So I come back from holiday to find that Robert Jordan finally lost his long battle against illness and has passed away... I read his blog and it sounded to me like he had turned a corner with it. My condolences go to his family and friends.
I only came to the Wheel of Time series four years ago. Until that point my budget meant I had to think carefully about what I picked up and the sight of nine of his books taking up an entire shelf (in Waterstones) seemed like a hell of a lot of catching up to do! Then one day, the wife and I decided to learn to ski... The first thing I did on the slope was to fall over and break a bone in my hand, no more going to work for the next six (or so) months! On my lonely wanderings around town I found one of those bookshops that sell books really cheap. Don't you just love them? I saw a copy of 'Eye of the World' and thought I'd give it a go, by the end of the summer I'd read up to 'Winter's Heart' and was waiting for the paperback edition of 'Crossroads of Twilight' to hit the bookstores. I could tell from the very first page that Robert loved the world he was writing in and in a way that very few other authors do. It was this enthusiasm and love that kept me turning the pages and will see me in line to find out how he planned for it to end.
I'm not going to lie and say that it was all peaks and no troughs, there was one particular book that I didn't enjoy (and I suspect it was the same book for you as well) but it was a testament to what Robert had achieved that me, and you as well, came back for 'Knife of Dreams' and his return to form.
It's a crying shame that the author of something so monumental will not be around to see it's completion. Robert, whatever you're doing right now I hope you're walking in the Light.