book. Each time a new book came out in the series, I would reread the series or at least the book before the new one coming out. For those of you that don't know, this series is 14 books long, and though Robert Jordan published the first book in 1990 and book 14 was just released this January 2013. This is a long time to be following the same characters, not knowing how their story will end. I think this is another reason why the characters felt so real to me. Because each time a new book came out it was like catching up with old friends to see what their life has been like while you were separated.
When my favorite author, Robert Jordan, passed away in 2007 I was devastated. Not only did the world lose a brilliant writer, but I thought I may never get to finish the story of some of my best friends. I felt many different emotions when Tor announced that the series would be finished by Brandon Sanderson. I had never heard of this guy before and while I was glad I would be able to finish reading about my friends, I was worried that anyone else could really continue to portray my friends and their story in they way that they deserved. So when the first of the last three books came out, I was pleasantly surprised with the results. There were only a few spots where I could tell the style of writing was a little different. I was able to meet Brandon Sanderson shortly after this book came out. My brilliant words to him went something like this, "I'm so glad you didn't screw it up!" (Yes, my speaking words are never as eloquent as my written ones.)
When book 13 came out, I could finally feel the difference between the two voices in that book. (You read my thoughts on that here.) My husband I just finished the last book in this series and my friends finally have an ending. I found parts of the book very satisfying and other parts not so much. But all in all I loved the culmination of events that led to the ultimate battle between good and evil and I felt truth and light shining through the lines in this story. Now was I disappointed that my favorite character from book one never got the wedding she dreamt about? Definitely! Though, being the good friend that I am, I will probably just throw her a wedding myself, it will be a private ceremony on my computer only of course, but I need closure! LOL!
This all brings me to my point. I want to thank the people responsible for making sure my favorite book series was finished. Thank you, Brandon Sanderson for taking on this monumental task and doing it so well. You were able to portray the characters in such a way that they stayed true to themselves. I can tell that they were your close friends too and this kind of makes us friends automatically! I'm so glad Tor chose you to finish this book, not only did you do a good job, but I have been able to read your other books and have gained a new favorite author.
I also want to thank Robert Jordan's wife, Harriet for her contributions to this series from the beginning. I know that my husband is my  partner in all things, including my writing. He is my sounding board and many times, my muse. I tell him all about my story and sometimes I feel he is more invested than me! I know that if I were in the same situation as Robert Jordan, I would feel good knowing that my husband could help another author to finish my story and keep it true to my vision. Thank you, Harriet for your devotion to this series and for keeping his vision alive even when it must have been so difficult for you. I truly admire the strength and love it took to see this project through to the end.
Thank you to Tor for publishing my favorite books of all time! It truly takes a village to build a book series as wonderful as "The Wheel of Time."

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