I first met The Wheel of Time series when someone recommended it to me in the mid 1990's. Not a regular, or enthusiastic, fantasy fan, I had commented how I had never found such a book I really liked. I had read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, some Andre Norton and similar titles. I had tried, and failed, to read The Hobbit six times! My friend said, "You have to try these...."
I opened The Eye of the World (book one) and was immediately hooked... Here was not just fantasy, but excellent storytelling, action packed adventure, a mythic journey, and a world made believable by an author who understood the basic underpinning of myth, culture, military science, and history. The skillful Robert Jordan utilized all of these in crafting the world occupied by Rand, Mat, Perrin, and all the rest. I read them each Christmas as a special gift to myself. Geek that I am, I even read them backwards and noted the masterful links of plot and foreshadowing unnoticed in forward chronological reading.
Two decades and thirteen books later...I eagerly opened the fourteenth (and final book), A Memory of Light, with the same anticipation as the second one I had read.
In moments, I was drawn once more into that world...where people had strange powers, where a great battle of good vs evil was ongoing and a final confrontation imminent.
A series of the depth and scope reflected in The Wheel of Time is an incredible achievement, especially in light of the fact the author died in 2007 and someone had to step in to complete the work. Brandon Sanderson did that well, following detailed notes left by author Robert Jordan. Some may complain, some may be dissatisfied and quibble about slight deviations in character or action due to the transition. All I can say is as I closed the book, 900 plus pages of it, I took a deep breath and wanted to start the series all over - again.
I have to go now...I have to see what books I need to complete the series....